Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Last weekend, I made no-knead bread - I'm going to post the recipe in case you want to make it yourself. The recipe is very basic - it can be mixed and baked with minimal effort. The cool thing about this method for making dough is that the glutens normally developed by kneading are developed when you allow the dough to rise.

Basic Bread

3 C Water (Lukewarm)
1.5 T Yeast
1.5 t Salt
6.5 C Flour

-Pour the lukewarm water into a large mixing bowl
The bowl should be big enough to accommodate the dough once it has risen. I use a 6 quart plastic tub)

-Stir in salt, yeast, oils and sweeteners.
Since this is just a basic recipe, I'll leave it up to you to determine what oils or sweeteners fit your taste. I'm working on a batch of dough with butter and honey added - it is quite delicious.

-1 cup at a time, stir in flour. Mix thoroughly in order to avoid the formation of flour pockets.

-Allow the dough to rise for at least two hours.
It will double in size or triple in size if you use sweeteners.
There is no need to cover the dough at this stage - the ratio of water to flour ensures that the dough will not dry out during the rising.

-After rising, the dough can be either baked, or stored in the refrigerator for later use.
If you do store it, be aware that until the dough cools down, it will continue to rise. Be prepared to monitor it for the next hour or three, or make sure to use a storage container that will accommodate the rising dough.

-Generously flour your hands, and the top of the dough.
The flour will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.

-Pull off a hunk of dough and give it a light coating of flour.
Shape the loaf - or don't.

-Sprinkle a bed of cornmeal on a breadboard, back of a cookie sheet, whatever. Place your shaped loaf on the board and let it proof for about 40 minutes.

-Preheat your oven, and pans on which you will cook your bread, to 450 degrees.

-Once the bread is done proofing, slide it from the coated board onto the baking surface, and bake for 35-40 minutes. It should have a hard crust, and sound hollow if tapped.

-Allow the bread to cool for about 20 minutes before eating it! The moisture inside of the bread will leach out into the crust, softening it.

This recipe makes enough dough for 4 loaves.

[It should be noted that a serrated bread knife is best for making slashes on the surface of this kind of bread dough. When I attempted to use a chef's knife, the blade became stuck in the gooey dough.]


Blogger Mark said...

Very delicious. Looks easy enough for even me to cook, though letting someone else do it is even easier.

6:47 PM  
Blogger jenny said...

I think it is time for me to break outthe old lard buckets- no not the neighbors, I mean those just over a gallon kind I have in the basement- I'm going to try this. Thanks John!

7:17 PM  

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