Monday, November 7, 2011

No Knead Bread-The Basic Recipe and Olive Oil for Dipping

My No Knead Bread
If you've been following along with Just One Donna the past few weeks, you know that I have been on one of my kicks.  Yes, friends, another kick and this one is bread related.   First I made a loaf of Easy Crusty Bread.  Then I made this Honey-Oat Loaf that has become a favorite in my house.  If you are looking for a terrific sandwich bread, this recipe is a keeper. 

Today I wanted to try the No Knead Bread that became all the rage several years ago.  Even though it has been touted far and wide for a few years I have never made the bread.  I decided it was about time for me to get on board with "all the rage".  I'm slow like that.  It takes me a while to embrace trendy, new ideas.

In case there are still some out there who are unaware of no knead bread, Mark Bittman and Jim Leahy introduced the world to this no knead technique in 2006.  Check the video below for their demonstration of the no knead method.  You'll see just how easy making this bread really is.

It looks easy enough, right?  Last night I mixed together three cups of bread flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast with 1 1/2 cups of water.  I used a wooden spoon to stir the mixture into a dough.
The Dough Mixes Simply
It really is easy.  All it takes is a couple of turns of the wooden spoon to pull the mixture into a dough.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside on the counter.  Time for bed...

Fourteen hours later the dough was risen and bubbly.

The Dough is Full of Air Bubbles
At that point it was ready to turn out onto a lightly floured counter.  You'll find this dough to be very loose due to the amount of water used in the recipe.  That is how it is supposed to be.  Just fold one end of the dough over the other a couple of times, place plastic wrap over it and let it sit on the counter for fifteen minutes.
Let the Dough Rest
After fifteen minutes, flour your hands and shape the dough into a round and place it seam side down onto a well floured cotton, non-terry, dish towel.  Dust the top with more flour and cover with another cotton towel.  Let the dough rise for two more hours.

The Final Rise
About 30 minutes before you are ready to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and set a heavy covered pot into it to get blazing hot.  I used an enameled cast iron Dutch oven, but the recipe says you can use a Pyrex baking dish with a cover as well.

A Dutch Oven is the Perfect Baking Vessel
When ready to bake the bread, Carefully remove that blazing, hot pot from the oven and plop the dough into it, by rolling it off the cotton towel.  Shake the pot a bit to distribute the dough, but don't fret over it.  This is a rustic loaf that will form to the shape of the pot as it cooks.  Cover the pot and return it to the oven to bale for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, remove the cover and cook for 15-20 minutes more, until well browned.   Remove the bread from the pan to cool on a rack.

My First Loaf of No Knead Bread

This bread has a crunchy crust and a lovely rustic texture that is soft and full of yummy holes.  It makes wonder nooks and crannies, perfect for dipping into your favorite olive oil sprinkled with your favorite bread dipping seasonings. 

Yummy Texture

It just so happened that I had a special bottle of olive oil I had just purchased at Narragansett Bay Olive Oil Company, in Wickford, Rhode Island. 
The Narragansett Bay Olive Oil Company Shop
This shop is similar to O'Live A Little, an olive oil and balsamic vinegar specialty store I told you about last summer.  While on a smaller scale, the Narragansett Bay Olive Oil Company also offers a variety of olive oils, many of them flavored, and balsamic vinegars.  I purchased a mild flavored olive oil from California and an assortment of balsamic vinegars.

Assorted Olive Oils
I broke out the olive oil to serve with this no knead bread.  I made two dipping oils.  One used the specialty olive oil mixed with a Parmesan cheese and herb seasoning.   The other used my standard bulk olive oil mixed with red pepper flakes.

Make a Yummy Dipping Oil
My family preferred the standard olive oil with red pepper flakes, so I decided to try a second taste test with two dishes of plain olive oil.  While Hubby was able to identify a stronger fresh olive flavor from the specialty oil it wasn't enough for him to indicate a preference for it.  I agreed.  As such, I'd have to try a different specialty olive oil next time because there wasn't a significant enough flavor difference to make it worth the significant price differential.  That's what is great about a specialty store like Narragansett Bay Olive Oil Company.  You are encouraged to sample the oils and vinegars before you buy them.  It makes for a fun shopping experience.

So friends, it's time to jump on the No Knead Bread bandwagon if you haven't already.  Break out a favorite extra virgin olive oil and make a delicious dipping sauce for your rustic bread.  You'll be glad you did.


This post is not sponsored.  While I did meet the proprietor of the Narragansett Bay Olive Oil Company while shopping there, all products were paid for by me, myself and I.

1 comment:

  1. That looks so good! Thank you for joining Planet Weidknecht's Weekend Hop. I am following you and hope to see you again soon.


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