Thursday, January 30, 2014

Artisan No Knead Bread

Jan 29 2014

I had baked a lot of bread in my bread machine over the years; most came out pretty good but was not like crusty artisan bread. The last couple of years I used Jim Lahey’s no knead recipe and baked it in my 5 quart Dutch oven and they all came out good.

A couple of weeks ago I made some that was a marriage of Lahey’s and Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day.
It did not come out real great. I checked out Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois’s book Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day. I watched some videos on it and like it better than the Lahey method since it didn’t take the long rise time of 18 hours. All you had to do was mix it up let rise for 2 hours then in the fridge for up to two weeks and would do four loaves. Baking day all you had to do was take a grapefruit size ball out, form it quickly then let rise for 40 minutes. Then bake at 450 deg. along with a pan filled with a cup of water for 30 to 35 minutes.

I ordered the New Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day from Amazon along with a Danish dough hook for mixing the bread by hand. I mixed a batch up yesterday and was happy with the Danish dough hook. It worked great and had it all mixed in several minutes. I let it set for two hours and it had doubled in size and looked the way it should. It went in the fridge overnight.

I baked my first loaf today. It didn’t go as well as the videos showed. I floured my hands and pulled some dough out; I had it all sticking to my hands before I could form it. It went back in the bowl; I washed my hands and then used olive oil on them.  I was able to get a ball formed and quickly placed it in my 9 inch Lodge steel skillet, I had dusted with corn meal.  It was to set for 40 minutes while you heated the oven to 450 deg.

I was glad I decided not to preheat the skillet; it was runny enough it flattened out but the skillet size stopped it or I would have flat bread! It did not rise any that I could tell but they said not to worry it would rise while baking. I cut slits in the bread in 3 places but they filled in and the center slice was the only one that came out ok. I checked it after 30 minutes and let it bake for 35 minutes.

I was happy with the outcome; it had a crispy crust and about doubled in size while baking. It didn’t go as well as I had hoped for. I will know more after I slice it for supper tonight.

Baking bread is a great thing to do when you can’t get outdoors to smoke or grill due to winter weather. It also helps to keep me from getting into trouble with the wife!

I sliced the bread for supper, some leftover Freezer pork and kraut. It had a great texture and nice crust and the Kerrygold Irish butter was good on it. Even though I didn’t think it went that well it was among the best bread I ever baked.

Go to the link in My favorite sites and you can watch a video of the whole process.

The book and Danish dough hook

Dough mixed up

Ready for the fridge after 2 hour rise

In the skillet and ready to bake

Done baking


Sliced, ready for some butter and eat.

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