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No-Knead Balloon Bread Loaf #10

Dec 19, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose

The 18 Hour Fermented Dough

The Shaped Dough 6 to 6-1/2 by 2 Inches High

The 2 Hour Proofed Dough 8 to 8-1/2 by 2 Inches High

Dough Placed into the Hot Dutch Oven

The Bread Baked 20 Minutes with the Lid on

The Bread Placed on a Baking Sheet to Bake for 10 More Minutes

The 4 Inch High Loaf Cooling and Still Crisp

The Sliced Loaf

One Slice Held up to The Light

Well that's what it looked like--an inflated balloon! I love the 80% hydration and may even increase it for the next go round. But this is pretty close to my idea of perfection for this bread.

I haven't yet tried it in the Lodge 5 quart enamel cast iron as they are temporarily out of stock and I'm sure it's due to this bread technique! But the reason I wanted to try it is because some people have reported problems with sticking in cast iron. This would not be the case if they used the Lodge pre-seasoned Dutch oven or if they already have a well-seasoned one. Lodge's website has great directions for seasoning cast iron if/when it needs it. I've never had the bread stick in my reseasoned cast iron Dutch oven and the pot keeps getting blacker and more beautiful through use.

My Final (to Date) Recipe Weights and Volume
Harvest King flour or half unbleached all-purpose half bread flour:
468 grams (about 3 cups)
room temperature water: 382 grams, 1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons/13 fluid ounces)
instant yeast: 0.8 grams/1/4 teaspoon
salt: 10 grams/1-2/3 teaspoons

NEW TIPS

Although free-form bread (baked on a stone) has the largest holes, 80% hydration is holey enough for me and I like the full 4 inch over-all height the Dutch oven side support gives it.

When bread is this moist and sticky, for shaping you need to scrape it onto a well- floured surface, and lightly flour the top before patting it down gently. Then use a bench scraper to help lift it for shaping. Latex gloves work wonderfully to keep it from sticking to your fingers if you're not comfortable with handling super sticky doughs.

Set the shaped dough on a coarse-weave towel sprinkled amply with bran. No need to sprinkle the top as it should have enough flour from the counter.

Bread with 80% hydration will spread to about 8 1/2 inches and only rise to 2 inches when fully proofed and ready to bake. At 80˚F/26˚C. this takes 2 hours.

Latex gloves are ideal for transferring it to the hot Dutch oven. I use one end of the towel to flip the dough onto my hand and then slide my other hand under it and lift it over the pot. I set it as close to the bottom of the pot as I can without risking burning my hands and then drop it in the rest of the way.

I got the most marvelously thin and crisp crust by baking at 450˚F./230˚C for 20 minutes lid on, 10 minutes lid off, transferred to a baking sheet and 10 minutes more. Then 5 minutes oven propped ajar a few inches, then 5 minutes oven off and door open.

Now back to my new cake book manuscript!

Comments

Hi Rose, thanks for info. My starter is sitting one my counter top for the next few days and will let you know the outcome of my finish product later. Nancy

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Nancy, it works, but the results are very different. when I bake the Basic Sourdough bread from the bread bible, using a heated dutch oven, the bread turns more similar to a chewy sourdough bread. the crust is fantastic.

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Hi Rose,

I would like to try your No knead bread recipe. Can I use just sourdough starter without the instant yeast required in your recipe? Or I have to use both instant yeast & sourdough recipe? Please help. Thank you so much. Looking forward to hearing soon.

Nancy (Hong KOng)

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Be careful with the pans you are going to use

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Ina Bechhoefer
Ina Bechhoefer in reply to comment from Kitt
10/11/2010 07:17 PM

Kitt:

Thanks for the suggestions. Also, your Parmesan no-knead bread photo has my mouth watering. I can't wait to try it.

Ina

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Hi Ina,

You can use one batch of dough to make two separate loaves in the terrine, freezing one. I've done that. Your cooking time may be reduced.

You might consider trying the "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" version of no-knead bread for your terrine. The dough is prepared in a large batch that keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks, and you can use just the amount you need when it's time to bake.

I have the same terrine and use it regularly with that bread. (Here's a picture.) I wrap the lid in tinfoil to cover the little hole. That also gives it a nice seal.

Good luck!

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Ina Bechhoefer
Ina Bechhoefer
10/11/2010 09:07 AM

I am being gifted with a cast iron LeCreuset Pate Terrine pan. It is approximately 4" x 12" x 3" and holds about 1.5 quarts. I am hoping to make no-knead breads in this lidded pan. i am relatively new to bread baking and no-knead breads. Since there are only 2 of us, the resulting breads are too big to consume before getting stale: hence the terrine pan idea.

I would like advice on adapting Rose's no-knead recipe to this size pan, especially quantity and cooking termperature and time adaptations. Also, there is a tiny hole in the top of the lid, and should I assume this should be plugged to keep all steam inside.

Thanks for listening

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jacqueline thompson
jacqueline thompson in reply to comment from Rose
08/ 7/2010 11:53 AM

Am I stupid or can someone tell me where to find the actual instructions to make the balloon loaf?! Also is a Le Creuset casserole cast iron pot the same as a dutch oven? Thanks

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adding old dough is such clever way to add flavor. thx for reporting.

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Oh, and I do the shaping of the dough on my floured tea towel, too. One fewer thing to clean up...

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Hi Rose-

I'm now using this recipe for all of my day-to-day bread consumption. I made two tiny adjustments, though.
I use flour instead of bran to coat the tea towel - I like the look and flavor of the crust more (click on this link for a pic of the loaf made this way: http://i48.tinypic.com/wkpvko.jpg )

I also grab a big fistful of the dough after it's fermented/risen, and pop it in the fridge in a plastic container. The "old dough" then gets tossed back into the next batch, greatly increasing the complexity of flavor without sacrificing the speed and simplicity of the recipe.

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a banneton would be much harder to wash! some people use parchment.

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Hi Rose- I'm getting bored of washing all those teatowels for this recipe but love the 80% hydration). Any chance a banneton would work for the rise?

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Responding to Joan from July 24 2007: In the summer I bake no-knead bread quite successfully in my covered gas grill. I preheat the grill at its highest setting with all four sections on, and the cast iron dutch oven inside it. When everything is ready, I transfer the bread dough into the dutch oven as quickly as possible off the grill (so the grill lid can remain closed). I then set it in the middle of the grill and I TURN OFF the two center sections, leaving the two outer sections on high, again working as quickly as possible so the grill lid isn't open very long. The baking times are about the same as I use in my regular oven, maybe a little longer. It's great to have fresh-baked bread even when it's too hot to contemplate turning on the oven inside the house!

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margie, i should think it would be fine--just as long as it rises enough it can rise more slowly.

lois, ii missed your question back in yikes november! i store it sliced in the freezer.

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Margieluvzchz
Margieluvzchz
08/12/2009 02:55 PM

Hi Rose! I love your balloon bread recipe. Can I mix it leave it in the fridge to proof for 24-48 hours? I saw another recipe that allows you to do this then it sits out 2-3 hours rises in the proof bowl & you shape & bake the loaf. I was just curious- thanks so much we love your books & site!
Thanks!
Margie

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Love the blog. Rose, you have been my mentor (by way of your books) for decades.

Q: How do folks store the "no knead" bread?

Thank you.

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ross, slashing the bread is a great idea though surely not easy as it is SOOO wet!

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Important additional note: I remove the Romertopf cover after 15-20 minutes of baking at maximum temperature, and lower to 400F until the desired internal temp is reached.

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I'm a mere dilettante at baking (and new to this forum!), but have had good luck making no-knead bread variations in a Romertopf clay pot, unsoaked and preheated in the oven to maximum temperature. Most recently, I've based my ingredients on the Cook's Illustrated recipe and used their idea of parchment paper for lowering the dough into the preheated pot. Thanks to Ross' suggestion, I'll try brown paper instead of parchment.

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Ross, EXCELLENT tip, the brown paper should be such a saver rather than using the more expensive and less environmental friendly parchment.

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Rose,
I found a simple solution to the "burned bottom" issue that has troubled people. I simply place a couple thicknesses of brown grocery bag paper in the bottom of my Dutch Oven and the bottom gets crusty, but not burned.

Also, a good 1" deep slash across the top of the dough prior to baking, vents a good deal of the excess moisture that has made my crumb too wet in the past.

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This is my No Knead Sourdough Bread #2

The oven spring was nice, and I am pretty happy with the texture! The taste as usual was great.

The recipe is basically: on a bowl, place 297 grams of water. With your fingers, break into small pieces 255 grams of stiff starter and add it on the water; stir lightly, things will look separated. After 12 hours (overnight), covered, the starter will have expanded looking almost fully incorporated in the water. Add 298 grams of bread flour and 10 grams of salt, stir lightly. Cover and let rise 10 hours. Gently scrape the dough on a 6 qt well heated Dutch oven. 10 minutes covered, the rest uncovered.

The bread was incredibly similar to my Basic Sourdough Bread, sometimes I wonder if there is a need to knead!

http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/NoKneadSourdoughBread2.html

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A few new no-knead recipes I've come across lately. I thought some of you might be interested:

Whole Wheat, Rye and Pumpernickel from Rebecca's Pocket

From Tartelette, no-knead brioche with Pink Almond Praline.

I haven't tried these yet but if you do, I'd love to hear how they turn out!

Kyla

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For a baking stone I went to a store that sells Mexican tiles. I bought a 15 inch square unglazed saltillo tile, and it works fine. It has cracked in two pieces which I simply lay together with no change in performance.
When I do a double recipe of sour rye or pumpernickel I do the last rize in the unheated DO, preheat the oven and put the DO uncovered on the hot stone (tile). This gives me a great oven spring, without a dark bottom and no crinkles.

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How about just using a stone with sides? Pampered Chef sells stones like that... some have deep sides (bowl shaped).

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One of the concerns on baking all the way in a cast iron Dutch oven is that the bottom of the bread can get too dark and that the bread can remain too wet since the cast iron doesn't absorb moisture as baking on a stone would.

One idea: if we fit the inside bottom of the Dutch oven with a baking stone, wouldn't this solve the problems?

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Peter, Rose. I've tried the parchment lift and bake on, it works and it didn't come out crinkly.

I used a 5 qt dutch oven (rather large). And when I was doing the final rise, I did it on parchment on a baking sheet and not on a skillet.

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seems to me that the sides of the bread would get all pleated or crinkly from the parchment no?

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Peter Nagourney
Peter Nagourney
02/ 4/2008 04:47 PM

Re. No-Knead Bread: your readers should know that the January/February 2008 issue of Cook's Illustrated had an article by J. Kenji Alt that introduced some interesting variants. I thought the best advice was to transfer the shaped dough "seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap" for final 2-hour rise. The good part is that you lift the edges of the 18" parchment paper, with the bread, and lower it into your preheated pot. This preserves the shape perfectly, and was the final detail I needed for my breads.

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things like caraway make the bread rise a little faster as the yeast likes it! cardamom might do this to so watch the timing on the first rise.

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Adding a few extra ingredients never hurt a good bread. I think you can put everything in the original batter. Try it once, then you'll know for sure.

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Bette St.Vrain
Bette St.Vrain
02/ 4/2008 10:02 AM

I want to make the no knead bread into a Xmas bread. Can I add the almond flavoring and the cardamon to the batter when first mixing it. I have added the nuts, raisens, etc before the 2 hr. resting. Trying to use the basic of my Mom's Xmas bread. I am 85 and this is so easy for me.

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I feel for you as we keep our house quite cool, as well.

This is what I do for overnight rising. I preheat my electric oven for about 20-30 seconds. This takes the chill off. Then I place the spong in, sprayed with Pam and covered with plastic wrap. To keep the oven warm I leave the oven light on. Fortunately I have a switch for doing this. Of course, leaving the oven door cracked to keep the light on would not work. If you need additional heat you might consider connecting a 3 watt night light onto the end of an extension cord and putting that in the oven as well. Keep it as far away from the sponge as you can so a spot doesn't overheat. I also place a digital thermometer in the oven to monitor the temperature. You don't want the temp to get too high, or too cool.


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check over the frig for temp. or boiler room.

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George The Philochefer
George The Philochefer
11/19/2007 12:11 PM

Janet: Plug in a heating pad, adjust it to "low", then put it under the bowl on your counter. If "low" isn't warm enough, turn it up higher.....just don't give up!!!

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Janet Moench
Janet Moench
11/19/2007 11:52 AM

I tried NK the other day end ended up exhausted and in
tears. Our (Wisconsin) house is about 60 degress--lower
during the night. I kept trying to lightly warm the oven
most of the night and with pots of boiling water. The sponge
finally grew bubbly, but that day, in the warmer kitchen,
it never rose. After another 10 hours i threw the flat pancake away. sob
How do people find an area warm enough to rise dough
for 18 hours???????
Thank you for any help.

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Kyla, do a search on this blog for Hector's panettone, there is a picture!

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Ohh, panettone. I want to be your friend, Hector! :-)

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For all of you with spongy texture breads, please try this, as I think it makes a difference. When making Basic Sourdough Bread on a dutch oven, right after you drop the dough into the dutch oven use a pair of scissors and slash an X on the dough about 4 inches wide and 1 inch deep. When the lid is removed, the X will look like a 1/8 inch indentation. Towards the last 10 minutes of baking, this X will pop up into a 2 inch volcano crater, it looks funny like a nipple, but I believe it works as a moisture vent.

There was a second factor involved, I added 2 tb of salted butter and 1 tb of orange peel before the final dough rise (shaping), and kneaded at speed 4 for near 15 minutes when something I didn't expect occurred: the dough turned from a wet mass into a shapely dough ball that would detach easily from the mixer's bowl. I lowered the speed to 2 as the dough ball became firmer. The dough was refrigerated overnight prior to this final mix/rise.

There is only one way to prove the theory of slashing the dough in the dutch oven, and that is to keep baking and baking! I yet need to find an ocassion like christmas where I can bake so much of one bread and give away, panettone that is. And indeed, last christmas I broke the gears on my 6 qt mixer!

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Refrigeration is a great way, it is very practical to fit your schedule.

Bread fermentation is best done at cool temperature (lower than a warm kitchen), so by using your refrigerator for a few hours, you achieve this! Slow/cool fermentation adds more flavor.

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More on the no-knead method. Since I bake this so often, is was inevitable I'd hit a snag. I had to go out one day right after I had shaped it, and would have had no time to properly preheat the oven. So I stashed it in the fridge for about an hour, I think. I then let it sit out about two or three hours at warm room temperature. What a great thing! The holes were great, the loaf was nice and high, the texture and flavor wonderful...has anyone else tried refrigerating the shaped loaf with success? I may start my bread 24 hours in advance from now on--18 hours to ferment, one-two hours in the fridge, two-three to rise, and one to bake.
Also, whoever mentioned pricking holes halfway through to relieve the doughy center, you're brilliant, that works beautifully. I always thought my loaves were underdone at 205 degrees.

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if it doesn't spread more than 5 inches THATS a shape. if it's pale it sounds like your oven isn't hot enough. i know it's very humid where you live that's why i'm suggesting you add more flour.

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In addition to the wet and gummy problem, my bread comes out pale flaxen color instead of the rich golden color in the pictures of your bread. Why do you think that is the case? Your instructions say to do 2 business folds to the dough after the 18 hour fermentation, to make it into a ball shape and rest it for 2 more hours. But the dough I have would never be made into a ball shape - it just doesn't hold any shape, although it may not necessarily spread more than 5 inches. Can you think of anything that might be wrong with the flour? The climate here is very very wet, and things don't get dry easily. I wonder if it's possible that the flour has some water content? Thanks.

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the protein level is fine but there are other factors in flour that affect the behavior of the dough. it's normal for it to spread out after folding but not more than 5 inches. if it spreads more you will need to add more flour.
many ppl complain about gummyness or wetness and one thing that helps is to poke holes in the bottom of the loaf, set it on the oven rack and leave it in the oven, turned off, with the door open for about 15 minutes. but it's the high ratio of water to flour that creates the huge holes.

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For some reason, the bread is not coming out the way it is supposed to. I am suspecting the type of flour they have in this part of the world. Although I know the dough is supposed to be quite wet and goopy, mine is especially so, so that after the 18 hours of fermentation and I try to fold it into a ball, it won't stay in that shape - it will spread out. After baking, it's quite wet and gummy in the middle although the holes are nice and big. The contents of plain flour says: 13.1% protein, 1.6% total fat, 69.6% carbohydrate, 3.8% dietary fiber, 6% sodium. Can you tell if there is something wrong with this? Thanks.

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harold i haven't tried it with rye etc. but i think the answer is yes.
biga or starter by its very nature has to be made ahead.

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Dear Anonymous, you won't need to spray during the 1st 10 minutes of baking when using the dutch oven with the lid on. The steam from the bread itself will accumulate inside the pot, and that is all it would need, or even less!

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I only have a very ordinary oven - no steam oven. If I use a cast iron dutch oven with a lid on to bake this bread, do I still need to spray several times in the 1st 10 minutes of the baking? It seems to me if the lid is on, the steam cannot get to the bread. How do I resolve this difficulty? Thanks.

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Rose,
In the stretch method, does the 45 minute rest periods, and the 3 folds apply to other breads such as rye and pumpernickel? Also, I would assume that the biga or starter, if using, should be mede in advance and then add the rest of the ingredients. Is that right?

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chris, when bread dough rises it's as if it were exercising. in the no knead method the exercise is less strenuous so it develops less gluten. in the stretch method it is also more gentle than machine or hand kneading but a very effective way to develop gluten without risking breaking it down as you might in the machine mmethod. but either of these two methods will have similar gluten develop depending on the extent of manipulation.
the benefit that the stretching method is said to have, according to artisan bakers, is that it gets less oxygenated than in a machine and the color of the bread is less bleached which is said to improve flavor as well.
all roads lead.....

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Shuang, you preheat the lid, too. So leave it on. You can either leave the lid on the pot or on the side or on the pot cracked open. Just be aware that if you leave the lid on the pot, after 45 minutes of preheating, when you open the lid, a lot of accumulated smoke will come out. Don't be scared, it is ok.

A while ago, Rose posted a picture of cooking a meal while preheating the dutch oven. You place the lid upside down, and on it you can stir fry something!

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One small detail: when you preheat the dutch oven for 45 minutes, do you heat it with the lid on or leave it out?

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Chris in RI
Chris in RI
08/14/2007 08:47 PM

Hello Rose
Thank you for your thorough baking explanations both on line and in print. I've been a passionate but novice bread baker for a while now, and I have come across an interesting kneading method and I was hoping you could explain how it works! It's called the "stretch and fold" method (demonstrated at this website www.sourdoughhome.com/stretchandfold.html). Basically the dough is roughly mixed together (like the no knead method) and allowed to sit for 45 minutes. Then the dough is dumped onto a surface, gently stretched with a bench scraper until it is about 1/3rd its original height, then letter folded, given a quarter turn, and letter folded again. The dough is returned to its rising bowl and allowed to sit again for 45 minutes. This stretch-fold-rest is repeated for a total of 3 times, then the loaf is shaped and baked in a more traditional method. They say this works for all types of bread doughs from sourdough to whole grain to white. I haven't tried it yet myself...

My question is this: Given enough time, will gluten develop spontaneously when flour water yeast and salt are mixed together and allowed to rest? I was under the impression that for proper bread rising and texture, the gluten in the flour must be "developed" into an elastic, CO2-holding protein by physically kneading the bread. How is the gluten "developed" in the no knead method (no kneading/long resting) and in the stretch and fold method (low-kneading/moderate resting)?
I hope you can shed some light on this for me, a fellow UVM alumna! Thanks for the effort you put into this blog and your books!

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Yesterday I baked my first baby no knead bread. It was really easy, I gave the dough 12 hours room temperature rising, then another 12 in the fridge, then I shaped it and let it rise for about 2 1/2 hours more. I felt really excite when after 20 minutes baking, I took the lid off my pot and saw that beautiful golden bubble rising! (This is the first time I get a boule, before, I'd just get bread frisbees...)
Taste, smell, texture, appearance and even sound!were perfect to me.
I had no problem putting the shaped dough into the pot. After shaping it, I put it seam side down on a piece of parchment paper, and let it rest covered. Then, I just lifted the parchment with the dough and put everything into the heated pot.


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Harold,
Look in the section above this (called The Storage Starter). You need to start with 75 grams of starter. 50 for storage and 25 for the bread.

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In the sourdough recipe, Step 1 :The Starter for the bread.
The book says to take 25 Gms of refreshed storage starter and discard the rest.
So, where does one save the storage starter for future use? I am confused

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Joan, I have tried it on my grill and it is fantastic. Be sure provide a source of heat above the bread otherwise the bread burns on the bottom and the top is still pale.

You can acomplish this by using a rather large grill with a cover. Preheat well, so the cover is hot. If your grill has a warming rack (above the grilling area), place some cast iron on this higher warming rack (like a cast iron grill, flat pan, lid, etc); the cast iron will radiate the heat down to your bread under. You can also use tiles.

Don't place your bread directly on the grill, put a pizza stone or tiles, or a thick baking pan or sheet. This will prevent burns under. Even a sheet of aluminum foil will help.

Alternatively, to deal with the issues on both paragraphs above, bake on your preheated Dutch oven (lid preheated and on for the first 5 minutes) and you will take care of the top heat and bottom burn issues! After 5 minutes, don't remove the lid completelly, just crack it open, so the moisture will escape, but the lid functions as a source of top heat.

Happy summer.

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I have been making Rose’s "baby" version http://tinyurl.com/348gts using about 75 g. of my sourdough starter for "flavoring" (I bake whenever I feed the starter or conversely, I feed the starter whenever I want to bake!). I am baking this bread about twice per week. I have found that in the summer (I'm in the warmer part of the San Francisco Bay Area), my kitchen is warmer than the 70 degrees that Jim Lahey recommended in the original recipe, and that to achieve the 18 hour ferment, I need to find the coolest place in my house—the garage! If I need to speed up the ferment, I leave it in my kitchen. Has anyone baked this loaf on their barbecue?

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I am addicted to this bread! I make it at least twice a week now. But being busy and absent-minded, I have found a slight shortcut.
If you forget to make the dough the full 18 hours ahead, as I often do, I start at the 12-hour mark. I add an extra 2 tbsp of water and 2 tbsp of sugar or honey. Mix as usual, and 12 hours later, you have a wonderfully risen, bubbly dough. Then turn out, rise the 2 hours and bake as directed. The crumb will still be very open, though not with the big, huge holes, and the texture is wonderfully chewy.
So if you are forgetful like me...start it after dinner to enjoy a fresh loaf the next morning.

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45 minutes is considered to be the minimum preheat time for a thick stone used in the oven to bake bread. whereas the ambient heat may reach temperature in just 20 to 30 minutes, the stone takes longer.

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Ross, I MUST try that trick to release excess moisture!

Harold, most household ovens take 1 hour to reach the bread baking temperature (475oF). If you have an oven that will reach that temperature faster than one hour, then you don't need to preheat your oven for that long. I don't have a short answer but to just do it, because bread dough likes to touch a super hot environment right from the beginning.

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Why is it necessary to preheat the oven one hour before baking?

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In a store I have seen a Cuisinart countertop bread oven which is stone lined. It also can be used as a convection oven.
How so you think this would do for bread baking?

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Oh, that's an interesting idea. I'll have to try that. Thanks for the tip!

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Rose,
I keep experimenting with the NK technique and have one additional trick: About 10-12 minutes before the loaf is finished, I puncture the crust in 5 or 6 places with a nut pick I have (I felt a skewer was too small) and it allows the excess moistire to exit the crumb. This has helped a lot with the moist crumb problem I had.

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THIS IS THE BEST BREAD RECIPE THAT I HAVE USED, AND I HAVE BEEN BAKING BREAD FOR A LONG TIME....AS WELL AS EASY.

THANK YOU

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During the final 15 minutes or so of estimated bake time I open the oven and insert a digital thermometer probe on a cable with an alarm set for 200 degrees. The control unit is outside the oven. This way I don't have to guess when the bread is done.

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Thank you Baker Bob

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I usually double all bread recipes. I like the DO approach because it contains the dough, keeps it from spreading. I then have a tall loaf suitable for sandwiches. And the crust is always so crusty.

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Every time I bake a bread with soft sticky dough using a banneton, the baked bread comes out flat (1 1/2"x8").
I follow the recipe exactly.
Would a double recipe work well in a DO?

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When I was in Belgium some years ago, I was able to buy a bread called "Pain Menage". Ir was bery popular, and therefore I am surprised to see that there is not a recipe for it in the Bread Bible. Does anyone have a recipe for it?

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Hector,

The crust on the bread forms fairly early in the process. Obviously, good things are happening in that fairly sealed environment underntath the crust.

I have fooled around with various techniques and none of them have afffected the spongy crust we are discussing. They have other impacts.

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George The Philochefer
George The Philochefer
05/ 8/2007 05:56 PM

Hey Hector: ANY moisture in the oven,or Dutch oven, will inhibit crust formstion.
Without crust formation the bread can expand uninhibited. That is how you are getting your bread to rise. Venting the moisture out of your oven, or removing the lid from your Dutch oven, then venting the oven of the steam allows the air inside the oven to become dry and for the sugars on the outside of the bread to caramelize.
Timing is not that critical, but you need to keep an eye on what is happening in YOUR oven....all are different. It is a very wet dough and very spongy. That's why it makes GREAT toast and paninis...see, it does have its place!!
Hope this helps.

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Thank you Ross, that can be also a cause of the spongy bread, indeed my dough is very wet.

I noticed with the NK, Rose bakes with the lid on for 20 minutes, then takes the bread out and bakes on a sheet for 10 min. This "bread out of the Dutch oven" must be releasing the extra moisture to prevent the spongy texture???

I have been leaving my lid on for 15 minutes, then take the lid off and finish baking the bread in the Dutch oven. I just find very inconvenient to remove the bread from the Dutch oven in the middle of the process.. Perhaps I should be leaving the lid on for only 5 minutes?

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Hector,

I think it's the nature of the beast. I have tried reducing the amount of water and it did help a bit.

What I have also been doing is that when I pull the lid off the pot, I poke about six holes into the crust with a skewer. This allows steam to escape and reduces the excess moisture in the hcrumb.

It's not an idela fix, but it helps.

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I have the same issue "sometimes" and haven't isolated the cause: sometimes the texture of the baked bread is "spongy." I do notice than when I use all purpose flour instead of bread flour, the texture is more spongy, too (due to the less protein content?). Both my flours are bleached (I am sorry...I know I should not).

See my most recent picture posted, the bread has great rise and great color and crust. I let it cook on a rack for 1/2 hour and sliced it, it was spongy. However, 2 days later, it was less spongy. So, perhaps bread is "always" spongy if sliced still warm off the oven? I think Bread Bible says that is best to let the bread cool "completelly" before slicing it, and that if you want warm bread just reheat it.

One thing we don't do with the NK recipe are the business letter turns. I am also trying to figure out if the business letter turns help the bread become less spongy? Does the business letter turns help the texture be feathery and stretchy? I think for panettone, it does.

There is only one way to answer these questions: keep on baking.

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Hi! I tried the NK bread from NYT and it was great...but it almost seemed a little too spongy...is that the regular texture? It tasted good and it looked like the ones in all of your pictures--but it never did get as big as yours. Was I doing something wrong??? It tasted best a few hours after it was ready but by the next day, it just didn't have that same "yum" factor. I know everyone loves this recipe and I want to love it too and be able to add in all the other great stuff to it.

So--that got me looking at other recipes and I know that this one(below) isn't the same and no where near the NYT recipe....I was wondering if anyone has tried this other NK Wheat Bread.
I've tried it twice and it was really yummy-I thought...but then again I am not quite as experienced as you all are.
NO KNEAD WHEAT BREAD
3c whole wheat flour
1/3c unrefined sugar
1/2 tbsp salt
1 package dry yeast
1 2/3c warm water
OPTIONAL: 1 tsp cinnamon,
1/3-1/2c raisins
Mix all dry ingredients together, add the water last. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and smooth out top. Cover the dough with a towel or greased plastic wrap and let it rise for about an hour or until doubled in size. Bake at 400 for 30-45min or until toothpick comes out clean.
I haven't had to bake it more than 30 min but everyone's oven temp vary.
I'm sure you can add all sorts of other ingredients to it--herbs and spices and stuff like that. I haven't gotten that far yet--since I'm still stuck on the NYT recipe.

Let me know what you all think. I just did did the cinnamon raisin version and it smells and tastes GREAT!!!

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i wouldn't share this info--you might have a sudden influx of immigrants!
off to the beard awards.....

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Re: tap water. When I was traveling in San Jose (CA) for a houseplant convention, I was told to let the water sit overnight before using it to water my plants!!! When I lived in Peru, fish will die if using fresh tap water to clean the aquarium. In Hawaii, I was told I can drink, water, clean aquarium, with fresh tap water.

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Harold, having had experience with the no knead regimen, I preheated the oven to 450, slid the dough into the pot and put on the preheated lid. Then turned the temp down to 400. After 20 minutes I removed the lid. The dough had expanded to almost fill the pot. Browning was well underway, as this was a rye bread. After another 30 minutes I inserted a digital thermometer and baked to 200 degrees internal, about another 10 minutes.

During preheat the oven and kitchen were quite filled with acrid smoke as the longsuffering Dutch oven was losing its protective coating.

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Baker Bob,
would you please give the timing (rising and baking covered and uncovered) for the double Levy's rye in a DU. Thank you

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just think what that tap water must be doing to us! (just kidding--not all tap water is as bad and the starter is more vulnerable at its early stages. i now use tap water i allow to sit over night to get rid of chlorine)

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Hector, your bread from the Dutch oven is beautiful. I've begun using the DU often for bread (made a double Levy's rye today) because it constrains the loaf. Then one can get nice tall slices for sandwiches. Today's bread had great crispy crust all over. So good.

Rose, I was four days into making a starter using organic rye when I accidently replenished it with tap water instead of bottled water. It died instantly. Bummer.

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being trying to reply to this without success.

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i found the same thing to be true--needs to be rom temp. when placed in oven.

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http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/Basic%20Sourdough%20Bread.JPG (baked)

http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/Basic%20Sourdough%20Bread_2.JPG (after 20 minutes of baking with lid on)

Hope I am doing these breads ok. I've just got my Lodge Logic 2 qt Dutch Ovens. I am totally converted to free form oven springed Dutch oven bread! (thanks Rose for the insistance and encouragement). It is just so much easier and less messy than dumping your bread on the stone or having to deal with ice cubes.

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No wonder my sourdough bread is tasty or "more sour." I almost always put the dough in the refrigerator in between steps; whenever I don't have the time to wait for the next feeding or rise.

One time I also refrigerated my final risen and shaped dough, but it did not bake well. I believe your dough needs to be at room temp when it goes in the oven. If I find this necessary again (refrigerate when you don't have the time to bake my final risen and shaped dough), I add more flour/water/salt and let it rise 2x before baking.

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re: is it possible to make the no knead bread without a dutch oven?

I have used both a heavyweight lidded stockpot (All-Clad, about 5 qt) and a lidded Pyrex casserole (about 2-1/2 qt). Both work very well but the smaller Pyrex vessel is not big enough for the full-size loaf. The dough fits but comes out a bit gummy. It works fine for the "baby loaf" (half-recipe) that Rose describes.

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p.s. if you let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight more sour flavor will result.

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Harold, if I may put my 2 cents. I also followed Bread Bible details to make my own stiff starter, from scratch at home. I believe if you really want your breads to have that strong sour taste, you need to use a San Francisco starter (you can buy this and revive it at home). Any other starter that has lived for this long will also have that characteristic sour taste. Our "young" home made starter is delicious, but not sour, but indeed I love it, recently too many people have been telling me that eating "non-sour" sourdough bread is AMAZING, it gets described as just slightly sour but with lots of taste. My starter is about 1 year old, I am guessing in 10 years it will be more sour. The closest I have reached to make my bread sour with my young starter is to put lots of starter (about 10 times more than what Bread Bible says). Enjoy the ride. /H

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sure david. i tried it and thought it wasn't quite as good as cast iron but still good. just heat the bottom and top as you would the cast iron or dutch oven.

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harold, the bread becomes more sour as the starter ages ie matures. i actually prefer not too sour but flavorful! you could try adding more starter to increase the sourness.

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is it possible to make the no knead bread without a dutch oven? i don't have one but i do have la cloche. any suggestions?

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A few days ago I finished making the stiff sourdough starter, and decided to make the sourdough pumpernickel. I followed all directons exactly, and I didn't use commercial yeast. It rose very well, and I baked it directly on the stone using a peel, and I wound up with a beautiful boule of 8x4. However it wasn't sour, although it is the most delicious bread I have ever eaten.
Now my question is why wasn't ir sour?

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Harold - when making a pie crust for example, "docking" is poking the pastry dough with lots of little holes (using a special docking tool or a fork), in order to keep the dough from rising in the oven.

For testing for doneness - in The Cake Bible, Rose says both metal cake testers and toothpicks are fine. I prefer toothpicks because they are so inexpensive, and can easily be thrown away.

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Two questions:
What is meant by "docking"?
When testing for doneness with a skewer, should it by wood or metal, or doesn't it matter?

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keep reading! it starts off as pancake batter and then you proceed to make it into a stiff starter by adding flour. it's there in the book--i promise.

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Rose,
You tell Matthew that you tore old starter to pieces.
I just finished making starter, following the directions in the Bread Bible exactly, and it is the consistency of thick pancake batter. Some time ago I made the stiff starter according to Maggie Glezer, and that starter was truly stiff, the consistency of a stiff dough and pieces could be "torn off". The starter I made pours.
What am I doing wrong?

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OK. in a week or so I'll do the sourdough version. Some sour, no doubt, will add interesting complexity. I'll try then to post a photo, whole and cut. Have a great trip.

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i also don't like too sour a rye but i must say doing the sourdough version is absolutely terrific for both flavor and texture. you must try it.

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The process description is still not complete. I preheated the oven including the Dutch oven and lid to 450. I did not use a stone, or steam. Once the dough was plopped into the DO and the lid put on I turned the heat down to 400. It was such a big loaf I thought the lower temp would work best.
Note that many German ryes are sour to one degree or another ( which I don't care for, though I live in the Bay Area) and your recipe is very neutral. German bakeries often sell a half loaf, or even a quarter.

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i'll try it when i return--coincidentally from germany--end of april!

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Actually I used 400 degrees the entire time. The crust was nicely brown all over but not burned at all. The final 20 minutes I used a thermometer probe and baked to 205 degrees. The loaf was quite huge. I cut it into 4 quardrants and froze three of them separately. They slice so nicely, and with Plugra....just heaven. Thanks so much for the recipe.

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fantastic--i must try it! you used the temperature i recommended in the book right? i would think higher would risk burning it because of the rye.

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Now that I own a 5 quart Dutch oven for baking the no knead bread I used it to make the "Levy's" Real Jewish Rye. Doubled the recipe, made the sponge and let it perk overnight in the fridge, then mixed using a 6 qt. KA mixer, plus all the risings. The 4 pound loaf was absolutely beautiful, 20 minute lid on, 40 minutes off. Crumb tight and uniform. As good and tasty as any large loaf in a German bakery.

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Oh--one more thing. Since I doubled the recipe, I had to increase the cooking time by 10-15 minutes.

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Rose,
No I didn't decrease the yeast, but comparing the recipes now, I probably should have used half since the ciabatta is essentially a free-form no-knead with a slight increase in hydration--it seemed to turn out okay though.

Incidentally, I found the crust was even crispier than the no-knead, even though it wasn't baked in a pot.

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matthew---you did decrease the yeast for the ciabatta no?

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by the way, did you all notice how the holes are larger than in the no knead? that's in good part because it's baked free form without constraining sides.

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matthew--that was terrific thinking out of the box! the crumb looks really fantastic!
when i add old stiff starter to bread dough that's exactly how i do it--soaking it in the water for the recipe for 30 min. to an hour--after having torn it into pieces.

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my recipe for basic hearth bread is on the back of my fav. flour: harvest king. it's also on this blog if you do a search.

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George The Philochefer
George The Philochefer
04/11/2007 04:57 AM

Hey Matthew: I increase the recipe 1.5 times and add 6 ounces of sourdough starter to it. I do NOT decrease any of the other ingredients. A starter, a biga, and a poolish are all pre-ferments that add flavor. I also divide the risen dough into 4 boules for the last 2 hour rise, then bake them on pre-heated fire brick (unglazed) in the oven. I use the fire brick because I have broken 4 pizza stones!! Hope this helps.

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P.S. Now that I think about it, perhaps a biga would also improve the flavor of the no-knead bread. Has anyone tried this? I will do some experimenting and see how it works.

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Kit,

It has a good flavor, comparable to the regular no-knead bread. It does not, however, have quite as much flavor as a ciabatta made with a 3-day old biga.

Initially, I did not see much point in making a biga for two reasons: 1) the bread would rise longer than the minimum for the biga anyway, 2) I didn’t think I could incorporate the biga without kneading the dough, which would miss the point of a no-knead ciabatta.

The next time I make this, however, I think I will try it with a 3-day old biga. It occurred to me that I could soak the biga in the water from the dough recipe to soften it before stirring in the rest of the flour. Hopefully this will solve the kneading issue.

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The comment about why anyone with a stand mixer would bother with NK bread got me thinking: I have a stand mixer and would like to try making a normall-knead bread, but use the covered baking cycle that makes the wonderful, thick crust. Can anyone direct me to a recipe that delivers a sturdy crust but uses conventional kneading using a stand mixer?

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Oh, that's a nice-looking loaf. I'll have to try that. How was the taste?

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Because of its 80% hydration, the no-knead dough reminded me of your ciabatta. I decided to try a no-knead ciabatta, and I was pleased with the results.

I doubled your recipe in the bread bible (including the ingredients for the biga) and followed the no-knead rising instructions (18 hours plus 2 hours shaped). This would be great for someone who doesn’t own a stand mixer, but would like to make the ciabatta.

Here is a photo.

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harold, the new book will be out in fall of 2008 as it just went IN today! it's not a new edition of the cake bible--it's an entirely new and different book on cakes.

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I have a KitchenAid that lives in the basement. I only haul it out for really big projects. I've never felt all that tempted to make bread that required kneading, I have little patience for exact measurements, and I'm usually pressed for time.

To me, the no-knead bread is a minor miracle and tastes delicious the way I make it.

Obviously, everyone's mileage varies!

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George the Philosopher: Thanks.
I have developed certain feelings about NK bread, and wonder if anyone else has the same feelings:
I have made bread in machines, by hand kneading, and using my Kitchen Aid. I feel that hand kneading gives me the most satisfactory feeling of accomplishment when I take the loaf out of the oven. The Kitchen Aid method almost reaches that, but NK gives me a
"so what" feeling, and the bread has no real flavor. Also, if you have a Kitchen Aid, why would you do NK?

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Michelle,
I don't know if this blog will be the best source for gluten-free suggestions, however I did come across another blog with a few postings on gluten-free no-knead bread:

http://justnotdinner.blogspot.com/2006_12_01_archive.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/91147248@N00/330111351/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shaunaforce/330449874/

Sounds like they are in the process of working out a recipe.

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Hello, I am looking for a gluten-free bread recipe that uses this method of baking. any suggestions, would appreciate any!

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When will I be able to buy the new edition of The Cake Bible?

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Hello Rose, Thank you for your answers re: panettone pans and sourdough panettone. I've found one recipe of such panettone (my friend in Italy has some really good book and she translated it for me) and i'm currently on the 2nd day of the 3-day process, will bake it tomorrow afternoon if all is good.
Here I found the question from Rose (http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2006/12/noknead_balloon_bread_loaf_10.html#comment-16034) where she asked re: yeast Polish coffee cake. I'm not sure if it's a coffee cake but being of a Ukrainian origin (we're neighbors with Poland) i have one of the variations of the Easter brioche-like breads which is no-knead - you just mix everything, fill prepared pans to 1/3 and let it rise up to the top, then bake.
Will gladly share with anyone interested.

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George The Philochefer
George The Philochefer
04/ 4/2007 05:50 AM

Hey Harold; Sourdough keeps in the freezer . I keep mine in the fridge during the week, feed it with some spring water and AP flour (for nourishment) if I'm not going to use it, but the better bet is to find some other recipes and use the stuff!! It makes great waffles, pancakes, and other breads. The more you use it the better it gets!! Hope this helps.

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For those who use sourdough starter only occasionaly, can the starter be kepr in the freezer between uses?

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I usually use just my index finger to mix this. The "hard part" of this bread is that it is so easy; people can't believe that it's that simple.

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Lisa, the beauty of this is that you need -no- mixer! Try it once and you will be hooked.

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absolutely not. please read the postings for the technique.

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I have been wanting to try to make the no knead bread. I have one question. Do you need a really powerful mixer (kitchenaid) to mix up the dough?
Thanks!

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yes but some of the yeast will die so it will take much longer to rise when defrosted.

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Is it possible to freeze the dough after rising (or before the second rise)? This would be convenient for some. Thanks.

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moe, i addressed this thoroughly on the NK bread thread so you'll need to read through the postings for my best advice.

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Rose and readers:

Any suggestions for how to modify the loaf to get a lighter crumb? I love this loaf but it's heavier and damper inside than most loaves from bakeries. At least, mine is!

I would like bigger holes, less moisture. I am wondering about higher oven temperature, shorter time with lid on?

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Jim Walmsley
Jim Walmsley
02/ 6/2007 08:28 PM

The first time I made this bread I used a souffle bowl and a pyrex pie plate for a lid. It worked fine. Since then I have been using a cast iron pot with similar results.

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Hello Rose,

Had a lovely surprise yesterday-picked up a copy of The Bread Bible in Borders- excellent!!!-you are certainly a really busy bee...


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I would just like to say a big thankyou to Rose for her summary of experiences in Loaf 10 and an equally big thankyou to Ross who has provided me with the missing piece of the jigsaw in the pursuit of the perfect loaf using the NYT method. I am very, very happy with my 2 kilo mixed grain loaf measuring 12x71/2x4ins. with a lovely golden crust and a delicious crumb!

Warmest best wishes to you both
from
Ray
(Bournemouth, England))

nemouth,England

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I enjoyed making this bread. Three words different, tasty, and light. On a scale 1-10, I rate it 9.

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wonderful insightful report. thanks for sharing--i'm sure it will be helpful to many!

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Rose,
thanks for your earlier help.

I am new to breadmaking and I have worked with this technique a while and have learned some things. I don't know how much is relevant to just my situation, but for what it's worth :

1. The selection of flour seems to be important with this technique. I have had my best results with Montana flour. I've been mixing Montana with Harvest King with a little ww and like the results.

2. Using spring water makes an important difference, at least in my area. My tap water really limits yeast development.

3. I use fresh yeast and have found that making a soup or starter of the yeast, some flour and water and allowing it to sit for a couple of hours before making the dough improves the bread flavor and quality. (Probably because it distributes the yeast more thoroughly. Important with so little yeast in this trechnique.)

3. Since yeast cannot travel, folding the dough in on itself a couple of times with a spatula during the long first rise really helps the bread. Oiling the bowl is a good idea too.

4. I have been alowing the first rise to go about 4-5 hours, then refrigerating overnight, followed by an additional 4-5 hour rise the next morning. I find that this works the best for me.

5. This is a trick I use with braising. I tried it on this bread and it really works well: Place a piece of parchment between the lid and the pot after adding the dough. It seals the pot and adds a lot to the quality of the crust.

6. I've been dropping the temp. 25 degrees after the first 10 minutes. It seems to help reduce crumb moisture.

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it worked wonderfully. i'll be posting photos and results after test #2 tomorrow. to ensure that you don't miss a response to a thread, just check the little box above your posting to let you know when someone makes a comment. if you are a subscriber you will get a notice when there's a new posting as well. alternatively you could just check the newest postings as there are rarely more than 3 a week.

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Rose, Did I miss the results of your NK Sourdough bread mentioned in the above note to Monica on 1/22? A few days ago I tried adding sourdough to the NK, but the dough seemed to break down before 18 hours, even in a cool house. Many thanks for the Baby NK recipe, btw! Now, if I can only get that inside less like a damp kitchen sponge.

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George The Philochefer
George The Philochefer
01/23/2007 09:12 AM

Rose: I found that 1.5 recipe works well for me. I divide it into 4 loaves and bake them directly on a stone at 450 degrees.This morning's batch had 6 ounces of sourdough starter (my normal addition) with a sprinkling of rye flour (for nutrients) and 1.5 TBSP of honey (more nutrients). It fermented for 20 hours, then formed into boules, then the last 2 hour rise. The sourdough flavor was more pronounced, but the crust was not as firm as before the addition of the rye and the honey. I think I removed it too soon from the oven because the crust got to dark brown quicker that normal. I think the honey caused that. The flavor was over the top!!! Thanks for blogging this recipe for us.

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you might also like to try what i recommend in the bread bible: only preheat the top and shape and let the dough rise in the un-preheated base. that way you get the benefit of the hot top and don't burn the bottom!

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if the bread browns too quickly you need to bake at a lower temperature.

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I need some guidance with my new La Cloche. I have been using it on the lower rack of my oven, heated to 450 degrees. I preheat it in the oven along with the lid, and add my bread at bake time which is on a silpat liner cut to fit the inside of the base. I find that my bread begins to burn quickly on this hot base...yesterday within about 10-15 minutes. I haven't figured out if the stone has just gotten too hot by the time I add the bread, or if the thinner stone of the La Cloche base gets hotter faster than my thicker stone. Or if the oven is too hot. Or if I should move it up to a higher rack. I know to move the bread to a baking sheet to prevent further burning, however I would like to be able to leave it in the La Cloche longer to get more of a benefit of the steaming.

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monica,i read the same thing about the lower temperatures developing more acetic acid but luckily not until i did it and was happy with the results. i've discovered people differ widely in their theories about sour dough. but you'll be interested to know that my starter is now 5 years old--it was born on new years day! and though i only feed it once a week i am right now using it and much to my delight it doubled in just 6 hours at 75 degrees! normally a lively culture will take 6-8 hours so i thought it might take an extra day to get up to speed.
it's 60 degrees in the back room so i'm doing the second increase/rise overnight instead of at the warmer temperature for another 6 hours. i can't wait to try it in the little cast iron pot tomorrow!

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Amy Ruhlman
Amy Ruhlman
01/22/2007 09:17 PM

I have been experimenting with the no knead bread and have used half King Arthur white flour and half whole wheat. I also added toasted sunflower seeds (about 3 TBSP) and 3 TBSP of poppy seeds - it gave it a nice nutty flavor

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the only thing I can think of is possibly slightly under mixing the dough so that it doesn't get evenly hydrated.

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Moe Rubenzahl
Moe Rubenzahl
01/21/2007 01:09 PM

Hi, all. I'm really enjoying this recipe but have one chronic problem. A reader of my blog (David Sutton) and I have been going back and forth trying different experiments with the same results!!

http://feedme.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/01/the_amazing_nok.html

Problem is a gummy center. I have managed to get it much reduced but the center of the loaf is still a bit dense, a bit sticky, a bit wet. The knife comes out of the loaf with some gluten (I presume) on it.

We have tried less gluten (Harvest King flour and even 100% all-purpose), less water and more flour (16 oz flour and 12-13 oz water), longer and warmer rise, various baking regimens. My method is very close to Rose's. The loaf is better but still some gummy wet center and I would like a fluffier crumb.

Anyone have any ideas?

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Rose, regarding the pumpkin cake...no way to slice it smaller. It is too delicious. I made it for my son's school luncheon, and every one of his friends found that cake in the unending sea of food (dishes from 300 families) and demolished it. I'll just keep running so I can eat it too!
Regarding the storage of the levain, Jeffrey Hamelman (from King Arthur) quotes Professor Raymond Calvel in his book "Bread" (Chef Hans from FCI recommended it) that it is best to keep the temperature between 46.4 and 50 degrees when storing a mature culture for more than 48 hours. "...at lower temperatures, part of the flora of the culture may be spoiled." He further quotes a Master baker from Montreal, James MacGuire who states that below that temperature, "it is usual for wild yeasts in the culture to be destroyed, while the acetic acid bacteria will continue to thrive." I am not the scientific tester that you are with my baking, so I cannot compare taste as readily, but this was my main motivation for storing it in this manner.
Finally, I cannot wait for any cookbook you put out because I find them the most wonderful to use, and an unending source of fascinating foods. I am closing now as I am to receive guests who are going to enjoy the benefits of those books!

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monica--i took the 1 week fci bread course too--with amy. amazing experience. so do you find feeding the starter once a week and storing it in the wine cellar is better than the frig. i do once a week feedings too and if i want to make sourdough bread i get it back up to speed over two or three days. but mostly i freeze the left-over after feeding and use it the way i described. i only have a small batch--25 grams of harvest king flour:13 grams water.
re the pumpkin cake--cut smaller pieces! i have a great new version shaped like a pumpkin with a fabulous buttercream for the upcoming book. tasters have said it's the best non-chocolate bread they've ever experienced.

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moe i'm just reading your posting from around jan 4 and sounds like you've really mastered this bread! i find an 80-85 degree final rise is always a good idea. but take care that it doesn't over-rise or the structure can't support itself and it could collapse. remember it will continue to rise from the intense intial heat when it gets into that hot pot!

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ross bishop--i'm just beginning to catch up with postings from when i left--sorry it took so long. maybe by now you've solved the problem but if not, i wouldn't reduce the water, i'd remove the lid sooner.

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This combines the method for pain a l’ancienne (BBA, page 192) with the Lahey NYT and Rusch Breadtopia method.

9 ounces hard unbleached white flour (250 grams)
4 1/2 ounces multi-grain flour (125 grams)
10 ounces ice water (280 Ml)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1. Mixed the dough by hand for about two minutes.
2. 10 hours in refrigerator in a lightly oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap.
3. 10 hours at room temperature.
4. No further proofing needed.
5. Sprinkled the board with ¼ cup flour. Turned out the dough and sprinkled some more flour on top. Formed and stretched the dough, which only absorbed about half the flour on the board. The dough was moist, but very easy to handle. Put the dough in a lightly-oiled baking pan 12”x 4”, bottom sprinkled with corn meal, to rest while pre-heating the oven. Heated a clay baker to 500°, and turned the dough into it. Baked at 475° for 30 minutes lid on and 10 minutes lid off.
6. Good oven spring. Crust cracked, and crackled while cooling. Thin crisp crust. Complex flavour.
7. Note: The refrigeration and fermenting times are neither precise nor critical. About eight hours of each will work fine. The dough just needs to double in bulk in the fermenting stage. I’ve also been making it with 50/50 unbleached white and multigrain, and that’s delicious. The resting in the baking pan is optional. I can now handle the dough without that, so I shape it, and just let it sit on the board until ready for the pot. I've also baked this as a boule in an unglazed tagine. It also works in any covered pot.
8. This recipe/method is also posted on The Fresh Loaf, and recipezaar

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Ack! I had read that Le Creuset were safe up to 500 but I'm reading now that the knobs on the lids aren't so I suppose I'd better step back down to 450. Not a huge deal since the earlier loaves were still wonderful. Thanks for the information!

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kyla i'm so glad to know that 2 quart will work bc i'm going to be trying it as soon as i receive my 2 quart cast iron lodge one. i just spoke to them today and they don't recommend heating enamel cast iron over 450, saying that it will weaken the enamel and eventually cause it to chip. by the way i also have that adorable heart-shaped pan!

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I've probably made two dozen loaves of this wonderful bread by now. After watching the video that accompanied the recipe in the NYT, I cut the water down to 12oz and upped the baking temp to 500. I cook my bread for 30 minutes with the lid on then 8-10 minutes with the lid off.

I've also taken to using my 2qt Le Creuset pan instead of my 4qt because I prefer a slightly taller bread. At first I couldn't find the lid for my round 2qt and instead used my heart shaped 2qt, a pan I've previously rarely used.

I tend to dust my towel with a mixture of flax, bran and cornmeal. As you can see if you visit my website, my bread is turning out beautifully and my friends and family love it!

The bread is still occasionally sticking to my towel and having to be pried off but that's made for some lovely patterns in the crust and has not, in any way, adversely affected my loaves. Recently, though, I set it rise on my silpat, just for fun and experimentation. That worked pretty well and I may do that again.

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I love the no-knead bread - I actually have two loaves downstairs in the oven right now :)

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Rena McClain
Rena McClain
01/16/2007 01:28 PM

I just recently made your sourdough rye bread and I have to say it was the best bread I have made in a long time. All the time it takes to make sure the starter is ready is an investment in taste. I also got it scored the way I wanted and that made the loaf beautiful.
Here is the URL to see the loaf:
http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n8/sewwhatsports/100_0993.jpg

Thanks for the great book!

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reg i just got back from a trip and don't have time right now to answer your postings in detail but just want to say that in the US, the dictionary definition of a cup of water is 236.35 grams. also, as i'm sure you know, there are many ways to measure flour and the way i suggested in my book is dip and sweet where bread flour and higher protein all purpose = about 156 grams per cup--that is if the flour hasn't been sitting and compacting in which case it's best to stir it up bf measuring though of course best is weighing! the weight you have for flour is more like our all-purpose bleached.

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Just as a note - the 382g. of water that Rose refers to above is not 1.5 cups it is 1.5 cups plus 2 tablespoons.

As far as flour is concerned, I'm not sure how you can generalize the weight of 1 cup. The same volume of bread flour and all purpose flour have different weights (not to mention if it's lightly spooned or dip and sweep).

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All Metric systems are not the same, anymore than Imperial systems were/are the same. Each one - European, British, Canadian, USA, Australian and Sth African - is subtly different from each other - and these difference produce the quantifying differences.

The only thing that the Authorities who quantify measurements can agree on is that 1 teaspoon has a volume of 5 ml. After that, it is a free-for-all.

When using volumetric indicators eg cups and spoons, measuring systems qualify these by adding either the "mass" in grams or the "volume" of the implement involed.

Quote: "Ingredients like yeast and salt are always measured in milliliters anywhere in the world except perhaps in America."

Evidently, the US uses the former [mass] system while Sth Africa uses the latter [volume] system. Australia uses grams for dry ingredients and millilitres wet ingredients: never volumetrics, as cups/spoons vary.

Referring to the calculated amounts
3.0 cups ... 468 g ... 341g
1.5 cups ... 382 g ... 356g
0.25 ts ... 0.8 g ... 1.2 ml
1.5 tsp ... 10 g ... 7.5 ml

Using Australian Standards metrics, I have
1. 3 cups flour weighs 450g
2. 1 1/2 cups water weighs 375g [375 ml]
3. 1/4 ts yeast weighs approx 7/8 g
4. 1 1/2 tsp salt weighs 7 1/2 g

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Reg from Johannesburg in South Africa
Reg from Johannesburg in South Africa
01/15/2007 05:55 AM

Your quantities do not look right if you are using the NYT recipe. I get a totally different answer wiz:

3.o cups is 341g
1.5 cups is 356g
0.25 tsp is 1.2 ml(never use g)
1.5 tsp is 7.5 ml(never use g)

Ingredients like yeast and salt are always measured in milliliters anywhere in the world except perhaps in America.
3 cups of flour is not 468 g
1.5 cups of water is 356ml which is equal to 356g as well. This is basic school stuff for crying out loud.

I have generated a spreadshet which calculates all this, and a lot more as well. Give me am email address and I will send it to you. It is a working Excel file which you just have to dowmload into your My Documents folder and you can use it as a powerfull working tool to calculate everything.
If you say I must make some changes to the NY Tmes recipe then I will make the necessary alterations to the spread sheet but at this stage it is exactly as published by the NY times - exactly.

Please explain

Reg Arkner in Johannesburg in South Africa

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i spoke to lodge and they're fine with 450 for their cast iron and cast iron enamel pan and that's the temperature i recommend for this bread. it's okay if the oven cycles slightly higher when set at 450.

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Re: NYT no knead bread - I'd like a higher bread than I get w/baking stone. I have a cast iron 4.5 qt pot but no lid; thinking of using foil but read that aluminum foil can burn at high temps??? Also that cast iron should only be used with moderate heat as it can crack at 450-500 degree temps (doesn't matter whether it's heated slowly). Before I order a cast iron lid, does anyone have info re: metals and temperature stress? I've broken 2 la cloche bases making this bread.
Thank you.

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So it would appear that the issue is the stone getting too hot...better to
take it off to finish the baking process, yes? By the way, I've been making bread for about 2 years, and my kids are used to seeing a freshly baked loaf of Italian bread in the house on a weekly basis. When I gave my 12 year old son a slice of this one his eyes nearly popped out of his head! We all
agreed it has the best flavor of all of my bread bakings. I regularly make
a basic Italian using a liquid levain starter (which I feed weekly) using a
recipe I picked up at the French Culinary Institute when I took their one
week artisian bread course. I know feeding the starter weekly is not the
best, but I hate to throw out so much of it by feeding it daily. (I store it
in my wine refrigerator...) I've favored this method over using your sponge technique simply because I didn't have to plan so far ahead...but this recipe has made me rethink my old habits. It's amazing what the same
ingredients can create by just adding time. So I'm turning over a new leaf
and trying your bulger wheat sandwich bread...it is fermenting as I type!

By the way, my family so LOVES your pumpkin cake recipe...they cannot get
enough of it! Any tips on making it lower in fat without reducing how
wonderful it is? I especially love it since my stomach can't tolerate
butter like it used to.

Can't wait for your next book!

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Tonie Osborne
Tonie Osborne
01/14/2007 07:03 PM

Not Posting on this site; I incorrectly posted this infor elsewhere.
I made the No-Knead bread once again this past week. Due to time constaints on my schedule the dough rested at least 52 hours, 24 in the refrigerator and 24 or so out. In my cup and one half water I whisked about one quarter of honey for a total of one and one half liquid. When finished baking, it was the densest best tasting bread I have made. This was about my 5th attempt. None were failures, but this was the best by far. These were my only deviations from the original recipe.

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i suggest reading all the postings. in several of them i recommended removing the bread and placing it on a baking sheet for the final part of the baking to avoid bottom burning.

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I know I am behind the rest of you, but I finally made my first attempt at the no-knead bread. I didn't have an appropriate pot, so decided to buy the Le Cloche and use it. I just pulled it out of the oven, and it looks promising. However, the bottom is burned. I've noticed this happening with my other breads lately, and I'm not sure why. I put my stone on the bottom rack of the oven. In this case, I had the base of the Le Cloche on the bottom shelf at a temp of 450. I baked the bread for 20 minutes top on, and 10 minutes top off, and it was done. (internal temp over 200) but burned on the bottom. Any thoughts?

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it's too wet to slash.

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After addn of a cup of bran/flour, I was able to cut into the dough - probably helped with the final shape, like a football.
Thanks.

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I was wondering about slashing the dough -- is it so wet that it's not necessary, or would it help? Thanks!

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Re: last post ending, got interrupted toward end: Especially thanks to Rose for all your help. Maybe the super-wet dough was a result of overproofing and/or the temp/humidity in Minnesota. Will be trying your recipe for Challah as soon as I get a starter started - Jeannie

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I made the NYT no-knead bread and found that almost anything goes re: getting an artisan result. I started with NYT measurements, Harvest King flour, 1-1/2 cups water etc. After 18 hrs it looked fine, but even with the addn of a cup of flour/wheat bran, the dough was a flat wet blob, too wet to handle. I decided to let it be flatbread so let it sit for only 20 minutes; scored and sprinkled with more bran and sesame seeds and put in 450 oven on preheated pizza stone. For steam I poured (yes, poured) 1/4 cup water over the bread and covered it with a preheated LaCloche top.
It worked: the bread tripled in size; crust was perfect, not heavy. Nice crumb with lots of holes (a few wheat bran striations cuz of the unusual prep. Nice flavor. Baked to internal temp of 200 degrees.
The addl water helped balance the extra dry ingredients but I didn't use weights or percentages. I think as long as you include the critical elements--time, steam and high heat--you have great flexibility in achieving artisan quality bread. The finished loaf looked as good as those in the bakeries (not as high cuz of impatience).
Very exciting! Thanks to Jim Lahey and all contributors.

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I appreciate the laboratory concept, but I'm in Virgina - not all that different from NY in altitude and huimidity, so I'm curious about the significant difference in my proof times from others.

Other people seem to be running into this problem as well - I've seen a number of posts about overproofing on several other lists too.

I'd like the longer proof in order to develop more flavor. I've been using the fridge liberally as this seems to help a lot.

By the way, someone suggested using spring water and I like what it does for this recipe.

I've tried using dry yeast, cake, a sponge and a starter - all develop quickly in my kitchen, and my house is about 66 degrees. So it must be something else.

I've thought about using even less yeast, but 1/4 tsp is so little . . .

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Mona, it's likely you will fail to get the full flavor from a fast rise, which is what I really like about this bread. Would it be possible to use an ice chest with cool water to set it in? With 18 hours of cool ferment, you can smell the early stage of turning sour...yum!

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George The Philochefer
George The Philochefer
01/ 8/2007 06:59 AM

Hey Ross: This is an applied chemistry class. You get what you get based on the ingredients and environment. The optimum first rise (fermentation) is 18 hours IN NEW YORK CITY!!! Apparently, the recipe is performing differently where you live (and where I live). Look at the recipe pictures posted on this blog. When your product looks like the pictures then it is probably ready for the next step. Ambient temperature and humidity both can radically affect a recipe. Look for the results needed at each stage. If, for some reason, you get results in 4 hours instead of 18, then that's how your ingredients have responded where you live. Make notes for next time and adjust accordingly. Your recipe notes will become invaluable. In culinary school we had to journal temp and humidity, inside AND outside, plus weather conditions. When you get good at this you should get college credit for a chemistry class!! Hope some of this helps...now GO BAKE SOME BREAD!!

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Thanks Ross. I will try your suggestions. I think I will try a shorter rise. I looked at the 18-hour pictures again. Mine looks like that a lot sooner! Course, It IS INDIA, SOUTH INDIA, where it is hot all the time and my kitchen is very warm. On my next loaf, I will try your suggestions.

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George,

I know its overproofing because there is no "oomph" left for the second rise. Essentially the yeast is "spent" so you end up with a large hockey puck when you bake.

For whatever reason, my rises are fast, so I've been letting the dough set up for about 4 hours then overnight in the fridge and then maybe 3-4 more hours to finish the next morning.

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Moe Rubenzahl
Moe Rubenzahl
01/ 7/2007 01:21 PM

Allen said: "Very wet when poured out. Can't fold without adding a fair amount of flour and even then almost impossible to fold. .."

I had that issue and in loaf 6 yesterday, resolved it. In my case, it was not due to over-rise. I made several changes.

One was to increase flour from 15 to 16 oz. by weight, matching Rose's recipe. This made the bread much easier to handle, much less sticky.

I switched from King Arthur to Harvest King; I suspect that was a minor factor but the Harvest King is lower gluten so maybe it's more important that I am guessing. Either way, Harvest King is Rose's advice and following Rose has always been a good bet!

I let it rise longer, a full 19 hours. My kitchen is a bit cool (probably 65 overnight).

The biggest change, I think, was a longer second rise (2-1/2 hrs) in a warmer environment (in the oven with the light on, probably 80-85 degrees). I had a much larger dough balloon at this point. It was 8-1/2" diameter and 3" high at the 2-hour mark; settled to 10x2 by the end). It nearly filled my 2-1/2 qt Pyrex baking vessel.

A final factor was more careful handling of the dough to shape it, avoiding deflation. The fact that it was less-sticky (due to additional flour and greater rise) made this easier.

It still stuck to the towel a little, making form some twisty bits of dough on the top, which makes a more interesting crust, as someone mentioned.

My previous attempts were a little wet and gummy in the center; this one was much better. I am working some more on this because I would like it just a little fluffier and drier.

But it's very close now and I am thrilled to be able to make a real crackling crust at home with no kneading. Amazing.

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Thanks Ross. A question:
Your first rise is overproofing. WHY DO YOU THINK SO?

Either cut the time back or (even better) do a good part of the rise in the fridge. HOW LONG SHOULD I CUT BACK OR HOW LONG IN THE FRIDGE? IS THERE ANY WAY TO KNOW WHEN THE FIRST RISE IS SUFFICIENT?

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George The Philochefer
George The Philochefer
01/ 7/2007 08:04 AM

Hey Brady...I double the recipe all the time. I divide the dough into four boules and bake them together on a stone. Sometimes they grow together, but I separate them at about 20 minutes of baking when I spin them around on the stone. They turn out great but create an unintended problem...my mother-in-law comes over more often to steal a loaf!!!

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Allen,

This is a common problem with the no-kned bread. Your first rise is overproofing. Either cut the time back or (even better) do a good part of the rise in the fridge.

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Hi: Need the doctor! Getting worse and not better. Using bread flour (3 cups),2 oz sourdough starter, 12 oz water, 1/4 tsp Fleishmann's RapidRise Yeast. Nice first rise for 18 hours and almost to top of bowl. Very wet when poured out. Can't fold without adding a fair amount of flour and even then almost impossible to fold. Take dough, add more flour to make manageable, and put into banneton. Rise for 2-3 hours but clearly not doubled ( morelike 3 bands worth). Pour into heated pot. Result: good taste, almost no rise at all. COmmitted to gettiing it right. Any hints. Any help appreciated. Need a break as family thinking I am going off the edge with flour all around. Allen

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Ross  Bishop
Ross Bishop
01/ 7/2007 07:10 AM

Mona,

I did a loaf yesterday and changed two things. I got my first absolutely terrific loaf!

My dough is still proofing too quickly, so after an 8 hour rise it goes in the fridge for an overnight.

I took a spatula and turned the dough over on itself a couple of times in the middle of the first rise in the bowl.

I dropped the oven temp. to 425 after ten minutes. I think I could also pull the lid sooner and that might help.

Whichever it was. It worked!

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Ross,
My No-knead loaves are also turning out too tough and chewey. I too tried cover on, cover off, finish on the stone method, with little improvement over previous loaves. I thought my poor performance was due to the unknown quality of the flour I have to use. (I live in India. There is only one kind of flour suitable for Western cakes and bread here. It is not very good and the protein varies from 9-12% depending on the bag you buy. Of course, the bags aren't marked!!! )

I DID put a cookie sheet under the last loaf, and it made no difference to crust quality. Still too dark on the bottom, crust tough. Please let me know if you figure out anything.

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Ross  Bishop
Ross Bishop
01/ 3/2007 08:45 AM

Roes,

I hope your wedding cake was a great success!

I have been using your measurements for the no-knead bread and am getting a consistent result. I'm close to a good loaf, but not quite. The crumb is more moist than I would like and the crust is tough - even for a hearth bread. I am assuming that the tough crust is sealing the moisture in. I'm watching the oven temperature pretty carefully - oven thermometer plus a stand-alone. I'm using cast-iron Dutch oven.

I tried your suggestion of fininshing on the stone, it didn't seem to make much difference for my problem as the hard crust had already set by then.

My questions are: Should I drop the oven temp after maybe the first 10 minutes? Remove the lid earlier? Reduce water in the dough? (I cut my last batch from 383g. to 370g. - I think it helped a little, I was reluctant to cut it back more.) Use a cookie sheet under the pot?

Any other suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.

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Thanks, Rose! For the kudos and the caution. I wrote to the manufacturer (E. Dehillerin) about maximum temps for the pot, but I will probably just make an extra effort to find an iron one that's the right size.

Happy travels!

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kitt, i should be packing or actually i should be sleeping as it's just midnight here but i have to congratulate you first on your terrific blog and documentation, writing and grammar! really terrific. all those steps looked very very familiar. and i think they will be really helpful to anyone who is having problems with this fun bread. if i weren't leaving tomorrow i'd whip up another batch!
by the way, your right to worry about the copper pot if it's lined with tin. 450 is too hot for tin.

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Hi Rose. Happy New Year! I documented my most recent loaf today, sticking fairly closely to the original recipe:

http://kittbo.blogspot.com/2006/12/no-knead-bread-step-by-step.html

Thanks for all the useful tips!

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that is so beautiful it should be the cover or perhaps the end paper of a bread book!

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Your photo of the backlit slice inspired me to play with my food some more today....

Inside (bread)

From a whole hard white wheat loaf.

Not perfect yet, but tasty and photogenic too!

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mildred, perhaps its the type of flour you're using. that can make a big difference in water absorption.

la cloche is actually intended to be used as you are using it so not to worry!heat won't hurt it but if you put it on a cold surface when it's hot it will split and if you knock it against something it will also bread (unlike cast iron). i did this once with the handle and it broke right off!

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moe, that's exactly what i meant---harvest king is somewhere between these two flours. but has THE best flavor! and thanks for the lovely compliment!

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Mildred Kaping
Mildred Kaping
01/ 1/2007 01:30 PM

Rose, I have read every word on your website about the NY Times bread. Thanks for the help with hydration. I used the very careful fluff and measure methods one would use making cakes... even with your comments about reducing the water to 1 1/2, it was pretty soupy. I did manage to handle it by raising the bread on a circle of aluminum foil and sliding that into the baker. I have since learned that the video instructions are right about it rising higher if it's turned upside down.

In case anyone is interested, I emailed the folks at Sassafras Mfg. and asked about dumping room temp dough onto a preheated to 450 degree La Cloche base. They said it should be fine. I am on my third one baked in the La Cloche, and no loud popping sounds, so far. Thanks everyone!

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Moe Rubenzahl
Moe Rubenzahl
01/ 1/2007 12:28 PM

Rose,

The no-knead recipe says:

"Harvest King flour or half unbleached all-purpose half bread flour:
468 grams (about 3 cups)"

I don't understand the "half all-purpose" alternative. Are you saying to use half bread flour and half all-purpose if I am not using Harvest King? Is Harvest King a flour with gluten between that of bread and AP flour?

P.S. I love-love-love your work! Thank you so much!

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Well, I brought the most recent version (with the pate fermentee) to Robin's belated Hanukkah party (I wish I would have seen your post about adding in cranberry to the homemade applesauce before I made the applesauce! Beautiful color!). Everyone loves homemade bread! My friend Susan commented that she thought the flavor was improved over an early loaf. I have also increased the salt to 10 g. I have a loaf proofing for tonite and I substituted in 80 g. of semolina. (I got a digital scale for Christmas!--I'm now a weigher, not a measurer!) Still tinkering.
Joan

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p.s. if you work out a good recipe do post it on the blog!

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rose (how rare i find another one!) i've never heard of this recipe but i bet it is excellent! you could use my basic directions for making a sponge as it will certainly add flavor dimension but i also think you should check out martha stewart's website as she has a polish background and her mom was a great baker so i'd be surprised if you didn't find it there. and if they don't do a sponge you can do it anyway--it always adds so much to most any bread. recipe writers often omit this bc it makes the recipe appear longer and more difficult whereas in fact it takes something 3 extra minutes of work and time while the bread dough does the work!

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yes--instant yeast, aka bread machine yeast, rapid rise are not the same as active dry. to see the conversion put the word yeast into the search on the left. but i'm sure you'll find the instant under one of those names in the supermarket! it's much more reliable and no need to proof it. just add it to the flour but keep it (as all yeast) well away from the salt until it is mixed into the flour.

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Hi! I received the bread bible for christmas and have already tried and enjoyed making (and eating!) the basic sandwich loaf. Thank you so much for your recipes - I have most of your books. Regarding no knead "breads" -- have you ever heard of placek (may be spelled different ways), a Polish yeast coffee cake that does not require kneading? I have tried various recipes with varying success but have a hard time replicating the home-made taste of Mom's (or for that matter, the local Slavic bakery taste either). It's popular at Easter, so it would be nice to try it for that time. The recipes I've found do not do much in the way of preferment and such -- basically you mix and let her rip after rising. Well, anyway if you've heard of it give me a shout. Thank you!

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Hi Rose-
Thanks for all the great tips! Here's a potentially stupid question, is "instant" yeast different from regular yeast? I looked at 2 stores and didn't see any "instant" yeast. Just started my first loaf with regular red star yeast and have my fingers crossed.

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joan you did exactly what i did and got the same results! i actually increased hydration to about 80% and the hole size was pretty close but it was more chewy. i also was hoping for better shelf life but i've come to the conclusion that this bread is very special and has to be the way it is.

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Dear Rose,
I am just delighted to find your blog and your experiments with the No-Knead recipe. I have been truly obsessed since it appeared in the NY Times. I've lost count but have surely made over 30 loaves. I was intrigued by your use of a sourdough starter. I have been saving about 80 g. of the previous recipe after the 18 hour ferment (when I remember to take it out before shaping!). I have been breaking it up in the water before mixing it into the next "recipe." I am getting a "less holey" crumb. Should I recalculate and increase hydration? I was hoping to increase "shelf life."
Joan

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Wow! I thought I was pretty hard core since I'm on my sixth loaf! I had no idea. I wonder how many people will still be making this bread a year from now. I was sceptical that I would be but the sixth loaf was so perfect that I can't deny any longer that no-knead bread is part of my repertoire!

P.S.- I use cornmeal because I keep forgetting to buy bran. My favorite so far had rosemary added. I think the 7th loaf will have flax seed. Thanks everybody!

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100% agreed. for loaf #11 i may try baking 30 min. lid on for a possibly crisper crust. then remove it to a baking sheet so bottom doesn't get too brown for 10 min with door ajar.

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Happy Holidays! Thank you for your post and photos on the NKB or "Holey Bread" as my friends now call it. Anything that gets folks baking homemade bread is wonderful. I have read about NKB on blogs all over the world! On our 10th loaf to enjoy for Christmas dinner tomorrow. Amazing how well it holds up to freezing. Let it come up to room temp and it toasts up so nicely. Experimented with using different flours and the HK is the winner so far.

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i just tasted the loaf i made using 75 grams of old sourdough starter and the crumb was predictably more chewy and less open. rye is another problem. but i've come to the conclusion that with this technique it's best to stick to all white flour and no added starter. you might want to call king arthur as they have a great help line and since you're using both of their products they surely will have some insight into what's taking place as so many people around the world are make this no knead bread!

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Rose: Thanks for the ongoing no-knead bread comments. I've had great success with the "basic" recipe here with NYC tap water, All-Clad Dutch Oven baking at 750 F 30min covered/20min uncovered with King Arthur Bread Flour and Fleischmann's Active Dry yeast, 18 hour first rise, 2 hour second rise.

I can't seem to get the recipe to work with adding about 1/2 cup unfed sourdough starter or about 1/2 cup rye sour starter (King Arthur 200 Ann. Cookbook recipe)

I get a great first rise, but then the dough (more like sticky yoghurt) is a flat gloppy mess when poured out, never to rise a second time. Bakes up to a somewhat dense 1" high disk - tastes great, but not what I'm striving for. Any suggestions?

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warm domingo, cold ice cream, brandied cherries--what could be bad?!

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Marilyn Leahy
Marilyn Leahy
12/22/2006 06:22 PM

Rose, I have not yet tried the domingo cake, but it sounds like a good alternative to the black forest cake. However, I still have this problem (!) of what to do with my carefully brandied cherries. Will they go well with it as an embellishment?

Marilyn

PS. Only pies and creme brulee left to make. I cook for the week before Christmas and then don't cook anything for the week after Christmas. I never get any complaints.

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Sounds like you need to blaze that trail, Brady!

Thanks for the freshloaf suggestion, Rose. I'll check it out.

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Has anyone doubled the recipe for a larger loaf? How did it work? What, if any, adjustments had to be made?

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marilyn i'm SO glad to hear that about the triffles bc i have TWO coming out in the new book--one is the raspberry chocolate one revisited but the other is a real surprise!

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jack--thanks for this valuable info.--i love the idea of the toppings and i adore the flavor of flax.

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Marilyn Leahy
Marilyn Leahy
12/21/2006 10:24 AM

Actually, Rose, how those ones came to be family favorites is that those are the ones I tackled first from your books. After that, the family demanded more of the same. I add to the repetoire from time to time but there is only so much time; ergo, tradition. If they only got to pick one out of all your books, I believe it would be trifle. All the most glorious family occasions become glorious because it is part of the event.

Marilyn

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Jack Hannes
Jack Hannes
12/21/2006 10:19 AM

Rose: Thanks for your very clear & precise instructions on loaf #10 -- it seemed I was reading an "online" version of The Bread Bible.

I am on loaf #12 and I've started creating mini loafs that I give to my neighbors. I use small Le Creuset pots I own (the perfect one for a small round loaf is their green apple pot). For larger loafs I use my Lodge 5 qt. Dutch oven; for oval loaves my Le Creuset 3 qt oval Dutch oven.

As I bake along, I try to keep the toppings to a minimum. My favorite topping is a little medium ground cornmeal I buy fresh from local farmer's market mixed with some flour along with 3-4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed meal (available at Whole Foods, health food stores, etc.) and a generous shaking of Fleur de Sel.

All of this is put on top of the bread very quickly after I plop it into the pan. The ground flax meal is not only healthy, but gives the crust a mild, nutty flavor and a crackly topping. I like it so well, I now use it in place of poppy/sesame seeds on my challah loaves. Happy holidays!

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thank you! it's delightful to know which are other people's favorites. my personal chocolate favorite is the domingo which will reappear in different guises in the upcoming book.

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Marilyn Leahy
Marilyn Leahy
12/20/2006 11:16 PM

Hello Rose

It is that time of year, when the kids are coming home for vacation and I am going thru your books again. They are falling apart, but these are the family favorites: brioche cinnamon rolls, black forest cake, lemon cloud, spritz, creme brulee, chocolate meringues, shortbread and pies. Your ears should burn this time of year, so many people are thinking and talking aobut you.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannakah

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damn! you're 3 loaves ahead of me! seriously, thanks for reassuring about the cornmeal. i always hate to offer hypothetical advice. the one really reassuring thing is that even when i used flour and not enough, and it stuck to the towel, the bread still rose perfectly with an interesting though less smooth crest.

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David in Seattle
David in Seattle
12/20/2006 02:59 PM

Regarding cornmeal. I've used two grinds of cornmeal (fine and medium) and they both work quite well.

p.s. I just started loaf #13 yesterday!

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kitt that's amazing--just this morning i was thinking that the le creuset terrine could work well for that shape!
try the freshloaf. it's a great blog site. and thanks for being so considerate.

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cornmeal should be coarse enough. i haven't tried it but i think it would work.

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Thanks for the new overview!

I'm wondering if you (or other posters) can recommend a good baking forum where I can ask other questions. I hate to keep bugging you with my questions about experimenting.

My favorite loaf so far had blue cheese powder added and was baked in a skinny rectangular Le Creuset pate terrine for a dense, squared-off loaf.

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Could I use cornmeal instead of the bran? I am fonder of this flavor than of the bran taste.
Thanks for all of your research-I cannot wait to try this!

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thank laurel--so kind of you. i appreciate your appreciation. it was a fun voyage. i'm about ready to make my fav. raisin pecan bread the old-fashioned way. it would burn up to a crisp in a preheated hot pot!

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Thanks so much for taking us through the whole process right through results. Now I don't have to make this stuff. You certainly have performed a public service to those of us who were curious.I have started 8 panettone and 4 cheeze bread all due Friday. Having fun and leaning on THE ROSE for backup. Thank you.

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