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No Knead Bread (Read 820 times)


A Dance with Monkeys

    I love making bread. By hand. With whole grain flours. I love to knead the bread dough. To feel the gluten tighten in my hands. To see it go from a dry powder into something beautiful, chewy and crusty at the same time. But this was something. No Knead Bread, as published in the NYT, adapted from the Sullivan Street Bakery in NY. Apparently kneading is overrated. The stuff came out with a tight crumb, airy structure, moist interior and a floury crunchy chewy crust that crackled when I pulled the loaf from the oven. It took about 10 minutes of my time to make, although it sat to rise overnight (about 20 hours). The bread had a nice tang reminiscent of sourdough, despite using conventional yeast. And the cast iron pot used for baking added an earthy character to the bottom. Wow.
    No-Knead Bread Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery Time: About 1 1/2 hours plus 14 to 20 hours' rising 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast 1 1/4 teaspoons salt Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed. 1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. 2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes. 3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger. 4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
    In the cast iron pot, when done - Out of the pot, cut up - Up close -


    Finished!

      *drool* thanks for posting this Trent! I adore freshly baked bread, but never seem to find the time to do it - and then half that time the crumb doesn't come out quite right (usually a bit more dense than I would prefer). Will definitely give this a whirl!
      Walk + Jog = wog.
      I'm trying to Lose 5% at a time
      I support Heifer International - join me by donating via my registry
      vicentefrijole


        HA! A friend and I discovered this recipe when the NY times published it and have been playing with it ever since! It's just as wonderful as Trent describes! And talk about easy! There's hardly any work (just a lot of letting it sit, so don't think you'll have it done on the same day). Thanks for posting the pics, as I was wondering if other people's bread looked the same as mine... and I must say yours looks identical to what I have produced. FYI, I've actually had to improvise, since I don't have descent cast-iron or ceramic baking dish. Instead, I used a baking stone and covered it with a large ceramic (oven safe, I guess Big grin ) bowl, but, like I said, it came out the same. BTW, did you catch the additional comments that the NY times published after lots of people wrote in with their experiences? For instance, adding a little whole wheat flour is really tasty! I transcribed most of the highlights here: ----------------------------------------------------------- Fine tuning: Weight vs Volume: The original recipe contained volume measures, but for those who prefer to use weight, here are the measurements: 430 grams of flour, 345 grams of water, 1 gram of yeast and 8 grams of salt. With experience, many people will stop measuring altogether and add just enough water to make the dough almost too wet to handle. Salt: You can use more salt and it won’t significantly affect the rising time. (Just under a tablespoon?) Yeast: Instant yeast, called for in the recipe, is also called rapid-rise yeast. But you can use whatever yeast you like. Active dry yeast can be used without proofing (soaking it to make sure it’s active). Timing: About 18 hours is the preferred initial rising time. Some readers have cut this to as little as eight hours and reported little difference. Also, can go nearly 24 hours without a problem. Temp of the room will affect the rising time, and so will temperature of the water you add (start with tepid?). But any temp is fine as long as you wait until you see bubbles and well-developed gluten (long strands cling to sides of bowl when you tilt it). The 2nd Rise: Mr. Lahey originally suggested one to two hours, but two or three is better. However, it can also be skipped altogether. Other Flours: Up to 30% whole-grain flour works consistently well, and 50% whol-wheat is also excellent. At least one reader used 100% whole-wheat and reported “great crust but inferior crumb”. Rye (difficult to get to rise) is best at <20%. flavorings: the best time to add caraway seeds, chopped olives, onions, cheese, walnuts, raisins, or whatever is after you’ve mixed the dough. or you can added before the 2nd rising. shapes: baguettes in fish steamers, rolls in muffin tins, or classic loaves in loaf pans: it will work. covering between rises: a silpat mat under the dough is a clever idea. plastic wrap can be used as a top layer in place of a second towel. the pot: the size matters, but not much. about 3-4 quarts is ideal (?) → produces a higher loaf, which many people prefer. (especially cast iron but other materials are good.) baking: you can increase the initial temp to 500 degrees for more rapid browning, but be careful. you can also reduce the length of time covered to 20 min, and then increase uncovered baking an additional +30 minutes. flavorings:="" the="" best="" time="" to="" add="" caraway="" seeds,="" chopped="" olives,="" onions,="" cheese,="" walnuts,="" raisins,="" or="" whatever="" is="" after="" you’ve="" mixed="" the="" dough.="" or="" you="" can="" added="" before="" the="" 2nd="" rising.="" shapes:="" baguettes="" in="" fish="" steamers,="" rolls="" in="" muffin="" tins,="" or="" classic="" loaves="" in="" loaf="" pans:="" it="" will="" work.="" covering="" between="" rises:="" a="" silpat="" mat="" under="" the="" dough="" is="" a="" clever="" idea.="" plastic="" wrap="" can="" be="" used="" as="" a="" top="" layer="" in="" place="" of="" a="" second="" towel.="" the="" pot:="" the="" size="" matters,="" but="" not="" much.="" about="" 3-4="" quarts="" is="" ideal="" (?)="" →="" produces="" a="" higher="" loaf,="" which="" many="" people="" prefer.="" (especially="" cast="" iron="" but="" other="" materials="" are="" good.)="" baking:="" you="" can="" increase="" the="" initial="" temp="" to="" 500="" degrees="" for="" more="" rapid="" browning,="" but="" be="" careful.="" you="" can="" also="" reduce="" the="" length="" of="" time="" covered="" to="" 20="" min,="" and="" then="" increase="" uncovered="" baking="" an="" additional="" +30="" minutes.=""></20%. flavorings: the best time to add caraway seeds, chopped olives, onions, cheese, walnuts, raisins, or whatever is after you’ve mixed the dough. or you can added before the 2nd rising. shapes: baguettes in fish steamers, rolls in muffin tins, or classic loaves in loaf pans: it will work. covering between rises: a silpat mat under the dough is a clever idea. plastic wrap can be used as a top layer in place of a second towel. the pot: the size matters, but not much. about 3-4 quarts is ideal (?) → produces a higher loaf, which many people prefer. (especially cast iron but other materials are good.) baking: you can increase the initial temp to 500 degrees for more rapid browning, but be careful. you can also reduce the length of time covered to 20 min, and then increase uncovered baking an additional +30 minutes. >


        A Dance with Monkeys

          Yeah, I had thought of a lot of this. I imagine that the dough could easily go for 24-48 hours before being shaped, and that it could easily take whole grains. I like the idea of using a higher heat, I usually bake at 500. I may try this with sourdough yeast in the future; I keep a starter going. I may also increase the recipe size to fill my dutch oven a bit better. Rather than using the towels, I have a cloth-lined breadmaking basket that I coat in flour. I use this for the 2 hour rise, with a towel over that. This helps the dough hold its shape better. Unrelated: EVERYBODY needs to own a cast iron dutch oven. Wink They are cheap, durable, useful for just about anything from deep frying to stews, and they replace crockpots when combined with an oven.


          A Dance with Monkeys

            EVERYBODY needs to own a cast iron dutch oven.
            Today. I took my dutch oven and boiled in it 4 cups of water with a pinch of salt. I mixed in one cup of steel cut oats. I put the lid on, placed it in a preheated 300 degree oven that had been turned off, then went to run my 6 miles. When I got home, perfect steel cut oats. Almost no work involved. Say it with me now: EVERYBODY needs to own a cast iron dutch oven. Big grin
              EVERYBODY needs to own a cast iron dutch oven.
              Hmm we are getting ready to register for our wedding this week. That is a great idea for me, thanks! Smile
              ---- Cynthia


              A Dance with Monkeys

                Hmm we are getting ready to register for our wedding this week. That is a great idea for me, thanks! Smile
                Congrats!!! This is the one we have. It doubles as a skillet. And triples as a deep fryer. And quadruples as a crock pot. And ... Wink
                  Ohhhhhh bread's my weakness! We'll stand at the counter and eat the whole thing at one time! Thanks for the recipe. I will definately be trying this!
                  vicentefrijole


                    It doubles as a skillet. And triples as a deep fryer. And quadruples as a crock pot.
                    I'm sold.. I think this will be my birthday present to myself... Big grin


                    A Dance with Monkeys

                      I tried the whole wheat version, with 1:2 whole wheat flour:regular flour. It was beyond fab! Now I am trying to make it with a sourdough starter...


                      A Dance with Monkeys

                        Sourdough version, using a sourdough starter instead of yeast. I worked this out over the past few days. Yummy! ----------- 2 1/2 cup sourdough starter (itself 1:1 flour:liquid) 1 1/2 cup flour 1 1/4 teaspoons salt Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed. 1. In a large bowl combine flour and salt with sourdough starter and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 20 hours, preferably over 24 hours, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. 2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes. 3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2-4 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger. 4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.


                        Finished!

                          Made some this weekend. Will post photos at some point - the dough was really really slack - was it supposed to stay that way? The really nice holes only developed in half the loaf it seemed - the other half was much more dense. Perhaps too much time was spent attempting to coax the non-coaxable into a ball shape?
                          Walk + Jog = wog.
                          I'm trying to Lose 5% at a time
                          I support Heifer International - join me by donating via my registry