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
- 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
- Mix together the dry ingredients.
- Mix in water until the water is incorporated.
- Cover with plastic and let sit 18 hours.
- Follow video instruction for folding.
- Cover loosely with plastic and rest for 15 minutes.
- Transfer to well floured towel or proofing basket. Cover with towel and let rise about 1 1/2 hours.
- Bake in covered La Cloche or Dutch oven preheated to 500 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Remove cover; reduce heat to 450 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes.
- Let cool completely on rack.