The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Making Jim Lahey's No Knead Bread with Milk?

BloomingNutria's picture
BloomingNutria

Making Jim Lahey's No Knead Bread with Milk?

Hi, all! I just registered, and this is my first post. I have always been a weekly home bread maker (bread aisle bread isn't food!), but recently I have been raising a toddler and so have been a bit out of the loop.

Anyway, I stumbled across this site today because I had just gotten around to making a loaf of Lahey's No-Knead Bread (a bit late, I know), and after scanning the recipe a bit too quickly, I guess I was under the impression that it needed to rise in the refrigerator for 18 hours or so. Given the small amount of yeast I know that wouldn't make sense, but I wasn't thinking. So, since I like a slightly sweeter, softer loaf than I believed the ingredients would provide, I replaced about a cup of the water in the recipe with milk and mixed it in. Then, just as I was stirring, I saw that the dough was in fact supposed to rise on the countertop for that long span of time, and not in the refrigerator.

So basically I am just wondering about the wisdom of leaving the milk-containing dough at room temperature for all that time. The milk is very fresh, but I live in Florida, and I just don't know if it is a good idea. Has anyone else done it this way? I am just trying to decide if I should give it a try or just add more yeast and make it into a trtaditional kneaded loaf.

 

daveazar531's picture
daveazar531

I have enriched the original NKB receipt with 1/4 cup of powdered milk and a good squirt of honey and used a loaf pan instead of the dutch oven(remember to lower the temp of the oven for a softer crust) and it has come out fine. If your going to use whole milk and your worried try fermenting in the fridge for 12-18 instead of on the counter. Just besure to let the dough warm up during a second proof before you bake it off.

 

Some other tips for classic NKB:

Add a teaspoon of champain or apple cider viniger. 

Instead of proofing the loaf on a board with the towel like the book tells you, use small bowl lined with parchment paper or misted with some no stick spray. the loaf will rise up instead of out and you will get a much better looking loaf of bread

 

Happy baking

BloomingNutria's picture
BloomingNutria

Thanks for the ideas. Yes, I think puting it in the refrigerator for a while is a good idea. I know people have been leaving milk out overnight pretty much since cows were first domesticated, but I just had a bout of food poisoning last week and it is too soon for another one. I'll probably let it sit on the counter for a few hours, then just put it in the refrigerator overnight, just to be safe. Then I can proof one more time on the counter in the morning.

And I agree, a second rise in a bowl is much better than on the counter. But why the champaign or vinegar?

Thanks again!

 

 

daveazar531's picture
daveazar531

I ment champagne vinegar or apple cider viniger. lol

the man himself gave me the idea.

google Speedy No-Kneed Bread Revisited, and watch it on youtube

im not a food scientist but my guess is the added acidity affects the yeast and changes the ph helping develop the dough more quickly. I think adding it gives the crust a little more depth of flavor. i dont notice much change in the crumb

BloomingNutria's picture
BloomingNutria

Oh, I see. That's funny. :) Although I think the champagne might not be such a bad idea, come to think of it!

Anyway, my bread is safe in the fridge now, waiting to be baked tomorrow. Stringely, it already rose to double volume after those four or five hours on the counter. I wonder why that is, considering the recipe says it should take 12 to 18. I used only 1/4 tsp yeast. Maybe it was the sugar in the milk.

Ambimom's picture
Ambimom

Since most milk in the United States these days is ultra-pasteurized, it probably won't be spoiled after sitting on the counter for 18 hours, but if you're worried, mix the bread in the early evening, let it ferment in the refrigerator overnight, take it out in the morning, let it sit on the counter until it rises (probably 3 or 4 hours) and then bake as usual.

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

Since I make cheese and need milk that isn't ultra-pasteurized, I've spent a good deal of time reading milk labels.  You are right in that most of the more expensive "organic" milks are ultra-pasteurized.  BUT, and it's a big but for me in cheese making, most of the less expensive/non-organic brands are not.  I think it has to do with how fast the milk moves on the shelf.  Being more expensive, organic milk spends more time on the shelf and thus needs the shelf-life of ultra-pasteurization -- and those of us who drink it are willing to pay for it.  Cheap milk moves fast and pasteurization is enough for the shelf life needed.  One is hard pressed to find cream that isn't ultra-pasteurized and loaded with added "stuff" in the standard grocery fridge.  Once again, my guess is that this has to do with turnover and shelf life.

We drink the organic stuff and I make cheese from the cheap stuff.

PClark's picture
PClark

and I have been making sourdough English Muffins with milk and leaving the batch out over night. It's the sourdough muffin mix on this site and it's very good. But as I said we aren't dead or even sick yet and hubby eats one of them nearly daily.  So maybe it is okay. I hope.

BloomingNutria's picture
BloomingNutria

I have to say this is not very good bread. It's not horrible (my two year old loves it), but I am far from pleased. The crumb is alright--a bit coarse, maybe, but okay--it's just that the bread is pretty darn near tasteless. Also, it is a bit too moist (which I'm sure is the fault of the lower temperature, since I baked it at 400), and in fact reminds me very distinctly of a particular bread which I can't put my finger on. Something moist, dense, and bland.

I do not like sweet bread, but this bread is just completely devoid of sweetness. And saltiness. And really any flavor whatsoever. I'm sure that all this is the fault of my adaptations, because this simply cannot be what everyone in New York was so excited about. The whole reason I changed the recipe in the first place is that I really dislike those tough, chewy-crusted artisan loaves of the kind I thought this recipe would make, but in my efforts to make a finer grained, more "homestlye" loaf, I just messed it up.

I'm wondering if I should try again with the original recipe, or maybe someone else has a better adaptation? What I'm looking for is a no-knead bread that is slightly sweet but not too much, has a good depth of flavor, a fine and not-too-airy crumb, and a rich crust that is slightly crispy but not too thick. Can it be done?

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Everytime I've made it, the result has been a tasteless bread with a strange texture.

It's not unlike what I imagine thin cardboard tastes like, although I've yet to compare the two.

I'm wondering if I should try again with the original recipe, or maybe someone else has a better adaptation? What I'm looking for is a no-knead bread that is slightly sweet but not too much, has a good depth of flavor, a fine and not-too-airy crumb, and a rich crust that is slightly crispy but not too thick. Can it be done?

It can be done. See Peter Reinhart's Pain a l' ancienne.

It's not no-knead, alas. And while I haven't concluded that no knead means no flavour, I'll admit to being close to that conclusion.

(I've never tried shaping Pain a l' ancienne as a boule, only as baguettesque. I wonder how the crumb would turn out? Not-too-airy is as I imagine it would be.)

BloomingNutria's picture
BloomingNutria

It looks absolutely lovely, but unfortunately I am working on an advanced degree and raising a little one right now and just do not have the time to knead bread. If I had my Kitchenaid all would be well, but unfortunately it is in storage across the country for the next year, and I just cannot bring myself to buy another one for only temporary use.

So I need something with little or no kneading required.

When I get my mixer back, though, that will be another story!

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Pick up a breadmaker at a garage sale or thrift store for $5 - $10.  Throw in the ingredients (3 minutes using a scale), select the Dough Cycle, and pow! In 90 minutes you will have a nice dough that has gone through the knead and first rise.  Pull it out, one more rise, shape, rise, and bake.  Total work time 12 minutes.

If you like you can do the final rise of the loaf (the "proof") in the fridge overnight, which gives better flavor and provides fresh bread in the morning.

sPh

aloomis's picture
aloomis

I'm also chasing a toddler.  I make 100% whole wheat bread, and my kitchenaid can't make any reasonable quantity without smoking.  I combine ingredients throughly, and let sit at least 10 minutes.  Then, I stretch and fold periodically throughout the rise.  I'm getting reasonably good at finding ways to make the rise time fit around our schedule.  I make 3 sandwich loaves at a time (side by side in a 9x13 glass baking dish) one day a week.

daveazar531's picture
daveazar531

If your using the dutch oven then 400 is way to low and could be the reason you have a overmoist bread. you could always pop a instant read probe in to the loaf and check the temp, lean doughs should be brought to over 195 i believe...

what % of salt did you add?

do you have any pictures?

BloomingNutria's picture
BloomingNutria

I did a little searching and I think I'll try the King Arthur NKB recipe. The pictures at least look closer to what I want. We'll see!

BloomingNutria's picture
BloomingNutria

Yes, I used a Staub dutch oven, and it did take quite a long time to bake at 400. I left it in for over an hour. I had never used the dutch oven method before and I thought the long cooking time was simply a result of the wetness of the dough, but I guess 400 really was too low.

As for the salt percentage, since I used volume and not weight for everything, I can't be sure. I used the 1 1/4 tsp. to 3 cups of flour that the recipe calls for, and I didn't weigh anything (or even measure the flour perfectly) because Jim Lahey made a point of saying not to do either in his video.

Here are some pictures. In person it looks rather like a ridiculously large ciabatta--and even manages to mimic that "oily" texture of the ciabatta even though it has absolutely no oil in it. It's just a weird loaf of bread.

My two-year-old, however, ate almost half the loaf single handedly!

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BloomingNutria's picture
BloomingNutria

Using a breadmaker to do the kneading only is a very good idea. I think I'll keep my eye out for one. Thanks!

daveazar531's picture
daveazar531

1. Try to proof your loaf in a narrow bowl, I use a special bowl called a brotform but any bowl 6- 8 inches in diameter should work. before i had the form i used to line a small bowl with parchment paper and yes you can put the parchment right into the pot.  Or you can use a heavily dusted tea towel, rice flour or bran work better then AP/ bread flour with NK bread because of how moist the dough is, i found the dough always stuck so i switched.

2. You need to get your Dutch oven hot, like screaming hot. Turn your oven on to 500 with the pot inside a leave it for 20-30 minutes minimum (seriously) then use a lot of caution loading the bread and bake covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for 15 or until it has good color on top. I use the middle rack of the oven so the bottom doesnt get to much color. if your breads bottom starts to get to dark for your taste you can take the bread out after you remove the lid and put it on a cold cookie sheet in the middle rack.

If you are enriching the NK bread with milk and honey (or whatever)and want a softer crust, use a loaf pan and roll the dough in to a loaf and let it do its final proof in the bread pan. You can use a egg wash with a little milk if you want.  Put the loaf in at 400 and bring it down to 350 and bake for 25 minutes or until the internal is 190-195 degree’s.