No Need To Knead

Since we decided to bake all of our own bread in 2010, I’ve learned several things along the way. First, there’s nothing that beats the taste of home baked bread! Even the worst loaf of homemade bread usually tastes better than anything store bought, unless you happen to have an artisan bakery next door (which we don’t). I knew that already, because I’ve been baking bread for a long time.

And second, I learned it’s not really all that hard to do, with a little effort and some planning. Along those lines, we’re going to try and make it even easier for 2011 by making more no-knead bread. This year my wife has been baking a lot of bread using recipes from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes (HB in Five). One hallmark of these recipes is a relatively wet (well-hydrated), no-knead dough that you can keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

So to make things easier in 2011 we’re going to try and keep dough in the refrigerator at all times. That way, we can pinch off some dough and bake it on pretty short notice whenever we need fresh bread. This weekend I mixed up a batch of 100% Whole Wheat Bread with Olive Oil dough. After mixing, I let it sit out on the counter for about two hours, then put it in the frig to hang out until we need it.

whole wheat bread dough

Tonight I’m going to make Broccoli Buttermilk Soup, and some sort of fresh baked bread would sure be nice to go along with it. Last week my wife baked a couple of batches of whole wheat Grissini (breadsticks) to go with soup, and we really loved them!

whole wheat Grissini

We might make them again tonight, but I’ve got another idea. I’m going to put my head together with my wife and see what she thinks about baking some Garlic-Studded Baguettes. That sounds like a good match to go with the relatively mild broccoli soup. I’ll be sure and take some photos of whatever we decide!

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5 Responses to No Need To Knead

  1. I haven’t yet managed to bring myself to make the no-knead breads, although I know there are now a number of books on the subject. On the other hand, even though I’m a fan of poolish and barm methods, for the depth of flavor, planning a loaf two to three days in advance isn’t always convenient. I have a couple of straight dough breads I make regularly, but maybe I’ll have to try a no-knead loaf or two and see how they compare. Your bread-sticks look yummy!

    • Villager says:

      One nice thing about keeping the dough refrigerated for several days is that the flavor does improve. The last batch we made had almost a sourdough aroma by the time we finished using it. You can also hold back some of the dough from the last batch and use it for a pâte fermentée. I’m not giving up on other recipes and methods, but it’s nice to be able to make good bread without a lot of planning.

  2. Mike says:

    What time is dinner? Everything sounds so good.:) I really like your thoughts on keeping the dough in the fridge and making the bread when ever you want it without all the work. Garlic-Studded Baguettes sound pretty darn good too…what time was dinner again? Enjoy your meal. I’m off to check out your breadstick link again…my wife loves breadsticks with her soup.

  3. Daphne Gould says:

    I’ve made the no kneed breads, but honestly I like them better when I knead them. So sometimes they get kneaded and sometimes not. All of them however are the fairly wet dough and are kept in the fridge. It makes life so easy when you don’t have to plan if you want break early in the day.

  4. Shawn Ann says:

    Those look very nice. You come up with all kinds of good ideas!

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