It’s all about bread

Summer heat is gone and I find myself back to cooking and baking and experimenting.  My absolutely new found joy is the “No-Knead Bread” recipe and method.  Someone actually said that this was  a well-kept secret of professional bakers!  Anyone  heard that?   As I understand this was first written about in “The New York Times” in 2006.  Now, it’s all over the Internet…Google no-knead bread and you can read all about it.   For any of you who bake bread and also for the “wannabakers”, I think this is the most interesting new creation that’s come along since we learned to slice bread!

Here’s my experience with this… To begin, it seems that a huge and important  part is the actual  procedure which includes the vessels for the dough to process the raise and the pan used for the baking.   How many people have a 6 to 8 qt. Pyrex or Cast Iron Kettle around?   Well, pondering that, without a new purchase, I came up with a very heavy, not to mention huge,  9 qt cast iron kettle that is intended to be a cooking pot for those outside suppers around a campfire!    The kettle is to be preheated in a 500 degree oven.  When it’s hot, you remove the pan and carefully slide your raised dough.  Being unable to lift the pan, I required my husband’s help to accomplish the oven thing!   I had a few trepidations about having successful results.  However, voila…my first loaf was beautiful.   Two weeks later, I’ve baked about 5 loaves and am now trying out different grains and timing and temperatures…and of course, I bought a new “Cuisinart” pot…it’s beautiful, strong and I can lift it.  the enameled cast iron pans work the best.   The recipe says to  use Pyrex also and I can’t imagine that happening with the high heat.    Every other day, I start and add something new.   It’s become a real adventure in the Bread World.  When you read the recipe, you can’t believe the amount of yeast used….I’m used to using a lot more.   Anyway, have at it and let me know how you do and any thoughts you have…

Here’s the recipe that I thought looked the clearest and easiest.

No Knead Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups bread flour (or 1 cup (5 oz.) whole wheat flour and 2 cups (10 1/2 oz.) white bread flour
  • 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups purified or spring water
Directions:
  1. Mix together the dry ingredients.
  2. Mix in water until the water is incorporated.
  3. Cover with plastic and let sit 18 hours.
  4. Follow video instruction for folding.
  5. Cover loosely with plastic and rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer to well floured towel or proofing basket. Cover with towel and let rise about 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Bake in covered La Cloche or Dutch oven preheated to 500 degrees for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove cover; reduce heat to 450 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  9. Let cool completely on rack.