Friday, April 8, 2011

Adventures in Bread Making

A little (okay, a lot) late to the party, I have jumped on the "No Knead Bread" bandwagon.  I was skeptical, (kneading isn't hard, what's the big deal?), but it's incredibly easy, relatively mess-free, and the end result is quite good.  If you aren't lightyears ahead on me on this, (and you probably are), go ahead and give it a try.  Find the original recipe here.  The great thing is the recipe seems quite forgiving and you can have fun playing with different flours and flavors.

My first attempt!  I just use normal, active dry yeast instead of the instant yeast listed in the ingredients.  I use a rounded 1/4 tsp and the results seem fine.  My dutch oven is also about half the size as recommended and I don't think it mattered one bit.

For my second attempt, I substituted 1/3 of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour.  It also turned out well, but a little bland.

For my last attempt, I stuck with the cup of whole wheat flour.  I also upped the salt to 2 tsp, added 2 tbsp honey to the water, and added about 1/8 cup each of wheat bran and wheat germ, with an additional 1/4 cup water to compensate.  This was my favorite yet.

Give it a try: you won't be disappointed!


  1. Your loaves look delicious! I went through a no knead bread baking craze a bit ago. My bible: "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day". You should check it out. They add wheat gluten to help with the wheat bread texture. I bake on a heavy baking stone instead of a dutch oven. There are all kinds of recipes. One of the authors is a pastry chef, so there are lots of enticing options. After I tired of loaves, I tried raisin bagels, pitas, pizza, and chocolate espresso bread! Haven't tried the brioche yet.

    The beauty of it is many of the doughs can be held in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, so you can take out whatever portion you want, shape it, let it rest, and bake as your heart desires.

    (BTW I should get my own Google acct - this is not Alex!)

  2. Brioche is on my to-do list!