I’ve had a cookbook for no-knead bread that I’ve been wanting to try out for a while, and I finally got the chance over the weekend. I decided to try the basic white bread from the book Kneadlessly Simple by Nancy Baggett. I must say the recipe resulted in a great flavoured bread.
I love the idea of a no-knead bread. I do enjoy the process of kneading, but sometimes I just want to skip that step if I’m running low on time. Also, the long rises really enhances the flavour, and that, in itself, is reason enough to give it a go.
The process involves placing your mixed ingredients (including ice water for your liquid) in the fridge for as little as three hours or as long as ten, and then placing the dough at room temperature for a long first rise (we’re talking 12 to 15 hours). The long, slow rise, apparently, micro-kneads your bread due to the fermentation that’s happening. Then, the second rise is like a normal rise (or can be quickened by placing your bread in the microwave, or any enclosed space, with a cup of really hot water).
I feared, after the first rise, that I had not added enough extra flour and it was true: the dough was a little too moist, resulting in a somewhat dense loaf. I will be more careful next time to make sure the dough isn’t too wet. All in all, more or less a success, and the meal we had featuring the bread was outstanding: some smelly cheeses and Italian deli meat along with olives and pickles and veggies hit exactly the right note.