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no knead bread - and GOOOOOOD!
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srk



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips, Rainey! Can't imagine when I'm going to have time to try this again, but I will rub the heck out of the flour into my cotton cheesecloths (sadly, no linen), and I'll definitely shorten the rise. Your comment about sugar makes a lot of sense, since the yeast should make a feast out of it, but oddly enough, the chocolate bread with sugar rose almost identically to the oatmeal-wheat loaf without sugar.

Happy December!
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vb_lady



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:36 pm    Post subject: Room temperature Reply with quote

Hi everyone: I'm a first time poster and new to the C&Z world. What took me so long? I'm going to try the no knead bread this weekend, but I have a couple of questions. Has anyone figured out a really good ratio of wheat to white flour? I love all things whole wheat, so bring it on!

The second is that I live with a wonderful man, but one of his "talents" is conservation of energy. We usually don't leave the heat on during the day (or during the night for that matter) and our apartment usually hovers between 66-68 degrees. How do you think this will impact the rise? Do I go longer? Do I try to put it somewhere warmer or more enclosed like an oven not turned on or turned on briefly? Any thoughts? I know that Clotilde you had a problem with it being too warm, is there an issue with a room being too cold?

Thanks, in advance!
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Donna



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi vb_lady!

Welcome to C&Z! Always happy to have a new voice here!

In terms of your apartment being cold, I am sympathetic to that! My very green husband Sam turns the heat off during the day, and there are times when I get home that it is 60º inside! Rolling Eyes

Sam keeps his bread in the oven to rise. He doesn't turn it on first - and it does just fine. He usually has it do the rise overnight and I know it gets down to the 50's in our house at night - and we've never had a problem with the rising. (A problem with me freezing, but no problem with bread rising!)

So you are encouraged to give it a try - energy conservation or no!

Let us know how it turns out!
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L'appetit vient en mangeant. -Rabelais
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Rainey



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

srk- Oh, no, don't use cheesecloth! Much too open a weave! The dough with just relax through and into the fiber regardless of how much flour you use.

Do you have ordinary, close weave cotton towels? If you have Ikea where you are, I got plain white kitchen towels ridiculuously cheap for baking. We have something called "flour sacking" that's simple, cheap, plain, close weave. That would be an excellent choice.
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Barbara



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to a recent NYT article on the bread the heat of the room is not important... and welcome vb lady. I'm having another go at it just waiting for it's second rising now. Rainey I bought a new jar of yeast as I think it was my yeast that caused the disaster last time. I made panettone this week with the sme jar and the same problem.
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Barbara
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Deste



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

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the reasons loaves do not rise higher in the oven is because the dough was over-proofed in the first rising. This will happen especially when whole-meal grains are used since they ferment at a faster rate. If you can, Barbara, check the dough after 12 hours. Lots of bubbles on the surface? Shape the loaf now, or wait a couple of hours instead of 6 or 8.

Brigit: Aluminum foil may not provide the wonderful crust that makes this recipe special, especially since the dough won't be surrounded by intense heat. I am curious. Please report back if you try this. If you have something thicker and heavy to serve as a lid that fits snuggly inside the wok, leaving enough room for the bread to rise, that would be better.

And Rainey, thanks for the link to the update in the Times!!
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Barbara



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

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My latest loaf was better.It did rise but it burnt on the bottam this time. I used a glass pyrex dish which I heated while the oven was heating. Did i heat it too high?
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Barbara
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Rainey



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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glass is an A # 1 conductor of heat. If it's burning I'd turn the oven down some. Or shorten the time. The big disadvantage of this method is you don't see how it's going until you uncover after 30 minutes.
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Barbara



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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rainey. I think I put on a couple of kilos yesterday. I can't resisit this bread spread with lots of butter!
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Barbara
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everybody...I haven't yet tried this bread recipe for one very dumb reason: can't figure out what kind of pot to bake it in. The guideline of 6-to-8 quart pot is just too vague. That's a huge difference in size. What about shape? Depth? I've got suitable weight/material pots in 3 qt, 6-1/2 qt, 13 qt, but the 6 qt is a Calphalon stock pot. I think it's the right diameter, but it's deep. I've got a wide 8 qt Calphalon pot, but it seems really big to me, and I know that the diameter and depth of the baking pan will affect the height of the finished product, the baking time, etc.

Since the recipe calls for only 3 cups of flour, even with great dough expansion, this doesn't seem to me to make a really large loaf of bread, so I'm thinking that the pot has to be more important than has been discussed.

Has anyone experimented with different sizes and shapes of baking pans/pots? I'm eager to make this recipe, but I'd hate to put in all the time and effort only to find this last detail messes everything up.

Advice, please. Thanks.
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Donna



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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Georgia,

If you watch the video on the original post, Jim Leahy has an 8 qt pot. Sam uses my great grandmother's 6 qt pot and it turns out fine. As Bittman says in the 2nd follow up article that Rainey posted - almost anything will do. (Guess whose husband will be getting a fish poacher for Christmas - so that he can make baguettes? Laughing )

I have not actually prepared it myself, but from watching Sam, it is amazingly forgiving. The last time he made it, he thought it was WAY too wet - seemed more like a batter than a dough. It turned out just fantastically!

I would go ahead and try the 6 1/2 qt caphalon. I don't think you'll be disappointed!
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Rainey



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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. There's been a lot of discussion about this on ChowHound and there people have used all kinds of different sizes and shapes of pots.

I've been using enameled cast iron but I'd just about kill, at this point, for one of those new high-temp stoneware Emile Henri casseroles.
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I finally watched the video--which, for some reason, I hadn't been able to get earlier. I'll give it a shot with my pot--or borrow the Le Creuset in the right size.

What I really loved is Lahey's comment at the end of the video, "Make sure everyone hears about this." I love that kind of generosity from a pro, and often you don't find it. That's why, when I find a cookbook that shares the actual recipes from a restaurant, etc., I become a devotee. In that category: the Zuni cookbook and the cookbook from Berkeley's Cheese Board ("The Cheeseboard Cookbook", I think). The recipes for all of the wonderful baked goods in that shop are contained in their cookbook. ..all the scones, rolls, muffins, breads...Who else does that?? A rare find but absolutely consistent with their general philosophy.

Long live Berkeley!

p.s. If you know other cookbooks like this, I'd love to know about them.
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Jaffolk



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

PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made my first loaf yesterday and although I thought it was a bit flat in taste I loved the result. I will just add a bit more salt next time or maybe even play with other ingredients to spice it up a little.

I just let the dough rise in our kitchen. I don't know the exact temperature, but we never turn on the heat in the kitchen, since the radiator is too far from where I actually cook, so it seems like waste to me. Anyway, I figure it was rather cold and the dough rose just fine.

Here's a question though: Since it was the first time I used the Le Creuset pot I got for my birthday, I carefully read the instructions and they say that you should never heat the pot empty. I then was too scared to pre-heat the pot, so I just put the dough in the unheated pot and put it in the oven. Wouldn't want to mess with my Le Creuset on the very first time I ever use it. But still I wonder if the result would have been even better if I had dared to pre-heat the pot.

Does anybody have any thoughts on that?
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Rainey



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

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

That's what comes of reading directions! Rolling Eyes The chief reason I know of not to heat a dry pot is that any trace of fat or food residue will tend to bake on so make sure the pot is scrupulously clean.

In fact, it works very well. I just got a brand new one with the plastic knob on top. The directions say that it's upper limit was well beneath the 450F that the recipe specified and I put it in with trepidation. But it did wonderfully. It did less well when I dropped it on the cement deck... Shocked

Do add more salt. I put in a couple tablespoons of whole wheat flour, a tablespoon of rye flour and a tablespoon of fine cornmeal or semolina for the country-style flavor and improved keeping quality. Then add whole grains, herbs, etc. I have been enjoying walnut pieces and chopped green onion that I stir in after all the other ingredients are combined. Cooked wheat berries are also good. Caramelized onions. But the basic loaf — the basic 4 protected by French law — is pretty damned good.

You also get to relax a whole lot about the temperature of things. Keep in mind that people without thermometers and central heating have been making bread for thousands of years. The miners in Alaska and Canada made bread with sourdough that they slept with to keep from freezing. Just watch your dough not your watch or your thermometer. Wink

I think it's very exciting that everyone is discovering that they can bake wonderful bread too! Yay, Jim Lahey!
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