Saturday, 8 June 2013

No knead bread

I was reading an article last week in the Saturday Times about essential kit in a foodies kitchen, needless to say our kitchen contains quite a few of the items quoted, it also mentioned about having a recipe for "no knead bread" which reminded me this was something I have been  planning to give a try for along time, the original no knead recipe was first published in 2006, I think in the New York Times. The internet is littered with recipes all much the same so I am going with the classic. So here we are a week later and our first foray into no knead baking is cooling in the kitchen.

The idea is that rather than knead the dough to activate the gluten, time does the hard work for you something that is lacking from many modern bakes, you are aiming for an artisan holey style loaf not a fine crumb structure, the resultant bake is rustic and humble. I like it and its ideal to serve as bruschetta, with oils and vinegars and along side salads.

The mix should also be able to cope with substituting different flours, so next time I might have an experiment. I'll let you know how I get on.

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp of dried yeast ( quantities vary and this will depend on whether you are using dried or instant acting yeast)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • You are also going to need a large cooking pot with a lid, I used my cast iron Le Crueset, but you can use Pyrex, etc.
  • Mix all the above in a bowl with a wooden spoon, try not to be precious as soon as its mixed leave it alone. Cover with film ( I use a shower cap) and leave for 12 - 18 hours or so in the kitchen.
  • Return to your dough and see that it has risen and nice a bubbly.
  • Turn onto a heavily floured surface or tea towel and using well floured hands or a scraper form into a rough ball, don't worry the dough will be very sticky and loose.
  • I then placed mine in a baking parchment lined proving basket ( or use a bowl) for about 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile preheat your oven to 230C / 450f , once up to temperature then place your baking pot with lid to preheat for about 30 minutes
  • Now place your dough with baking parchment in the pot and replace lid, put in oven and bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, remove lid and then bake for a further 15 - 30 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove bread from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Next time I might allow the dough to have a longer second rise ( up to 2 hours) as per the classic method and also may be reduce the quantity of yeast initially added.


Gujjar said...

You can make any meal into a sandwich, and any sandwich into a meal. Afric

Karen S Booth said...

I am a HUGE fan of no-knead bread and have a similar recipe on the blog, it's great isn't it Linzi? Yours looks really lovely and has a wonderful crumb too!

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