No-knead bread

Second post is just as nerve wreaking as the first! While first impressions are difficult to get right, the second has to live up.

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And so, while it was raining yesterday, I decided to make the infamous no knead bread! I mostly followed this recipe from Pinch of Yum, but to be honest when do I really follow recipes. Threw in some bread knowledge from bread week from The Great British Baking Show, nervously kept Googling image of what the bread is supposed to look like, panicked while deciding to use my Le Creuset or Staub (went with the Staub since it was taller) and how to preheat it, and a few hours later… a loaf of beauty.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast (regular, not instant)
  • ~ 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1-3/4 warm water (since it’s winter, roughly mixed half hot water and half cold water from our water dispenser)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons salt

Not-So-Steps

  • Bloomed yeast with 1/4 cup of the water and sugar for ~5 min
  • Dumped flour on top, salt, and 1-1/4 water
  • Stirred until dough formed, adding a bit of reserved water as needed until all flour got incorporated
  • Dough was extremely sticky 
  • Plastic wrapped the bowl and set it in the cupboard…
  • … but then realized that it was frigid in the kitchen and brought it into a room where the heater was running (room temp registered at ~71F. Would have put it on top of the fridge, but it was cold to the touch).
  • Overall, let the bread rise about 6 hours in the bowl (most recommendations give 6-8 hours, up to 18 hours, I’m too impatient)
  • Scraped the sticky dough onto floured parchment, shaped it into a round ball, added some flour on top of the dough
  • Covered dough with adorable kitchen towel.
  • Let it rest for another hour while I preheated my 4qt dutch oven on the stove top and the oven to 445 (I know dutch ovens generally are safe until 450-500, but at the cost of them, my brain said a 5 degree decrease would protect my kitchen investment)
  • Made a fancy X on top with a sharpened knife
  • Gingerly placed the dough into the dutch oven, dutch oven into the oven
  • Baked covered for 30 min
  • Baked uncovered for 15 min
  • Removed the (burnt) parchment paper and let the bread rest overnight on a cooling rack
  • Sliced and consumed with butter, sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.

Future Revisions

  • Preheat the dutch oven in the oven. I think the parchment paper burnt at the bottom because most of the heat was concentrated on the bottom of the dutch oven. Whoops. Added flavor..?
  • Add more sugar, or use brown sugar/honey for additional flavoring 
  • Mix in herbs, fruit, nuts, whatever for additional yum.
  • Do a full 18 hour rise for kicks and giggles
  • Use different flours (whole wheat, rye, etc) for more flavor

I think Paul Hollywood would give me a half smile, dontchathink. 

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