Saturday, May 18, 2013

Experimenting with no-knead bread

After weeks of the most magnificent autumn weather (sans rain, unfortunately), it has finally turned chilly in these parts. Last night I reinstated Friday Night Soup Night. Last night it was daughter's favourite French Onion Soup. To go with it, I experimented with no-knead bread.
I followed the recipe in Kate and Suzanne Gibbs' The Thrifty Kitchen. In turn, they based their recipe on this recipe from the New York Times.
I've made no-knead bread before, but this recipe differs by:
- it has a long rise time - this loaf was risen for 18 hours, and the recipe specifies up to 24 hours.
- you use only a 1/4 teaspoon of yeast. That's all.
- it is cooked in an ovenproof dish with a lid. I used my cast-iron Dutch oven.
- it is cooked for an hour at 240 degrees C - longer and hotter than a normal loaf.
- you don't need to knead, at all. It only requires a bit of mixing. Time requirement from cook: 10 minutes, tops.
The verdict? A big hit. The crust was just as nice as it looks here in the photo. We have a well known woodfired Sourdough bakery in our town, and their loaves sell for $6.50 each. It's the sort of place that Sydneysiders make a point of visiting on their way through. Everyone said that this loaf was better than the sourdough bakery's loaves. I agree. We were also able to eat it warm out of the oven. Yum.