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Oct 27, 2009 10:35 PM

No-knead bread as general bread replacement?


I read a few posts about "No-knead bread" and it looks interesting. I'm very unhappy with bread prices here in Manhattan - $3.50 for a loaf of whole wheat bread is ridiculous in my opinion. I haven't tried KNB but it looks good from the pics I have seen. Can anyone here comment on using KNB for basic deli sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, etc?? Also, is it possible to make smaller loaves to act as rolls, hoagies, paninis? What sort of dish would be required to make something like that?

Also, could KNB be made to be healthy as a store-bought bread substitute? I see it's basically composed of flour, salt and water. Maybe I can incorporate multigrain and whole wheat flour and basically just cook up one of these every so often instead of buying supermarket bread? What's the shelf life of this KNB?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. You can get a decent rise with NKB (your acronym is dyslexic!), but it's not going to be nearly as airy as your typical store-bought sandwich bread.

    The shelf life is much, much shorter than store-bought bread too. After a day it will be seriously degraded and after two days it can be downright stale.

    I think you're getting ahead of yourself. Why don't you try it out and see what you think?

    1 Reply
    1. re: jeremyn

      Wow, I think I am dyslexic. Been noticing mistakes like this lately..

      I'll wait until I get the dutch oven and try it out.. too bad the shelf-like is so short.. I was expecting at least 4-5 days.

    2. I don't have a dutch oven, so haven't tried the nkb, but you might want to try the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day. I love their wwheat sandwich loaf. Here's a link with lots of info and several recipes:

      1. Yhis is a very wet dough that won't hold its shape well enough for rolls.

        You can absolutely use healthier flour - I use White Whole Wheat. When I make Jacques Pepin's no-knead one-pot bread, which is even easier than the NK or 5minute breads, I use a cup of oatmeal to replace one of the 4 cups of flour. You can use different liquids too - I like to substitute cider for half the water. But you really do need the salt or the flavor will suffer - and I am a person who uses VERY little salt.

        Making your own bread is certainly more economical than storebought, and you can freeze any that you won't eat right away. We tend to think of homemade as "free", since there's flour in the pantry. However, specialty flours cost more than AP white, and you'll go through quite a bit of it if you bake often.

        1. No knead bread doesn't have a very long shelf life, as it's pretty lean stuff. For a "keeping" loaf, you need a bread recipe with a little fat/oil, or an egg (the lethicin in the egg helps to prevent staling), or maybe something like potato starch. I recently made King Arthur's "Sharing Bread" recipe; it made excellent toast, sliced very thinly for sandwiches, and didn't turn stale in an instant. Here's a link to the recipe: The King Arthur website also has some no-knead recipes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            Yes, I agree, the NKB (like the Lahey/Bittman bread doesn't keep that long, although I've kept it a couple - three days.

            If you want bread for daily use and don't want to be whipping up a new batch every day, the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day is a good way to go. You can mix up a big batch and keep it in the fridge for a couple weeks. (Actually, keep it one week and freeze what you haven't used after that so it doesn't change. Ask if you want to know about that.)

            Then, with the dough in the fridge, you can pull off a little hunk big enough for dinner and bake that. Easy. The book has lots of variations as miss louella mentions. So there are some richer breads and some whole wheat. There are lots of recipes from the book online in different places.

          2. I use no knead bread for sandwiches, toast, and all usual uses, although it doesn't have any sugar and so it's a bit more savory than many sandwich loaves (including multigrain). It also has a more hearty, elastic texture than your average sandwich loaf. You can sub whole wheat, rye, and other flours (or oatmeal, rice, etc. if you adjust the liquids, too) for up to about 1/3 of the white flour w/o hurting the rise much. You can also add nuts and seeds with no problem. My current favorite is 2/3 white flour, 1/6 whole wheat, 1/6 combo of wheat germ and rye, with a large dose of sunflower seeds thrown in.

            I slice and freeze all the bread I make w/in a day (usually hours) of making it and then use it right out of the freezer. This works fine for both toast and sandwiches, if I make them in the morning and eat them for lunch.