Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Recipe: No-Knead Bread

I love this bread. It is absolutely amazing. I got the original recipe from King Arthur Flour and made a few adjustments to make it a little more "real". I also love this recipe, because it is super inexpensive to make.

A few notes:
1) This bread will go bad after about 5-7 days. You can't keep it as long as store bought bread. Wrap it in cling wrap and put it in an old bread bag (from a previously purchased loaf of bread) and seal it up good.
2) Don't be scared of butter, especially grass-fed butter. Load it on there. It's much more nutritious then the bread itself.
3) I love to eat this with a big chunk of sharp cheddar cheese on the side!
4) For this to be a truly traditional bread, I would need to sprout the grains and mill it myself. I'm not quite that far into my traditional food learnin'. I also use a little white flour. I find that it improves the texture and taste. It's still better than store-bought bread and contains only 5 ingredients. I figure it costs about 75 cents a loaf and contains about 500 calories a loaf, if you follow the loaf size directions.

Rebekkah's No-Knead Bread

1 1/2 cups lukewarm (about 105 degree Fahrenheit) water
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 TBSP sea salt
1 packet active dry yeast

(Though my ingredients are different, my recipe directions are the same. So I'm copying and pasting from the King Arthur Website. I made a few edits to go with my recipe.)

1) Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, or a large (6-quart), food-safe plastic bucket. For first-timers, "lukewarm" means about 105°F, but don't stress over getting the temperatures exact here. Comfortably warm is fine; "OUCH, that's hot!" is not. Yeast is a living thing; treat it nicely.

2) Mix and stir everything together to make a very sticky, rough dough. If you have a stand mixer, beat at medium speed with the beater blade for 30 to 60 seconds. If you don't have a mixer, just stir-stir-stir with a big spoon or dough whisk till everything is combined.

3) Next, you're going to let the dough rise. If you've made the dough in a plastic bucket, you're all set — just let it stay there, covering the bucket with a lid or plastic wrap; a shower cap actually works well here. If you've made the dough in a bowl that's not at least 6-quart capacity, transfer it to a large bowl; it's going to rise a lot. There's no need to grease the bowl, though you can if you like; it makes it a bit easier to get the dough out when it's time to bake bread.

4) Cover the bowl or bucket, and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Then refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, or for up to about 7 days. (If you're pressed for time, skip the room-temperature rise, and stick it right into the fridge). The longer you keep it in the fridge, the tangier it'll get; if you chill it for 7 days, it will taste like sourdough. Over the course of the first day or so, it'll rise, then fall. That's OK; that's what it's supposed to do.

5) When you're ready to make bread, sprinkle the top of the dough with flour; this will make it easier to grab a hunk. Grease your hands, and pull off about 1/2 of the dough. It'll be about the size of a softball, or a large grapefruit.

6) Plop the sticky dough onto a floured work surface, and round it into a ball, or a longer log. Don't fuss around trying to make it perfect; just do the best you can.

7) Place the dough on a piece of parchment (if you're going to use a baking stone); or onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top; this will help keep the dough moist as it rests before baking.

8) Let the dough rise for about 45 to 60 minutes. It won't appear to rise upwards that much; rather, it'll seem to settle and expand. Preheat your oven (and baking stone, if you're using one) to 400°F while the dough rests. Place a shallow pan on the lowest oven rack, and have 1 cup of hot water ready to go. (I use a cake pan for the water. Works great!)

9) When you're ready to bake, take a sharp knife and slash the bread 2 or 3 times, making a cut about 1/2" deep. The bread may deflate a bit; that's OK, it'll pick right up in the hot oven.

10) Place the bread in the oven, and carefully pour the 1 cup hot water into the shallow pan on the rack beneath. It'll bubble and steam; close the oven door quickly.

11) Bake the bread for 25 to 35 minutes, until it's a deep, golden brown.

12) Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack. Store leftover bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.

13) Yield: 2 loaves if you cut it in half. You can also make one large loaf.

1 comment:

  1. Also, the great thing about this recipe is that you can change it pretty easily. Like, try adding rosemary or basil or garlic to the dough and make a pesto to put on it! Yummy! I haven't tried that, but, oh, I bet it's delicious!