Sunday, March 30, 2014

No-Knead Bread II

This is my favorite adapted version of the famous no-knead bread recipe developed by Jim Lahey and popularized some years ago by Mark Bittmann. Back in 2009 I posted a version that's a bit closer to the original, but I've been playing with it since then and I like the version below better - plus this one is made entirely with whole grain flour, so more nutritious, too.

I get local wheat from  Upinngil Farm or Four Star Farms and grind it at home, though pre-ground flour is available from both farms and Four Star Farms grain and flour is available at Green Fields Market.

That's my flour mill
To bake this bread, you will need a good sized covered casserole pot, preferably ceramic or cast iron (I use a cast iron dutch oven). Glass is okay but not as good. Be sure the pot and lid are oven proof at high temperatures.

Overnight version
1 cup oat flour (whiz some rolled oats in a food processor if you don't have the flour on hand)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use a hard red wheat)
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp yeast
2-3 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups lukewarm water

Combine all ingredients except cornmeal in a large bowl. The dough will be very wet. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 15-18 hours (this is flexible: can be less, especially if the room is warm, or can be as much as 24 hours if you forget about it accidentally).

Liberally flour a work surface. Scrape the dough out of the bowl. Using well-floured hands and maybe a dough scraper, form the dough into a ball. You will need to keep sprinkling it with flour as you do this, until it is not sticky to the touch.

Sprinkle cornmeal onto a dish towel (not a fuzzy one!). Place the dough on the cornmeal and sprinkle more cornmeal over it. Cover with another towel and let rise for 30-60 minutes.

When ready to bake, put your pot and lid in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. When the oven and pot are both nice and hot, take the pot out of the oven and put the dough into it. Give the pot a little shake to even out the dough if needed. Bake covered for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes. Cool on rack.

Quicker version
This is not quite as good as the overnight version, but it's close. What I like about the overnight version is that it develops a faint sourdough flavor from sitting out so long rising.

Use 1 Tbsp yeast instead of 1/4 tsp. After combining all ingredients in the bowl, cover and let rise for about 4 hours. Follow the same procedure as above with the flour and cornmeal for the second rising. Follow procedure above for preheating and baking.

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