The Fresh Loaf

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No Knead Bread

JohnnyX's picture

No Knead Bread

Hello Everyone,
 This week with much skepticism I decided to try the master boule recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day.
  I mixed the dough 3 days ago in a 6qt. plastic food bucket, and set it out to rise on the counter. Boy, what a high riser! Before the dough started to collapse it had practicly risen to the top of the bucket. I did not punch the dough down and immediatly put it into the fridge.
  Over the next couple of days the dough did not rise at all in the fridge. In fact, it actually condensed down back to about the 2qt line that it was at when I origanally mixed the dough.
   So last night I figured here we go, time to make some bread. I followed the directions exactly. I cut off a 1lbs. piece, shaped it, let it rise for 40 minutes, baked with steam at 450 f for 30 minutes.
  After 30 minutes I checked the bread. It had some decent oven spring, but not a ton. I checked the temp of the loaf and it was only at 
202f so i let it go for another 15 minutes, and it was stiil at the same temp! I baked it for another 10 minutes, still no change. I figured my thermometer had to be broken.
  I let the bread cool completely then grabbed my knife and dove in. I was quite surprised. The loaf had a great flavor and good crumb on the end pieces. The center however was a more tight crumb and a little dense and not quite cooked enough.
    So today I am baking a second loaf. I am going to let it rise alot longer and bake it at 500f until I get to 205f, know matter how long it takes. I hope I will get a more open crumb throughout.
     I think this bread has alot of potential for busy people like me who only have the time to make "proper" artisan bread on the weekends, but would still like  to have some fresh bread on a weeknight.
   Any comments or suggestons? Does anyone else make this and could share there techniques or tips?   =)


Floydm's picture

I think this bread has alot of potential for busy people like me who only have the time to make "proper" artisan bread on the weekends, but would still like to have some fresh bread on a weeknight.

My sentiment exactly.

swtgran's picture

I have baked up one batch of the master recipe.  I currently have a big bowl of the peasant recipe in the fridge.  I will be baking up a loaf tomorrow, since I am in the midst of a pain compagne rustic.  I will post how that goes.

 The flavor of the master recipe was good but I think it would work out better to use  a larger piece for baking.


raisdbywolvz's picture

The recipe says to let it rest for 40 minutes before baking, but that's actually for a batch that's freshly mixed and risen. For dough coming out of the fridge, add an hour to that, so let it rest for 1 hour 40 minutes. It makes a difference. Also, don't over-handle the dough. You'll get better oven spring with minimal handling and a longer rest period.

There's a page on the author's blog that lists all the corrections that should be made to the book.

LindyD's picture

I've made a few batches of the "five minute" standard mix, the rye, and the semolina. I've seen little rise before baking and little oven spring. Even at 205F, the center crumb is still quite dense and I had one loaf which simply refused to toast. While the initial dough does have a lot of rise, I've found the quality of the bread diminishes as it ages - at least for me. The semolina tasted good, probably because I cut the recipe in half and baked it the same day.

I've cut and measured one pound of refrigerated dough, allowed it to rest for a couple of hours, and it still didn't budge. I've been meticulous about following their instructions. I commented on this at the authors' website but their response wasn't helpful

I figured if I have to wait a couple of hours midweek in the hope that the dough will rise and produce a halfway decent loaf, it defeats the purpose of convenience. I'm hungry by 8 p.m.! So, this weekend I tried the BBA's pain a l'ancienne and baked six baguettes which had a crisp crust and lovely crumb. Ate one, kept one out, and froze four. I prefer to pull a good baguette from the freezer in the morning before I leave for work, knowing it will be thawed and tasty by the time I get home.

That said, I will continue to play around with the "five minute a day" concept using my starter and modifying the recipe, simply because I'm curious.