no-knead bread recipe. I invite you to make the recipe as is, or to play around with it yourself. The trick is always to have enough white flour to compensate for the really heavy dense stuff you put in it. I've read that the maximum you'd ever want whole to white would be 1:1. Otherwise, the bread ends up way too dense (and stone like). I'm pretty happy with a 1:2 ratio.
While I often buy flour which is milled nearby in New England (like King Arthur), they actually get their grains from places like Kansas or North Dakota, which are not local by any stretch of the imagination. I am willing to make this sacrifice because I do love the wheaty carbohydrate foods like pasta, bread, and pizza. So instead, I'm committed to buying in bulk and making it myself whenever possible. The good news, for those of you equally addicted to bready food, is that this no-knead recipe is extremely easy. The only hard part is that it takes time (not effort, just time).
- 2 C unbleached white bread flour
- 1 C whole wheat bread flour
- 1/2 C rolled oats
- 1/2 C rolled wheat (if you can't find this at your store, just double the amount of rolled oats)
- 1 T sugar
- 1 1/4 t salt
- 1/4 t instant yeast (if you use active dry, double the amount and proof for 10 minutes with the sugar in luke-warm water)
- 1/2 C total of any combination of seeds (I used pepitas, sunflower, and flax; if you want to use larger nuts, like walnuts, mix them in before the second rising)
- 1 5/8 C filtered water
Start by roasting your seed combo in a shallow pan over medium high heat. Stir frequently to keep from browning. Take off the heat after about five or so minutes. (If you're using active dry yeast instead of instant, start proofing now.)
And wait a little more. In total, you should let it rise at room temperature for at least 14 hours or even longer if you have the time. I typically make the dough the night before I want my first loaf. The dough will have settled into the full shape of it's container (rather than the ball you left it in) and should be dotted with bubbles.
Whatever portion size you've chosen, plop it on a floured wooden surface. I give it a few good kneads, but all you really need to do is flop it over on itself a few times picking up some of the flour. (If you want to add nuts or dried fruit, do so at this time.) Cover with a smaller Pyrex bowl (should be big enough to allow the dough to double in size) for fifteen minutes. Generously dust the inside of the bowl with flour. Form the dough into a ball and place into the bowl. Cover and let rise for at least two hours.
About a half hour before the second rise is finished, preheat the oven to 475 F with a Dutch oven warming inside. To get a gorgeous crusty crust, you will need a covered cooking dish to hold the water in. I've found a Dutch oven works best. If you're cooking the entire thing you'll need at least a 6 quart Dutch oven. Scale down accordingly for other portions. Other methods include cooking on a pizza stone with a pan of water below it. Also, spraying the loaf with water 3-5 times during the first ten minutes of cooking.
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