Friday, April 27, 2012

At long last: Almost no-knead bread


I've been reading about no-knead bread for a few years, but as someone who was so enamored with all the intricacies of bread baking that she read the first 100 pages of The Bread Baker's Apprentice like a novel not once, but twice, I wasn't that excited by the idea of a bread that essentially makes itself.

But here we are, a couple of years and two bread book challenges later, and sometimes life is just busy: I needed a bread I could make in a flash to go with our cauliflower soup. Happily, browsing my friends' Pinterest bread collections (yes, I've finally been sucked into that time black hole), I found a link to America's Test Kitchen's newest version of their almost no-knead bread, a recipe I've been meaning to make for so long but that always gets lost in the stack of new recipes.

I made a half-recipe, mixing up the all-purpose flour, salt, a pinch of yeast, water, and a bit of beer. The last ingredient is vinegar, but I'd read that the purpose of the vinegar is to give it a hint of sourdough flavor, so I used my discard from a sourdough feed instead. The ingredients are barely mixed and then left at room temperature for 16ish hours. After school, I rushed home and shaped my little boule and left it in a warm spot in my 6" cake pan. Once it had risen, I baked it in my new small enameled Dutch oven for 25 minutes uncovered and about 10 or 15 minutes uncovered.

The bread was perfect with the soup; in fact (surprisingly) hubby said it was the best bread I'd made in a long time. Who knew?! (Oh, and there was definite hint of sourdough flavor in there: from the sourdough starter? I don't know, but I think Austin is finally ready for a test drive this weekend!!)


4 comments:

  1. I've been wanting to make a no-knead bread for a long time. I'm glad it turned out well!

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  2. I've been meaning to make that recipe, too. Your loaf looks terrific!

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  3. That looks really, really good!

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  4. Twice...you read it all twice??? Wow. I have read parts of it even more than that, but not all of it twice...you win. The bread looks wonderful...no kneading is kind of like when your kids grow up and can dress and feed themselves. Sometimes they don't always wear and look like what you want them to, but all in all, definitely there are benefits!! Soon, Abby...very soon.

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