Sunday, November 2, 2008

No-Knead Bread

I'm a butter addict, which is probably evident by the 15 pounds that I bought the other day. However, there is only so much raw, plain butter one can eat. So, on the recommendation of Sarah, my fellow NT practicer and goat milk/butter supplier, I tried a no-knead bread recipe. I'm currently munching on a piece of warm bread, slathered with butter and honey. Jaden's blog, linked above, is filled with pictures and can lead you through the process from start to finish, but if you're too lazy to read through everything, here's the Reader's Digest version. It's super easy to follow, and tastes amazing. I think I will keep experimenting (the freezing cold may have slowed a bit of the rising), but this is a keeper! I'll post a picture soon.

Yield: one 1 lb loaf

3 cups bread flour (I used whole wheat this first time, but plan to use WW bread flour next time.)
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
3/4 tablespoon kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt)
1 1/2 cups warm water

Covered pot that can go into a 450F oven. I used a 2.5 qt corningware, but the recipe calls for a 4 or 5 qt pan!

1. Mix dough:The night before, combine all ingredients in a big bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. It will be a shaggy, doughy mess. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hours on countertop.

2. Shape & preheat: The dough will now be wet, sticky and bubbly. With a wet spatula, dump the dough on a floured surface. Fold ends of dough over a few times with the spatula and nudge it into a ball shape. You can use your hands if you like, just keep your hands wet so that the dough does not stick. Generously dust a cotton towel (not terrycloth) with flour. Set dough seam side down on top of towel. Fold towel over the dough. Let it nap for 2 hours. When you’ve got about a half hour left, slip your covered pot into the oven and preheat to 450F.

3. Bake: Your dough should have doubled in size. Remove pot from oven. Holding towel, dump wobbly dough into pot. Doesn’t matter which way it lands. Shake to even dough out. Cover. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is beautifully golden and middle of loaf is 210F. (I have no idea how you are supposed to know this.) Remove and let cool on wired rack. If not eating right away, you can re-crisp crust in 350F oven for 10 minutes.

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