For the past couple months I’ve been baking crusty, country-style breads to rave reviews from friends and family. Then I did a baking class for friends who are now teaching their friends. A grass-roots viral recipe chain! No one can believe how simple it is – just measure, stir, rise overnight, then bake. No kneading!
I became hooked when a colleague, Penni Wisner aka The Kitchen Coach, brought her amazing bread to dinner meetings. She fashioned the recipe from the famed Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC, whose no-knead formula created a stir in 2006 when Mark Bittman wrote about it in the NY Times. Key to success is a glazed ceramic pan or covered casserole that can withstand 500°F, or use an iron skillet. With Penni’s tips I’ve not had a failure yet, and as far as I know, none of my students has either. And most had never baked bread before. I’ve refined the recipe further with suggestions from my ‘students’ like: turning and flouring the dough in the bowl so there’s no flour mess! Send me pictures of your bread. I promise, it’s simple!
No-Knead Country Wheat Bread
Prep time: 5 minutes
Rise time: 18-24 hours plus 30 minutes just before baking
Bake time: 45 minutes
Makes 1 loaf
A gram weight kitchen scale measures quickly and accurately, if you have one.
|420 g||3 cups||White bread flour (such as King Arthur brand or bulk)|
|90 g||3/4 cup||Whole wheat flour|
|30 g||1/4 cup||Oat bran, optional|
|8 g||1-1/2 tsp||Table salt|
|1/4 tsp||Rapid rise yeast (I use a generous 1/4 tsp.)|
|70 g||1 cup||Chopped walnuts, optional|
|14 fl oz||1-3/4 cup||Water (cold tap water)|
1. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add walnuts and/or soaked grains if making multi-grain recipe. (See link for multi-grain recipe.)
2. Stir in water with a wooden spoon. Switch to a plastic scraper if you have one, and continue mixing and turning just until dough is evenly moistened and pulls away from sides of the bowl. It’s not necessary to stir vigorously, just enough so the flour is mixed in.
3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap (a plastic shower cap works great!) and let stand 30 minutes. Turn dough with the scraper or spoon, giving it about 4 folds. (If you skip this step it won’t harm the bread.)
4. Cover bowl with plastic and let stand at room temperature 18-24 hours. The dough will rise and be very bubbly.
5. Gently stir dough down with scraper or spatula and fold over in 90 degree turns several times. Dust top of dough lightly with flour. Cover the bowl and let rest 15 minutes.
6. Dust a towel with oats, cornmeal, wheat bran or a little flour. Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto the towel and shape roughly into a ball. Wrap in the towel and leave at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.
7. While dough is resting, place ungreased pan with lid if it has one, in the oven. Turn oven on and preheat to 500°F. NOTE: The pan must be a glazed ceramic that can withstand 500°F or an iron skillet. Allow at least 30 minutes for pan and oven to super-heat. It is necessary to preheat the pan so the bread will instantly create steam when it goes in, and the bread won’t stick to the pan.
8. Unwrap dough, shake excess grain off the towel. Place the dough in the towel within reach of the oven. Open oven and pull rack forward. Lift lid (if using) and quickly slide dough into pan. Cover with lid or loosely cover container with foil. (This step can also be done by removing pan from the oven.)
9. Reduce oven to 450°F. Cover pan with lid or foil. Bake covered 25 minutes. Dough will rise and start to brown.
10. Remove lid or foil and continue to bake until very dark brown, another 20-25 minutes. Immediately remove bread from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Recipe adaption and photo by Rosemary Mark