Monday, December 21, 2009

"No-Knead Bread": an exercise in patience

Here's my first attempt at baking THE no-knead bread. Crazy baker that I am, I am still wondering why it took me so long to give this recipe a try. I have to admit I've felt intimidated by bread. How ironic that bread is so commonplace, eaten in many different shapes, sizes, and variations in countries all over the world... but as common as it is, bread is also... special. They don't call it "artisan" bread for nothing.

Well, here's my first bread baking experience:

Thursday, 11:00 pm: mixed dough, let sit on counter for a LONG time (first rise)
Friday, 5:00 pm: started second rise. Practiced some yoga too - needed to do some pranayama and chant OM to keep from checking the time every 10 minutes)
Friday, 7:00 pm: baked bread for a half hour
Friday, 7:30 pm: took bread out of oven, let the loaf cool while waiting in anticipation of fresh, home-baked bread... couldn't wait to slice into that crispy, golden crust and see the light, airy interior (or at least that's what I hoped)

Friday, 7:45 pm: sliced into the bread. Wonder of wonders. Ate bread like there was no tomorrow, dipping it into a mixture of this extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil. No more time for photos.

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Jen said...

I tried this once with not-so-exciting results, so your experience is inspiring me to try again. I loved that you practiced yoga to keep from looking at the rising bread :)

Mia said...

Hi Jen! What happened to your bread?
Try it again when you get the chance! I tried it another time and let it rise for 20 hours (yeah I know, a longer exercise in patience!) instead of 12 hours, and it resulted in a larger loaf. I also sprinkled some oats on top to make the loaf pretty. Next time I'll experiment with mixing whole wheat flour and regular bread flour.
Just curious, what kind of pot did you use for baking it? I used a regular cast iron dutch oven - not the fancy and expensive Le Creuset ones, but the Lodge camping-style dutch oven.

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