The Fresh Loaf

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Naturally leavened no knead bread

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emkay's picture
emkay

Naturally leavened no knead bread

The no knead bread has been all the rage since Bittman wrote about Lahey's method in the NY Times. I've always wanted to try it out, but just never got around to it. I had about 50 grams of sourdough starter leftover after feeding. It had only been about 15 hours since it had been fed (at 1:3:3), so instead of discarding it I used it to experiment with a naturally leavened no knead bread.

I used only all-purpose flour and no whole grain flours because my all-purpose is less costly than my whole grains. If the resulting bread turned out poorly then I would be less sad about tossing it out. I knew I needed something fairly wet so the following are the baker's percentages I decided to use: 100% flour, 80% water, 2% salt, 10% levain. The overall hydration including the 100% hydration levain was 80.9%.

Naturally Leavened No Knead Bread

500 grams AP flour

400 grams water

10 grams salt

50 grams levain (aka my leftover starter)

Final dough: 960 grams

  • I put all the ingredients in a bowl and mixed it into a shaggy mess. No kneading, no stretching, no folding, and no slapping.

NK_levain_aug17_dough

  • I covered the bowl and let it ferment undisturbed at room temperature (about 71F) for 9 hours, and then I put in the refrigerator (about 38F) for 72 hours. 
  • I took the cold dough from the refrigerator and shaped it into a loose boule.
  • I proofed the boule at room temperature (about 71F) for 3 hours. 
  • I did not slash nor did I score it.
  • I baked it seam side up in a cast iron pot at 450F for 40 minutes (20 minutes with the lid on and 20 min without the lid). 

NK_levain_aug17_1

The crust was thin and crisp and covered in blisters.

NK_levain_aug17_3

The crumb was really moist and almost custardy. There was a nice pleasant chew to it too.

NK_levain_aug17_crumb1

NK_levain_aug17_crumb2

In hindsight the 72 hours in the refrigerator could have been disastrous, but luckily my dough was not overfermented. I think the 72 hours in the refrigerator really made a positive impact in the flavor department. The bread was tangy and sour like the SF sourdough that I remember eating as a child and it was nothing like the one-dimensional vinegary flavors that plague today's Boudin bread. Overall I think it was a very sucessful experiment and one that I will be repeating again and again.

:) Mary

Comments

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Beautiful loaf!  Love the natural opening and color of the crust and crumb.

  ALmost like a simple leaven feed with salt added.  

There are times when I have just a tad too much starter left after doing my daily builds and I am always torn as to what to do with it.  Next time I will try a no knead.  Would be a wonderful solution to my dilemma in that it doesn't require a lot of work and would fit right into my baking schedule.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Janet

emkay's picture
emkay

Hi Janet, I always feel bad tossing my excess levain in the compost bin. I can't really eat too many pancakes or waffles so I thought I would try this no knead thing. It is exactly like a leaven with salt. That same thought crossed my mind too. Please do report back if you get a chance to try it. Thanks!

:) Mary

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Mary,

No photos but I did make a loaf today based on yours.  I only let it bulk ferment for 24 hours though because I used my freshly milled whole grains that ferment quickly.  

After the initial mix I only left the dough out on the counter for 2 hours and it had already expanded which clued me into the fact that anything over 24 hours would spell disaster.

I gave the loaf to my neighbor and she said it did have a sour tang but not overly so and said she really liked it.

Now I know how to use up those little bits of extra leaven that I sometimes run across at the end of my day.

THanks for posting this no-knead WY loaf.  A simple solution to waste prevention.  :*)

Janet

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

have nothing on this bread.  We love long retards for flavor but haven't managed one past 24 hours of late..  Your no knead is why this met5hod is so popular.  Easy with great results.  Lucy will have to try it with some kind of 60%  whole grain bread this week.  Well don and

Happy baking

emkay's picture
emkay

I had no idea how great the bread could be without any work. I'm sure Lucy will come up with something fabulous!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

a 58% whole grain spelt, barley and wheat bread with 28% of the whole grains sprouted.  Autolysed an hour and then 1 minute of slap and folds just to mix in the 11% levain - then on the counter for 6 hours to bulk ferment.  It had more than doubled when Lucy put it in the fridge a minute ago.  I'm not sure this will make it 72 hours in the fridge with sprouted grain and spelt in the mix but hope it will make it 20 hours though.

Happy baking

emkay's picture
emkay

I knew Lucy could do it. She's one smart apprentice.  I think I was able to go 72 hours since mine was all white flour. Your grainy dough will most likely turn to soup in 72!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

our near 60%  whole grain  really took off and the sprouted flour and spelt didn't help.  When I checked it this morning at the 24 hour retard mark it had tripled after going the fridge  when it had doubled after 6 hours of ferment on the counter.  I'm thinking we could have goo tomorrow.  But, I gently degassed it and cold shaped it into a boule and put it in a basket seam side down and then put i back in the fridge for another 24 hour retard.  10 hours later it has already risen 50% in the fridge - maybe no goo tomorrow?

Kiseger's picture
Kiseger

This loaf so beautiful, just love the cracked seams, and super crumb!  

emkay's picture
emkay

Hi Kiseger, I was pleasantly surprised by how nicely the seams bloomed open. Thanks for reading!

 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Why would one do several stretch and folds of their dough like Forkish suggests doing? I don't have the book handy but I don't recall his doughs being quite so highly hydrated which I interpret to mean, they need less development and less stretching and folding then this formula.

emkay's picture
emkay

Hmmm, I'm too much of a novice to answer that question, but I'll take a guess. I think the stretching and folding "organizes" the gluten into a matrix. The long fermentation of the no knead bread allows the enzymes to do the same work of organizing the matrix without S&F or kneading.  BTW, Forkish's overnight country blonde and brown are 78% hydration. 

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

When I use my starter and add flour and water how do I know the hydration of the starter I'm using?

emkay's picture
emkay

Hi Stuart, It's like David Esq mentioned in his reply. The hydration of your starter is 'grams of water divided by grams of flour'. The amount of starter seed culture you used during the feeding doesn't count towards the starter's hydration.

So if you feed 5 grams of starter seed culture with 20 grams of water and 20 grams of flour, it's 100% hydration. But it's also 100% if you feed 5 grams of starter seed culture with 50 grams of water and 50 grams of flour.

The hydration of the dough is total water divided by total flour. 

Hope this helps.

:) Mary

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

The hydration of the starter is the water divided by flour. 

The hyduration of the dough (which is the starter and the added flour and water) is calculared the same way, just adding the water in both the initial starter plus the added water, divides by the flours in both the  pieces. 

sandydog's picture
sandydog

I have seen the videos of Lahey baking this bread in his deck oven - He has the dough in pre-heated cast iron pots on trays which take up a lot of baking space.                                                                                                    Has anyone tried doing the final proof in a basket and then baking, without the iron pot, on the hearth stone of a commercial deck oven, utilising normal steam? Or in a domestic oven?

Brian

 

emkay's picture
emkay

Hi Brian, I did try it without a cast iron pot. I used a baking stone with lava rocks for steam in my home oven (which is gas). This is what it looked like for a 200 gram piece of dough. 


NK_SDstarter_crust

NK_SDstarter_crumb

 

Steve1322's picture
Steve1322

I am in the process of making some levain (both liquid and stiff) and some rye sourdough starter as per Jeffrey Hamelman's fine book "Bread." When I refresh my levain, which has just ripened, I will try this. Your timing of this post couldn't have been better Mary. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

emkay's picture
emkay

If I could have only one bread book, it would Hamelman's "Bread". I've learned so much from it. I'm happy that I could inspire you try this out. Please let us know if it works for you. Thanks Steve!

emkay's picture
emkay

If I could have only one bread book, it would Hamelman's "Bread". I've learned so much from it. I'm happy that I could inspire you try this out. Please let us know if it works for you. Thanks Steve!

Sorry for the duplicates! The gremlin ate my comments. 

isand66's picture
isand66

Looks like a successful experiment with a nice open crumb and crust.

Must taste as good as it looks.

Regards,
Ian

emkay's picture
emkay

Hi Ian, I was so happy with the open crumb of the loaf. Too open for jam, but perfect with roast beef! :) Mary

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

I understood your very clear answer.  Thank you.

sandydog's picture
sandydog

Thanks for your answer Mary - The crumb looks every bit as good as when using a pot and the cosmetic appearance of the crust would matter only if you were trying to sell them - I will have a go at this.

Thanks again,

Brian

Jason1876's picture
Jason1876

it looks amazing, I love the wildly open crust and big holes in the crumb. I will try this recipe when I got my starter right~happy baking~

emkay's picture
emkay

The plans for my week suddenly changed so I wanted to use up the levain I had already built for another more hands-on time intensive purpose. So I tried this no knead thing again. I used some whole wheat flour and increased the hydration. Percentages: 30% whole wheat flour, 70% AP flour, 90% water, 2.2% salt, 15% young levain (80% hydration,fermented for 6 hours).

I followed pretty much the same procedure I outlined above, but times were shortened because of the increase in levain and presence of whole wheat.

I mixed it all up and let it sit undisturbed at room temp (71F) for 6 hours. [Dough seemed to increase by 25% in those 6 hours.]

30ww_NK_6hrRT

Put into refrigerator (38F) for 40 hours. [Post bulk retard: Almost doubled and was looking like a soupy mess.]

30ww_NK_postcold

Shaped cold dough and proofed at room temp for 2 hours. Baked 450F for 40 minutes (steam during first 20).

30ww_NK_1

30ww_NK_2

30ww_NK_3

The dough was overfermented, but I expected that with the increase in levain. The crumb wasn't as open as I would've liked, but good enough. With 90+% hydration it was so moist, but surprisingly not gummy. The bread tasted great. There was a really good tang from the extended stay in the cold and a hint of sweetness from the whole wheat.

:) Mary

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

one.  I think you would like this bread better at 82% - 84% hydration.  Less spread and more height will result and possibly a little  less fermenting at a lower hydration too.  Still this one has to taste great with the whole grain mix.  Lucy loves this no knead method.  Well done and happy baking. 

emkay's picture
emkay

Yes, it was definitely not as nice as the first one. I used 90% water as an experiment just to see how high I could go. I read that the Bittman//Lahey/ NYTimes no knead bread was 100% or more hydration, but I haven't done the math.

SofiasDad's picture
SofiasDad

This is an information packed, fun post. Thank you.

emkay's picture
emkay

Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!