23 June 2008
staff of life
I'm possibly the last person on the planet to try this bread, aren't I? A few months ago everyone was doing it but I was all Meh, I've got my bread machine, I've got my trusty sourdough recipe ... I don't knead* another bread ...
* Did you see what I did there? Totally unintentional.
... and then I killed my sourdough starter, shock horror. And my breadmaker is for everyday pedestrian bread; I like a good chewy artisan loaf on the weekends. It goes better with the weekend papers and lazy afternoons.
So I gave the New York Times No Knead Bread a whirl, and I'm pleased to report it's a goer. This is the second loaf I've made, and this time I added the full amount of salt recommended as I'd skimped on it first time round, remembering comments around the blogosphere that the resulting bread was too salty. But it was a little too bland with the low dose of salt, so this time I added the prescribed amount, and for a change used 2/3 white flour and 1/3 wholemeal flour.
Whoohoo, it's sensational. We had it tonight with a hearty rich beef stew and mashed potato (we like our carbs we do we do) and a lovely glass of red.
The only thing about this recipe is the timing, as the first rise takes 12-18 hours. The long rise is in lieu of kneading, I presume? Once you've figured out whether you'll be around, or even awake, in 12 to 18 hours' time in order to do the punch down and then the second (2 hour) rise, it's a breeze.
I'm looking forward to it toasted, with nectarine jam and a cup of English Breakfast tomorrow.