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BREAD (3)My wife, Joy, baked it for me first thing Christmas morning.

My favorite bread.  It is so good it makes a meal by itself.

I eat it by the fireplace with butter and a bit of outstanding Seaside Cheddar we got at Whole Foods and a steaming mug of home-roasted Sumatra coffee.

What a delicious breakfast!


Here’s Joy’s Version of

Sullivan St. Bakery No-Knead Bread

It’s a slight variation on Jim Lahey’s Sullivan Street Bread, partly because of our living a mile-and-a-half above sea-level in New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains.



3 cups all-purpose flour (and a bit more for dusting)

1-5/8 cups water

1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

1-1/4 teaspoon salt

Cornmeal as needed.



1 medium mixing bowl

1 large mixing bowl

5-quart Le Creuset cast iron or ceramic pot with lid (or Pyrex glass.  Your choice)

Wooden spoon or spatula

Plastic wrap

1 pastry cloth

2 or 3 cotton towels (not terrycloth)



In medium mixing bowl combine flour, yeast and salt.

Add water and stir quickly until blended.

Dough will be shaggy and sticky.  Lightly coat large bowl with olive oil and place dough in bowl.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Let rest at least 12 hours (preferably 18 hours), at room temperature (about 70 degrees F.) Joy leaves it sit overnight.

When dough is ready its surface will be dotted with bubbles.  Lightly flour pastry cloth and place dough on it.  Sprinkle with a bit more flour and fold over itself once or twice (Joy does this by holding the outside edges of the pastry cloth to fold the pastry while it is still on the cloth instead doing it with her bare hands.)  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to pastry cloth, gently ad quickly shape dough into a  ball.  Generously coat a dish towel with cornmeal.  Put dough on towel, (seam side down) and dust with cornmeal.  Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about two hours.  When it is ready, dough will be much larger, may even be double in size. It will not readily spring back when poked with your finger.

IMPORTANT! Put baking pot and its lid in 450-degree oven to heat at least a half hour before baking bread.

Remove pot from oven. Carefully slide your hand under towel and turn dough into pot. It may look a mess. That’s OK.  Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed.  Not to worry, it will straighten out as it bakes.  Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes at 450 degrees.

Remove cover and bake another 15 to 30 minutes checking occasionally, baking it until desired browning of bread.

Cool on rack when done.

Break off chunks. Sit down by fireplace. Dip in virgin olive oil. Eat with good cheddar cheese and lots of gusto.

Bon appetite!  And thank God to be alive and well another day!


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