I don't think there is any other artisan bread that can make you feel more like a kitchen wiz than this overnight no-knead recipe. mix the basic ingredients late at night, let them sleep while you do, preheat the oven, mix in the flavors, then bake off. This is really minimal effort for big-time reward. I also love the way this recipe makes two smaller boules ("balls" in French);one savory, one sweet, that way everyone gets something they will love.
"This bread has a crisp crust and chewy interior with beautiful air pockets that hide the mix-ins..."
Notes: Dutch oven size is 6-quart.
MINI MOONBREADS: WALNUT-GRUYERE + CINNAMON-SULTANA
Ingredients: 3 cups flour, + extra for surface, 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast (not rapid rise), 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup sultanas (small golden raisins), 1 tsp. cinnamon mixed with 1/2 tsp. sugar,
Makes 2 small artisan boules
1. The night before: Whisk the flour in a large non-reactive bowl with the salt. Sprinkle over the yeast and add the water. Mix using wide strokes until dough has just come together, it will be shaggy. Cover with plastic wrap, set near the oven.
2. Wake up (8-10 hours later): Place a Dutch oven with a lid into the oven, preheat to 450*. Lay down a large sheet of parchment paper.
3. Flour a surface, then using fingers, scoop the now bubbly-wet dough down and out of the bowl, flopping it onto the floured surface. Sprinkle with a little more flour and cut in half.
4. Mix together the cheese and walnuts, and place on top of one of the dough piles. Mix the cinnamon, sugar, and sultanas, then place on top of the other dough.
5. Wrap the dough over the mix-ins: Gather the dough from each corner of the bottom of the dough mound, bringing it up and over, like you are wrapping a gift- it doesn't have to be perfect, just enough to keep the mix-ins from falling out. Place each boule seam-side down on the parchment paper, not too far apart.
6. Transfer the parchment paper with boules into the hot Dutch oven, cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, bake 15 minutes longer.
Tip: If you are concerned about the boules baking into each other as they rise, fold up a little piece of parchment and place between them.