December 30, 2007

Not Kneading Again

No Knead Bread

Rustic no-knead bread

Last year I tried that crazy No-Knead bread recipe that was sweeping the bakeosphere1. It came out OK, but not spectacular. It didn’t look very good, either. The crust was so-so, but the crumb was good. Since then, I’ve wanted to try it again.

So I did. This bread could be called “Busy Bread” because it’s easy to make when you’re busy. There’s a lot of waiting and not much actual work. Somebody even has pictures of her very young son doing the work. Perfect for baking this time of year, because I’ve been too busy to spend much time on it.

I tried again this weekend with great results.

I used more salt than last time, about 3/4 Tablespoon of kosher salt. And I still think it could take a little more salt. But I didn’t want to retard the rising. I baked it in my new Lodge 5-Quart. No danger of it cracking, as I worry a Le Creuset might. Plus, the Lodge is much cheaper.

No Knead BreadPrepared the dough yesterday in about 5 minutes, and let it sit for about 18 hours. Flattened it and folded it today, and plopped it in a bowl for proofing for 2 hours and then tossed it into my heated dutch oven, and back in the oven to bake. I left after it was time to take the cover off, and Maggie got it out of the oven when it was done. She says it made cracking noises as it cooled! That’s perfect!

It does have a crackly crust, and a great crumb. It’s got a moist, almost creamy texture inside. This is a very soft bread surrounded by a crisp crust.

I don’t know if I will make no-knead bread again, but I think I will definitely be using my case iron dutch oven as a baking vessel. It holds the heat and moisture in perfectly.

1 I just made “bakeosphere” up, but a Google search tells me I’m not the first to use it. Damn.

Posted by James at December 30, 2007 4:44 PM
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Ewwwww.... That looks REALLY yummy.

Posted by: Kitten Herder at December 30, 2007 7:01 PM

It's almost gone now. :-P

Posted by: Maggie at December 30, 2007 7:14 PM

Anyone who likes bread really has to try this recipe. All my years spent practicing making bread and I have only rarely made bread that I liked better than this loaf.

Seriously, I was able to surpass years and years of work and learning with a few minutes of reading.

Posted by: James at December 30, 2007 8:23 PM

Heck, the latest one looks a lot better than last years.

Posted by: njkayaker at December 31, 2007 3:03 PM

Yeah, I followed the directions this time. :)

And the directions have improved, a little bit. I let it rise for a whole 20 hours, and then a 2 hour proof.

Time=pure bready goodness!

Posted by: James at December 31, 2007 4:22 PM




I'm drooling, please email me a piece!

Posted by: woneffe at December 31, 2007 6:44 PM

It's all gone, but a virtual piece of bread transcends time itself.

I swear fresh bread should be registered with the FDA as a mood enhancer. Of course, that probably has something to do with the carbohydrates.

Posted by: James at December 31, 2007 7:09 PM

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