Thursday, February 07, 2013

No Knead Bread

I can't believe I'm writing about this six years after the recipe was first published, but that is just how long it's taken me to get my planning cap on. And of course, like everyone who's done it has said, it's so easy once you figure out what time of day to start the thing, and when you'll be able to finish it.

Because I tend to use weights now when I bake (no messy measuring out cups of flour, just dump straight into mixing bowl!) I'm writing down the recipe using weights. However, for the smaller ingredients (yeast and salt) I find it easier to use teaspoon measurements as I'm not always confident that my scale will tell me exactly when I've measured out a single teensy tiny gram of something.

Original recipe is here. Guidance on some improvements and tweaking is here.

No Knead Bread
From the great Mark Bittman, who adapted it from Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bread


430 grams of flour
345 grams of water
1 gram of yeast  (1/4 tsp)
8 grams of salt (1 1/4 tsp)


1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add the water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. [Note: I did this and it totally stuck to my towel, even with a lot of flour. So I'd try parchment paper next time, I think.] Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450F / 235C. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

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