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Intriguing no-knead bread

Intriguing no-knead bread
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  • Post #31 - November 15th, 2006, 10:10 am
    Post #31 - November 15th, 2006, 10:10 am Post #31 - November 15th, 2006, 10:10 am
    HI,

    I made my 2nd batch of bread from this recipe using soft wheat flour sold as general purpose flour in the south. I scooped the flour (which means there is more than if you spoon it in), added the other dry ingrediants and water. This seemed like a thicker dough in the initial phase than the one made with northern-style general purpose (from winter wheat?).

    After the 18 hour fermentation, it was as sticky and maybe stickier than the first batch. After cooking I didn't have as many big holes and more fine crumb, but who knows maybe I am getting better at the technique. As for flavor and crust, it was a jewel like the first batch.

    Soft wheat flour is known for being low in gluten and generally unacceptable for bread, though it makes glorious biscuits and cakes. Much to my surprise this process made a very decent loaf of bread when prior knowledge estimated I'd be let down.

    This bread has only one flaw: it disapeers fast!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #32 - November 15th, 2006, 12:13 pm
    Post #32 - November 15th, 2006, 12:13 pm Post #32 - November 15th, 2006, 12:13 pm
    Fellow breadmakers,
    does anyone know of a good place to buy different kinds of flour for breadmaking? is there a special bakery supply store (preferably on the north side)?
    thanks
    Elie
  • Post #33 - November 16th, 2006, 12:59 am
    Post #33 - November 16th, 2006, 12:59 am Post #33 - November 16th, 2006, 12:59 am
    Well, I can tell you that this is one forgiving dough. I've made three loaves on three successive days, all with 14 oz Pillsbury AP flour and varying the amount of water. I started with 10 oz, which produced a fairly normal dough, 12 oz., which was quite runny and like the dough in the original recipe with the by volume measurements, and one with 11 oz. water, which was somewhere in between.

    Using baker's percentages:

    10 oz = 71.4%
    11 oz = 78.6%
    12 oz = 85.7%

    80% seems to most closely resemble the dough in the video. 85% seemed a little bit too watery, and 71% was not runny at all. At 80%, the dough was sticky, but not unmanageable and impossible to handle.

    That said, all three loaves came out fine. I really didn't notice much of a difference between the three hyrdation levels. The 85% dough seemed to have a thinner crust than the 71% dough, but not by much. The crumb was similar in all three, with the more hydrated dough having perhaps a gummier texture than the drier dough.

    But all three were fine. You can definitely eyeball this recipe without fearing disaster. I'm increasing the ingredients by 50% for the next batch, hoping it will fill out my 5-qt Dutch oven a little bit better. I baked my bread at 475 for 30 minutes with the cover on, and 20 minutes with the cover off.
  • Post #34 - November 18th, 2006, 2:32 pm
    Post #34 - November 18th, 2006, 2:32 pm Post #34 - November 18th, 2006, 2:32 pm
    Does anyone have the recipe from the article? I have the article but don't know what quantities to use.

    Thanks,
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #35 - November 18th, 2006, 4:06 pm
    Post #35 - November 18th, 2006, 4:06 pm Post #35 - November 18th, 2006, 4:06 pm
    Bruce,

    Paraphrased:

    3 cups AP or bread flour
    0.25 tsp instant yeast
    1.25 tsp salt
    cornmeal/wheat bran as needed
    1 5/8 cup water

    Combine the flour, salt, yeast, and water. The dough should be sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 12-24 hours at room temperature.

    Fold the dough over itself a few times a floured surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes.

    Quickly form the dough into a ball and put it seam side down on a floured cotton towel. Add another floured cotton towel over it, and let it rise for about 2 hours.

    About 30 minutes before the dough is finished rising, preheat the oven to 450 and add your dutch oven. When the dough is done rising, take out the dutch oven and flip the dough, seam side up, into the dutch oven.

    Let it bake covered for 30 minutes, and uncovered for another 15-30 minutes.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #36 - November 18th, 2006, 4:31 pm
    Post #36 - November 18th, 2006, 4:31 pm Post #36 - November 18th, 2006, 4:31 pm
    Some interesting notes on this recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum here:

    http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2006/ ... bread.html
  • Post #37 - November 18th, 2006, 6:22 pm
    Post #37 - November 18th, 2006, 6:22 pm Post #37 - November 18th, 2006, 6:22 pm
    Thanks Ed.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #38 - November 21st, 2006, 12:31 pm
    Post #38 - November 21st, 2006, 12:31 pm Post #38 - November 21st, 2006, 12:31 pm
    Hi All,

    I've done two loaves over the past two weekends based on Bittman's article, the first in a steel dutch oven, the second in a Le Creuset french oven. Both turned out great. For the second loaf, I doubled all the ingredients with no ill effects. I also played around with flour, using 2/3rds white bread flour and 1/3rd whole wheat / rye mix. Again, no negative effect. Both loaves turned out great.

    To me, the secret in the article isn't the no-knead, it's the dutch oven. I've never tried that before. I've tried all sorts of spraying, pans of water, wetting the dough, nothing has worked as well as the dutch oven.

    Also, as an aside, I'm new to this forum...this is my first post. My wife and I wrote about this recipe in our blog http://tastebudchicago.com/blog/pot-bread/.

    Chris
    <a>Tastebud</a>
  • Post #39 - November 21st, 2006, 2:10 pm
    Post #39 - November 21st, 2006, 2:10 pm Post #39 - November 21st, 2006, 2:10 pm
    Time to put my .02 in. I've only made the bread once so far, and I did my best to screw it up. I used King Arthur's White Wheat flour, and I think maybe that there should have been at least half white flour. [It was a little heavier than it should have been.] But where I really messed up was letting it rise in the oven with the light on. Turns out that it can get up to 80 deg. in there [had to experiment to see just how warm it got after the oops]. Be fine for a quicker rise, but 14 hrs. @ 80 deg. resulted in a bread dough that had risen and fallen. It did very little on the second rise.

    Thinking I had little to lose, I baked the dough anyway. Didn't look too bad, took it to my mom's for dinner. I was disappointed, but the guests seemed to like it anyway. They ate most of it.

    Punch line: after all of that, it had a really nice crust :D .

    Looking forward to trying it again, and getting it much more right this time.

    BTW, for all of the discussion of proper bread hydration, I noticed that a LOT of moisture seeped into the tea towel on the second rising....

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #40 - November 21st, 2006, 2:20 pm
    Post #40 - November 21st, 2006, 2:20 pm Post #40 - November 21st, 2006, 2:20 pm
    I've now made this bread 3 times (in the last week - how's that for dedication?). The first one was the one I posted about earlier - very, very wet dough, baked up very flat, lots of large holes, and delicious. Second one was with 13 oz of water, 15 oz ap flour. The crust turned out much thicker than the first batch, still somewhat of a wet dough that again baked up a bit flat, but tasted fine (while I like a good crust, this was much to thick). These first two were baked in a 6-qt enameled cast iron Dutch oven, which I decided was too big for the job. So, this last one, I used 12 oz of water, 15 oz ap flour, and instead of baking in the Dutch oven, I divided the dough in half and baked one half in a covered corning ware 2 qt casserole (the other half is still in the fridge, waiting to be baked - figured it wouldn't hurt it to sit in the fridge an extra day, and besides, it makes it into 2 days' worth of fresh bread!). Turned out perfect! I am going to experiment with using bread flour on the next go-round, though.

    --gtgirl
  • Post #41 - December 3rd, 2006, 7:47 pm
    Post #41 - December 3rd, 2006, 7:47 pm Post #41 - December 3rd, 2006, 7:47 pm
    I made this years ago from the VanOver book. The recent interest caused me to try it again. Same results.

    Pro: Great looking loaf. Crispy crust, large shiny holes, chewy crumb.
    Con: Surprisingly little flavor.

    I used KA all purpose, grey sea salt, well water, and SAF Red yeast. I think a sour starter, replacing some of the flour with whole wheat (1/2 c?) and a longer ferment would help.

    Kit
    duck fat rules
  • Post #42 - December 5th, 2006, 9:19 pm
    Post #42 - December 5th, 2006, 9:19 pm Post #42 - December 5th, 2006, 9:19 pm
    carrienation wrote:Some interesting notes on this recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum here:

    http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2006/ ... bread.html

    The second time I tried this, I followed the recipe as modified/expounded upon in the link above. Note that the modification calls for 1 and 1/2 cups of water, as opposed to the 1 and 5/8 cups in the NYT recipe (the 1.5 cups apparently tracks what is in the video demonstration on the NYT website). This may cut down on the overly wet dough issue some have had. The modification also calls for slightly higher amount of salt (1.75 tsp instead of 1.25 tsp -- although I used 1.5 tsp). The most important change perhaps is the addition of whole wheat flour (3 or so tablespoons subbing in for the same amount of white flour) -- I found that to really make the bread more flavorful (the first time I made the bread with all white flour only and it was somewhat bland).
  • Post #43 - December 6th, 2006, 7:21 am
    Post #43 - December 6th, 2006, 7:21 am Post #43 - December 6th, 2006, 7:21 am
    Interesting follow-up in the NY Times, which covers many of the issues discussed here. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/06/dinin ... ref=dining
  • Post #44 - December 6th, 2006, 8:28 am
    Post #44 - December 6th, 2006, 8:28 am Post #44 - December 6th, 2006, 8:28 am
    First off, many thanks to Giovanna for bringing this to our attention. I love baking and this new method was fun to try out. What I especially enjoyed and, in fact, am still enjoying, is that it has been a stimulus for rethinking various aspects of bread-making, as I know it. That said, I was more than a little suspicious of the presentation which focussed so much on the fool-proof nature of the recipe. And, lo and behold, like other experienced (and in some cases master) bakers, I found that the fool-proof, 'any-six-year-old-can do-it' schtick was not quite right. The notes and revisions by Bitman linked to directly above show the range of problems that come up.

    I've followed this method several times and found that there is one basic problem: a tendency to end up with an overcooked bottom -- burned actually -- with a still excessively wet crumb. Others have reported these tendencies as well. Since these are problems that in simple terms pretty much call for opposite solutions, the required tinkering with the recipe starts to take on more significant dimensions. In the end, I don't feel at all inclined to switch over to this method and abandon the basic, traditional method I learned from Frank Masi.

    Of the No-Knead method loaves I've made, only one turned out a little on the insipid side but it was still tasty. The others were all very flavourful, including a wholewheat version I made. I should note too that I use fresh ('cake') yeast.

    Here's one of the no-knead loaves that tasted great; the top crust was perfect BUT the bottom was scorched and the crumb, as mentioned above, a little too wet:

    Image

    Image

    Image

    It's been fun to experiment with this and then reconsider aspects of the approach I was taught. It's also nice to have this as an alternative quick method that will give good results. But in the end, I think the traditional way, which requires kneading, will be more consistently successful and, for me at least, more satisfying. The fact is, I enjoy kneading the dough.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #45 - December 6th, 2006, 11:54 am
    Post #45 - December 6th, 2006, 11:54 am Post #45 - December 6th, 2006, 11:54 am
    Antonius: I'm with you on kneading; it's never been something I'm looking to avoid. While I've only made one of these loaves, my take was this. When I make a standard loaf, which I do often rather haphazardly and without a recipe, I frequently get an absolutely delicious loaf, but one where the crumb, crust, appearance, etc., are not up to bakery standards. With this recipe, I got a professional looking loaf, but it was, frankly, light on taste. Maybe I just like denser, richer loaves.

    Jonah
  • Post #46 - December 7th, 2006, 9:34 am
    Post #46 - December 7th, 2006, 9:34 am Post #46 - December 7th, 2006, 9:34 am
    I think this recipe will appeal not to people who are too lazy to knead, but who can only make traditional bread on the weekends. This one is perfect for starting the night before, and popping into the oven when one gets home from work after a busy day.
    "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you want and let the food fight it out inside."
    -Mark Twain
  • Post #47 - December 7th, 2006, 3:09 pm
    Post #47 - December 7th, 2006, 3:09 pm Post #47 - December 7th, 2006, 3:09 pm
    Antonius wrote:I've followed this method several times and found that there is one basic problem: a tendency to end up with an overcooked bottom -- burned actually -- with a still excessively wet crumb. Others have reported these tendencies as well. Since these are problems that in simple terms pretty much call for opposite solutions, the required tinkering with the recipe starts to take on more significant dimensions.
    Antonius


    I've had this problem when I tried baking at 500F as per the video, but haven't had problems at 450F and still get a really good crust. Haven't had problems with the moistness of the crumb. When you say the problems call for "opposite solutions" do you mean that reducing water might fix the wet crumb but make the overcooked bottom worse? Is that clear? Does a drier dough make for a harder crust? I'm a complete novice but thought that it was the wet dough plus the enclosed pot that made the crust crusty in the first place.

    The genius of this recipe for me is that it got me into baking. Regardless of whether it makes sense or not, I (and it seems countless others all across the internets) have been somewhat intimidated by baking bread. While I agree the recipe is not foolproof, it is easy and accessible. I don't think the "no knead" part is critical but helps make it accessible.

    The first loaf I made with this recipe was the first time I'd made bread ever. It wasn't perfect, but it was very good; I would have happily paid for it in a store. I do like to tinker (interesting to watch how the dough rose under different conditions) and will try many other forms of baking. I'm very grateful to this recipe for getting me started.
  • Post #48 - December 7th, 2006, 4:30 pm
    Post #48 - December 7th, 2006, 4:30 pm Post #48 - December 7th, 2006, 4:30 pm
    When you say the problems call for "opposite solutions" do you mean that reducing water might fix the wet crumb but make the overcooked bottom worse?


    I presume he means cooking it longer for the center's sake is only going to overcook the bottom more. Reducing water is presumably the right solution (I haven't read the followup article).

    I have not been using this method but I have noticed the same basic effect at work in traditional bread using a sourdough starter. I typically make enough dough for two loaves, one gets baked the next day, the other usually two days after that; if I do everything just right (and I'm not one of those measuring everything exactly, because I'm trying to get to an intuitive sense of the right moisture level, etc.) both loaves are pretty much the same, slight improvement in flavor, bubble size/distribution, etc. on the second one that has more proofing time. If I'm off, though, the first loaf is somewhat disappointing-- a bit heavy, crumby rather than elastic-- but the one that has extra time in the fridge remedies many of these problems on its own; basically the same gluten-stretching activity over time is fixing my mistakes much as it does the job of kneading without any kneading at all.
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  • Post #49 - December 7th, 2006, 10:49 pm
    Post #49 - December 7th, 2006, 10:49 pm Post #49 - December 7th, 2006, 10:49 pm
    Saint Pizza wrote:I think this recipe will appeal not to people who are too lazy to knead, but who can only make traditional bread on the weekends. This one is perfect for starting the night before, and popping into the oven when one gets home from work after a busy day.


    I agree, the best part about it is that it's easy to schedule around your day. Just start it the day before when you have a moment (it just takes 5 minutes to get everything together) and 18-24 hours from now, you'll be enjoying fresh bread. One day, I decided to make pizza instead and found that the dough makes perfectly acceptable pizza as well.

    The only time I had problem with the bottom overcooking was the first time, when I threw it into a 525F oven. Since then, I've baked at 475F and reduced the water a little, and the bread is fine.
  • Post #50 - December 9th, 2006, 10:34 am
    Post #50 - December 9th, 2006, 10:34 am Post #50 - December 9th, 2006, 10:34 am
    ChrisH wrote:
    Antonius wrote:I've followed this method several times and found that there is one basic problem: a tendency to end up with an overcooked bottom -- burned actually -- with a still excessively wet crumb. Others have reported these tendencies as well. Since these are problems that in simple terms pretty much call for opposite solutions, the required tinkering with the recipe starts to take on more significant dimensions.
    Antonius


    I've had this problem when I tried baking at 500F as per the video, but haven't had problems at 450F and still get a really good crust. Haven't had problems with the moistness of the crumb. When you say the problems call for "opposite solutions" do you mean that reducing water might fix the wet crumb but make the overcooked bottom worse? Is that clear? Does a drier dough make for a harder crust? I'm a complete novice but thought that it was the wet dough plus the enclosed pot that made the crust crusty in the first place.


    ChrisH,

    The "opposite solutions" to which I refer have to do with cooking time: in order to lessen the problem of a scorched and burnt bottom, less cooking time would be one obvious solution, and to lessen the problem of the wet crumb, more cooking time would be one obvious solution. But there are other ways to skin the proverbial cat.

    Reducing the water content in the dough, however, would not be a reasonable one, at least to my mind. One 'trick' or key to this recipe is that the high level of water allows for the gluten to develop without kneading -- less water, less effective development of the dough. So then, the essence of this recipe, as I understand these things, is that the high water content and long rising time allow the gluten to develop without kneading, while the small amount of yeast used allows for the long rising and proper development of flavour. So, given the interrelationships of things, reducing the water level much (though there certainly is some room for adjustment or variation) would do violence to the whole process.

    After contemplating the whole process at some length, I did the recipe again (dough made on Thurs., bread baked yesterday) with some adjustments that I thought would solve my problems and the results were excellent.

    1) I increased slightly the water content that I was using.
    2) I used a lower temperature, namely ca. 450º (my oven is tricky).
    3) I scored the loaf (though this didn't work all that well).
    4) I reduced the time I cooked the loaf with the cover on from 30 to 20 min.
    5) I increased the overall cooking time by 5 min.
    6) I did not preheat the vessel I cooked the bread in (just a few minutes, so that it wasn't cold).

    The results of the adjustments were pretty much all that I wanted, though I should have gone another five minutes in the overall baking. No burnt crust, excellent flavour and texture of both crust and crumb.

    As I said above, I've enjoyed the thinking and tinkering that this new method has engendered for me quite a bit.

    Nice crust on top:
    Image

    Nice, scorchless crust on the bottom:
    Image

    Nice and airy interior with lots of flavour:
    Image

    I maintain that the promotion of this method as a 'fool-proof' way for anybody to make bread is bull in a way, though well-intentioned bull, I think, and perhaps it's precisely what is needed actually to get non-bakers to give it a go. Still, every kitchen is different, every baker is different, and I suspect there exists no bread recipe that will work perfectly for everyone. One has to make adjustments, one has to learn through experience. I dont know that the adjustments I made on this recipe will work for others who have had the same problems but some of them might. In any event, it's been fun and the experiments have all been tasty.
    My hat's off to Lahey.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #51 - December 9th, 2006, 10:02 pm
    Post #51 - December 9th, 2006, 10:02 pm Post #51 - December 9th, 2006, 10:02 pm
    Antonius wrote:I maintain that the promotion of this method as a 'fool-proof' way for anybody to make bread is bull in a way, though well-intentioned bull, I think, and perhaps it's precisely what is needed actually to get non-bakers to give it a go.


    Certainly not quite fool-proof, but I think it's pretty fool accessible. I would suggest that the inadequacies you found in your initial foray are due at least in parts to your very high standards and expectations of a good loaf of bread.

    I've made this method probably 7 or 8 times now, and I've done so with varying degrees of strictness, fooled with (intentionally or no) water content, types of flour, rising times, preheating the pan, et al. Some loaves have been better than others, and I've certainly enjoyed the experimentation, but every one has tasted at least quite good, and only one looked a bit funnier than I would have expected coming out. And had this been my first try, rather than third or fourth, I would have still been impressed, I think.

    The last part I quoted above is very much on point, at least for me, and I suspect for others. I've seen this recipe distributed contagiously by email, like solicitations for a Nigerian prince.

    I've baked bread before, though never this style. It's not so much the "no-knead" dictum that gets me, but the idea that it's an art that you need to dedicate yourself to with some seriousness and precision.

    I started a couple years ago with a Beth Hensperger cookbook...don't recall the name offhand. Sort of an eight-step method, like Wiviott's 5-Step smoker method, working up to the more challenging breads.

    I think I got through Step 2. I was happy with the results, but there were certain tools I didn't have that I thought I needed, in the interest of precision. This sounds really, really stupid, but before I engaged in serious bread baking, I wanted a clear, flat-bottomed, proofing container with clear markings, so I can see when the dough doubled, etc. I wanted to be able to more closely control the proofing temp. Now, I'm not sure why I didn't ever either get what I needed or make do without and just bake some damn bread, but for one reason or another, I didn't.

    I don't believe this recipe alone would have motivated me further, but the positive reports in this thread certainly did, and it has really opened up a new world of experimentation, and good homemade bread. For that I'm quite grateful.
  • Post #52 - December 10th, 2006, 3:57 pm
    Post #52 - December 10th, 2006, 3:57 pm Post #52 - December 10th, 2006, 3:57 pm
    FWIW, I've had a lot of trouble working with a dough this wet and, although the bread has tended to come out well, I decided to plunge ahead and start varying the basic recipe a bit. I've upped the salt to 2 tsp (from 1.25 called for). That seems to be a good compromise. Then today, I dropped the water from 1.5 cups to 1.25. I was very concerned at first because the dough seemed so..."dry"...by comparison. But I forged ahead. After 18 hours it was soupy, but not unduly so. It formed into a ball quite easily and without much additional flour. I've been using a silpat mat for the rising: that's been a huge help. But with the reduced water today, much much easier to handle and it baked out perfectly. (30 mins. covered and 20 uncovered). In a few days, I'll try it in baguettes again. (First time did not work out well at all...) That's one of the blessings of this recipe: it's so easy and so time-unintensive that I bake two or three times a week now. Fresh bread is so damn good!
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #53 - December 15th, 2006, 12:31 pm
    Post #53 - December 15th, 2006, 12:31 pm Post #53 - December 15th, 2006, 12:31 pm
    I wonder if this new mass meme will bring back home bread baking? It did the trick for me. (And brought me back to this forum, even.)

    I tried the NYT method yesterday with half whole wheat and half all-purpose white, 1.5 cups water and about 1.5 tsp salt. The dough was much drier than described, as I should have expected if I'd thought through the ability of whole wheat to absorb. I sprinkled on a little more water, let it rise in the oven with the light on for about 20 hours. It didn't rise explosively or develop the giant bubbles as in the pix, but there were small bubbles on the surface. Dumped it on a floured flexible cutting board and covered with plastic wrap for the resting and second rise. (So far I highly recommend the thin, flexible cutting board over the towel idea, but we'll see what happens with the sloppy wet dough today.) Dusted the board and dough with Mexican-style coarse cornmeal for the final rise and finishing. It less than doubled. It had also dried and crusted over a bit.

    Filled with doubt, I dropped the lump, which had the consistency of modeling clay, into a preheated ceramic slowcooker insert topped with a heavy aluminum dutch oven cover. Baked closed at 475 about 25 minutes and open another 20. Best damn bread I ever baked, among the best I ever ate. Great crust, surprisingly moist and springy interior. No giant holes, but a lot of medium ones. Good whole wheat flavor -- a first for me. The inability to get nice wheat flavor put me off baking altogether for some time.

    So this no-knead fad may not only bring new bread bakers to the fold, but bring some old ones back to try again. Now the second batch is in the cold oven for another 4 or 5 hours, this time with 2 c whole wheat and 1 white, and more water for a sloppier dough. We'll see what happens.

    <b>And finally to the question-- </b>all this got me reading my old cookbooks (Laurel's, Moosewood, etc.), and wanting to use better, more interesting, fresher flour. I can't justify spending 200+ on a grainmill, so what's the next best thing? I'll be checking out Home Economist in Skokie today. Anything else? Back in the heyday of bread machines there were all these shops with special flour and grain, some of which let you grind your own. Did every single one of these bite the dust? Maybe if the no-knead fashion stays around long enough we'll see the return of such things.
  • Post #54 - December 15th, 2006, 12:52 pm
    Post #54 - December 15th, 2006, 12:52 pm Post #54 - December 15th, 2006, 12:52 pm
    Davey wrote:... wanting to use better, more interesting, fresher flour. I can't justify spending 200+ on a grainmill, so what's the next best thing?


    Davey,

    I can't speak to what flour might be best for the no-knead method, but as a die-hard yes-knead practitioner, I have tried just about every brand out there and consider giustos to give the best results for a wide range of breads.

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #55 - December 15th, 2006, 6:25 pm
    Post #55 - December 15th, 2006, 6:25 pm Post #55 - December 15th, 2006, 6:25 pm
    Looks like some really interesting stuff, there, Bill but with the shipping cost, probably too pricey for regular use.

    I checked out the Home Economics in Skokie but didn't see that their selection was much wider, nor their prices much better, than wholefoods or wild oats. Seemed mostly about nuts and candy.

    My second loaf -- a wetter version of the first, this time with 2/3 whole wheat, is now doing its second rise. It was quite sloppy at first, but is now firm enough to move around by hand without all the towel drama. Downside of all this is, I'm now starting to obsess about a grainmill, which makes no economic sense at all and would just be another thing taking up kitchen space. And yet it preys on the mind so.

    PS, Bill, some of the best bread I ever had was at Taos out your way -- baked in the wood-fired honeycomb clay outdoor ovens. Amazing stuff.
  • Post #56 - December 15th, 2006, 8:06 pm
    Post #56 - December 15th, 2006, 8:06 pm Post #56 - December 15th, 2006, 8:06 pm
    Davey wrote:. . . I'm now starting to obsess about a grainmill, which makes no economic sense at all and would just be another thing taking up kitchen space. And yet it preys on the mind so.


    Hmmm. Maybe I just want someone else out there with a cluttered kitchen, but if you have a KitchenAid mixer grain mill attachemnents are available in the $90-100 range. Look here or here.

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #57 - December 16th, 2006, 10:21 am
    Post #57 - December 16th, 2006, 10:21 am Post #57 - December 16th, 2006, 10:21 am
    Davey wrote:Looks like some really interesting stuff, there, Bill but with the shipping cost, probably too pricey for regular use.


    Davey,

    Not sure the shipping cost is as bad you might think. I just received a 30 pound shipment and the shipping cost was $13. I once did a calculation of my material cost including shipping and came up with about 75 cents per baguette. FWIW.

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #58 - December 17th, 2006, 2:23 am
    Post #58 - December 17th, 2006, 2:23 am Post #58 - December 17th, 2006, 2:23 am
    For completely different reasons, this recipe intrigued me greatly. Because of celiac disease, all of my baking is done without gluten. If you've ever looked at GF recipes, you'll notice that they have soooo many things added to them - eggs, vinegar, whey, other dough enhancers, and the list goes on. I had been thinking I wanted to deconstruct GF bread and, right on cue, here came this recipe.

    I used a GF mix of several flours and a starch or two. I had to add xanthan gum to keep it together, but wanted it pretty close to the original recipe. I decided to add a bit of sweetener (agave syrup) and a bit of sweet whey. This decidedly helps with browning and flavor in GF goods. But, I eliminated all the other things I always have used in the past.

    I wish I could see one of your doughs. GF flours behave differently, so I don't know how "wet" mine is in comparison. For a GF dough, it is slightly wet, but about normal. For what I remember of a gluten flour dough, it seems pretty wet.

    Like one of the other posters here, I have made my final dough more stiff. It's the only way I can get the shape to hold well (I think). I add some more flour at the gentle folding and end up doing a bit of gentle kneading. The dough is the closest thing to a gluten dough I've touched in about 6 years. It was fabulous. I shape it and put it in a bowl the same size at what I want my final result to be. The second rise helps keep it in shape and from spreading sideways, which is a problem with GF dough.

    I have baked in a cast iron/porcelain covered Dutch oven and in Corningware. I actually like it better in the Corningware, but it's great in both. For me, it reminds me of the Lithuanian rye I used to eat. It's nothing like your pictures, but for gluten-free? It's the best I've ever eaten.

    If anyone had pictures of what it looks like at first mixing, and again when it's fully risen and ready to be shaped, I'd love to see them. It might help me see how close my texture is to the gluten recipe. Because my flours absorb water at different rates, the ratios don't help me as much as seeing a picture. Thanks - I'm so happy to have found the forum

    Ann - west Lakeview
  • Post #59 - February 12th, 2007, 8:56 am
    Post #59 - February 12th, 2007, 8:56 am Post #59 - February 12th, 2007, 8:56 am
    I just happened to see this on a chow.com blog:

    The Fallout of No Knead Bread

    Tea Austen Weaver wrote:The No Knead bread recipe has taken the food world by storm, but it’s taking a toll on the cookware. People are stealing knobs off display model Dutch ovens to replace those that have been damaged.

    Jim Lahey’s No Knead Bread recipe (registration required) from The New York Times requires baking in a Dutch oven at high temperatures in order to get the crisp crust everyone is raving about. But woe the Le Creuset that may not be able to handle the heat: Their standard Phenolic knobs are safe only to 375°.

    ...
    Joe G.

    "Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
  • Post #60 - February 12th, 2007, 11:56 pm
    Post #60 - February 12th, 2007, 11:56 pm Post #60 - February 12th, 2007, 11:56 pm
    I wondered about that! I actually prefer mine in the Corningware, so use it most of the time, but have used the Dutch oven a couple of times. I looked at the knob once after taking it out and wondered if it was safe at that high heat. I don't have Le Creuset, rather a much less expensive version, though I imagine the handle is quite similar in composition.

    For those who can't eat gluten, there is nothing nearly as good as this recipe (using a nice GF mix of flours and starches).

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