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Minimalist No-Knead Bread Technique (Part 2)


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#1 guzzirider

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 01:56 PM

[Moderator's note: The original Minimalist No-Knead Bread Technique topic became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: Minimalist No-Knead Bread Technique (Part 1)]

 

 

Add me to the cult of No Knead! Although I'm a fairly decent cook, I've never done much baking, and figured this would be great practice. This is my second loaf... the first was using the original no knead recipe, which seemed to call for too much water. My second attempt with the revised recipe seemed to work wonderfully:

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Edit: fixed image link

__Jason



#2 tooearly

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 05:44 PM

Can anyone point me to a better understanding of the part about "shaping the dough into a ball"?
I am intrigued of course by those who say this seems totally unnecessary...
Why let it rest for 15 before shaping?
I have been shaping it with some success, but I think i need a smaller dutch oven than 5-6 quarts as everyone has been saying...
making my 6th loaf as I type...this is a lot of fun!
And tasty too> cant remember the last time I actually felt I would want toeat a whole loaf at a sitting!

#3 guzzirider

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 06:27 PM

Can anyone point me to a better understanding of the part about "shaping the dough into a ball"?
I am intrigued of course by those who say this seems totally unnecessary...
Why let it rest for 15 before shaping?
I have been shaping it with some success, but I think i need a smaller dutch oven than 5-6 quarts as everyone has been saying...
making my 6th loaf as I type...this is a lot of fun!
And tasty too> cant remember the last time I actually felt I would want toeat a whole loaf at a sitting!

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I actually use a 5 quart LC oval "french oven". As noted in my post above, I've only made a couple of these so far, but the last one turned out great. I don't do much to shape it... after it has risen the first time, I take it out and fold it - like a letter fold, first one way, then the other. This results in a sort of oblong doughball, which then sits for 2 hours. The oblong shape fits nicely in the oval pot.

__Jason

#4 Megaroo

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 04:50 PM

I was given this recipe by a friend, so I tried it this past weekend. Here's what I found:

I accidently misread the amount of salt and added 2 teaspoons instead of the 1 1/4 teaspoons. It actually turned out though - it wasn't too salty (you just didn't need to add butter!) for our tastes.

I actually forgot about the bread and remembered at the 24 hour mark - so don't put it in your oven if you think you're going to forget! However, I don't think the bread was compromised - the flavor was still really, really good (I ate two slices, my husband ate the rest of the loaf).

I baked it using my LC 3.5 quart - I wouldn't recommend anything smaller - it seemed to fit perfectly.

I now have another loaf (for tomorrow's soup supper) on it's first rise - this time, I used 50% whole wheat pastry flour, so we'll see how that turns out.

#5 tooearly

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 11:13 AM

During the first rise, if one covers the container tightly with saran wrap, should that make a difference? Is more O2 needed?

#6 Pam R

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 11:19 AM

I always cover the bowl with plastic wrap - just flour the top of the dough so it doesn't stick and it works perfectly.

#7 Thesorus

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 05:46 PM

I tried the basic recipe last week-end and my bread was awesome! best ever bread that I ever made.

I will do it again next week-end, maybe let it cook 5 more minutes covered.

#8 prasantrin

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 05:58 PM

I think I've almost found my perfect temperature/time. 250C, 20 minutes lid on, 15 minutes lid off, and 15-20 minutes loosely covered with foil so it doesn't overbrown. This gave me the colour and crust that I loved--not too dark, not too thick, but the perfect amount of crispiness. I might try slightly lessened times at 270C to see if I like that even better.

#9 prasantrin

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 01:49 PM

For those of you who have made raisin bread using this method, how did you prevent the raisins from burning? The raisins that peeked out from the dough got very hard and burnt-smelling (though they aren't burnt looking). I haven't tried it, so I can't yet report on if it's burnt-tasting, too. They were plumped in a bit of water first, then the exteriors were dried before being added to the dough.

Update on the raisins--some of the ones that were really sticking out taste a little burnt, but the rest of them don't. They do, however, taste like dried Chinese plums! I hate dried Chinese plums! (or is it Chinese dried plums?)

I might stick it in my freezer and hand it off to my neighbours when they return on Sunday. The husband is HK-Chinese, so he might appreciate the dried plum flavour more than I.

Oh, I had forgotten that I added too much salt (about 15g--I usually add about 10g), so it really brings out the dried plum flavour of the raisins....

Edited by prasantrin, 23 February 2007 - 04:06 PM.


#10 Teya9

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 11:14 AM

You could add them when you do the fold. Pat out your dough sprinkle with raisins and fold. That will keep them in the middle you may not get as many raisins per loaf but they should be safe from burning.

#11 danf

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 03:57 PM

I have never baked bread of the non-banana bread type before but this recipe and all of the furor around it was so intriguing I had to give it a shot. Having an extensive amount of information on every single cooking website as well as a youtube video made me a bit more confident that I could handle this brave new world of baking. I basically followed the nyt recipe and technique except I used a 5 qt metal calphalon pot instead of cast iron or enamel, which I don't have. You can see the results below, I think it turned out pretty great, so great that I have already eaten half of it. I am definitely going to have to mess with this a bit as it seems to be pretty open to experimentation, maybe I'll even try to read this whole thread. Honestly this came out too good with too little effort, I can't wait to try again.


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peace
Dan

#12 guzzirider

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 09:16 PM

I have never baked bread of the non-banana bread type before but this recipe and all of the furor around it was so intriguing I had to give it a shot....
[snip]

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LOL! I resemble that remark!

My banana bread is pretty darned good, but other baking attempts have been pretty miserable. This no-knead bread is great ego booster and motivational device. I recently started making it, and was so happy with the results, that I was inspired to blow the dust off the KA mixer and attempt some other projects. I'm now regularly making my own pizza dough, and just this weekend I made my first batch of bagels - quite successfully, I might add.

It seems this simple loaf of bread is really opening up the world of baking to alot of new people.

__Jason

#13 Teya9

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 10:55 AM

O MY I have a new flavor to add to the mix. I added some cocoa powder, mini chocolate chips and dried bing cherries plus a Tbls or 2 of sugar. This was made with my sourdough starter. Delish inspiration came from a loaf I had years ago at La Brea Bakery in LA

#14 lovebenton0

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 07:51 PM

just to try an experiment i thought i'd see what this particular no-knead method does without the pre-heated dutch oven or alternatives.

so, stirred up sourdough barm, water, bread flour, salt, 2/3 cup stone ground whole wheat and a tbsp brown sugar. did the usual except for pre-heating any vessel in the oven. shaped the loaf sort of slipperish, wrapped in towel with cornmeal. when ready i slipped it onto sheet of parchment on underside of sheet pan. baked at 450f for 20 minutes. checked it, decided it needed a foil tent to protect it from browning further. the sugar probably contributed to that, but i like the stone ground wheat addition better with a touch of sweet.

turned oven off after 5 minutes and baked another 15 minutes. that's what i usually do after loaf has baked for 30 minutes in vessel. works for my oven.

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not a bad experiment for a free standing loaf using this method. nice flavor, crispy crust, good holes for wheat bread. think i'd bake it at 425f if i do this again... maybe foil tent mid-way in the first 30 minutes, then 15 minutes uncovered. and i didn't think to flip this loaf when i put it on the pan to bake. i'd do that with the next one too because i got some nice cracks on the bottom side of the loaf.
Judith Love

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#15 cats2

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 08:33 AM

For those with Le Creuset, and are afraid of damaging their knobs with this cooking technique...LC is now marketing stainless steel replacement knobs, which according to them will "withstand any oven temperature". There's conflicting information on their website as to how high of a temp the phenolic knobs can withstand. On the product page for the replacement knob, they say phenolics are oven-safe up to 375F (the advantage is that they would remain cooler than the pot), yet on this page, they say the phenolics are oven-safe to 400F.

So far, I've just been covering my phenolic knob with foil, and been baking the bread at 450F. If worse comes to worse, at least I know I can purchase a replacement knob (either phenolic or stainless steel). I've only seen the stainless knob on one website, and it was less than US$8.

I've been a little hesitant with just going to Home Depot and getting a drawer pull or something of that nature (though there have been some people who apparently have done this), to act as a replacement knob (also, I thought that some drawer pulls have a coating of some sort to protect the finish?...I'd doubt that that finish was made to be heat resistant :unsure: )

#16 Joe Blowe

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:43 AM

I replaced the phenolic knob on my ChefMate with a stainless steel knob from Home Depot:

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I'm on NNTK batch number 20 or so, and the knob is holding up just fine. Just pick a simple, solid steel knob and there's nothing that can go wrong...

And, BTW, the HD knob cost 4 bucks. Plus tax :wink:
So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

#17 merrybaker

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 11:23 AM

Your oven is so clean! :blush:

#18 tim

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 12:31 PM

Hi,

I found the perfect thing for no-knead batards!

It is Sassafras' Superstone Covered Baker and it makes for a nice batard shape.

French Bread Baker


I reduced the original recipe to 60% by weight to properly fit the baker. After the 18 hour rise I had some difficulty in shaping the dough to fit the baker. The next time, I will us a long, narrow dish for the original rise. I also reduced the baking time to 35 minutes. The results are very nice with the perfect shape for a dinner.


Picture of No-Knead Batard

I think I will slash two diagonal tears on the next loaf and raise the temp for a darker crust.

Tim

#19 BetD

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 02:01 PM

I found the perfect thing for no-knead batards!

It is Sassafras' Superstone Covered Baker and it makes for a nice batard shape.

French Bread Baker

View Post


Tim,

Did you preheat the Baker? I have one and just hadn't gotten around to trying it yet, but your results look wonderful!

Betty
"There are no mistakes in bread baking, only more bread crumbs"
*Bernard Clayton, Jr.

#20 tim

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 03:45 PM

I found the perfect thing for no-knead batards!

It is Sassafras' Superstone Covered Baker and it makes for a nice batard shape.

French Bread Baker

View Post


Tim,

Did you preheat the Baker? I have one and just hadn't gotten around to trying it yet, but your results look wonderful!

Betty

View Post


Betty,

Yes, I placed the baking stone top and bottom (separated) in the oven when I pre-heated to 450 degrees. I was a little concerned about thermal shock but there is no problem.

It may help to pick out your covered baker in person. When I bought mine, it took three sets to find a top that really fit the bottom.

Tim

#21 The Blissful Glutton

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 02:05 PM

Better late than never...

OK. First attempt. Overall good results with texture and great crust. Needed way more salt. Trying it again right now with 2 teaspoons of salt.
Out of the oven:
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Sliced:
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#22 JoyBugaloo

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 01:04 AM

I just wanted to share that I found a great pot in which to bake the no-knead bread. It's by a German company called Schulte-Ufer, and even though it's measured metrically, I would guess that it is about 3.75 quarts, and it's made of thick cast iron with a glass lid and a metal handle. And the best part is, I found it at T.J. Maxx for only 25 bucks! There's a picture of it on the company's web site (it's the smaller one on the left): Schulte-Ufer Cast Iron Pot

It really helped my loaf bake up taller, about four inches high. So check out your local T.J. Maxx and see if you can find one.

--Gina
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#23 MiFi

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 05:55 AM

Not sure if anyone has done this already; a few days ago I thought I would try doubling the original recipe (with my tweaks, which involve slightly more salt and a small percentage of WW flour + K.A. bread flour, all done in one bowl - no transferring until it goes into the baking pot). Turned out well. I did increase overall cooking time: ~30 mins. w/lid and ~30 mins. w/out lid.

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#24 saluki

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 07:16 PM

Has anyone been using the Gold medal Golden Harvest Flour with the basic Sullivan recipe?

I've been using KA all purpose flour till now. However, tonight, I'm using the Golden Harvest. At the end of 24 hours I turned it out of the bowel and onto a silpat. It had
rose well but when I got to the bottom of the bowl it was absolutely runny.

Does this flour use less water? This is the first time this has happened to me.
Just wondering if anyone else notices a difference between these brands?

#25 zoe b

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 07:32 AM

this has just been shown to be a fail proof recipe--I am at my mother's so was using her Corning casserole dish--heated for 1/2 hour-- had just popped the bread into the oven when my sister arrived --she needed me immediately to help--she's packing up her house--so I took the bread out and just left it on top of the stove .

My Mom couldn't lift it as she is recovering from surgery, so it just sat all day until I returned, heated up the oven and threw the bread back in.

It had an ugly thick hard skin over the dough--looked like what you get if you defrost bread dough too long in the mike and it starts to cook. But I figured what the heck--I'll probably have to throw it out, but it is worth a try.

Well, the bread was decent--didn't rise all that much, maybe 1/2 as much as usual, but had an ok crust, even--i thought it would be thick and rubbery or possibly just thick and rock hard, but it was the same crackly crust as usual, and not any thicker.

So do your worst to this bread, it can take it. Zoe

#26 Emily_R

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 07:48 AM

Blissful Glutton --

The lack of salt was my thought on the no-knead bread too... Tell me -- how did it work with 2 tsp? How did it taste? I was worried to up the salt so much since I know it is a yeast retarder...

Emily

#27 Pam R

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 01:24 PM

Any interesting experiments lately?

Is everybody still baking a lot of bread or did the novelty wear off?

#28 cajungirl

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 02:23 PM

Any interesting experiments lately?

Is everybody still baking a lot of bread or did the novelty wear off?

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This weekend, I went back to the original recipe (but with more salt). I had been making sourdough or rye, or semolina, or 9grain cereal, or rosemary, or potato, or ...well, you get the idea. For those of us who are not home all the time, it sure gives us a lot of flexibility. I've also made different shapes, batards in oval shaped caserole dishes, small boule in small casserole dishes. Since I got back into bread baking, the market hasn't seen a cent of my money go toward bread purchases :biggrin:
Just a simple southern lady lost out west...

"Leave Mother in the fridge in a covered jar between bakes. No need to feed her." Jackal10

#29 Morten

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 03:42 AM

Any interesting experiments lately?

Is everybody still baking a lot of bread or did the novelty wear off?

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Almost everyda a new bread is popping out :wink: Lots of experiements going on, but most of them work and taste great :raz: :raz: :raz:
http://www.grydeskeen.dk - a danish foodblog :)

#30 Cookie Dibs

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 08:46 AM

My husband thinks I am obsessed with this recipe.

I've now made it four times. I personnaly find it very forgiving, even the time I didn't measure very accurately.

I've made it with King Arthur Bread Flour, and sometimes include up to 6 oz. of whole wheat flour.
Last night's experiment:

10 oz. bread flour
6 oz. whole wheat
2 oz. roasted pumpkin seeds
2 oz. sunflower seeds
1/4 t. instant yeast
2 t. salt

I added the pumpkin and sunflower seeds on the first rise, as I was turning it.
Topped with seseme seeds on the 2nd rise, and turned it into the pan, which formed a great seseme bottom crust. Next time I need to turn once to get the seeds all over , as they were wonderfully roasted and delicious...

There is a lot of discussion on what pan to use. I have great luck with just an old copper 3 quart pan. I put it in the oven, pull it out, plop the bread in it, cover and immediately return to the oven. I has come out of the pan without a hitch every time. The trick to that is to just make sure the dough is adequately floured (or in that last case, seeded).

Like many folks, I gave up on the towel method, which ruined my towel, and I just turn it out into parchment. I noticed on the video on Martha Stewart that Jim Lahey mixes it in a bowl, and then removes the mixture to rise to an OILED bowl, for ease of removal. I will try that soon.

As for flavor, it's NOT sourdough bread, which I hate. It's got a very rich bread flavor, but if you want sourdough (which I personally detest) this recipe in it's initially published form is not the recipe for you....

Has anyone tried any of the following variations:
- shaping into a ficelle/baguette?
- Adding oil or butter to the recipe?
- Making a "sweet" dough out of it ?
- Using 100% whole wheat/grains?

Have fun