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Oct 9, 2008 04:50 PM

Nobody's Posting About NEW, SHORTER BitLay Bread?

Yesterday in the Times, Mark Bittman had a new recipe for SHORTER RISING TIME BitLay bread. His recipe is posted on their website, but it's not exactly pages long. Now it takes 4 hours to rise.

The weird thing about it was that Jim Lehey was in the video and he semi-dissed Bittman's new bread and gave a recipe for HIS idea for faster rising loaves. That was not printed and one must watch the video to see it flash on the screen for a few moments.

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  1. I saw this on the Today show and it is a 5-6 hour rise time, but that is still a lot less than the 18 hour one from before. Here is a link to the recipe:

    1. Hey oakjoan. I haven't been around here in a few days but I just saw the NYTimes video and wanted to see what the buzz is on Chowhound. Surprised to see nobody talking about it.

      It was odd that Bittman didn't include the recipe that Jim Lahey told him about in the video. Maybe it's because he hadn't tried it yet.

      I had tried a faster version a while ago, using more yeast, and came up with a process that's about 7 or 8 hours. Still didn't have the flavor of the original.

      I will certainly try what Lahey suggested, with the hot water and vinegar. But I wonder if he means that the first rise is 3-4 hours, and then you have to do the second rise too. I assume that's what it is, but I'll have to see what happens. Will maybe try this weekend.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Kagey

        Yeah, I'm going to try the Lahey version. I couldn't tell about the rising. What if you just used Lahey's ingredients and Bittman's method?

        Will report back and I hope you will.

        1. re: oakjoan

          Will do. I'm going to try it today assuming a 3-4 hour rise time, like Lahey said, then the fold and rise for 1-2 hours, like I did with the original Lahey no-knead. I think they key will be to keep an eye on it, which I can do because I've got a lot of housework-type stuff to do today!

          1. re: Kagey

            Ok, I'm 4.5 hours into the first rise and it's nowhere near fermented enough! Ho hum.

            1. re: Kagey

              I tried this today, the whole wheat recipe which was posted with the article on faster no-knead bread. It was pretty much a bomb—sour yeasty taste and it collapsed, even though it seemed to be rising well! I posted about it here:


              Has anyone else tried the new whole wheat recipe? Anyone know why I failed?

              1. re: maggiej

                Well, maggiej, if the first BitLay bread was any indication, there was an ongoing process during which the recipe and procedures changed. We'll see if Bittman has any addenda or corrections.

                1. re: maggiej

                  I tried the whole wheat recipe. I wasn't able to do a four-hour rise. The timing didn't work with my schedule. Instead I left it to rise for about seven hours while I slept, then followed the recipe from there. Mine also collapsed. But I often find that with bread recipes that don't have any white flour. The taste is OK. I'll eat it but I don't know if I'd serve it to anyone else.

                  1. re: maggiej

                    I also tried the whole wheat bread (twice even) and both times it failed to rise above the level of the loaf pan (even giving it quite a bit of extra time). The taste was ok, but not something I'm going to rush to try again. The texture was almost like a quick bread; kind of evenly dense.

          2. Ok here's where I'm at. I tried it, started 11:00 Saturday with the same no-knead recipe, only substituting hot water instead of tepid and adding the red wine vinegar as indicated. I just re-watched the video and Lahey says that this "should work" with 3-4 hours' fermentation.

            By about 8pm on Saturday, it still hadn't risen enough that I thought it was done, and I wasn't going to be able to get to it. So I put it in the fridge. I had to work all day yesterday, so didn't have time, and now I've just taken it out of the fridge (12:30 Monday). It hasn't collapsed, and doesn't look fully risen compared to the usual first fermentation of the no-knead bread. But I figure if I give it a little time, it might poof out a little more. I hope I can get a loaf going tonight. On the plus side, all this fermentation time should make it taste good!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Kagey

              Loaf came out of the oven around 7:15 last (Monday) night. It looks pretty good, though I think I should have baked it about 5-10 minutes more. I haven't actually cut it open yet--amazing will power and cooked pasta for dinner last night. Looks like a normal no-knead loaf. I look forward to eating it this afternoon!

              Would love to see some more feedback from Bittman about this, as it certainly wasn't a quicker version for me. I wonder if he's tried it.

            2. I have searched everywhere for more info about this and so far everyone thinks this is a total bust. I havew looked at numerous boards and blogs and haven't seen one good review, yet. Here's hoping that one of you figure it out before I waste any time on it. Thanks you all!