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Minimalist No-Knead Bread Technique (Part 1)

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This bread is so fun. My last 2 loaves have been totally differant. One I put roasted garlic cloves and fresh rosemary with a mix of bread flour, wwflour and semolina. The second loaf I made a crazy mix of bread flour, wheat, rye and a 9-grain cereal plus walnuts and dried cranberries. It was very dense and made great toast.

We had a deep freeze here a couple of weeks ago and I had some broken water pipe issues. I went and stayed with my Aunt and Uncle till the drama was over. I took my LC and baked them several loaves while I was there. Now they are hooked and ordering the clay Cloche and the instant yeast from Breadtopia. So add 2 more people to the no Knead craze

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This is my most recent recipe - i really like this one:

1 c. unbleached ap white flour

1 c. unbleached white bread flour

1 c. ww flour

1 tsp yeast

2 tsp salt

1/8 cup brown sugar, unpacked

1 cup warm milk (i use 1%)

2 - 6 tsp honey ( i don't really measure it - 'some' seemed too vague)

3/4 cup water

1.5 tsp 'italian blend' of mixed italian herbs

450 in covered pot for 30 min, another 15 minutes with cover off.. mmmm

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We had a deep freeze here a couple of weeks ago and I had some broken water pipe issues. I went and stayed with my Aunt and Uncle till the drama was over. I took my LC and baked them several loaves while I was there. Now they are hooked and ordering the clay Cloche and the instant yeast from Breadtopia. So add 2 more people to the no Knead craze

I love that! When I was home for a week with the fam for christmas, I brought my pan home and baked a loaf every other day... by the time I left, we had given loaves to neighbors and close friends, eaten a bunch, and now I'm fielding phone calls from my dad 2-3 times a week helping him troubleshoot the recipe.

It's a family affair! :biggrin:

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I found hard rolls here:

http://not-too-shabby.net/eats/?p=90

This person just tented a muffin pan with aluminum foil. They look great.

Do you have any idea whether this is a noral size muffin pan or the jumbo ones?

Also, any ideas what other forms could be used. --I was wondering how you would go about making those square ciabatta rolls?

It would be way more practical for me to make roll sizes.

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This is my most recent recipe - i really like this one:

1 c. unbleached ap white flour

1 c. unbleached white bread flour

1 c. ww flour

1 tsp yeast

2 tsp salt

1/8 cup brown sugar, unpacked

1 cup warm milk (i use 1%)

2 - 6 tsp honey ( i don't really measure it - 'some' seemed too vague)

3/4 cup water

1.5 tsp 'italian blend' of mixed italian herbs

450 in covered pot for 30 min, another 15 minutes with cover off.. mmmm

Does the milk make a softer crust? I've been throwing in a tsp or 2 of sugar or honey too. Supposed to make the yeast happy right

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No responses to an earlier post, so I'll re-ask a few Qs:

What is your experience with Kamut flour...various dough enhancers (e.g., vital gluten flour, xanthan gum, lecithin, ascorbic acid/vit C)? How have you achieved good holes, crumb, crust, and moisture content with substantial proportions of flours such as rye, whole wheat, spelt, Kamut?...Since these flours don't behave like bread flour, suggested modifications re proportions of water or other ingredients; baking technique, temperature and times? Am I chasing the impossible?

Oh, and maybe a little off topic, has anyone tried baking more traditional dough, say mixed in a bread machine or kneaded with a Kitchen Aid mixer, in the dutch oven—or is this oven-within-an-oven technique only appropriate for the no-knead technique with its high water content?

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I'd love to try this no-touch bread... I'm allergic to raw yeast so I can't make my own bread because I can't knead it without destroying my hands! But I have to buy a pot to cook it in - I don't have anything suitable. But I do have an Amazon gift voucher waiting to be spent... Is a Lodge 5qt dutch oven big enough/suitable?

I use the Lodge 5 quart most often.

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Is a Lodge 5qt dutch oven big enough/suitable?

The original NY Times article recommended a 6- to 8-quart pot (how long ago that seems). Hundreds of people have experimented with this recipe, including the devotees of this thread, and they've discovered that a smaller pot is not only possible, it may be better. The smaller the pot, the taller the loaf.

This is what Mark Bittman said in his followup article in the NY Times:

"THE POT -- The size matters, but not much. I have settled on a smaller pot than Mr. Lahey has, about three or four quarts. This produces a higher loaf, which many people prefer -- again, me included. I'm using cast iron. Readers have reported success with just about every available material. Note that the lid handles on Le Creuset pots can only withstand temperatures up to 400 degrees. So avoid using them, or remove the handle first. " http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricte...DAB0994DE404482

I like to use a 3-quart earthenware pot myself.

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Does the milk make a softer crust? I've been throwing in a tsp or 2 of sugar or honey too. Supposed to make the yeast happy right

i've had it turn out fairly soft, as well as fairy crusty. I'm still playing around with oven temps, times, and how long i can let it sit once it's out of the oven before i crack and cut into it 8-)

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Does the milk make a softer crust? I've been throwing in a tsp or 2 of sugar or honey too. Supposed to make the yeast happy right

You don't need sugar! You want the yeast to dine on flour, not sugar. Sugar will accelerate a rise, but with this long a proof, you definitely don't need that.

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I made my usual loaf (about 1/3 whole wheat, 2/3 bread flour) but added rosemary. The flavour is nice, but I had a bit of a problem. I raised my heat to 270C. When I took off the lid after 25 minutes, it looked beautiful. It was without a doubt the most beautiful loaf I've made. But I baked it for another 25 mintues without the lid, and it was very very brown when I took it out. It tastes OK, but still has a slight burnt flavour. I hadn't noticed any burnt smell until just before I took it out.

Oh well. If nothing else, I can eat a bit and use the rest for croutons. I think I prefer the higher heat, because the crust (though overly dark) seems thinner to me. My oven goes up to 300C, so I might try that.

Has any one else tried temps around 300C? What kind of times did you use?

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Just thought I'd note that it doesn't seem to be necessary to work with the dough even as much as Bittman suggests. I've been making this bread very successfully without really turning it or folding it or whatnot--I just mix it up, let it sit until the surface looks bubbly, twist it around in the same bowl with a wooden spoon, let it sit a few more hours, and then throw it into the heated dutch oven. Only one bowl from beginning to end, and no handling to speak of--no floured towels, no nothing.

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Hey sourdough peeps I notice some of you add the 1/4 tsp yeast PLUS sourdough starter. I'm going to bake my first sourdough loaf this week and I'm looking for some input. Proofing times, amount of starter to use...? Any tips you might have after working with this NK technique for awhile.

TIA

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Just thought I'd note that it doesn't seem to be necessary to work with the dough even as much as Bittman suggests.  I've been making this bread very successfully without really turning it or folding it or whatnot--I just mix it up, let it sit until the surface looks bubbly, twist it around in the same bowl with a wooden spoon, let it sit a few more hours, and then throw it into the heated dutch oven.  Only one bowl from beginning to end, and no handling to speak of--no floured towels, no nothing.

Me too. No sticky towels for me, and only one bowl to wash.

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Hey sourdough peeps I notice some of you add the 1/4 tsp yeast PLUS sourdough starter. I'm going to bake my first sourdough loaf this week and I'm looking for some input. Proofing times, amount of starter to use...? Any tips you might have after working with this NK technique for awhile.

TIA

I've tried using 1.5 T of my starter with one cup of flour and one cup of water to make a poolish the day before I make the dough. To make the dough, I subtract the cup of flour and of water (that I used for the poolish) from the original ingredients and proceed with the recipe without additional yeast...or if the starter has been refreshed recently, I just add 1 T of the starter to the recipe and 1/8 tsp of yeast. Both have come out very well :wink: I haven't changed proofing times from the recipe. Aside from adjustments mentioned above, I just use the NYT recipe...good luck!

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Hey sourdough peeps I notice some of you add the 1/4 tsp yeast PLUS sourdough starter. I'm going to bake my first sourdough loaf this week and I'm looking for some input. Proofing times, amount of starter to use...? Any tips you might have after working with this NK technique for awhile.

TIA

I've tried using 1.5 T of my starter with one cup of flour and one cup of water to make a poolish the day before I make the dough. To make the dough, I subtract the cup of flour and of water (that I used for the poolish) from the original ingredients and proceed with the recipe without additional yeast...or if the starter has been refreshed recently, I just add 1 T of the starter to the recipe and 1/8 tsp of yeast. Both have come out very well :wink: I haven't changed proofing times from the recipe. Aside from adjustments mentioned above, I just use the NYT recipe...good luck!

I have used half quantities of the original recipe and added 2 tablespoons of my Sourdough Starter slurry, no additional dried yeast at all, but have found that I need to increase the proofing temperatures a little to get the same activity in the dough. Other than that no changes required and the bread certainly does have a much more tangy flavour. Never having eaten any original Sourdough Bread I wouldn't know how it compares but I certainly like the increased depth of flavour and the slight sourness.

By the way, for any here frightened of trying to make a sourdough starter, just go ahead and give it a try, I had though it would be difficult but I just threw equal quantities of white flour and water into a jar and left it open to the elements, protected against flying insects of course! Stirred it daily and every other day removed half and replaced with fresh flour and water, after 4 days it smelled just like regular yeast. Since that time I have even left it for a week without any attention by which time it smelled absolutely disgusting, but I just poured off the dark liquor from the top and took a couple of tablespoons of the floury paste from the bottom to start another fresh batch. Easy Peasy..... Just give it a try! It is really no effort at all. Maybe I have just been lucky, but I had read so many stories of how sensitive starters were and how it was easier to have one posted or given by a friend that I put this off for a long time, not realising what I was missing.

Regards

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Regarding baking at higher temperatures, I baked another loaf today, still at 270C, and this time 25 min with lid, 15 minutes without. It's still too dark, but the internal temperature is a perfect 93C (200F). I want a lighter-coloured loaf, though. What would be the best way to get one?

a) longer lid-on time, shorter lid-off time

b) longer lid-on time, then decrease the temperature to 250C for a 15 minute lid-off time

c) bake at 250C, 25 min. lid on, 20 min lid off (this was what I used for my first few loaves, and the colour was nice, but I found the crust too thick)

Any suggestions?

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Regarding baking at higher temperatures, I baked another loaf today, still at 270C, and this time 25 min with lid, 15 minutes without.  It's still too dark, but the internal temperature is a perfect 93C (200F).  I want a lighter-coloured loaf, though.  What would be the best way to get one?

a) longer lid-on time, shorter lid-off time

b) longer lid-on time, then decrease the temperature to 250C for a 15 minute lid-off time

c) bake at 250C, 25 min. lid on, 20 min lid off (this was what I used for my first few loaves, and the colour was nice, but I found the crust too thick)

Any suggestions?

From what I have gathered the crust thickness is totally dependent on the lid-on time, If I were you, I would use the lower baking temperature, and reduce the lid-on time to 15 minutes to see if that gives you a thinner crust, with the colour you are looking for

Contrary to most peoples experience I have been having a difficult time to get any colour at all into my loafs, they have been very pale, I am using a seperate oven thermometer to check the temperature, but to no avail. Maybe it has something to do with the high humidity in the tropics? Any suggestions folks?

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From what I have gathered the crust thickness is totally dependent on the lid-on time, If I were you, I would use the lower baking temperature, and reduce the lid-on time to 15 minutes to see if that gives you a thinner crust, with the colour you are looking for

Thanks. That's what I originally thought I had read, too, but hadn't yet experimented with it. I do really like the chew-quality of the crust that I've been getting with higher temps, but the slightly burnt flavour doesn't really appeal to me. :sad: I'll go 15 minutes on, 30 minutes off for the next loaf.

This was the best loaf I had made yet, aside from the darkness of the crust. Great shape, good flavour (I made a parmesan rosemary loaf), and the holes in the loaf aren't as big as they have been in the past. I could actually use this loaf for sandwiches--I'm going to make grilled cheese out of it shortly!

Contrary to most peoples experience I have been having a difficult time to get any colour at all into my loafs, they have been very pale, I am using a seperate oven thermometer to check the temperature, but to no avail. Maybe it has something to do with the high humidity in the tropics? Any suggestions folks?

Strange. Try using a higher temp at first? I'm not a good baker, though, so I'm probably the wrong one to give advice!

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I baked my first sourdough loaf. I added 1/3 cup of starter to the water and no additional yeast. I used a combo of white, rye, semolina and wheat. I then threw in some dehydrated minced veggies and herbs. When I folded the dough I added some shredded cheese. MMMMMM. I did get my starter from Eric at breadtopia but it does sound fun to capture my own wild yeasties. This NK technique is turning me into a bread baking junkie and my co-workers love it.

 

 

[Moderator's note: This topic continues here: Minimalist No-Knead Bread Technique (Part 2)]

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