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November 10, 2006

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» No need to knead from Music and Cats
Ive never been a bread baker. I love good bread, but I havent had enough patience or enough interest to learn to bake my own. Then two weeks ago, I read Lindys post about the no-knead bread recipe written up in the New York Times.... [Read More]

» No-knead bread redux from Eat
Congratulations, fellow food bloggers. Because of us, Mark Bittman has written a follow-up article about Jim Laheys no-knead bread. In the last few weeks Jim Lahey’s recipe has been translated into German, baked in Togo, discussed on more than 20 [Read More]

Comments

Luisa

You beat me to it. It's on for this weekend, though... Can't wait to see how it turns out!

june

I'm so glad people are making long time dough instead of short time dough. This sounds absolutely as if it will work and I can't wait to see the finished product. The taste of the flour will come through, and the bread won't make you feel all bloated because the yeast has had time to do its digesting thing. So farewell ten minutes hard kneading and hurrah say all of us.

Tanna

That is so cool - a real time test.
I'll be following along. Hoping for cheers in 20 hours +!!

sixty-five

Mine is at just about this same stage. So far so good!

Tanna

woo...I got to this party late!! It's done.
That looks fantastically beautiful!
I just went and read the article and printed it out. I have to try this one.
Now, you saw it here first: what's the cast iron company - they've got to start making an bread pan for this recipe. Until then I'm with you on the oval shape!!!
Shucks it will be a while before this can be coming out of my oven. But this looks really impressive.

Baking Soda

I'm late too, but guess what..I can still make the dough and let it ferment tonight, it's only 10 pm, just the right time to start a bread! I love the holes in this one and the crust is amazing, I think it is basically the same bread I make in my Römertopf, but less fuss.

lindy

I'm just really over the moon about this bread recipe, and glad to see many people trying it. If you make it, please let me know how you like it.
BTW, I used King Arthur's unbleached all purpose flour, rather than a "bread" flour, because it is my personal preference for this kind of bread.
I am crazy for recipes which are reasonable for a home cook to make often, not gimmicky, and don't take special equipment or odd ingredients. This bread is better than most bakery bread available here, and nobody could call it fussy. I'll stop babbling now.

Luisa

look at that bread! I love it. Thanks so much for the update. I'm so excited to try this out! I might do a mix of bread and AP flour. Will keep you posted...

sixty-five

All done! Come see....

Tanna

Well, I just started mine about 45 minutes ago - so I have a ways to go. Lindy, this is really fun.

Heath

I'm totally trying it this weekend - yours looks FABULOUS!!

Kimberly

Oh, Lindy, how wonderful! It looks gorgeous. I'm glad that it's the bread you've been hoping to find.

When I walked into my workday coffee place/bookstore this morning, my friendly barista asked if I had seen this recipe. (He knows that we're just finishing up the kitchen remodel, and that I'm hot to do some baking.) As we were discussing the idea of buying a present (perhaps a nice large dutch oven?) for one's newly remodeled kitchen, or perhaps giving oneself a present for having survived said remodel, another regular came in. She had started her first loaf of this recipe before work this morning.

lindy

Ha! Kimberly, what a hoot! One Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery-sudden reknown all over the US....of a perhaps odd sort, but still. I wonder if he knows. I guess the giant article in the Times would be a clue...

Ivonne

Alright. You've convinced me. I will give it a try!

Tanna

This thing is around the globe as of last night Baking Soda wrote me this: Around the globe in one evening, I just got mail from a dutch baking forum and the poster announces "bread baking for dummies" in which she refers to this exact same article. I imagine there are a few fellow dutch bakers who will try this and show their results on the forum.

Baking Soda

Well, I can tell you right now it's a hot topic and there are quite a few starters bubbling in Holland. I hope I can get "loan" pictures to show on my blog.
Happy to tell you that my bread is out of the oven and cooling on a rack as we speak!
Lindy, this reminds me of the Royal Crown Tortano, less work but same kind of supple soft dough...

lindy

Can't wait to see it. Amazing stuff. I'll keep checking for all your photos.

Ari (Baking and Books)

This does sound like an awesome bread - do they print the recipes in NY Times? I need to subscribe!

peabody

Looks like a great bread!

Melissa

So funny, I read this article and thought very cool idea. And just like you, I thought I'd blog about it.....but I ended up making a Ciabatta yesterday!
Your crust is beautiful and crusty looking and the crumb structure is perfect!
Bravo!

aja

What a gorgeous loaf, and I love the pot you used - what a great idea. Are you going to try this using other flour variations? If yes, I would be really interested in knowing the results.

And in the vein of being effusive, I check to see if you've written something new every day 8^)

Tanna

Yes, I'm thinking there must be a whole grain alternative in my future!

Cascabel

I made this bread too. You can see some photos at http://peho.typepad.com/chili_und_ciabatta/2006/11/brot_fr_knetfau.html

sixty-five

Thanks for the link! I have another batch in the works now, starting with a firmer dough.

sixty-five

Just visited the NYT "Cooking and Recipes" forum. It is not surprisingly crackling with posters who are making this. Nearly all are finding their first attempts way too wet, noting the disconnect between the recipe and the video, and finding "stick to the towel" problems (as I found, even with my firmer second batch). The use of wheat bran (as in the video) was suggested by one as the easy solution to this.

lindy

Hmm. I found this very wet, but not too sticky to handle. I didn't watch the video, though, and i used plenty of flour on my towels and hands.

I have worked with some other very wet bread doughs before, and find that the use of lots of flour in handling the risen dough, plus a really light hand on the dough, kind of stretching the outside of the dough over the inside, makes it possible to shape them, keeping all the bubbles inside from popping.

And then you get this great hole-y texture. But I'm making it sound too complicated.I really do think you can just sort of throw and plop it around, as per the written recipe.

I'm thinking that some experienced bakers might be worrying too much, because it is so different than what they are used to? And so much of baking bread of the usual kind, is the feel and look of the thing.

farmgirl

How I do love coincidences. Yesterday a (non food) blogger friend sent me a link to the NY Times bread article with the note: "You've seen this, right?" Well, um, no. Apparently I'm the only foodie on the planet who doesn't know about the NYT online food section. I opened the link but didn't have a chance to read the article. Then later I think of you and realize it's time for a visit to Toast. So this morning I open up your blog and voila! there's your post about this bread.

Now of course I've drooled over your gorgeous loaf, gone back and read the article, and printed out the recipe. All I need to find the right size covered casserole and I can try this. Does it really need to be 6 to 8 quarts? That's big! I am also wondering what it would be like simply baked on a stone. (Or if I should just finally break down and buy a Le Creuset because now I have a really, really good use for it.) Oh, another coincidence. This morning before visiting Toast I was telling Joe all about an idea I had for when I finally get around to posting my Oatmeal Toasting Bread recipe--I'd invite people to try it, then include links to everybody's posts. . . : )

farmgirl

Oh yeah. And inbetween all that, you left comments on FF (reminding me about my needing to stop by Toast). Love your post. And that bread!!! Yes, I think you may be baking a loaf every week for the rest of your life. : )

lindy

Farmgirl-I think you really do need a 7 qt. casserole, because the thing is, it makes a mini oven, so it's got to be a) covered and b) big enough to clear the top of the rising bread. I don't think it would work on the stone-besides the oven effect-for steam- it is such a loose dough. I think it also needs to be contained to prevent mad flopping about, and weird shapes.
Anyway, really, life does send a person signals when it's time to buy some le creuset. Actually, mine was made in glazed ceramic, which worked fine.

lee-I haven't been in Madison since I graduated in the 70s. Your photos bring back some pretty amazing times.

lee

I don't really need another project but I really can't ignore all this enthusiasm about bread baking!

littlebouffe

Hi Lindy.

Thanks for link. I put up a pic on my post, though not of the inside (we're too busy eating it). Your pics are great. I'll have to keep my eyes out for an ovoid pot now, since I think I'd prefer an oblong shape (higher crust to inside ratio). I'm grateful for your post and your round-up, otherwise who knows when I'd have gotten around to posting again...

I'll have to check out the pizza dough recipe you mentioned. Pizza dough is a project I've intended to tackle for over a year now.

the chococlate lady

Oh man! Maybe it is because my apartment is warmer than 70 degrees, or maybe because I used regular yeast, but for me, this was a DISASTER! After 18 hours the dough was completely liquid and sour. Not nice sourdough sour, but really nasty.

I had better results a few months ago with salt-risin' bread, but never got around to blogging it--maybe I should compare the approaches for the two 24-hour breads and give this one another try.

oooooh, but I just HATE when this happens.

the chococlate lady

Hi again,

As of midnight, I am gambliong another three cups of flour. Ah the suspense!

aja

Hey Lindy,
Thanks for the link.
I'll be keeping an eye our for variations of the theme.

Leland

Your bread looks like mine! And our loaves are definitely sexier than the one in the video.

It's so funny how many bloggers have seized on this recipe. I guess we've all been looking for an easy way to make great bread at home. I can't wait for Mom to get back from her trip so she can try it.

Julie

I wonder if NYT will be doing a follow-up piece on the excitement this recipe has generated. They ought to.

june

I made it! It's great! Will now make it with all sorts of other flours, walnuts, raisins etc. Post on Bread, Water, Salt, Oil... with acknowledgement. Thank you!

Luisa

Yes, yes, me too! I made it! :)

Liana

Nice-looking bread! My mom made the Bittman bread itself right away, and after hearing her take on it I made bread using a somewhat similar technique: wet dough, long rise, very little yeast. Not baked in a pot, though. The main problem, for me, with the Bittman recipe is that you can realistically only make one loaf at a time. Who does that? If I'm going to the trouble to make bread I want at least enough to last me a few days. Two loaves minimum. Hence the no-pot method I used (which worked really well). I'm in the process of improving and documenting my recipe, but the first attempt is discussed at http://pieandbeer.blogspot.com/2006/11/bread-kick.html

lindy

How was the crust? It seemed to me that the excellent thin, crackly crust(best I've ever produced at home, usually mine are too thick) was the result of the covered pot /steam effect. You can fit 2 breads in pots in the oven at once, no?

Baking Soda

Lindy, isn't this response great to watch? I love to read all the comments, and see the results. So many different bakers, so many different loaves. On behalf of Bakkerswereld; thanks for the link!
People there are trying to create a whole-wheat version too. (I will not mention the one member who had trouble with the sticky wet dough and in ultimate despair literally threw the towel in....the oven with the bread.... )We thought she was joking but she really did. Forgot to ask what it tasted like!

anapestic

So if, hypothetically, I were going to use this recipe as a justification for buying myself a Le Creuset oval French Dutch oven, would the 6-3/4 quart size be the right size?

Liana

Lindy, the crust in my no-pot version was maybe the best I've ever made, definitely "bakery quality," as they say. I brushed the tops with water, per Julia Child, and threw two ice cubes in the oven right at the beginning to create steam. The flat puddles of wet dough rose high, and the crust was crackly and crisp and slightly chewy: just how I like it. I think as long as you get moisture on the surface at the beginning of the baking time you don't need the pot at all. I'm not even sure I could fit two large Dutch ovens in my oven at once, and if I could I'd have to keep rotating them around.

Andrea

I've read Bittman's article and the recipe about a dozen times now, and I'm scrambling around my kitchen and attic trying to find a pot that will work for this. My grandmother's lovely seasoned cast iron dutch oven is only a 5 quart model, so I may be making another kitchen purchase in the next few days... I can't pass up a chance to try this lovely bread!

lindy

anapestic-Definitely. You may get a hernia; those guys are very, very heavy. But you need one.(the le creuset,that is, not a hernia).
Liana-Mmm. I've done those things with the cubes and the water in the past, and the bread was good. But personally, I find this crust rather different- thinner and cracklier than my others. Maybe sometime you'll give the pre-heated covered pot method a try?
Andrea-I don't know. my round pot is 5qts, and I'm wondering if it might not be big enough, really. (I do like the oval shape.)

Heather

Hi Lindy, thanks linking me! It's a cool idea to collect all of the bread posts. What a great thing this bread is. Yours looks so lovely. It's amazing how consistent the loaves are among bakers.

june

Just in case you don't see my reply to your comment on BWSO... My pan is oval too - the contents of the round banneton just slid into it and ovaled themselves out!

chanit

What a great Bread !

Lien

Hi Lindy,I'm from the Netherlands and have joined you all in baking this bread. you asked to pass that on to you so here I am. It's on my blog, especially for this occasion in dutch ánd english. http://notitievanlien.blogspot.com/
Bye Lien

the chococlate lady

I made it! If not for y'all I would not have tried it again. Thanks-- *sob* love you guys.
My post is
here
http://inmolaraan.blogspot.com/2006/11/time-dilation-and-bakers-craft.html
Jolly good show!

Melissa

Hi Lindy, I completely forgot to come back here and check for your update, and wow, I'm blown away! That is a mighty fine looking loaf. It's been interesting to read everyone's experiences with this bread, as I've been on my own bread-making adventures lately after diligently cultivating my very own wild-yeast starter. The results have been great, but following Nancy Silverton and Peter Reinhart's instructions to the letter each time has left me pretty much chained to my fridge, mixer and oven for entire weekends at a time. Now I have to wonder - could great bread really be this simple?

lindy

Melissa-I know. I have enjoyed following the more complex directions, and over the years thought I had a pretty good handle on what it would take to make a bread I really liked, at home, regularly...and that I wasn't up for the total weekend experience on a regular basis.

This is really that good, and I do believe that I can have homemade bread I like- most of the time. I have made- and eaten, a second loaf, and it was just as good.

Chris

Thanks for rounding up all these posts about Bittman's bread. I tried it -- but was doomed from the start since I didn't realize instant yeast was different from what I usually used. My loaf didn't rise right, but the crust was still perfect. I will try it again. Thanks for the encouragement here!

paulius

Can someone email me or post the recipe? THANKS!

june

Just a note on yeast - I used, as usual, fresh yeast, but maybe half as much as normal. I have just made a second loaf and had to leave it for twenty four hours for its first rise; it was fine. With a long rise the dough is very accomodating.

Andrea

Has anyone tried this in a clay baker such as Romertopf?

Susan

I just made my third loaf. The first two loaves were very slightly underdone (partly oven thermostat problems), so I thought I'd work around that by forming a ciabatta. The dough got its second rise on a parchment-covered tray, and I slid the parchment onto a pre-heated cookie sheet. For steam I poured water into a pre-heated baking pan on the oven floor, and added water halfway through baking. The loaf rose much higher than I expected, though not evenly, and had the most fluffy interior of all. The crust was decent but didn't stay crisp as the loaf cooled. Maybe slashing the crust (there was no seam on top) would have made for a more even oven rise over the larger surface area. It tastes good and the interior is fresh but not damp. It will make good sandwiches tomorrow--if there's any left. I gave half the loaf to a neighbor who was already interested in trying the recipe.

Actually, the interior of yesterday's loaf, which was damp when fresh, seems perfect today. Someone wrote about how important it is to let the loaf cool thoroughly to redistribute the moisture before slicing. Such discipline is awfully hard when the loaf is singing to you.

What I really want is a longer loaf for slicing. Mark Bittman brings this up on an eGullet thread devoted to the recipe/method but has no suggestions. Maybe a small salmon poacher?...like I have room to store another pot of limited utility!

This really is fun. With a semi-functional oven I rarely bake, but this recipe changes things. Bittman's article has really struck a chord to inspire such an international orgy of experimentation.

Sarah Miller

I love this bread! Here is my version: http://foodandpaper.blogspot.com/2006/11/no-need-to-knead.html

Loulou

Great bread! I'm mixing in sauteed onions next time.
http://chezlouloufrance.blogspot.com/2006/11/no-knead-bread.html

aja

Hey Lindy,
I thought I would let you know that I tried a variation of The Bread - buckwheat, spelt, barley, millet, wholewheat in addition to the regular whatever-you-have-in-the-house flour. It turned out really amazing - great texture & taste & a crust to die for. http://jaffamudpies.blogspot.com/2006/11/bread.html

Andrea

I did even without the right equipment, and it still worked. The first loaf was gone within a few hours and I've made three loaves so far. It's delicious and so easy!

http://www.andreasrecipes.com/2006/11/21/no-knead-bread/

barbara

Hi Lindy - I made the bread and obviously did somethign wrong, but I'll keep trying.
http://winosandfoodies.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/11/post_2.html

Sandy

Hi Lindy,

Onto loaf #8! Here are my series of posts:

http://blog.taodekitchen.com/index.php?s=no-knead+bread&submit=open

Ginger Pedersen

I am on my fifth loaf - here is a website I did that documents the whole process from my experiments - http://www.aresrocket.com/bread

Kimberly

Two loaves so far, and definitely more to come. I tried to trackback to your post, but it seems not to have worked. Here's my post:
http://musicandcats.com/2006/11/no-need-to-knead/

Thanks for collecting the links. It's fun to see the variation in results with the same recipe.

Heath

Tried it - with regular yeast, natch - and everything was fine. Better than fine: delicious. No post about it, because I"m far too lazy to post, but I LOVE the bread!

Arden

Hi Lindy,I'm from the Netherlands (like Lien and Baking Soda) and I have also made this bread. It is delicous :-). You can see the results on my blog (sorry, only in Dutch):

http://uitdekeukenvanarden.blogspot.com/2006/11/nyt-no-knead-bread.html

anna maria

I finally made this amazing bread myself, and will make it again many more times, with variations. I used active dry yeast instead of instant yeast and let it rise for 21 hours. I've posted about it here
http://web.mac.com/stone0579/iWeb/piaandco/Blog/647B3203-3548-44C8-8A60-677163919976.html

Amber

Here's my contribution! Love it!
http://www.myaimistrue.com/archives/2006/12/no_knead_bread.html

Ray Cordero

I made the bread last week. I have never made bread before. I stick to dinner entrees, meats, fish, pasta. The article was intrigueing. So I tried it...sorta.

I put in a small amount of sourdough starter...less than a quarter cup.
After 20 or so hours...it was dotted with bubbles... I took it out and flipped it and folded... it immediately started spreading..slowly, but spreading.. so I thought it would rise anyway...it really didn't go up far at all. At baking time I plopped it in an Allclad pot..no numbers, but it looks like around 7 quarts. I popped it out after 30mins and was surprised it looked as good as it did...still it didn't rise more more than 2.5 inches.

After the final uncovered 20 minutes.. I had a golden brown beauty.
Unfortunately, it was heavy and a little thick.

Toasting the sliced bread for butter or sandwiches was just fine though, as that lightened it up. It was not a sourdough flavor though. I guess not enough starter. Anyway, it wound up looking like those Melba Toast breads in size.
I'm starting my second batch. I'll try not to handle it as much and I'm trying a drier recipe. I used a quarter tsp of organic yeast and a half cup of sourdough starter ( Sourdough International online purchase). I will accept advice, as I don't know what "normal" dough looks like. This time I will photograph the results and post them on an album on my Webshots.com page.

lindy

Whoa Ray, that's twice as much yeast as the original recipe calls for, and sourdough to boot? I think it might be an idea to try the original recipe first, before adjusting it.

I've made it using the original recipe 5 times now, and it's worked beautifully every time. I saved a little dough from the fifth one to add to my next loaf, to see about a little sourness. This is a very forgiving recipe...but it is a matter of chemistry when you bake breads or cakes.

Creativity is great, but if you don't try it more or less as written the first time, you have nothing to compare your experiments to. If you haven't done much baking before, you might want to think about developing a "feel" for how it goes.And it does work great very wet, honest.

ray

OK.. I will stick to the recipe after this and announce my results. Meanwhile, I still have this fermentation going, so I might as well follow through. If it doesn't work, I will post what characteristics result from deviating. I'll consider it a better living through chemistry experiment gone bad.

anna maria

So Lindy, how did it work when you added a little starter from a previous dough? Did you achieve some sourness? I'm trying to figure out how to get that, as well as a thicker, crisper crust.

lindy

anna maria-it's still burbling away, haven't baked it yet. I'll let you know if it works.

Peter Wilborn

Please help!

I've tried 5 loaves and all were gluey on the inside. Crust was perfect, appearance was perfect, but too moist inside.

I am not an experienced baker. Does the mosit interior mean underdone?

I'm baffled because I jhave reduced the water in the recipe to 1 1/2 cups and increased the oven temp and the length of cooking, but it is still a bit wet inside.

What is the problem?

lindy

Peter-Don't mean to set myself up as any kind of expert, because I'm not. However,you've hit on a special area of mania for me.
My guess is you need to 1) bake it longer, and/or 2) not cut it before it is completely cooled-if you were jumping the gun.

It is actually a pet peeve of mine that most bread commercially available- at least around here(Pittsburgh)- is very underdone, and hence mushy and tasteless. This includes the fancier "european style" bakeries for the most part. (not Mediterra, though-and good for them!) The reason: Customers think a dark brown crust is burnt, and won't buy it.
It is actually very difficult to overcook bread..unless you totally forget it's in the oven. I've been doing mine longer than the recipe says, and am very happy with the texture inside. Try doing it by sight, and checking for dark,dark brown. It will still be a bit chewy- which is good- but not wet, and the flavor will be much more interesting, wheaty and developed.
End of rant. Please let me know if this works for you.

shilla

Hi Lindy, is the cast iron pot in the photo a Le Creuset? Or is it something else? Thanks,

lindy

Shilla-hi-It is not cast iron, it is a french-made ceramic-Emile Henry Artisan series, which withstands higher temps than most clays. They say it is their "special Burgundian clay"...whatever it is, it works!

shilla

Hi agin, Lindy. I see, ceramic pots cna also do the job(I was wondering how I can locate a cast iron pot here in Korea.)

Could you do me a favor, please? Can you direct me a url link to the manufacturer, please? The pot just looks beautiful.

shilla

Hi Lindy. I will google for the URL link myself. Thanks.

shilla

I have never baked a bread myself before and am looking for a pot and oven to give this a try. Some bloggers are reporting the no knead bread does not stay crisp and fresh long enough. What if some butter and milk are added to enhance the keeping qualities(like most other bakery breads?) Would it be OK given the long rising and high oven temps? Your thoughts would be appreciated.

lindy

Shilla-In a word, no. Bad idea. Bread baking is a chemistry experiment. "Follow the formula the first time you bake anything" is the best baking advice I ever got. You will never know what it is supposed to be like if you don't.You can't alter something intelligently unless you know what it is.
Bread made with milk and butter are very different, and generally have a softer crust and more cake like crumb. This bread tastes like a real European-style crisp crust, large-holed, chewy bread. If you want a different sort of bread, I'd try a different recipe. This one is so utterly easy, but it is not impossible to learn how to make other kinds, if you prefer them.
This happens to be my favorite kind of bread.

shilla

Lindy, I think I can understand now. Thanks a lot.

Dave in Corvallis Oregon

Happy New Year bread makers!

I have a great shortcut to share with you. I've made at least six loaves and was wondering what would happen if I eliminated the second step (where you turn the dough out and let it rise a second time), so I just made a loaf where I dumped the dough right into the hot iron pot after the first rise (use a silicone scraper to loosen it from the bowl and to push it out).

It turned out great! Maybe the air bubbles were a bit smaller, but I can't be sure if that was because of the shortcut or because I was also trying out a smaller iron pot (a two quart cast iron saucepan). And the raw dough did not stick to the pot!

The crust was smooth and glossy as if it had been brushed with egg white, and maybe a bit thinner--but still nice and crunchy.

So there you have it, if you're in a bigger rush or have been procrastinating due to the extra step of turning it out to rise a second time, it's now way easier than before to make this great bread recipe.

Don't forget to experiment by adding seeds and other stuff.

Dave in Corvallis Oregon

I forgot to mention in my last post that you should consider making croutons with any bread left after two days or so (for those living alone and watching their carb intake).

I sliced it into 3/4 to 1 inch cubes, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with garlic salt (or other seasonings), and then toasted under the broiler.

They were awesome in Progresso Hearty Tomato Soup with shredded cheese.

wandering chopsticks

Hi,

I tried this with 1 cup wheat, 2 cups white. And it was sooo good.

http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.com/2007/01/no-knead-bread.html

Paul Smith

when I leave the sticky dough for 12 - 18 hours it gets a crust on top. Is this okay or is it avoidable? I cover the bowl tightly with saran wrap to no avail.

Dave in Corvallis Oregon

Maybe your wrap isn't tight enough. You should be getting condensation on the plastic wrap if the bowl is covered tightly. I use one of those plastic motel shower caps (a new one) as a bowl cover--it has stretchy elastic, makes a good seal, and is easy to put on and take off.

You could also try using a big plastic storage bowl
with a snap-on lid.

Or maybe the dough is getting too warm while rising?

janebmd

I've made this about 3 times; the crust has been great, but I'm not satisfied with the crumb - it's too moist. I keep reducing the amount of water (I know I started with too much), but nothing seems to work. Anyone else have this problem? What did you do?

(not sure if it makes a difference, but I started with a 6 qt. Le Creuset casserole, then switched to a smaller Calphalon pot for the next few loaves, after I read that the knobs on Le Creuset weren't guaranteed for temperatures over 400. I also liked the smaller pot because the loaf was rounder. However, none of the loaves had a really dry crumb.)

Dave in Corvallis Oregon

I like it just the way it is, the moisture helps it to stay soft inside longer and allows you to re-warm it without it being too dry.

But if you want a dryer loaf don't mess with the mixing, adjust the baking. The crisp crust is the result of the lid being left on and the steam cooking the crust thereby trapping the moisture. So, if you want less moisture in the bread try taking the lid off after about fifteen or twenty minutes to allow more steam to escape. Or try lowering the temp. and baking a bit longer after you remove the lid, the idea being to bake off more of the moisture. (But I'm no expert,
I'm just making a common sence guess.)

Let us know how it turns out.

By the way, did you get my tip about eliminating the intermediate steps? I've been baking about two loaves per week and just mix the dough one day, and dump it directly into the hot dutch oven the next day (anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after mixing).

Fritz in Hamilton, Mt.

I have made 18 loaves and all have been great. I have made it with nothing but whole wheat, two cups whole wheat, and one cup whole wheat. It all tasted good,but with three and two cups whole wheat the bread does not rise as well. For some reason my bread is not particularly "holey"it may be that it's cold in Montana and our house is often not 70 degrees. I am cooking the bread in an really old dutch oven that belonged to my great aunt. It almost got chucked out when we went to Le Creuset.It has gotten a whole new life'

Glenn

Many people have mentioned baking the bread in smaller pots than the 6-8 quart one specified in the recipe. I've also seen people say that the 6-8 quart pot yields a pretty flat bread. How small has anyone gone? I've got a great 3.5 quart cast iron pot I'm tempted to use, but I fear that's going to small.

Cricket

Glenn: We've made a couple dozen loaves of the minimalist bread so far, all but one fantastically successful. Every time, we've used an old oval dutch oven (cast iron coated with enamel) that has a domed lid. We measured the volume of it the other day and were surprised to find that it's only 3 quarts! Our loaves are beautiful: high, crunchy, with a perfect crumb. So try out your 3.5 quart pot; all you have to lose is a few cents worth of flour, salt, and yeast....but what you have to gain is fabulous bread for which you don't have to buy a new pot. PS: we vary our recipe a bit; 1.5 cups of water rather than 1-5/8; 2 tsps. of salt; 50% more yeast.

Kitt

Late to the party, and still hunting for the perfect (and cheap) pot (ideally 3 quarts or so), but the big one does OK.

I did step-by-step instructions here:

http://kittbo.blogspot.com/2006/12/no-knead-bread-step-by-step.html

Cheers!

carefreebaker

Big disappointment. I've been baking bread for years. I make a similar wet dough for my ciabatta and after reading all the positive comments, decided to give this method a go. I was leery but followed the recipe and instructions as provided. I floured my linen tea towel very liberally. It came time to put the dough into my preheated pot and I just knew it was going to stick to the towel. Good thing I aborted the attempt otherwise I could see a serious burn coming my way. I transferred the dough to a floured bowl and then coaxed it into the preheated pot. The worst part of this baking experience: I put my enamel coated cast iron pot into a cold oven to gradually heat up to the 450 degrees.....25 minutes into the heating process I heard a crack....the enamel on the pot lid has cracked. This recipe, for me, was not worth it. I'm better off using my old fashion bread baking recipes or driving to the other side of town to the Italian bakery. And I think even if the recipe did work..... working with a pot that hot, is dangerous.

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