I know there have been countless posts on Chowhound about Bittman's no-knead bread and the raving about the crust. It seems like every food blogger imginable has tried it and posted their thoughts. However, I've only seen a few that say the bread looks great, smells great, but doesn't taste great. Are people afraid to admit they don't like the recipe that stormed the nation? Are they afraid to tell the emperor that he really isn't wearing clothes?
I've been putting off trying the recipe because 1) I don't have a dutch oven yet and 2) I haven't found a good time to set it up where I can bake it after 18 hours.
However, I did make a regular batch of baguettes that only took 1 1/2 hours for rising and 1/2 hour to bake. It took me 6 minutes to knead, 10 minutes to rest (the bread, not me), a minute to shape. I threw ice cubes in a cast iron pot to create steam when I put the bread in and the crust was very nice.
So, aside from the method of no-knead bread (honestly, I kind of like the kneading and feel of the dough) and the "spectacular" crust, is it really so much better than "old-fashioned" bread baking?