Among all the chat elsewhere about Bittman's no-knead bread, there has been plenty of worry about using dried yeast, or instant yeast, proving or not proving etc etc.
I screwed up when prepping the dough yesterday morning. Using the commmonly available Fleischman's Active Dry yeast (the one in the little foil sachet), I completely forgot to mix the dry ingredients before adding the water. So I was worried.
Early this morning, the dough had risen beautifully, and was stringy and elastic.
I then screwed up further (hey, it's early morning, and there's a lot going on in our household at first light!). After taking the dough out and folding it, I completely forgot about the second rising, the extra two hours Bittman calls for.
Into the oven it went, snug in a le Creuset pot. Out it came half an hour ago. I was expecting a sorry looking lump. Instead, I got a beautiful loaf of bread, just as good as my first time. And it tastes fantastic - delicious crust, beautiful crumb and texture.
So it goes to show that chemistry, yeast and flour can do their work, even if the baker is, like me, clumsy and forgetful! So take heart, and go for it.