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Minimalist No-Knead Bread Technique (Part 1)

595 posts in this topic

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'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.

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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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.

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

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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.

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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


Miriam Kresh

blog:[blog=www.israelikitchen.com][/blog]

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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

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


Nifty News & Decent Deals - where I'm always listing more kitchen stuff than average people want to see...

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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!


Donna

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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.

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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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

gallery_12550_675_32232.jpg

gallery_12550_675_36719.jpg

and a mixed grain in inverted bread pans

gallery_12550_675_26326.jpg


Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

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

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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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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:


Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

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

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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...

gallery_7232_4006_533968.jpg

(highest rising loaf yet...)

gallery_7232_4006_1160795.jpg

('scuse the plywood counter -- still remodeling.)

gallery_7232_4006_999654.jpg

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.

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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 (log)

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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-)

gallery_10874_4107_33297.jpg

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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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I did mine in a 6qt stainless steel pot with a copper bottom and a stainless lid..

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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....

Welcome to the eGullet Forums tillie baker. Check out this post on the last page that shows the results of baking it in a bread pan (with another inverted on top, I believe).

Several of us have tried using rye and other flours in our bread - to mixed results (you'll have to go through the topic to find them...). I used 1 cup of rye to 2 cups of white bread flour - enjoyed the bread, but it was a little heavy. The caraway seeds I added were great though.

Good luck.

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I've noticed that some of the loaves in the pictures have the tops slashed. I haven't been doing this, although I always do with my "traditional" bread recipes. With this particular wet dough, when do you slash? It seems that the dough is just too wet to slash it when it goes in the pot. And does it make a difference? I've had pretty good results without slashing, but they would probably be better with slashing.

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I'm looking for a quick rye loaf I can make at my bakery for sandwiches.

In his followup article to the original No-Knead Bread article, Mark Bittman said he liked to keep rye flour to 20% of the total flour.

Here's the link. It may work, it may not, it may cost you to access the archives. http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricte...DAB0994DE404482

good luck!

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slschnur,

Link to the original webcast video is here:

http://nytimes.feedroom.com/?fr_story=35ea...43ab87b1474fb89

There is no slashing involved or required...


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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The follow-up article in the NYT states the recipe needs 1g of dried yeast. Is this right or a mistake? I tried the recipe with 1g and although the bread tastes nice and the texture is amazing, it didn't really rise beyond 3 inches high.

Another thing that confuses me in the video is the 2hr rising in the towel. The article states the dough will double in size but the video does not reflect this at all. Can anyone clarify?

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The follow-up article in the NYT states the recipe needs 1g of dried yeast. Is this right or a mistake? I tried the recipe with 1g and although the bread tastes nice and the texture is amazing, it didn't really rise beyond 3 inches high.

Another thing that confuses me in the video is the 2hr rising in the towel. The article states the dough will double in size but the video does not reflect this at all. Can anyone clarify?

The amount of 1 g of dried yeast is correct. How fresh is your yeast? (Just check the expiration date.)

To make a higher loaf, you can simply use a smaller pot so the dough spreads less over the bottom of the pot as it's baking. People have successfully baked this bread in 3-qt pots.

Ovenspring is another question. People have reported different levels of ovenspring when baking this bread. I don't know what factors contribute to more or less ovenspring. (Anybody else know?) My advice is to make sure that the dough is not too wet. The dough should form a moist, sticky ball, and not be like a batter.

The dough should double in size regardless of what the video looks like. I suggest using the poke test to determine that the dough is ready. When you poke the dough with your finger, the indentation remains for a few seconds without filling up.

BTW, when baking this bread some people have discovered that the 500 degree temp mentioned in the video is too hot. The article recommends 450 degrees.

good luck! :smile:


Edited by djyee100 (log)

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does anyone have the original recipe...I've read through a lot of the posts but not all 19 pages and havne't seen the original recipe. thanks :huh:

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he was on martha today and they flashed back to his first appearance 10 years ago.

he certainly seems like a good guy and surely deserves a lot of this success.

he's bringing fresh bread to the masses for the first time since atkins!

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