I dont knead you anymore – our first attempt at no-knead bread…

For the recipe and details on how to do this, click here – if you are uncertain what no knead bread is or why it rocks, keep reading this article before heading there .:)

We originally posted about No-Knead bread back in August.  Although the whole world seems to know about it, we were new to hearing of this apparent hit for the kitchen.  It was Twitter that turned us on to this and we were excited with many the recommendations to give it a try.

I dont knead you anymore   our first attempt at no knead bread... November Flour Cooking Recipes

To make no-knead bread, one needs an oven-proof pot that has a lid.  The basic premise is that you use a dough made over a 24-hour period which starts with a small amount of yeast and a lot of water (it is almost 33% water).  The dough ferments for a day before cooking inside a pot – the increased water helps steam the bread inside.  The technique is shown in two videos from the August link above.

The promise of Bittman was mind-blowing results.  Bread that would be better than 95% of bakeries – even if you were a novice baker.  I am definitely a novice…

We recently purchased our pot (a cast iron and enamel boat anchor of a dutch oven which we got for around $100).  The cost justification was fairly easy – assuming that the recipe would work.  Artisan bread from our local bakery is 5-7 a loaf.  If we could make similar for around $2, the pot will pay for itself in a hurry.  When you live in a house with 40+ types of homemade jam, savings on bread multiply quickly.

The results?  Spectacular.  The crust was phenomenal and the dough was light and yeasty.  I am not someone who typically loves bread – the taste and texture of this loaf stopped me in my tracks.

I dont knead you anymore   our first attempt at no knead bread... November Flour Cooking Recipes

We will post pictures of the entire process and recipe variations in coming weeks (we thought we would concentrate on the cooking for a first attempt) as we practice for the coming Holiday season.  If you are looking to get started, watch the videos above and get cracking!

Comments

  1. How would this be different then the ‘Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day’ method? Theirs isn’t cooked in an enamelled pot (and your batch lasts multiple days), but otherwise is seems pretty easier.

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx
    http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?page_id=22

    • Interesting links Jan, thanks for sharing.

      They look very similar – both are quick to create, easy to make and seem to have great results (I haven’t tried the 5 minute kind)…

      Bittman blew open no-knead in 2006 and this book came out in 07. The 5 minute loaves use more yeast and more water than his (they are almost 50% water) which would help the entire oven create the steam effect to cook the loaf.

      We are thrilled with our results – will have to try and compare as time goes on!

      Either way, I’m sure you come out a winner. The cost is a fraction and results are staggering – even 24 hours after.

      J

  2. Your bread looks just like mine. For a while I was making it in a stainless steel dutch oven, while I stalked cast iron enamel dutch ovens at Sears and Winners. Surprisingly, I found an 8L cast iron enamel dutch ovenat Costco for $49.99. Bought one for me and one for my sister. I am convinced this bread is the reason why the family treks over for family dinner once a week.

    When I make the bread (which is a least once a week these days), I let it sit for 24 hours for the first rise, and I find it almost sourdough tasting. Do you find the same thing? This week, I might experiment with additions and shapes. I’m thinking a big onion and poppy seed loaf. . . I figure it would be nice with Julia’s potato leek soup (also something I make at least once a week). I am also curious to see if I could make the bread into rolls by putting my muffin tin in a roasting pan.

  3. Charissa,

    ours sat almost 24 by the time it was done…incredibly yeasty indeed. I have also seen a fish pan used for bagettes – I like the idea of muffin tins. I have found some other recipes and variations since and am going to do some experimenting to – and we can trade notes :)

    I am also thinking, based on all your mention of Julia, that it`s time I break down and buy one of her books :)

    J

  4. I’m curious to know if anyone has tried using whole wheat flour and any additions like you find in artisan breads–sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, etc. I’m looking forward to trying this, but will have to wait until I buy some instant yeast.

    • Hi Janet,

      We have added all sorts of things and have had a lot of success. The only cavaet: most whole grains had to be split with 50% white flour. When we did that, we had great success.

      • Thanks–I did give it a try with 100 whole wheat (I grind my own). I did add 1 TBS of vital wheat gluten. It seemed to rise just fine and do what it was suppose to do. I did wind up with a large cavity just under the upper crust. Not sure why that happened. It is a very chewy bread, and I do think it needs something else added to give it a bit more flavor. I will definitely try it again, and maybe try the 50-50 split.

        • Thanks Janet,

          We make both no-knead and kneaded bread here (not enough sourdough) and the flavor has been pretty equal. I’ll be curious to see what you think of the split. I think it’s awesome that you grind your own wheat! :)

          Joel

Trackbacks

  1. [...] no-knead bread recipe is making the rounds again and finds another batch of devotees. [Well [...]

  2. [...] If you’re looking for more background on no-knead bread, we shared the story of Bittman’s unveiling of the technique in New York City in 2006 here and shared our first attempt here. [...]

Leave a Reply