The Fresh Loaf

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New York Times article on slow rise bread baked in a pot!

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cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

New York Times article on slow rise bread baked in a pot!

The New York Times had a great article by Mark Bittman on making bread

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html

Ideas:

 

1. Use a very hydrated dough

 

2. Use only a small amount of yeast, 1/4 teaspoon

 

3. No kneading

 

4. Rise at cool room temperature for 18 hours and fold a few times at the end

 

5. Proof for a few hours

 

6. Dump into a preheated Dutch oven (a wrought iron or similar cast iron pot with a cover) at 450F, cover, and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and let finish. You just dump the dough into the hot pot!

 

New ideas for me: the preheated covered pot! I shall have to try this.

 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

A friend sent this to me as well. Fantastic! The author says he's tried it with whole wheat, so I think I'll give that a try with a hydration of 80-82%. See what happens. The video is well worth watching.

titus's picture
titus

Thanks for posting that!

Cooky's picture
Cooky

This looks like the perfect solution to my chronic problems with shaping the super-hydrated doughs that give you the gorgeous crumb-and-crust. Can't wait to try it! (Of course, this is going to have me out scouring the discount bins for other shapes and sizes of covered pots....)

 

 

"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

saltandserenity's picture
saltandserenity

After reading the title of this post you may have either one of two reactions. If you are a fellow bread freak you may be saying to yourself, "What?? Who is she kidding?  That is so last decade. Mark Bittman wrote about Jim Layhey's revolutionary no-knead bread in 2006! Every food blogger worth her salt has reported on this bread." If you are not a bread freak, you may be saying, "What?? No knead bread. She's been inhaling too much bleached bread flour.  How could that be possible?" So, to the bread freaks reading this, I apologize for reporting on something you have already heard about ad nauseam. To the rest of you, I say, yes, this is possible and it's spectacular.


Full report on my blog:


http://saltandserenity.com/2011/02/10/no-knead-bread/


Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I've already printed off the recipe to give it a try this weekend. I can't wait and experiment with sourdough!!! Thanks for sharing!!

 

verminiusrex's picture
verminiusrex

A friend sent me the same link first thing this morning.  I got an enamel stock pot with lid this morning, and my 4 year old "helped" me mix the dough around noon.  I'll shape the loaf around 10am tomorrow and bake it around noon.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

This looks a wonderful idea. Anyone tried it with sourdough??

And has anyone a version with weighed ingredients? I've never cooked with cups etc and am really unsure about using anything other than either pounds, ounces etc or preferably metric!

Thanks

Andrew

cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

I'm trying it with sourdough right now...

cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

I watched the video. I do notice his dough is less hydrated than mine. Mine is more batter-like. I will have to experiment with a less hydrated dough. For sourdough, though, I tend to believe (may not be true) that a more hydrated dough (80%?) works better for the yeasties and beasties to do their work.

 

I think that sourdough cultures multiply in the dough and the higher hydration makes this work better. Instant yeast gets distributed through the dry ingredient mixing part and doesn't reproduce in the dough so it doesn't need as much hydration.

 

What do you think? 

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

I've made sourdoughs with a variety of hydtations - lower (60% - 65% ) don't get an open crumb, but I find it rises well (takes longer) gets an excellent sour flavour due to the longer rising time and is easier to slash. But the last 6 months or more I've been using a higher proportion of water and find I like the more open crumb that results.

What percent hydration is the recipe given in the NY Times? I have no concept of the quantities when given in cups etc. Should I be aiming for around 75%?

Shall try this next week when I return from Scotland.

Andrew

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I ran a quick conversion based on what I saw in the article and recipe, and it looks like the dough is about 72% hydration, which is just right for a rustic dough.

bryancar's picture
bryancar

And how EXACTLTY does one differerentiate between 75% and 80% hydration?

titus's picture
titus

Cognitivefun:

I'm not using sourdough, but my dough is like yours -- like a batter, not like in the video. It will be ready to bake tomorrow afternoon.

Please post your results and I will do the same.

Noche's picture
Noche

Did you notice how he dipped his flour out and rough shook it? He could be using 20% more flour than someone who uses a scale.

bobthebaker's picture
bobthebaker

This is another facet to the beauty of this recipe!  It is a very forgiving process with consistant results.

quote from the NY Times article - 'The entire process is incredibly simple, and, in the three weeks I’ve been using it, absolutely reliable. Though professional bakers work with consistent flour, water, yeast and temperatures, and measure by weight, we amateurs have mostly inconsistent ingredients and measure by volume, which can make things unpredictable. Mr. Lahey thinks imprecision isn’t much of a handicap and, indeed, his method seems to iron out the wrinkles: “I encourage a somewhat careless approach,” he says, “and figure this may even be a disappointment to those who expect something more difficult. The proof is in the loaf.” ' - http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

 

Bob - Rehoboth, MA

merrybaker's picture
merrybaker

I noticed the video says to use a 500 or even 515 degree oven, but the printed recipe says 450 degrees.  So if you try it, let us know which temp you used.  This looks like so much fun, but kind of dangerous!

cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

also no mention of shaping a loaf except the quick folding described which isn't really shaping.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Seems to me that is essentially Floydm's Daily Bread recipe (or similar plain rustic doughs) cooked in a cast-iron cloche.

 

sPh

verminiusrex's picture
verminiusrex

I used regular bread flour, with cormeal to prevent sticking to the towel during bench proofing. The loaf turned out wonderful.  I baked it at 450, pretty much followed the print recipe.  I used a pound of flour rather than 3 cups, which was pretty much the same volume when I measured.

cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

I'm bad at following directions.

 

I created probably 80% hydration sourdough dough with about 6 cups flour, 2tspns salt, and refrigerated overnight, and then let rise about 8 hours. Then I proofed for about 2, preheated the oven with a Dutch oven in it to 450F. It was too hydrated to get much surface tension into it although I tried.

I was a little apprehensive about getting the dough into the pot. But that was pretty easy. I covered and baked for 30 minutes then uncovered and baked for another 10 until the internal temperature was 205F.

My loaf had no oven spring and I think I should have baked it longer, perhaps at a lower temperature, maybe 425F. 

It has a marvelous reddish crunchy crust that my bread hasn't had before and it tasted very good although I shouldn't have sneaked a slice as it wasn't yet cool.

I will definintely try this again and refine it for my style which is 1) sourdough, and 2) refrigerated immediately upon mixing, for 1 or 2 days.

sfmiller's picture
sfmiller

I made the bread according to the Times recipe (using King Arthur Bread Flour) except I:

-- used plain old active dry yeast instead of instant

-- used a 4.5 quart cast iron pot (not 6 to 8 qt), preheated to 500F, not 450

-- had a first rise of about 24 hrs, hours 12-15 in the refrigerator, because I knew I wouldn't be home before the bread had risen at least 20 hours. Second rise took about 1.5 hrs.

The results were excellent. Far and away the best crackly crust of any bread I've made, and I've tried many methods (spraying, ice cubes on oven floor, etc.). Nice open crumb, and well developed flavor.

Bittman's right--it's time consuming, but very easy, and the results rival bread from a good bakery. I'm looking forward to playing around with the method with other formulations.

titus's picture
titus

Disaster here!

I guess I get the booby prize for not being able to get this thing to work!

I followed the recipe to the letter (used French T-55 flour), let it sit at 70 degrees for 18 hrs etc, but my dough stayed the consistency of batter. I tried to fold it, but it just was too liquidy. I let it stand for another 2 hrs and decided to go ahead and bake it, just for the heck of it.

I poured the dough into a La Creuset pot and baked it per the recipe.

Result: a flattish, funny shaped brown loaf with a crispy, crunchy crust and a nice open crumb. Tastes fine, but it looks nothing like the video or the pictures that have been posted.

Where did I go wrong? Is French flour that much different from US flour? For you folks who are used to working with wet doughs, how do you get the dough to the point where it can be folded?

I never had problems with my bread when I was baking in the States or in the UK. But I've had nothing but trouble here on the continent!

I feel like an idiot -- any suggestions welcomed.

Breadwhiner's picture
Breadwhiner

From my experience with these kinds of doughs, if you don't (or can't) fold it, it won't rise much.  Folding creates a tight surface around the wet dough.  The tight surface traps much of the CO2 produced by the dough during poofing and baking.  Without the tight surface, the CO2 will escape.

 The solution is to add enough flour so that you can fold it. Or perhaps you are not comfortable folding a wet dough-- I certainly wasn't the first few times I tried it! There are a number of techniques to fold a wet dough.  What I do is spray my counter with non-stick spray (I like Mazola the best because it sprays evenly). Then I pour the dough onto the coated surface.  Then I spray the palms of both of my hand with spray oil.  Finally, I fold the dough like a letter I'm getting ready to put in an envelope.I turn the dough 90 degrees and fold again like a letter.  Then I flip the dough over so the seam side is down, cover the dough with plastic wrap covered with spray oil and let the dough sit for at least an hour. 

 Let me know how things turn out!

 

 

 

Noche's picture
Noche

Like your observation - I too have noticed the same thing but never let it sink in.

If you can't fold it.

It sunk. I'm the cook and this is someone else's recipe, in someone else's kitchen and at someone else's altitude. I will make it my own way and on my terms. Forget what they say - I know what dough ought to look like and feel like.

Crud, I feel better all ready.

zorra's picture
zorra

I had more or less the same problem. The dough was very liquid. I baked it in a Römertopf (I have no Le Creuset), which I soaked in water. This was probably a mistake. The bottom of the bread was crispy but very clear. Disapointing!

Pics you can find here: http://kochtopf.twoday.net/stories/2928503/

1 x umrühren bitte  - http://kochtopf.twoday.net

Jackmo's picture
Jackmo

I noticed in the video that he scooped his flour from a bowl.  This would probably compact the flour and lead to a lower overall hydration than what you'd get if your flour was spooned or measured by weight.  I suspect this is why some people following the recipe are getting over-hydrated doughs, while the dough in his video is perfect.

pizzameister's picture
pizzameister

Have not tried the technique yet, but I would think that starting with a little wetter dough and incorporating just enough additional flour to reach the described and visible "sticky bisquit dough consistency" would be the way to go.  It's a pretty easily identifiable "goop".

PM

HUGO's picture
HUGO

I made it twice. the first time I followed the recipe and from experience I thought it was over hydrated--however I continued. Too wet to fold. I let it proof wet and ploped it into the covered cast iron pot. It was a tad ''flat'' but the crust and crumb were to die for.

the second time I adjusted the water to sight----just enough hydration so I could easily fold, proof, and plop I into the pot without it going flat. the finished product was almost like a small soccer ball. Firm, super crusty, and the crumb was excellent.

I suspect a heavy pot with a tight lid creates enough steam using ''any'' reasonable hydration for a ''no fail loaf of world class bread''. Kudos to the inventor of this technique.

as a test, the third time around I made a small batch of under-hydrated rolls weighing 1 1/2 oz each. I proofed them @ room temp on a wood peel, and plopped them in a covered pot. About 15 minutes later they were done. the crust chewy and the crumb was good. No evidence of under-hydration!

At this point in time using this method of baking many of us on ''the fresh loaf'' site will evolve many many different varieties of ''world class breads''. How does it go ''sticks and stones'' will break your bones but the covered iron pot will never hurt you.

avrilrj's picture
avrilrj

I wouldn't call mine a disaster but it looked a lot like yours sounded: a 'loaf' about 3 centimetres tall.

I left the first 'rising' for 20 hours, at which point it did indeed have bubbles on top, though not a whole lot. I followed instructions with the wheat bran and tea towel and waited for it to double in size. And waited. And waited. After four hours it had perhaps increased in size slightly, but not very noticeably.

I decided to go ahead and bake it anyway. I haven't a le Creuset so I used my stainless steel dutch oven, about 25 centimetres across. I baked it at the given 450F. for 30 minutes, covered, then uncovered it and gave it another 10, at which point it was nicely browned and sounded hollow when I removed it from the pot but, as I said, it was barely 3 centimetres 'high'. Tastes good but I'd like it to be at least two or three times as tall.

Any suggestions?


Avril in Ontario

Breadwhiner's picture
Breadwhiner

Thanks for the great post. I watched the video at least three times, immediately ordered a cast iron pot and took the following leap of faith---

 I had been making Pain Levain from BA (using 50% whole wheat 50% KA white bread flour, and orange juice to get the wild yeast going).  On day 3, I read your post and fell out of my chair.  "If Bittman is right, any dough that sits for 12 hours at 70-75% hydration may not require kneading"  At the end of day three, I mixed in flour to bring the hydration  down to 75%. Then I folded the dough, placed it seam side down in a bowl covered with a flour-dusted towel and let the dough sit overnight (12 h).  The next morning I flipped it onto a peel, slashed it, baked it at 500 deg for 28 minutes.  Note that I no time did I knead the dough.

It was ugly (possibly slightly overhydrated), but it rose well and had the best crust and crumb I have ever made with my own hands.  The taste was the perfect mild-sour that I have only been able to produce one other time.  The crumb was wide open and chewy.  HERE'S the best part-- my one year old twin daughters loved it (they only eat the crumb as they only have 6 teeth)!  

 SO-- (European) sourdough, no added yeast, no kneading, great bread, AMAZING!

Cascabel's picture
Cascabel

I had to try this recipe! You can see the result in my blog http://peho.typepad.com/chili_und_ciabatta/2006/11/brot_fr_knetfau.html

My dough was also batter-like (in Germany we have bread flour with less gluten), but I tried to follow the recipe. Next time (surely there will be a next time!) I will take a little bit more flour (it should be easier to handle then) and try it with sourdough. I preheated the oven to 515°F (270°C) and reduced to 450°F (230°C) when I put the pot back. Baking time 50 minutes.

Petras Brotkasten: http://www.petras-brotkasten.de/

Chili und Ciabatta - My kitchen blog: http://http://www.peho.typepad.com/chili_und_ciabatta/

titus's picture
titus

Cascabel:

Your loaf and dough look great. I'm in Luxembourg, so I also use German 550 flour (French T-55 is the same, as I understand it).

I can see that you were able to fold your dough, despite the hydration. There was no way for me to do that and I'm not confident enough or experienced enough with slack doughs to have known how much extra to add once it was ready to be folded (I figured it was too late at that stage).

Anyway, I will also try again soon, but I will add the water more slowly (not all at once like I did yesterday) and see if I can get the dough the consistency of the dough in the video.

Thanks for posting your results.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Great photos, Cascabel.

I'm going to have to try this over the weekend.

beanfromex's picture
beanfromex

Thank you for posting the photos, I am buying a pot this weekend...

merrybaker's picture
merrybaker

I baked a half-recipe in a 2.5 liter Corningware dish with a thick metal lid from another pan.  I used 6.5 oz water and 9 oz flour.  That works out to the 42% water mentioned in the article.  It made a loaf 7" diameter, and 3.75" high.  The flavor is good enough, but the crust is spectacular.  As soon as I removed it from the oven, I could hear "musique du pain" loud and clear!  The holes weren't quite as large as I'd like, so next time I'll try 16 oz. flour as verminiusrex did. The only other change would be to preheat at 450 degrees.  I preheated at 500 and baked at 450, and the bottom got too brown.  

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I tried this approach today too, with mixed results.

pot breads

I took a ton of pictures, so rather than clutter up this thread I posted them in my baker blog.

erasch's picture
erasch

Your bread history and experience inspires me!  You accompanying photographs also paint a beatufiul story and augment the inspiration.  One question about the Lahey input:  why does his recipe suggest inverting the raised dough so that the "pinched" rough side is to the top?  The second is how did you get such a beautiful looking loaf that you could slash on the top?  Third, what recipe did you use?  Thanks so much.

helend's picture
helend

Having read whole of thread and also thread on NY Times site (something to do whilst you wait) and having watched video several times I have finished my first attempt.

I decided to go with the printed recipe - as others on the NY Times blog note there are discrepencies between the video and the printed recipe, most noticably the bench proofing stage which isn't really hinted at on the video, hmmm....

Anyway, results after 23 hour delay, 1 hour bench proof out of 450c oven ten minutes ago.

The good ...

  • fantastic crust
  • crumb texture
  • flavour (20+ hours important here I think)
  • no need to knead obviously works in a basically satisfying way

The bad ...

  • lack of real oven spring
  • crumb hole size (had to refold bench proofed dough)

The ugly ...

  • shape - spread in pot with nasty pointed pyramid dome - too flat at edges

Considerations

  • Not sure about hydration/bench proof. Mine was not like batter and good upto point of folding - evn holding a surface tension but simply spread far too much during bench proof.
  • May try without the bench proof first - the initally folded dough held its shape long enought o get it into oven I think and had noticably more "bubbles" under surface.
  • Don'twant to reduce hydration much especially to get that crumb structure but I have found folding wet doughs OK in the past and didn't have problems folding this only the proofing spread.
  • did note in video that the sides of the cloth were folded up - this might help rather than printed recipe's suggestion of a second cloth but still didin't sugggest that 2 hours bench proofing had taken place - and no way has a bench proof of mine ever "more than doubled" - I was dubious from the start about this bit and would never bother with this timings/description of proof.
  • Different pot might help - only had thinnish wall metal stockpot with glass lid. I bunged up the steam vent. Possibly too large a diameter and not enough heat retention in walls of pot. Will look for cast iron/enammelled pot.
  • Preheated oven/pot at 500c and reduced to 450c when door closed  my fan oven cooks a little hot but I don't think temperature an issue here.

Overall I have gone from VERY excited to QUITE excited and worth further investigation. Would like to see effect on wholemeal.

Second experiment soon :)

titus's picture
titus

Thanks for mentioning the thread on the NYT site; I hadn't noticed it before. I was relieved to find out that I am not the only one who didn't have a success with this bread.

Now I don't feel so bad about my bread not coming out; I was starting to get a complex about it!!

pebbles's picture
pebbles

I am an amateur baker, after many disappointing tries at making thre old-fashioned NY bagel of my youth, I decided to make this no knead bread for company last night.... it was a resounding success- I still can't believe I made bread that was so delicious and so professional looking as well.

Before my company left, they wanted me to start a new bread - took all of five minutes, now just have to wait the 20 hours to try again!

Thank you for a wonderful and helpful site.

 

 

Florida Dave's picture
Florida Dave

I tried this yesterday and am thrilled with the results. I'm a true amateur and this appears to be the loaf I've been searching for. Been sopping up olive oil today so I don't waste any!

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Well, i tried it with whole wheat. I had to up the hydration significantly to get the consistency in the video. It was at about 93% hydration. I grind my own whole wheat flour, so it's pretty thirsty stuff. For regular pan loaves, I start at 75% hydration, and often go as high as 80%.

Anyway, here's what I ended up with:

New Method Whole Wheat

It got very little oven spring, and spread out quite a bit in the cloche. I don't have a covered cassarole, and when I went looking for one, I found they're a lot more expensive than a cloche! And since I already have a cloche, I figured I'd use it.

The holes were nice, but the flavor was very "whole wheaty." I think I prefer whole wheat breads when they're cut with a little bit of butter or oil in the dough. There's a dry, sharp taset which I assume is the bran in the crust that I just don't find appealing. However, the crust was definitely the crispiest I've eaten with 100% whole wheat, and the crumb was nice and chewy.

Probably not something I'll do again, though. Not with whole wheat, anyways.

TryTryAgain's picture
TryTryAgain

This is pretty close to what my first attempt w/whole what was like.  I cut it into 1/16-1/8" slices and lightly toasted/dried it to make some really nice whole what crackers!

 

- Andy 

helend's picture
helend

Hmmm very interesting JMonkey - I was wondering about an oil component, for flavour and keeping quality too.  I will experiment further. 

PS My first loaf cam out  looking very like yours except with a little more "volcano" appearance and I too suffered spreading problem.

My favourite wholewheat at the moment is probably 80-100% wholewheat in Floydm's honey wholewheat recipe.

 

venezuelanbaker's picture
venezuelanbaker

I'm from Venezuela - South America- and discover this site about a week ago and, since then, I visit it every day. I'm in love with bread, its smell, taste, crust, and how wonderful it is be able to bake it at home. I've taken two levels - of 4 - in a baking school here in my country, and studying about bread.

Cooky's picture
Cooky

I've tried it on three batches so far and the only real disaster was one loaf that came out burnt on the outside -- the result of mindlessly following directions without the old eyeball tests (I way set the timer and walked away for the final lid-off bake).

It's true this dough is mighty slack after 12 hours of fermenting. It's not really possible to shape it in the traditional way. Basically I floured my hands and pulled it into a rough circle. Final raise does in fact tend to go sideways instead of up. But that didn't affect the quality of the final loaf except in leading to some strange wrinkles in the surface.

Apparently, it's really the pan that dictates the loaf shape. I used a big oval dutch oven and a smaller round covered Pyrex baking dish and ended up with two quite different loaves -- both delicious! I may be that the lack of oven spring some folks are seeing would be remedied by using a slightly smaller pan.

I just ordered a long covered cast-iron casserole dish -- http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=254669 -- that I believe will allow me to use this formula to turn out long loaves. I'll post pix if it works!

 

 

 

"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

Looking at the cast iron casserole that you ordered, I'm thinking thats going to be some big bread.  If I read it correctly it is 9" wide and 21" long.  I would love to find a cast iron pan in the shape of a baguette---say 20" x 3" x 4".  Imagine the baguettes to be made with this no knead method.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

> I would love to find a cast iron pan in the shape

> of a baguette---say 20" x 3" x 4".

 

Send these guys an e-mail and suggest it; can't hurt:

 

http://www.lodgemfg.com/support.asp

 

sPh

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

I sent the email...lets see what happens.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

It's not quite a baguette baker, but I imagine a demi-baguette would fit nicely.


Here's a link to the full description at the King Arthur Flour site.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

I actually have one of those, and it works OK. But the results with my very heavy cast-iron camping Dutch oven have got me thinking that masss has a lot to do with it, and the cast iron might work better than the cloiche (which I had been thinking about buying).

 

That is why I suggested to the OP that he submit his suggestion to the cast iron company.

 

sPh

Cooky's picture
Cooky

You are correct, sir. That's the big giant pan. I meant to link to a smaller version -- which would, I think, produce something more along the lines of a large Italian loaf. But never mind; they were out.

But the idea of a cast-iron baguette pan? Brilliant!

 

 

Raffi's picture
Raffi

WOW! I've been messing with preferments for a few months now.

I figured that if a little pre-ferment was good then more would be better. And it's true - I do like it better. In a six cup recipe I've been pre-fermenting 3 cups flour/2 water/1 teaspoon yeast. But the final dough isn't anywhere near the hydration levels indicated in the article. And I still knead it for about 8 minutes.

It never occured to me to just do the entire batch as a pre-ferment and that the same principles behind the autolyse method would kick in. It just felt wrong somehow. Shows what I know.

I'll be trying this today for sure.

"Nature always sides with the hidden flaw"

longlivegoku's picture
longlivegoku

So what percentage of yeast would this be?  I'd like to try this on a larger scale, maybe 10-15 loaves.  I wouldn't bake it in the pan as he does, but I like the idea of mixing the dough one day, and then just folding/shaping/proofing the next.  Could you do this same sort of this as a cold ferment for even longer, say 2-3 days?  I'm trying to figure this out as I had a disaster one time experimenting with this.  I won't go into detail...ahem.  It's hard for me to scale it when most recipes I use are using close to 20 lbs of flour, so a percentage of instant yeast would be most helpful.  Thanks.

 

Ed 

merrybaker's picture
merrybaker

Ed, have you tried the recipe?  Maybe you should try one loaf first, just to get an idea of how the dough feels, and to fine tune the amount of flour for the brand you're using.  FWIW, Peter Reinhart converts 1 tablespoon instant yeast to .33 oz in his Panettone recipe in BBA.  -Mary

sphealey's picture
sphealey

I start to suspect that part of the key to the puzzle is the type of pot used, and that my relative success was due to the coincidence of using the cast iron camping dutch oven which is _very_ heavy and has a reasonably tight-fitting lid. I think the heat capacity of the cooking vessel is coming into play quite strongly here.

 

I again raise the question about the le Cruset dutch oven shown in the NYT picture. It appears to be one with a resin handle, which per the instruction is limited to 200 deg.C/390 deg.F. This recipe needs 450-550 deg.F temperatures to work as far as I can tell.

 

sPh

barmstoker's picture
barmstoker

Personally I think it's the shape and size of the pot, at least as much as the material.  My theory is this:  if the pot's too big, dough spreads out flat, loaf comes out flat. 
FWIW, Amazon.com's product description says the "phenolic" handles are good up to 450 degrees.  Le Creuset's website says good up to 400.  My only Le Creuset pot is a 3 (or so) quart round-bottomed soup thing, which I think is too small, but I might try a smaller loaf since I doubt the extra 50 degrees is going to make the handles melt.

Cascabel's picture
Cascabel

Yesterday I made the NYT no-knead bread with 400 g dark wheat flour (Type 1200 here in Germany), 300 g water, 1 1/2 ts salt and 50 g barm starter (100% hydration). First rise 14 hours. This time the dough was very easy to handle. I like the result quite a lot :-)

Some photos: http://peho.typepad.com/chili_und_ciabatta/2006/11/noknead_bread_d.html

Next time I will try with some rye flour and a little bit more water than today.

--

Petras Brotkasten: http://www.petras-brotkasten.de/

Chili und Ciabatta - My kitchen blog: http://www.peho.typepad.com/chili_und_ciabatta/

cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

has anyone had good oven spring with this method? At what hydration level?

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Yes, my results were similar to verminiusrex's above. I followed the printed recipe (not the video), but I did use my banneton for the final rise.

 

sPh

barmstoker's picture
barmstoker

I'm waiting for fermentation to to its magic, but my first attempt is a very wet 90 or so.  I started with the NYTimes recipe, converted 3 c to 1 lb and the 1 5/8 c water weighed in at 14.5 oz.

maiathebee's picture
maiathebee

this is the second loaf of yeast bread i've ever made. came out great, as far as i'm concerned. the texture was great and the crust, though i could have let it browned more, was nice and crispy. i'm no expert, but if i can bake a loaf of bread like this with next to no effort, i think it's a keeper!


details:

3 c bread flour
1 3/4 c water (it's dry in southern california)
18 hour first rise
folded in thirds, rotate 90 deg, folded in thirds
2 hour proof
all-clad stainless dutch oven, 30 min at 450 with lid on, 20 at 450 with lid off

Cooky's picture
Cooky

Has anybody tried this method out with a heavy-bottomed stainless pot -- like a smallish stock pot? My sis offered me her Emeril stainless pot for this experiment, but I was reluctant to use it for fear that the high temps (450-520 degrees) would permanently discolor the pot. Anybody have any experience to share? Thanx!

 

"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

maiathebee's picture
maiathebee

i used an all-clad stainless dutch oven. no harm no foul.

ralphyb's picture
ralphyb

I didn't have a Le Creuset or cast iron, so I pulled the ceramic (oval) 5 quart liner from a crock pot and used that at 450 degrees.

 The bread was perfect - I only did 10 min. uncovered, and there was no burning.

My brother used an Emile Henry pot, and dusted w/cornmeal, and said the crust was a little too hard, but he also did about 23 min. uncovered

Ralphy B.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I find that oil smeared on the pot tends to discolor with high heat, but with a little elbow grease, it does come off.  I couldn't be bothered. I like the effect and put my greasy finger marks all over my baking caserole dish.  I have a "high five" on the lid from my little neighbor, she's 3.   :) Mini Oven

dan's picture
dan

I used stainless steel with excellent results. The pot I used was an Emerilware 3-quart casserole with a fairly heavy bottom but thin walls. (Pictured here at right http://www.emerilware.com/stainless_temp.asp) I was afraid to use the glass lid at such a high temperature, but fortunately I had an old enamaled lid that fit.

 

The Emerilware website says the pans are oven safe, but I was cautious and only preheated the pan to 400 before tossing the dough in and turning the oven up to just shy of 450. The pot looks fine and I'll probably try 475 next time to get an even better crumb. I didn't bother preheating the lid because it is so thin, and I figured that was one less chance to burn myself.

 

I cannot overemphasize how AMAZING the results are for such little effort. I have been making bread for 12 years, I love to experiment, I rarely use recipes and always throw in different flours and ingredients. Up to this point I never saw what the fuss about the crust was about, but I may be a newly converted crust snob. This crust is thin and flaky, and the loaf is moist with great flavor from the long fermentation. WOW! And the lack of kneading means I will probably be making bread a lot more often. That is really what is most revolutionary about this method.

 

I used 50% whole wheat, 50% all-purpose, with some flax seeds thrown in. I see no reason why not to experiment with various flours, etc. The wheat bran is a nice touch but a little messy. I agree with another poster that the towel may not be necessary. I let the final rise take place in the towel, in a casserole dish, which was nested in another bowl with warm water to speed things along since my house was a bit cold! 

 

For those who are having problems, I would say: don't use too wide a pot, watch your bread so you don't burn it, and right before it goes in the oven your dough should somewhat resemble what it would look like if made by kneading (not too sticky.) Flour and humidity can vary a lot.

helend's picture
helend

The instructions with my casseroles (stainless steel/glass-lidded and "phenolic" style handles) was simply to wrap the handles in baking foil if cooking over the recommended 200c or whatever.  

Am very interested in pot debate and am considering options that don't require purchase for experiments. 

I used a stainless steel stockpot (thick base thin walls) for my first attempt - see comments above.  It certainly didn't stain - in fact no residue at all, loaf fell out!

Next efffort: will try a heavy pyrex style inverted roaster with lid at 450c.

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

I've made the bread twice, using roughly measured cups of flour (stick the cup in the flour bag, shake it level and throw it in the bowl) and the bread has worked beautifully both times. When first mixed, the dough is not slack at all, almost looks like one of those biscuit type doughs where one is admonished to not over mix. I would guess that those who are getting batter like results at first are adding too much water. After 18 hours it becomes quite slack but still holds together when I dump/scrape it out on the surface to to fold. Once folded and shaped I have found it useful to let let it rise on a plate/platter (on a well floured dish towel) that has raised edges that contains the edges of the dough a little, encouraging vertical rise. Obviosly one that mimics the shape of the baking vessel. Since I'm baking an oval loaf I'm using an oval serving platter for the final rise. It also facilitates the final plop into the superheated baking vessel as you can hold the edges of the dishtowel and the platter together and simply tip the dough in. 

I'm using one of those oval covered clay roasters.  I was a little worried that it might crack when 475 degree clay met 70 degree dough but no worries.

 Total labor: 3 minutes, 10 minutes if you include clean up.

One of the joys of this bread is listening to the crust crackling about 5 minutes after it comes out of the oven as it cools and shrinks.  You look at the bottom of the loaf and see a fine network cracks in the crust.

I have been very pleased with the results, it tastes, looks, feels like a good basic bread store french boule.  You know, the kind that seduces you with it's delicate, brittle crust, its creamy just soft enough interior, a delicate salty sweet flavor with sublte hints of hidden complexity. A classic that doesn't embark on a hostile takeover over of your taste buds but cries out for good butter, some left over sauce on the plate for mopping and promises of great toast in the morning.

 This is definitely a case of less is more.  And a keeper!

merrybaker's picture
merrybaker

Pedro Pan, that's a perfect description of the dough -- "looks like one of those biscuit type doughs where one is admonished to not over mix."  I mixed mine like biscuits or scones, pouring the liquid into the middle of the dry ingredients and  stirring with my hand until it formed a sticky ball in the center; there was still a little flour left in the bowl, so I added a few drops of water so the remaining flour would cling to the ball.  Certainly no over-mixing since the whole stirring process took about 10 seconds.  As for your description of the final bread, well, that's enough to cause heavy breathing! 

npsmama's picture
npsmama

I was very excited about this but my loaf very moist and pretty dense. Not edible so had to be thrown away.

 

I'll give it another shot as everyone else seems to have got on OK with it.

It would make my life much easier if it did work!

 

I use home-milled flour - do you think this was the problem? It's wholewheat ground to the finest setting.

 

I see that several of you have posted details of your successes with sourdough so I will try that next (no yeast at the moment!) 

Cascabel's picture
Cascabel

I did a new one with (liquid) sourdough and a mix of 2 wheat flours, whole-rye flour and 83% water (baker's percent) according to the formula of the "mixed-flour miche" by Jeffrey Hamelman. Great bread! You can find a photo in my blog at http://peho.typepad.com/chili_und_ciabatta/2006/11/noknead_bread_d_1.html

--

Petras Brotkasten: http://www.petras-brotkasten.de/

Chili und Ciabatta - My kitchen blog: http://www.peho.typepad.com/chili_und_ciabatta/

Jimme's picture
Jimme

I made the bread and it came out great in every regard. I look forward to experimenting with other types, whole wheat, sourdough, etc.

Teresa_in_nc's picture
Teresa_in_nc

Yesterday I tried this recipe again using the printed recipe directions and instant yeast. My first try was using my sourdough starter and was pretty much an inedible failure.

I still think this recipe needs a little more salt, but I followed the written instructions to the letter. After a 12 hour rise in a cool room, I folded the dough on a cornmeal sprinkled pastry cloth. Then I attempted to gather it in a ball and plopped the dough in a cloth lined basket that had been heavily floured and sprinkled with more cornmeal, covered the basket with a cloth and let it rise another two hours.

Transferring the dough to the hot pot from the basket was so much easier. And the dough only stuck to the basket cloth in a couple of places and was easily pulled loose. The bread had little if any oven spring, but was a good loaf of bread - moist, chewy interior with a thick, crunchy bottom crust and an appearnce good enough to serve guests. I'm not sure if I care for the very thick bottom crust that results from this technique, but I want to try baking my regular sourdough recipe in the hot pot and see how I like that.

If this recipe gets a lot more people to try baking their own bread, then it is definitely a baking breakthrough and I celebrate that!

beanfromex's picture
beanfromex

I have tried this bread three times. I am using a 4qt enamel pot with lid. I have twice used wheat bran to dust and once used cornmeal. The cornmeal loaf had a golden crust and the bran had a darker one.

The dough is made up in the morning (10am) and baked the next day about the same time.

The dough is kept in the fridge during this time and pulled out and allowed to warm for 3 hours. The one time I kept the dough on the counter, it did not rise in the baking and looked like asourdough starter with a thin amount of hooch on the top. (I live in the tropics and the kitchen is about 85-90F )

I cut back the salt from the original recipe as the first loaf was too salty for me. I continue to use about 3/4 of a tsp.

The crust on this loaf is better than anything I have acheived using the traditional bread making procedure.  The crumb was full of holes. I think this would be excellent toasted .

Of all the bread styles I bake, my husband says this is his favorite.

Today, I will make a batch up using whole wheat 1:1 ratio with AP.

Somewhere I read about a pot discolouring with the use of oil. I do not use oil in the preheated pot. 

Rather than do the towel step. I found that putting the cornmeal into a standard 9" pieplate and then coating the top by hand works wonderfully. There is no messy towel to clean and I have greater control getting the dough into the preheated pot. (Though the first time Ramona did this she threw the dough against the side of the pot and it seeped down into a heap) Surprisingly, at the end, this did not matter.

I find that perhaps if I increased the recipe by a third, I would have the perfect amount for for the bottom of my 4 qt pan.  

I enjoy making this bread, and will continue to do so in the future.  

merrybaker's picture
merrybaker

Hi, beanfromex, I'm glad you're having such success.  I was already worrying about how the recipe will fare in the heat of next summer, and you answered the question!  Do you put the dough into the fridge immediately after mixing, or do you give it an hour, or so, at room temp first to get it started?

kki000's picture
kki000

Made it 4x. First was like alot of ppl's, ate half threw away the rest, way too gummy, dough was a gloppy mess and i knew it when i made it. Flat as a pancake.

Second time was better, 3rd was better still. Fourth looked and tasted like a real loaf.

Each one I went wth less and less water.

My 4th batch was 450 grams pillsbury bread flour, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, .5 teaspoon active yeast and 1 and 1/4 cup water.

Eye ball the dough before u rest it, it should be a sticky moist dough, not runny or batter like. By the time it rests, it will get more watery.

Problem is the 3 cups of flour in the original recipe, if u look at the video, its 3 heaping cups. 3 level cups + 1.5 cups of water will result in disaster.  

Also try multiple batches at a time, waiting is the hardest part of this, so if u experiment with more than 1 batch, it can save you a day of waiting. 

beanfromex's picture
beanfromex

Hi merrybaker.

 I put it immediately into the fridge. Is there a bread theory that you should let it "start" at room temp? 

merrybaker's picture
merrybaker

Beanfromex, I've seen recipes showing both ways.  But come to think of it, Peter Reinhart's Pain a l'Ancienne goes directly into the fridge and produces wonderful bread, similar in many ways to this one.  So your method sounds like the right way to go with this recipe. 

npsmama's picture
npsmama

Another gummy sourdough...*sigh*...well, I'm trying the yeast version now. I hope it works this time! Third time lucky maybe?!

hotbred's picture
hotbred

  had a new way of making bred  no  mix  so  mix alittle warm water little sugar  Get the yeast going!  starting to bubble & rise great! thats 1/2 teas yeast.  dont worry it will feast on the flower   explode within it   put it all together  everthing!   go lite on water  if its too much water   ADD flower  first time  not too loose  u are making a kinda tight biga or alittle loose dough  thats what I did!    When its mixed Please  put it in a closet    no fridge     if u like  mix your flour  1/2 & 1/2  It might raise better for the first experiment   anyway Ifolded it after 18 hours  in the closet!  two hrs later I ploped it in the Hot pot from the bowl I mixed it in   came out great!  sliced it up 1 in thick & in the frezer   HOW DID U Get IT TO SPLIT SO NICELY   hotbred  please just remember   activate your yeast  If u like  throw a small handfull brown sugar in the water   the yeast will go nuts   and keep the temp  65  68  dont  want the yeast to have it too easy  has alot of work to do  24 hrs is almost a sour dough  I dont type ,but love to bake  & I enjoy this program  & all u wonderful bakers  once in a while I put my 2 cents in  thank you all

cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

My sourdough came out gummy too. I'm trying a second time. My theory is that I need to uncover open the pot sooner which I hope will let the moisture evaporate quicker from the baking bread.

 

I plan to cover for 15 minutes and then uncover.

Also I made my dough less hydrated this time. Now it closely matches the hydration levels on the video.  

 I'll let you know! 

wnmoore's picture
wnmoore

I've been trying to make a loaf like this for over 15 years. When I think of the flat loaves, expensive equipment, books, internet sites and classes i've wasted trying, it makes me mad. This method is so basic and simple and yields bread so good it should be more widely known and practiced. Here's pictures of my first attempt:

http://wnmoore.com/images/Thumbnails/DSCN048320(Small).JPG

http://wnmoore.com/images/Thumbnails/DSCN048520(Small).JPG

Nate Moore

npsmama's picture
npsmama

The articles on the NYT website aren't available anymore and I stupidly didn't watch the video bit.

 

The problem wiht measuring in cups is that it's very inacccurate. And flour is so variable in thirstiness too. I think that's why I've been having problems 

bobthebaker's picture
bobthebaker

 The articles are available if you link from google.  Try this...

 http://www.google.com/search?q=times+no+knead+bread

 Works for me.

 

 

Bob - Rehoboth, MA

pizzameister's picture
pizzameister

The video is still up. Just reviewed it again. Here is the link:

click to view

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

I've booked marked this and will now try it since it does look simple. Just waiting for my cast iron pot from amazon!

pizzameister's picture
pizzameister

Well, OK, Let's try this one. Either way it is still listed on their website and can be found:

click to view

Marty's picture
Marty

Well I baked my first try tonight and am very pleased with the results. Didn't have a proper pot but it still was fine. I used 3 cups of KA AP flour ( 136 gr per cup) and 1 1/2 cups of water. A little tough to work with since the dough is practically pourable after a 20 hr rise. Used a lined colander for final rise.
I think I would increase the salt slightly.
Although less water would make it easier to work with I'm afraid to loose the wonderful hole structure.
Flavor was everything I hoped for.
Will try again with some small changes since that's what we do here in the lab.

Thegreenbaker's picture
Thegreenbaker

well as my first try at any sour-ish fermented bread, I tried this one.

 

So far I am 15hours in. The dough is gooey/battery and has lots of bubbles.

I am excited :)

I went out and bought an earthenware casserole dish to try with this. :S I hope it works.

I am taking photos of this, and also its made with 100% spelt. I am interested to see how it goes.

So now, 18 hours on, I decided 2.5 hours ago that it looked fermented enough to fold and rise. So I waited in total 16 hours. I think :S

I folded it, which I thought was going to be difficult. but turned out pretty easy. I was very confident. :) I generously floured a tea towl with some white spelt flour and thought some poppy seeds would be nice so I aded them also. I put the dough in, rested it in a collander and covered it and left it.

Well, it was time to put it in the pot, and it stuck with force to the tea towl. :(

I had to scrape it off! I hope it still works! I have a feeling the pot is too big and I will end up with a flat loaf.

Oh no! I just realized I turned off the oven by accident! I think it was about 15-20 mins ago! I realized as I took the lid off for the crust to harden and thought the oven didnt feel very hot......not for 500 degrees F or 260 deg C. I looked and saw the light wasnt on!

Instead of turning off the dishwasher at the wall it was the oven! I hope this doesnt effect the bread quality. I was making it for a "pot luck" dinner tonight.

Well, at least I can see where I went wrong.

I took the lid off too soon.

The bread seems ok considering I turned the oven off for 20mins by accident.

The loaf is flat, dark brown (almost burnt but surprisingly the bottom is stil pale) and ugly. Mainly because the mixture was too little for the pot. Next time (if there is one) I will double the mixture.

I will see how it tastes when it cools down.

I will also let it rise in an oiled bowl. So it doesnt stick to the tea towl as if it didnt want to be baked! So. I can definitely say that may future efforts at bread are going to be interesting to say the least and a bit (or more) of a learning experience.

Look forward to it though :)

So it looks as though its Soda bread for the pot luck!

 

Last Edit.

 Had to add, Beside from the burned top crust and the flatness of the loaf. It tastes pretty good. 

I was surprised to find the crumb so open and the bread actually feeling like bread. (I was skeptical with my previous Spelt experience) So to find the bread spongy and full of holes was great. No matter the outside.

I will make this again. 

 

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

Well, found out that le Creuset had a warehouse sale yesterday here in the UK. Went to it and bought a 6 quart casserole for £49 instead of the list price of £115. Also a 4 quart and an oval casserole. So I should find one that is suitable for this method!
I'm going to use yeast for the first try of this method - I have onle used sourdough for ages now but want to try the original method before I start to experiment.

Anyone have any idea of the quantities involved in Metric???!!

Andrew

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

If you're buying the Le Creuset just for baking bread, I'd recommend getting a cloche instead. It's cheaper (about $50 U.S. before shipping) and is designed specifically for bread. You can see my results with a cloche here.

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

Make your one:

Large flower pot: $8-10

Large Eye Bolt and washer: $2-3

No shipping costs, no waiting. Total expense: $10-13


Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

your local nursery will also sell you a large flower pot base-- which if sized correctly, to fit your flower pot cloche, can act as your baking stone.  Downside: Not so easy to slide bread, pizza off a peel due to the raised edges.  But still, total investment: $20-25. 

bruc33ef's picture
bruc33ef

Using a flower pot is a nice old trick. But, in researching this previously on the Internet, some people have pointed out that some of these unglazed pots contain lead. This is not food-grade cookware, so the buyer -- and eater -- must beware. Unfortunately, finding out which pots contain lead and which do not is a difficult task. The retailers usually don't know, and if you're lucky enough to find the name of the manufacturer, often they don't know or won't say, or will just tell you that their products are not meant for cooking.

bruc33ef

 

 

 

 

 

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

My flower pot is made in Italy.  I did some searching and found this home lead test kit.  Which I have not purchased yet.

http://www.leadinspector.com/?gclid=CPLbyI7b74gCFQFrVAoddA9_pQ

I noticed that Alton Brown made a flower pot smoker and demonstrated it on one of his shows.  I wonder what his take on the lead/terracotta question is?

bruc33ef's picture
bruc33ef

I've been digging around a bit. Apparently, the terra cotta from Mexico and China is most risky. In Italy, it's thought that the terra cotta used in Ancient Rome for the aqueduct and elsewhere caused widespread lead poisoning, but I think you can scratch that as a possibility in your case. The glazed terra cotta is certainly riskiest, but some unglazed terra cotta apparently is colored with a lead-based substance.

Here are some links for people to research this and determine their own threshold of risk:

http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/CONSUMER/CON00081.html

http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/1890.html

http://www.eartheasy.com/article_healthy_cookware.htm

http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/Tompkins/consumer/lead/

http://www.dhs.ca.gov/childlead/tableware/twmlat.html

 

guysnape's picture
guysnape

I made this bread yesterday/this morning, came out fine. 450g bread flour, 300ml water, 3 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp quick yeast. Mixed briefly, fermented at cool room temperature 24 hours, tipped out onto floured worktop and letter folded left-to-right and front-to-back. Placed on baking parchment and covered with large pyrex bowl to prove for 1 hour. Preheated oven & baking stone at 500F for 45 minutes, slid dough & parchment onto baking stone, covered with bowl, baked 20 minutes, removed bowl & baked another 10 minutes. Excellent flavour & very holey crumb structure, as you can see.

no knead loaf

 

No knead bread crumb structure

 

guysnape's picture
guysnape

Just in case anyone has read that recipe, it should *not* have said 3 tsp salt - 1 tsp is fine for that much flour. 

foolforfoood's picture
foolforfoood

It's amazing how this recipe spread all over the world and encouraged people who have never baked bread before, to start bread baking.

I took less water than in the recipe as they use less water in the video. My flour had less gluten as it is impossible in Germany to get the recommended flour. Nevertheless, it worked fine:

http://www.foolforfood.de/index.php/2006/11/12/brot_fur_faule_no_knead_bread_der_nyt

Next time I'll try it with some extra malt powder.

titus's picture
titus

What type of flour did you use? I live in Luxembourg and am having problems converting American recipes with the French and German flours. Did you use 550 or something else?

foolforfoood's picture
foolforfoood

I used German type 550. For me it's the best flour for white bread such as ciabatta or baguette.

titus's picture
titus

Thanks! If I may ask, which type do you find works best for your whole wheat -- do you use 1050 or full grain? I like whole grain bread, but haven't had much luck with my loaves since I moved here.

foolforfoood's picture
foolforfoood

...but wouldn't declare it as a whole wheat bread. 1050 works best for me when I want a more rustic bread.

foolforfoood's picture
foolforfoood

I had a second try with malt powder. The malt powder did not only provide more flavour, it even would have shortened fermentation time (- 4 hours). To the original amount of flour (3 cups) I added 1/2 teaspoon of malt powder.

New experience: I baked the bread in a Le Creuset marmite. It seems that the pot takes longer to heat than my glass pot. My bread came out slightly too juicy.

Photos can be viewed here (sorry, it's in german):

http://www.foolforfood.de/index.php/2006/11/25/no_knead_bread_der_new_york_times_ii

 

pizzameister's picture
pizzameister

Has any one done any testing to see which is better clay pot or a cast pot or glass/ceramic.  Cast and glass/ceramic would be non-porous and might keep steam level higher, whereas clay/terracotta/pizza stones are porous and would let steam escape more readily.  Also a heay cast pot would have different thermal mass than clay/glass/ceramic.

Just interested if there are significant advantages to using a metal pot.  I would expect that the crust development in particular might be different.

PM

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

I've been using a covered clay roaster-- the bottom part is glazed and therefore non-porous and the top part is unglazed and porous.  Also the lid has a very loose seal.  The bread has been coming out perfectly. (the rest of the pics can be seen at my Bakers Blog, Kneadless Bread)  I don't own a Le Creuset or other cast iron vessel of appropriate size to compare.  My guess is that the differences would be minimal.

ericrx's picture
ericrx

Hello,

 Here's a suggestion from something I realized last night while trying to come up with bakeware for this bread. I have a 6 quart crockpot with a glass lid and the crockpot itself is removable. I am guessing it will be perfect for this technique and thought I should suggest it to all of you.

sucellus's picture
sucellus

Good idea, but I don't think the lids on those things are oven safe.

ask2's picture
ask2

is this really so new and fantastic. Alot of people have done this for many years. Reinhart for example is doing something similar in BBA and on the newsgroups techniques like this has been around for a very long time.

 Anyway :) If more people learn to make beautiful tasty bread at home it's GREAT!

Nice pictures!

Floydm's picture
Floydm

No, it isn't that new. A great deal like the pain a l'ancienne from the BBA or techniques w/ a cloche. But, yes, it is fantastic in the sense that it has gotten a ton of new people into baking at home.

Atlanta Karen's picture
Atlanta Karen

I've been a happy lurker for a while, but had to share my excitement over this method.

I just took my first loaf of sourdough out of the oven made with this method (I used a 9 quart cast iron dutch oven. The pot and lid alone are enough to give you a hernia!) I used the recipe for a 4-lb country French sourdough loaf from the Maggie Glezer book on artisan baking. The verdict? This hot pot thing rocks! The loaf rose high and the crust seems to be crisper than any I've ever been able to get using regular methods.

The 9-quart size is big enough to accomodate one of these big boules, and the pot sides encourage it to rise up instead of spreading out. If you can get over the understandable fear of handling heavy 450 degree metal objects, it's a winner.

ericrx's picture
ericrx

Hi Karen,

Could you tell us how you measured the sourdough? I would love to try this with my sourdough starter, a change from the 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast in the news article recipe.

Thanks,

Eric

 

 

Atlanta Karen's picture
Atlanta Karen

Hi Eric-

I followed a sourdough recipe from the Maggie Glezer book rather than the NY Times recipe. The Glezer recipe uses a total of about 9 cups of flour (as opposed to the Times recipe which is 3 cups). The dough is fairly slack but not as wet as the Times recipe. There is no yeast in it, just sourdough starter.

I just fed my starter the night before I mixed the dough, and then when it was active and had tripled, dissolved about a cup of it (I mix my starters medium thick) in the 3 cups of water that make up the final dough. Then you just add the rest of the flour (this recipe is mainly white bread flour with some whole wheat and rye added) and salt, knead it a bit, and you're good to go. I let it do it's final rise in a big cloth lined basket. Then I pre-heated the cast iron pot for about 40 mins at 450 degrees.

The trickiest part for me is the logistics of taking the hot pot and lid out of the oven to load in the risen dough. I found it helpful to plan out where I was going to put the blazing hot lid and pot before I started. I'm not kidding- the 9 quart cast iron pot is bigger than I am. The pot was so heavy I needed a heavy duty trivet to support it on my counter. The other thing to be careful of is reaching down into that hot cauldron when you slash the top of the loaf- I got a little freaked doing that. Then I covered it and baked it at 450 for a full 40 mins. Then you take off the cover and keep baking it for about another 30 mins (it's a huge boule and really takes a long bake). For the last 20 mins or so I lowered the temp to 400.

It's fun to take the lid off after the first 30 mins and see what has happened. It had really sprung up in the pot. I had worried that maybe the risen dough would deflate when I inverted it into the hot pot, but it didn't. And the crust is very crisp. Even after four hours cooling, the crust hadn't softened up. It makes a big dramatic loaf. I think I'd like to buy a smaller cast iron pot so I can make smaller loaves. I'm crazy about the results from this method.

I hope this helps! Karen

 

bwaddle's picture
bwaddle

You are right! These pots are heavy, and I have the burns to prove it!


Now, I just heat the top and have had no loss of oven spring because of this. It is easier to transfer the dough and do the slashing when the bottom is not hot.


 


 


 

ericrx's picture
ericrx

Thanks Karen, and yes that does help. I am going to try it soon and will let you know how it turns out. I might have to skip the slashes though for the first time. :)

Eric

npsmama's picture
npsmama

has anyone tried this with 100% wholewheat?

Thegreenbaker's picture
Thegreenbaker

I tried it with 100% whole Spelt.

It would have been great but I made a few mistakes and burnt the crust :S

I liked the taste.

I know I have read other commetns about using wholewheat but I cant quote what was said. I might be wrong :S

emilydev's picture
emilydev

My first loaf, which i baked at 400oF because I was worried about the pot, came out OK,  but the crust was tough and hard to cut rather than crisp.

The second, with one cup of whole wheat flour mixed with two cups of white bread flour (and baked in a Pyrex casserole at 450oF), was superb, better and fresher than most good bakery bread I've had, with that nice holey texture, just the right chewiness, and a perfect crust.  Great for leftover turkey sandwiches.

I'm so excited about this recipe.  I've had moderate success with easy breads like challah and bagels, but nothing approaching this level of quality.  Over the weekend I bought rye, semolina, and white wheat flours, and am looking forward to more research!  

Has anyone tried using sesame seeds instead of bran, cornmeal, or flour?  I'm a little worried that they'd burn, but I have seen other bread recipes with sesame seeds in the crust calling for similar temperatures...

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

1 cup SD starter

1 5/8 Cup water

3 Cups AP flour

1/3 cup Rye flour

1 1/2 t salt

16 hour rest

fold, wait 20 mins, fold again, shape into batard, place on platter, then, sealed in plastic bag and retarded in the fridge overnight (18 hrs). Out of the fridge, final rise for 4 hours, then into the preheated covered roaster at 500 fro 30 mins, uncovered at 450 for 15 mins.

 

Tastes great, toasts up beautifully, excellent crostini, rub it with raw cut garlic, some good EV olive oil, some sea salt...oh boy. 

BUT,

Not the oven spring I hoped for, loaf is about 3".  And the crust, while chewy, flavorful and substantial is alas, not brittle and crackery.  And the crumb, moist, dense and clearly nutritious can lay no claims to sublte seductions of the tongue.  This bread could feed a small family for a week but will not transport anybody to a cobblestone alley outside a boulangerie in St. Germaine-des-Pres.

Compared to the commercial yeast version, It is quite dense.  Is this the nature of Sourdough?  Or could it have benfited from some kneading after the 16 hour sitting period and more folding and a longer final rise?

So far the commercial yeast version comes out on top for me in the No knead sweepstakes.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

After the comments above, I bought this book - and at first glance I'm very disappointed. All measurements in cups! Not even a nod to those who measure - I do all my cooking in either metric or pounds and ounces.  Anyone else find the same?
Andrew

titus's picture
titus

Andrew:

I always share your disappointment when a recipe is printed in cups and not metric, but that's just the way it is with many recipes.

That said, don't give up on the "No Need To Knead" book! Her focaccia and pizza is excellent. Speaking for myself, I prefer the bread made with her method over the NYT's.

I always measure the amount in cups the first time I use a recipe, and then write the amount in grams in the book and just use that from then on. If you don't have cups available, let me know and I will give you the notes on what I have.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

Titus,
an idea of how many grams per cup would be very useful!! Presumably the weight of flour and water being so different, a straight conversion isn't going to work - e.g. 3 cups of flour will equate to metric in one way - but the same weight to cup ratio couldn't be applied to any liquid? So I shall need to know the amount of grams of flour in a cup, and the weight of water in grams to a cup also, and do two conversions for each recipe?
The recipes themselves in her book loook fine - but confusing none the less!!!!!
Andrew

sphealey's picture
sphealey

For bread flour, 156 g/cup

 

sPh

CohoSalmon's picture
CohoSalmon

I have had success using the NY Times recipe where I used the scoop and level method of creating three cups of flour. I then weighed my three cups which came out to 14 ounces or 4.66 ounces per cup or 4.66 * 28.375 = 132 grams per cup.

The trouble with using cups to measure flour is there are so many methods of measuring the flour into the cup. You can stir the flour and then spoon it into the cup, which produces the least weight. Or you can jam the cup into the flour and level it off. Or you can jam the cup into the flour and shake the cup to remove the excess, which produces the most weight per cup.

 But 14 ounces of bread flour and 13 ounces of water works well for me.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

This is my big worry with using cups, instead of weighing in metric or imperial. If the water (recipe above) is a constant at 13 ounces, but the weight of flour in a cup can vary drastically depending on how much it is forced in - then the hydration is going to vary wildly too.
 Even weighing accurately can produce slight variations in hydration, depending on the humidity of the flour - but using cups to measure apparently can turn the hydration from one bake to another into something so different it could almost be a different recipe. 

Obviously, someone used to a particular recipe will be aware of the look and feel of the dough so can adjust accordingly - but trying a new recipe without having developed a feel for that particular dough is surely very much an experiment with no certainty that it in any close way resembles what it is meant to be?? 
Whereas weighing means that, within a very small margin of error, the hydration of the dough is going to be  fairly precisely what the baker who wrote the recipe intended it to be.Which is why I looked at my newly acquired "No need to Knead" with horror.....Andrew

loretta's picture
loretta
PeterG's picture
PeterG

I spent Sunday comparing Lahey's wet/no rise recipe with Reinhart's pain a l'ancienne from BBA.  
In order to test the Le Creuset technique as well as the dough variations, I used half the pain a l'ancienne dough to make baguettes, then I took the other half, gave it a couple of folds and baked it inside Le Creuset for it's first 30 minutes in the oven.
All three were terrific, but the unanimous winner among my family of tasters was the pain a l'ancienne dough inside Le Crueset.  Compared to the Lahey dough, the crust was nuttier and produced a terrific grigne, I got a much better rise in the oven, and thus an airier crumb.  Also, the Lahey recipe is just so wet that's it's extraordinarily difficult to handle.  The pain a l'ancienne baguettes were well received as always; I think the key advantage of Le Creuset was increasing the contrasting textures between crust and crumb.
Two great techniques that work great together!
PeterG


merrybaker's picture
merrybaker

Peter, that was an interesting test.  And an interesting result, too!  I'm not sure I understand -- was the second half of the pain a l'ancienne dough formed into a boule before you put it in the LeCreuset, or after the folds did you make the usual shape?     -Mary 

PeterG's picture
PeterG

Thanks, Mary.  After the folds, I put it in as a boule.  I hope you get a chance to try it.  Peter

foolforfoood's picture
foolforfoood

I decided to give your winner a try. I had half the pain à l'ancienne dough but I took slightly more flour. After a whole working day in the fridge  I gave the dough two folds but only short time to relax afterwards (about 10 minutes). Then I "threw" it into the oven hot Le Creuset marmite and shut it. I baked it like suggested the instructions: 30 minutes with the lid, about 20-25 minutes without. The fact that the dough didn't have much time to grow after the two folds resulted in a crumb with a finer texture. The crust was thick and really, really crunchy - even the crust of the bottom side was great. It was delicious. Reinhart's pain à l'ancienne in a Le Creuset marmite is a great idea. Even if the No-knead-Bread is great, I would prefer the pain à l'ancienne. But the difference between the two of them is only razor-thin.

Here are the pictures:

http://www.foolforfood.de/index.php/2006/12/08/pain_a_l_ancienne

npsmama's picture
npsmama

My dough really sticks to the cloth like mad.

 

Is there any solution to this? 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

A ton of flour or bran on the cloth should prevent sticking. But I had the same experience with this dough. I'm all for high hydration doughs, but this one goes *too* far, IMO.

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

If the dough is too wet then probably not.  But i've been succesful with relatively high hydration doughs (even when retarding them overnight in the fridge enclosed in a plastic bag--plenty of opportunity for the dough to stick) by using the tighest weave dishtowels I have-- the tighter the weave the less likely the dough is going to get "into" the weave and stick; and generously coating the surface of the towel with a 50/50 of coarse yellow corn meal and flour. I use 1/3 to 1/2 cup of this mixture--perhaps over kill but flour is cheap and it works.  Also, press the four/meal mixture into the fabric, thus filling the gaps in the weave with flour, preventing the dough from getting into those gaps and sticking.

I saw a video of Nancy Silverton (I think) and she said that she never washes the dishtowels she uses for this purpose, just hangs them out to dry completely after each use.  the result is that the towels become so impregnated with flower that they are virtually stick proof and only need a light dusting with each new use.

Cooky's picture
Cooky

I was having the same issues so many others have reported with dough sticking even to well floured towels. So I don't use them at all. In fact, I rarely do a two-hour second rise at all, and have been getting great results.

What I do instead is give the dough a few in-bowl "folds" with a spatula -- the same kind of folding motion you'd use when adding egg whites to cake batter, for instance -- once or twice during the long initial rise.

When I'm ready to cook, I pour the risen dough out onto a  floured board, very lightly pat it down and fold it over envelope style, cut it into sections (if I'm making more than one loaf) with kitchen shears, dust with with some more flour just to make it possible to handle, then form it into kinda-sorta boules. I give it maybe a 15-20 minute rest, then toss it in the hot pots. No problemo, beautiful loaves, excellent oven spring.

The dough is so wet that it doesn't form a crust during the rest period. If I need to protect it, I just put an inverted mixing bowl over it.

 

 

"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

I originally read this article and thought "this is good for people who don't know how to really bake bread" but after all the hubbub and internet peer pressure I finally tried it today. I used my camping dutch oven, which is great because it gave me an excuse to use it! Oh and one note I rose my loaf on a floured cloth that I placed inside a bowl to give it some structure as it rose--I suspect that helped with oven spring, as mine was pretty tall.

 

Everything transpired just as described--I was worried about the dough sticking to my cloth, but I had no troubles (it's a well used piece of canvas I use all the time so it has a lot of flour in it).

 

Things I liked: It was very simple, nice for a busy weekday bread. It was also an easy way to handle very wet dough.  It looked very attractive coming out of the oven.

 

Dislikes: I don't like the crust as much as my usual stone-baked loaves. It's not very thick, and not very crunchy. I could always pop it out and finish on the stone, but that brings me to my other dislike--handling a preheated heavy pot was rather annoying and dangerous. If I do it again I'll use my peel and stone.

 

My crumb is not as big-bubbled as I hope--I'll take a pic once I'm a few more slices into it. It also has sort of a metallic taste. Again, I think I'll skip the cast-iron part next time.

 

I do think I'll try the mix and overnight rise method for my ciabatta next time--I'm not satisfied with my process and think this might be a good method to adapt to rustic breads.

Noche's picture
Noche

My sis had this happen to her and I found that she was not washing her's out and then baking all the water out with a 20 minute bake cycle and then lightly coating it with Crisco while hot and wiping off the excess. We store ours with a slip of scott towel in it.

KonnyL's picture
KonnyL

I have baked twice with this method using an enameled cast iron dutch oven.

First try I used 30 minute closed + 30 minute open lid.... resulting loaf had beautiful dark crackly AND chewy crust... great crumb BUT too dry.

On second try I checked the bread internal temperature after 30 minutes in closed pot and it was 200F!!!!

I stopped at that point and removed the bread to cool... to save the crumb.

Crust was dark and crispy but after cooling was not as crispy or as thick as the first loaf BUT the crumb was moist and chewy with an exceptional flavor.

I believe the baking times are too long because the loaf is so flat and thin [it spreads out to the shape of the pot].

 

First try was exactly as the NYT recipie.... second time I used less water, a food processor to mix and do some kneading... long 21 hour first rise followed by lots of folding of the wet dough to get some structure to stop it from spreading. I let it rest a while and folded some more to get a ball. Placed in a bowl shaped inner basket from by salad spinner lined with a heavily floured towel to rise... 3 hours plus and it still had some bounce back but I put it in the hot pot to bake anyway.

 

The second try STILL spread out the the edges of the pot and was only a little thicker than the first try so the baking times need to be changed to perhaps 20 minutes closed and 20 minutes open.

 

Alternatively, since this wet dough has a propensity to spread, either get a small pot or make a larger batch of dough so the thickness of the loaf is higher.

 

Yes! The dough stuck to the HEAVILY floured towel both times!

 

Konny

 

Konny

KonnyL's picture
KonnyL

Check out the video at the link below.... nothing like my experience or likely yours either!! <P>

http://video.on.nytimes.com/ifr_main.jsp?nsid=a718aabc2:10f5021da7b:-79c9&fr_story=35eac03d90314ffed6a0c0ae143ab87b1474fb89&st=1165280627765&mp=FLV&cp...

<p> His dough was not nearly as sticky as mine following the recipe in the NYT... he folded it over and picked it up to put it in the hot pot.... this was impossible with my super gooey dough.

 

<P> His proportions of water to flour were CLEARLY different!!!

 

 

Konny

npsmama's picture
npsmama

Thanks so much for that video link. Very useful.

 

The original article says that this method works well with wholewheat and rye.

 

Surely they can't mean 100% wholewheat and definitely not 100% rye. What proportions do you think the rye should have?

 

I've tried 70% wholewheat and 30% white and that worked well. 

Rick's picture
Rick

I had the same problem with low rising and flat bread in my first 2 attempts as some have reported. This was with King Arthur Bread flour that had been sitting in my pantry for at least 2 or 3 years. I bought a new bag of King Arthur All Purpose flour and mixed it up last night and this morning have a full rise, but I haven't baked it yet. I didn't realize flour had a shelf life until I googled it.

npsmama's picture
npsmama

Regarding the dough sticking to the tea towel: on the video he uses bran torather than flour in the tea towel. I used cornmeal and it didn't stick. I think flour would just be absorbed by the wet dough.

 

 Interesting to note how the video differs from the article.

In the video he scoops up 3 ROUNDED cups of flour. Also he only uses 1.5C water and not 1 5/8C that the article states.

I also noted that when transferring the dough from the tea towel to the pot he just tosses it in. I was being really careful but today I just tossed it in and it was my best loaf yet.

 As fro 1 cup of one flour being different to one cup of another flour I think the key is to aim for a similar consistency to what is in the video.

KonnyL's picture
KonnyL

<P>+ Clearly his dough is firmer and less sticky than the NYT recipe produces.

<p>+ Note that his dough also spreads to the side of the pot.... of course he clearly did not form a ball.... his dough was pretty large in diameter to start with but his did appear to rise to a greater thickness than mine did.... hard to tell the precise diamater of his pot but it looks smaller than mine.

 

<P> + Note that he mentions 30 minutes bake time with the pot closed and "15 to 20" minutes with the cover off to crisp the crust while the steam escapes.... NOT 30 minutes open cover as in the NYT.

 

<P> + He makes no mention of internal temperature and was not shown testing it but I know that numerous recipes call for baking until the internal temperature reaches 190F. For my second try I baked for 30 minutes closed and tested and found the internal temperature was 200F so I quit baking at that point... the crumb was great but the crust of course was not as crisp as the first try.

 

<p>Bottom line seems to be (1) Make a somewhat stiffer dough with less water (2) knead a little while mixing and fold much more after the first rise to get a stiffer dough with more structure. This makes it easier to handle and safely get it into the hot pot. (3)Get an optimum diameter pot or re-size the quantities for the size pot used so the loaf is not too thin. (4) Check the internal temperature and adjust baking time so the center of the loaf does not get too hot.... 10 to 20 minutes with the lid open is likely enough time to keep the crust crisp and if necessary reduce the baking time with the lid closed as well. (5) And... as others have suggested used a canvas cloth and/or something other than flour to keep the wet dough from sticking like oat meal, etc.

 

Konny

merrybaker's picture
merrybaker

On wet doughs like this (and most whole-grain breads), I routinely bake them to 210F.  The inside doesn't dry out as much as you'd expect, and the crust gets nice and dark and crusty with extra flavor.  I do use 190F for white sandwich loaves and the like.  -Mary  

Rick's picture
Rick

Regarding the issue of the towel sticking - I don't see where covering it with a towel has any effect. I just baked one without covering it and the loaf turned out excellent. I think the practice of covering it with a towel just came about to keep flies off of it. (g) The towel doesn't hinder either air or moisture - what effect would it have?

KonnyL's picture
KonnyL

Picked up still another detail from the video... he took the pot out after 20 minutes not 30 and opened the cover to reveal a deep brown crust.... seems the "0 minutes covered" in the NYT recipe was too long... bet 20 minutes covered and 10 to 15 open would do the trick.

Konny

dulke's picture
dulke

This has been a fascinating thread to follow. I cannot believe that I have not actually taken the plunge, although I read the original article/viewed the video within a day or so of it being published. For those of you who donot have a suitable vessel, Cooks Illustrated latest issue rated Dutch ovens and gave a best buy to Target's Chefmate pot, which at $40 USD was about $200 cheaper than the big name brands. I picked one up today, hope to try this out soon. The tag indicates the handle is good to 350 deg., but I noticed it screws off, and I intend to remove it, to avoid meltdown.

 In terms of dough sticking to the towels, I use rice flour in my bannetons, and it seems to work better than regular flour. I intend to use the banneton, actually rather than a towel, when I make this.

Rick's picture
Rick

I made the first loaf in a Le Creuset 7 Qt, but I felt the 450 temp was too high to subject it to  and it was too big.  So I used my Lodge 5 Qt for the next 2 at 500 degrees and it's the perfect size (and price, $25 http://tinyurl.com/yaqgdm )  Just a little bread dust in the bottom after it comes out - nothing sticks.  This recipe is my first foray onto bread baking, and it's inspired me to try more.  Just got The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Reinhart at the library.  My motto - anything worth doing is worth overdoing - and it looks like a good number of you up here share that sentiment. (g)  Also, the towel stuck to my first loaf - I haven't covered them with anythng since.    

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

I used a cast iron dutch oven for my batch, and the metallic taste was really strong.  Did you have any problems with this?  It's a fairly new pan, but was pre-seasoned (and re-seasoned after using it on a camping trip).

 

The pan worked fine, but I'm very reluctant to use it again as I really did not like the flavor.

 

Thanks! 

Rick's picture
Rick

There was no metallic taste that I could discern in the 2 loaves I did in it. Here are 2 pictures from a couple of days ago of a finished loaf in the pan, and a picture of new dough just before I threw it in the Lodge a few minutes ago.  Notice that my dougn is not as liquidy as some have described - was yours?  The Lodge was dry and heated at 500 for 30 minutes so a crust would have started forming quickly.  I don't know what would account for your metalic taste. Was there still a residue of oil in the pan from when you last seasoned it?    I made the dough that's in the oven right now from 50% King Arthur All Purpose Flour and 50% King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour - plu I added just under a tablespoon of salt like Bittman mentioned in his followup article.  So I 'm curious how this one turns out.     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Larry Sims's picture
Larry Sims

I have an old dutch oven that I have now used 8 or 10 times for this recipe, and the seasoning is long gone from the high heat.  My guess is, you are getting the taste from the seasoning (oil or whatever) burning out of the pan.  You might try just baking the pan for a couple hours - unless you want to continue to use it seasoned for other things.

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

Due to the large response to the article, there's an update in today's paper with addendums to the recipe.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/06/dining/06mini.html?ref=dining

creative999's picture
creative999

I clicked your link, but have to pay $4.95 for the article...can you share the updates with us instead?

Thanks!

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

... or I'll be tempted to make this Sullivan St. bread all the time. Gotta get back to the whole wheat thing before my blood sugar levels turn my blood vessels into syrup spigots.

 I finally made the bread with yeast, not sourdough, and it really is amazing. I lowered the hydration a tad to 72%, and weighed out the ingredients to ensure that I hit it. That results in a bread that really isn't all that sticky after 18 hours, and is pretty easy to handle, so long as you're not afraid of flour flying everywhere. I had no trouble with the dough sticking to the banneton I used (I shaped it into a boule, this time, after the stretch and fold). A pastry brush got rid of the excess flour very nicely.

Man. Easily the best tasting white bread I've ever made.

KonnyL's picture
KonnyL

How long did you bake it covered and open?? Did you check the internal temperature?

Konny

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Preheated to 500 degrees F. Covered for 30 minutes, uncovered for just under 15.

lolajl's picture
lolajl

Discovered that Lodge discontinued the loaf pan in 2004.  :-(((  This would be ideal so I can shape the bread loaf style and avoid wasting bread - there are only two of us and the uneaten half is already molding.  
Can anyone suggest alternatives?  Pyrex loaf pans?

titus's picture
titus

Do you not have a freezer big enough to hold the other half of the loaf?

There's just me and my husband as well, but when I bake bread, I slice it and put it in the freezer and then take out slices as needed. Works great. No stale bread ever.

If you don't have a big enough freezer, you could always just halve the recipe.

lolajl's picture
lolajl

Yes, I suppose that would work - we have a freezer in the garage.  Meanwhile, I've sent a request to Lodge Manufacturing to bring back the loaf pan.  Can't hurt . . . 

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Cajun Cast Iron has an oblong casserole cast iron that looks like just the ticket.

 

sPh

Nancy's picture
Nancy

Today's NYT has an update on the bread--most of what they offer today is common sense, though.

 Going to make my next loaf with whole cloves of roasted garlic added before baking. A friend has also had great luck substituting a cup of semolina for an equal volume of flour.

 

 

Ricardo's picture
Ricardo

Now this is something I seriously consider doing in the next few days once the heatwave (40 or 100 plus)  leaves us behind in the meantime I may just proceed with the mixing and refrigeration then I can use my very old and trusty Le Creuset pan that is worn out and I was about to throw it away. Looks like I have found a way to put it to good use

Ricardo's picture
Ricardo

slashing the loaf?

I have notices some laoves were slashed others were not

So my question is when and how does one does it with this wet dough?

thanks

 

 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

If you make the NYT / Sullivan St. recipe as stated, it's probably going to be too wet to slash. You can use a wet razor blade or a wet serrated knife, but at 80% hydration, which is what this loaf is at, slashing is pretty much impossible.

If you cut the water down a tad to 1 1/3 cups or even 1.25 cups, the bread should still turn out great, and you'll be able to slash it. I weigh my ingredients, and have been making this bread at 72% hydration, with great results.

Ricardo's picture
Ricardo

yes thank you I thought so hydration will make it almost impossible to slash the loaf.

Another comment is this guy at the bakery uses commercial flour which is different from the supermarkets flour. I too use commercial flour of various types so I hope and expect to make this bread with no problems.  

 

erasch's picture
erasch

what is the thinking behind having the last rise with the rounded side of the loaf up?  ... so that it is inverted (the "pinched-together" side of the loaf) and is up for the baking?  would it not work as well to follow a conventional process of having the last (2-hour) rising take place with the pinched side up and invert with the smooth up for baking?  [Or, does it matter with the slackness of the dough?] 

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

I wondered about that, and came to the conclusion that it is to save you from slashing the loaf. The other way up, any surface tension will cause the loaf to rip unevenly under the force of oven spring. Pinched side up, it will open along the lines of least resistance -  the "pinched" bits - giving the impression of being slashed. Could this be the reason?
Andrew

Ricardo's picture
Ricardo

I have used the proportions given in the revised and refined version and the dough. It is slack but nowhere near as highly hydrated as other people suggest in fact it is rather dry and with few dry flour lumps around the dough. Perhaps because here is summer and yesterday was 42C the flour requires lot more water I don't know.

Right now that I have prepared the dough and covered the bowl with a glass lid leave it for an hour before moving it into the fridge for an overnight stay.

 

Pepetaco's picture
Pepetaco

Sorry...I am new here and not quite sure how posting works...have made the no knead bread twice and the first time it came out great...good crust and crumb...the second time the crumb was very rubbery and didn't rise much in the dutch oven ...am wondering what would cause that? the dough seemed a bit more wet on the second one when i put it in the pan...would that be the cause of my problem...would appreciate any comments on this...i did weigh the flour and am pretty sure I put in 1 5/8 cup of water...I have just brought another loaf out of the oven that I used 1 1/2 cups of water in and it did rise better...am loving this bread even though i bombed on the second loaf...

Pepetaco

Pepetaco's picture
Pepetaco

For anyone interested there is another video on making this bread at breadtopia.com ...there is also a recipe on making it with sourdough starter and whole wheat flour...this guy too makes it with 1 1/2 cup water on the original recipe

Pepetaco

gianfornaio's picture
gianfornaio

The water you'll need to get the dough to the same consistency would vary by how much gluten/protein your flour has-- if you use unbleached all purpose (USA), you'll need less water for a really wet dough. If you use bread flour, it has more gluten and you'll need more water to get it more slack and, well, batter-y.

krusty's picture
krusty

Krusty, Toronto

First, thanks to Pepetaco for the link to Breadtopia.com, where the instructions are clear, unambiguous and free of contradictions, and the videos are vastly better than on the Bittman/Lahey NYT postings.  I followed the Breadtopia method and made my personal  best bread, using 2/3 multigrain and 1/3 Nutriflour (contains bran) plus 1 TBS of gluten flour.  Thin crackly crust; moist open chewy crumb; complex flavour.

Forgive me if this observation has already been made, but:

This method is clearly described in Elizabeth David's marvellous book "English Bread and Yeast Cookery" (1977) starting at page 303.  She calls it "Under-Cover Breadbaking."   It's disingenuous to describe it, as Bittman does, as an innovation and revolutionary. In fact, the method is ancient.  

 

 

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Yesterday I made two loaves of the New York Times bread. I will send pictures as soon as I figure out how. I baked both loaves at the same time, one in my Le Creuset 5 qt. dutch oven (with foil wrapped around the knob) and one in my La Cloche clay pot. I preheated the oven at 500º for 45 min. and then turned down the oven to 450º, put the dough in each pot, baked at 450º for 20 min. covered and about 15 min. uncovered.
The breads came out beautiful but when it was over my Le Creuset lid had two breaks. One is 3" long and one is about 1". Also, a half inch piece popped out of the knob. The La Cloche got very dark but that's ok. I would also say the La Cloche is easier to use because of the handle on top and the shallow 1 or 2" base makes it easy to put the dough in and to remove the bread after cooking. The loaf baked higher and nicer in the clay also.
The clay pot, for me, is the only way to go. I feel very bad about my Le Creuset so I'm letting you know cracking is possible. I use an ordinary GE electric oven. 

Pepetaco's picture
Pepetaco

Pepetaco

Hi i too feel the bread does better in the La Cloche than in the cast iron...my best loaves have been in the La Cloche versus the cast iron...the cast iron is pretty good but doesn't compare to the La Cloche in crispiness of crust and tenderness of crumb...the one loaf of bread i fouled up on in my cast iron i think was with a flour too high in gluten and it was kind of rubbery...am sorry about your Le Creuset...that is a shame...thanks for the info on it...my bread also had more rise to it in the La Cloche...have found putting the dough in a little basket lined with linen makes it far easier to get into either the cast iron or the bottom of th La Cloche...really like that little basket!

gianfornaio's picture
gianfornaio

I have neither a LaCloche nor any enameled cast iron. I tried this last week in a 6-quart Simply Calphalon non-stick stockpot with a steel lid, atop the baking stone-- I fidgeted with the dough composition, so I can't blame the recipe for my gummy, bland crumb (in spite of breaking 210 degrees in the middle of the middle), but I was thoroughly impressed by the generously crunchy bottom crust. 

I suspect that the material of your pot matters less than its shape, lid, and degree of preheating.

I have to echo an earlier post here by asking, is kneading such a chore? Maybe if I had come out better on my single try (and hadn't foolishly blistered my thumb and 2 fingers on a 500 degree pot lid) I'd be totally sold on this method. As it is, it's not so hard to get lots of steam in the oven, and I baked some boules and a three pound round today with no pans and a comparable crust (though a chewy bottom) that were much easier and less messy to get into and out of the oven on a peel.    

foolforfoood's picture
foolforfoood

I was fascinated by the No-Knead-Bread in a Le Creuset Marmite. But as long as you provide enough steam there's no need for a pot. I tried baguettes from the no-knead-dough in my convection steam oven. I started at 30° C and a humidity of 80% (10 minutes). Then the baguette were baked 13 minutes at 225° C and 20% humidity. They turned out great with a thin crust. The steam provided by the oven ensures a good rising.

Photos here (sorry, post there is in german):

http://www.foolforfood.de/index.php/2006/12/25/schnelle_no_knead_baguette

sheellah's picture
sheellah

I'm new to bread baking and would like to try the NY Times technique. The placing the dough between two towels seems awfully messy. Could you place the dough on a Silpat, and cover it with a glass bowl instead for the rising? It would also slide easily off the Silpat to get it into the pot.

BTW, I called Le Creuset this morning about something else, and I also asked them about using their pots for this bread. They said preheating the pot empty to such high temps isn't a great idea and might cause damage, and also putting a wet dough into such a hot pot might cause crazing and cracking after a while. 

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I think this NY Times bread is so easy, so tasty and so beautiful that I might make it everyday. Friends and neighbors will be happy.I never use the towels. I make my dough so that it looks and feels like sticky biscuit dough when I first mix it and it looks like the dough pictured in the above post by Rick when I'm ready to bake it. I place it on a breadboard and cover it with my breadbowl. A couple of times I did not cover it at all for the 2 hour rise and it was fine. It bakes so high and beautiful in the La Cloche (about $35.00 on Amazon) that I might not go back to my other ways of baking bread. I don't know why all the instructions for such wet dough that is impossible to handle. A wet dough yes but runny is not necessary. I think what makes this work is a (reasonably) wet dough, high heat and a cover for part of the baking time. I'm amazed how just 3 cups of flour can make such a large loaf.Thanks Sheellah for asking Le Creuset about baking at such high heat. Maybe it will save someone from ruining their pot. Wish I knew sooner. Good Bread to All.

krusty's picture
krusty

This combines the method for pain a l’ancienne (BBA, page 192) with the Lahey/Rusch method.

 

9 ounces hard white unbleached flour (250 grams)

4.5 ounces multigrain flour (125 grams)

10 ounces ice water  (280 Ml)

1 tsp instant yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

 

Mixed the dough by hand for about two minutes.

 

10 hours in refrigerator in a lightly oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap

10 hours at room temperature

  

Sprinkled the board with ¼ cup flour.  Turned out the dough and sprinkled some more flour on top.  Formed and stretched the dough, which only absorbed about half the flour on the board.  The dough was moist, but very easy to handle.  Put the dough in a lightly-oiled baking pan 12”x 4”, bottom sprinkled with corn meal, to rest while pre-heating the oven, about 20 minutes.  No further proofing needed.  Heated an oblong clay baker to 500°, and turned the dough into it.  Baked at 475° for 30 minutes lid on and 10 minutes lid off.

 

Exceellent oven spring.  Crust cracked,  and crackled while cooling.  Thin crisp crust.  Chewy crumb, with lots of holes. Complex flavour.

  
Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

This recipe has no sour dough starter?

krusty's picture
krusty

Correct.  No sourdough starter, and it works perfectly.

Also:  I have baked this as a boule in an unglazed clay tagine (must be seasoned first), and that works perfectly.  The domed lid of the tagine acts as a cloche. 

creative999's picture
creative999

I tried this recipe with good success at altitude (5280 ft.).  I increased the water to a full 2 cups and added an addt'l 1/4 tsp fine sea salt.  I used 1/4 triangle of a fresh cake of compressed yeast and dissolved it in 1 cup of the water (coolish not lukewarm) and threw it in with the flour and salt and quickly added one more cup water.  I measured the flour the same way as the video, dig it in, shake it til level and throw it in.  I used the same dry measure cup (as he did) to measure the water.

I made two recipes at once - (same as above) but replaced 1/2 cup spelt for 1/2 cup AP (all purpose) flour since I'd run out of AP.

Both loaves didn't rise any more after 12 hours, but I let them go until 17 hours had passed.  They both stuck to the towels, the spelt version more so than the other.  I had a LeCreuset dutch oven and a pyrex casserole with a LeCreuset lid (for the spelt one).  I preheated to 500 deg 45 min before baking time with both pans in the oven during the preheat.  I cooked for the NYT times exactly, but when I took the temperatures, they were both at 201 deg.  I decided to stop and see how they were because I was afraid they would be burned on the bottom - neither one was.

After cooling, they were both great.  The spelt loaf a little smaller, but more rounded.  The AP loaf had a slight rise in the middle, but they both looked very appetizing.  The spelt interior is more flecked and slightly darker.  The AP loaf nice and white - not like the yellow on the video.  Both have a moist interior and a chewy texture and not at all dry and not soggy either.  This was after only 1 hour of cooling, but we just couldn't wait any longer to test it out. 

I don't have pics, but the loaves don't look any different than some of the other success pics posted.  Both of my versions were more wet than NYT's - I could fold them, but not as nicely as he did.  The spelt version reminded me of jello almost.

Waiting a day to see what some dryness brings to the loaves and I've frozen half . . .

Alana's picture
Alana

I have the bread recipe from the NYT article, but I missed the video. And now it doesn't seem to be online anymore. I don't suppose anyone knows where I can view it now? 
thanks!

thesteelydane's picture
thesteelydane

The video is here.

sheellah's picture
sheellah

My cookware is all All-Clad and Le Creuset. I don't want to run the risk of damaging the Le Creuset, and I've read about bad discoloration on the All-Clad, heating it that high. I'm also afraid of warping. Since they also recommend Pyrex, would the 4.5 qt. Visions casserole be a good option? It won't warp or discolor in the heat, but I'm not sure how it bakes. Is anyone using this for the bread?

If I bought the 2.5 qt. Visions casserole, would I just cut the recipe in half, or could I use the whole thing and bake it a little higher? 

Cooky's picture
Cooky

I've used Visions saucepans to make smaller loaves with this recipe and they work fine, as does my Pyrex casserole. Added bonus: you can check on the progress of the loaves without taking the lid off.

 

I suppose you could throw the whole recipe into the larger pan and get the same big boule that everyone has. I don't have a large glass container, so I've made the whole recipe then cut the dough into smaller hunks for the final rise. I have also done some serial baking, when I'm doing volume production. As soon as one batch is done, I take it out, dump the bread, give the pan a quick wipe with a dry towel (there's not much to remove normally; the loaves fall out cleanly), then throw in the second batch and pop it straight into the hot oven.

 

 

 

 

"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

er79's picture
er79

Do you change the cook time in the oven with a smaller loaf?  I'm thinking of halving the recipe, since I won't use so much bread at once and only have a small dish.

tubaguy63's picture
tubaguy63

will someone re-post the formula in this thread?

 

Thanks!

Cooky's picture
Cooky

Here's the recipe (edited for space) that kicked it all off. As you have seen from this thread, the adaptations are purt-near endless. Many folk are using less water, more or less salt, tinkering w/rise time, baking temp etc. And those towels! Drive people crazy. See thread for alternatives.

 

Enjoy!

 

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (active yeast also works, no proofing necessary)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran

Combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 1/2  cups water,  stir until blended (dough will be shaggy and sticky)

Cover bowl and let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at about 70 degrees.

 Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice, envelope style. Let rest about 15 minutes.

 Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking, quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours.

When ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats.

 When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is uneven.

Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is brown.

Yield: One 1 1/2-pound loaf.

 

 

 

"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

demegrad's picture
demegrad

Just in case you measure your ingredients by weight the recipe is available through this link:

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2006/12/noknead_balloon_bread_loaf_10.html#c016810

 The recipe on this link has been tested and retested and so on and slightly modified.  Mainly what is found on this link has 80% hydration where I believe in the original recipe in the article has 75%.  Even at 80% the dough is pretty easy to work with since you only HAVE to fold it once.  You can do more, but the I think whole purpose of the article was to inspire people to make bread at home and keep it as simple as possible.  Good luck!

demegrad

http://www.demegrad.blogspot.com

mrpeabody's picture
mrpeabody

This probably has been discussed to death here, but with all of the chatter about the NYT No-Knead technique, I had to try it too.  So, I made a basic dough a bit less wet than the article (about 73% hydration, I wanted the resultant dough to be more easily handled) and a touch more salt.  Mixed the shaggy dough (took about 15 seconds) and let it sit in the kitchen (about 65-70 F) for about 21 hours (I got home a bit later that night than I intended).  Did the folding being careful to not degass too much.  Waited 15 min, then gently shaped the loaf and put it seam side down on some cornmeal on top of parchment paper (I don't have a dutch oven, so I just decided to shape and bake on a stone) and let proof for about 2 hrs.  Heat stone in oven (550 for 40 min).  Slash bread and popped it on the hot stone.  Immediately dropped temp to 475 and baked for 10 min (with occasional spritzing of water for steam).  Open the oven, removed the parchment paper, spun the loaf around for more even baking and dropped the oven temp to 400.  Baked another 30 min.

Results?  It worked!  Really great oven spring.  A loaf of bread with a decent crust (well for me that is) and really nice open crumb structure.  My wife thought that it tasted great too.

I haven't baked much the past year because my work and family activities have kept me too busy.  This was sad as it is always nice to have good bread for our meals.  Because of food allergy issues (my boys are allergic to sesame seeds and nuts), we can't just trust buying good bread at an artisan bakery (which was why I was trying my hand at baking my own).  But this technique is so minimal in terms of effort that it fits really well for my busy life.  I think that for now (or at least until my life gets less hectic), this technique allows me to get some descent bread on the table.  I bet if I dose the dough with a touch of whole wheat and a bit of dark rye, the resulting bread will be pretty good.

Mr. Peabody

KNEADLESS's picture
KNEADLESS

Lehey made the no knead bread on Martha's show yesterday.  A "top of the world mom" moment.  Where can he go from here?

 

George 

sewwhatsports's picture
sewwhatsports

I just converted my liquid starter to a rye starter to use tonight for the No Knead bread.  Has anyone else done rye flour with this bread?  I love rye bread and want to try it out, maybe even add the caraway seeds.  What do you think, will this work?  I got the Dutch Oven yesterday so I am ready... 

Rena in Delaware

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I've made several batches of rye bread in my clay pot and they are delicious. I mix 1 1/2 cup dark rye, 1 1/2 cup AP flour, 2 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 Tbls. caraway seed and 1/4 tsp. instant yeast. Then I add 1/2 cup rye starter and 1 1/2 cup water. I follow the usual baking instructions but bake at 450º for 20 min. covered and about 12 min. uncovered.

As you can see I like my rye salty and with lots of caraway. I add the 1/4 tsp. yeast for insurance. The bread does not rise as high as the white loaves but is moist and denser  which I like with rye bread. Yummy. Hope this helps. weavershouse

emilydev's picture
emilydev

Wellspring Grocery, now plain old Whole Foods, in Chapel Hill, NC, used to make a sesame-semolina bread, so I thought I'd try and adapt the no-knead bread recipe to this end. I used one cup semolina flour to two cups bread flour, and substituted sesame seeds for the flour on the dishtowel. Dead easy, and as it happened, it worked great; in fact, I think it's tied with my best no-knead success yet. The bread has a really nice holey texture, lovely pale yellow color, and slightly crisp yet tender crust. The sesame seeds are, of course, yummy; I was worried they would scorch at those high temperatures, but they did not.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

That looks wonderful. I'll have to give that a try: I love semolina and sesame seeds.

sewwhatsports's picture
sewwhatsports

I made my first no knead today.  I was less than happy with the results.  All was going well up to the part where I removed the lid and lowered the temp of the oven.  I had done that but in that last 15 minutes the bottom and the crust both got too dark, almost to the burnt side.  The bread inside had a nice crumb and good hole structure-the dough was a miv of white and rye. I have another dough fermenting and I will try that with the older clay baker that Pampered Chef had avialable several years ago.  It is similar in shape to a mini La Cloche.  I will let you know how it goes as I do thisl  Thanks for listening.

Rena in Delaware

npsmama's picture
npsmama

Just to report that this technique has worked wonderfully for my SD bread:

 

1c starter

1.5c water

1 1/4 ts salt

3c flour 

erasch's picture
erasch

What comprises your starter as it certainly can impact the hydration ratio in the bread?  Thanks

merrybaker's picture
merrybaker

Martha has the video of the Jim Lahey segment on her website. Everything's pretty much the same as the NYT video, except it's Martha instead of Bittman. There might be an easier way to find it, but this works: click here

Then click on the little TV that says "Watch video: Martha talks about her love of baking," on the next screen click on "Next 3," and under No-Knead bread click PLAY, not recipe.

Rampart Baker's picture
Rampart Baker

I just ordered a Maxwell and Williams terrine from Amazon.com to try this recipe in.  I have made it in my round enameled Dutch Oven and it comes out perfectly but I find the large round loaf an inconvenient size.  So after searching and searching I finally found a rectangular, covered, loaf sized dish.  Le Crueset does make a terrine but it is of course enameled cast iron and costs just over $100.  This one is glazed ceramic and it seems people are getting good results that type of dish in the round version so this should be no problem.  I also ordered some paper bread bags from King Arthur as storing the loaf in plastic bags ruins the cripsy crust.  Now to wait for these things to arrive...

Rampart Baker's picture
Rampart Baker

Oh yes, I am at 8500 ft elevation and the recipe did not require any alterations.

Larry Sims's picture
Larry Sims

Are you getting a nice high rise or spring with yours at altitude?  I'm at 6000 feet, and I get nice crust, nice flavor, but a finer crumb than I wanted without many holes.  I have been experimenting with it since the recipe came out, and am about to decide to go to a smaller pan than my ancient 9 inch cast iron dutch oven.  I did watch the Martha Stewart/Jim Lehey video, and theirs did not get very tall, either, but it did have lots of nice holes.  I've been using King Arthur bread flour.

sewwhatsports's picture
sewwhatsports

Is your rye starter a stiff starter or a liquid? I have a stiff starter in the refrigerator but will convert it to a liquid to try this is that is what you used. I love good rye bread and plan to grind my own rye flour. I got a KitchenAid grain mill and I bought rye berries at our Mennonite store a few weeks ago and need to use them. I am off work the next few days so it will be baking time. Your answer will help.  Thanks.

Rena in Delaware

sewwhatsports's picture
sewwhatsports

Just realized by reading the recipe again that it had to be a liquid starter.  Oh well, it is 1:30 in the morning so maybe that is a little bit of an excuse for my 'senior moment'.

I will convert my starter this morning, feed it and plan to make the dough to be able to ferment until Saturday AM.  Hopefully it will be as yummy as it sounds. 

Rena in Delaware

sewwhatsports's picture
sewwhatsports

  

This is the rye no knead that I did today.  I used multi grains on the outside to give a little extra crunch.  Moist but nice crumb. Baked it in a mini baker by Pampered Chef.

Rena in Delaware

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

What is your recipe, if you don't mind. I don't know if you saw my post that's a little North in this thread but I'd love to know what you did. Did you use yeast or sourdough? It looks delicious. I think I could live on rye bread alone....well butter and/or cream cheese too. weavershouse

sewwhatsports's picture
sewwhatsports

I followed your recipe to make the bread.  I brought my stiff rye starter to a liquid, fed it and then used it in the no knead bread.  It does have a nice sour tang to the bread. I can't wait to let it sit overnight to let the flavors ripen.  Ought to be great with some nice cheese tomorrow.  I may actually use the rye starter in my next pain au levain to see it I can get that a little more sour.  Thank you for the great recipe.

Rena in Delaware

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I'm going to add seeds to the outside of my rye next time because it looks so good. You're right about the bread tasting better the next day and I find it stays fresh at least 3 days and I still love it toasted on the 4th...if there's any left. This NYT, pot bread, no knead bread, whatever you call it, is the best thing that's come into my bread world in a while. Experimenting is so easy and it's always so good. I still try many of the other breads shown on this site (don't they all look so good) but I keep going back to the NYT bread in a pot. I posted a picture in the gallery a while back and if I can ever figure out how to post one here I will. Happy Baking. weavershouse

talanhart's picture
talanhart

What percentage of Oven Spring do you think might be lost if you bake this in a pot with a loose fitting lid?  I ask, because a friend of mine and I baked a loaf at her house and we used a crock pot insert with a pie plate for a lid.  The loaf didn't spring as high as other loaves that I have baked in my cast enamel pot with a tight fitting lid.  

gecko's picture
gecko

 

I guess this is another indication of how versatile the No-Knead Bread process can be. After my first attempts turned out somewhat insipid in colour and chewy rather than crusty, I figured that my stove was just not getting to the temperature that I wanted. My very clever wife suggested that I try the barbecue!

Well, the results were amazing. Placed my 4.5 Litre cast iron camp oven between the two outside gas burners, closed the canopy and pre-heated to 260C. After dropping the dough in (slightly crooked as usual) I gave it 5 minutes then maintained about 245C for the rest of the time.

Result ... terrific colour and great crackle.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

I've just made a sourdough loaf, 75% wholemeal, roughly following the NYT method. It worked brilliantly, excellent rise and wonderful looking / smelling loaf. I used the recipe I normally do but wetter. No problems with the Le Creuset (my oven only heats to 220° C). Also, I don't see a problem handling an empty hot Le Creuset - it's no worse than one full of hot food! It didn't mark or anything.
Thinking of trying baguettes in some pre heated (brand new and washed!) sections of cast iron guttering... should get an excellent oven spring and the shape of the guttering sections would stop the loaf from going flat or spreading....
Andrew

stucky's picture
stucky

Made this twice so far in my HUGE Lodge cast iron. First time with King Arthur and the second time Bob's Red Mill unbleached. Both came out great. The only complaint that I have is that they didn't spring as much as some of these that I've seen on here. I attribute that however to the enormous size of the post I'm using. If I used a smaller diameter pot I feel certain that the side would contain the shape better and give more of a vertical lift. I have a sourdough batch fermenting for tomorrow and will try it in a large glazed earthenware oval that I have. Next will be the semolina loaf. That looks scrumptious.

catebb's picture
catebb

I've been playing with this recipe for months. It's easy... and I can finally get a really crisp crust.  I've been using a Le Creuset enamaled, lidded pot. Baking at 450º... and experiementing like crazy. So far, makes a wonderful white, nice sourdough, couple of varieties of whole wheat [haven't tried 100% yet... think the crust might not work out]. It also is great as 'filled' breads – rolled in cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins and finely chopped walnuts when my nephews came to ski. They ate the entire loaf for breakfast! Nice with olives, walnuts and blue cheese, herbs...

today's experiment: 1/2 whole wheat flour and some molasses

this is a great recipe for the workers of the world! time it to be ready for dinner the next day, and feel like a kitchen wizard ;-)

KNEADLESS's picture
KNEADLESS

I've made quite a few runs with this technique and like other's who have posted here, I've had a few gummy loaves (one so bad, it literally could not be toasted!) I now believe that it is necessary to get the internal temp over 215 F. Has anyone else considered this?

 

George 

auzziewog's picture
auzziewog

Almost sacrilege I suppose  - I make a double batch - the first loaf is eaten almost immediately by my children so never any left overs - I cut the dough in two and rolled and kneaded it for about 1 -2 minutes and the results were brilliant crumb - no great holes like it has when I do not touch it - well worth doing

 

 

Gerry

gtuck's picture
gtuck

Discovered this wonderful site from a link in local paper regarding the NYT recipe.  My wife believes I've become obsessed with bread making but like others I have been experimenting with the recipe.  What I've finally decided on is
450g flour,    1/4 t yeast,     2 t kosher salt,    320g water    
Floured towels don't work for me but parchment paper with a dusting of flour and cornmeal or wheat germ does.  
I tried two different pots (8qt Calaphalon stock pot and 6qt AllClad stock pot) My results were inconsistent until I broke down and bought the Lodge 5qt Dutch Oven. Works wonderfully.

shawnamargo's picture
shawnamargo

I recently baked Cooks Illustrated's "almost no-knead" bread. It was beautiful to look at and very tasty. I didn't have a cast iron pot, and just used a moderately heavy stew/ dutch oven pot. So-o-o easy and "almost" no kneading.

mary t's picture
mary t

Hi, I'm new to this site and would appreciate it if someone could tell me where I can go to print this recipe from start to finish with all the details.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

.

Julie Splat's picture
Julie Splat

Eurp flour is heavier in ash content...


You must either use American flour or a lighter weight Euro flour....they come in various weights therefore runny dough....:( You can google search for more info re: Euro flour vs American and ash content do to various factors and why....


If anyone has great Gluten Free bread recipes would be truly appreciated....:)


I hope this was helpful.