I'm a little ashamed to say that, being new to to the food-blog-o-sphere, I've only recently found out about no-kneed bread. No-kneed bread??! That's right. Now you can have all the benefits of fresh homemade bread without straining your precious forearms! This is my kind of recipe.
Posted by the charming Mark Bittman of the New York Times (Nov, 2006), this is a recipe modified from Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery. One copy of the original recipe (at least original to my knowledge) with more elaborate instructions can be found here or you can google 'no-kneed bread' and come up with a thousand hits.
(including my adaptations of Mark's adapations of Jim's recipe)
- 3 cups bread flour (I used 1 cup each of spelt, whole wheat and white)
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp kosher salt (I used 1 tbsp and it was way too much!)
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
2. Add water and stir with fork or knife until mixed (takes about 1 min) and looks like sticky, lumpy goop.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm corner of your kitchen to rise for 18 hours (I cut this short and let it rest only for 15 hrs).
Mine looked like this after step 3:
4. Dump out onto a floured surface and fold over a few times, shaping into a rough ball. Let rest for two hours under a floured tea towel (next time, I'll just let it rest in an oiled bowl since it stuck to the towel).
Mine looked like this while resting:
5. Preheat oven along with covered cast iron pot to 450F. Note, I don't have such a pot, so I used a pizza stone. Next time, I'll use either a covered casserole dish or just a regular uncovered loaf pan.
6. Bake for 30 min if uncovered. If covered, take off lid after 30 min and baked for another 15 min until crust is golden and bread sounds hollow when knocked.
Here's my final result. Crust has good crunch without being too hard and the inside has texture somewhere between whole wheat and rye. So far we've had it with salad for lunch, as an oil/vinegar dipper and with butter and jam. Absolutely excellent.
I'll be making this bread every week from now on. I'll experiment with different baking vessels, flours, proportions of salt and additions of wheat bran, oat, flax, herbs, etc... I'll keep you appraised of my findings.
If you happen to make this bread, please post your version, any modifications you made and your impressions. We can experiment together instead of reading the thousands of blog posts and comments already made about this recipe...