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Sunday, May 2, 2010

No Knead Bread

Today, I tried the "No Knead Bread" recipe made famous by Jim Lahey (Sullivan Street Bakery). It takes overnight, but there is no kneading involved. It is touted as a bread easy enough for a 4 year old to make, and in fact, I have seen YouTube videos of a four year old making this type of bread.

I think I need to hire a 4 year old. This bread proved to be a little much for a 64 year old to make. Essentially, I started out, OK. The night before I made my mixture of flour, salt, yeast and water and it ended up a a rough and rugged ball of dough (not the smooth dough for normal bread recipes).

Today, the dough seemed to have dissolved into a thick pancake batter, but it had bubbles and I went ahead with the recipe, taking it out of the bowl. It was so wet!

"How wet was it?", you ask. "it was wetter than a real wet thing"- sorry, I was going to come up with a real zingy simile, but I just couldn't think of one. It was wet. As you can see, I foolishly chose to work an a nice sized cutting board, but it proved to be too small. Next time, lose the cutting board and work directly on my granite counter.

So, I mushed it around, let it rise again (didn't do too much), then schlepped it into the preheated pot to bake. I baked it for 30 minutes covered, and 15 minutes uncovered. This is how it came out. Now I am actually surprised, since it didn't look like it would be any good when that mushy stuff rolled into the pot I cooked it in. But I have to admit, it is a pretty good looking loaf of artisan bread. We were supposed to cool it off, but who can wait that long? The crust was very crunchy and the inside nice and soft. I can picture me eating this with any kind of soup we will be making this winter. While I thought it was going to be a flop- it turned out pretty good.

On another front, I also "fed" my sourdough starter with another 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water, after stirring in the liquid forming on top (alcohol) and taking 1/2 of the old stuff out. Seems to be going according to plan, but unless I can learn to make decent bread- sourdough starter isn't going to help. Bread is bread, so I need to hone my skills and sourdough starter won't make bad bread good, just different.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious - like the bread when I lived in Malta (and the cheapskate baker didn't sell me a burned loaf). Which, obtw, was one of the best things in Malta ;-)