Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Everything about food, from matching food and wine to recipes, techniques and trends.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:36 pm

ChefCarey wrote:Bread with no salt has no flavor, no character.


I don't really disagree, certainly not for American bakers. Having just returned from Tuscany and having eaten very well there, though, I've got to reiterate: Tell it to the Tuscans. The traditional unsalted Tuscan bread seems strange at first, but - especially with food - it's not in any way lacking character, it's just different. In a way, the subtle wheat flavor may come out even more.

Yes, it's a rare exception, and no, I'm not going to stop putting salt in my bread. But it's useful to remember that most absolutes aren't.
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17269
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:57 pm

"But it's useful to remember that most absolutes aren't."

I agree Robin. Since Janet can't have salt, I've found that I can enjoy many foods without salt. From time to time I crave it and add a bit to my own plate.

Another factor -- it's very easy to get accustomed to salt and need more and more to get the flavor. At CIA they mentioned several times that this was a real problem for chefs -- their ability to taste salt often decreased over time and familiarity.

Still love the stuff, though, especially the big chunks that sort of explode when I get one. I'm able to count them by feel now -- add four, five or six to a steak for example and wait for the explosions. Good stuff!
User avatar
Bob Ross
Wine guru
 
Posts: 5862
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:39 pm
Location: Franklin Lakes, NJ

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby ChefCarey » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:19 pm

Without absolutes we would be aphorismless! And I am unanimous in that.

As a rule, though, I tend to leave absolutes to others. I consider the Tuscan anomaly just that. I know of no bread that does not profit from the addition of salt. With the *possible* exception of some varieties of salt rising bread which rely on the action clostridium perfringens for the rising and texture- some salt rising bread does use salt.

Does *all* Tuscan bread contain no salt? Is the gluten well- developed in the type that doesn't?

As to the notion that ones sensitivity to salt decreases with age or exposure, well I would have to be the exception to that rule. When I tell my students that something needs salt, they *know* it needs salt as I tend to have a very light hand with it. Just about every food we consume has naturally occuring salts - the best chefs bring that out with skill and knowledge.
ChefCarey
 

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Jenise » Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:32 pm

Bob, got a loaf on the second rise right now. Having some friends over for a simple provencal bean soup and salad dinner, and throwing in a loaf of homemade bread seemed just the ticket. Lacking the lead time specified in the recipe, I used a whole envelope of yeast. I also, as you can always count on me to do, monkeyed around with the ingredients. I used 1/3 whole wheat flour and also added, for flavor and texture, hazelnut meal, chopped olives, dill, chives, and black pepper. The raw dough is tasty enough to lick off one's fingers. I'm going to bake it in a black Emile Henry dauffeur (sp?), should look quite snappy to take it to table like that.

I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the post!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26552
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:38 pm

ChefCarey wrote:Does *all* Tuscan bread contain no salt? Is the gluten well- developed in the type that doesn't?


At the risk of just acting silly, let's put it this way: A lot of the bread made and served in Tuscan restaurants has salt and is made in the usual way. But the kind of bread specifically called "Tuscan bread" is traditionally salt-free and would be served that way without exception. It's a white bread with a chewy crust and a large hole structure, looks pretty much like a piece from a French baguette or batard or the Italian equivalent, but tastes ... unsalted. Very "wheaty," though. Anyway, not that I spent a lot of time analyzing it, but it certainly seemed to have good gluten development as evidenced by the hole structure and chewy texture.
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17269
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Larry Greenly » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:00 pm

I baked the no-knead bread today and I'll give it a lukewarm okay. The texture is similar to a ciabatta, with a chewy, holey crumb. Paradoxically, it seemed as much or more work as the kneaded type of bread, so I think I'll stick to my normal recipes.
User avatar
Larry Greenly
Resident Chile Head
 
Posts: 4208
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:37 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Jenise » Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:48 am

Larry, why more work? Is it because of the detailed steps?

I made a loaf yesterday myself. Frankly, as a fan of Peter Reinhardt's methodology which is similar in basic approach (less yeast, more water, stirring to mix, little or no kneading), I too felt like I was doing a lot of extra, possibly needless steps. That in part is the fault of the recipe writer, who made the recipe more complex by all but telling you when to wash your hands. Anyway, the result was fantastic, but I think it would have been equally so if I had simply baked it as usual after the second rise. I can't say I think the covered roaster resulted in something superior to open pan baking/misting.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26552
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Howard » Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:39 pm

I think what I've learned from the folks around here suggests that the keys to excellent tasting bread are:

1) slow rise

2) more water.

I'm not sure the rest matters.

I've had non-salted bread I thought was delicious but I'll take my baguettes as an every day bread. I now use 22 oz. flour, 16 oz water sometimes 18!!, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp yeast for two loaves of bread. I knead it in the kitchenaid for 7 or 8 minutes on medium speed. First fermentation is in a cold oven. Second rise - let it rise in a baguette mold covered with parchment paper while the oven and stone pre-heats. It's very simple, takes almost no time (aside from the 1st fermentation - anywhere from 1 1/2 - 3 or more hours) and has become a necessity in our house.
Howard
Howard
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 454
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:57 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Larry Greenly » Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:16 pm

Jenise wrote:Larry, why more work? Is it because of the detailed steps?


Notice that I said "seemed." I can't quite put my finger on it, but let's compare it to a recipe that I frequently bake. Some of the 5-min. actions can be done quicker, but I estimated the same amount of time for similar actions in each recipe:

Kneaded Bread

5 min. Mix flour, yeast, salt, etc.
5 min. Knead w/Kitchenaid
45-60 min. 1st rise
30-40 min. Punch down, shape into boule, 2nd rise
5 min. Glaze surface, sprinkle seeds, slash
30 min. Bake

2-2:45 hrs total (let's say 3 hours)

Unkneaded Bread

5 min. Mix flour, yeast, salt, etc.
rest 18 hrs.
5 min. Fold
15 min. Rest
5 min. Shape, place on blanket
2 hrs. rise
5 min Remove baking container, place dough within
30 min. Bake, covered
15-30 min. Uncovered

Not counting the 1st rise:
3:20 to 3:35 hrs. (Roughly a little more time)

My particular gripe was handling a 450F ceramic pot with a lid. I will admit the bread had good flavor because of the long rise.

As an aside: I teach a writing class every Monday. Last week I had a drawing for a loaf of my kneaded homemade bread (above) for those people who correctly used "that" vs "which" in a sentence.

Yesterday, after class, the student was raving about my bread he had won and asked me if I had read the NY Times last week (concerning the unkneaded bread). I told him that not only had I read it, the featured unkneaded bread came out of my oven only 15 minutes before the class started and I would eat a slice when I got home. Ain't the universe weird?
User avatar
Larry Greenly
Resident Chile Head
 
Posts: 4208
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:37 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Jenise » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:16 am

Good synchronicity, Larry. Similarly, when I started making this bread on Monday I had no plans for the evening, but happily I ended up with guests and guess what? He's interested in breadmaking and was absolutely certain that the reason his breads have never come out good was that he didn't have a Kitchen Aid mixer to knead it properly. He had seen the no-knead article in the NYT and had meant to ask me about it--and there I was serving him proof that it works.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26552
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Barb Freda » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:19 am

Tuscan bread is a waste of starch. There I said it.

My brother, the bread nut, is living in Tuscany and makes his own bread bec. of this...

Robin, didn't heat cite a nother reason Tuscan bread is saltless? Can't quite recall..or maybe that was the reason he cited...I know he wasn't impressed with Tuscan bread, either.

Again to my brother--I sent him here to read this thread, and he said most of his bread is done this way (almost no-knead) because he likes the flavor that develops from the long slow rise.--not that he realized, I think, that it was an actual method...but his biggest interest is the flavor. He knew immediately about the gluten developing from the long rise...

My fave bread is an italian loaf with a sponge starter and a long rise..

Hmm. I may need to make that today. It's gotten down to a chilly high of 82. Bread making weather in Florida.

B
Barb Freda
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 415
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:04 am
Location: Weston, Florida

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Jenise » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:45 am

Agreed about the waste of starch. I did not like the Tuscan bread much at all. And I'm surprised at, I think it was Robin's, description: the breads I remember were fairly dense with a fairly fine crumb compared to the Roman breads, not an enjoyable texture to me and it somehow made the saltlessness seem even more relentless.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26552
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Larry Greenly » Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:04 pm

Jenise wrote:Good synchronicity, Larry. Similarly, when I started making this bread on Monday I had no plans for the evening, but happily I ended up with guests and guess what? He's interested in breadmaking and was absolutely certain that the reason his breads have never come out good was that he didn't have a Kitchen Aid mixer to knead it properly. He had seen the no-knead article in the NYT and had meant to ask me about it--and there I was serving him proof that it works.


In my experience, the main reason people have failed in breadmaking is they have dead yeast. I've seen small envelopes of yeast from the last century stored above their stove. I buy yeast by the pound and keep most of it in the freezer. A small, unfrozen working jar rests on my refrigerator door.

I used to knead by hand, so I don't understand how others can't knead properly. You can knead dough by doing practically anything to it, even just banging it on the counter (which used to freak out Shadow the Wondermutt). Boredom is what really forced me to buy a Kitchenaid.
User avatar
Larry Greenly
Resident Chile Head
 
Posts: 4208
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:37 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:16 pm

OT Question: what's the rule for that vs. which?
User avatar
Stuart Yaniger
Stud Muffin
 
Posts: 4422
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:28 pm
Location: Big Sky

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:36 pm

Stuart Yaniger wrote:OT Question: what's the rule for that vs. which?


From a Web-based grammar site:

<B>That, which, and who when used as relative pronouns each have a distinct function.

In modern speech, which refers only to things. Who (or its forms whom and whose) refers only to people. That normally refers to things but it may refer to a class or type of person. </B>

As actually practiced by newspaper copy editors, in my personal experience:

<B>Always change "that" to "which." Always change "which" to "that."</B>
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17269
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:12 pm

I understood the distinction from "who" but am still baffled about "that" vs. "which." Apparently so are copy editors!
User avatar
Stuart Yaniger
Stud Muffin
 
Posts: 4422
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:28 pm
Location: Big Sky

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Larry Greenly » Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:59 pm

That is "restrictive" or "essential"; which is "non-restrictive" or "non-essential."

Use that when a dependent clause is providing identifying information about the subject. For example: Spiders that live underground do not spin webs. The subject of the sentence is spiders--not all spiders. The dependent clause that live underground applies to only some species of spider, and hence is acting to further identify the subject.

Use which when the clause is simply providing additional information about a subject that is already fully identified. For example: Spiders, which have eight legs, are not classified as insects. Again, the subject is spiders, and in this case we mean all spiders. The dependent clause which have eight legs applies to every species of spider; hence it is not serving to further identify the subject.

Strunk & White gives an example something like this: 1. The lawnmower that is broken is in the garage. 2. The lawnmower, which is broken, is in the garage.

The first example implies there are more than one lawnmower and only the broken one is in the garage. The second example implies there is only one lawnmower and it is in the garage.

Note that the dependent clause using which can be deleted without any loss of information. You can't remove the that clause without losing information, though. Also note that virtually 100% of the time you need to place a comma before which and not before that.

Confused?
User avatar
Larry Greenly
Resident Chile Head
 
Posts: 4208
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:37 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby ChefCarey » Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:14 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Stuart Yaniger wrote:OT Question: what's the rule for that vs. which?


From a Web-based grammar site:

<B>That, which, and who when used as relative pronouns each have a distinct function.

In modern speech, which refers only to things. Who (or its forms whom and whose) refers only to people. That normally refers to things but it may refer to a class or type of person. </B>

As actually practiced by newspaper copy editors, in my personal experience:

<B>Always change "that" to "which." Always change "which" to "that."</B>


Each "have?????"
ChefCarey
 

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:08 pm

I have to say that I studied quantum mechanics, general relativity, multivariable calculus, and classical electrodynamics, and I still don't understand the rules which govern the choice of that or which.
User avatar
Stuart Yaniger
Stud Muffin
 
Posts: 4422
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:28 pm
Location: Big Sky

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Bob Ross » Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:32 pm

I found this a useful discussion of the subject, Stuart: http://wsu.edu/~brians/errors/which.html

Especially Lynch's gloss: http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Wr ... .html#that

For me, if I tuck in a comma, I use which; no comma, that.

And leave it at that. :)
User avatar
Bob Ross
Wine guru
 
Posts: 5862
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:39 pm
Location: Franklin Lakes, NJ

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:15 pm

That Rutgers site is terrific. Thanks much!
User avatar
Stuart Yaniger
Stud Muffin
 
Posts: 4422
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:28 pm
Location: Big Sky

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Larry Greenly » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:56 am

Stuart Yaniger wrote:I have to say that I studied quantum mechanics, general relativity, multivariable calculus, and classical electrodynamics, and I still don't understand the rules which govern the choice of that or which.


If you work on it, I promise you'll have an "aha" moment. After we hammered on the class for a half hour about that vs which, suddenly the lights went on in about half the class. And once you get it, it's automatic.
User avatar
Larry Greenly
Resident Chile Head
 
Posts: 4208
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:37 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Nov 16, 2006 12:09 pm

Stuart Yaniger wrote:That Rutgers site is terrific.


No joke! This line is brilliant ... I wish I had it embroidered on a sampler to hand to copy editors when I worked at the newspaper ...

<i>Many of the best writers in the language couldn't tell you the difference between them, while many of the worst think they know. If the subtle difference between the two confuses you, use whatever sounds right. Other matters are more worthy of your attention.</i>
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17269
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Has anyone tried the no-knead method of making bread?

Postby ChefCarey » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:33 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Stuart Yaniger wrote:That Rutgers site is terrific.


No joke! This line is brilliant ... I wish I had it embroidered on a sampler to hand to copy editors when I worked at the newspaper ...

<i>Many of the best writers in the language couldn't tell you the difference between them, while many of the worst think they know. If the subtle difference between the two confuses you, use whatever sounds right. Other matters are more worthy of your attention.</i>


Send a copy to Miscrsoft, too. That damn spellchecker wants to change *every* which to that!
ChefCarey
 

PreviousNext

Return to The Forum Kitchen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests