Jump to content
  • 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 a free account.

Minimalist No-Knead Bread Technique (Part 1)


cdh
 Share

Recommended Posts

I like what I am getting with the starter flavorwise as well. I am only about two loaves in with a rye starter, but I am beginning to get that well worn flavor that I love.

I think my last two loaves were a bit overproofed. Not to the point of a bowl of dead yeast, but not quite right either. We have had warmer temperatures down here, and I hate turning on the air, so my ambient room temperature has been around 80 and probably a bit on the high side. We have a cool front coming through, so should be better this loaf.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pontormo writes:

>just curious as to the reasons you: 1) are favoring shorter initial rises

I think you need a shorter rise if you're using whole wheat. This may be due to the nature of whole wheat, which is often added to increase activity in fermentation (of starters). When you increase the activity, you risk burning up the yeast, so you need to reduce the fermentation time.

Here's a rule of thumb - Lahey calls for you to look for bubbles on the surface of the dough at the end of the first rise. Another method: make sure it has at least doubled. But don't let the dough collapse or go slack. When you begin to see a lot of wrinkles on the dough, as opposed to a kind of supported surface, you've probably proofed the dough too long. You will lose the oven spring.

Thank you for replying. I've followed the rule of thumb, and with my batch made with WW flour, saw absolutely no collapse or wrinkling when I returned home 19-19 1/2 hours after mixing the dough.

That said, the dough rose rapidly in a 77 F-overheated kitchen, attaining its ultimate height in about 3 hours. So, I find your information about accelerated fermentation interesting. Overnight temperature went down to 64-67 (I am going by Polder's reading [digtal probe thermometer] kept on counter). 12 hours later, bubbles speckled surface, so I probably did not need to wait any longer to begin the second rise.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thursday evening, I mixed up a batch to bake on Friday. Bad move, because the ice storm hit, and I have had no power for four days now.

The kitchen has been very, very cold--40 to maybe 50 degrees. On Saturday, thinking that the power would soon come back on, I took the dough and mixed it with a second batch, without adding any more yeast.

It rose nicely, smelled good, but no power yesterday, so I couldn't bake.

Should I just throw it away? Divide it into small packages, freeze it, and add a little to other batches of bread? Bake it and see what happens?

(please remember, I probably have a total of $.45 in ingredients involved. And if I bake it, and it is no good, the dogs and chickens will like it.)

sparrowgrass
Link to comment
Share on other sites

(please remember, I probably have a total of $.45 in ingredients involved.  And if I bake it, and it is no good, the dogs and chickens will like it.)

Heck, yeah ! Bake it, in the spirit of ongoing experimentation if nothing else. I have a rye loaf that I made too wet that the pups are loving right now :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IF the power ever comes back on, I will. I am not scared. :biggrin:

Way it looks right now, could be a 10 day proof. All the Ameren UE trucks are in St. Louis, not here.

What a whiner I am. At least I have heat and running water--lots of local residents don't have either. (For you city folks--if you don't have electricity, your well pump won't work, so the water doesn't run.)

I do have a gas stove--but I don't know how to light the oven with a match, and would really hate to burn my eyebrows off.

If the power is still off tonight, maybe I will take the dough over to the Baptist church, where they have a warming shelter, and bake it there. Bet they would like it, however it turns out.

sparrowgrass
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most gas ovens either have a small round hole where you stick a match in, or they light from the broiler. You can use a broomstraw if you don't have a long match and don't feel like sacrificing your eyebrows for the team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

knowing full well that i'm WAY late to this particular party, let it be said that i have been anxiously watching this phenomenon since a few hours after the article's publication in the NYT. having finally gotten ahold of a proper pot and enough time to bake with, i tried my hand at it.

so, let it be known that you are now looking at my first ever successful loaf of bread. thought i'd share my moment of triumph with you all, as i know you'll understand.

yesssssssssss! the crunchy chewy taste of success!

314543464_25376640f2_o.jpg

314543405_c80e0196d2_o.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

knowing full well that i'm WAY late to this particular party, let it be said that i have been anxiously watching this phenomenon since a few hours after the article's publication in the NYT.  having finally gotten ahold of a proper pot and enough time to bake with, i tried my hand at it.

so, let it be known that you are now looking at my first ever successful loaf of bread.  thought i'd share my moment of triumph with you all, as i know you'll understand.

yesssssssssss!  the crunchy chewy taste of success!

314543464_25376640f2_o.jpg

314543405_c80e0196d2_o.jpg

matt~

it is BEAUTIFUl ! :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This loaf turned out beautifully! Check it out:

gallery_7436_3666_100233.jpg

It was fabulous - not at all gummy. Crunchy crust, but not too tough. It was a big hit at my wine tasting club tonight.

I used Abra's recipe for the larger loaf, including the semolina, and KA AP flour. I used Morton Kosher salt, which is very large crystals, so for the larger loaf I used 3 tsps and that was about right.

I did a 15 hour first rise, and a 2 hour second rise. Did the second rise on a towel with lots of rice flour. I baked it in my enameled cast iron pan (don't know how many quarts it is - 6 or 8, I guess). I preheated at 450, and left the lid on for the first 25 minutes. When I removed the lid, I lowered the oven temperature to 425, and cooked it 25 more minutes, IIRC. Temperature was 209.5 when I took it out of the oven.

Thanks to everyone for all the excellent tips!

Edited by tammylc (log)

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last night's loaf was made with 1 cup semolina flour and 2 cups AP flour, and my husband and I are extremely satisfied with the way it tastes. It didn't rise as high, so I'm going to try 1/2 cup semolina + 3 1/2 cups AP. Also, I'm leaving the lid on the pot for only 20 minutes, also as suggested upthread, and we like the crust a lot better. Still crisp and crunchy, but not quite as thick.

I'm trying to spread The Gospel of the Bread, and so far, people are just looking at me like I'm nuts. :biggrin: But at least I have tried. If the multitudes choose to suffer with lesser breads, it's not my fault. :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last night's loaf was made with 1 cup semolina flour and 2 cups AP flour, and my husband and I are extremely satisfied with the way it tastes.  It didn't rise as high, so I'm going to try 1/2 cup semolina + 3 1/2 cups AP.  Also, I'm leaving the lid on the pot for only 20 minutes, also as suggested upthread, and we like the crust a lot better.  Still crisp and crunchy, but not quite as thick. 

I'm trying to spread The Gospel of the Bread, and so far, people are just looking at me like I'm nuts.  :biggrin:  But at least I have tried.  If the multitudes choose to suffer with lesser breads, it's not my fault.    :laugh:

Tell the Good News sister!

They won't believe it until they try it, but to be fair I didn't either! The pot that will take the heat seems to be the big impediment for most people. Oh, for the days of cast iron...

:biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

alright, my first attempt at this was a disaster. my first ever bread disaster.

the dough was so slack, so sticky, so disgusting, that i felt like i was in a grade B sci-fi horror movie. it was unhandleable. stuck to everything, especially me. when i finally threw it off of me and emptied my revolver into it ...

alright, i'm exagerating. but it was bad.

i'm wondering if temperature could be an issue. my place is cold in the winter. 55 to 60 degrees. i compensated for this letting it ferment longer. at 24 hours, it looked nice and bubbly, so i figured it was ready to go. aparently not.

i mixed it acording to the original recipe, using pilsbury bread flower.

any thoughts? would more time have helped? i was so happy about this until five minutes ago.

Notes from the underbelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you let it cool befor cutting into it, Paul? My first attempt wasn't so great either -- my dough was too wet -- but subsequent batches are much improved, so don't give up.

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you let it cool befor cutting into it, Paul? My first attempt wasn't so great either -- my dough was too wet -- but subsequent batches are much improved, so don't give up.

How cool is it supposed to be before cutting into it? It was probably below 60 degrees, because that's how cold my loft is.

How did you improve your dough? Less water?

Thanks!

Notes from the underbelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, tell us what your results were. Then we can figure out how to help you.

Upthread, when I had a problem with a too-cold kitchen, I was advised to use a heating pad underneath the bowl of dough. You could put a box over it to hold in the heat. Hearing about your kitchen conditions, I'd start with trying to remedy the temperature in which the dough rises.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you let it cool befor cutting into it, Paul? My first attempt wasn't so great either -- my dough was too wet -- but subsequent batches are much improved, so don't give up.

How cool is it supposed to be before cutting into it? It was probably below 60 degrees, because that's how cold my loft is.

How did you improve your dough? Less water?

Thanks!

Yes, I used less water. Also, to improve flavor, I've been reserving about 1/4-1/2 c. of dough in a covered jar in the fridge to add to the next batch. It sounds like your bread was fine temp-wise -- I asked because some of us got so excited we cut into our hot bread right out of the oven and were disappointed with the wet interior texture.

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mine didn't even make it into the oven. i couldn't even handle it. what seems like the right amount of water in your experience (roughly)?

Mine was pretty much like that the first time, though I did get it into the oven...don't give up! Once I started weighing the flour, things improved dramtically.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ahhh, ok.

mine didn't even make it into the oven. i couldn't even handle it. what seems like the right amount of water in your experience (roughly)?

So you didn't even bake it???

Wet doughs may be messy and tricky to work with, but they can make very good bread. Still, many (including me) have dropped the water measure to 1.5 cups (to the 3 cups flour). And I don't use a floured towel underneath the dough (for 2nd rise) anymore: I use a flexible cutting board, flour the top, and cover it with the towel. When its ready for the dutch oven, I just take off the towel, pick up the cutting board, and flip it into the oven.

Also: for folding, I use a dough blade to scoop it over itself.

Overall, there's really very little handling involved.

Tips, if you don't know them already: make sure your hands are well-floured when you do handle the dough and use your fingertips when you can, not your whole hand (especially when dumping the dough out of the bowl after first rise). And a "well-floured surfaces" means a well-floured surface.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use a flexible cutting board, flour the top, and cover it with the towel. When its ready for the dutch oven, I just take off the towel, pick up the cutting board, and flip it into the oven.

I like that flexible cutting board idea!

As for the wet dough: Don't be put off by it. I once mismeasured the water so I had a super-gummy dough. It was virtually a batter. I baked it anyway, and though it was more moist than I would have liked, it baked up decently. I toasted it for breakfast.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...