What’s Baking: Jenny Can Cook’s Two-Hour No-Knead Bread

Food & Recipes
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I was in the mood for some warm, homemade bread, but having a toddler and an infant doesn’t make it a very easy task—especially when lugging out the Kitchen Aid Mixer or kneading by hand. Luckily, friends were buzzing about an easy, no-knead bread on Facebook, and that’s when I discovered Jenny Can Cook’s Two-Hour No-Knead Bread. (Baked by the Jenny Jones of 1990s talk-show fame.) I already had all the ingredients on hand—including yeast, which I had happened to buy one day before we went into COVID-19 lockdown and has since been impossible to find in stores.

I couldn’t ask for an easier bread. I was able to knock this one out while feeding my toddler lunch and keeping her amused with the coloring book. And she insisted on watching Jenny’s video (included below) and has since become obsessed with Jenny’s YouTube channel, which offers myriad easy, tasty recipes. Be forewarned: Jenny, as a comedienne, has a cheeky sense of humor, so you might find your toddler slapping the dough and demanding, “Who’s your daddy?”

I couldn’t have asked for an easier loaf of bread. It was nicely crunchy on the outside, while airy and soft in the middle. It sliced well without being too crumby, and stayed soft for days while stored in a gallon Ziploc bag. (However, it was very hard exercising restraint in not eating the entire loaf in one sitting.) It was especially delicious toasted with some butter and Vegemite. The critical step was aerating the flour, which Jenny explains here. I never thought much about aerating flour before this, but it has been incredibly helpful in other baking, as well.

I added sesame seeds to the top of mine, and I look forward to trying different spice and herb combos, especially an everything-bagel mixture. I imagine mix-ins would be wonderful as well—I’m thinking cured olives, dried tomatoes, rosemary, or Asiago cheese.

Using parchment paper made clean-up a snap, and I’m finally glad I got my Lodge Dutch oven out of the closet. It was perfect for this recipe!

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