Master Recipes: No-Knead Bread

Unless you have celiac disease or you’re one of those weirdos lovely people who eat carb-free, making your own bread is a great skill to develop in the kitchen. I use this recipe more than any recipe besides my pancake/waffle mix. We go through 3-4 batches a week.

To give credit, this is my lightly tweaked version of this recipe.

Yield: 2 8″ loaves, or 4 baguettes

Ingredients

  • 433g Bread Flour (I buy this in 50lb sacks at Costco)
  • 433g Whole Wheat Flour (I get the best results from Gold-Medal brand)
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 709g water (cold to lukewarm from the tap)

Directions

  1. Using a food scale like this one, measure out the dry ingredients in a LARGE mixing bowl. You can vary the flour to taste. I’ve successfully used up to 700g whole wheat but I prefer the flavor and mild cost savings of doing 50/50 flour.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together thoroughly with a whisk.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, make a well in the center of the bowl.
  4. Pour water into the well. Stir dough together, slowly working the spoon outwards in the bowl to incorporate more flour. By the end, it does require some muscle to keep stirring. You want the flour thoroughly wet to avoid dry spots, but the dough will be rough or shaggy looking.
  5. Cover bowl with a wet towel and let rise 5 hours at room temperature. Going longer than this is acceptable. I’ve forgotten the bowl overnight before and had the bread turn out just fine.
  6. After the dough has risen, you can put the bowl in the fridge and store for several days, or prepare it for baking.
  7. To prepare for baking, turn dough onto a floured surface. Divide it into two halves. Shape each half into a roughly 8″x12″ rectangle. Fold it in thirds like a letter and place seam-side down in a greased 8″ loaf pan. You can also take a loaf portion and split it into two to make baguettes.
  8. Recover loaf pans and allow to rise for about an hour. The crest of the loaf will be around the top of the loaf pan when it is ready to bake.
  9. Bake at 450F for 30 minutes. Allow to fully cool before slicing.

This is a wonderful bread that requires very little hands-on time and turns out a very nice and tight-crumb perfect for sandwiches but still has a crispy crust when fresh – perfect for baguettes and plain bread-and-butter. Some days I am on top of my game and get it all made the same day, but typically I’ll forget to mix the dough until dinner time. I’ll let it rise, put it in the fridge overnight at bedtime, then bake it first thing in the morning before leaving for work.

More importantly, unlike recipes which require lots of kneading, I’ve never had this recipe “flop”. It’s incredibly forgiving.

Variation Tested 7-1-14: Add 1/4 flaxseed meal. Turned out quite tasty.

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One Comment on “Master Recipes: No-Knead Bread”

  1. […] this is a slightly chewy, denser loaf than my other No-Knead Bread. It has a nutty, tangy flavor that may be too much for some, but my kids seem no more ambivalent […]


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