• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

cdh

Minimalist No-Knead Bread Technique (Part 1)

595 posts in this topic

Fascinating article on letting time and yeast do the breadmaking work for you in order to achieve superior results. Anybody have experience with using this technique? Any thoughts on refinements that might improve on the method outlined?

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


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

although not as extreme, jeffrey hamelman and dan lepard are both proponents of wetter doughs, less kneading (by hand or machine) and longer fermentation times.

i made some ciabatta that ended up being almost "no-knead". baked on a stone with hot water thrown on the bottom of oven for crust development. i like the idea of baking in a preheated pot. i think i'll give it a try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fascinating article on letting time and yeast do the breadmaking work for you in order to achieve superior results.  Anybody have experience with using this technique?  Any thoughts on refinements that might improve on the method outlined?

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

Sounds a lot like the techniques described in Suzanne Dunaway's book, No Need To Knead. Amazon link here. I've tried several of her breads, which require little to no kneading, with excellent results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm...I'd like to try out this recipe. The only thing I'm wondering is how well-seasoned a cast iron pot would have to be for this recipe. Mine is reasonably seasoned but I still wouldn't consider the surface appropriate for over-easy eggs.

I'd hate to get to the end and have a stuck loaf. Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmmm...I'd like to try out this recipe. The only thing I'm wondering is how well-seasoned a cast iron pot would have to be for this recipe. Mine is reasonably seasoned but I still wouldn't consider the surface appropriate for over-easy eggs.

I'd hate to get to the end and have a stuck loaf. Any thoughts?

If you're going with the pot technique and are worried about your cast iron pot, I'd maybe put the dough on parchment paper first and then put it in the pot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sullivan St. Bakery is one of the top bakeries I've come across and I've always been tantilized by Lehays doughs, which are very light and airy. I talked with him once and he mentioned using the Le cruset pot but I found it difficult to negotiate slipping a boule in the VERY HOT pot. But now, looking at the bread video demonstration at the NYTimes.com site (for members), it's clear he just plops the dough in and lets it deflate. The heat and steam reinflates it.

I plan on trying the technique this week and will post my results. I may also try it with sourdough...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Devlin,

Gorgeous breads. I'm curious, what hydration do you use, when you say you don't knead?

Also I was curious that Lehay lets the bread develop 12 hours at room temperature - most sourdough recipes I've used call for a retard in the refrig because the dough would proof too long at 70 F. Do you find that to be the case?

Thanks, Sam (an avid home baker)

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, folks familiar with the workings of this technique, how would one apply this method to a dough that contains oil? Just toss it in there with the extra water and let it go... or would recalculations be required?

I have in mind something like the wonderful walnut bread from Beard on Bread. How would one hack this recipe to use the new method?

5 cups all purpose flour (preferably unbleached)

1 Tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 packages active dry yeast

2 cups warm milk

½ cup walnut oil or 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted but cool

½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

¾ cups onion, finely chopped


Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So, folks familiar with the workings of this technique, how would one apply this method to a dough that contains oil?  Just toss it in there with the extra water and let it go... or would recalculations be required?

I have in mind something like the wonderful walnut bread from Beard on Bread.  How would one hack this recipe to use the new method?

5 cups all purpose flour (preferably unbleached)

1 Tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 packages active dry yeast

2 cups warm milk

½ cup walnut oil or 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted but cool

½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

¾ cups onion, finely chopped

cut the yeast to 1/4 teaspoon or even less (1/8 teaspoon due to the sugar here).

Mix the oil with the other ingredients.

Increase the hydration by using some water in addition to the milk so you have a very slack dough.


Edited by cognitivefun (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fascinating article on letting time and yeast do the breadmaking work for you in order to achieve superior results.  Anybody have experience with using this technique?  Any thoughts on refinements that might improve on the method outlined?

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

Thanks so much for sending this link. Its an interesting technique and I plan to try it this week, maybe start it tonight.... I've been experimenting with less and less kneading, but several folds as J. Hamelman teaches in his book. I will be looking for others to post their results of this technique and I will do the same :biggrin:


Edited by cajungirl (log)

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bake my bread in a covered terra cotta pot (Schlemmertopf) that's essentially a cheaper version of the "La Cloche" product mentioned in the article. The results are far, far better than with steaming the whole oven.

The bread will release from just about any surface after it's done baking. You shouldn't need to worry about the seasoning in your pan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you're going with the pot technique and are worried about your cast iron pot, I'd maybe put the dough on parchment paper first and then put it in the pot.

Thanks for the tip, Devlin! And I have to echo the sentiment- your breads look AMAZING and I hope my mine will bear some resemblance to those loaves. Just looking at them in a chilly, flourescent-lighted office made me feel warm.

rxrfrx, you advice has given me more confidence in trying the bread without the parchment layer. I might try it sans parchment first. Worst case scenario is I have to scrub the bottom layer of crust out of the pot.. and then try it with a parchment round :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool! I am going to give this a shot. I am very arthritic, most notably in my hands, and have found over the last several years that keeping my patience while kneading has become more and more difficult for me. Especially in cooler or changing weather when I most crave a loaf of bread in the oven.

Thanks. I'm excited!

:biggrin:

Anne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been working from Suzanne Dunaway's No Need To Knead for a couple months now and I've been turning out some of the beast loaves I've ever made in my life using this method. It's so little work that I've begun making our basic bread for home no matter how many hours a week I'm working. I can come home at the end of the day and still do a couple loaves. It's easy. I figure with my brother's arthritis, I could still teach him to do this. Sometimes he has trouble holding a spoon but I do pretty much everything with my hands any more and don't use a spoon so much. We've pretty much stopped buying bread now.


Edited by duckduck (log)

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had fantastic results using an unglazed romertopf.


Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm excited about this because of the long rising time. I work full-time, and have been looking for a way to bake my own bread without having to schedule my life around it. This looks like it may be an answer. I'm going to let it go 20 hours instead of 18, though, and I hope that works. Otherwise, I'll have to start it at midnight, to be able to work with it again at 6 the next evening when I get home. But I am very, very excited about this recipe and method.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, cool! Given the choice between using my cloche and my Le Creuset, I wonder which would be better. In the video he emphasizes that the pan should be "blazing hot" which sounds more like the Le Creuset, unless you heat the cloche in the oven?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have had fantastic results using an unglazed romertopf.

Hmmmm, I have one. Do you heat it up first as in the NY Times article or use it cold?


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have No Need to Knead and I like the method.

I use a dough bowl or dough trough because it is just easier for me.

I also took a 2-day class on "Slack-Dough Breads" a few years back. I think my brain is deteriorating because I simply cannot recall the name of the baker. Somewhere I have the "manual" which was a computer printout.

We did one batch that was started the first day, refrigerated overnight in a plastic bag and baked the next day. It did develop a lot of flavor.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did the No Need to Knead pizza dough the other night. Really easy. Buzz it up in the food processor, put it in a freezer bag and toss it in the fridge overnight. It was pretty decent for my first try at pizza. I think next time I might try doing it ahead so it ferments longer than just overnight. When I do Susan's pan rustica, I've started the starter before I went off to work and finished it up when I got home. It made a nice all round basic bread. I've also started the starter the night before and forgot about it until late the next day. The starter went for 18 to 20 hours and it was a nice sour bread for turkey sandwiches. Works great with a grilled turkey burger.


Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been using the method pretty much except for mixing in a food processor (like Bittman mentions) but I am working on a sourdough batch that I mixed without the processor.

In the video the dough isn't as hydrated as my dough is. I am probably at 80% or 82%, almost a batter.

For my new sourdough batch, I mixed with cold water, retarded immediately in the refrigerator, and took out this morning and folded twice in two hours. The dough is much stickier than in the video, but it is workable due to it being cold.

Later I will proof and try the baking in a dutch oven method. Looking forward to it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using a wet dough and minimal kneading process for pizza dough for awhile and have settled on it as the best and easiest way to get the results I seek. Makes sense that it might work well for bread also.

Granted - I reduce the amount of yeast drastically and I do knead for about five minutes or so but after that it sits in the fridge in a covered bowl and I just punch it down every once in awhile when I happen to pass through the kitchen and think to do it. Very unscientific but it works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never worked with yeast before, so forgive what may be a dumb question.

The recipe calls for using a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot and the pictures show the bread rising about half way up the sides. I've got a 4.5-quart LC oval pot I'd like to try this with. In your experience, will this work or do I need to bite the bullet and find a bigger pot?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Similar Content

    • By nonkeyman
      How to Make Rye Sourdough Bread
      I don't know what it is about bread, but it is my favorite thing to make and eat. A freshly baked loaf of bread solves a world of problems. I was lucky enough to get to be one of the main bakers when I worked at the Herbfarm. We baked Epi, Baguettes, Rolls, Pretzels and so much more.
       

      Rye Sourdough Wood Oven Baked Bread
       
      My fondest memory when I worked there was our field trip to the Bread Lab(wait something this cool came out of WSU, of course!) here in Washington. They grow thousands of varieties of wheat and have some pretty cool equipment to test gluten levels, protein, genetics and so on. I nerded out so hard.
       
      What came out of that trip was this bread. Now I can't recall the exact flour we got from them, but using a basic bread and rye will do the trick. We used to get a special flour for our 100 mile menu. This was where we were limited to only serving food from 100 miles away. So finding a wheat farm that made actual hulled wheat in 100 miles was a miracle. The year before...the thing we made, was closer to hard tack.
       
      Now if you don't have a starter, I recommend starting one! It is a great investment!
       
      Rye Sourdough
      1000 g flour (60% Bread Flour, 40% Rye)
      25 g salt
       
      75 g of honey/molasses
      200 g of Rye starter 
      650 g of water, cold
      Equipment
      Baker Scale (or other gram scale)
      Bench Cutter
      Bread Razor (you could also use one of those straight razors)
       
      Start by taking the cold water, yeast and Honey and mix together and let sit for 10-15 minutes
       
      I know, some of you just freaked out, cold water? Won't that kill the yeast.
       
      Nope, the yeast just needs to re hydrate. I prefer using cold water to slow the yeast down. That way the lactobacillus in the starter has  a good amount of time to start making lactic acid, and really get to flavor town!
       
      While that is sitting, I mix the flour and the salt together(How many times I have forgotten to salt the bread).
       
      Now mix the two products with a kneading hook for 3-5 minutes, only until thoroughly mixed but not yet at the window pane stage of kneading.
       
       
      Instead, place into a bowl and set a timer for one hour. Then when that hour is up, push the dough down and fold all the corners in
       
      Repeat this step 2-3 more times, pending on the outside temperature.
       
      If you happen to have those cool bowls to shape round loafs! Awesome, use them. I would break the boules into 3 balls of about 333 grams
       
      If not then just put the dough in the fridge and do the steps below the next day.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Once you have bouled the bread, can put it into the fridge and let it sit over night
       
      Again, this lets the bacteria, really get to work(misconception is the yeast adds the sour flavor, nope, think yogurt!)
       
      Now on the next day, heat up whatever form of oven you plan to use. We used a brick oven but if you just have a normal oven, that is fine. Crank it to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
       
      If you have not bouled your bread yet, go back and watch the video and break the dough down into three balls of abut 333 grams. Then place the balls on a lightly greased sheet pan. Let sit for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

      If you have used the fancy bowls then turn the the bread out on a lightly greased sheet pan, without the bowl and let temper for 15-30 minutes.
       
       
      If your oven is steam injected, build up a good blast of steam.
       
      If not, throw in a few ice cubes and close the door or put a bath of hot water inside.
       
      The steam is what creates the sexy crust!
       
      Let it build up for a few minutes!
       
      Right before you put the bread into the oven use a bread razor to slice the top of the bread.
       
      Place the dough balls into the oven and douse with another blast of steam or ice and close the oven.
       
      Let them bake for 13 minutes at 450 degrees. Then turn the loaves and bake for another 10 minutes.
       
      Remove when the crust is as dark as you want and the internal temperature exceeds 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
       
      Now pull out and make sure to let cool off of the sheet pan with room to breath underneath. You don't want your crust steaming!
       
      Now here is the hardest part, wait at least 20 minutes before getting into the bread. Also, cutting into bread to early really seems to come out poorly. I would rip the bread until 1-2 hours has passed.
       
      Now serve it with your favorite butter, goat butter or whipped duck fat!
       
    • By Catherine T
      Hi, I have just discovered and registered on this site. My main cooking and baking concern is that I have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and haven't been able to eat gluten. BUT I have discovered an exception. When I have visited Continental Europe such as Spain and Russia, I have been able to eat their bread and have had no negative repercussions. Then when I try eating bread in Great Britain and North America I have become sick. My research on the Web has not provided any explanations although I believe the EU has banned GMO grains. I was recently gifted panetonne from a Toronto restaurant called Sud Forno that uses Italian flour and I was able to safely eat it. Another bakery called Forno Cultura advertises that it uses European flour. So I am going to approach them to see if I can buy their flour in bulk. I will let you know how it goes.
    • By borgr
      I want to leave my sourdough (itself, not baked loaves of sourdough bread) for a while (going abroad) but I do not want it to die, can I leave it in the freezer? do you have other ideas?
    • By hazardnc
      Having no local Arabic bakery, I have long hoped to learn to make good khoubz at home. Every time I try, however, my bread is too stiff and tough. I have been successfully making other breads using The Bread Baker's Apprentice, and now wonder if my bread woule benefit from an overnight ferment in the refrigerator.
      FoodMan (and anyone) can you help me?
    • By FrogPrincesse
      San Diego has a small number of artisanal bread bakeries. Bread & Cie has been my favorite for years, and their breads are now available in many supermarkets, which is very convenient. But it's nice to have some variety. So I was excited to spot a new bakery this weekend in Linda Vista. It's called Pacific Time and it is also a sandwich place with a small market with things like small-batch preserves, local beers, a cheese counter, charcuterie platters, and wine. It's located within a recently renovated strip mall that also hosts Brew Mart & Ballast Point.
       
      The bread I bought was a French-type rustic boule, dark, a bit reminiscent of Poilane but less dense. The crust could have been a little more crispy (it felt like the bread had sat around a little bit and softened in the paper bag), but the flavor was wonderful.
       

       

       
      Here is the bread:
       
       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.