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Hope you had a chance to see me make bread on Good Morning America. Bread baking is one of America’s original do-it-yourself projects and you’ll be surprised to find out how easy it is with my no-fuss recipes. The rewards are double; you will save money and have a delicious loaf of bread to share with your family. The recipe for No-Fuss Focaccia and No-Knead Bread follows.
Warm, aromatic yeast bread, hot from the oven—with no kneading. Ready to enjoy in just 2 to 3 hours.
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for oiling the pan and drizzling the top of the dough
Oil well a 9- x 2- inch deep round or a 9- x 13- inch rectangular pan.
Combine the water with the yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the oil, salt and flour and beat on high speed for 60 seconds. Scoop the sticky batter into the prepared pan, cover the pan with a dry towel and let it rise at room temperature until it becomes puffy, 60 minutes for instant yeast or 90 minutes for active dry yeast.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Drizzle dough lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Bake the bread until it is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes (depending on which size pan you put it in). Remove from oven, let stand 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
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