Thursday, April 1, 2010

No More No Knead

No knead bread was soooo 2006.  What... you still like planning 18-20 hours in advance to bake and enjoy your bread?  You like dealing with incredibly super-sticky dough?  All that and sometimes you still end up with failure.  Welcome to the future: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  I started making this bread a few weeks ago after listening to Farmcast, a podcast from Nature's Harmony Farm.

The process is incredibly simple.  Mix together some flour, water, salt and yeast and let it sit on the counter to rise for about 2 hours.  In this regard it is similar to the no knead method (no kneading required).  After that cover it, refrigerate it, and use it within 2 weeks.  2 weeks!  How awesome is that?  

Here's where the "5 minutes" part comes in: whenever you want some bread (say when you get home from work) take the dough from the fridge, cut off a grapefruit sized chunk, quickly form it and plop it on a pizza peel sprinkled with corn meal.  It takes about 5 minutes (get it?).  What do you do with the rest of the dough?  Put it back in the fridge of course.  You'll get about 4 loaves of bread from the master recipe.

Let the dough rest for 40 minutes on the pizza peel and preheat your oven to 450 with a stone on the top rack and a broiler pan underneath.  After 40 minutes, slash the dough with a serrated knife, slide it onto the stone, and pour about a cup or so of water into the broiler pan.  Careful, you're going to get lots of steam so don't burn yourself.  30 minutes in the oven and you get this... 

I won't reprint the recipe here, but the master recipe that I've described above can be found in the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking or you can find it reprinted with permission on the web.  I suggest looking at these websites, The Global Gourmet, or Mother Earth News.  I don't see the need to ever make no knead bread again.

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