The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A few basic questions about NKB

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

A few basic questions about NKB

I made my first Walnut Raisin NKB today and whilst the taste was good, there was  still plenty of room for improvement. It requires a fermentation period of 18 hrs or at room temp, (or shorter, depending on the time of the year. May I ask what would be the required/ideal room temp to enable  the dough to ferment for 18 hrs or less during warmer months.   I left mine to rise for abt three hrs by which time it had doubled and I wasn't sure whether I should continue to leave it to ferment for a few more hrs or whether it was too late by then to put in the fridge. For the No Knead bread recipe, I would like to know if I should put the dough in the fridge to rise  as soon as the dough is mixed or whether I should let it rise for an hour or more before it has doubled and then put it in the fridge? 


Or maybe I should  perhaps just forget about the No knead method during the summer months and only use this during the winter months.  I have no have central heating at home and our room temp ranges from 20 - 24C during the cooler months which may be the required temp for dough to be able to sit through 18 hrs of fermentation.


The crust was thin and crisp when it first came out of the oven but very soon began to softten and became a little chewy.  I sprinkled the top with wheat bran which cause the top of the crust to burn slightly



The crumb was a little dense but otherwise still edible.  Has anytboy on TFL tried using this method?


Thanks


Judy

margieluvschaz's picture
margieluvschaz

I live in Arizona & usually only ferment my bread 12 hours here.  You might check out


www.breadtopia.com  for more specific answeres dealing with no knead recipes it is an awesome site- good luck!


Margie

EdY MI's picture
EdY MI

Jim Lahey in his book "My Bread" suggests 12-16 hours at room temperature for fermentation. Here in southeast Michigan I find that 12-14 hours works well during the summer months and up to 18 hours is fine in the winter. The bread is then proofed for 1-2 hrs prior to baking in a covered Dutch oven. I have made several breads from his book and all have been excellent. As mentioned, the breadtopia site is also an excellent site for no-knead bread recipes and videos.


Ed

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

Thank you Margie and Ed for the very useful advice. In fact, it was through Breadtopia that I discovered this NKB recipe and decided to give it a try since it sounded so easy. I've never tried proofing dough overnight outside of the fridge and I worried that it may overproof if I leave it out too long. I will give definitely give this another try for 12 hrs. I'm hoping to make his Parmesan & Olive NKB but since the cheese is vert expensive, I wanted to make sure that I got the basic recipe right first. I may even try and find Jim Lahey's book in HK.

I 2nd proofed the dough on a piece of parchment paper and baked it in a 22 cm/8.5 in. dutch oven which is just about the right size for 1 loaf based on Breadtopia's recipe using 3 cups of flour, anything more and the dutch oven would have been too small.

margieluvschaz's picture
margieluvschaz

I also have Lahey's book & it is awesome- there is a great cheese bread recipe in it- i made it last week using chunks of cheddar & it came out great- good luck!-


Margie

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

How much yeast does the recipe call for?


Seems like one of the initial, and easiest adjustments to make is with the yeast. Sounds like you should start by cutting the amount of yeast in half, at least.


So, how long did the pictured loaf ferment(initial)? What is your present fermentation(room) temperature?

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

I used a qtr txp of instant yeast as per the recipe given.  It fermented for approx 3 hrs in my kitchen at approx 30C/85F and another two hrs for the second rise.

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

after I made his bread. I have just started on the introduction and will go through his recipes.  Cheddar cheese is a more economical option and I will experiment with Cheddar before venturing to do the Parmesan Olive on Breadtopia.  Yr 12 hrs bulk fermentation is outside of the fridge, is that correct?  There were posts elsewhere on TFL recommending that the dough be kept in the fridge overnight and I may try both methods to see if there is any difference in the bread.  I will report back once I have the chance to work on my next bread.  I can only bake on the weekends if I'm not attending a baking class.


 


 

margieluvschaz's picture
margieluvschaz

hi- yes my fermentation is room temp.  I keep the Ac on 75- but my kitchen has a lot of windows & Arizona is really hot so I think my room temp is warmer.  I think their are people on the breadtopia site that ferment in the fridge I just personaly haven't since I stay at home with my kids right now.  Let us know how it works out for you!

rolls's picture
rolls

I love this book, I just made the cheese bread yesterday, yum, i used tasty (cheddar?), it really was amazing, yum.

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

as I have a large chunk of cheddar at home that I could use before starting on the Parmesan.  I don't suppose you have any pics to share?  Thanks.


Judy

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

Did you coarsely grated your cheese or did you cut dice your cheese? The pieces seemed a bit big in the picture.

margieluvschaz's picture
margieluvschaz

I put in cubes- if you grate the cheese it melts in & I can't tell it's even there.  My cube sizes are about 1/2 inch.  It works really wel for me- just be sure you cool the bread.  If you cut it too early the cheese jut runs out- ( I  made the mistake of leaving the house while a loaf was cooling & my husband & 2 boys cut into it!)


Margie 

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 I like grated cheese, cubed cheese only makes holes when cold, I use grated strong cheddar and parmisan,,qahtan


 cheese

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

at least now I have this as a guideline.  The pic in My bread was very burnt, almost black.  I don't think I like my bread to be that brown. I'm working on half the recipe and I'm also taking pics as I progress.  More news tomorrow!!

margieluvschaz's picture
margieluvschaz

I cook mine for less time than recipes guidlines- also with other nk loaves I put an empyy cookie tim on shelf under bread & I line the pots with oven liner ( for bottom of ven the kind you can cut & size) then I put bread on parchment on top of liner & bake- it really helps with the bottoms burning for me.

margieluvschaz's picture
margieluvschaz

I do have picturess of the cheese loaf but I am so bad with posting pictures.  I need to get better with that- I've never posted any pictures on this site.  I have so many pictures on my  card that it takes forever to load them ...I'm sorry!


Margie

margieluvschaz's picture
margieluvschaz

I had a big problem with NK with the bottoms getting too black.  Now I place an empty cookie tin on the shelf under the one I bake the bread on & I use the oven liner that youcan cut to line each baker.  I place the bread on a parchment sling on top & bake.  I don't have the black bottom problem anymore.  You might also lowerr your oven temp 25-50 degrees & see if it works out better for you.


Margie

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

and I thought it was because I had used some wheat bran (which I later found out to be wheatgerm and not wheat bran) to line the parchment paper that I use to lift the dough into the pot  as I can't trust myself to be able to drop the dough into the cast iron pot and still keep the dough in good shape. :-)  I pre-heat my oven to 250C (my max) which is not quite the 500F that it requires and then lower the heat after 30 mins.  Maybe I should try a slightly shorter covered bake. 


When you say you "use an empty cookie tin on the shelf under the one that I bake" do you mean you use two cookie sheets tog. for the bottom?  I use a pot so that shouldn't make any difference to me.  On the other hand I could use yr method and use a stainless steel mixing bowl as cover?  I'm baking a chese bread and this could burn easily.  Thanks for the tip.


Judy

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

>>I use a pot so that shouldn't make any difference


heat comes in radiation, convection and conduction.


the elements in the bottom of the stove radiate heat - the pot, especially a dark one - will absorb that radiant heat and bingo the burnt bottom.... more apt with an electric model, but can also happen with gas as the burners sometimes impinge on the oven bottom.


the cookie sheet blocks the radiant heat.

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

I used a dutch oven with a dark interior. I have another cast iron pot with a light coloured enamel interior but this is too large for the bread I'm making today.  When I've succeeded in making the NKB, I will be able to go on to use the original 400 grm recipe baking it in the larger pot.  I'm also using a better quality parchment paper this time to line the pot so hopefully this will help.  Thanks Dillbert.


Judy

margieluvschaz's picture
margieluvschaz

Hi Judy-


I place an empty cookie or baking sheet on the lower rack.  My bread is in the bakers on the rack/shelf above .  I place the room temp cookie tin in the oven when I put the bread in the oven.  The cookie tin seems to deflect some of the heat away from the bread bottoms.  I also use the baking liner  the kind you cut to jeep the oven clean inside each of the bakers & put the bread on top of them on a parchement paper sling.  It works great & now I don't have burnt bottoms,  Sorry if I didn't explain it well!


Margie

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

I see what you mean now and no need to apologize. Eng. is not my mother tongue so I tend to misunderstand at times.  And here's a shot of what I made just less than half an hour ago using total of 200 grms of flour, half the amt called for in the original recipe.




This was done following your 12 hrs (I was impatient and waited only 11 hrs) room temp bulk fermentation.  It looks small but that's only because I cut the recipe just to test it.  It smells heavenly and I can't wait to cut into it.  Thank you Margie.


I have actually posted some pics on the progress of my dough during the past 11 hrs on Breaducation of a Rookie quietyly going to pot but you won't be needing this since you are already a master at this.  Now I shall venture to make a bigger one as  soon as I can find the time.


Judy 

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

I just realised that I posted the same pic twice I'll change that to the crumb shot when I get home.


BTW what is an oven liner, I've never seen this before   My burn bottom may have been caused by the olive oil that I sprayed in the proofing bowl and then covered with wheatgerm (not sure if this is same as wheat bran.  I bought wheatgerm thinking it was bran and then realised I had made a mistake.)  Maybe next time I should just sprinkle the bottom with bran and skip the oil.