September 11, 2008

in the kitchen with the {newnew} - bread!



i cook and bake a lot, and i have to say: there are not many things that i make that are as satisfying as this bread. it's easy. it makes the house smell like heaven. and you end up with this amazing thing that looks like you paid too much for it in a fancy market. so without further ado....

no-knead bread

there are many many varieties of no-knead bread. this variation was created by my friend mona, and is chewy and dense and wonderful.

ingredients:

yeast - 3 tablespoons
salt - 1-1/2 tablespoons
warm water - 3 cups
honey - 1 tablespoon


flour - 5 cups [i use half white and half whole wheat]
oatmeal - 1 cup, pulsed in the food processor for about a minute
oat bran - 1/2 cup
[can throw in up to half a cup of other grain-type stuff, if you'd like—flax seed meal, wheat germ, etc.]
cornmeal - handful


preparation:



1. mix the yeast, salt, honey and water in a large bowl. whisk until you can feel that there's no more honey sticking to the bottom of the bowl.


2. add all dry ingredients, and mix just until the wet and dry come together. it will be lumpy and messy.


3. cover bowl with a damp cloth, and put in a cool dry place to rise for 2-3 hours. unless you have a much larger bowl than i do, you'll likely need to divide it into two bowls.


4. after it's risen, you can make the bread right away, or you can store it for up to 14 days in an airtight container in the fridge. whenever you're ready to bake it, sprinkle a wooden cutting board or pizza peel with a generous amount of cornmeal. dust the top of the dough and your hands with flour, and pick up about half of the dough. gently stretch it into a rough square, then fold each corner into the center, and place it on the board, with the side with all the folded-in ends down. (sorry i don't have pics of this step, it's hard to fold dough and photograph at the same time.) cut three parallel slits in top of the lump of dough with a serrated knife, and dust with flour. repeat with other half of dough, if you want, or save it.

5. let the lump(s) of dough sit on the board for 40 minutes. 20 minutes into that 40 minutes, place a baking stone or baking sheet on the center rack of your oven and turn your oven on, to 450˚. about 2 minutes before the end of that 40 minutes, boil a cup of water, pour it into an empty broiler pan, and place it on the bottom rack of your oven.

6. open the oven, pull out the center rack, and get the lump(s) of dough off the board and onto the stone or sheet: if you are using a pizza peel, you can just shake the peel a bit and the dough will slide off onto the rack. if you're using a cutting board (like i do), you'll have to help it along with as large a spatula as you can get your hands on (or two spatulas and an assistant). don't worry if it flips over—it won't affect the final product.

7. bake for 30 minutes. wait at least a few seconds after it come out of the oven so you don't burn your fingers, cut, eat.

easy as that.



- cakehouse

5 comments:

KimmChi said...

I love baking bread, and previously the best recipe I found was from America's Test Kitchen and it took like 6 hours of prep time - was delicious, but took way too long. Can't wait to try this one, thanks Cakehouse!

Always Amy said...

I went through a bread making phase. But the only recipe books I could find were for the damn bread machine. :( Blech

east4thstreet said...

I am the worlds worst baker but that's not going to stop me from trying this recipe. I can smell it already!

waisze said...

i've heard about no knead bread... a must try even for a non-baker like myself.

sjg said...

sounds like a good project for during football games on sunday! thanks.