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no knead bread - and GOOOOOOD!
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaffolk, I thought that heating the pot first was different, too, but the video instructions are adamant about putting the dough into what Lahey termed a "blazing hot" pot. It creates a necessary environment for the dough to create the particular crust it's capable of developing.

I haven't seen those instructions for Le Creuset, but I do know that you can preheat a Le Creuset pot in order to brown meats or saute vegetables. Perhaps it's just a caution to not leave a pot on the stovetop over high heat without anything in it for a long period of time...overall heating in the oven may be different.

As a follow-up to my earlier post...I did make this bread and it turned out well for the first time. Now I must tweak it -- as I think we are all finding we must do to accommodate our own particular pots, ovens, ingredients, etc. And there are a couple discrepancies between the video and the written instructions--small differences that do, indeed, produce different results. The video recommends a 500 degree (or hotter) oven; the instructions say 450, largely I suspect since many home ovens won't heat to 500. Since my oven will reach 500, I cranked it up to that mark. With my dark Calphalon pot (the 6-1/2 quarter worked just fine) which is a great heat conductor, 500 degrees was a bit too hot. And the written instructions say to bake uncovered 15-30 minutes. At 15 minutes, my loaf was dark brown, so I took it out. It would have benefitted from the additional time, which is what the Bittman's follow-up notes advise, too.

So, for me, next time it's a slightly lower temperature, a bit less water, and a longer uncovered baking time.

I made a very good loaf. I fully expect the next one to be excellent. In the Bay Area, we are fortunate to have a number of excellent bread companies turning out superior products, but it's still wonderful to be able to produce a loaf of this caliber with such ease whenever we want to. And what a boon this recipe is for folks who don't have access to great bread at their local market, and there are lots of those places!
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, Sam is wondering what the general opinion here would be about adding a tablespoon of olive oil to this bread...

I think it would really make it into a ciabatta. What say all of you?
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birgit



Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 247
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think if adding roast onions to the dough works, then adding a little oil to the dough will work, too.

After reading in the discussion in this forum (scroll about 3/4 down), that some people baked Peter Reinhart's pain a l'ancienne (from his book "The Bread Baker's Apprentice") in the same way as the NYT-NK-bread, and this with very good results, I think the main trick is the baking (of a very wet and long risen dough with only a little yeast) in a heavily preheated and enclosed pot.

With Ciabatta I think the form is the problem, i.e. how to get a relatively flat loaf. I've read somewhere that it helps to stretch the dough very thin before plopping it into the oven (and to work carefully and only with your fingertips to keep all the nice bubbles).

Please tell if it works, I'm aiming to ciabatta, too, because sometimes I spend much too much money Rolling Eyes on these utterly delicious ciabatte they sell 30 kilometers from here (and they're sold out quite often) ...
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Rainey



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

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

It will soften the dough up and make it a little richer.

I found this recipe for ciabatta for comparison:

Sponge:
• 1 tsp. dry yeast
• 250ml/1 cup warm water
• 350g/1½ cup sifted flour

Dough:
• 1½ tsp. dry yeast
• 5 tbs. warm milk
• 1 tbs. olive oil
• 250ml/1 cup warm water
• 600g/3 cups flour
• 2-3 tsp. salt
• (2-3 tbs. warm water additional if needed)

My theory is the ingredients are cheap and however it turns out it can't be bad. Meanwhile, it would be interesting to hear how this method responds to the addition of oil.
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carina



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 28
Location: the Netherlands

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

won't the no-knead-bread-method give too thick a crust for a ciabatta?
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birgit



Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 247
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are different types of ciabatta, see here:
http://home.earthlink.net/~ggda/ciabatta.htm

(There is more info on the main page, with the help of the "search"-menu)
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birgit



Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 247
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tadaa!! Now one of these miraculously easy no-knead breads has landed in my kitchen, too Very Happy

The dough went surprisingly fine, although I was wildly mixing flour types (1 1/2 cups dark wheat flour + 1 cup italian pizza flour + 1/2 cup "Kamut" (similar to spelt, texture like semolina) and some whole rye flour after finding the dough too solid, pouring more water -- followed by adding more flour Rolling Eyes ).

The transfer into the lightly oiled bowl worked fine, too -- extra thanks to Clothilde, that hint helped a lot!

For baking I used my wok (and I'd completely forgotten, until I saw it again, that indeed it came with a lid, so I didn't have to use aluminium foil -- but, Deste, I've read somewhere that people tried it and it worked, as long as it was firmly attached to the pot) and out came, hm, let's say, a giant lentil? A flying saucer?

Whatever it is, it has a great crust and a satisfying crumb, quite ciabattical, I'd say. At least comparable to my favourite ciabatta version.

After the first few bites I've thought that, flavorwise, it's a little too "yeasty" and I might try the next loaf with solely dark wheat flour and the addition of a little sourdough. But this is only because of the "ideal ciabatta" of my dreams Wink ...

And it's fine that I really don't need an additional pot -- meanwhile I doubt anyway if there are any Le Creusets available out there anymore Laughing ? -- and did you see that meanwhile there is an enormous number of flickr-photos, all dedicated to this bread?
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clotilde
Site Admin


Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carina - Once you've baked a loaf or two and seen how the process works in your own oven, it's actually quite easy to decide how thick a crust you want: the baking goes on in two phases: one lid-on (about 30 minutes), one lid-off (about 15 minutes). From what I've read and tested, you should lengthen the lid-on phase a bit for a thicker crust, and shorten it for a thinner crust. (Total baking time would remain approximately the same.)

And on a more general note, I'm happy to say my no-knead bread is getting better and better with every loaf I make!
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Rainey



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

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for isolating the crust v time in an open pot thing! Excellent!
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woodstocker



Joined: 08 Dec 2005
Posts: 224
Location: kingston, ny

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tomorrow I'm starting my very first loaf (hey, I'm still at school and it's a good diversion from finals), but my dilema is that I'm going to be using a Pyrex casserole (with lid). Per Rainey's advice, I'm going to lower the oven temperature to reduce any chances of burning, but any ideas on how much to lower the temp?
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Rainey



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I think you'd have better success not monkeying with the temp if you don't have to. The critical oven spring is a combination of yeasts not yet killed off by the heat but worked up to a frenzy by sudden contact with it + the flexibility of the skin of the dough because it hasn't yet given up it's moisture to the heat. If your temp is lower you won't get the same frenzy of gas production while the skin is still able to expand with it. The exceptional crust is created by all the moisture that instantly turns to steam retained by the lid. Of course, this steam is the same evaporation that's making the crust stiff and unable to yield to the gasses that are the yeasts' last gasp.

If you could come up with alternate containers it would be preferable. People are being very creative like birgit and her wok, above. Donna & Sam are considering a fish poacher so they can have a baguette. Others on ChowHound are using Römertopf clay pots and bare cast iron dutch ovens. How about a saltillo tile (around $2 at a building supplies place) + a large flower pot upside down to act as the cover? I'd focus on a large bulb pan. They don't have holes and they're wider than they are tall so this combination or pot-on-tile would fit in a conventional oven.

But, of course, you'll do what you can and use what's available. And you'll get something tasty. The wonderful thing about bread is that the ingredients are soooo available and soooooo cheap and the world concept of "bread" is soooooo diverse that there's almost no way to fail. Wink Meanwhile, it's an exhilarating and satisfying thing to make your own bread.

PS I've been using a small tulip bulb pan as a round bread pan for a couple years. Apart from the qualities I described above, they tend to be heavier clay and, consequently, very sturdy.
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Jaffolk



Joined: 29 Sep 2006
Posts: 24
Location: Leverkusen, Germany

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made the dough for my second loaf yesterday, this time mixing up the dough. I used 350 g white flour and 120 g whole wheat. I'm sticking to Clotilde's conversions, since they worked perfectly fine the first time I tried this bread.

I'm not sure whether I'll try any other fancy adjustments, but if there's anything worthy to report, I'll post it here. And I'm going to dare pre-heat my beautiful Le Creuset pot this time, in spite of what the care instructions say.
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woodstocker



Joined: 08 Dec 2005
Posts: 224
Location: kingston, ny

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainy, thanks for the tips. The only reason why I'm using a glass dish this time around is because I can't wait any longer to get home to use an "appropriate" one. Which might be a little sad on my part, but the smell of homemade bread is calling to me waay too strongly to ignore. Very Happy
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Rainey



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wink

woodstocker- Did you know there's a gristmill up there on your side of the river somewhere when you get home? Almost 40 years ago when we were still living in Poughkeepsie my husband brought me home some pumpernickel flour from it. He had discovered it out in the boonies on a surveying assignment. ...wonder if it's still the boonies or if development has caught up with it. Anyhow, that's how I started baking bread.

A few years ago I read about it again as a resource in one of my bread cookbooks. Wish I could remember which one and give you the specifics... But you could call Daniel Lederer at The Daily Bread and I bet you anything he'd share what he knows to help a fellow bread maker along. Or, if you get into the city or feel like calling it, Amy Schreiber of Amy's Bread is very supportive of the efforts of bread makers. She could know about it.
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woodstocker



Joined: 08 Dec 2005
Posts: 224
Location: kingston, ny

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I had a little bit of patience, I could just wait a week then go to Bread Alone, which is .2 seconds from my house. But it'll be interesting to see how the two compare, side by side. Hmm, that might require another loaf or two to be made. Wink
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