No Knead Bread Technique

sheilajoyce_gw

My brother emailed me that he and his son have been baking a NY Times recipe for no knead bread. Then my son replied that he had make that same recipe long ago and that I ought to Google it. So I did. I wasn't sure I could find yeast at the store, but I did, and set about this strange way to bake a loaf of crusty bread. It was a success, so if others find this idea novel to them too, look up Jim Lahaey's (sp?) recipe. He is a New York professional baker. The version I used called for 3 cups of flour (all purpose or bread), 1 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp rapid rise yeast (which they call instant), and 1 1/3 c water. There are other recipes out there similar to this one. You mix the dry ingredients, then stir in the water (30 seconds), cover the bowl, and set it aside for 12-18 hours in your kitchen, but out of the sun. Then you flip the sticky dough onto a floured surface, gingerly pull the sides of the dough blob into the center of the blob a few times, tucking it all into a nice ball with some surface tension. It will be a wet, stringy dough, but do not add more flour. Place that ball seam side down on a well floured (or cornmeal coated) towel (I find a Silpat works better), cover it with Saran Wrap or a towel to raise 2 hours. A half hour before it is ready for the oven, pre heat the oven to 450 degrees, placing the rack in the lower third of the oven. Also, place in the oven the covered Dutch oven you will bake the bread in. Do not grease the Dutch oven. At 2 hours of raising, pull the Dutch oven out of the oven, take the lid off, and flip the dough into the pot, seam side up. Put the cover on and return the pot to the oven for 30 minutes. Then remove the cover and bake the bread uncovered an additional 15- 30 minutes till the crust is a nice brown. Cool on a rack one hour. You will have a rustic crusty loaf of bread with a moist, holey crumb. This is not a fussy recipe, and you use up less than 5 minutes of your time giving the dough your attention.

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annie1992

Sheila, I've been making a similar loaf recently, and it really is very easy.

The only problem I've had is that when I flip the dough into the hot pan, I deflate it and it does not rise back up sometimes. Now I just let it rise on a piece of parchment, then pick the dough up by the edges of the parchment and sit it parchment and all into the hot pan, then bake. Works like a charm.

I have tried a couple of times to use a different pan, but the dough spreads out rather than up if the diameter of the pan is too big, so I've stuck with my old Lodge dutch oven, it's the perfect size.

This was my last loaf:



Mine has a full teaspoon of yeast but is substantially similar in technique and ingredients. I heartily recommend it, no matter which recipe you use. And it makes awesome toast...

Annie



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bragu_DSM 5

ditto all around. I tend to add a bit more yeast too, and a pinch of sugar. I put the 1 1/3 cup of water, yeast and sugar and let it foam, then add to the flour and salt ... salt kills yeast, imho, and I like to give my yeast a head start. I use a staub coquette for baking ...


Dave

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

In 1994, with the help of Joe Allen, Lahey opened Sullivan Street Bakery and eventually began producing bread for many of the city's best restaurants. In 2006, The New York Times published Lahey's No-Knead Bread method, allowing home bakers to make bakery-quality loaves right from their ovens.

We met Jim around '89-'90. We were neighbors. Like all of NYC, the local neighborhood pubs and coffeeshops are places to met up with friends after work. Jim would saddle up at the bar, always a warm brown paper shopping bag under his arm. We would all tear off crusty bits of bread. Always excellent but he would say, "I'm not quite there yet, but close". He was testing methods and hydration in his home oven.

He doesn't necessarily agree with extra yeast, but, he is clear that this recipe is one to make 'your own'. Different flours, different ovens, measurements will be off just a bit, etc.

He moved the bakery to 47th st West side and recently renovated again. Quick video link, HERE. Love the pizza bianca.

Typical goofy Bitman video where Jim talks about yeast. A long overnight ferment is definitely the way to go.





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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

That said, congratulations on your success Shiela!

With covid and quarantine many have discovered no knead breads. Many baking bread for the first time. Even cooking for the first time.


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pricklypearcactus

I've been similarly making a no knead bread. I haven't ventured into more complicated breads but I'd like to. I do sometimes give mine a little knead a few times throughout the day which seems to help it hold a bit more rounded shape. I live at high elevations and struggle to get the loaves to be a little taller. Bread flour (rather than all purpose) has helped. Next time I want to try mixing in a little whole wheat to see what happens. Maybe something fun to try this weekend...

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Kenji has a home quarantined video series. (a bit dizziness wearing a go-pro on his forehead). 😂

I do like those sharing home quarantine raw. Who cares my floor is filthy .Barefoot. Real life is so much better than over-produced.

Some of the home videos are charming. His no-knead fits that .Link, HERE

No need, (pun), to even go beyond your personal success...but it is a gateway to many other breads and methods. Hydration, pinch and fold.

Lighten up and enjoy the ride to many other cooking experiments.


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Lars

Normally at high elevation, the dough would rise higher. I made a pizza once at a friend's house in Mexico City, and I neglected to lower the amount of yeast, and the dough rose all over the place in no time.

I haven't made no-knead bread yet because I do not have the correct pan for it, but it looks somewhat interesting. However, I especially enjoy kneading bread dough, and so I will not be buying a Dutch oven for that. Also, I think I would rather knead dough than put it in a hot pan.

Thanks for mentioning Kenji - I was not familiar with him, but I can certainly relate to the way he made this pizza. Now I have to look for dough enhancer, and perhaps an Ooni pizza oven. I also now want a perforated pizza peel.

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jupidupi

I've been making this every three or four days since a few months before quarantine. It started as a little surprise for my husband, to wake up smelling bread. He liked it so much I kept doing it, but later in the morning :-) My recipe is pretty close, except that I use 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of yeast. I have found that my 3 quart enamel cast iron pot works best. Any bigger and it spreads too flat.

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

I made Annie's recipe a couple of months ago and we all loved it, but I had to borrow my DIL's dutch oven. I don't own one and have no where to store one. I have a couple of cast iron skillets but nothing high enough with a lid. :-(

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Jasdip

I've made no-knead bread a couple of times. Another vessel that works is the blue roasting pans. Remember those? I don't know if there's a specific name to them, but I've used the small one to make the bread.

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annie1992

Thanks for the boost, Sheila, because of you I made another loaf today, it's on the counter for the overnight rise.

My big enameled brasier is too big, and the bread flattens out too much on my cast iron griddle, which I normally use as a "bread steel". The only thing I have that's the right size and shape is that old Lodge camping dutch oven.

Annie

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

Oh wow, my "chicken roaster!" I never thought about that! Thank you, Jasdip!!! Too late to start tonight but I will be making the dough tomorrow and baking Friday. Yay!!!

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

OK so yesterday, bread making just didn't happen. But I've got it rising now for a mid-morning bake tomorrow. I am using my enamelware chicken roaster to bake it but I'm a little concerned that the roaster is nowhere as thick as a dutch oven. Do you think maybe I should line it with a couple of layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil?

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CA Kate z9

Annie, I never thought about using the Lodge Dutch Oven. Thanks for the perfect idea.

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Jasdip

Edie, mine is the blue graniteware. I just did a search to see what it's called. I just dumped mine in with the parchment and it worked fine.

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sheilajoyce_gw

I used my Revereware Dutch oven, which is stainless steel over a copper core in the bottom. It worked just fine.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

You don't need a heavy cast iron or enameled dutch oven but most kitchens have one or two. Anything that is oven safe at high heat with a lid will work. Though a larger pot will give a broad loaf as it will spread a bit more than a 4 quart.

When DH was working out of town ten yrs ago he had a few weekends not able to come home and wanted to bake some bread. (a Connecticut job a few hours away). Company rented him a house.

I've posted this before. He bought this at target for under 25. They usually have an inexpensive enameled dutch but not this time. We prefer our heavier 4 quart like the Staub but this has worked fine.

A designated pot for bread, if it is a common baking occurrence, is not a bad idea. An older Creuset maybe a bit chipped from a thrift or yard sale. Discolored like they get...is perfect for a bread 'oven'. They do get a workout at high heat without liquid.

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

Well, I tried. I had to put it back in the oven as the sides were still a bit dough-y. So then the top and bottom crusts got too hard and the interior is still too wet. Ah well, it will make for a good bread pudding!


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petalique

Lars — I also would like the Ooni oven and the perforated peel. Just order two of each and have one set shipped to me. I do wonder if there is a way to introduce some woodsmoke/hardwood coals flavor to that pizza.

Does anyone here use the KA dough conditioner? Does it give the dough more elasticity? I see Kenji stretches his dough much like I do mine. He didn’t appear to let the dlight rise/ferment for very long, so I wonder about the flavor. Nice looking pizza, but I wouldn’t be able to resist adding some fresh basil leaves after it came from the oven. Did anyone catch his noisy slurp of wine? Sweet little ‘she-cur’ got rewarded after the very polite wait.

Sheila & Annie, your breads sound and look good. Thank Sleevendog for that Bittman and Jim video.

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abzzybee

You don't need a special pan, I use a pizza stone that I heat in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, dust with semolina or coarse ground corn, pull the rack it sits on out enough to to tip the blob of dough on it and cover with a stainless steel pot. Sometimes it spreads too much to get the pot on it then I leave it uncovered.

I do add a small pan of water on the lowest rack. So far the dough blob has yet to overflow the stone. It's an incredibly forgiving recipe, I usually use a mix of whole wheat, bread and regular flour, all unbleached and find the bread flour adds softness to the finished loaf.

I prefer the higher protein flours, they seem to make baked bread a little moister, since using them I've avoided making doorstops and Christmas ornaments meaning previous failures were so hard they were inedible.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)


edie, a few things could have happened. Oven not hot enough so it is cooking too slow. The first 5 min in the oven is critical. Cast iron works so well as it retains heat but does take a while in the oven for pre-heat.

Your flour may be a bit light in weight. Increase your initial flour amount up to a 1/4 cup. Start with 2 tBsp. A sticky no-knead dough does like the shaping on a well floured board. Before the second rise. And the folding/shaping. Pretty critical as it forces a nice rise. Some of that flour during shaping will be absorbed adding to the forming of a nice crust.

-DH has forgotten that I do not care for a floury boule out of the oven but it can be dusted off with a pastry brush. I'm just happy his is baking so not going to complain. (I have some wheat bran for the next baking session).

Two photo links, HERE and HEREIf you skip that step it will pancake immediately in any chosen baking vessel.

Though the enameled chicken roaster may be too thin? But I don't think so.

Many of us are not getting the flours we are used to due to shortages. We got lucky and like the 25 pound sack from the wholesaler.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

For the science lovers and the 'why?' people, 😂, Kenji has a SeriousEats all about the 'why, what?'.

The Science of No-Knead Dough,... Linky, HERE

We switched to Ken Forkish pinch and fold a half dozen years ago. It is still a no-knead dough. Via Ann-t's recommendation. It adds about three minutes to the process...30 min, 20, and 45. A pinch, a stretch and fold, and another.

Because it starts with a 1,000 grams of flour...one cup is about 120ish grams?, More volume while at it anywho in the bowl. Two good size boules can be baked back-to-back since the oven is hot anyway...or the other half can be zip-locked into the fridge and used later in the week....pizza, banquets, etc..we use the same formula for sourdough.

One less step. I took 1,000 gram measured bags and into the freezer from the 25 pound bag of flour. Way too much flour to just sit around even in the pantry.

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

sleevendog, I was thinking I will try again in a few days adding more flour. What I ended up with was not so much dough as a gelatinous mass. Couldn't shape it or fold it or anything, it just oozed. Last time I made it, same exact recipe, it didn't do that. I do the sprinkle-and-sweep method of measuring flour so there may have been air pockets where there should have been flour. Wish I had a kitchen scale. (Wish I had some place to PUT a scale!)

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sheilajoyce_gw

Ediej, I scoop from my tub of flour, but it is easy to get an air pocket that way, and leveling off the measuring cup with a sweep of a knife often just covers up that air pocket. I have learned to stab the cup of flour with my knife to eliminate air pockets before I sweep the excess off the surface. It works.

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