Must. Post. This.
I am in rebellion against our little artisinal bakery which has decided to go all French in the sense that whatever you ask for they just say "No." But they do make wonderful breads, including a spectacular Walnut bread every Monday. But today I cut the cord and made my first ever Walnut Bread using Jim Lahey's method. We love the Sullivan Street Bakery and I had bought the cookbook as a souvenir a year or so ago but never got around to actually trying his method.
Basically you take
400 grams of Bread Flour
1 Cup of chopped walnuts
8 grams of table salt (I thought it could have been saltier)
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1.5 cups of cool (55-65 degree) water
and some wheat bran for dusting
Mix everything but the wheat bran and let it sit out, covered in a bowl, for 12-14 hours, take it out and stretch it slightly into a ball and let it rise for two hours more, dust it with wheat bran and plop it into a superheated dutch oven (heated to 475 while empty in your oven). Bake covered in the dutch oven for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for another 15.
I urge you to get the book but its just that easy. I let it cool for an hour, made waterzooi soup with a poached egg, and we had an entirely home made meal--ok, I didn't make my own goat cheese but I did marinate it in garlic--on the table by 7:00 pm.
Well, I suppose when you look back on it I did have to start it the day before. But compared to making Challah or yeast sticky buns? It simply couldn't be easier.