No knead bread does what it says on the tin, i.e. its a method of making bread where you don’t have to knead the dough.
Having been inspired to find the method for baking no knead bread from a friend on Instagram (thank you @Mailu72) who by the way is a brilliant and inspirational cook, there is now no turning back from cooking it on a very regular basis! The method is so simple and once the ingredients i.e. flour, yeast, salt and sugar were tested several times to make the best loaf it was full steam ahead. If the thought of making your own bread has sent you running off into the hills, worry no more, take those trainers off and put your slippers on. There is just one essential piece of cookware you will need and that is a sturdy casserole dish with a lid that can withstand a high oven temperature. I use an old cast iron AGA casserole dish and it works a treat. Once you have mastered the method of no knead bread you can really have fun playing around with making all different types of loaves using alternative bread flours, nuts, seeds and spices. Just keep the amounts of flour, salt, yeast and sugar the same as the recipe and then just add your chosen flavourings.
This bread is delicious with the addition of the walnuts, but if you want a plain loaf just leave them out, the choice is yours, but the walnuts and apricot jam made a great combination. The apricot jam recipe will be up on the blog soon in readiness for the fresh apricot season, its seriously delicious; another fantastic preserve to have in the store cupboard.
- 400g strong white bread flour
- 1 level tsp dried yeast
- 1 level tsp sugar
- 2 level tsp flaky salt
- 100g walnuts halves (break half of them up a bit)
- 300-350ml luke warm water
- Put all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir to combine by hand or use a fork.
- Pour in the water and mix again by hand or fork into a sticky/wettish dough.
- Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and pop into the airing cupboard or somewhere warm over night to prove.
- In the morning the dough will look bubbly.
- Line a clean mixing bowl with some baking parchment. Put a little olive oil or water onto your hands and scoop the dough from the bowl, put it onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a ball and put it into the baking parchment lined bowl. Cover again with a clean tea towel and allow to rise for 1-2 hours. Best left for 2 hours but sometimes I just can't wait to get it into the oven and have done after 1 hour without any damage!
- Preheat the oven to 220℃ / Gas mark 6
- Put the casserole dish with lid on into the oven for 30 minutes to heat up.
- Take the tea towel off the now risen dough, lift up the baking parchment and dough and drop it into the casserole dish (make sure no baking parchment is sticking out of the dish, trim with scissors if necessary)
- Put on the lid and bake for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for a further 15 minutes. The bread is cooked if it sounds like a drum when tapped with your knuckles on its base.
- Put the loaf onto a cooling rack for 30 minutes or so if you can wait that long before getting stuck in.
Your dough will be quite wet and sticky and thats what you want for this method of bread making.
This method uses a long prove instead of kneading to get the yeast and the gluten in the flour to get to work in the production of a wonderful loaf.
The dough should be allowed to rise for 1-2 hours after its had its 12-18 hours sitting in a warm place. As the dough requires a long prove its best to mix it up the night before needed and that takes very little time to prep, 5 minutes or so, wonderfully easy!
My much loved and used cast iron AGA casserole dish, this one has a 25cm diameter and is the perfect size for this amount of dough. When making a larger loaf which is quite often, I just double the ingredients and use a 29cm diameter casserole dish.
There have been times when the baking parchment cannot be found or has just run out. If this happens to you don’t worry, instead of putting the shaped dough into a baking parchment lined bowl just lightly oil a bowl before dropping in the shaped dough to do its final 1-2 hour rise. When ready to bake give the casserole dish a very light oil (put a little oil onto a bit of kitchen paper and rub it around the dish) just before heating up the dish.
Like most breads this loaf is best eaten on the day its baked, but it makes fantastic toast the following day. Try it toasted with a chunk of camembert and a dollop of the super tasty red onion and wild garlic marmalade. The red onion and wild garlic marmalade will be my next post and its well worth coming back later on this week to take a look at this delicious preserve, using my favourite foraged wild food for this time of the year; that is wonderful wild garlic.
Thanks for calling by today…
Have a great week…