• Bruni

Homemade No Knead Bread

Updated: Jan 29, 2019



If you think of starting to bake your own bread this is the best recipe to try out. No need to knead, hassle-free bread baking. The bread has crispy skin on the outside and is soft with large airy bubbles inside. You can bake it at home with no need to buy expensive dutch oven or cast iron for bread baking. Glass casserole dish will suffice.


The only hassle is you need to plan it ahead: mixing takes 1 minute but the dough needs to rest for 12 hours (I usually prepare mixture in the evening to have it ready for morning baking). The dough in this recipe is sticky - don't expect well formed loaf - but don't worry the bread will bake lovely. As it's a no knead bread it requires minimum 'touch time'.

Also - it gives you endless opportunities to jazz things up. Recipe below is a ‘base’, then you may opt to prepare different variations (see ‘Jazz things up’ notes).


Added bonus - your home will smell divine in the morning :)


Yield: 1 bread

Active time: 5 minutes prep + 12 hours rest time+ 5 minutes prep and 30 minutes rest + 40 minutes baking

Tin: Casserole dish or dutch oven or cast iron dish


Ingredients:

- 3 cups* (450g) all-purpose flour +1/4 cup (40g) for short kneading

- 1 teaspoon dry yeast (if you use bulk active yeast, see ‘Hints’ section)

- 2 flat teaspoons salt

- 1 and 1/2 cups (375ml) warm water

*cup=250ml cup


Method:

1. Proof the yeast: Mix flour with yeast and salt. Add warm water (38C). You should see mixture foaming up slightly. If you don’t start again (see ‘Hints’ section).


2. Prepare the dough: Mix/pat the batter gently for 1 minute by hand until all ingredients are just combined (no need to knead). Cover up the bowl tightly with cling film or dry kitchen towel. Set aside (room temperature) and let it rest for 12-18 hours. After that time you will see bubbly mixture (not your regular yeast dough). That’s OK as you want to get fairly sticky mixture with lots of air bubbles which are going to create lovely and light/airy loaf. Add some 1/4 cup (40g) of flour and pat again until thin mixture is achieved. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour and let it rest in that same bowl for 30 minutes (at room temperature, covered with dry kitchen towel).


3. Bake: While the dough is resting preheat the oven to 245C (yes, super hot!) and place the casserole dish with the lid into the oven for 30 minutes. You want the dish to get super hot. After that time take out the dish and pour the bread mixture into it. Close the dish with the lid. Bake at 245C for 30 minutes, then take the lid off and bake in the open dish for another 10 minutes at 220C. For crispy skin you can brush your bread with ice cold water every so often in the last 10 minutes of baking. Take out the bread from the oven, leave for 5 minutes in the casserole dish and then cool on the cooling rack.



Hints:

1. Yeast is fussy when it comes to the temperature. It has optimal temperature of fermentation and dies if temperature is too high. You can read more here: http://www.theartisan.net/dough_fermentation_and_temperature.htm.

The optimal temperature for yeast is some 35-38C. This is why you don’t want to pour the water which is too hot or too cold when proofing the yeast, it just won’t work its magic.


2. If you work with active yeast use 7g (very little) and mix with warm water until combined before pouring into the flour.


3. The texture of the dough is sticky - it’s more of a mass than well formed dough. That’s the way it is to be :) Get a nice small casserole dish which will form lovely shape of the dough while baking.


4. Get your kitchen mitts ready as you will be baking in high temperature.


Jazz things up:

1. Opportunities are endless here:

- Spice it up: you can add all sorts of herbs, powdered sweet paprika, even cardamon.

- Crunch it up: add sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecan nuts, flaxseeds, cranberries.

- Little Surprise inside: add a little twist by mixing into the dough 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, dried tomatoes or jalapeño peppers. If you decide to add extra ingredients do it when you are preparing the mixture (before the 'rest phase').



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