Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Musings On No-Knead Bread
I know that many of you out there in the internet world have tried baking the now-legendary New York Times No-Knead Bread. If you're like me, you lugged out a cast-iron pot and went to town, probably with glorious results. Jim Lahey's technique works. However, during a recent perusal of the archives over at Farmgirl Fare, I learned that this bread need not be placed in a pot at all. This opens up tremendous new possibilities, such as making oversize batches of dough and baking three or four loaves at a time. I tried it at home, yielding the above results.
This bread had a less defined shape and looser crumb than my efforts inside the pan. Also, for some reason, much more flour stuck to the crust of the bread this time, resulting in a drier, thicker crust than most of my previous attempts. That, however, is probably a mixing snafu and not a baking issue. To solve these problems, I will try baking the no-knead bread outside of the pot again, but try to get plumper, more even loaves during chafing and perhaps experiment with different water percentages. Sometimes the no-knead bread has an open yet bizarrely wet and heavy crumb.