Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Let There Be Bread!

After posting last nite's entry about the new No-Knead Bread craze and my attempt at it, I had several requests for a follow up with the results. No problem there - that part was guaranteed.

The bread had much longer to rise than the recipe suggested, but let me also note that it's a bit chillier here today than the usual bread-rising temps. AND I used some whole wheat in the flour mixture - I figure that might slow things down a bit... So after work I met up with Sharon and the gym and we were there for almost two hours, and then I picked up Papa John's pizza on the way home- it was more like 21 hours instead of the 12-18 suggested by the recipe.

As many noted in their blog comments on this bread - it really IS a wet dough. I tried not to add too much more flour in the brief folding stage - just enough to help give it some substance. You can see from the pictures here, it was still a VERY flat dough (again, others had this same problem). Also, others commented on how the larger dutch oven size recommended in the recipe let the bread remain very flat during the cooking stage. I didn't have a smaller dutch oven, and so I also noticed this problem.

Here we have the risen bread dough after it's folding (not quite kneading) - you can see the flax seeds scattered throughout. Looks like bugs invaded it!

Some recommended using a Sil-Pat for this stage, rather than a flour dusted cloth, pointing out it'd be less likely to stick. I'm glad I did - even with the light flouring of the dough underneath, some of the dough stuck to the Sil-Pat (and NOTHING sticks to Sil-Pat!!)

The following picture shows the dough after I flipped it into the scalding hot dutch oven and slit the top (the slits weren't called for in the recipe, but after my earlier bread baking problems of NOT slitting bread dough, I figured I'd better give it some stress points for growth - just to be safe!)

And here's the bread after 30 minutes at 450F with the lid on. It had a really disturbing color... Now it gets 15-30 minutes with the lid off to brown up.

End result - looks and sounds great! Just 15 minutes later and the dough had hit 205F - good enough to take out and let cool (I'm sure it continued to rise in internal temperature just a little). Note it's still real flat, but otherwise looks great! I figure we'll have it tomorrow with dinner (and maybe I'll sneak some earlier in the day, even though Sharon and I are heading to sushi for lunch!) I even got a little video clip of it to try and capture the crackling sounds. They DID record, but they're faint, and I'm not sure they'd survive the conversion to YouTube's lower quality.


Peter said...

Interesting how it turned out. I'm curious to see/know how you can vary it up with other types of flour or other additions (seeds, raisins, flavourings). Hmmmm.

Jeph said...

I picked up some raw sunflower seeds today, and mean to get some poppy seeds soon. How about pepitas (chopped up small?). Oats? I've heard of using barley in bread, but I need to find out the process for that - raw and hard (do they absorb moisture from the raw dough?), or do I cook them first?

Peter said...

I think you'd have to use the barley soaked or softened. Maybe cracked? Cracked wheat? Hmmmm....