Finding balance with food, movement, and community for my (dairy-free) family.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Favorite Bread: Artisan Almost No-Knead Bread

I wish that my favorite bread recipe were 100% whole grain and leavened with natural sourdough, but it's not.  My favorite bread recipe comes from and  (the way I make it) is only 50% whole grain, leavened with a small amount of commercial yeast.  

Breadtopia has several videos demonstrating how to make the bread, but the directions for mixing are not included on the site, so I loosely transcribed them after watching the video. The video, however, is really helpful, especially in clarifying how to shape the loaf.   This recipe does require a Dutch oven or casserole dish (2.5-6 quart)  with a lid.  

Almost No-Knead Bread
My entire family loves this bread.  It is easy because there is almost no kneading (although it does require a bit of planning ahead because of the overnight rise), flavorful (just a little tangy, without being sour), chewy without being dense, and to top it off, it's beautiful.   It works great to accompany soup or salad; it's lovely as a sandwich bread for french dips or even Reuben sandwiches.  

Almost No -Knead Bread
1 1/2 cups (7.5 ounces) all purpose or bread flour
11/2 cup (7.5 ounces) whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. honey 
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (7 ounces) water at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (3 ounces) mild flavored lager (beer)
1 Tbs. white vinegar

Step 1:  Combine dry ingredients.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Cover loosely. Set aside at room temperature for 8-18 hours. 

Step 2:  Dust counter top lightly with flour. Knead 10-15 TIMES (not minutes--thank goodness!). Avoid over-kneading as you don’t want to remove all the bubbles from the slow overnight rise.  

Step 3:  After kneading, pull the edges up, pursing them at the top, forming a ball with a tight skin underneath. Pinch the top together, sort of sealing it.

Step 4:  Place parchment paper over a skillet. Mist the parchment paper with oil. Place the dough on the parchment with the pinched top down. Mist top of dough with oil as well. Cover loosely. Let rise for 2 hours. 

Step 5: Thirty-five minutes before the end of the bread's rise time (so after the bread has been rising for 1 hour and 25 minutes), place a 2.5-6 quart dutch oven or casserole dish with lid into your oven and preheat to 500 degrees.

Step 6:  At end of rising time, sprinkle the loaf lightly on top with flour if desired (this is just cosmetic).   Score the top of the loaf with a sharp serrated knife, making a ½ inch deep cut. Go over the cut 2-3 times to get the depth without ripping the dough.  Remove the preheated Dutch/oven casserole dish from the oven (use great care as it and its lid will be very hot).   Transfer the bread--parchment paper and all (pick up edges of parchment paper to move it)--into the preheated Dutch oven/casserole dish. 

Step 7:  Place the Dutch oven/casserole dish into the oven with the lid on and reduce the temperature to 425 degrees.  Bake for 30 minutes at 425.  Then remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the internal bread temperature reaches about 200 degrees. 

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