My bread bakers have been busy! These are loaves they baked from my previous post for No-Knead…
For the past couple months I’ve been baking crusty, country-style breads to rave reviews from friends and family. Then I did a baking class for friends who are now teaching their friends. A grass-roots viral recipe chain! No one can believe how simple it is – just measure, stir, rise overnight, then bake. No kneading!
I became hooked when a colleague, Penni Wisner aka The Kitchen Coach, brought her amazing bread to dinner meetings. She fashioned the recipe from the famed Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC, whose no-knead formula created a stir in 2006 when Mark Bittman wrote about it in the NY Times. Key to success is a glazed cast iron Dutch oven* (4.5 qt-size ) or covered casserole that can withstand 500°F, or use an iron skillet and aluminum foil to cover. With Penni’s tips I’ve not had a failure yet, and as far as I know, none of my students has either. And most had never baked bread before. I’ve refined the recipe further with suggestions from my ‘students’ like: turning and flouring the dough in the bowl so there’s no flour mess! Send me pictures of your bread. I promise, it’s simple!
*I am not paid to mention Amazon Basics but it is my favorite pan for baking bread.
No Knead Country Wheat Bread
- cast iron Dutch Oven, 3.5-5 quart size
- 420 grams (3 cups) bread flour, I like King Arthur or Bob's Redmill. All-purpose flour (bleached or unbleached), will also work and produces a softer crumb bread
- 90 grams (3/4 cup) whole wheat flour
- 30 grams (1/4 cup) oat bran, optional
- 8 grams (1-1/2tsp) table salt
- 1/4 tsp dry yeast (instant or rapid-rise, either works) or delete yeast if using Wild Yeast Water*
- 70 grams chopped walnuts, optional
- 400 grams/ml (1-3/4 cups) cold tap water if using Wild Yeast Water and no dry yeast, replace 1/4-1/3 of the water with yeast water. (75-150g/ml)
- Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add walnuts and/or soaked grains if making multi-grain recipe. (See link for multi-grain recipe.)
- Stir in water with a wooden spoon. Switch to a plastic scraper if you have one, and continue mixing and turning just until dough is evenly moistened and pulls away from sides of the bowl. It’s not necessary to stir vigorously, just enough so the flour is mixed in.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap (a plastic shower cap works great!) and let stand 30 minutes. Turn dough with the scraper or spoon, giving it about 4 folds. (If you skip this step you'll still get a great loaf of bread. Folding helps stretch the gluten and make the holes, or 'crumb'.)
- Cover bowl with plastic and let stand at room temperature 18-24 hours. The dough will rise and be very bubbly.
- Gently stir dough down with scraper or spatula and fold over in 90 degree turns several times. Dust top of dough lightly with flour. Cover the bowl and let rest 15 minutes.
- Dust a dry linen towel or banneton with flour. Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto the towel or banneton and shape roughly into a ball. Leave at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. OR – leave bread in bowl, sprinkle top with oats, cornmeal, bran or flour, then scrape around edge of bowl to slightly deflate dough. It can help to spritz the top with water to help the seeds stick. Let stand covered bout 45 minutes. Dough should rise a little.
- UPDATE! I recently followed directions from Elaine Boddy https://foodbodsourdough.com/ to bake from cold start oven. Results are excellent! Place dough in generously rice floured unheated enameled cast iron pan, or parchment lined pan. Place pan in cold oven. Turn oven to 450F (425F convection). Bake bread covered for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake additional 15-20 minutes until well browned. Turn out immediately onto cooling rack.
- OR, preheat method: While dough is resting, preheat a heavy Dutch oven to 500°F. NOTE: The pan must be a glazed pan that can withstand 500°F or a cast iron Dutch oven or skillet. Do not place empty pan in preheated oven as it can craze the enamel surface. Allow at least 30 minutes for pan and oven to super-heat.
- Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven, leaving a hot pad on the lid so as not to accidently grab with bare hand. Unwrap dough, quickly slide dough top side down into the preheated pan. Cover with lid or loosely cover container with foil. (This step can also be done by leaving pan on oven rack and pulling out.)
- Reduce oven to 450°F. Cover pan with lid or foil. Bake 25 minutes. Dough will rise and start to brown.Remove lid or foil and continue to bake until very dark brown, another 20-25 minutes. Immediately remove bread from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Recipe adaption and photo by Rosemary Mark