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NK Bread, nO kNEADing, nO kIDDING !

 

No Knead Bread 02

For those who live in the US, no knead bread is probably nothing new but for those who live in Europe, a lot of people are still not familiar yet. When I bumped into this article in New York Times, I was really amazed by it, is it really possible to make an artisan style of bread without kneading? I was curious and gave it a try and it really worked. I still remembered when my first loaf came out of the oven, it was almost midnight, Peter was as excited as me, we could not wait until the bread was completely cooled down and had to cut a piece and try.

I do find this method is really revolutionary, I am curious how the French bakers feel about this method. Personally, I think this is like a sourdough bread and to most people it is difficult to keep a sourdough at home, therefore this is definitely a good solution. And for those who are used to working bread doughs in the conventional way, i.e. kneading, it is really not so easy of touching the dough so little. I will use this as an alternative of bread making. I still like kneading from time to time, good exercise.
 
Although this is nothing new in the blogosphere, the reason why I still want to write about this is because this post is specially dedicated to my mother in-law so she can find everything in this post. She was also amazed with the results, and would love to try it herself when they go back to Holland. My father in-law used to be a baker, so you can imagine the challenge for me to bake a bread that is qualified to be a good one in their opinion. The Dutch eats bread twice daily, so great opportunity to allow me baking one no knead bread almost every other day to let me get the best hang of this technique.
Recipe adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (330g) of white flour (you can mix 2 cups of white flour with other types of flour for variation)
  • 1/4 tsp of yeast
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) of water
  • cornmeal or wheat bran or extra flour for dusting

Directions:

  1. Mixing: In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast and salt together. Add the water and stir with your hand or a wooden spatula until blended. You should get a shaggy sticky dough (Fig.1). Cover the dough with cling film (and a plastic bag to create a warmer environment). Leave this for 12 -18 hours at room temperature.
  2. Rising: After 12-18 hours, you will see the dough is risen and full of bubble dots on the surface (Fig. 2).
  3. Folding: Flour your hands. Transfer the bubbled and stranded dough (Fig. 3) with a plastic dough cutter or your hand to a lightly floured work surface, sprinkle some flour on the dough, pad the dough gently with your hands to make the dough flatter and wider. This will make it easier to fold the dough. Fold the dough on both sides horizontally (Fig. 4) and then fold again vertically (Fig. 5) on the other sides. Sprinkle some flour each time when you fold.
  4. Shaping: Quickly shape the dough into a ball using your hands (Fig. 6). Sprinkle generously a cotton kitchen towel with either flour, wheat bran or cornmeal, place the dough with the seam side down on the towel. Sprinkle more flour or wheat bran or cornmeal on the top of the dough before fold the towel to cover the dough.
  5. Proofing: Let the dough to proof a second time for 1-3 hours, the dough should be doubled in size by this time. (optional, you can proof the dough in a wicker basket if you have one at home)
  6. Preheating: Preheat the oven at 230ºC at least 30 minutes before the dough is proofed. Place a cast iron pot (or enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) with the lid in the oven at the same time.
  7. Flipping: When the dough is ready, remove the pot from the oven carefully. Place your hand under the towel and flip the dough over into the pot. In this way, you should get the seam side up. The dough may look a bit messy but don’t worry. Shake the pot a few times to help to make the dough more evenly distributed
  8. Baking: Cover the lid, return the pot into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake for another 15-30 minutes until you get a nicely brown loaf .
  9. Cooling: Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack. You will still hear the bread cracks because of the air holes inside.
  10. Cut & Enjoy: Cut a slice and enjoy! I love seeing the cracks and the air holes inside (Fig. 7).

Enjoy the freshly baked No Kneading (NK) bread, really No Kidding!!!

no knead bread 01

I like mine with butter and Fortum and Mason Strawberry jam.

shaggy-dough

Fig. 1

Dough rested for 18 hours

Fig.2

Risen dough with strands transferred to work surface

Fig.3

Dough folded from both sides horizontally for the 1st time

Fig. 4 

Dough folded for 2nd time vertically

Fig.5

dough shaped

Fig. 6

Don't you just like seeing the big air holes?

Fig.7

Here I would like to share some great posts in the blogosphere that are very resourceful:

 

Recipe at a glance:

3 cups of white flour
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cup of warm waterRising time: 12-18 hrs
Proofing time: 2 hrs
Baking time: 30 mins at 230 ºC with lid on, then 15-20 mins without lid

Other things required:
Large mixing bowl, Your hands; Plastic dough cutter, Le Crueset Pot or ceramic Pot, Kitchen TowelNice to have:
Wicker Basket

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13 thoughts on “NK Bread, nO kNEADing, nO kIDDING !

  1. Beautiful Bread 🙂
    Rosa: You don’t need to have a dutch oven. If u have a ceramic pot that u can cook in oven – that will do too. I cook mine in a ceremic stew pot and it gives me beautiful bread all the time.

    The Cooking Ninja’s last blog post..Michèle’s Lasagne

  2. Hi Jenn, I know sooner or later I will get the ABin5 book. Funny enough this book came out shortly after this article. It’s certainly this is the way forward.

  3. it looks amazing! i’ve never made yeast bread before, but i think i’m going to try making this one.

    one question though – how big was the dutch oven you used? i have a 3.5qt and a 7.5qt, and i’m kinda stumped as to which one would be best to use.

  4. Hi Julia, the NYTimes article says to use a 6-8 qt one so your 7.5qt one will do the job : ) The 3.5 qt would definitely be too small. Once you get the hang of it you can add in things you like. Adding flaxseeds and/or poppyseeds are my current favorites.

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