The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Finally Trying Lahey No-Knead Technique

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foodslut's picture
foodslut

Finally Trying Lahey No-Knead Technique

I've been hemming and hawing for a while about trying the Lahey technique, but when I managed to find an interesting ceramic cooking vessel for $7 at a thrift store ....

.... I thought it was time to give it a go.

Used an 80% hydration dough, with a pain de campagne combination of flours (88% unbleached white, 6% whole wheat, 6% dark whole wheat rye) in a 475 degree oven, 30 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered.

The top-of-post shot shows the crust I got - very happy with that.

Here's what the crumb ended up looking like:

Very nice crust, but I was hoping for a bit more more of an open crumb.  Still a damned tasty loaf (to be the starch side for a fresh tomato salad), but any advice re:  getting a more open crumb would be appreciated.

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I think the bread you got is not far off and fairly typical of NK bread results for most folks.  For bigger holes you need all the planets to line up, do a very few S&F's and have the light airy touch of Empress Ying's gentle fingers.   It has to taste as good as it looks. 

 

foodslut's picture
foodslut

I did three S&Fs before an overnight in-the-fridge ferment.  As for the fingers and planets, not there yet :)

The good news is that it does taste good, so everything else is fine tuning, not huge adjustments.

mike_s's picture
mike_s

I suspect the in-the-fridge ferment was responsible for the fine crumb.

I've been making no-knead and almost-no-knead bread for more than 4 years.  I usually have the opposite problem, wanting a finer crumb.  I usually ferment at room temperature the whole time - about 22 hours from mixing to baking.  (This does tend to exhaust the yeast.  A shorter time would be better.)  As an experiment, my last loaf fermented on the counter 9 hours, in the fridge 9 hours, and 3 more hours on the counter.  This loaf came out with a finer, more even crumb than any of my previous attempts.

foodslut's picture
foodslut

I'll have to try a version with maybe a touch less yeast, but proofed @ room temp next time.

carefreebaker's picture
carefreebaker

I made a loaf of Lahey's NK today too. Your crumb looks just like mine. I am interested in knowing what is the name on the top of your baking vessel?

foodslut's picture
foodslut

.... are "Apple Baker" on top of the lid, and "Bakin' (TM)" under the base.  I bought used at a thrift shop, so no packaging for more information, I'm afraid.

Even if I don't use it for more Lahey-style bread, I can use it for slow-baking tagines/stews.

carefreebaker's picture
carefreebaker

I saw one for sale on ebay for $30.

taurus430's picture
taurus430

I've been baking no knead for almost 5 yrs, but wasn't into the whole grain thing. That has changed now and this baking season I purchased seeds and whole grains to incorporate into my no knead doughs. I had good luck with Lahey's Carrot Bread, another thread and pic on here.

Question: Is this dough the standard 3 cups flour (variety), 1 1/2 cups water, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp yeast?

foodslut's picture
foodslut

.... so I don't know if it's exactly the standard - like I mentioned above, it was 80% hydration, with a mix of white & other flour.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

foodslut's picture
foodslut

I've taken to baking a loaf of bread using this technique every weekend not because it's efficient, but because it gives a slightly different loaf to the ones I bake freehand outside of a clay cooker.  It gives me a bit of variety in bread selections during the week.