Thursday, March 8, 2012

No-Knead Bread

*I've posted the recipe at the very bottom without all the picture breaks (and added verbiage!).  As well as the recipe I tried - and liked - to make cinnamon raisin bread.

My mother-in-law gave me this for Christmas.  Bless her!

I've bought one loaf of bread since December 25th.  One.  (Ok - not counting special breads, like ciabatta rolls for a certain sandwich or a warm baguette for . . . um . . . eating as I walk home?!)  

  
When I saw this post, I thought that if I was ever going to consistently make my own bread, this is how I would probably do it.  I tried out the recipe in my old dutch oven, found it to be super simple and doable, but was a bit uncomfortable with the risk in baking teflon at such a high temperature.  So I asked for the cast iron dutch oven for Christmas and have been baking delicious bread since.  The bread is certainly not like what you will buy in the store, but in my opinion, it's better.  It's dense, a bit more chewy, has a sturdy crust and is full of flavor.  So here's how it's been working for me . . .


1/2 tsp. active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups warm water
6 cups flour (you can either use all-purpose for all six cups, or use up to two cups whole wheat as a combination.  I almost always use 4 cups all-purpose and 2 cups whole wheat)
3 tsp. salt


I've only ever made this using my Kitchenaid stand mixer.  I'm sure it'd be fine if you just put some elbow grease into the mixing.

Sprinkle yeast into 1/2 cup warm water.  Let sit while you take care of the other stuff (which will take all of about one minute!).

Put water, flour, and salt into large mixing bowl.  Add yeast and water combination.  Mix until everything is evenly moist.  It will look something like this:


If the bits on the side make you a little nutty, just scrape them down with a spatula to form a more uniformed looking ball of dough.  You don't have to do this.  But I can't handle the chaotic look.  Yes, I admit I'm weird.


Cover the bowl with a large plate.  Let rise for at least four hours, or overnight.  Sometimes my "overnight" is six hours.  Other times it's eight.  It always works out.  Don't freak out if, in the morning, you find that your dough looks like a science project determined to take over your kitchen.  Just scrape everything back in and go with it:


Put your dutch oven (with the lid on) in the oven and turn on to 500F.  Set timer for thirty minutes.  (Your oven should be done preheating to 500 before your timer beeps)  Read comments on the original post about using a pot that isn't cast iron.  It seems to work fine.

After thirty minutes, carefully take the pot out of the oven - it's super hot!  Remove lid and dump your dough into the hot pot.  Place lid back on pot and return covered pot to oven.  Set the timer for thirty more minutes.  I do this step as quickly as I carefully can because 1) I don't want to lose the heat from the pot and 2) preheating the pot cooks the seasoning oil inside, so when I lift the lid a large billow of smoke rises.  The dough helps keep that at bay, but if I've forgotten to turn on the hood vent before lifting the lid - our sensitive smoke alarm might go off.  I'm just sayin'.

After I've dumped the dough and put the pot back in the oven:

When your thirty minutes of baking are up, your bread is ready to be dumped onto a cooling rack.  Don't let it sit in the pot for too long or it might start to stick.  I've only had that happen once. 


This is the hardest part for me.  You should really let the loaf cool almost entirely before cutting into it.  Releasing too much steam by slicing it early can make the center a bit doughy.  But I almost never make it. Warm bread and butter is just too irresistable!  Enjoy!



No-Knead Bread

1/2 tsp. active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups warm water
6 cups flour (you can either use all-purpose for all six cups, or use up to two cups whole wheat as a combination.  I almost always use 4 cups all-purpose and 2 cups whole wheat)
3 tsp. salt


Sprinkle yeast into 1/2 cup warm water.  Let sit while you take care of the other stuff (which will take all of about one minute!).

Put water, flour, and salt into large mixing bowl.  Add yeast and water combination.  Mix until everything is evenly moist. 


Cover the bowl with a large plate.  Let rise for at least four hours, or overnight.  Sometimes my "overnight" is six hours.  Other times it's eight.  It always works out.  Don't freak out if, in the morning, you find that your dough looks like a science project determined to take over your kitchen.  Just scrape everything back in and go with it.


Put your dutch oven (with the lid on) in the oven.  Turn oven on to 500 F.  Set timer for thirty minutes.  (Your oven should be done preheating to 500 before your timer beeps) 

After thirty minutes, carefully take the pot out of the oven - it's super hot!  Remove lid and dump your dough into the hot pot.  You can scrape the bowl clean if you want to.  Place lid back on pot and return covered pot to oven.  Set the timer for thirty more minutes.  


When your thirty minutes of baking are up, your bread is ready to be dumped onto a cooling rack.  Don't let it sit in the pot for too long or it might start to stick. 


Let the loaf cool entirely before cutting into it.  Enjoy!



Cinnamon Raisin No-Knead Bread

1/2 tsp. yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups warm water
6 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup raisins, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained completely


Follow directions as written above, adding all the ingredients in before mixing to make the dough.

4 comments:

  1. i can't wait to try this! i just pinned a similar recipe and now with your rave reviews, i will surely be trying it soon!

    ReplyDelete
  2. what size is your dutch oven?

    ReplyDelete

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