The Fresh Loaf

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Almost No Knead

alconnell's picture

Almost No Knead

Almost No Knead CrumbAlmost No Knead CrumbAlmost No Knead

Almost No KneadAnyone tried the Almost No-Knead Bread recipe in the latest Cook's Illustrated?  I just baked a loaf and must say it is delicious as is the original recipe.  The thought with this recipe is it will be more consistent.  I like the way the dough looks so far - it has a better shape than most of my basic no knead doughs.  Here's the recipe:

Almost No-Knead BreadCook's Illustrated,

Jan/Fed 2008 Use a mild-flavored lager, such as Budweiser.

 The bread is best eaten the same day it is baked but can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days. This is a loaf of bread that both looks and tastes incredible.

 3 cups (15 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting work surface

1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons table salt

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (7 ounces), at room temperature

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 ounces) mild-flavored lager

I tablespoon white vinegar

 1. Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours. 

2. Lay 12 by 18 inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cook­ing spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured, work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.

3. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6 to 8 quart heavy ­bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 F. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch long, l/2-inch deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 F and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 F, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.  

weavershouse's picture

I'm about to give that recipe a try. Your's looks great inside and out.


I also made the roast chicken in a pot from that same issue of Cooks Magazine. It was fantastic. So easy, moist and delicious that I'll be using the recipe often. Would go good with that bread you made.           weavershouse

MapMaker's picture

I started making no-knead bread when it appeared in the New York Times last year.  The improvements in Cooks, I think, are very good.  As to anthonycarriero's questions:

1) No, the overhanging parchment paper won't burn - it may brown a bit but that's no problem.

2) You could cut it smaller, but why bother.  You could eliminate the parchment all together and just kind of "plop" the loaf directly into the pot (that's what the original recipe had you do) but it may deform your loaf a little bit - may or may not be worth it to some people.

3) Spraying the dough keeps the plastic wrap from sticking.

4) Can't help you with the beer can chicken recipe, but I'll watch for it here.