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As loyal LPE readers well know, Anna and I have enjoyed learning how to bake a fine loaf of bread over the past few years. Usually, we knead, knead, knead away and go through several rising cycles to make a nice, dense sandwich loaf. But just a few weeks ago, a colleague of mine gave us a most special treat — a beautiful loaf of cranberry pecan bread and the recipe for how to make it.

Last weekend I finally tried the recipe. And it’s incredible. Here are the results:

Not bad, eh? Best part is that it’s the easiest loaf of bread I’ve ever made. Check out the recipe here.

Apparently, this recipe made the rounds about 3 years ago after being featured in the NYT and has been popular ever since. The two biggest differences between this and other simple bread recipes are: 1) the bread requires no kneading (but it has to rise for 12-18 hours) and 2) you bake it in a dutch oven so that you simulate baking in a steam oven. You can add all sorts of things to it (nuts, cheese, fruit, etc.), or, just keep it simple. And how cool does it look to have the flour pattern from the towels between which the dough rose on the outside?

So make yourself a loaf today. And invite us over. We’ll bring the soup.

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