~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Almost No Knead Bread

Almost No Knead Bread(Crusty Bread). I love crusty bread! And to be able to make it at home...who would have thought!
I was introduced originally to the NY Times "No Knead Bread" by my sister. She had tried it at home and had awesome results and was thrilled to share it with me. Well, Cooks Illustrated came up with their own "Almost No Knead Bread Recipe" that I had to try! It is a bit more easier than the New York Times and yet different...The crust still has a nice crunch, it is easier to chew, has a softer and finer crumb texture which I like.
Both are great ....the NY Times version is just a bit more rustic than the Cook's Illustrated method.
Well, today I had to start on it as I was curious to see the final product. Boy, was I ever pleased!!! I really, really like it! I hope you will try it as well.There is a really neat video you can see at breadtopia that shows you how to accomplish this wonderful bread step by step. Just click on their link and enjoy! Breadtopia...
I really like the fact that you can add all sorts of ingredients to vary the breads. I did 2 breads at one time. One I left simple the other one I experimented a bit with... I added sesame seeds, dried onion flakes,poppy seeds and Parmesan cheese (things I had around the house).
This recipe makes you look like a professional bread baker!!
I hope you will try it as well...you will be pleased with the final product. I listed a White flour recipe as well as the Whole Wheat recipe in case you prefer to try both. I did both of my breads (for this post)using the White Flour recipe...I have also seen other folks using all spelt flour
haven't tried that version yet, but would love to try it...

Note: I have also made an olive and rosemary version you can see HERE

White Flour Recipe:
  • 3 cups (15 ounces) all purpose or bread flour
  • 1/4 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup + 2 TBS. (7 ounces) water at room temp
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBS. (3 ounces) mild flavored lager (or any beer)
  • 1 TBS white vinegar
Whole Wheat Recipe:
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all purpose or bread flour
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 TBS. honey (I used 2 Tbs. raw sugar)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 TBS. (7 ounces) water at room temp
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBS. (3 ounces) mild flavored lager(or any beer)
  • 1 TBS. white vinegar
Note: The beer can be non-alcoholic.

1. In a large bowl add flour, yeast, and salt. Mix well.

2. Add water:

3. And then add the beer and vinegar.
4. Mix well to incorporate all the dry ingredients with the wet.

5. Form into a ball and cover with a plastic wrap.
6. Let rise for 8-18 hrs in a 70 deg warm place. (I placed mine in the oven... turned off).

7. Flour your working place(countertop) and place the risen dough bread onto it. It is at this point you may want to add seeds, cheese etc. as you knead the dough 10-15 times being careful not to deflate all the bubbles in the dough. It is a soft dough...don't put all your strength into it.

8. Form into a ball and place on a lightly greased parchment paper lightly grease the top.
9. Add any toppings (or omit if doing plain) and cover with plastic.
10 Let rise for 2 hours.
11. Score with a sharp blade 1/2 inch deep and sprinkle with some flour.

12. After 1 1/2 hour has passed preheat the oven to 500 deg F for 35 minutes with the Corningware(or dutch oven) in it.

13. Place bread with parchment in hot corning ware. Reduce temperature to 425 deg F when the bread dough goes in and bake covered for 30 minutes.
14. Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes....or until the internal bread temperature reaches about 200 degrees. Cool and Enjoy a slice or two!


Lidia said...

Hi Ellie. Can cider vinegar be substituted for beer?

Ellie said...

Hi Lidia, Since the recipe already has some vinegar, you can add another TBS of cider vinegar and just use water for the rest(3TBS)...or simply replace the whole amount of beer with water. It shouldn't affect the bread too much...the beer is supposed to mimic the sourdough taste. Hope that helps:)...and enjoy!

Anonymous said...

why do you need vinegar in this bread recipe? just curious. I wonder what happens if omitted. Thanks for sharing your recipies and advice.

Ellie said...

Anon, Thanks for stopping by...as for answering your question, the reason vinegar is added...and for that matter the beer, is because it imparts a "bready" flavor to the bread.... tries to mimic the sourdough starter taste that normal rustic breads use...

Since this is a Cook's Illustrated( ATK) version of the NY Times No Knead Bread, I'll quote them as they explain it in their book: " To boost the flavor of this simple bread( has no starter), we found that a little beer and a dash of vinegar lent a valuable but subtle " bready" tang."

I'm sure you can skip it and add plain water...the bread will still come out... maybe a bit different in flavor, but still a great bread:)