Sunday, April 26, 2009

No-Knead Bread

I've been brushing up on my bread making skills lately. While I dearly love the taste of fresh made bread, it's not the simplest food to make. I don't have a decent place in my kitchen for any type of bread or dough work. All the surfaces are the wrong height for comfortable kneading and none of them are suitable because dough sticks badly to the surface.

Then I read about no-knead doughs. Sounded too good to be true!
I ordered this book, Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes a Day. Yum! Essentially the trick is to leave a wet dough in the refrigerator long enough for it to simulate the same process that kneading fulfills.

You throw your ingredients in a bowl, stick in in the fridge for 3 days to 2 weeks. Whenever you want a loaf you pull off a hunk, let it rise for a bit and bake. So simple and no mess! It makes a small round loaf about the size of a grapefruit. Perfect size for us. The crust is awesome and the flavor is great.

I'd been having some issues with the loaf baking all the way through but realized that it was due to my oven taking much, much longer to pre-heat than I expected. Now that I figured it out I've had better success. I was going to take pictures of yesterday's loaf but my salivary glands got the better of me and we ate it all up!

I haven't had the chance to try any of the other recipes yet (baguettes, enriched breads etc) but I'm excited get baking!

Have any of you tried this method? Like it? Hate? Problems with an under-cooked loaf? (mine still tend to come out a wee bit under-done).

I believe there is no scent more delicious than that of freshly bakes bread. Heaven!