Finally, after several people telling me about this over the years, I have made a loaf of no-knead bread. I used a link a friend sent, followed the recipe (almost), and ended up with a beautiful crusty loaf of fresh bread; no kneading by hand, no kneading by machine.
To make this bread, you mix up the dough, let it sit covered at room temperature for 12-18 hours, then bake it in a dutch oven at 450F. It’s really that simple.
You can find the recipe I used by clicking here. I say I almost followed the recipe because, of course, I made some modifications. Why would I do an exact recipe on the first try? The recipe did say you could add things to the dough, so I decided to go ahead and make a loaf of olive bread. I added about one cup of sliced olives, and I also added 1/2 tsp of sugar to help feed the yeast. I let mine sit for about 14 hours, mixing it up at night, letting it sit overnight and then baking it the next afternoon. The dough seemed to lose some of its volume when I transferred it from the bowl to the counter for its last rest time, but still baked up into a nice loaf.
Don’t worry, I will still use my new mixer for bread. The no-knead bread is a lot more like the artisan breads that are all the rage; thick, crispy crust, with a bubbly, chewy crumb. Call me old fashioned, but I like a nice soft bread for my breakfast toast, and I think the way to get that will be to knead the dough as usual. But this no-knead bread will be great for lunches and snacks!