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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Novice Foodie: No-Knead Bread, No Need for Dishcloths

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Page 2 of 2

After the initial rising, the dough gets folded a few times and then rests for fifteen minutes. After putting the dough on a clean, floured dishcloth, you cover it with another clean, floured dishcloth and let it rise for two hours.

Here, I encountered a problem (of course). Apparently, I forgot to sync our laundry schedule with my baking schedule, and I was all out of clean dishcloths. Rather than wait almost two hours to wash and dry dishcloths, I turned to my trusty supply of clean rags cut from old clothes and towels. I needed something smooth, without a nap -- no terry cloth. What fit the bill? Um, my husband's old boxer shorts.

click to enlarge Not the boxers in question, because a picture of those would be tmi. - USER "LUIS 2492," WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Let me say this again: I totally covered my bread dough with my husband's worn out, discarded (but clean!) underwear.

After the second rising, the dough wasn't as large as I had hoped, and I feared we were in for yet another disaster of dense, choking bread. But I soldiered on and poured the dough into the pre-warmed enameled cast-iron pot, baked, removed the lid and baked a little more. I tentatively opened the oven door at the scheduled time, fearing the worst, hoping for the best.

Victory, my friends. Victory is mine. The loaf was neither flat nor dense, but beautifully rounded and crusty. Artisan, if you're nasty. There's only one conclusion we can make, dear readers: My husband's underpants are magical.

Kelli Best-Oliver is on a quest to become a full-fledged foodie. She chronicles her adventures every Tuesday. She writes about any damn thing she pleases at South City Confidential.

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