Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Speedy no knead bread success!

Well, I did it. I have achieved dirt simple no knead bread success. If you recall, I've been trying a number of different recipes over the years varying from the basic No-Knead Bread recipe from the NY Times to the Five Minutes a Day Bread recipe to fancier ones. The results have varied from hockey puck to tolerable at best.

Yesterday, I decided to give the Speedy No Knead Bread recipe a whirl (also from the NY Times). All you do is stir together bread flour, yeast, salt and water. Wait four hours, let it rest 30 minutes after a few folds and bake. And it turned out fantastic. As good as the bread we buy from local bakeries for $5 a loaf. Even the ever Mr. Picky Bread declared it a victory. And the best part is we can use locally grown flour in our recipes.

What did I do differently to achieve such amazing results? Well, aside from the different recipe, I think the fact that our house is warmer (due to warmer weather) created a better environment for the rise. But, the biggest change had more to do with the fact that I used an actual enamel cast iron dutch oven that we acquired since the last time I tried making no knead bread, which was a while ago. I'm fairly sure that had a lot to do with the success of this bread, and I'll have to go back and try the other recipes that require a dutch oven to see if there's improvement.

In the meantime, we'll definitely be adding fresh baked bread back into our weekly baking since it's so damn easy. Have you tried the no knead method of baking bread and did it work for you? Now, that the weather is cooling off, will you be baking more of your own bread?


Farmer's Daughter said...

I like to bake bread but have a hard time doing it on weekdays. I'll have to try out the no knead recipe, but I must admit that I feel good after 15 minutes or so of kneading! It gives me the perfect excuse to eat a bunch of warm slices!

Kristi said...

"And the best part is we can use locally grown flour in our recipes.

Where have you found locally grown flour? The best I've been able to find is Stone-Buhr's that's grown in eastern Washington (which is better than Alberta, but not 150-mile local).

Crunchy Chicken said...

Kristi - I don't know where in the Pacific NW you live, but you probably won't find wheat grown any closer than Eastern WA.

Shepherd's Grain is an alliance of sustainably grown grains out of the NW. I can buy their flour in bulk at my local grocery store.

Bluebird Grain Farms is also a good source of both whole grain and milled grains (they sell organic bread flour). They are out of Winthrop and sell at several retail markets.

Marino said...

I've made beer bread once which i guess is a type of no knead bread. probably the easiest as u don't need to add yeast since it's already in the beer. really yum stuff too and cheap to make unless u only like the fancy breads. Here's the recipe here and a pic of it (after most of us had sampled it :D)

But yeah, my Mum, Nan, and Great-nan all made Maori rewana bread from the same bug which I pretty much grew up on. Yum! I found a lady who makes and sells authentic Maori bread at the market last weekend and turns out she's actually from my home town. tis a small world

Madz in NZ

Crunchy Chicken said...

Marino - That looks interesting (and thanks for the tip on making your own self-rising flour - I've never seen that before).

How does Maori bread differ from an Italian or French bread? I'm assuming it uses yeast?

Anonymous said...

Since the warmest my house gets in the winter is right at 65 degrees, the no-knead bread rises VERY slowly. The best place to get it to rise, for me, is to turn on my oven light and place the dough in there. The light really makes a big difference in how fast bread raises when the house is cool.

Lee in KY

Green Fundraising Ideas said...

Not that my figure needs more bread, but I'm going to have to try this! Sounds yummy and easy - two of my favorite things!


DiElla said...

I make a bread that takes 8 to12 hours to rise but it makes 3 loves of bread, or 2 loves and 3 pizza crust. I half bake the pizza crust and put them and one of the loaves in the freezer for later use so its worth the work. I'm definitely will try the on knead bread for when I haven't planed ahead.

Anonymous said...

I got the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book about 18 months ago and it revolutionized my cooking and shopping. While I still occasionally get a loaf that isn't "bakery quality," the vast majority are. I love having different batches in the fridge and the versatility.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Awwwwww! I want an actual enamel cast iron dutch oven!! Sounds heavenly.

All of my bread-making (both kneaded and non-kneaded) has turned out mediocre at best. If you promise - absolutely promise - this is so damn easy, I'm willing to give it a try. I do love to make bread! Sadly, I'm just not very good at it.

Green Bean said...

I've been baking up a storm and seem to have had better luck with the 5 Minutes a Day recipe. I do let my bread rise MUCH longer than suggested and that has definitely helped. Glad to hear about your luck and your new dutch oven. :)

FernWise said...

I've had great luck with the 5 minutes a day recipe. I don't really bake bread in the summer, so now that the weather is cold I'll be baking steadily ... once the farmer's market closes in a few weeks.

Cheap Like Me said...

Yay! I'm glad it worked for you! I make a lot of bread, and a while back I figured out making my own cost 41 cents a loaf, as compared to $5 at the store.

I put up a detailed tutorial if anyone's interested.

Since that post, I learned you can keep this stuff in the fridge, pull out the dough while the oven heats up, and bake it then and there. You can also make pitas or naan really fast in the oven or even on the stove.

Laurie in Mpls. said...

For those who keep their houses cool (or even quite cool), I got a great tip from the bread making class I just took:

Put a 3 quart pot on the stove to simmer/boil while you are making up the dough -- mixing stuff up, kneading, etc. It should be at a nice simmer by the time you are done. Put the pot and the covered dough in the oven together for the rise time. The just simmered water adds the right amount of heat and humidity to the enclosed area of the oven to make a great environment for the yeast in the dough to do its thing.

Obviously, while this would work for the no-knead stuff, you'd need to adjust when you simmer/boil the water. I tried this recently with pizza dough and it seems to have worked quite nicely.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Cheap Like Me - That's an awesome tutorial!

Laurie - I'm totally going to use that technique.

die Frau said...

Ditto on the Artisan Bread...although I think I need to add a bit more yeast or something when I use a previously frozen bit of loaf--it turns out edible but very flat. Thanks for the tip of having it rise in the oven--never thought of that!

Sally said...

No matter what recipe, mine would still be hockey puck. :)

MissAnna said...

Finally tried the no-knead bread! I actually used the amount of yeast for the speedy version, but left it to rise all day in our cold house. I warmed up the oven a bit before letting the dough rise to keep the temp a little higher than our "freeze your buns" 56 deg then let it sit there while I was at work. (For shorter rise times, I've also just left the oven light on. The extra heat from the bulb keeps the oven a bit warmer) Definitely a great recipe to keep around!