The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

No-Knead beginner

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kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

No-Knead beginner

The basic recipe seems really easy and the photos here on TFL so beautiful! I would love to try...


1) is it necessary to use a preheated Dutch oven or la Cloche? I have only one pyrex dish with cover, but I wonder whether it can be preheated to high temperature when empty? Do you have any experience with this or other materials? Do you use a parchment or do you oil the dish?


2) is it possible to bake the No-Knead recipe in a any loaf / cake pan without cover? Or just free-form?


3) have somebody tried to make No-Knead without preheating - either in a cold dish into preheated oven, or directly to a cold oven?


4) what about Jim Lahey´s book: my Bread? What other recipes except for the basic one does it include? Are there many variation? Isthe book worth buying? Are the recipes at least a little healthy?


 


Thank you very much for help!


zdenka

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

1. I have used my Pyrex casserole for no knead recipes with no problems. It is one of the recommended pots, but there is always a small possibility of "breakage" related to it being heated. With proper hanling, you're more likely to break it by dropping it or banging it though. That said, since that is your only baking dish...


2. No knead(almost) sandwich loaf and other recipes, with videos. Scroll down to 3rd video for sandwich. Other recipes on the sites main page.


 http://www.breadtopia.com/cooks-illustrated-almost-no-knead/


3. See sandwich video above.


4. No experience there.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Your linked site recommends:


"Baking Instructions: For both these recipes, preheat your oven with Dutch oven or Cloche inside to 500 degrees. Reduce temperature to 425 when the bread dough goes in and bake covered for 30 minutes. Then remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the internal bread temperature reaches about 200 degrees."


If I left my bread in my cast iron dutch ove for that long at that temperature I'd have charcoal and an internal temperature Waaay over 200 degrees.  So am I missing something here or do you also find the time/temperature recommendations a bit excessive?

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Please note that I referred to the sandwich loaf(3rd video), as that was what was inquired about. I have made that recipe, and it turned out fine. I can't speak to the other recipes(or videos) on that page, except to say that except for actually being there, or seeing the entire real time process, it's there to see.


Maybe those cloches don't run quite as hot as the cast iron. I don't have a clay baker and have only used my pyrex to bake a no knead recipe which I got online, supposedly from "Healthy Breads in 5...". However I did cook it using the original NYT no knead baking directions:


"...4. 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; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack."


Again, as I recall, the loaves came out fine. The procedures look pretty similar.


 

LindyD's picture
LindyD


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; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.



I've baked this recipe (quoted from the NY Times)  in my Lodge cast iron dutch oven (preheated) for the noted times and the bread turns out beautifully.  Try it.

kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

yes, that is my concern that the pyrex disg is easy-breakable.


So, if any loaf pan can be used - uncovered and without preheating - what is the purpose of preheating and covering? Does it affect the oven-sping or "just" the crust?


zdenka

Sean McFarlane's picture
Sean McFarlane

the time nor the temp are out of the ordinary for baking bread, quite normal

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

You might try the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day master recipe (it's available free all over the web, including their website--www.artisanbreadinfive.com).   The master dough can be baked in a variety of ways--en cloche (any closed container that can be heated to high temps--even just a cheap aluminum roasting pan placed upside down OVER the dough), free form, in a loaf pan, rolled flat for pizza dough, pitas, or naan, and I have had good luck  (NOTE:  only one trial so far) putting the cold dough in a cold cloche and into a cold oven.  


The Lahey No Knead recipe may work equally as well, but I haven't tried it personally.  The AB in 5 dough has pretty high hydration, but can be easily handled if you follow their instructions--and there are videos posted on their website and on You Tube.  

kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

what I like about Lahey´s recipe is the smaller amount of  yeast and longer fermentation. It sounds more like a. artisan and healtier bread.


Do you oil or put a parchment into the pans?


The problem is I cannot find a dutch oven or La Cloche here where I live. I was not sure whether other heavy or not heavy dishes would be suitable. How high should be the dish so that the dough has enough space ti spring - would 5 inches be OK? Another think I can find here is a TerraCota dish similar to Romertopf, but it is supposed to  go to a cold oven. I am not sure whether it can be preheated?


zdenka

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

that you can reduce the yeast as much as you like so long as you increase the fermentation time for AB/HB in 5 doughs (click to see their post).  So you don't have to use the recommended amount of yeast (and salt!)--but you must give it more time on the counter to compensate.   So you should be able to acheive the flavor profile you are seeking with their recipes as well. 


The cloche/dutch oven in the Lahey recipe is doing two things, giving the dough structural support due to the high level of hydration, and trapping the hydration from the dough to act as steam for the crust. 


The terra cotta dish you describe will give the support, but without a lid will not trap the moisture to provide steam.  You will have to add steam some other way--either water in the oven or covering the dish somehow.  You can certainly start all this in a clay baker with a cold oven, but my understanding is that Romertopf  and La Cloche are tempered to allow preheating.  Most people use a piece of parchment to transfer the cold dough to the hot vessel and it also prevents sticking. 


If you can manage to shape a boule that will hold itself together and not ooze all over the place with Lahey dough you can use this "en cloche" trick that works well with AB in 5 doughs:   Use a foil turkey roaster or other large foil pan. My local dollar store carries these huge turkey roasting foil pans that work great.    Preheat that pan in the oven along with the stone.  When it's time to transfer the dough into the oven (I use parchment), place the dough on the stone and cover with the foil pan for about 1/2 of the  baking time.  Then remove the foil pan. You will get that same wonderful crisp, crackly crust you get with the Lahey "method" in a cloche or dutch oven. 


BTW, I found a covered clay baker for $3 at my local Goodwill.  When it broke (boo hoo, it took a short walk off a tall refrigerator), I replaced it with this covered clay baker that cost about half what a La Cloche would cost mail-ordered.  It works great in a hot or cold oven.  Lately, I heat only the lid, and raise the dough in the bottom at room temp, then into the preheated oven covered by the preheated lid. 

kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

some time ago I came across  the "artisan in 5" web page but did not find this details about yeast reduction.


The Terra Cotta dish I can find here is covered, it is very similar to your clay dish. Only the instruction say to put it directly with the bread into a cold oven and bake 400°F for cca 70minutes (possibly uncovered for the last 14 minutes). But I hope it would be possible to  preheat the dish and / or the oven.


Your tip with foil pan is great! How deep is your pan to allow sufficient oven spring? And, BTW, how long do you pre-heat your baking stone? I have read that at least 45minutes are necessary, which discouraged me from buying it.


Is it AB or HB in 5 or other no-knead book that you would recommend?


 


zdenka

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

I've now used my clay baker starting cold and starting hot and with only the lid but not the bottom hot.  All work well.  I made this really crackling crisp wheat bread last night with a hot lid, cold bottom.  Lovely!  I don't like trying to get wet cold dough into the hot, hot bottom of a clay baker (particularly since mine is a few inches deep).  It's SCARY!


For the foil pan, I just used a deep foil roasting pan--about 4" deep--and cheap.  I think it was a turkey roaster.  Works great!


Yes, you have to preheat the baking stone a good long while.  I don't like that part either--an environmental disaster!  I try to bake several things in succession to assuage my guilt--one reason I like AB in 5 dough is I can stagger the baking.  For example, I'll make a few pizza "blanks" to parbake and freeze for quick meals later, a boule, a small baugette or two and a few rolls all from one batch of dough and one preheat of my oven. 


That's one of the reasons I've been experimenting with starting bread in a cold clay baker in a cold oven--no preheat necessary.


As for AB or HB, it depends on your preference.  Do you prefer whole grains or white flour more?  There are some recipes in AB that use some whole grains, but HB focuses on using whole grains. 


They are pricey books--I'd recommend you try the master recipes which are posted free all over the web first (and their website has lots of options for how to use even the master dough) and see if you are going to like the flavors when you experiment with less yeast.    If you do, then it's worth the investment because they have adapted the recipe for many different types of dough (I LOVE the olive oil dough and their brioche doughs particularly).


 

kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

Your comments are really very, very helpful Janknitz! It really gives me the feeling I should buy ABin5 as soons as possible :-) They are easily available through ebay, so no problem there :-)


Well, I hope I will try the master recipe this weekend and that baking it on a normal enamel sheet (without stone) will not be an obstacle.


Only one thing I did not understand in your message: have you tried baking ABin5/HBin5 breads in you clay baker as well? And also what size of the dish would you recommend (for 1 1/2 pound loafs)?


zdenka

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

I have a 10 1/2" diameter clay baker and my loaves are about 1 - 1.25 lbs.  It's a little tight for anything bigger--my original clay baker was slightly larger and could handle 1 1/2 lbs easily. 


It works without a stone though the crust may not be quite as crisp.  I haven't tried this, but I've seen people who say that at the end of the baking time they turn off the oven, place the bread on the rack with nothing underneath and open the oven door for about 10 minutes.  I'd watch carefully to make sure you are not overbaking at that point.


Did I mention a thermometer?  It's CRUCIAL that you check the temperature of this bread with a thermometer to make sure it's done--205 degrees for lean doughs, 185 for enriched, softer breads.  I have found that these breads give all outward appearances of being done (crisp, crackly crust and hollow sound when you thump them) but they may still have some wet, gummy interior.  The thermometer takes the guesswork out of making sure it's done. 


 

Bertel's picture
Bertel

You can even do it without preheating the pots, do make sure there is a coating of flour on the shaped breads. I tried shaping the breads putting them in cloches, let them rise and put that in the heated oven, even that worked. I did found you want your dough a bit less hydrated.

Falsehat's picture
Falsehat

The basic recipe seems really easy and the photos here on TFL so beautiful! I would love to try...


1) is it necessary to use a preheated Dutch oven or la Cloche? I have only one pyrex dish with cover, but I wonder whether it can be preheated to high temperature when empty? Do you have any experience with this or other materials? Do you use a parchment or do you oil the dish?


Preheat the Pyrex the same as a cast iron Dutch Oven. Only a Dutch Oven does not stick to the baked bread. I prefer parchment for ease of transferring to the hot pot.


2) is it possible to bake the No-Knead recipe in a any loaf / cake pan without cover? Or just free-form? Only if the recipe calls a bread pan or baking on a sheet.


3) have somebody tried to make No-Knead without preheating - either in a cold dish into preheated oven, or directly to a cold oven?


I have baked with a cold covered metal pan in a preheated oven with excellent results. I always preheat the oven.


4) what about Jim Lahey´s book: my Bread? What other recipes except for the basic one does it include? Are there many variation? Isthe book worth buying?


There are many NKBread books available. Each promotes a slightly different method using the same ingredients. I prefer Nancy Baggett's  mess free mehod as all rises are in the mixing bowl and simply dumped in the container. Except for the Dutch oven I recommend the use of Parchment. Recipes without a cover can be a bit mor complicated that those requiring a cover. Spend some time on the Internet as all basic methods are explained complete with detailed instructions. Then take your pick. Remember, all recipes are quite forgiving reguarding quantities. Weighing the flour is highly desirable for consistant results. All methods produce excellent tasting bread. Bake on loaf and you are hooked for life.


Are the recipes at least a little healthy? Extremely healthy. All recipes consists of flour, salt, yeast, and water. The only extras are such healthy things as sugar, nuts, and rasins.

kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

just let me ask


2) is the possibility of baking in any loaf pan or free-form linked to hydratation or something else?


3) so maybe, it should be possible to bake it in a non-preheated pyrex in pre-heated oven as well...


4) I will try to search for different no-knead methods on internet. I, by chance, you had a concrete link, it would be great help :-)


Thanks


zdenka

Bertel's picture
Bertel

On this website is a good no knead.


www.realbakingwithrose.com


I have seen the artisan in five and I thought there was quite a lot of yeast in there. I'm sure I couldn't keep that in the fridge for days.


http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/cookbook/2009/artisan-bread/boule.html


I found no difference with or without preheating. The flour you will use will make more difference. Just get a cheap earthware pod and start experimenting, it is the only way to learn in the end.


Have fun!


 

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz


 "I'm sure I couldn't keep that in the fridge for days."



Why not?


Again, the AB in 5 authors have a guide if you would like to reduce the amount of yeast.  The amount of yeast is not the determining factor in how long you can store the dough. 


This dough DOES last in the fridge up to two weeks, slowly changing character over time.  I personally prefer the dough on the fresher end of things so I make half batches  and usually use it up in the first week.  Some people  actually prefer the dough toward the end of the storage time, when it's taken on a "sourdough"-like flavor.  The dough is a little wetter and slacker toward the end of its storage life, but still very usable. 


The only reason I find I "can't keep [the dough] in the fridge for days" is because I am having so much fun using it that it's all used up within a day or two.  But it's not unusual for me to make up a batch on Sunday night and not get to baking with it until the following weekend--and it's just fine. 


I wish I had room in the fridge for more than one batch at a time.  Then I could REALLY have some fun!

LindyD's picture
LindyD

When I first received the book and tried the recipes, I stashed the dough in a plastic shoe box with a lid.  Worked great and doesn't take up much space in the fridge. 


You can put your beer cans, butter, mustard, etc. on top of the shoe box so you really don't loose any fridge space. :-)

Bertel's picture
Bertel

I have used lots of no knead recipes and even lowered the amount of yeast. If I leave any of them in the fridge longer than a day they will blow up :-) I checked my fridge temperature it is 5C. The amount of (fresh) yeast I use is something lik .8 to 1%. Tried even less. Must be be very potent :-) Makes me wonder wether all (fresh) yeast is the same.

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

My dough triples from the initial mixing to the point where it is put in the fridge.  Here's what it looks like when first mixed:



And the authors of AB in 5 warn you NOT to put the lid on tightly because the gases build up for the first few days.  I use a 4 qt Cambro container and a half batch fills 2/3 of the container when fully risen:



A full batch pops the lid. 


 

Bertel's picture
Bertel

Look similar ;-)


I've wondered weather it is possible to use very little or no yeast for the fridge stage. It would slow down the breadmaking process since you would have to do a second rise. Mmmmm it would be more like aBiga wouldn't it? I'll try to hit the books later this day. I like the no knead process but want to take my breadmaking further.

Falsehat's picture
Falsehat

With no yeast all you have is wet flour and a bit of salt.   You might as well skip the refrigerator step all together.                      


When would you put in the yeast?

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

The yeast is put in at the beginning, and essentially the first bulk fermentation happens before the refrigeration.  But then there is a second good long fermentation in the fridge that takes place over many days. 


You could put as little as 1/2 tsp of yeast in (remember this is for FOUR loaves) and just give it a good long rise before refrigerating.  


When short on time, I have just mixed up the dough and stuck it in the fridge, skipping the counter rise all together.  It was fine. 


Truthfully, the above bucket sat on my counter overnight before being refrigerated because I fell asleep and forgot to put it in.  No harm, no foul.  It was half a recipe (2 1/4 tsps of yeast, the equivalent of one packet) and will make at least two loaves.  The first loaf I've made from it was awesome:



Made in my clay baker.  I put the lid in the oven to preheat and proofed this bread in the base on the counter for 90+ minutes.  Baked with lid on for 17 minutes, off for 17 minutes.  The crust was SINGING when I took it out of the oven and the bread was delicious.