Home > food > you knew I'd make some bread. you had to.

you knew I'd make some bread. you had to.

December 22, 2006

It will come as no surprise to any of my regular readers that I HAD to make this bread. I am a BIG fan of breadmaking, and an even bigger fan of any method that is less labor intensive as the regular, knead-till-your-arms-fall-off method, well as is cognizant of the tremendous power of yeast.

So here, in all it’s glory, is my attempt at No-Knead Bread. A few notes:

First, I did not let this stuff rise and ferment for 18 hours. I did not have 18 hours. Mr. Angst and I did Christmas with each other (and with the out-of-town gifts my family has sent) this morning. So I received my brand new dutch oven, therefore, at 10 am (thanks, brother!). Also, we are leaving to celebrate Christmas with the Angst family tomorrow morning, at about 9 am. But I really, really wanted to play with the dutch oven before we left (and what better way to play than to bake bread that sort of requires one). I also figured it would be really coool to take fresh, homemade bread to my in-laws.

All that to say, my dough got a 9 hour rise. (To be fair, I added a LITTLE bit more yeast–perhaps 50% more than the recipe calls for, hoping it might offset the shortened rising time.)

Here it is at 8 hours. Many, many bubbles. Many, many threads of gluten. I think it got so developed so quickly because I let it do about 6 hours of its rise in the oven, which has a resting temperature somewhere probably around 80 degrees, just a little higher than the recommended 70-degree-room temperature.

8 hours rise

Here is the dough after the scraping, flouring, and folding. Um, folks? The dough is MUCH wetter than it looks in the little video on the NY Times website. Maybe I didn’t use “just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers” because it was STICKY. I kept adding flour, though, and finally was able to get it into a rough ball. You can see my cotton towel coated with white cornmeal, ready to take the dough for the second rise.

shaped bread

Here is the bread after the second rise, ready to go into the HOT HOT HOT dutch oven. HOT HOT HOT. I’m excited, though, because I know that, at this point, we’re only an hour or so away from fresh bread. Not that we’re cutting into it tonight. No sirree. Once it cools, it gets wrapped up for tomorrow.

second rise

And here’s the dough in the pot. Getting it into the pot was the trickiest part, I think. It’s pretty floppy stuff, and doesn’t really go where you want it to. I tried shaking the pot once the dough was in, to get it to even out, but that didn’t really work. Eh. If it’s uneven, it’s uneven. At this point I was more concerned that the steaming thing (the whole point of using a pot with a lid) wouldn’t work because I had to take the handle off the pot lid (not able to withstand the temperature, you know, and my foil makeshift didn’t stay).

in the pot

Now I’ve taken off the lid. Now would be the time to mention that the smell of this stuff is pretty heavenly. I can only imagine how good the apartment would smell if I made it with cinnamon and raisins, or with cheese, or with any other yummy, flavorful filling. I took the lid off after about 28 minutes, which seems to be around the right amount of time, since I can tell a bit of a crust is forming. The rest of the oven time will just be for browning all over. Yum!

lid off

The finished product, after another 20 minutes in the oven. I wish I also had a picture of the crumb to show you, but I am not cutting into this any time soon–I really want it to cool fully!

finished bread

I can hear the crust crackling, so I’m pretty excited about digging into this stuff. (Yeah, yeah, I know, I have to wait. Or DO I?)

Update: OK, I lied. I couldn’t wait. Here’s the crumb. It’s not as full of big giant holes as some of the other examples out there on the web, but pretty respectable, nonetheless. (And tasty. Yeah, yeah. Oh well.)


Categories: food
  1. December 24, 2006 at 9:05 am

    You just may have inspired me to bake some bread. I have done it in eons. My mom used to bake bread fairly frequently and it was sooooo yummy. Perhaps a bread baking post is in my future as well! 🙂

  2. PG
    January 5, 2007 at 2:56 am

    Another blogging breadmaker! Send me your mailing address and I will send you something you may enjoy/ find useful.

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