The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to bake 1/2 loaf of no knead bread

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newbaker123's picture
newbaker123

How to bake 1/2 loaf of no knead bread

I  have great success baking no knead bread by the loaf but if I divide the recipe in half  how long do I bake that new size? Is it still 30 min at 475 F  with lid on and then 15 min at 475 with lid off?  Does anyone know?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

It might tale some experimenting on your part.  If you are final proofing the  dough in the DO and putting it cold into a hot oven then 20 minutes lid on and 10 with the lid off will probably work.  But if you are doing Hot DO into hot oven then 15 min lid on  might be better.  You will find out what works best for your situation with a little experimentation.

newbaker123's picture
newbaker123

Okay. It is with a  dutch oven put into a preheated oven at 475 F  thirty minutes before the bread dough is put into the (by then) very hot dutch oven.  I will try one  half loaf 15 min lid on and 10 min lid off. Thanks for the advice. I'll let you know how it works!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

a bread weigh?

newbaker123's picture
newbaker123

The weight of the portion of  risen dough* is approx 550 grams. I will try the 20 min into hot Dutch oven (475 F) covered and 10 minutes with lid off.

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*Actually, the dough has chedder cheeze in it (100 grams). The cheese is Kraft Cracker Barrel Old as it  is a huge hit with folks.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

It should bake up fine using your half recipe  and reducing the times accordingly.

newbaker123's picture
newbaker123

Well, here is what worked in order to bake a one half loaf of no knead bread which has 200 grams of chedder cheese in it. All that needed changing was the time meaning that I baked it for  25 minutes at 475 F with the lid on the Dutch oven, and 15 minutes with the lid off the Dutch oven.  I tried a shorter time but the bread did not crack open on top.

Thank you for your assistance!

D. Commerce's picture
D. Commerce

I'm a long-time reader here but a new commenter. Three years ago this month I started baking no knead bread using wild yeast starter usually several times each week. For all of my bakes I halve the dough into two, smaller,  batard-shaped loaves and bake in two, hot, covered, oblong, clay bakers. After these years of experimenting and tweaking, I can say that I'm closer to achieving the consistent results I seek. The covered clay bakers function like your Dutch oven.

I preheat at 500 degrees for 90 minutes with the empty bakers in the oven while dough proofs. After gently flipping each dough into a baker and quickly recovering, I bake at 500 degrees for 5 minutes then drop temperature to 450 degrees and continue baking for 10 more minutes. I then remove the baker covers and bake for another 10 minutes still at 450 degrees. As I watch, I sometimes turn off the oven early during the last 10 minutes to avoid over-browning.

For each bake I begin with 456 grams of King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour (1 pound or 3.5 cups) and halve from there. Each half-loaf is about 8 inches long and about 4 inches wide.

To date, this is the most successful combination of times and temperatures for my half-loaves. I've never baked a full-size, single loaf. I started using this method because my goal was to increase the amount of crust (the best, most flavorful part of the bread, my opinion) and because smaller loaves suit the two of us. When we entertain, two of my loaves usually make the rounds and disappear. The smaller-size loaves are handy out of the freezer for sudden dinners for two, routine daytime lunches for one, as well as for collecting for planned group dinners.

I never thought that I would be explaining my story here. So thanks for raising the question about half-loaves.

newbaker123's picture
newbaker123

Thank you!  I will buy two of the clay bakers - if I can find them in Western Canada - and give this a try! Much appreciated!

D. Commerce's picture
D. Commerce

My oblong clay bakers were purchased from Breadtopia.com. Be careful with them -- they're fragile and can be prone to thermal shock. With gentle and smart handling they're just fine.

newbaker123's picture
newbaker123

Okay. I understand that the clay bakers should be put into a cold oven and then the oven  turned on so that the heat of the clay bakers  rises with the oven temperature - gradually. Thank's again!