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no knead bread - and GOOOOOOD!
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey - I finally made the bread after waiting for it to rise 40 hours. There's a picture on my blog. Have a look and tell me where I went wrong. It tasted great, just didn't look as good as I've seen elsewhere. Although I did rather like the rustic look I had achieved.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara- 40 hours is really pushing the envelope! 18-20 is what Lahey's method is. That isn't to say that you couldn't still probably get some very good bread from it. You'd just have to treat it like a sponge or levain at that point and feed it again with more flour and fresh water.

Checking your site I can see that you're yeast was very active — that looks like great texture! But you can get more height on your next one. I'm thinking somewhere between 20 hours and 40 hours the dough reached it's optimum with good, liquidy bubbles. But you may not have been around then. Once it hits critical mass it will collapse. That may be when you decided that you were going to proceed anyway.

Whatever you're doing, it looks like you're doing it very well but just too long. Remember the tiny bit of yeast you start your dough with is a living thing once reactivated by water. It multiplies like mad in the right environment. That being so, you have a ravenous hoard digesting the starches in the flour and the water to produce carbon dioxide and alcohol. When there isn't enough left to support the colony, they start dying off. We'd do the same (or will do the same if you follow Al Gore...). So you want to shape your loaf about 2 hours before optimum and bake as close as you can to it OR (because I'm willing to believe you achieved some awesome flavor) pull off about a cup of it (this would be a levain aka old dough, biga, poolish, or preferment) and add it to the same ingredients called for in the original recipe. ...maybe minus the yeast this time or cut it back to pinch for insurance.

You're going to get an awesome loaf next time.

I have one rising right now (flavored with the things I would have put in my turkey stuffing for our post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches). Friday I'm starting another one to take to a holiday party on Sat.
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rainey. Yes I need to get height and less brown. I don't think I'll be making it very often because it is so nice I can just see I would put on so much weight so quickly. Will let you know how the next one goes when I make it.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara- I just re-read what I wrote. The thing I left out is to use as big a container as you've got. The concept (I believe after experimenting some with Lahey's technique) is to have a wet dough contained in a closed container with steam enveloping the crust. However, you want to simulate an oven with a generous surround of hot air rather than a casserole with close contact with hot metal or ceramic.

After the gift loaf I do tomorrow I'm going to start experimenting with how this technique can be adapted to my traditional recipes.

I hear ya on the too much is just too much. The first loaf I did was gone in a day (and I regret to admit I ate most of it — purely in the interests of food science you understand...). The next ones lasted a good deal later. Useful, because I discovered that with the addition of the traditional whole wheat/fine cornmeal/rye flour additions it keeps very well and toasts beautifully. I threw out a 1/3 of the last loaf. It was lovely but my appetite for it has returned to some kind of sensible.

It has, however, been lovely to get to bake again. I've missed it!
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srk



Joined: 09 Apr 2005
Posts: 85
Location: Berkeley, CA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 6:49 am    Post subject: Some process questions, and chocolate no-knead yeast bread Reply with quote

I just made my first two batches of the no-knead bread (one with some oats and whole wheat flour, the other chocolate, which I'll get to in a minute), and I have a few questions. First, has anyone else had massive issues with the dough sticking to even a very well-floured cotton cloth, and what did you do about it? Second, neither loaf rose much: 1.5-2 inches (~5 cm), max. Some unexpected napping caused me to let them hang out for nearly 30 hours before baking, which was perhaps a bit excessive, but has anyone else had similar problems (or rising times)?

About that chocolate bread. Based on kneading-required chocolate yeast bread recipes I've used before, I subbed in milk for much of the water, used cocoa in place of some flour, and added sugar, almond extract, and instant coffee. Surprisingly, the milk survived the 30-hour rise without turning detectably sour, but I ran into a major baking issue: the bread took much longer to cook than the mostly-white loaf (still mushy on top after the first 30 minutes), and the bottom crust burned in the process. After I it finally finished, though, and I sawed off the burned part (spraying crumbs everyhere!), it was pretty tasty.

I can't provide a truly working recipe, but I'd be happy to share my first draft version with anyone who'd like to improve upon it (and let us all know how that goes!). For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, good chocolate yeast bread is phenomenal.
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clotilde
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Among those who have tried this recipe, does anyone have a scale? If so, could you give me a weight measurement for the flour? The amount of flour in 3 cups can vary wildly depending on the filling method: I spoon in and level, but Lahey (as seen in the Bittman video) scoops it out of the flour bag, which results in a larger amount, but I'm not sure how much.

Also, how much water did you use? The written recipe says 1 5/8 cups, but in the video Lahey says 1 1/2 cups...

Thanks so much!
Clotilde.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clotilde- I don't weigh because this "recipe" (it's more a technique) is extremely flexible. If you read the ChowHound threads I linked above you'll see how wildly people are tinkering and still getting results they're very happy with.

Meanwhile, the conversion chart that came with my scale has the following equivalents:

1 cup all-purpose flour, unsifted = 5 oz. (sorry, it doesn't provide gram equivalents)
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted = 4 oz.
1 cup cake flour, unsifted = 4 oz.
1 cup cake flour, sifted = 3.5 oz.
1 cup whole wheat flour, unsifted = 5.5 oz.
1 cup whole wheat flour, sifted = 4.5 oz.
1 cup bread flour, sifted = 5 oz. (who has ever sifted bread flour?)
1 cup pasta (finely ground durum) flour = 5.5 oz.
1 cup buckwheat flour, unsifted = 4 oz.
1 cup cornmeal = 4 oz.
1 cup cornstarch = 4 oz.

As for the water, I start with 1 5/8 cups (1 cup + 2 tbs). But I monkey wildly with the flour and add whole wheat, cornmeal and rye flours to mine. And I'm, by nature, very organic with bread dough. It's all about the feel to me.

Nevertheless, this is intended to be a very wet dough.

srk- The issue with the cloth v dough is getting the towel not covered well with flour but impregnated with flour. That's accomplished by rubbing flour in intially and then reusing the same towel. Linen, if you have some, is the traditional choice of bakers because it's less absorbant. Some folks on ChowHound are saying that they have better results with the bran or cornmeal that Lahey recommends. And some are forsaking the towels in favor of parchment or waxed paper.

Milk holds up well in dough and paranoia about it is, I think, unnecessary. I'm sure the USDA feels differently.

I'm guessing the difficulty with rising is the same as in Barbara's case except for the chocoate dough to which you added sugar. Depending on how much sugar, you could be presenting yourself with a challenge. Sweet doughs are the most touchy and greatly benefit from yeast formulations designed for them.

I find I have no difficulty baking to complete doneness when I use the large capasity containers that Lahey recommends. Also, be sure to contain your appetite and your enthusiasm and wait a minimum of half and hour before you break into your bread or it will be gummy. The loaf needs time to redistribute the steam that's still contained within the crust.
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clotilde - I spooned the flour into the cup and leveled and used 1 5/8 cups of water. I had no problems with the dough sticking to the towell. Maybe if my dough had been stickier and stuck to the towel it would have risen faster and higher. I think I will scoop the flour up next time.
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Deste



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 307
Location: Far, far away

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

clotilde wrote:
Among those who have tried this recipe, does anyone have a scale? If so, could you give me a weight measurement for the flour? The amount of flour in 3 cups can vary wildly depending on the filling method: I spoon in and level, but Lahey (as seen in the Bittman video) scoops it out of the flour bag, which results in a larger amount, but I'm not sure how much.

Also, how much water did you use? The written recipe says 1 5/8 cups, but in the video Lahey says 1 1/2 cups...

Thanks so much!
Clotilde.


Clotilde: On egullet: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=95345&st=259 this post provides weights. See Post #233 for synopsis of long discussion. Focus on contributions by Fromartz & Abra for experiments and further details.
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clotilde
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your replies, Rainey, Barbara, and Deste! Most helpful.
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Deste



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 307
Location: Far, far away

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome.

I'd be grateful were you to report back should you go ahead and try the method. I'd be curious to know how French flour compares to the various types that North Americans have been using in their experiments.
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clotilde
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deste-
I should publish my report tomorrow!
Best,
Clotilde.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used Lahey's less yeast, MUCH more rise, bake in a pot method yesterday on a conventional recipe. I got another lovely crust and very nice crumb using only semolina flour. I was also able to form a batard and transfer it to the pot for baking.

Unfortunately, following Thanksgiving, I've gone no complex carbs so I couldn't taste it and I can't say if the flavor was improved.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark Bittman has updated his take on Lahey's no knead bread. It contains weight equivalents which I quote here (in case the link won't open): " The original recipe contained volume measures, but for those who prefer to use weight, here are the measurements: 430 grams of flour, 345 grams of water, 1 gram of yeast and 8 grams of salt. With experience, many people will stop measuring altogether and add just enough water to make the dough almost too wet to handle."

How timely is that?

And here are the rest of his findings on other containers, additions and modifications, etc. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/06/dining/06mini.html?ref=dining
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birgit



Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 247
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for providing the updated weight measures, Rainey. Time comes nearer to try this meanwhile very famous bread recipe, so this is especially nice Smile
I couldn't start earlier because the day before the recipe was published I'd just baked a big loaf of multigrain sourdough bread, which I have to eat up first. As I love ciabatta, I'm looking very much forward to the no-knead-bread. I hope my big wok, combined with aluminium foil as a lid, will work ok.
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