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Minimalist No-Knead Bread Technique (Part 1)


cdh
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Pontormo, try going back to 18 hours and 2 hours - your bread may just have been proofing too long.  The loaf I did in enameled cast iron was 30 minutes with the (pre-heated) top on at 450, then 15 minutes with the top off.  That took it to 210, and it was done.

Ok, everybody, put a digital instant read thermometer on your holiday wish list right now!  And right after that, a good kitchen scale.  If you don't cook and bake with weight instead of volume yet, you are going to be so thrilled with the difference!

Thanks, Abra!

Time just got away from me and I recall that the video (watched over and over, boy am I SICK of that American Express commercial!!!) involved a dough that went for 19 hours, but I suspect you're right. I also have a tempermental oven which seems to be a little on the hot side these days.

I have a digital thermometer, I just didn't use it even though it was out on the counter to make sure the kitchen remained warm enough. Next time, promise.

Questions for you or anyone else since I will definitely try this method again over the weekend:

1) Have you posted anything here converting recipe into weight vs. volume? I haven't had a chance to reread the entire thread.

2) Has anyone tried to bake a larger loaf in one Dutch oven? I'm planning to move up to 4-5 cups and want to see if someone has advice or results to report.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Here's what I use for a larger batch:

20 oz King Arthur AP flour

4 oz semolina flour

3/8 tsp SAF Gold

3 1/2 tsp DC kosher salt

2 1/2 cups water

I have it proofing now. Last time I made this much I did two smaller loaves, but this is going to be a big one with roasted garlic folded in.

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This thread is like an addiction!

I did not try this recipe since I have not a Dutch oven. However I will try it in a stainless steel pan that is in my kitchen.

I had not access to the video and I am wondering if there is anybody in this site that had recorded it and could mail it to me (PM, may be).

I would like to give a try in the home oven and later in wood oven (directly over the hearth). I am curious to see if and how it works at higher temperatures and out of pan.

Thank you all

Luis

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I have started a batch in one of my bread machines to mix and proof it -no heat- I have it in the pantry against the outside wall where it stays very cool, highest temp yesterday was 58 F. but right now it is 48, almost as cold as my cheese/produce fridge. I opened the door and it was almost like a walk-in.

Tomorrow I wil try baking it off in a round-bottomed cast iron pot in the barbecue, in the grill/firebox section because the barbecue is going to be used to roast a javelina for my neighbors.

We finally have temps suitable for November and tonight the low is supposed to be 28 F. I wil have to cover the little citrus trees and a cherry tomato plant that is still going strong as they have yet to be moved into the greenhouse.

"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

 

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I noticed that a couple of people were trying more yeast/less time, so I thought I'd give that a try. (Cause I'm catching a plane at the crack of dawn tomorrow.)

Did 1 tsp yeast, then (being a man of extremes) put it in a quite warm oven (150).

Two hours, knocked it down, another hour and a half, then into the hot pan. 30 minutes top on, 20 minutes top off, 210 degrees internal with my recently (by me) calibrated instaread. (Yes, Abra my dear, I'm on my way now to add dig therm and scale to my Amazon wish list.)

Short story, it worked okay:

gallery_6340_3921_129584.jpg

gallery_6340_3921_205837.jpg

Long story, I don't think it's as good. Denser (like, don't drop it on your toe), little oven spring, more elastic/rubbery. *Very* big holes interspersed with much finer/denser grain.

Did seem to have a bit more flavor than the long method--*definitely* smelled the yeast when I was putting it in the hot pan.

So I'll go back to the long rise, but this is close enough that I'll experiment more in the future. A third rise might do it.

Steve

Edited by SparrowsFall (log)

"Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon." --Dalai Lama

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Yesterday I made this dough as I described above, with 20% semolina, but I made it into roasted garlic bread.

Of necessity, it only got a 14 hour rise instead of 18, and the dough was very slack. Too slack, in fact. but I smothered it in roasted garlic

gallery_16307_2558_22983.jpg

and folded it all up to rise. I did end up with more of a ciabatta-thickness loaf this time, but it was really good to eat.

gallery_16307_2558_42095.jpg

The garlic wasn't as evenly distributed as I would have liked. Perhaps there's some trick to that?

gallery_16307_2558_18504.jpg

It made a lovely Thanksgiving appetizer go-with.

Edited by Abra (log)
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I baked a sourdough version on an open, hot clay saucer. This is my preferred baking surface, and I used it as I don't have a heavy lidded pot that would go in the oven. It rose well. Baking temperature was 230 C. I found that I had to add much more flour to make a dough solid enough to handle, probably 2 cups more. I used 100 grams of starter to leaven the bread, that's probably why. In addition, my Israeli bread flour acts differently than the American flours, I'm sure.

The crust was light, but chewy rather than crisp and crackly, the crumb pierced with small holes. It was dense and somewhat moist, like the dark Russian breads available here, but by no means underdone or pasty. I did wait till the loaf cooled down completely before cutting. I liked this SD version, and think I might make a garlic loaf like Abra's with it. I haven't tried the bread with commercial yeast yet.

Miriam

Miriam Kresh

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

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Well, I FINALLY have a rye version bubbling away on the counter. Will go into the oven around noonish. I do so love rye, flavor and texture.

I think this was the best dressing ever at Thanksgiving this year. I make my own turkey stock, and added the heels left over from this recipe in addition to leftover cornbread and biscuits. So nice, it didn't even need gravy! I have some white heels and a heel from the raisin loaf that will be incorporated into a bread pudding soon. This is a bread that recycles very nicely. I like that. I am sure it will produce fluffy bread crumbs as well for the next schnitzel I do up.

I am also doing a version with spelt. Am looking forward to a rye/spelt mix in the future, maybe. Am also intrigued with the idea of a chef. Maybe I will pull some of my rye ferment.

Great recipe.

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I noticed that a couple of people were trying more yeast/less time, so I thought I'd give that a try. (Cause I'm catching a plane at the crack of dawn tomorrow.)

Did 1 tsp yeast, then (being a man of extremes) put it in a quite warm oven (150).

....

Long story, I don't think it's as good. Denser (like, don't drop it on your toe), little oven spring, more elastic/rubbery. *Very* big holes interspersed with much finer/denser grain.

...

I think you were lucky to get away as well as you did.

Bread yeasts are normally said to be killed by 55 Centigrade (~130F). So 150F was overdoing it a bit.

Its normally said that a longer, slower, fermentation gives a "better" flavour.

And that this is due to there being more time for enzymes to produce more of the complex sugars (from the raw material of starch) and hence produce a more multi-dimensional taste.

Rye is a good additional source of those amylase enzymes...

Sourdough brings good bacteria and different yeasts to add to the party.

Before I worked through the entire thread, and importantly before I remembered that our teaspoons are bigger than yours... (1 UK standard teaspoon is 1.2 US standard teaspoons) I had a batch mixed. Which may be a bit wet and a bit salty. We will see!

I'd offer the following simple suggestion for a 'normalised' basic recipe from the conversions given earlier, plus a slight increase in salt (and which will be used for my next effort)

500g flour

400g water

10g salt

1g instant yeast

While there may be minor adjustments for particular flour types, (perhaps 5% extra water when some strong, wholemeal or rye flour is used) using weight (or 'mass') measurements does dramatically improve the accuracy with which a recipe can be communicated.

And the units themselves don't have to be translated.

Apart from teaspoons, the "cup" seems to vary from 200cc (or is it 180) in Japan, to 237cc (US kitchen) and 240cc (US Legal use) to 250cc in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. (Source: Wikipedia.)

Oh, and metric units do make scaling recipes really easy, even if, like me, you think in feet, inches, miles, etc.

And looking at the quantities above, especially in comparison to the original specification, doesn't 80% hydration, and 2% salt, just leap out at you?

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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and you might want to make a starter sponge with, say 30% of the flour:

Sponge:

150g flour

75g water

1g yeast

Rough mix and Ferment 12 hours at 70F

Dough:

All the sponge

350g flour

325g water

10g salt

Rough mix; put in oiled bowl and fold sides to middle every half hour for 2 hours; then shape and prove for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge; bake in a hot casserole

(edit I'm guessing the timings - it depends on your yeast and the temperature. For sourdough its 12 hours for the sponge and 4 hours from mixing to baking the dough. Yeast will go 3-4 times quicker. Go by feel, and underprove rather than overprove.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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I'm going to try your approach next, Jack. But I'm really liking the addition of 20% semolina flour, so I might have to tweak that into it. Has anyone else tried that? I think it's a major flavor boost, but maybe it's just me.

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I've been playing with this recipe a bit recently and am having all sorts of fun.

Most recently I decided to experiment a bit with the recipe... working a few tablespoons of olive oil into the dough... substituting milk for water... substituting liquid brewing yeast slurry for instant baking yeast... folding herbs and black pepper into the dough...

All have come out quite good, provided I stick to the ratio of flour to liquid and keep the yeast additions small.

I've got 3 or 4 varieties of S. Cerevisiae sitting in my fridge now that each produces a very distinctly different beer... must experiment and see how their differences express themselves in bread.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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I've been playing with this recipe a bit recently and am having all sorts of fun. 

Most recently I decided to experiment a bit with the recipe... working a few tablespoons of olive oil into the dough... substituting milk for water... substituting liquid brewing yeast slurry for instant baking yeast... folding herbs and black pepper into the dough...

All have come out quite good, provided I stick to the ratio of flour to liquid and keep the yeast additions small.

I've got 3 or 4 varieties of S. Cerevisiae sitting in my fridge now that each produces a very distinctly different beer... must experiment and see how their differences express themselves in bread.

Husband and I were discussing a beer bread. Glad to hear the milk and oil were workable.

Subbing in one third rye flour worked very well, the loaf is almost gone along with a sizable hunk of Lurpak. The spelt was wonderful as well, and this no knead technique is ideal for it.

This really is a lot of fun. Am baking a loaf off tomorrow AM for hubby's Secret Santa gift. They are supposed to do one dollar gifts for four days, and a ten dollar gift Friday.

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It isn't just beer that got added... it was 2cc of the thick cloudy yeast slurry that accumulates at the bottom of beer fermentation chambers. (Homebrewing has its privileges!) Beer all by itself may not have any yeast still in it... lots of commercial breweries filter it all out.

If you're looking to use beer yeast, make sure to get a bottle conditioned beer, and only use the cloudy dregs at the bottom of the bottle.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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It isn't just beer that got added... it was 2cc of the thick cloudy yeast slurry that accumulates at the bottom of beer fermentation chambers. (Homebrewing has its privileges!) Beer all by itself may not have any yeast still in it... lots of commercial breweries filter it all out.

Darn, we just tossed out most recent beer sludge. Guess we'll have to make more.

I am confused. Are you using the sludge as a yeast source or as the flour? We'd love to find a way to bring our beermaking and our breadmaking together.

Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther
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But, isn't that yeast pretty well used up and dead? :blink: It just finished fermenting all the beer. (well, obviously it is working for you)

Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther
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Tamiam, if you could get the fantastically delicious flavor of your latest brew into that bread, you could be a millionaire baker! It's a brilliant idea, if it works. I still remember how good the beer was with the roasted garlic bread.

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Made my first attempt at this bread last night/today, after careful reading of this entire thread. I used 468 grams of King Arthur bread flour, as suggested in RLB's blog. But it was far too dry with only the specified amount of water - I ended up using 14 3/4 ounces (weight - I switched modes on my scale part way through). 2 1/2 tsp Morton coarse kosher salt. The consistency was great when it was done the 18 hour ferment - wet, but not too wet to work. Unfortunately, it stuck horribly to my floured towel, so the finished loaf is not pretty. I also didn't get much oven spring at all.

Here's the pretty side of the loaf, where it didn't stick.

gallery_7436_3666_94685.jpg

And here's the ugly side:

gallery_7436_3666_60920.jpg

Not being a huge fan of a really thick crust, I only left the lid on for 20 minutes, then about another 25 with the lid off. I thought the temperature was good, but in retrospect I probably should have left if another five - the bread was a bit moist. And, as others have said, not particularly flavorful. But the crust is just marvelous.

Here's the inside:

gallery_7436_3666_101557.jpg

Next time I'll try the oiled bowl trick. And maybe proof it longer before baking - I think it wasn't quite ready. And my pot is pretty wide, so I probably should increase the amount of dough to get some better height.

Tammy's Tastings

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But, isn't that yeast pretty well used up and dead?  :blink: It just finished fermenting all the beer.  (well, obviously it is working for you)

The yeast drops out of suspension and forms sludge once it has eaten all of the fermentables in the beer that it can. There is plenty of live yeast in there that will jump at the chance to chow down on some more nice carbohydrates.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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I'm going to try your approach next, Jack.  But I'm really liking the addition of 20% semolina flour, so I might have to tweak that into it.  Has anyone else tried that?  I think it's a major flavor boost, but maybe it's just me.

For Thanksgiving I made two loaves--one with 34% durum flour (I have better luck with that then coarser semolina) and a sesame-seedy crust and one with 20% dark rye and rosemary, and a kosher-salty crust. People seemed more impressed with the rye-rosemary version, but I really liked the durum-sesame one.

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It isn't just beer that got added...  it was 2cc of the thick cloudy yeast slurry that accumulates at the bottom of beer fermentation chambers. (Homebrewing has its privileges!) Beer all by itself may not have any yeast still in it... lots of commercial breweries filter it all out. 

If you're looking to use beer yeast, make sure to get a bottle conditioned beer, and only use the cloudy dregs at the bottom of the bottle.

OK, wow! Now you are having too much fun!

:biggrin:

I'm dying to hear about the results. I guess hubby and I just might have to take up some home brewing...

Also, do you purchase a different type of yeast for home brewing. I've heard about brewer's yeast of course, but I have the sneaking suspicion that you are not referring to that brown jug at the grocery store.

Anne

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I keep thinking I should post about what I've been doing. I made the recipe from which this thread originated one time and reported earlier about my too wet dough.

Someone WAY upthread (1st page, I'm sure) mentioned a book called No Need to Knead. I checked that book out of the library and made the Pain Rustica with nice results. (Until this thread, I've always baked what is now, I guess, "old-fashioned" bread with standard amounts of yeast in loaf pans -- you know what I mean -- close crumbed, soft-crusted, etc.) Anyway, I meant to do more with the NYT recipe, but each day I found myself playing with the No Need recipe instead. It is pretty much the same as Jack's recommendation a few posts up, though the author doesn't discuss using a hot pan to bake in. That's my next experiment with her method. Anyone else using this book?

~ Lori in PA

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I used Abra's conversions for the larger loaf with the following changes:

17 oz bread flour, 4 oz semolina, 3 oz rye flour.

Went through the 18 hour fermentation, folded and into an olive oiled

glass bowl. After the 2 hours, I turned the bowl into the pre-heated

Dutch oven. It did not come out as a ball but rather took a glacial

drop into the Le Creuset and needed a final bit of coaxing with a spatula.

450 degrees covered for 30 minutes and 15 minutes uncovered and it

produced the best bread yet. A bit denser and better flavor than the all

bread flour, and better texture than a previous bread flour/rye mix.

I used a Le Creuset # 24 (4 1/2 quarts) and it was the perfect size for

this amount of dough. The olive oil gave the bread a great lacquered look.

Although I will continue to experiment, I think it will be hard to improve

on this recipe. Thanks Abra for your conversions and the semolina suggestion

Bill

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