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The Greatest Thing to Do Is Make Some Bread

Photo: Edith Zimmerman

On a whim I made Mark Bittman’s classic No-Knead Bread on my own birthday, and I wanted to share that it is the most fun thing! I have ever done!! I can’t express this enough!!!

It feels as if I am a magician. The combination of ingredients creates something far greater than the sum of their parts, and it is thrilling. I felt immediately connected to whichever original people accidentally (???) invented baking. (This particular method comes from baker Jim Lahey.) I thought, “Holy crap, what have I done!?”

And then it was so delicious! And warm! I dipped it olive oil, I spread some butter on it, I tweeted about it, I emailed about it (like five people), I immediately started writing this document. It cost $5 for the flour and yeast, and I have enough to make several more loaves.

The recipe is famously easy — all it requires is “forethought,” as Bittman puts it, since it typically takes about 24 hours to complete, almost all of which is waiting around for the ingredients to quietly do their thing. The main thing is the first step, which is so easy it is criminal. Criminal, I tell you! I still feel high from the glory of this bread. I mean, I am. I am high from this bread. You mix flour, salt, yeast, and water, and that’s it. Then you let it sit for 18 hours, unless your kitchen is warm (as mine is), in which case it only took 12 hours to be filled with the little bubbles I was told to be looking out for. I started it at night, and when I woke up it was like a gift from the gods: The dough had risen and was filled with little bubbles. Then I kind of messed with it, and didn’t even follow the rules exactly, and it still worked out.

It feels like I have a pet, or a child, or something. A real creation! What a marvel. I wrapped it up in a little blanket afterward, and I keep going back into the kitchen to look at it. I cannot believe that so many people have been doing this the whole time! The world is filled with wonders, never forget!!!!! Make some bread today!!!!!!!! So that you can have it tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Greatest Thing to Do Is Make Some Bread