Sunday, September 16, 2007

Baking Bread - FB2B, part 73

The recipe for "No-Knead Bread" reverberated throughout the blog world last fall with many a bread baking novice trying it out with good results. I've always enjoyed making bread, but never really seem to get around to doing it very often, even though I took a course about it when I lived in London. There's a certain satisfaction about pulling a hot, crusty loaf out of the oven and impatiently waiting to cut into its soft, chewy goodness.

So I pulled the recipe and filed it away to try later. I'm not sure why I let it sit until now, but reading on Jaden's blog, Jaden's Steamy Kitchen, about the success of her son in making this bread made me feel a bit guilty about not having gotten myself together to do it as well. Epicurious and Slashfood both mentioned her post this week, and with the drop in temperature to a more fall-like consistency this weekend, the timing seemed right for me to try it, too. By now, it was cool enough that running the oven wouldn't also run me out of my apartment.

It's definitely as easy as everyone says it is. One step that I took that varied from the recipe was to dissolve the yeast in the warm water before mixing it into the flour. I'm not sure if that made a difference or not. The other was to use half-whole wheat flour and half-white flour, which produced a loaf slightly darker on the inside than you'll see in the other posts' pictures.


The key to this recipe as the Times article and others point out is that time takes the place of kneading. For you readers who might not be able to be distracted for the time it takes to work the dough, this might be the perfect project. I started this the night before I wanted to bake it, and let it sit there on the counter while I ran errands the next morning. Time really did do all the work as the pictures below show.

I didn't have a pan that was the correct size, and that and my lack of ability in making a very round shape for the dough before it rested prior to baking meant that my loaf was more elongated than it probably should have been. Still, when it came to biting into that first slice, slathered in good French butter and drizzled with some leftover Greek honey, I can tell you that that it didn't matter a bit. The taste was just what it should have been. I am definitely keeping this recipe to try again.

Buon appetito!


After the dough has risen for a couple of hours


After rising overnight


Getting ready to take "a nap"

See what I mean? I need a smaller pan which will also help with the sizing.

Coming out of the oven

Trying the results!

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