A twist on Jim Lahey’s famous No-Knead Bread
my take on Lahey’s famous No-Knead bread
Friends, I’ve been bit by the running bug.
For the past five weeks, I’ve been training for the Seattle Rock ‘n Roll half-marathon in June. Four days out of the week, I lace up my sneakers and hit the rolling hills in my neighborhood. My route takes me along Elliot Bay, past adorable little Victorian houses, and two of my favorite haunts: Top Pot Doughnuts and Macrina Bakery. I run past little old men, shuffling along with their little grey dogs and laughing kids scootering along the seawall, brimming with life and joy.
I’ve been baking a lot of bread as fuel, too. (Yes, I know whole grain might be healthier, but I haven’t yet developed a taste for it.) Two days ago, I took a huge spill on the road, and suffered a few injuries. After I iced my knee and guzzled a few fortifying glasses of wine, I took out some flour and started to bake.
check out the crumb!
I am horribly late to the No-Knead bread party. Jim Lahey’s easy recipe, published in the New York Times in 2006, revolutionized home bread-baking. Soon, even home cooks who’d never turned out a loaf were eagerly mixing up batches of flour, salt, and yeast, and pulling bakery-quality loaves from their ovens the next day. This low-maintenance loaf was the ideal thing to make, even with my bandaged hands. The next day–the bread takes 18 hours to ferment–I sliced thick slices of this loaf and spread it thickly with roasted marrow, dampened with lemon, parsley and capers. I made pulled pork sandwiches, neatly shingled with alternating pieces of ruby tomato and basil. The leftover heel of bread was diced, tossed in herb-infused olive oil, and given new life as croutons.
Jim Lahey is a bread genius
While I stuck pretty closely to Lahey’s recipe, I did use a portion of Italian 00 flour along with the bread flour the original recipe calls for, fresh yeast (instead of dried), and a small amount of poolish. Other than those small changes, I stayed true to Lahey’s genius.
This is bread worth running (and falling) for.
A Twist on Lahey’s No-Knead Bread
makes one loaf1 1/3 cup Italian 00 flour 1 2/3 cup bread flour 1/3 cup poolish 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt 3/4 tsp fresh yeast (original recipe calls for 1/4 tsp instant yeast) 1 5/8 cups water
1. In a small bowl, whisk the fresh yeast in with the water until dissolved. In a large bowl combine flours, poolish, salt and water + yeast mixture. Dough will be sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Lahey recommends 12-18 hours of ferment time, preferably 18 hours.
2. The dough will be dotted with bubbles, and take on a slightly darker color after 12-18 hours. Scoop out the dough with a plastic spatula onto a floured work surface. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
3. Gently shape dough into a ball with your hands. Coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour and place the dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. (Use more than you think you might need–my dough stuck to the tea towel because I didn’t dust it heavily enough.) Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size. If you press the dough, it should hold its indentation. If it does not, allow the dough to continue rising for another 15 minutes.
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. (Lahey recommends a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot, though I used a smaller pot with a narrower bottom because I’ve read some reviews that said the larger pots caused the loaves to spread out too much and bake up flat.) Place the pot in the oven to heat up. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Deposit the dough into the pot. Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the pot and continue baking for 15-30 minutes until the crust is a deep chestnut color. Carefully remove the loaf with a spatula–it should come out easily. Tap the loaf on the bottom; it should sound hollow. Cool on a rack for at least an hour before slicing.
Posted: May 2nd, 2010 under Uncategorized.