Sunday, April 27, 2008

Auntie X's No-Knead Bread

Every weekend I make a batch of No-Knead Bread, sometimes I make extra dough and freeze it for later. I really love the flavor and texture that the long, slow rise gives the bread. My recipe is based on the NY Times recipe with a few changes.

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast (I just eyeball it in the palm of my hand)
1 to 2 teaspoons raw/turbinado sugar (eyeballed)
1 to 2 teaspoons salt (again, I just eyeball it)
1-5/8 cups warm tapwater

1. In a big bowl mix all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until all the flour is wet, don't stress over having everything incorporated because the long rise will cover a multitude of sins.

2. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let sit on top of the fridge or in some other warm, draft-free place for 12 to 18 hours.

3. About a half hour before you're ready to bake the bread pre-heat the oven as hot as it will go: 500 F if yours will allow, mine tops out at 450 F. Liberally flour your countertop, much more heavily than you would for other breads or cookies... if you see any spots of countertop the dough will stick. Basically the dough is a very wet dough. Dump the dough out onto the floured surface and scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. Don't try to knead the dough, just fold it into thirds from both directions, flour the top, then cover with the plastic wrap off the bowl, and let rest for 30 minutes.

While your dough is resting, prep your loaf pan. First I take a large piece of aluminum foil, about twice as long as the loaf pan or longer:

Place the loaf pan in the middle of the piece of foil and first fold up the long edges against the outside of the loaf pan:

Then squeeze the ends together at each end of the loaf pan:

Then lift the short end of the foil up against the ends of the loaf pan and crimp to secure:

Now take the loaf pan out of the foil, and presto, you have a perfect mirror image that will keep the steam in, allowing the bread to rise to its maximum height before crusting.

I use Earth Balance or Soy Garden to lightly grease the loaf pan:

Once the dough has rested for 30 minutes, drop it into the loaf pan, it doesn't much matter how un-gracefully you do this, because it pretty much evens out in the oven.

Next, cover the loaf pan with the tinfoil tent and squeeze the edges tightly to the pan for as close a seal as possible:

Next pop the loaf into the pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, use tongs to remove the aluminum foil and bake another 20 minutes to brown the crust.

The beauty of this recipe is that it is so forgiving.


affectioknit said...

That sounds super - I've got to try it.



Auntie X said...

You're welcome! It really is stupid-easy and tastes crazy-good :)

Anonymous said...

any variation for usign a metal loaf pan instead of the glass/pyrex?

Auntie X said...

I would use the same process for a metal loaf pan. My metal ones are wider, so they produce a shorter loaf, but you could increase the recipe to make a larger, more proportionate loaf.