March 04, 2010

My no-knead bread


I am on a baking kick, at least until Passover. Once or twice a week I have been baking the no-knead bread recipe that floats all over the internet. You mix the ingredients, let rise for a really long time (overnight is fine), shape and bake in a VERY hot oven. Et voila! Delicious, artisanal-style homemade bread. The only special equipment you need is baking parchment and a heavy, lidded dutch oven. I use one made of cast iron. It's heavy, was not expensive, the lid has a metal handle and it holds up to the high heat really well.

I started a loaf yesterday morning and baked it today. Even though I forgot to turn the oven down to 425 degrees after preheating at 500, the bread still baked up beautifully. I ate a slice hot from the oven with some stinky triple-cream cheese, fruit and a latte. Now that's breakfast!

For purists, click here for a link to the recipe as originally printed in the New York Times.

No-Knead Bread
(as adapted from the Cook's Illustrated magazine version)
Makes one loaf

Whole wheat version:
2 cups (10 ounces) all purpose or bread flour
1 cup (5 ounces) whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon honey
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (7 ounces) room temperature water
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (3 ounces) lager
1 tablespoon white vinegar


White flour version:
3 cups (15 ounces) all purpose or bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (7 ounces) room temperature water
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (3 ounces) lager
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a big glass or ceramic bowl. Add the liquids and mix well until it reaches a "shaggy" consistency.

Cover the dough (I invert a plate over the bowl; you can use plastic wrap). Let it stand at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours. (I put mine on top of the fridge, the warmest spot in the kitchen.)

Lay a piece of baking parchment inside a small skillet. pie plate, or other flat-bottomed, straight-sided pan. Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface about 10-15 times and shape into a round loaf.

Place the loaf in the parchment-lined skillet and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let it rise for two hours.

After 90 minutes of rising in the parchment-lined skillet, place the oven rack on its lowest position, put in an empty heavy, lidded dutch oven and heat the oven to 500 degrees.

After two hours' rising, lightly flour the top of the loaf. Using a kitchen shears, cut a one-inch X in the top.

Carefully take the very hot pot out of the oven and remove the lid. Holding the ends of parchment, transfer the dough from skillet to pot. It's OK if the parchment hangs over the edge of the pot. Turn the oven temperature down to 425 degrees, replace the lid, put the whole thing in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and bake the bread for another 10-15 minutes.

When done, remove the bread from the dutch oven and let cool on a rack. Slice and enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this, Jill! It looks wonderful. I'm going to pass it along to another blogger who was just extolling the virtue of kamut. She'll love this.

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  2. I hope all is well Jill.

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