No time to bake? No-knead bread
If everyone jumped off a cliff would you follow? I have a very awkward streak which means I would probably wander off in the other direction even if a tornado or a herd of run-away wildebeast was coming. This resistance to going with the masses has influenced many things in my life; for instance my choice of camera (most people seemed to have Canon so I bought Nikon).
This stubbornness had its effect on my food blogging too. A couple of years ago the raptures dedicated to pages and pages of macarons made sure that I would never, ever attempt to make one. Cup cakes and whoopie pies were equally safe from ever making an appearance in my kitchen. No knead bread made a similar splash and, though far more appealing than the sweet baking fashions, my recalcitrant nature meant that it lingered, untested by me until last week.
I was juggling end of term, packing for the UK, arranging my daughter’s last bits and pieces for Thailand, rushing to client meetings, trying to finish work projects before I travelled, getting three different types of currency from the money exchange and all the usual demands of a busy life. Running down my store cupboard before six weeks in the UK, I was also keen to bake so the easiest loaf was needed and I had a sudden vision of no-knead bread.
Did it fit the bill? Yes indeed, in fact it was the only loaf I could have feasibly fitted in among the chaos. The result was a crusty loaf with a good firm texture with very time or little effort required. I’m now itching to experiment with different flours and flavourings when I return to my kitchen in Dubai.
Most recipes I found online were in cup measurements so I’ve converted the proportions to suit weighing. It makes quite a small loaf so I’ll experiment with slightly larger quantities next time too, however the small amount remaining went stale quite quickly (although made good toast). If you have never made bread, or don’t think you have time to, this is the loaf for you. Be warned – it looks very homemade, but I think this is a good thing. Just slather with good butter and excellent jam.
No Knead Bread
- 400g strong white bread flour (plus a bit extra)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 300ml lukewarm water
- Put all the ingredients into a medium sized bowl, mix together with a wooden spoon, spatula or plastic scraper to form a ragged, fairly messy dough. Cover with cling film and leave for 18 hours at room temperature.
- When ready to bake, flour your work surface generously. Using a plastic spatula or scraper, ease the dough onto the surface.
- Using your scraper or floured hands gently shape the dough into a ball by tucking the sides underneath. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest until the oven is heated (next step).
- Set the oven to 230C (or equivalent) and put an enamelled cast iron casserole inside (or any similar dish with a lid such as Pyrex which will withstand high temperatures) to heat up for 30 minutes.
- Cut a strip of foil or baking paper, about 10cm wide and long enough to reach up the sides of the casserole dish.
- Carefully remove the casserole from the oven (it will be very hot) and place on something heat-proof next to the dough. Put the strip of paper inside. Using floured hands, quickly scoop up the dough and flip it, seam side down, into the pot. DO NOT TOUCH THE SIDES OF THE POT WITH YOUR HANDS. Don’t worry if it looks a bit lop-sided.
- Put the lid on the casserole and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, replace the casserole in the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and use the paper or foil to lift the bread out of the casserole and onto a wire rack to cool.
Find more no-knead inspiration:
- Nazima of Franglais Kitchen made naan bread (with a video too)
- a spelt and wholemeal no-knead loaf by Camilla of Fab Food 4 All
- yeast-less beer and cheese bread from Jeanne at CookSister
- Kellie makes healthy five-seed no knead bread, truly Food to Glow
- good step by step pics (and without a casserole) on a A recipe for gluttony
- and Jaden of Steamy Kitchen offers no knead bread so easy that even a four year old can make it!
You can find me rhapsodising (is this a word?) about bread making over on Dima Sharif as part of her wonderful, annual Ramadan series.
Are you a follower or a rebel? Would you be heading over that cliff or running off in a different direction? Bread maker or just bread eater?