Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My first no knead Bread

The first time I saw a "no knead bread" was on the site of Arden. I read about how to make it and thought 'I think I'm not ready for this yet'. I would need a Dutch oven pot; too expensive. Or a Romertopf: also too expensive for us. These are great pots and pans, but not to find in our kitchen (yet).
But, the idea of making that beautiful bread was put on my list of breads to make. We like to find our way with local and cheap materials. Maybe the flower pot, we bought for the steam set, could do? I just tried it, and …. It worked. This is just like steaming; the moisture in the dough itself provides the steam. It’s like an oven within an oven.
I enjoyed the process of making this bread. Especially the feeling you get when, after 19 hours, the dough slides out of the bowl on to the with flour dusted work top. It feels so silky. Folding it was a lot easier than I thought it would be, with enough flour. But to keep it in form was the hardest thing. I did put the cloth it in a plastic bag and put an rubber band around it to form it. It worked.
Moving the dough to the hot flower pot was fun. I didn’t dare throw it in like Sullivan did on the video. I folded it and dropt it in the pot. On the bottom I did put a piece of aluminum to seal the pot.
On the oven tray I left some baking paper, but I didn’t think it would mind. It did. After some minutes Peter smelled something burning. Ohhhh, I thought that the bread was burning. But, it was just the baking paper and the bread looked good. After 30 minutes we removed the clay flower stone, moved the oven tray to the middle of the oven and let it bake for another 20 minutes. It looked really good, but not as brown as in the video, so I put the bread in the electric oven for a few minutes of browning.
When it was completely cooled we could finally look at a beautiful piece of bread.

This is what I did:
• 234 gram flour
• 1/8 teaspoon dry yeast
• 177 gram water
• 0.6 teaspoon salt
I put everything in a big bowl, stirred it with my hands (you can use a wooden spoon). Covered it up with plastic and did put it on a medium warm place. This is a difficult thing when you live in Thailand. I just left it in the kitchen en stopped worrying about the temperature.
The dough rested for 19 hours. Then I let the silky dough slide on the work top, covered with flour. I folded it a few times, it felt so good. I placed the ball in a cloth covered with flour. To keep in the shape I wanted it to be, in stead of a thick pizza, I place the cloth with the dough in a plastic bag and closed it with a rubber band. I let it proof for 1 hour (because of the temperature in our house in stead of the suggested 2 hours).
During this hour I pre-heated the oven and the flower pot and the flower stone (lid) at appox. 250ºC.
I placed the dough in the flower pot and we covered it with the stone (lid). It baked for 30 minutes with lid and 20 minutes without. For the color I placed it under the grill for a few minutes.
This first on would certainly not be my last “no knead bread”.

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