Friday, March 5, 2010
No Knead Bread
This will be a bread post today...
I recently tried the 5-Minutes-A-Day bread, and was not impressed. This is not to say that when I made that bread, it was not quickly devoured by hordes of hungry neighbors and children, but I found the whole process cumbersome and the end result not worth the trouble.
That is not the case with this bread! As I sit here with my laptop next to my cutting board, I am listening to the gorgeous loaf of No-Knead Bread I just pulled out of the oven "sing. " This means that the bread is crackling as it cools, kind of like Rice Krispies.
I got the book by Jim Lahey, called "My Bread," from the library, and now I am on another bread kick. (On reading the book, I don't think Jim Lahey plays well with others, but can he bake!)
Here are my observations of these two different ways to make bread:
1. The crust on the No Knead Bread (NKB for short) is not terribly thick, but it is quite crispy. It's that way because you cook it in a covered pot for half an hour, then remove the cover for another 15-30 minutes. The steam produces amazing crust. The crust on the 5-Minutes-A-Day bread (5MAD) is rocklike if you wait for it to cool before you eat it.
2. The dough of the NKB is not as hydrated, which makes it way easier to handle. I felt like I was trying to make a loaf of bread out of an oozing lake of goo with the 5-MAD bread.
3. The NKB keeps better, longer, than the 5MAD bread.
4. I just plain old like the process of the NKB better. I know this is purely subjective, but if I am making the bread, I want to enjoy the process, not be stressed out by it.
I have also tried Peter Reinhart's "Artisan Bread Every Day," which is a great book, but I still like this one better. (His process was even more cumbersome than the 5-MAD process! Good bread, but lots of trouble.)
So, I will be buying this book and using it often.
In the meantime, it looks like bread for dinner in the Winter household!
Don't you wish you were here?