Wednesday, September 8, 2010

No Knead to Worry

I enjoyed another, lovely, Labor Day "Staycation" this year and used the time to finally achieve a successful loaf of bread!  A friend of mine had suggested that I try the "no knead" method because I was having difficulties due to lack of good counter space and a sturdy enough table to really lay into the dough :) So that's what I did!


I chose to do half wheat, half white flour to start off...and it was just as simple as promised. First you mix together 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon (fine) sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast, and 1 1/2 cups warm water until it all just comes together.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-20 hours.

Then use a wet spatula (or wet hands) to get dough out of the bowl and onto a floured surface (it should look goopy and sticky, so don't worry!)

Use (wet) spatula (or hands) to gently form into a ball...then transfer to a floured, cotton, towel (no terry cloth because the fluffy fibers will end up in your bread!)

Wrap loosely and let rest for two hours. It should double in size.

With a half hour of rest time still left...put dutch oven (or any oven proof covered pot) in oven and pre-heat to 450 degrees.  After 30 minutes, take pot out and use the towel to roll the dough ball in (shake a little to even it doesn't matter how it falls in :)

Bake loaf (covered) for 30 minutes then remove cover and bake for an additional 15 to get a nice brown, crispy crust!

* I made a second, all white, loaf the next day (using warmed up whey I'd strained out of my homemade yogurt to make cheese). I was "naughty" and basted the top with butter before browning the crust.  I know it's not as healthy...but YUM!!!! It's my favorite of the two.

They were at their best, still warm, with butter.....mmmm. And continue to be lovely with hummus or marmite and yogurt cheese!

The thing that struck me the most with the whole "no knead" method is that the person who loves it the most, does so because they never really have to get their hands dirty...hence the emphasis on using a wet spatula or hands so the dough wont stick to you.

I  like the "put it to the side" and it's rather quick...for now...aspect.  But I WANT to get my hands dirty!!!


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