Six Hour No Knead Artisanal Bread
If you love Jim Lahey’s famous 18 hour no knead bread but would like it to be a bit faster, try this version that speeds up the process. We started making it when we forgot to start the 18 hour bread a day ahead and it came out so good we often make this way now.
Makes 1 loaf
- 1 1/2 cups water, slightly warm
- 1/4 tsp red wine vinegar
- extra flour, wheat bran, cornmeal or sesame seeds etc.
Step #2 Let The Dough Rise
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container and cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 14 hours- overnight. Your dough is ready when it has puffed up in volume, about 1 1/2- 2 x the original size. You will also see lots of bubbles.
TIP: If your dough isnt puffed and bubbly after the initial rise, place it in the microwave with the light on . The warmth from the light will give the yeast a boost. My friend Celia gave me this tip and it works like a charm, especially in chilly kitchens!
My Bread By Jim Lahey
About a month ago, over on Foodim, I saw a post of absolutely beautiful homemade bread by TheGourmetGays. The crust was spectacular, but what was even more impressive was that the bread had been made using Jim Laheys no-knead method. Now, I love kneading bread, but what this method creates is the best homemade bread I have ever made, bread that tastes as if it had come from an artisanal baker. The miracle recipe in question comes from Jim Laheys first book, My Bread, and its life-changing. I cannot stop making it, and in fact, am so happy with the loaves I produce, that the picture accompanying the recipe that Im sharing with you here, is of my latest one. Just one note on this method/recipe, before I go on to the book as a whole: dont panic about how wet the dough is however loose it looks and feels, and however little it seems to rise as it proves during its long ferment, once its in its pot in the oven, it will redeem itself. The first time I made this, I almost didnt bother to bake the bread, I felt so despondent about its behaviour up to that point. But I baked it, and was rewarded by a loaf I could be truly proud of.
From My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey, published by W.W Norton & Company, 2009
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White Wheat Or Rye Jim Laheys No Knead Bread
Everyones talking about no-knead bread. It must have been one of the most gifted holiday cookbooks, according to the abundance of blog posts about the brilliance of this bread. Let me just chime in. This is the tastiest, easiest, most dependable bread Ive ever made.Since we first met, Dennis has talked about his grandmothers bread. Grandma Barrows bread, cut THIS thick spread with peanut butter and jelly. These were the sandwiches of his youth, of his dreams, and that bread just vexed me.
Ive baked bread for years. Decades, in fact. My challah is really good. I learned to make raisin/cinnamon swirl bread in high school, for heavens sake. Focaccia, flatbreads, grilled naan, pizza all easy as can be. Try as I might, I couldnt manage to satisfy that memory of Grandma Barrows bread.
Stir up the four basic ingredients flour, water, yeast, salt and let rise very slowly over 12 to 18 hours. Gently fold, let rest, and gently place in a preheated cast iron covered dutch oven.
What emerges is a light, airy, hard-crusted rustic loaf. Absolutely fantastic. Ethereal. Crackling. And what Dennis remembers from his childhood.
We did many tests. Dennis jumped in and made bread with me We made the Basic White Bread three times, Whole Wheat Bread twice, and Rye Bread twice. And Im here to report.
The Magic Recipe
Step #3 Shape The Dough & Let It Rise Again
Flour a sheet of parchment paper. Remove the dough from its container and place it on top. Fold it in half and then fold it in half again. When you are finished folding, add more flour to the parchment paper . Shape the dough into a ball by gently tucking the sides underneath itself. Place it onto the paper seam side down, like so
Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let it rest again until puffy. It will start to spread out slightly as it rises- this is ok. The 2nd rise will not take as long as the first, but expect to wait about 30 minutes- 1 hour depending how warm your kitchen is.
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How To Make The Best No
I’ve started experimenting with 100% whole wheat bread that I mill myself. The basic no-knead recipe works great if you add a little more water. I’ve found 100% whole wheat flour needs a hydration percentage of at least 79%.
If you’re working from Jim Lahey’s recipe that’s:
- 14.1 ounces of flour or 400 grams
- 11.1 ounces of water or 316 grams
If you’re working from the Cook’s Illustrated recipe that’s:
- 15 ounces of flour or 425 grams
- 12 ounces of liquid or 340 grams
First Loaf: 50% All purpose flour, 25% Hard Red Spring Wheat, 25% White Spring Wheat
I know it’s not 100% Whole Wheat but I wanted an intermediate step to see what adjustments I might need to make. I wasn’t sure how well it would rise so I used a 10.5 inch diameter Dutch Oven so that less oven-spring would be needed. This loaf that was done in 45 minutes rather than the normal 60. Possibly because of using a wider Dutch Oven than the 9 inch one that I normally use.
There are large air holes. I didn’t do a quick no-touch no-knead at the 12 hour mark–just the shaping knead before the final 2 hour rise.
50% Hard Red Spring Wheat, 50% White Spring Wheat
I baked this my 9 inch diameter Dutch Oven to get a taller loaf. It’s 3 inches tall and 6 inches in diameter
This loaf has a very fine crumb structure. Like the first loaf, I didn’t do a quick no-touch no-knead at the 12 hour mark–just a quick shaping-knead before the final 2 hour rise.
100% Hard Red Spring Wheat
– Bronze Chief Hard Red Wheat
How To Make No Knead Bread:
Here are the basic steps for how to make overnight no knead bread :
Here are the basic steps for how to make no knead bread faster :
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More Favorite Bread Recipes:
- Total Time:18 hours 30 mins
- Yield:1 loaf 1x
Faster No Knead Bread Ingredients:3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour2 teaspoons fine sea salt1 teaspoon honey or granulated sugar1 packet active dry yeast 1 1/3 cups warm water
Faster No Knead Bread Instructions:1. Stir together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl until combined. Add in the warm water and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the dough is evenly mixed and no large flour streaks remain. 2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or beeswrap, and let the dough rest at room temperature for 1 hour. 3. Continue with steps 3-6 as directed above.
Dutch oven safety tips: If you own an enameled Dutch oven, I recommend giving it a very thorough scrub-down before making this recipe, as any grease that happens to be on the pot can stain when baked at high heat. Also, in order to avoid cracking the enamel in your Dutch oven, it is essential that it preheats along with the oven. So add the Dutch oven to your oven before turning the oven on and let them heat up together.
Big thanks to Jim Lahey who developed the famous no knead bread method that went viral years ago! These recipes are slight adaptions of his original recipe.
No Knead Bread By Jim Lahey
A few months ago, I was invited to a cooking demonstration by a famous American baker who was visiting Florence to present a new recipe book. His name is Jim Lahey and his innovative bakery technique has revolutionized the bread-baking world.
Since 1986 Jim Lahey has travelled to Italy many times to learn the art of baking. Upon returning to New York in 1994, he opened the Sullivan Street Bakery, one of the best bakeries in the city, according to New York Magazine.
Jim is a big rustic bread lover. In America, says Jim, we dont have a strong culture of fresh bread. Too many people do not know what flavor should it have, and too few have prepared it at home.
During his stay in Italy, Jim spent eight months in San Gimignano, working and living on a farm. “San Gimignano overlooks the Val D’Orcia, one of the most fertile places of Tuscany and an important wheat producer. There I really felt free, in the spirit and mind. It was the kind of place – remote, quiet and beautiful – that gave me the inspiration to develop my own ideas about baking and life.
Laheys technique requires only the basics: flour, water, dry yeast, a very little salt, an oven and a pot. The ingredients are mixed and, after almost 20 hours of rising, everything is baked in a closed pot. You must create an oven in the oven: a simple way to seal the steam generated and to wrap the bread in an intense heat. The result is a crisp outside and soft and fragrant inside bread.
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No Knead Bread Ingredients:
The ingredients four base ingredients for these no knead bread recipes are the same water, yeast, flour, salt but be sure to note in the recipe below that the amounts differ slightly for each. The faster version will also include a hint of sugar.
To make traditional no knead bread, you will need the following ingredients:
- Warm water: I recommend using a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature of the water, if you have one. It should be between 105-110°F which will feel quite warm but not hot to the touch.
- Active dry yeast: You will need less than a packet for the overnight version, and one full packet for the faster version. If you only have instant yeast on hand, see notes below for how to modify.
- All-purpose flour: I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh your flour, if possible, so that the amount is accurate. But if you do not have a scale, just be sure to spoon the flour into your measuring cups to make the measurements more accurate.
- Fine sea salt: To bring out all of those delicious flavors.
To make faster no knead bread, you will need the following ingredients:
- All of the ingredients listed above: Warm water, active dry yeast, AP flour, fine sea salt, plus
- Sugar or honey: We add extra sugar to this version to help the yeast do its work a bit more quickly.
Why It Works
- A longer fermentation time allows enzymes to break down the flour’s protein, resulting in a stretchy, fully leavened pizza dough with no physical kneading.
- Treat the dough gently so it holds its character and texture.
Through meticulous scientific investigation, I think I’ve finally discovered the true secret to getting bread as good as Lahey’s on a completely, 100% consistent basis. Step one: get Jim Lahey to make it.
Ok, ok. So I admit, it’s not a particularly practical method, and my sample pool here was one. That said, when Mark Bittman and Jim Lahey dropped the no-knead bread recipe on the world back in 2006, with a single short youtube video, they did more to improve home baking than perhaps any other single event in history. I know that I’ve personally never looked back. .
Lahey’s first book, My Bread, was all about the no-knead method. The way you do it? Just mix flour, salt, and yeast, add water, stir it all together, then let it sit in a covered bowl for eight or nine hours. Over the course of this long fermentation, enzymes break down large flour proteins into smaller segments that can then quite easily be cross-linked into stretchy sheets of gluten. You wind up with a dough that stretches as if it had been perfectly kneaded, without any of the oxidation that occurs with actual kneading.
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