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Minimalist No-Knead Bread Technique (Part 2)


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Unfortunately, the melted knob is your fault as it should never have gone in an oven that hot.

However, the enamel should perform at a much higher temperature. It's defective, and you are a due a free replacement, IMO.

gallery_7232_4006_576770.jpg

That's my ChefMate pot, and it's been through 50-odd NNTK cycles...

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.

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Just made this in a 2 quart chinese-style sandy pot, and it was the best yet--still a trace gummy inside, but super crust, and the size of the pot was just right for the quantity of dough. I plugged the tiny hole in the lid of the sandy pot with a bit of foil, and only had a little problem with a bit of sticking that tore the crust--very odd.

<a href=" Sandy pot for Sullivan St bread title="Sandy pot for Sullivan St bread by debunix, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2347/2101980519_5dc417ccab.jpg" width="500" height="299" alt="Sandy pot for Sullivan St bread" /></a>

<a href=" Baked title="Baked by debunix, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2366/2101862719_0e4a1f6b9b.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Baked" /></a>

<a href=" Out of hte pan title="Out of hte pan by debunix, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2144/2101862695_b918e31940.jpg" width="500" height="308" alt="Out of hte pan" /></a>

a few more details here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/debunix/sets/...5092392/detail/

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've made about 8 loaves using the Cook's Illustrated modifications--as mentioned up thread, they reduce the water, use lager and vinegar, reduce the first rise, and do the second rise on oiled parchment paper which is then lifted into the dutch oven for a no mess transfer.

The loaf is easier to handle since there is less liquid. 15 hand kneads are advised before the second rise, and this is easy on a floured surface since the dough is less wet and messy.

I've been using wheat beer and cider vinegar. The flavour is definitely improved over the base recipe.

I also used the toasted walnut and dried cranberry varient. Great toasted for breakfast.

I chopped some Rosemary in one loaf and that boosted the flavour as well.

There is a somewhat denser crumb using the Cook's Illustrated varient, but not gummy or heavy--still springy and smaller air holes.

All in all, a very satisfactory varient on the base recipe. I plan on using different flavoured vinegars and different ales in the future just to have fun.

But it's nice to get the thing kneaded and rising after 8 hours instead of having to wait 18 or longer--although you still can, of course.

Nice to get back into this bread baking technique a year or more after the initial excitement was over.

Cheers,

L.

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With the exception of one bread, I use exclusively sourdough starter for my breads and no machine mixing or kneading. And the one I do use commercial yeast with and a mixer for the initial mix doesn't get kneaded either because it's just too wet. My doughs are two-day (generally) fermentations with a build-up of flours and ingredients.

I don't know that I'd call it "minimalist," though. It's a pretty complex, drawn-out process.

For illustrative purposes, if you'd like to see my own results, you can check out my web site (pics head several of the pages there):

The Village Bakery

It makes me wish I had a brick oven. Might have to hask my dad if he can build one.

fanny loves foodbeam

pâtisserie & sweetness

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I made my own sourdough starter recently with the no-knead bread vaguely in mind. Once the starter was looking reasonably active I put it in the fridge till I was ready to use it. Took it out a couple of days back and fed it. Mixed up a no-knead loaf earlier today. It's looking bubbly and promising.

Fortunately I kept the stainless steel knob off the pyrex lid from my pasta pot (lid suddenly exploded one day dumping a mass of glass chips into a big pot of soup). The knob fits my Le Creuset just fine so that's the first hurdle out of the way.

Website: http://cookingdownunder.com

Blog: http://cookingdownunder.com/blog

Twitter: @patinoz

The floggings will continue until morale improves

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Made the CI version of the bread for the first time last weekend. Turned out well, crisp crust, although there was a little charring on the bottom.

Just used a covered 5-qt Calphalon stockpot, and the loaf seemed to rise well and have a good shape.

While the crust was flavorful, the crumb still is not as flavorful as local artisan loaves.

I purchased some French starter from Baker's Catalogue, and hope to have time to make a loaf using that in the next few weeks, to see what kind of flavor that has.

"Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food." -- Hippocrates
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Also tried the CI recipe but substituted 1/2 c. rye flour and 1/2 c whole wheat. Great result but had to nearly double the 2nd rise time. Baked my loaf in a cast iron dutch oven. I'm curious though about the Jeffrey Steingarten version refereed to above. Could someone explain the difference in his recipe?

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I think the mix was a bit on the sloppy side and I had to work in some flour prior to the second rising. But loaf cooked well and the flavour was excellent. Nice crisp crust.

I wasn't so generous with the liquid in today's loaf which I will try baking in a terracotta bread baker. Will cover it with foil - or maybe put the terracotta baker in a Romertopf and put the lid on.

Website: http://cookingdownunder.com

Blog: http://cookingdownunder.com/blog

Twitter: @patinoz

The floggings will continue until morale improves

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Hello all. I am new to this forum. I've been baking bread for many years, but just recently started working with wet dough and no knead techniques. I have tried this recipe twice and really like it.

My dutch oven is a 12" Lodge deep camp DO with the 3 legs and an 8 quart capacity. It is far too big and heavy to put on an oven shelf, so I have it sitting on 3 fire bricks on the bottom of the oven.

The first time I tried this it came out great, but I thought the loaf was a little small relative to the size of the dutch oven. I noticed that people in this thread were recommending using a 3-4 quart size pot for this recipe. Rather than look for another pot, I thought I would just try increasing the size of the recipe by 50%. I also replaced 5% of the bread flour with whole wheat flour and 5% with semolina flour, and also folded in some dried cranberries when doing the stretch and fold.

This time the crust was a little dark, esp. on the bottom. I baked it for 30 min with the lid on and about 20 min with the lid off, and I pulled the bread when the internal temp was 205. I initially heated the oven to 475, then went to 450 after putting the bread in the oven. The 50% larger loaf was just right.

Any suggestions on the ideal way to cut back on the overdone bottom crust with the larger size boule? My thought would be to preheat just to 450 next time and see if that makes a difference.

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Any suggestions on the ideal way to cut back on the overdone bottom crust with the larger size boule?  My thought would be to preheat just to 450 next time and see if that makes a difference.

I put a sheet of parchment paper in the bottom, before the bread. Seems to help.

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I tried raising the dutch oven a little higher off the bottom with my tiles on top of the single layer of fire bricks, with the dutch oven sitting on the tiles. With 30 pounds of cast iron, 3 fire bricks, plus some tiles, there is so much mass in the oven that the temp comes down very little when opening the oven to put the bread in, so preheating to 460 works fine with this set up.

Thanks for the suggestion on raising it higher. My crust was perfect this time, and for those who wondered about increasing the size of the loaf, I think it still works fine to increase by 50% and bake in an 8 quart dutch oven.

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for those who wondered about increasing the size of the loaf, I think it still works fine to increase by 50% and bake in an 8 quart dutch oven.

Good to know, Rich (and btw, great nom de Gullet!). I use a small Romertopf for my bread - now I get to try it in the big one! :smile:

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  • 1 month later...

I mixed up a batter of Bittman/Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery No Knead dough yesterday. But, just read today the little envelope packets of yeast don't work. They are different than instant.

I had no idea. I bake bread about once every 2 years. In the next 5 hours or so I need to turn the dough out, give it it's second rise and bake it. Should I even bother?

As i said, this is the recipe I've worked from:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html

thanks so much!

Grace

Grace Piper, host of Fearless Cooking

www.fearlesscooking.tv

My eGullet Blog: What I ate for one week Nov. 2010

Subscribe to my 5 minute video podcast through iTunes, just search for Fearless Cooking

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Where did you read that active dry yeast would not work in this recipe? Normally the yeasts (fresh vs. active dry vs. instant) are interchangeable in a recipe as long as you make the appropriate adjustments in the amount of yeast you use.

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Can't find the link where I found read about the different yeast types. I guess I fell down the internet rabbit hole with that list of links.

If I find it I'll post it here.

I guess I'll go ahead and work with the dough and make my first loaf. Yay!

Thanks

Grace

Grace Piper, host of Fearless Cooking

www.fearlesscooking.tv

My eGullet Blog: What I ate for one week Nov. 2010

Subscribe to my 5 minute video podcast through iTunes, just search for Fearless Cooking

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was reading a History of Food book a yesterday and the French author had a section on breadmaking in Egypt. They poured a fairly wet dough into a heated inverted pyramidal container and stacked several of these. What I found interesting is that he says that the Greeks gave the name pyramid to the burial structures because of the similarities to the baking containers. I am having a hard time getting a visual idea of what these baking containers looked like. Buit it's interesting that the no-knead bread recipe has its precursors in ancient Egypt.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...
Mark Bittman played around with the no-knead bread recipe and has come up with faster no-knead bread and whole grain no-knead bread.  You might have to register to read the article, and the recipes are linked in the side-bar.

The whole grain bread, by the way, is 100% non-white flour!

I noticed Bittman's article yesterday. My response to the "fast" approach to breads is that while the idea is compelling, the end product never matches my expectations, or the expectations inspired by the proponents of the method. As someone noted above, while the bread might be okay, it's never as good as an authentic artisan loaf you'll pick up at an artisan bread shop.

I know, not everybody has access to an artisan bread shop, and a lot of people want a fast bread they can make at home. I understand that. And I suspect the appeal of the "minimalist" bread is the better than average crust from using the iron pot.

Sorry for sounding grouchy or touchy on the subject, but having worked with fast breads and moving on to the slower methods, unless you add other ingredients (flavorings, butter, milk, etc), the base dough of a quick bread is for my taste exceptionally bland, unless you crack it open right away and polish it off fairly quickly, preferably with butter or some other topping.

Anyway, that's a longish intro to my gripe with Bittman's "even faster" minimalist bread, which is that to make it faster he has decided, "Just add more yeast!" Yes, well you can add more yeast to make bread even faster, but again you've just compromised the "minimalist" bread even more. Adding yeast will get your bread to rise faster, but it will invariably dumb down the result, giving you not an even blander bread, but more than likely a bread tasting more like yeast, possibly a sort of unpleasantly acidic (for lack of a better word) after taste.

So, I dunno. For me? This isn't progress, it's a step backward for home cooks looking to produce good bread on their own.

Okay, sorry to intrude here..... I'll back away from the thread now.

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