Re-No Knead

After my childhood Neighbor and still friend, Martha read my No Knead bread post she messaged me her go-to no knead bread recipe, which I tried and thought was both easy and excellent. I subscribe to the Washington Post weekly Voraciously Baking Basics Newsletter and last week was their no knead bread.

There is no question this is the best no knead bread I have made. Full disclosure I used Martha’s short rise version which only requires a 4 hour rise. I should go back and try the over night 14 hour rise to be a fair comparison to WashPo’s, which did undergo a 14 hour rise.

Voraciously Baking Basics No Knead Bread

INGREDIENTS

Makes one 8-inch round loaf (8 to 10 slices)
Prep time: 20 mins, plus 14 hours rising time
Bake time: 55 to 60 mins

  • 3 cups (375 grams) flour, plus more for kneading the dough
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons uncooked grits (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds (optional) 
  • 1 1/3 cups (319 milliliters) warm water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast and salt, plus grits and flaxseeds (if using). Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the water and olive oil. Using a wooden spoon, stir until a shaggy, wet and sticky dough forms.
  2. Cover the bowl with greased plastic wrap — greased side facing inside the bowl — and leave at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 14 hours. The dough will rise and bubble and flatten across the top. 
  3. Toward the end of the rising time, place a 6-quart Dutch oven and lid on a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  4. Generously flour a clean work surface and, using a rubber bench scraper or lightly greased silicone spatula, scoop the dough out of the bowl onto the counter. The dough will still be very wet and sticky, but there’s no need to knead it — just flour the top and sides to keep the outside of the dough dry enough to shape it into a roundish ball by pulling the edges to the center of the dough. You can use the bench scraper to assist in the folding.
  5. Flour a 14- to 16-inch piece of parchment paper. Cupping your hands around opposite sides of the dough, gently but decisively transfer the dough to the paper, fold-side down. Dust with more flour wherever sticky dough becomes exposed and loosely cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. The dough will have risen slightly and should bounce back when gently poked.
  6. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and set the lid aside. (I like to keep pot holders on the lid and handle of the Dutch oven to remind myself it’s very hot.) 
  7. Lift the towel off the bread and, using a serrated knife, slash two vents into the surface of the dough to make a big “X.”
  8. Holding two sides of the parchment paper, lower the paper and dough into the hot Dutch oven. Re-cover the pot and place in the oven. 
  9. Bake for 35 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the bread is golden brown across the top and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and let cool in the Dutch oven for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool for 1 hour before slicing and serving. 
  10. The bread is best within 2 days of baking but will keep, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 4 days.

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