Saturday, January 5, 2013

No Knead Bread

Peasant Bread

This was pretty easy to throw together and came out nice and chewy. It's my first no-knead bread attempt. It was quite an interesting process just using a spatula and 2 forks. The original post has pictures of the whole process. The dough really is super wet. The bowls she uses are VERY small, which you can't tell from looking at her pictures since they are all close up shots.. I made a 9x5 loaf using about 2/3 of the dough (she recommends 3/4 of it) and the remainder in a small, shallow, square 1.5L dish. When mixing it originally my dough was quite dry, not wet like hers in the picture so I added a couple T of cold water. The alternative** is to start with less than 4 cups in the bowl and add extra flour after mixing it together. 

  • 4 c flour (or slightly less**...should be 1 lb 2 oz), not bleached
  • 2 t sea salt
  • 1/2 c boiling water + 1.5 c cold water (or just 2 c lukewarm water)
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 (+1/4) t yeast
  • 2-3 T butter
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flour and salt.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve sugar in the water. 
  3. Sprinkle yeast on top and wait 10-15 minutes until yeast is frothy, to prove that it is still alive.
  4. Pour yeast mixture into flour and mix with spatula. Mixture will be very wet. 
    • Either put dough in a greased bowl
    • ...OR...scrape sides of mixing bowl and butter the sides.
  5. Cover with cotton towel and let rise in warm, moist area (like a warm oven with a pot of boiling water inside) for minimum one hour, but preferably 1.5-2 hours.
  6. Generously grease 2 containers, no bigger than 1.5L each, with 1 T (or more) butter each.
  7. Using 2 forks, pull the dough from the sides and punch down, turning sides onto itself. It is important that the dough is pulled from the sides and entirely punched down. Use forks to separate the dough into 2 pieces (of equal size if containers are equal...or if using 9x5 bread pan, then about 2/3-3/4 of the dough for that, remainder for small container or muffin tins or ramekins). Scoop up each piece and plop into prepared containers.
  8. Cover and let rise in warm area for 30-45 minutes. Dough should rise to just below/above top of container, depending on the container.
  9. Bake at 425F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375F and cook for 22-25 minutes more.
  10. Remove from oven and turn onto cooling racks. If they were sufficiently greased, they should fall out.
    • If the breads look pale and soft, put on cookie sheet and continue to bake for 5 min.
  11. Let cool for 10 min before slicing.