Hanging Out In Arkansas

Wednesday afternoon I started a batch of no knead bread using this recipe:


Recipe from How to Bake Everything



The only thing required is forethought.  Ideally, you will start the dough about 24 hours before you plan to eat it; you can cut that to 12 and even 9 (see the first variation), but you’ll be sacrificing some of the yeasty flavor and open crumb.


4 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
Scant 1/2 t instant yeast
2 t salt
2 T olive oil (optional)
Cornmeal, semolina, or wheat bran for dusting


  1. Combine flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl.  Add 2 c water (it should be about 70°F) and stir until blended.  You’ll have a shaggy, sticky dough; add a little more water if it seems dry.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest for about 18 hours at room temperature (a couple of hours less if your kitchen is warmer; a couple more if it’s cool). T he dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.
  2. Lightly flour a work surface, transfer the dough to it, and fold it once or twice; it will be soft but not terribly sticky once dusted with flour.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for about 15 minutes.
  3. Using just enough additional flour to keep the dough from sticking, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball.  Generously coat a cotton (not terry cloth) kitchen towel with cornmeal, semolina, or wheat bran (or use a silicone baking mat); put the dough seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour or cornmeal.  Cover with another cotton towel (or plastic wrap) and let rise for about 2 hours.  When it’s ready, the dough will be more than doubled in size and won’t spring back readily when poked with your finger.
  4. At least a half hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450°F.  Put a 3- to 4-quart covered pot (with the cover)— it may be cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic — in the oven as it heats.  When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. (Slide your hand under the towel and just turn the dough over into the pot; it’s messy, and it probably won’t fall in artfully, but it will straighten out as it bakes.)  Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned; the bread’s internal temperature should be 200°F or more.  (If at any point the dough starts to smell scorched, lower the heat a bit.)  Remove the bread with a spatula or tongs and cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
  5. Faster No-Knead Bread
    Reduce the initial rise to 8 hours; skip the 15-minute resting period in Step 2 and then shape the dough in Step 3. Proceed immediately to Step 4.
  6. Whole Wheat No-Knead Bread
    Substitute whole wheat flour for up to 2 cups of the all-purpose flour.

This recipe requires forethought but it was worth it–my goodness it was delicious!!

Mom had a doctor’s appointment in Little Rock Thursday morning so we were out the door early leaving my sister to deal with the baking bread. I am making Sunday lunch for the entire family and think I will make another loaf of that bread! After Mom’s appointment we stopped at the Honey Baked Ham store and purchased one of their delicious hams for Sunday lunch–I haven’t had a honey baked ham in years and years!

We are in the process of selling some of Chuck’s things–a truck, mobility scooter, etc. By Friday afternoon the truck and scooter were gone. I could have sold the truck three or four more times–so many calls!

Danny, Ann and Ross dug potatoes this morning–it’s so incredibly hot and muggy here in Arkansas! I know it was hot miserable work digging potatoes! Saturday great niece Elizabeth was playing in a softball tournament almost two hours from here. Mom and I held down the fort while the rest of that side of the family went to cheer for Elizabeth. As hot as it was I was very glad we were staying home. I did make a Walmart grocery pickup run on Saturday and cooked some of the meal for Sunday.

This little pooch is eleven years old now–where have the years gone. She still acts like a puppy and seems to be very healthy. She is our joy! And thanks to Jim and Ellie, the Walmart ducks are still her favorite toys.

Sunday lunch was divine! Ham, baked beans, strawberry jello salad—-the list goes on and on. I also baked a lemon meringue and a chocolate pie. We are all currently experiencing a food coma! Today was Danny and Ann’s 45th wedding anniversary. It is also their daughter’s wedding anniversary. Niki and Eric have been married 23 years today. Danny and Ann received a nice anniversary present–NOT–their air conditioning unit decided to die sometime last night.

Back in Montana the Cowboy has been social–Friday he enjoyed lunch in town with some of his friends and Saturday night he joined the neighbors for a get together. It’s raining and chilly in Montana–such a difference in our weathers!



12 thoughts on “Hanging Out In Arkansas

  1. hmmm. is it better than the artisan no knead bread that makes three round loaves? That is the one I have been doing, but it takes more yeast. Also, I don’t have to worry about any kind of covered pan, since it just rests as a ball on a cookie sheet and bakes from there. Still, they sound quite similar. Ewwww….hot and sticky? ugh. But it sounds great that you are with your mom.


    1. I’ve not made the three round loaves of bread recipe but this one is easy and oh so good. I’m still experimenting. It is good to be here with Mom, she is doing much better but it’s not fun to spend all your time inside the house under the air conditioning.


  2. Hi, glad you are enjoying your visit. Would the bread recipe still work with a little sugar added and I use potato water which should be ok. What do you think???


  3. Glad you’re having this time with Mom, and just as glad you have good air conditioning! Sounds like another amazing feast. A week before Christmas I decided I wanted a Honey Baked Ham for our holiday dinner. With that as my main goal I took off for Tucson. I also had several other stops to make (I remember those days) and of course added a few more while I was driving around. When I made the turnoff at Benson I realized I had forgotten one stop. Yep! Forgot to get the dang ham!!! So we still had ham, but it wasn’t nearly as good :-)))) I really need to pick one up as I’m still craving that special taste. Enjoy your family time.


  4. Oh so happy for you. There is nothing like
    being with Mom and family! The years go so fast,
    already 1/2 of our year is gone.
    Your bread recipe sounds like a keeper.
    Thank you 😋


  5. Your family certainly will miss all your wonderful cooking after you head home. They are definitely getting spoiled. I keep thinking about the bread making thing. But I don’t have a big oven safe pot. I keep telling my self to get one but I will so rarely use it. I do very little oven cooking. I do almost everything on the grill. Maybe one day! Next time share a bread photo with us!! Happy birthday to Emmi!!


    1. Oh but when you do use that big oven safe pot you will be glad you purchased one Pam–that bread has the best flavor! I usually cook on the grill a lot but Mom doesn’t have one.


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