first came across No-Knead Bread when I watched Paul Hollywood's new TV series, City Bakes on
the Food Network channel. I sat transfixed as the bread baker at
Sullivan Street Bakery in New York, East Manhattan, created loaves
without any kneading! Seriously no kneading! And it wasn't even a soda
bread! I rewound the recording and watched again, making notes this
time of what the baker did. The baker, Jim, is by all accounts famous
in the bread world for coming up with this simple way of making good
bread at home. He even helpfully shared the quantities of the white loaf
he made with Paul Hollywood!
Our version of that recipe includes some wholemeal flour, which not only makes it a little healthier but also introduces even more flavour to the loaf. Unlike the original no-knead bread recipe, which is baked in a Dutch oven, our loaf is baked in a round cake tin and covered over with a couple of sheets of tinfoil.
I must say here, that 'thing' takes at least 24 hours before it can be
shaped and baked! I know it sounds like an inordinate amount of time
but as the old saying goes, 'good things come to those who wait' and you will be rewarded with an amazing loaf of bread which is easy to make, perfect served with salad or a soup, made into a sandwich or simply toasted.
So here's how to make No Knead Bread!
No Knead Bread
- 300 g Strong White Bread Flour
- 100 g Strong Wholemeal Bread Flour plus extra for dusting
- 8 g Salt
- ⅓ teaspoon Easy Bake Yeast
- 300 ml Lukewarm Water
- Butter for greasing
- Mix the bread dough. Place the flours, salt and yeast in a good size bowl keeping the salt away from the yeast. Combine with your hand (or wooden spoon). Make a well in the flour. Pour in all of the water. With your hand mix the flour into the liquid aiming to make a dough. The dough will be fairly soft and sticky at this stage. Aim to ensure all of the flour has been incorporated.
- Prove. Cover the bowl, either with cling film or a large plate. Place the covered bowl somewhere cool (though not in a draft), to allow the dough to prove slowly. Consider proving the dough in the fridge. Allow to prove for about 24 hours or until doubled in size (though the time will depend upon the room’s temperature).
- Prepare to shape. Place a large baking tray or chopping / preparation board on the work surface. Lay the clean tea towel over it. Liberally dust the tea towel and top of the dough with flour. Without knocking back the dough, use a dough scraper or spatula to carefully scrape around the side of the bowl and tip the aerated dough onto the floured tea towel.
- Shape the dough. Carefully lift the left hand side of the dough and gently lay it so that the raw edge is running down the centre of the dough. Repeat with the right hand side of the dough, again laying it so that the raw edge is running down the centre of the dough and butting up to the left side. Imagine the oblong length of dough in thirds, gently lift the furthest edge and position it so that the centre third is covered. Carefully lift the edge nearest to you and lay it over the top. The dough will now be a fairly neat square.
- Prove again. Use the edges of the tea towel to gently but thoroughly cover the shaped dough. Set aside and allow to rest for a further 2 hours.
- Pre-heat the oven. Preheat the oven to 220℃ (200℃ Fan)/425°F/gas mark 8.
- Transfer to the cake tin. Completely grease the inside of the cake tin. Add a tablespoon of flour to the cake tin and rotate the tin around so that the greased sides and base are now fully coated in flour. Tip out any excess. Unwrap the rested dough and gently lift the dough into the cake tin. Alternatively, invert the cake tin over the dough ensuring that all of the dough is sat within the body of the tin. Lift the tray / board that the tea towel and bread dough is sat upon and in a swift motion flip it over so that the dough sits within the tin. If necessary gently shake the tin if it is slightly crinkled to one side. Cover the tin with a double strip of tin foil. (see notes below)
- Bake. Place the bread in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the tin foil from the tin. Rotate the tin and return the bread to the oven. Bake for a further 15 minutes. Carefully tip the bread out of the cake tin and tap the base of the bread. It should sound hollow. If not, place the bread directly onto the oven shelf and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until it sounds hollow.
- Cool. Place on a cooling rack.
- 10. Enjoy.