Tag Archives: no-knead

Dr. Joe’s Everyday Bread

20 May

bread everyday

This started out as a very popular recipe from the New York Times for no-knead bread. It uses only four ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast (unless you modify it with other grains). My husband, Joe (the Dr. is for his PhD in English), adapted the New York Times recipe and now makes this bread regularly. It is indeed our “everyday bread” recipe.

You can vary the basic recipe by replacing a cup of the flour with whole wheat flour or raw oats or replacing half a cup of flour with oat bran, wheat bran or fine bulghur.

It’s easy to make a very tasty bread without a lot of effort, but you do need to plan ahead, because the dough needs to rise for 8 to12 hours. We mix the dough in the evening, cover it loosely and let it rise overnight, then shape and bake it in the morning.

You can use all the dough to make two to six loaves, depending on size. You can make traditional oblong loaves in loaf pans or round “boules” (three to six depending on size) on a flat baking sheet. The recipe below assumes you will be using all the dough at once.

But here’s another method, for making just one loaf at a time. After you’ve mixed up the dough, take out enough for one loaf (whatever size you like) and put the rest into a lidded container in the fridge. (The dough will keep rising for a few hours so make sure the container has plenty of headroom.) Follow the recipe below for your first loaf.

When you’re ready to make another loaf from the reserved dough, take out a lump of cold dough and shape it into an oblong loaf or ball. Put the oblong into a loaf pan or the ball on a piece of parchment paper on your counter. Cover the loaf with a slightly damp tea towel (or, for a ball, with a large inverted bowl). Let the dough warm up and rise for two or three hours before baking.

The dough will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Here’s a good method for making a single round “boule.” Take a lump of dough and form it into a sphere that will fit into a Dutch oven or similar heavy metal lidded pot. Let the dough rise on parchment paper on the counter for about an hour for just-mixed dough or for two to three hours for dough from the fridge.

When you turn the oven on to preheat, place the empty pot with its lid into the oven. Just before baking, slash the dough three or four times with a sharp knife and spray or brush it with water. Pick up the parchment paper and carefully place the dough ball inside the Dutch oven. Cover the pot and put it in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. (Be sure to use good oven mitts because the pot will be very hot!)

A couple of helpful tips: Joe loves his “Swedish dough hook” for mixing up the dough. You can find them online. (Amazon calls it a “Danish dough hook,”and the King Arthur flour folks call it a “dough whisk.”) And a shower cap is great for covering the bowl containing your rising dough because it will expand if the dough rises byond the top of the bowl.

Ingredients:

7 cups flour, preferably bread flour
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. granulated or instant yeast
3 cups water (room temperature)
1 additional cup flour

Directions:

Mix the 7 cups of flour, the salt and the yeast in a large, rigid bowl. Add the water and stir with the dough hook or a large wooden spoon, being careful to incorporate all of the flour mixture; don’t worry if the dough is a little lumpy.

Cover the bowl and leave it at room temperature overnight, or at least six hours (up to 18 hours).

After the dough has risen (usually the next morning), tip the dough onto a large board or a counter covered with flour; use a rigid spatula to scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl.

Knead for about a minute, working in enough additional flour so the dough becomes elastic and is no longer sticky.

Use a large knife to cut the dough into the number of loaves you want. Line your loaf pans or flat baking sheets with parchment paper.

Shape the dough into oblong loaves or round boules. Use a sharp knife to cut a few slash marks into the top of each.

Let the dough rest for an hour, covered loosely with a clean tea towel or a large bowl.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Bake large loaves for 25 to 30 minutes; small loaves will take a little less time. The bread should be golden-brown on top and should sound hollow when you tap it on the bottom.

Cool on a wire rack.