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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

No-knead bread, my way.

I started this, too, the night before.

No-Knead Bread

2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 package of yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
Flour for "dusting"

Combine flour, yeast, salt, and almost 2 cups of water. Add the water gradually, stirring, till it looks right, the dough should be sticky.

Cover bowl (I used a damp tea towel and a cutting board) and leave on the counter overnight.

Lightly flour a largish kitchen towel (not one with terrycloth nubbins). I used one with chickens printed on it but that is not necessary.

Without popping the dough bubbles, roll the dough blob gently out of the bowl onto the flour and roll it around a bit so it's lightly floured all over and holds into a sort of ball.

The dough ball should be on one half of the towel. Flour the top of the dough ball and fold the cloth over it. Turn a mixing bowl over on top of it and leave it for two hours.

(Half an hour before the bread is finished rising:) Heat a covered dutch oven or other heavy pot, with the lid on, in a 450-degree oven for 1/2 hour.

OK, it's time: Gently roll the bread blob upside down and leave it for a moment while...

When my daughter made a version of this bread, it was delicious but it stuck to the pot like barnacles. So after I took the very hot pot out of the oven and removed the lid (be CAREFUL! it's HOT IN THERE), I put some cooking oil in the bottom and swirled it around and up the sides a bit.

... tip the dough ball gently into the dutch oven (now it's back right side up again). It probably won't reach to the walls of the pot, which is good.

Cover the pot and cook for half an hour (still at 450 degrees). Take the lid off and cook for another 15 minutes, or, see below.

My lunch guest was 45 minutes late (he'd said he'd be half an hour late, so he precisely followed my ex-husband's rule of thumb: if someone says he will be x minutes late, he will actually be 1.5x minutes late) and I was busy practicing Hungarian tunes for a gig this weekend, so I forgot and cooked the bread for almost 45 minutes longer than the recipe said. It was just fine.

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At 10:13 PM, Blogger Jean said...

Hi Melinama: I've made no knead bread many times and I think I told Hannah about the recipe when she was posting about her bread baking adventures. To keep the bread from sticking, I put the dough to rise on a round non-stick silicone mat designed to go into a cake pan (silpat is a well known brand: When it's time to bake the bread, I just carefully put the risen dough on the mat into the dutch oven and bake it. Not only does this solve the sticking problem, the risen dough doesn't deflate at all like it does when you just dump it into the dutch oven.

At 11:38 PM, Blogger melinama said...

But does it get crusty on the bottom? Mine got excellently crusty all over. I love those silicone liners for cookies (I always used to burn their bottoms).

At 1:40 AM, Blogger Hannah said...

I think I figured out my problem - the second rise was too long. When you came, I let the bread rise 2 hours after the 24 hour initial rise. If I only let it rise half an hour - while the dutch oven heats up - it doesn't get gooey enough to stick to the dutch oven. I made another great one yesterday!

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Jean said...

The bottom of the bread is still very crusty using the silpat.


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