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Minimalist No-Knead Bread Technique (Part 1)

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#511 jackal10

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 11:58 AM

Divide the dough for rolls before the second rise.Handle the dough gently trying not to deflate it
Ideally you should shape each one, but just cutting into roughly equal size chunks works just as well, gives good rustic rolls, and you degas less. Put each roll onto baking parchment for ease of handling.

#512 prasantrin

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 02:52 PM

I just arrived back in Japan last night, and I brought my 4.5qt. Le Creuset pot back with me (taking up 15 of my 50-lb luggage allowance, nevermind that my suitcase itself weighs 20-lbs). I've just started my first loaf of no-knead bread, and am really excited! (Is it silly to be excited over a loaf of bread?)

My apartment is quite cold--10-15C during the day. I've read about other people's cold-rising experiences, and I may have to invest in a heating pad before long. I'll have to see how this loaf turns out. I'm probably going to do a 24-hour first rise, since I started this at 6am-ish.

I'm a bit worried that I added too much yeast. I was using a scale, and pressed "tare" before adding the yeast, forgetting that my scale doesn't measure in 1g increments unless something has a weight of at least 5g. I think I have about double the yeast. Oops. But would the extra yeast help the bread at all in my cold kitchen?

Any other hints for conquering cold kitchens?

#513 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 03:00 PM

I'm a bit worried that I added too much yeast.  I was using a scale, and pressed "tare" before adding the yeast, forgetting that my scale doesn't measure in 1g increments unless something has a weight of at least 5g.  I think I have about double the yeast.  Oops.  But would the extra yeast help the bread at all in my cold kitchen?

Any other hints for conquering cold kitchens?

View Post


Extra yeast will just decrease the rising time, but your cooler apartment will increase the rising time, so between the two, it may be a wash. I'd look carefully for the bubbles and check the video for a reminder of what the ready-for-shaping dough should look like.

I made my last batch with twice the yeast, but with a long refrigeration step to retard, and the result was quite tasty, although it probably needed more than 31/2 hours to proof after being shaped straight from the fridge.

It's flexible enough to accomodate all of your changes.

#514 prasantrin

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 03:49 PM

I've just finished catching up with everyone's progress tweaking this recipe.  I made several loaves (some with changes) in November and was not particularly impressed with the results.  I usually bake levain-based breads and find them to be infinitely more flavorful.  Of course, the process is more time consuming.  Now I read that there is a revised article in the NYT but access is no longer available to non-subscribers.  Could someone please post the changes Bittman made.  And, have these changes improved the flavor?

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Marya,

I have the additional information printed in the NYT saved. If you still want/need it, I'd be happy to PM it to you, but don't want to post it all since it would probably violate copyright laws.

There aren't any changes made to the recipe, just some clarification and helpful hints.

Anyone else who wants it, please feel free to pm me, and I'll send it out to you asap.

#515 prasantrin

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 03:52 PM

Extra yeast will just decrease the rising time, but your cooler apartment will increase the rising time, so between the two, it may be a wash.  I'd look carefully for the bubbles and check the video for a reminder of what the ready-for-shaping dough should look like.

View Post


That's what I was hoping! I've realized that the original recipe calls for 1/4 tsp., which means I probably added 3-4 times the amount. Oops again! Hopefully my extra cold apartment will prevent the superdose of yeast from doing too much damage. I'm sure everything will be fine in the end. Too much yeast won't kill me, after all, nor will very yeasty-flavoured bread!

#516 SusanGiff

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 04:58 PM

Divide the dough for rolls before the second rise.Handle the dough gently trying not to deflate it
Ideally you should shape each one, but just cutting into roughly equal size  chunks works just as well, gives good rustic rolls, and you degas less. Put each roll onto baking parchment for ease of handling.

View Post



Thank you. I was about to ask you to define that fancy baking term "degas" (I figured it was French), until I realized you meant de-gas! Or didn't you?

#517 Marya

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 06:18 PM

Marya,

I have the additional information printed in the NYT saved.  If you still want/need it, I'd be happy to PM it to you, but don't want to post it all since it would probably violate copyright laws. 

There aren't any changes made to the recipe, just some clarification and helpful hints.

Anyone else who wants it, please feel free to pm me, and I'll send it out to you asap.

View Post


Thank you, but another kind member already sent it in a PM.

Edited by Marya, 06 January 2007 - 06:19 PM.


#518 eldereno

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 07:23 PM

I have never made bread at home before this recipe and find I am making 2-3 loaves per weekend now. Here are the three loaves I served with a cassoulet on New Year's Eve to 15 adults.

Posted Image

Everyone really enjoyed the bread (and cassoulet).

In telling my friends and family about this recipe, I found this website, which reviews the original recipe and the "tweaked" recommendations.

Here are my questions.

1. I have recieved some sourdough starter from http://www.sourdo.com/]Sourdoughs International[/URL]. Once I get this going, how is the substitution made (quantity) to use the starter instead of the instant yeast?

2. I feel ready to do some additions to the bread. I am a more savory kind of gal and am thinking about rosemary, olives, that sort of thing. How and when should those additions be made? For example, I would love to add some course salt and rosemary to the surface...but am afraid, at such a high temperature, that there would be burning.

3. I am using a 5 quart cast iron dutch oven and/or a 5 1/2 quart Le Cruiset dutch oven, both round. Would it be worthwhile to purchace a vehicle for baking of more oblong shape? Anyone see any advantages one way or another?

Regarding the "taste" issue. I find this bread to be atleast as good as what I can easily get at the local grocery stores (Giant, Bloom, Ukrops) and am so proud (when I take it out of the oven, later cut into it, serve it to my family and friends) that I was the one who made it. Pretty darn good. I have gotten in to the habit of using atleast 1/2 to one cup of whole wheat flour in the mix. Personally, I have not noticed much difference when I added saved dough from a previous loaf or not.

Still really enjoying this recipe and technique!
Donna

#519 prasantrin

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 08:17 PM

2.  I feel ready to do some additions to the bread.  I am a more savory kind of gal and am thinking about rosemary, olives, that sort of thing.  How and when should those additions be made?  For example, I would love to add some course salt and rosemary to the surface...but am afraid, at such a high temperature, that there would be burning.

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In his addendum, Bittman suggests making additions after mixing up the dough (before the first rise), or folding them in after the first rise. Someone here (I can't remember who) mentioned making the additions at the very beginning (before mixing everything up), and it seemed to work for her. In other words, it seems anytime would be OK to add things.

As for adding things to the surface, I would think you'd get better sticking power if you add them at the very beginning of baking, after placing the dough in the pot. Maybe if you soak the rosemary in water a bit it would help prevent burning?

#520 jackal10

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 02:57 AM

Oops yes I did mean de-gas, that is try not to squash out the gas.

To try and answer elderno's questions:
1. I have received some sourdough starter from http://www.sourdo.com/]Sourdoughs International[/URL]. Once I get this going, how is the substitution made (quantity) to use the starter instead of the instant yeast?

Using sourdough is a somewhat different technique to instant yeast, so its not a direct substitute. It is also often slower to rise. Assuming you have made up your starter from the powder that Sourdo has sent you, and its now a nicely fermenting mother culture, maybe refreshed once or twice, then what I would do is to make a preferment (sponge starter). Take 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water from the recipe and 1 tablespoon of the mother culture and mix together. Leave in a warm (28C/90F) place for 12 hours or so until its bubbly, then mix that with the rest of the flour and water and continue as the original recipe. It may take longer to rise - my sourdough takes roughly 4 times longer than commercial yeast, but the long slow rise in the recipe may be enough - depends on the individual culture.

2. I feel ready to do some additions to the bread. I am a more savory kind of gal and am thinking about rosemary, olives, that sort of thing. How and when should those additions be made? For example, I would love to add some course salt and rosemary to the surface...but am afraid, at such a high temperature, that there would be burning.

The surface doesn't get that hot - add away.

3. I am using a 5 quart cast iron dutch oven and/or a 5 1/2 quart Le Cruiset dutch oven, both round. Would it be worthwhile to purchace a vehicle for baking of more oblong shape? Anyone see any advantages one way or another?

Only if you want oblong loaves.

#521 beccaboo

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 09:16 AM

2.  I feel ready to do some additions to the bread.  I am a more savory kind of gal and am thinking about rosemary, olives, that sort of thing.  How and when should those additions be made?  For example, I would love to add some course salt and rosemary to the surface...but am afraid, at such a high temperature, that there would be burning.

View Post


I've added sesame seeds to the surface of the batches I made with durum flour--I coated the dough heavily with them (all around) before the second rise, and they stuck really well and didn't get at all overdone. I also made a batch with part whole wheat which had rosemary in it, and put coarse sea salt on just the top surface of that. These were my Thanksgiving breads, and were a great success. I'd suggest you incorporate some rosemary into the dough as well as decorating with it, for a greater effect on the bread's flavour.

#522 Teya9

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 11:01 AM

[quote name='prasantrin' date='Jan 6 2007, 08:17 PM']
[quote name='eldereno' date='Jan 7 2007, 11:23 AM']2.  I feel ready to do some additions to the bread.  I am a more savory kind of gal and am thinking about rosemary, olives, that sort of thing.  How and when should those additions be made?  For example, I would love to add some course salt and rosemary to the surface...but am afraid, at such a high temperature, that there would be burning.

View Post

[/quote]

For the second rise I coated the bowl with sunflower seeds so when I dumped the dough into the LC they were on top no burning just yummy toasted seeds

#523 BeefCheeks

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 04:08 PM

Even after pro training, I'm still a bread moron (although the best results I've ever had came via this recipe). But, can anyone link me back to a discussion of making a whole wheat/grain version of this bread? Any suggestions on how to tweak the original recipe to make this successful with whole grains and not have it come out as heavy as an anvil? Thanks much!
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#524 prasantrin

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 05:12 PM

Even after pro training, I'm still a bread moron (although the best results I've ever had came via this recipe). But, can anyone link me back to a discussion of making a whole wheat/grain version of this bread? Any suggestions on how to tweak the original recipe to make this successful with whole grains and not have it come out as heavy as an anvil? Thanks much!

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Bittman suggests up to 30% whole grain, 50% whole wheat, or 20% rye to start with, and playing around to see what you like.

I just took my first loaf of no-knead bread out of the oven about 15 minutes ago. The wonderful smell makes it very difficult not to cut into it before it has cooled. I didn't make any changes in the recipe for my first time, but accidentally added too much yeast. Because of the very cold temp. of my apartment, it still hadn't risen enough after 22 hours, so I stuck it in my oven for 1 hour at 35C, then let it sit in the warm oven for a bit longer. For the second rise, it went into the oven at 35C for 20 minutes, then sat in the warm oven for 2 more hours. I baked it at 230C for 25 minutes, removed the lid, and baked for another 20 minutes. The colour is beautiful, and I can't wait to eat it!

I brought some whole wheat flour back from Canada, so I'll be trying some whole wheat in the dough next time.

#525 tristar

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 09:21 PM

Even after pro training, I'm still a bread moron (although the best results I've ever had came via this recipe). But, can anyone link me back to a discussion of making a whole wheat/grain version of this bread? Any suggestions on how to tweak the original recipe to make this successful with whole grains and not have it come out as heavy as an anvil? Thanks much!

View Post


Bittman suggests up to 30% whole grain, 50% whole wheat, or 20% rye to start with, and playing around to see what you like.

I just took my first loaf of no-knead bread out of the oven about 15 minutes ago. The wonderful smell makes it very difficult not to cut into it before it has cooled. I didn't make any changes in the recipe for my first time, but accidentally added too much yeast. Because of the very cold temp. of my apartment, it still hadn't risen enough after 22 hours, so I stuck it in my oven for 1 hour at 35C, then let it sit in the warm oven for a bit longer. For the second rise, it went into the oven at 35C for 20 minutes, then sat in the warm oven for 2 more hours. I baked it at 230C for 25 minutes, removed the lid, and baked for another 20 minutes. The colour is beautiful, and I can't wait to eat it!

I brought some whole wheat flour back from Canada, so I'll be trying some whole wheat in the dough next time.

View Post


I have also just eaten from my first loaf of this bread, wow what an eye opener! For years I have been searching for that elusive crispy crust, and here it is. Like Prasantrin, I used too much yeast, my original dough/slurry had peaked its fermentation after six hours! Knowing no better I left it on the worktop for a futher 12, before dividing it, proofing for the second time and baking. It was still fantastic.

I baked in much small containers than anybody here is using as I cannot as yet find large cast iron pots in Jakarta, I ended up using a pair of small ceramic casserole's the larger one being only 1.7 Quart's!

I also added 50 grams of mixed whole grains to the dough/slurry, which added a beautiful note the the flavour of the loaf.
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#526 debbiemoose

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 10:29 AM

I'm dying to try this! Has anyone used a metal pot rather than cast iron? I have a heavy, 8-quart KitchenAid five-ply stainless steel clad pot.

#527 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 11:43 AM

I'm dying to try this! Has anyone used a metal pot rather than cast iron? I have a heavy, 8-quart KitchenAid five-ply stainless steel clad pot.

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I did a batch in a heavy stainless stockpot, and it worked ok, but the 8-quart pot I used was a little too big, and the loaf spread out a lot.

I'd be careful with the ones that have aluminum layers in the base--wouldn't crank the oven up to 500 with one of those inside.

#528 djyee100

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 10:41 PM

I did a batch in a heavy stainless stockpot, and it worked ok, but the 8-quart pot I used was a little too big, and the loaf spread out a lot.

I'd be careful with the ones that have aluminum layers in the base--wouldn't crank the oven up to 500 with one of those inside.

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Wholemeal Crank,

Did you just put the dough into the heated stainless steel stockpot, without any insulation (such as flour or parchment paper)?

Was there any sticking to the pot at all?

How hot was your oven temperature?

What's the problem with an aluminum-layered pot over 500 degrees?

thanks,
DJY

#529 maureen b

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 08:37 AM

I used 5 qt aluminum dutch oven with no sticking at all. Don't worry about what pan to use. Just be sure it has a lid and is not too big. Corningware works fine, too.

#530 Miriam Kresh

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 01:43 PM

My oven is divided into two parts, the upper section not having a back vent. I bake this bread free-form on a preheated clay flower-pot saucer, and while it does spread out more than I'd ideally like, it rises fine and crusty and large-holed. I got tired of handling the hot Pyrex and its lid. But I think that a conventional oven with a back vent may not do the trick.

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#531 jerobi

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 03:07 PM

My oven is divided into two parts, the upper section not having a back vent. I bake this bread free-form on a preheated clay flower-pot saucer, and while it does spread out more than I'd ideally like, it rises fine and crusty and large-holed. I got tired of handling the hot Pyrex and its lid. But I think that a conventional oven with a back vent may not do the trick.

Miriam

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As long as you're getting enough steam buildup in your unvented section, it sounds like the same basic principle.
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#532 eldereno

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 06:32 PM

All of the suggestions given regarding additions were great. I'm anxious to try the rosemary and salt combo...and the addition of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds sound yummy.

Thanks everyone.

I will be checking this thread often for all the wonderful advise and suggestions. Will keep you all informed of my progress in the breadbaking world.

BTW, because of my success with this recipe and that I no longer "fear the dough," I actually made another type of bread. Yesterday I baked two loaves of brioche (Ina Gartner's recipe in her Barefoot in Paris cookbook), after making the dough the day before. Should have taken pictures...sorry. I froze the loaves to make french toast some weekend coming up. This recipe has made me less afraid of the process, more confident. I am so very happy to now be a baker of breads and am looking forward to trying other techniques BUT I know I will keep coming back to this no knead bread!
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#533 MelissaH

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 04:40 PM

I'm visiting my mom in Colorado now, and yesterday she started a batch. She uses about a quarter of the flour as whole wheat, and also typically adds a bit of onion powder (yes, the dried stuff :blink: ), some raisins (or, for me in this batch, dried cranberries because I despise raisins) which have been hydrated in hot water, and some coarsely chopped pecans. It's still in progress, so I can't give a report on the taste yet.

One thing to mention: this house runs COLD at this time of the year. But the rising time isn't out of whack: we're at about 8600 feet above sea level, so the low temp pretty much counteracts the altitude. We'll see if there's any flavor.

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#534 lovebenton0

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 11:47 AM

there's some beautiful bread on this thread. :biggrin:

i've been using this method exclusively for the past couple of months and love it. i make bread all the time, have for many years. but recently due to a severe case of carpal tunnel and being in a brace 24/7 i can't manage the kneading. this no-knead method has saved my hands and my daily bread. :biggrin:

this method is really a different spin on the old-style batter breads i learned as a young teen from someone's grandma... mumble mumble years ago. :wink: she always started it at night, let it sit over, vaguely shaped it, let it rise again in a pan and baked it the next day for dinner.

the use of the pre-heated dutch oven for these loaves is great. although a perfect size for me, my cast iron dutch oven is smallish, about 3.75 qts. so i've expanded on that to include two larger cast iron skillets inverted on each other when i need a larger loaf. another fun experiment worked out quite well... two very heavy metal bread pans inverted on each other to form the little ''ovens''. both of these variations are giving me fantastic results.

i'm addicted to using my sourdough barm or starter for most bread i want to eat, so i mostly use that instead of any yeast. one cup barm or starter has been my best for proportion. the first rise takes 18 to 24 hours and the second rise is about 4 hours. so starting it one morning means i can bake it the next afternoon.

i'm also playing with the basic recipe variously, as have others. i find that replacing about 1/2 to 3/4 cup with different flours, such as rye, whole wheat and i like to add about 1/8 to 1/4 cup cornmeal, is wonderful for variety. i like to mix heavier and dry additions, dry herbs, nuts and dried fruit, into the original dough. if i want to add cheese i find that's best done when i fold the dough before second rise.

i should have been taking more pics, but here's a couple.

in small dutch oven
Posted Image

Posted Image

and a mixed grain in inverted bread pans
Posted Image
Judith Love

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#535 djyee100

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 03:07 PM

i'm addicted to using my sourdough barm or starter for most bread i want to eat, so i mostly use that instead of any yeast. one cup barm or starter has been my best for proportion.


lovebenton,

Thanks for the good tips. This morning I was thinking that I would like to try making this bread with my sourdough starter, but I wasn't sure how much starter to use. Then I logged onto this thread, and there was your post with the information. :smile:

#536 lovebenton0

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:33 PM

looking back at my post.... ooops on the timeline. i meant to say 14 to 20 hrs total time from start to mouth, not first rise, for using the sourdough starter or barm. loaf from yesterday was a quicker one... a nine hour first rise, four hour second rise including resting/shaping, then baked for 30 minutes enclosed in my dutch oven at 450. with my oven, using my smaller cast iron dutch oven and the bread pans inverted, i get the best results if i turn off the oven five minutes after i remove the cover. i let the bread continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer and achieve 205 degrees interior temp. nice chewy crumb, dark amber to red brown crisp crust and no burn on the bottom.




i'm addicted to using my sourdough barm or starter for most bread i want to eat, so i mostly use that instead of any yeast. one cup barm or starter has been my best for proportion.


lovebenton,

Thanks for the good tips. This morning I was thinking that I would like to try making this bread with my sourdough starter, but I wasn't sure how much starter to use. Then I logged onto this thread, and there was your post with the information. :smile:

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Judith Love

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One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

#537 Joe Blowe

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 09:12 PM

Loaf Number 9, an interesting experiment:

========
234 grams Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose flour
234 grams generic all-purpose flour
380 grams water
12 grams kosher salt
3/8 teaspoon instant yeast

Mix all ingredients, and immediately put into refrigerator for 36 HOURS!
========

So I then removed the unchanged/unrisen blob of dough (thinking it was a failed experiment at this point) and let it sit out on the counter (at 60 degrees F) for another 7.75 hours, shaped it and let it rest for another 2 hours, and...

Posted Image
(highest rising loaf yet...)
Posted Image
('scuse the plywood counter -- still remodeling.)
Posted Image

Really one of the best tasting loaves to date, great crust (25 minutes with lid on, 17 minutes with lid off, 425F convection oven), with a much more "pronounced" flavor. Will definitely be trying this one again...
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.

#538 djyee100

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 01:23 AM

I've been experimenting with embellished breads. I've made a Blue Cheese & Walnut Bread, and a Gruyere Cheese & Thyme Bread.

For the Blue Cheese & Walnut Bread, these were the ingredients of my basic dough:

1 1/2 cups King Arthur bread flour
1 1/2 cups stoneground whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water

I mixed up the dough and let it rise. After the first rise, I deflated the dough and folded in:

3 oz blue cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

After letting the dough rise for a second time, I baked the bread in a preheated pot in a 450 degree oven, 30 mins with lid on, 27 mins with lid off.

For the Gruyere Cheese & Thyme Bread, I mixed up my basic white bread dough:

430g King Arthur bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 5/8 cups water (or thereabouts; I kept adding water until the texture was right)

After the first rise I deflated the dough and folded in:

3 oz gruyere cheese, coarsely shredded
1 TB freshly chopped thyme, mixed with 1 TB olive oil and a pinch of salt

I set the dough to rise for a second time, then baked it in a preheated pot in a 450 degree oven, 30 mins with lid on, 25 mins with lid off.

Both these breads were amazing, as good as anything I've baked with conventional methods.

Someone upthread asked about folding in extra ingredients, like roasted garlic, etc. After deflating the dough, I sprinkled a portion of the cheese and nuts over the surface of the dough. Then with a wet rubber spatula I pulled up dough from the side of the bowl and folded it over towards the middle. I kept doing this around the bowl, like a pinwheel. When one batch of cheese and nuts was incorporated, I sprinkled on some more. I continued to fold around the bowl until the extra ingredients were well-incorporated.

Edited by djyee100, 14 January 2007 - 01:31 AM.


#539 Sebastian

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 02:10 PM

I decided a few weeks ago i was going to become a bread maker, because i LOVE good bread (Dr. Atkins and I would not have seen eye to eye..), but can't find anything local. So i go out and buy me the biggest kitchen aid mixer i can find in preparation for it. THEN i pay attention to this thread, and discover i really didn't need to go do that 8-) My daughter and I ran 4 experiments, varying the recipe, just to see what would happen - here's a few of what we ended up with - I'm pretty satisfied with the look of them, but we'll need to work out some more flavorful recipes. This is gonna be fun 8-)
Posted Image

#540 tillie baker

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 03:23 PM

is the main trick to the bread using the heavy pans for baking it...has anyone tried just baking in a traditional bread pan? or on a stone...how about adding rye to the recipe. I'm looking for a quick rye loaf I can make at my bakery for sandwiches. thanks....





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