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No-knead balsamic bread recipe

No-knead balsamic bread recipe

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If you're like me and often have little time to wait on the proving time required for fresh homemade bread, then this is the recipe for you! This recipe takes approximately 50 minutes max to prep and bake.

2 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 1 loaf bread

  • 1 sachet dried fast acting yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 180ml lukewarm water
  • 220g strong brown or white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:30min ›Extra time:20min rising › Ready in:1hr5min

  1. Preheat the oven to the highest temp (approximately 230 C) and place a large casserole dish to preheat. Whilst this heats place the yeast, sugar and water into a mixing bowl and whisk lightly until well combined.
  2. Once bubbles have appeared in the yeast mix, add your flour, salt and balsamic and mix with an electric mixer using the dough hook for about 5 minutes. If you don't have a dough hook, just mix the bread with a knife for about 10 minutes until well combined and elastic.
  3. Place the dough in a well greased microwaveable dish, and cover with oil to stop sticking.
  4. Cover the dough with a wet tea towel and again with a dry towel and place in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  5. Leave to rest for 5 minutes and then microwave for a further 25 seconds and leave to rest for another 15 minutes.
  6. Place the dough in the centre of the preheated casserole dish in the oven and cover with a lid. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

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Easy No Knead Bread Recipe Using A Dutch Oven or Sheet Pan

If you have been to the blog before you know that I love to bake bread, or really anything that has flour haha. Making bread at home is such a comforting thing to do. When we come home to the smell of fresh bread, its somewhat etherial. Baking homemade bread is also a labor of love and something that centers me. Today I want to show you one of my easiest bread recipes. Seriously, this is one that anyone can tackle. I am sharing my no-knead bread recipe with some of my favorite bloggers! Make sure to check their recipes out at the end of my post!

Are you a novice bread maker? Is this your first try making bread? You have come to the right place! I want to help you understand how easy it is to make bread, and things that you should know to give you a little more confidence in understanding how this whole flour, water, yeast and salt thing works.


No-Knead Bread Recipe Ingredients

You only need 6 basic ingredients to make a mind-blowing loaf of no-knead bread:

  • Flour – Jim Lahey’s original recipe calls for all-purpose flour, and if it’s what you keep on hand, it will work in this recipe. However, Jack and I prefer to make this recipe with bread flour. The bread comes out slightly less dense, with a lighter, chewier texture that we can’t get enough of.
  • Active dry yeast – This no-knead bread couldn’t rise without it!
  • Lemon zest – I typically grate lemon zest when I’m cooking, but for this recipe, I dice it into small squares for a more intense lemon flavor. The whole loaf is lemony, but the bites with zest are extra-bright and fresh.
  • Fresh rosemary – Its cozy flavor makes this loaf comforting and homey. Fresh thyme would be lovely here as well.
  • Sea salt – It makes the bright, aromatic flavor of the lemon and rosemary pop.

Just add water, and you’re good to go!


Rustic No-Knead Bread Recipe

Rustic No-Knead Bread | Brand New Vegan

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and yeast together (see recipe box below for amounts). Make sure it’s well mixed, and form a well in the center and add the water.

Using a wooden spoon, mix until a loose, shaggy dough is formed.

Don’t overmix itjust until all the loose flour has been incorporated into the dough.

Now cover it – and wait at least 12 hrs. That’s it. I let mine rest on the kitchen counter overnight.

The next morning it should look like this.

Carefully scrape the dough onto a well-floured work surface using a rubber spatula or bench scraper.

To form the dough into our loaf, simply take the edges and fold them into the center. It won’t be perfect, but that’s ok. Keep some flour handy and sprinkle some whenever it gets too sticky to handle.

Finally, lay out some parchment paper or a clean kitchen towel and coat that with a sprinkling of flour as well. Gently gather your dough and place it on the paper/cloth with the seam side down.

Cover the dough one last time and let it rest while we preheat our oven.

Place your oven-proof pan and lid in the oven and pre-heat it to 450° F. They say 500° on the video but I find 450° works fine.

When it’s ready, CAREFULLY remove the pan and lid, and plop your dough in with the seam side UP.

Be extremely careful: this pan AND lid are extremely HOT.

Replace the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and bake for an additional 20 – 30 minutes.

Place your bread on a cooling rack and try to let it rest for a short while before cutting into it. I know – the temptation is REAL!.

Serve with your favorite soup, stew, or simply a smear of your favorite jam or jelly.

See? Not too hard and once you do it a few times it will become second nature to make your own. Nothing smells as good as freshly baked bread and without any of those weird ingredients or oil that we see in storebought.

Enjoy your week and we’ll see you next time.

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No Need to Knead

The recipe proved not only popular, but hugely influential. Soon, home bakers and professionals began iterating on the process. Many were introduced to the concept of no-knead breads via a modified technique in Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François’s “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007). Chad Robertson’s “Tartine Bread” (Chronicle Books, 2010) took the concept, and moved it into the more-advanced world of sourdoughs.

“The biggest change no-knead bread made is that home bakers now had a good idea of what they were doing and a familiarity with the basics of artisan bread baking,” Mr. Forkish said.

This allowed Mr. Forkish to introduce more complicated techniques in his “Flour Water Salt Yeast” (Ten Speed Press, 2012), confident that home bakers would have the skills to follow along.

But how exactly does no-knead bread work?

To understand, we need to look at the structure of a good dough and the role that kneading plays in it.

Flour is made up largely of starch molecules, along with protein (typically around 11 percent to 13 percent by weight). Two of these classes of proteins, glutenins and gliadins, can cross-link in the presence of water, forming molecular bonds and creating gluten, the stretchy, sticky network that traps air bubbles produced by yeast and coagulates as it heats to give a finished loaf its structure and chew.

Kneading encourages proteins to rub against one another and entangle. But there are other ways to achieve similar or better results. In 1974, Raymond Calvel, a professor at L’École Nationale Supérieure de Meunerie et des Industries Céréalières in Paris, developed a technique known as autolyse, in which flour and water are mixed together and allowed to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes before salt and yeast are incorporated. He found that this short rest, during which enzymes in the flour would start weakening protein bonds, greatly reduced the amount of kneading required, while creating a gluten network that was easier to stretch and shape.

I like to think of dough as haphazardly stuck-together Legos that we are trying to form into an organized city. Before we can start building, we must first break down those shapes into individual bricks. Autolyse is like leaving a dog or a toddler alone with the Legos: They do the work of breaking them down for you.

With no-knead bread, this same concept is extended from 20 minutes to 8 to 12 hours.

As the wet dough rests overnight at room temperature, the enzymes weaken protein bonds so greatly that the simple action of carbon dioxide bubbles moving and stretching through the dough is enough to form a rough gluten network. Then, all it takes is a few well-placed folds to create a ball of dough that is ready to bake into an airy, open loaf.

“As a baker, it’s not labor or ingredients, but time that is the most valuable ingredient,” Mr. Migoya said. Learning how time can do the work for you turned me from someone who baked perhaps one or two loaves a year into someone who throws together dough on a whim before bedtime several times a month.

That said, I’ve always wanted to take a more organized look at the bread I was baking and to solve some of the issues that I — and other home bakers — have had in the past. Chief among these are the dough’s slackness and its propensity to spread into a pancake-like loaf, baking up flat and dense, if even lightly mishandled.

This all has to do with elasticity and extensibility. Elasticity is a dough’s ability to spring back when you stretch it, like a rubber band. Extensibility is the flip side of this: the ability for a dough to stretch without snapping back or tearing. Finding the right balance between these two is the trick.

With pizza dough, for instance, extensibility must be high to stretch a ball of dough into a thin, crisp crust that retains enough structure to stand up to wet, heavy toppings. This same extensibility in a rustic boule or bâtard can result in dough that lacks the structure to retain its shape. Too much elasticity, on the other hand, and you wind up with a dense crumb structure.

A few things helped me achieve this balance.

Mr. Migoya suggested that a small amount of acid could improve the formation of gluten bonds in side-by-side tests, a drop or two of vinegar or lemon juice made an appreciable difference in dough strength.

Virtually every baker I talked to proposed adding folding and stretching steps, and, in my own testing, I found that Mr. Migoya’s recommendation of giving the dough a few tugs and folds every half-hour or so during the initial two to three hours of its long resting period worked best. The more tugs and folds you do, the more structure the dough will have, resulting in higher elasticity and a denser, more compact crumb. (On a tip from Mr. Reinhart, I dip my hands in water before handling the dough, a far more effective means of keeping your hands clean than flouring.) After that, the dough can rest on the counter until ready to shape and proof — at least a few hours, but up to overnight is fine. Or, even easier, settle it in the refrigerator overnight or for up to three nights before proofing. (An extended rest in the fridge will result in better flavor than a short room-temperature rest.)

A final shaping stretch before proofing and baking is enough to give the dough the structure I like. The goal is to create a membrane that smoothly wraps around the dough, similar to how fresh mozzarella or burrata has a taut skin stretched around a softer, less-structured interior. Some bakers use a plastic or metal scraper to tuck the dough into its final shape. Mr. Migoya recommends a flexible metal putty knife, the kind you’d use to spackle a wall. I find it easiest to work manually: I hold my fingers together and use the edges of my palms to tuck the skin underneath the ball, effectively smoothing out the top. As with all steps here, the less you handle the dough, the better fifteen to 30 seconds of shaping is a reasonable goal.

It’s important to note that there’s no “correct” crumb structure, despite what strangers on social media will have you believe. The current pandemic-inspired craze, for high-hydration sourdough loaves with a large, open hole structure, is perfect for catching pockets of jam or soft butter. But try making a grilled cheese sandwich on bread that’s too holey, and watch as the cheese oozes out. Then, you’ll find the value in loaves with a tighter crumb structure. Knowing that adding extra stretches and folds will produce a tighter crumb will allow you to modify your technique to suit your own tastes.

The original recipe has you proof the final loaf on a floured cloth set on a flat cutting board, but a wicker or rattan basket (called a banneton) will better contain the dough as it proofs, producing a taller, shapelier loaf.

Don’t own a banneton and don’t want to buy one? No problem: You can proof your dough in a tall-sided mixing bowl lined with a clean cotton dish towel dusted with flour or rice flour. (Rice flour prevents sticking a bit better than wheat flour.) An hour or so at room temperature as the dough roughly doubles in volume, and it’s ready to drop into your preheated Dutch oven.


Pour 500ml warm water into a large bowl and sprinkle over the yeast. Stir to distribute the yeast, then add the flour, rosemary leaves and sea salt. Once it's well mixed, cover the bowl and cling film and leave to rise overnight, or for 8-12 hours.

Once the dough has risen, brush the inside of another large bowl with the olive oil and dust with 1-2 tbsp flour. Carefully tip the bread into the floured bowl and dust the top with more flour. Cover again with cling film and leave to prove for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 200 degrees C/180 degrees fan-forced/gas 6. Put a large casserole dish, small roasting tin or cake tin in the oven to heat up. When it's really hot, take it out of the oven and quickly tip in the dough. (The dish or tin should be hot enough that the dough will sizzle when it goes in.) Sprinkle with a little more flour and bake for 45 mins to 1 hour, or until the bread is risen, golden and, if you tap the crust with your knuckles, it sounds hollow.

Turn the bread out onto a wire rack and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Delicious served warm with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt flakes.


Kip's Recipes

A little over two years ago, I discovered Jim Lahey's no-knead bread recipe (which I blogged about here), and I loved it so much that I've made it again and again since that time. I make it for family dinners, for friends and neighbors, and just for myself. It is so good, whether served with butter and jam, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, cheese, or whatever. It's also delicious toasted or made into French toast.

As much as I love this recipe, I've also also wanted to tinker with it, to create something new. I've seen all kinds of interesting variations online, with add-ins including herbs, nuts, dried fruit, and even chocolate chips. But because I love the original recipe so much, I've only tried a few variations so far that I'm happy with. Actually, I also tried a whole wheat version that was a miserable failure. That loaf was virtually inedible. I don't know what I did wrong.

Anyway, the first variation is simply a minor adjustment in the measurements of the original recipe so that I get a larger and slightly more flavorful loaf it is now my standard recipe. I even adjusted the measurements on the original post to correspond with this. This version was suggested by Mark Bittman.

Revised No-Knead Bread Recipe
4 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
A scant 1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid rising yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water at about 70 degrees
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed (I usually just use flour and sometimes a little cornmeal)

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water, and stir until blended dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Put dough seam side down on floured work surface and dust with more flour, bran, or cornmeal. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a cotton dish towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot in the oven while it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove heated pot from the oven. Gently move the ball of dough with your hands from your work surface and drop it into the pan. It may look like a mess, but that is okay. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 minutes (Note: I often like a less dark and crunchy crust, so I'll usually reduce the final baking time by about 5 minutes), until loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

No-Knead Bread Variations
Garlic Parmesan
This is probably one of my favorite variations. After I combine the dry ingredients, I add 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes, and 1 tablespoon dried sliced garlic (I found this at Costco) and mix all of that in. Then I add the water and follow the instructions above. The cheese and garlic are a wonderful combination.

White Chocolate Chip/Cinnamon Chip
I tasted this variation for the first time at a free bread-making class at a local kitchen store. It was terrific! And the clear favorite of the 20 students, though I still love the original recipe. The instructor added 1/2 cup white chocolate chips and 1/2 cup mini cinnamon chips (they sold these at the cooking store) to the dry ingredients at the beginning, as well as an additional 1/4 teaspoon of rapid-rising yeast. I made this recipe at home and it turned out very delicious, but I found that the white chocolate chips tended to burn a little at the high temperature you bake this bread at.

No-Knead Bread with Sunflower Seeds
I love seeded breads, so I tried using sunflower seeds. I used the recipe above, but I substituted one cup of oat flour for the all-purpose flour. I also added 1/2 cup honey. Then I stirred/folded in 1/2 to 3/4 cup sunflower seeds and baked the loaf as normal. Very delicious result.

Oatmeal No-Knead Bread
Another version I am pleased with includes steel-cut oats. Again, I used the revised no-knead recipe above, but made a few alterations. I substituted 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup steel-cut oats for 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, and I added maybe an extra 1/4 cup water.

With these variations, the mixing/raising/baking instructions are basically the same.


Easy No Knead Bread

Yield: 8 servings

prep time: 8 hours 30 minutes

cook time: 45 minutes

total time: 9 hours 15 minutes

FOOL-PROOF and only 4-ingredients! So hearty and rustic with the most amazing crust + fluffy, soft, chewy inside. Seriously, SO GOOD.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (100-110 degrees F)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and yeast. Create a well in the center add water.
  2. Using a wooden spoon or your hand, stir until a wet, sticky dough forms, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at a warm place until doubled in size and surface is dotted with bubbles, about 6-8 hours.
  4. Working on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, fold dough over itself 3-4 times, turning after each fold gently shape dough into a round.
  5. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let stand at room temperature until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a 4-qt Dutch oven, covered, in the oven for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Remove Dutch oven from the oven working carefully, place dough into the Dutch oven using the parchment paper as a sling.
  8. OPTIONAL: Using a sharp knife or bread lame, make a few shallow cuts on the top.
  9. Cover and place in the oven remove the lid after 30 minutes. Continue baking until golden brown and completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 210 degrees F, about 15 minutes more. Let cool 30 minutes on a wire rack
  10. Serve warm.

Notes:

Did you Make This Recipe?

Tag @damn_delicious on Instagram and hashtag it #damndelicious.


The Almost-No-Knead Baguette

Here's a great, easy way to launch your baguette-baking career. Our thanks to Jeff Hertzberg's "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" for the inspiration.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (680g) lukewarm water
  • 8 cups (964g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon (18g) salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast

Instructions

Find a large (6-quart) bowl or bucket, for dough storage in the fridge. Lightly grease the bowl or bucket.

To make the dough: Place the water directly into the bowl or another large container.

Weigh your flour or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Add the dry ingredients to the water, and stir to combine. Mix until there are no dry spots the texture of the dough should be fairly soft.

Knead the dough gently for a few minutes, by hand it'll be very sticky. Or knead for 1 or 2 minutes in a stand mixer. Cover the container, and let the dough rest at room temperature for 2 hours.

Perfect your technique

The Almost-No-Knead Baguette

Refrigerate overnight, or for up to 7 days.

To bake bread: Scoop out a scant 1 pound of dough (about ¼ of the batch, about 14 ½ ounces). Place on a greased work surface.

Shape the dough into a rough, slightly flattened oval.

Fold the dough in half lengthwise, and seal the edges with the heel of your hand. Flatten slightly, and fold lengthwise and seal again.

With the seam side down, cup your fingers and gently roll the of dough into a 15" log.

Place the log seam-side down onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, or into the well of a baguette pan.

Cover and allow the baguette to rise till it's very puffy, about 1 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450°F.

Slash the baguette three or four times on the diagonal.

Spritz the baguette heavily with warm water, and bake until a very deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.


Watch Kenji Make No-Knead Bread With Beer

Here are two things I have said in the past:

  • Using baker’s percentages—that is, scaling all of your ingredients based on the amount of flour you start with‐combined with a scale is the fastest and easiest way to put together dough.
  • My better no-knead bread recipe is practically foolproof.

Recently, I proved at least one of these two statements to be true when I (and my wife who has a PhD in math) completely bungled the baker's percentages as I prepared a loaf of bread with a camera strapped to my head. It didn't matter—the bread worked out just fine in the end anyway.

I made this video because friends of mine have commented on how wet their no-knead bread dough is, thinking that it may be a mistake. It's not! Dough should typically be wetter and stickier than folks who don't bake a lot think it should be. The trick is to work quickly and confidently. Let the dough know who's boss and that you won't abide misbehavior.

I know that because of the current situation, finding bread flour (or any flour) can be a bit tough at the moment, but if you've managed to score (or hoard) some, now is the perfect time to either try your hand at your first loaf, or to get back into the habit if you haven't baked in a while. The no-knead method makes it exceptionally easy. It takes all of 15 minutes of active time. Take a look at the video above for a full, real-time walkthrough of all the active parts of the process, check out the science behind how it works, or just jump straight to the recipe.