This easy peasy, no-knead bread with its crackly thin brown crust, that crunches between your teeth, and it's holier than thou, slightly chewy texture, ruggedly begs to be slathered in frigidly hard butter, and quickly munched, whilst still warm-from-the-oven.

Bread-1 loaf

This bread........Oh Mama!......this bread is so good!

But wait!  Even better.  Well not better, but just as important.  This ridiculously easy.  Seriously, easy.

And forgiving. 

This time I added little chunks of Cheddar and fresh chives.   And just look at that beauty. 

Sometimes I add oodles of nutty, roasted garlic cloves and gratings of tangy Asiago.  Sometimes I add ribbons of caramelized sweet onions and wee cubes of creamy Havarti.  Sometimes I add melt-in-your- mouth little chunkers of perfectly fried Hot Pancetta and chopped fresh basil. 

Sometimes I just stir it up, naked, as it is, without adding a thing.  But this is usually when I have a bigger plan for my favorite artisan bread.  Toast.  Yup! 

This bread makes the best damn toast, ever.  With anything spread on it....from thin slices of triple cream Brie, to tangy apricot jam, to plain old ordinary peanut butter, to that sharp McLaren's Imperial cheese topped with a layer of homemade crabapple jelly.  (soft, happy moans)  Oh sorry!!  I get so easily carried away on the toast thing, with this bread.

Needless to say, besides flippin' delicious and easy, it's pretty much no fail as well.  Is this the bread of our dreams?  No kneading, or fiddling.  No special ingredients, or mind challenging techniques.  Just a smidgeon of effort and a little unattended waiting. 

Let's do it!  

Bread-doughI just mix everything up in this 7 1/2 quart plastic container Bread-risen
that I got
from SuperStore. 

Then I plop on the lid, and let it sit all happy on the counter, in a cozy, warm spot, for about 3 hours.

Now, it's time to get tucked away in the fridge overnight, or for up to 24-48 hours.  I told you this bread was cool!

The chilled resting seems to give the dough that certain je ne sais quoi that makes this bread so delicious, and deeply textured.


An hour or so before you're ready to bake the bread, sprinkle a bit of flour on the counter and on your hands and plop the sticky dough onto the counter.  Coat the dough a bit with the flour, just enough to tame it's stickiness, making it easy to handle and shape.

Bread-dough counter


Cut the dough into two halves, shaping each one roughly into a ball.  Place on prepared baking sheet, inches apart, sprinkling generously with flour.

Bread-ready bake


(You can also bake one at a time, saving the dough in the refrigerator for another day.) 

Cover gently with a clean towel and let rest on a baking tray for 30-45 minutes.  Right before placing in the oven score top of bread with an "x" or other decorative mark, cutting right through the dough.

Bake 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before slicing. (If possible!)

Bread-2 loaves

I know, I know, it makes you want to rhapsodize, doesn't it? 

Ha!  Maybe this bread is a rhapsody!!!  In and of itself.  Let's see...

rhapsody - noun rhap·so·dy \ˈrap-sə-dē\
: a piece of music (sub. bread) that is meant to express a lot of emotion and does not have a regular form
: a written or spoken expression (sub. loaf of bread) of great enthusiasm, praise, etc.


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Thanks Noble Pig food blog for yet another delicious recipe inspiration!

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2 tablespoons dry traditional yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
3 cups lukewarm water (body temperature is perfect and will not damage the yeast)
5 to 5 1/2 cups bread flour - and a bit more for dusting
1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
1 cup (or more if you're cheesy) sharp Cheddar, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives, or 2 tablespoons dried chives
1 tablespoon butter
1 - 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

Add yeast and sugar to your bowl, or dough mixing/rising container.  Pour in warm water and give a bit of a stir with a wooden spoon.  Let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Add 5 cups of flour and the salt.  Start mixing with a wooden spoon, use your hands as necessary to fully combine the dry and wet ingredients.  Mixture should be very sticky.  Stir in up to 1/2 cup more flour, if needed. 

Toss in Cheddar cubes and chopped chives, and work into the dough to evenly distribute. 

Cover dough with plastic wrap or container top and set in warm place to rise for at least 3 hours.  After 3 hours place dough in the refrigerator overnight. 

An hour or so before you are ready to bake, butter the bottom of an 11" x 17" baking tray and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Sprinkle some flour on the counter and your hands and plop the dough from the container onto the counter, coating in flour, a bit, so it's easier to work with.  Cut the dough into two pieces and shape each half into a ball.  No need to make it perfect, those tucks and ripples, make lovely crusty edges.  Place each dough ball on baking tray, several inches apart.  Sprinkle generously with flour. 

(You can also bake one at a time, saving the dough in the refrigerator for another day.)

Cover loosely with kitchen towel and let rest, in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.

When ready to bake, place a metal baking pan on the bottom rack of the oven.  Fill it with water.  This helps steam the bread, giving it a nice crust.  Preheat oven to 450F, the water will heat up during the preheat.

Right before placing in the preheated oven, score top of bread with an "x" or other decorative mark, cutting right through the dough.

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until crust is toasty brown.  Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before slicing.  You're thinking of singing a rhapsody, aren't you?