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Bittman's No-Knead Bread...Wow!

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I can't wait to try this. It may be the answer to my prayers!

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/din...

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  1. Wow! I have never heard of such a tecnique!

    Even though I love the peace and quiet of my kitchen when it is just me and the yeasty dough I am kneading the recipe's description of the crust is enough!

    I will definatley try this one.

    Jenna

    1. Just logged on to ask a question about this.

      Do you guys think you can make this with a mix of whole wheat, white whole wheat, and soy(only 1/4c) flours? I make 2 loaves of a dense, wheaty bread every week and while i'd like to try Bittman's recipe, I really don't want to be making a white bread. I always also add 1/2c oatmeal, 1/4c millet, 1/4c flax. While i'm satisfied with this, and in fact love it, i'd like to try his method whilst still ending up with something whole wheaty. I'm happy to forego the oats, soy, millet, and flax for a week, but prefer to keep the whole wheat flours.

      thanks!

      7 Replies
      1. re: brownie

        Bittman himself says that "I’ve played with whole-wheat and rye flours, too; the results are fantastic." So I imagine that your mix would be fine. Can't wait to try this technique!

        1. re: TorontoJo

          Do you have the link to see this Video? I would like to see how it looks after the 12 hours.
          Thanking you in Advance
          Grace
          Im very new on this board and I would like to know if there is a answer to my question and will I be notified by E-Mail

        2. re: brownie

          He writes in that article that wheat and rye flours are fine to use.

          1. re: niki rothman

            yes rye flours are fine BUT they are a little trickier to work with because they make for a stickier denser dough (develops gluten a bit differently) as does whole wheat flour, but rye even more so. you might want to do the standard recipe first so you know what to expect. i find a simple stretching technique i learned on Youtube (Breadtopia) helps my no-knead rye breads.

            i use bittman's no-knead recipe all the time, (he's a god, i do love him!) and i have experimented with all kinds of flours and types of dough (brioche is delightful for a special treat). when i use rye i use NO MORE than 1 cup of rye to two cups of regular wheat flour - i suggest: 1/2 a cup for your first time - a recipe i like to use is -- 1/2 cup rye, 1/2 cup whole wheat, along with 1 cup bread flour, and 1 cup all purpose. using the bread flour along with the rye really helps. bread flour's gluten developing capacity is perfect for bread, but it's pricier and harder to find.

            also - i think the breadtopia guy on Youtube makes the whole process a bit too cumbersome, and he uses too much yeast - BUT, that said - watching his videos helped me learn a lot about the process and gave me the confidence to experiment.

          2. re: brownie

            I have made the bread with 100% whole wheat flour and I have added walnuts, raisins and honey! I also have increased the amount of salt since I found that the plain loaf tasted too bland with the small amount of salt in the original recipe! I also have increased the amount of yeast to 1/2 of a teaspoon instead of 1/4 because I thought that the whole wheat flour might need more "lift"! The results have been spectacular!

            1. re: teadoro

              ditto on the %100 whole wheat needing more lift. again, if i am around the house i like the stretching technique the breadtopia guy uses in one of his recipes (sorry, can't remember which one, but you can find him on Youtube.

              i also love adding honey - but be aware that when you add sugar of any sort (including a bit of beer, or even the vinegar that Lahey suggests to Bittman to help quicken the rising) you will get a darker crust that tends to darken a lot more on the bottom.

              experiment!!! what's the worst that could happen? even if you mess it up your bread will still be better than anything you buy in the store!

          3. Well, I couldn't wait! I didn't have bread flour around, just whole wheat and rye, so I'm trying 2 cups whole wheat + 1 cup rye. I don't see the point of instant yeast, so I dissolved 1/4 tsp regular active dry yeast in the water before adding it. The resulting dough was VERY wet--in fact, more like a batter than a dough; I don't know if it's the difference in flours or that it's actually supposed to be like that.

            I wish Bittman had given the whole-grains version he found "fantastic", since I'd like to know if he used all whole grain flours or just a mix of white and wheat, and in what proportions. Also wish he'd given weights as well as measures, since flour volume can vary widely. I find it much easier and more reliable to throw flour into a bowl on my scale and know I'm using the exact same amount every time. Will report back tomorrow when it's baked!

            5 Replies
            1. re: dixieday2

              please do report!
              TorontoJo--thanks for pointing that out. I've always been told i read too fast!!

              1. re: dixieday2

                Bittman does indicate that his dough was also very wet. Can't wait to find out about your loaf. This whole idea is magnif and Bittman strikes again!

                1. re: oakjoan

                  Watch the video linked in the article. They show the bread at all the important stages so you can see just how wet it is.

                2. re: dixieday2

                  He said you don't have to use bread flour, that AP was OK.

                  1. re: dixieday2

                    re: " I wish Bittman had given the whole-grains version he found "fantastic". "

                    i wished the same thing, but i was around the house for a couple weeks, so i played around with it (see my commnets to Niki above for amounts of flour.

                    these are wet doughs, they're what he calls "shaggy doughs" - but some days the doughs are more shaggy than others. rye doughs are downright sticky.

                    the first time i made the brioche i had a very wet dough - it addled me a bit - but i had followed the recipe and carefully measured. so i set it to rise and worried a bit. THEN, since the flour was still on the counter i tossed together a regular dough, which i can do while sleepwalking i've done it so much, and WOW - that dough was too wet also. well...

                    it was RAINING that day, and that makes a lot of difference. almost a half a cup of flour difference. because it was the first time i made the brioche i wouldn't have known if it was right or not - but because i did the other loaf too - well - my experience told me something else was up. sure enough!

                    good news - even that very wet brioche game out fabulous!

                  2. I couldn't wait either and started a loaf this morning (I also posted a note about it, not realizing that Kagey had already done so!)

                    - Sean

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Sean Dell

                      I'm going to try it tomorrow. It sounds like the answer to our prayers. It would be so great to just be able to whip up such an easy sounding bread - really! I loved it when Bittman said the ancient Egyptians made bread by mixing it with a hoe.

                    2. They mention Le Creuset in the article and show it in the pics. They also mention a 450 degree oven temp, yet the LC "plastic" knobs are only rated to 400 degrees. I don't want to melt mine of course, so are there any suggestions? Has anyone ever had any trouble with LC knobs melting?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: HaagenDazs

                        By the way, in the video, he mentions a temp of 500 or 515.

                        1. re: yayadave

                          Yikes! 500!? It almost seems like it would burn after 45 minutes to an hour at those temps. I think the safest and easiest bet is to unscrew the knob. That way I won't have to even think about it.

                        2. re: HaagenDazs

                          Btw, maybe they've changed, but current LC knobs are rated oven safe to 450F. And you can unscrew them and plug the hole with foil; you'd need to remove the hot cover with mitts instead, but that is quite workable.