The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

No Knead Bread

Ray's picture

no knead bread

May 10, 2007 - 5:27pm -- Ray

I have been a lurker on this site for several months and after baking 4 loaves of no knead bread, this is the most wonderful tasting bread I have ever baked, and I would like to reaffirm my skills. I am a meer novice at this bread baking business. the only reason I took up the past time was . I got a bread machine for xmas, and used it twice.

I spent a few years in Fontainbleau, France and loved the bread. i try a lot of the different receipes you folks post and some turn out and some don't. keep up the good work, you folks are a tribute to the baking world.

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

In spite of all the good advice, I have messed up again.  This loaf overproofed and no one suggested that I brush egg and milk on the top before baking. I thunk that up all by myself! It looks kind of nice-

Sourdough NK #3

Sourdough NK #3

Sort of like the Mexican pan dulces we ate as kids, but don't you believe it!  Each of those little chunks in the mosaic are suitable for paving the driveway. And the crumb-

Sourdough #3 crumb

Sourdough #3 crumb

Just a few little worm holes, twisting and turning like, well never mind what its like. I know I can do better. In the mean time I'm going to do some reading and get a bit of theory in my noggin instead of mucking around like, well never mind what I'm like.

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

My goal; to improve upon the Sourdough No Knead ala JMonkey and Susan adding only the overnight proof in the refrigerator and hopefully improving the "nice slashing on top". The result; I managed to bake a couple of weird looking loaves with unremarkable crumb. I thought I would make two batches of no knead testing the old starter against the new starter. In my mind any differences would be incremental. Wrong.

The new rye and grapefruit culture doubled so quickly that I had to fold and form it last evening and put it into the refrigerator. The other batch was just sort of sitting there so it stayed out to ferment at room temperature overnight. This morning it still didn't look puffy so I put it into the 85 degree place. When I next checked it, it was overproofed, of course. Now I know what folks are talking about when they say their dough became soup. I poured it out onto the board and began CPR when it probably should have been DNR. About half a cup of flour and a sprinkle of instant yeast later it was formed and went into the refrigerator.

I slashed loaf one in a crosshatch as carefully as I could. Here's a pic in which it doesn't look too bad-

Sourdough NK view 1

Sourdough NK view 1

And here is a more accurate representation-

Sourdough NK view 2

Sourdough NK view 2

I feel lucky it didn't blow the door off the oven! For all that oven spring, the crumb is plumb unremarkable-

Sourdough NK crumb

Sourdough NK crumb

Slicing really improved the appearance of this wacky loaf. It is soft and chewy with a crackley crust that only requires hand tools to slice! The flavor is nice and sour but not as complex as the older starter. They all say it gets better with age.

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

We're having fun now! The bread baking mentors of this community have been so generous with their advice and encouragement. It's starting to come together in my kitchen. I baked a sourdough no knead using notes by JMonkey and Susan this week and here is the result-

Dutch Oven Sourdough

Dutch Oven Sourdough

I was elated when I saw this crackley crust. Where you accomplished baker's would scowl and say "that D@^^%loaf (say, I accidently created a new domain name) tore all to #&!!" I say "that lower quadrant is looking good!" If Susan's beautiful boule is "the football", I think this is at least a foosball. And the crumb. Anticipation and dread. Do you ever feel that way?-

Sourdough Crumb

Sourdough Crumb

I like it. It pleases my sense of aesthetic beauty. Yes, it is toothsome. I know you think the holes could be placed more uniformly but I am giddy with my small success and may be beyond help from this day forward.

This loaf baked on a higher rack and at a slightly higher temperature in my really big oven. Bwraith and Mini Oven advised me on that. As a result I could follow the baking times exactly.

The sourdough starter was about 3 days at room temperature since the last feeding. We discussed this on the Sourdough starter thread and I've now learned that the starter really needs to be used at the peak of its yeasty goodness. In this case, the proof was in the proof; only about a 60% increase after 20 hours of fermentation. I used yet another tip and incorporated 1/8 tsp of instant yeast during the stretch and fold.

Susan wrote "Oh, I used all high gluten flour". I think this really made a difference. The dough was smooth, elastic and held tension in the forming. The texture is exactly what I'm looking for in carefully crafted bread. Although I had planned to refrigerate the formed dough overnight, we had guests so went to plan B, 3 hours proof at 85 degrees.

I really wanted to be faithful to the formula, but my lab technique is imprecise (read- a joke). There are plenty of other things to improve upon. Slashing could certainly head a list; a long, long list!

Thanks to all the sourdos (the ugh is silent), guy, lady and the rest. You rock! I also must thank the dogs, brown and mountain, for their cyber-enthusiasm. Bake-on, dogs!

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - No Knead Bread