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Dec 27, 2006 02:47 AM

David Lebovitz doesn't like the no-knead bread, at all!

I was quite surprised to read this opinion.

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  1. Sounds like a bad case of "Everyone likes this, so it must suck" to me.

    4 Replies
    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

      Hmmm...methinks some folks are taking his comments too seriously. Seemed like he was just sharing his personal taste/experience/outcome, not trying to bash the recipe or others posts on it.

      1. re: Kung Foodie

        Thanks for the psychoanalysis. However, I repeat that this particular piece reads to me like Lebovitz is engaging in a false comparison for no reason other than to present himself as a fearless contrarian. However, I admit that I have never ever heard of this guy before and perhaps he doesn't intend to sound as morally superior as he comes across to me.

        As for me, I can walk the three blocks to Clear Flour in Brookline and buy a loaf of bread that grinds this into dust. However, I do think this is a fine loaf of bread for the literally about four minutes of hands-on activity it requires: making this bread is actually easier than walking to the bakery and back! So it's an extremely handy addition to the list of things I can make for a weekday dinner that won't cause me to tear what little remains of my hair out. And what's wrong with that?

        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

          Its also a great option for people who dont have artisal bakeries in walking distance.

          1. re: jen kalb

            AND, it costs about $.25 to make. I HATE paying $5.00 a loaf for the staff of life.

            And now everyone is baking bread at home, it's so great.

            AND all of my friends love it and are begging for more. They aren't bread fiends. I love to please them.

    2. I am delighted with the no-knead bread, but it is flour, salt, water, yeast.
      THOSE 4 *are* the flavor!
      Can kneading *literally* add flavor to bread?

      1 Reply
      1. re: BangorDin

        I tend to doubt it - I thought the flavors came from the fermentation process working on the wheat. A long slow fermentation process should produce a lot of flavor. I dont particularly like the very sour flavor in some of the highly esteemed french bakery breads - maybe if those are his benchmark he wont like this bread?

      2. Yeah, well, how nice for him that he lives a couple of blocks from Poilane. Unfortunately, most of us don't.

        1. You know how people talk about bakery bread getting good after the place has been in business for over a year and so the environment has the right natural flora developed in the air? I think that's the kind of thing that works against the home cook v. the professional bakery.
          And O DAVID, of course there's no reason to get excited about *any* kind of home baking (outside of non-French specialties of course) when you live in Paris. So?

          I thought kneading developed the gluten, more of a texture than taste issue. The no-knead lets time do the developing. Is that correct?

          1. Time develops the Flavor, kinda like a sourdough (which flavor comes from the time the 'starter' takes); kneading develops the gluten. Developed gluten will stretch nicely, allowing the bread to rise & have a nice fine crumb...not kneading will lead to 'holey' bread & rougher texture, more like an 'artisan' loaf. The (very) small amount of yeast in the recipe means more time will be needed to develop the gluten, ergo the more flavor..
            Re: DL, who really *cares* what he thinks...

            1 Reply