No Knead Bread

No Knead Bread Baked

For a while now I’ve been reading with interest the buzz around the food blogs concerning a no knead bread recipe that was published in the New York Times. The recipe is adapted by Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery and I decided that it sounded good and had to be tried. The results were excellent!

My next endeavor is going to be figuring out a whole wheat version, as well as a dark pumpernickel version, but for now I share with you the basic white no knead bread! It’s super easy. What’s not to like?

What You’ll Need:
3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water

Mix the ingredients together in a large dish and cover with a towel or saran wrap and sit in a warm place for 12-20 hours. (I’ve done two loaves and have let one sit 18 hours and one about 19.5.) I usually just put the dish in my oven with the oven light on. The light makes enough heat to make a nice rising place.

After it has risen it should look something like this:

No Knead Bread After 18 Hours

This is a sticky dough so don’t let that make you think something is wrong. It isn’t. It should be sticky.

Using a little bit of flour or corn meal turn the dough out onto a flat surface and fold over once. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.

At this point I deviated a bit from the recipe after the first go around. The recipe calls for taking a cotton towel (not terry cloth) and placing it in a bowl. Then you are supposed to cover the towel in flour and place the folded dough into the towel lined bowl. I did this the first time and the dough stuck to the towel . It wasn’t pretty! It was a mess! So the next time I made it I lined my bowl with aluminum foil and sprayed it with a little non-stick spray. That worked MUCH better!

Let dough rise in the line bowl for about 3 hours. After 3 hours it should look something like this:

No Knead Bread Second Rise

After the dough has risen for 3 hours you need to preheat your oven to 450 F WITH the bowl/pot you plan to bake the bread in in the oven. I used a Pyrex dish with a lid. I’ve seen it done in cast iron skillets or pots. It’s up to you. I only heated the dish and not the lid.

Once the oven and dish/pot is preheated then remove the dish and dump the bread dough into the hot dish/pot carefully. Shake it around a couple of time with a pot holder to settle the dough. It may look lumpy, but don’t worry it will all work out in baking. Put the lid on the dish/pot and bake for 30 minutes. Do NOT grease the pan. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but trust me it works!

At the end of 30 minutes take the lid off of your dish/pot and let the bread continue to cook for 15-20 more minutes or until browned.

You’ll end up with a crusty, hearty white bead that is to die for!

No Knead Bread: The Inside

At first when I saw this recipe, though everyone kept going on and on about how simple and good it was I hesitated due to the fact you have to let it sit so long the first rise. The best thing to do is mix it up in the afternoon and let it rise over night and then begin in the morning. It’s really quite easy and it’s really quite good! Try it…You’ll love it!

Bread Machine Brown Bread

Brown Bread

I love brown bread! The darker the better in fact! I was recently very surprised to learn that the flour is not what makes the bread brown, but in fact the addition of unsweetened cocoa (no you didn’t read that wrong…COCOA!) and/or coffee are what do the trick! I even asked a local baker what they used and their reply was, “You won’t believe me, but cocoa!” So I knew the recipes I was finding must not be off, though at first I was convinced that there were a lot of typos out there! 😉

My pumpernickel flour has not arrived yet, but I decided to try a dark rye bread instead. This recipe is an adaptation from page 94 of the book “The Cook’s Encyclopedia Of Bread Machine Baking” by Jennie Shapter entitled “Russian Black Bread”. I switched some things around and did not add the coffee, because well I was afraid it would taste like coffee and who wants that? (Not me!) The Cocoa however surprisingly does not make the break taste like chocolate.

The bread is very hearty and soft. It’s perfect! And I’m really beginning to believe the old adage if you make you own bread you won’t want the stuff that comes from the store. It just tastes better!

Brown Bread

What You’ll Need:
Almost 1 2/3 cups of water
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons of honey
1 1/4 cups of rye flour
3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
3 tablespoons of wheat bran
3/4 cup of bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast

Place in your bread maker’s pan and set to the whole wheat cycle. (I used the 2 pound whole wheat rapid cycle). Sit back, let it do it’s thing and in a few hours you’ll have a scrumptious loaf of brown bread!

Cheese Muffins

Cheese Muffins

I love bread. Who doesn’t? I also love cheese! Why not mix the two? These muffins are good with a nice bowl of soup, or as a snack by themselves. Try them and see!

For The Cheese Muffins:
1/2 cup of butter, melted
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 cups of buttermilk
2 1/2 cups of shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby, etc.), divided

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Mix melted butter, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and milk until a very sticky dough forms. Stir in 2 cups of shredded cheese and stir until incorporated. Spoon into a muffin pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and put a little cheese on the top of each muffin. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes about 20 muffins.

Note: You can add in garlic salt with parsley or garlic powder and they taste very similar to the garlic cheese biscuits they serve at Red Lobster.