no knead bread

Yes, I'm probably the last person who bakes on the planet that's not tried the no knead bread recipe yet. I've been teased about this by a fellow baking hobbyist who I work with so I'm breaking down and trying the recipe this week. I'll post pics in a few days when I've done the baking.

One reason I've resisted is that I don't think baking bread from scratch is that much work. Of course I use a stand mixer so the real amount of kneading I do when working from scratch is minimal. Actually the work is brief and consists more of punching the bread down to redistribute the CO2--which is easy work compared to kneading bread dough.

That pic to the left is a loaf of bread I made using the old fashioned kneading method--albeit with the kneading done with my mixer over there.

In the meantime, for those out there that aren't familiar with the no knead concept it's based on a recipe published in the New York Times on November 8th, 2006 in the Dining Section by Mark Bittman. Here's the link. It's based on a recipe used by Jim Lahey, a baker at Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC.

There's a lot of variations on the recipe such as the one at Not Martha's website but my favorite version--maybe because it's got nice pictures--is located here. From what I've read online, the main adjustment you should make to the recipe below is that the water is overstated by two tablespoons. You only need 1.5 cups of water, not the 1 5/8 indicated in the original recipe. The below recipe is from the NY Times article linked above.

Recipe: No-Knead Bread Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

Time: About 1.5 hours plus 14 to 20 hours rising
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting

0.25 teaspoon instant yeast
1.25 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.

Yield: One 1.5 pound loaf.


mariamusic said…
I love cooking or whatever related to kitchen and house keeping such as cleanning, dusting, ironning...etc. etc.

I used to bake cakes some years ago although never tried to bake breads.

enjoy and have fun!
Teresa said…
What does shaggy mean when referring to bread dough? Hmmmm...

I've been wanting to bake bread, but I don't think I can wait 20 or more hours from start to finish. I'll look forward to hearing how it turns out.

Kneading is part of the fun of making bread, but like you, I use the mixer to do a lot of it.
PBS said…
I want to try that! I've been doing more cooking and baking lately but have not ventured into bread making (except cranberry, banana, etc) for years.
Yaeli said…
I wonder how that recipe would turn out if I cook it in the fire??... I'll have to give it a go.

Missed you.
Anonymous said…
Shouldn't knead rhyme with bread? Isn't English funny? Mmm, you're house must smell heavenly. Got some soup to go with that bread?
srp said…
I make potica bread, at Christmas, but we have extra filling right now so I should go do one this evening. Bread is much easier to make with the bread machine, even if all you do is the dough cycle. It does all the mixing, rising, punching down and kneading... all you have to do is put ingredients in, take dough out and form it into whatever shape you want, do final raise and bake. From scratch with a mixer, I always found it hard to get the milk just the right temperature for the yeast.... oh, yes and I didn't have a fancy stand mixer way back in the dark ages.

One more day before your "meatless" phase sets in.... if you are going to swear off eggs as well, how will you make your muffins?
Anonymous said…
Interesting. I used to have a bread maker and that used to turn out very nice bread. My favourite was linseed bread and I loved eating it while it was still slightly warm with butter. mmmmm
Anonymous said…
mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. bread.
I have no interest in making it, but I love to eat it.
Anonymous said…
wow! They look so delicious even though they are not ready!

A guy who guy in my entire huge family ever even touch the pots and pans in the are a rare species..any ideas where I can find guys who cooks like you? Is there a common place where you usually hang out?
Nancy said…
YUM! I LOVE bread. Too bad everyone thinks it is the Kiss of Death now.

I have never made bread that I have to knead. I have this thing about getting my hands dirty. Anyway, I do make a mean pumpkin bread.
Carmi said…
You've motivated me to break out the bread machine tomorrow morning. The temperature is going into free-fall all weekend - complete with high winds to really drive the wind chill down - so a lovely loaf of warm bread might be just the ticket.

Along with tea, or course.
Carmi said…
Temperature's already affecting my typing.

"...OF course."

Of course!

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