Baking bread can take a lot of work, and I should know. I’ve been using a recipe from The Simple Dollar to create delicious bread, but it does take a long time and a lot of energy to make it. Once you mix the ingredients together, you have to knead the dough for ten minutes then leave it sitting in a bowl for an hour. After that hour, you come back and knead it a little more before letting it rise one last time for another hour. If this sounds like too much work to you, don’t worry. There’s a no-knead option available too.
You can even follow your gluten free dietary needs with homemade bread; learn how to make gluten free bread yourself with this article. You can also learn gluten free bread from this online course. If you don’t have any dietary restrictions and are still interested in baking bread, you can try an online class in baking artisan bread. With a little bit of trial and error, you can probably make the recipes you learn from that class with a no-knead method.
The Tools You Will Need
It’s best to have your tools set out on the counter before you get your hands dirty. You might find it a little difficult to dig out a loaf pan from the cabinet when your hands are covered in flour.
- a mixing bowl or two – one to mix ingredients, and one to store your dough in the refrigerator
- measuring cups – for measuring ingredients, of course
- a loaf pan – or another pan if you don’t have a loaf pan
- a plastic container – to store your dough in if you decide not to use a bowl
- a thermometer – so you can make certain your bread is completely cooked
- oven mitts – don’t try taking out your bread with your bare hands
- a wooden spoon, a rubber spatula, or some other kind of tool – used to mix ingredients, can be mixed with your bare hands too
- plastic wrap or the lid to your plastic container – the plastic wrap is if you decide to use a bowl instead of a container
- something to store your baked bread in
The Ingredients for Making Bread
If you’re gluten free, you might want to consider taking a class in gluten free cooking so you know how to make your gluten free flour. Otherwise, your run-of-the-mill all-purpose flour will work just fine for these recipes. Be careful about substituting for whole wheat or some other type of flour without first testing with all-purpose flour.
- lukewarm water – not too hot, and not too cold, a little bit over room temperature
- fast acting or instant yeast – this particular type of yeast requires no premixing
- salt – many of the no-knead recipes suggest kosher salt
Making the Bread
Each recipe has different ingredient amounts so be sure to check out the recipe for how much of each ingredient you need. These are the basic steps of each recipe save for The Italian Dish’s bulk recipe that can make up to four one-pound loaves. If you’re interested in baking more than just bread, consider a class in the world of cookies.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl. Keep in mind that these no-knead recipes are supposed to be super easy and require less work. This means that if you purchased regular active dry yeast instead of instant or fast acting, you’re going to need to proof it before you mix it in with the rest of your dry ingredients. This means that you will need a separate small bowl with just your yeast in it. Then you will take 1/4 cup of warm water and mix until you have no clumps. Let that water mix sit for five minute then wait to pour into your mixture until you’re adding the water.
- Add the water (and yeast mixture, if you had to make it), and mix all of the ingredients together. Your dough will be sticky, but that’s to be expected because it’s no-knead.
- Cover the dough, and let rise. Each recipe has a different amount of rising time. Simply So Good suggests twelve to eighteen hours. The Comfort of Cooking suggests anywhere from eight to twenty-four hours. The Italian Dish’s bulk recipe suggests only two hours. Simply So Good and The Comfort of Cooking also suggest you keep the bowl in a place at room temperature. The Italian Dish suggests refrigerating the dough so it’s easier to work with when you shape it.
- Preheat your oven. All three recipes suggest 450 degree Fahrenheit, and they also suggest preheating either stoneware or a dutch oven in the oven before baking.
- Shape your loaf. Use your counter, a cutting board, or even a cookie sheet. Dust it with flour, and shape your loaf the way you want it to look. Remember that this is no knead so don’t knead your dough. Just gently form it into the shape you want with your hands, and do what you can to make the top of it look smooth. If you’re using The Italian Dish’s recipe, you will have cut off a piece of the dough you created to make your loaf. The rest can be returned to your refrigerator for more rising and fermenting.
- Let rest for thirty minutes while your stoneware or dutch oven preheats. This is also a great time to start cleaning up your mess so you don’t have to deal with it later.
- Score the top of your bread with a knife. Be careful not to pull on your bread too much so use a very sharp knife or a razor blade to complete this step. Scoring your bread like this allows gases to escape so they don’t deform your bread.
- Bake your bread. Simply So Good and The Comfort of Cooking bake their bread in lidded containers. If you don’t have a lidded container, you can improvise like some of Simply So Good’s commentators did creating lids from tin foil or laying stainless steal bowls over dough on cookie sheets or pizza stones. The Italian Dish bakes the bread uncovered and used to bake it with a cup of water in a pan beneath the stoneware the bread sat on. However, this appears to be an optional suggestion.
- Allow to bake for thirty to forty-five minutes. If you used a lidded container, you should remove the lid after the bread has baked for thirty minutes. The Italian Dish removed the bread at thirty to thirty-five minutes. Keep in mind that you can use your thermometer to check if your bread is ready, but you can also just wait until the outside is a crispy golden brown color.
- Allow the bread to cool, and store any remaining bread. Fresh-baked bread is best enjoyed after just being baked. Some will even break into it before the bread has cooled. When you’re finished enjoying your bread, store any leftovers uncovered at room temperature with the cut side face-down on a plate or on your counter. This storing tip came from The Italian Dish.
Removing the kneading makes it easier to mix your ingredients and requires less energy from you for your bread-making. As you can see, however, rising times are increased. So, when making your no-knead dough, keep in mind that there’s a high chance you won’t be enjoying it the same night you mix up the ingredients. Prepare your meal schedule in advance to avoid requiring bread that you don’t have yet.