No Knead Breads

It started a few years back when I read a post on FB by my friend Vishakha. She had linked a blog in the post "One Hot Stove" . It's a blog that I have since come to follow. I bookmarked her article. Maybe it was her writing style or may be it was Mark Bittman's recipe that was linked in there but I was a convert.

I tried my hand at her recipe and the results were nothing short of a miracle.

The bread was light and airy, the crust was chewy. Everything that you would expect from a artisanal bread. But for some reason, I wasn't able to sustain that endeavor for too long.

Fast forward a few years and I chanced upon a no Knead brioche recipe clip. It seemed pretty easy and reminded me of all the fun I had while making the no knead breads in the past. And so in the past month, I have re-embarked upon this journey. And it has been loads of fun.. I have experimented with flours: APF doughs, Whole wheat doughs; adding different beers to the batter ( Miller, Budwiser , and Fat Tire all add a nice flavour). We have even made pizza dough from this recipe and the resulting Pizza is so much tastier than the ones that we get in the supermarket or even delivered. So Without much ado here is the basic recipe.

No Knead White Bread

3 cups of flour

1 tspn salt

1/4 tspn Active dry yeast

11 oz water at room temperature or warm

1-2 tbspn oil

  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl

  • Add water till knead the dough till it all comes together in a nice round ball. The dough will not be as loose in the beginning. You will need to rest it to letthe gluten develop. Also the yeast acting on the bread will give off water and Carbon dioxide. Both of these will make the dough more pliable and elastic. But that will take a while

  • Cover the dough with a thin layer of oil.

  • Cover the bowl containing the dough with Saran wrap and put in a warm place . Allow the dough to rise for 12- 18 hours or more. Some recipes indicate that you can let it rise longer. You can do that - in a refrigerator. Also make sure you have a large enough container to allow the dough to rise.

  • 2 Hours before baking the bread, take the dough out, Punch it and lightly knead it to form a ball.

  • Take a Parchment paper about 3 times as big as the container in which you will be baking the bread - I use a 5qt Cast iron dutch oven.

  • Put the dough on the paper and put it in back in the bowl for a second rising. Cover the top with a slight layer of oil. cover the dough with saran wrapLet the bread rise for 2 hours.

  • Half Hour before the 2 hour limit is done, heat the oven to 450F

  • put the empty dutch oven and the Lid in teh oven. Allow it to get hot.

  • When 2 hours are up,

  • Remove the Saran Wrap. using a sharp knife, make two slits on the top of the dough ( not too deep - about 1/8 inch.) If you forget - no worries. I forgot on the one shown on the right :-)

  • Remove the Dutch oven carefully. Open the lid. Slide the dough using the parchment paper into the dutch oven

  • Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is browned.

  • Cool on a rack.

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