As promised the no knead bread recipe...
You'll need a large plastic container for this and either a lid with a hole/vent or just cling film with a hole punched in it. I have also had success with those clip lip boxes, I have just placed the lid on but not clipped them down. We always have this dough in our fridge so I have a specific dough container, it is just a large box I got from Red Dot but the lid is quite soft so I was able to stick a knife though and make an escape hole. That way when it is in my fridge I can put the lid on properly and still know the dough will last.
This is a wet dough, don't be alarmed when it looks so sloppy, it is meant to.
For baking paper I use 'Glad Bake & Cooking Paper'. I love it, nothing ever sticks, ever. I saw a demonstration in Woolies and they were cooking chicken drizzled with honey, it just slide off the paper! I was sold and I have never bought another brand since. It really is the best I have found. (I have no affiliation or endorsements from them....I just really love it and buy it every time)
When shaping the dough we are trying to achieve a smooth stretched appearance called a gluten cloak. I have seen this done and professional bakers make it look effortless. It isn't!!!!! In the 18 month I have been making this loaf I have never got it perfect. Do the best you can and anyway uneven edges give the loaf character and a true homemade look. Well that is my story and I am sticking to it 😉
The ice, and steam it produces, helps to crisp the bread. I inherited an old gas cooker when we bought Rickety Cottage so I have had to change my method slightly. With the electric ovens I just used to chuck the ice loose onto the bottom of the oven, where there was no chance of water hitting electrics. Now I have gas I worry about the water dripping down onto the flame so I use a baking tray or quite often one of those little aluminium pie tins. Make sure it is metal though as ice into hot ceramic or glass isn't going to end well.
All flour acts a little differently. I use Coles own bread plain flour and have found these quantities to work well. If the bread has a slightly wet, gluey consistancy, then add an extra 60g of flour to your next batch.
- 780g plain flour
- 720ml warm water (Ideal temperature is 38°C but no need to get the thermometer out. It should just feel slightly warm)
- 1 ½ tablespoon instant yeast
- 1 ½ tablespoon table salt
- 1 cup of ice
- Pour your water into your container and sprinkle over the yeast and salt. Give this all a good mix with a fork.
- Add the flour and mix until you can't see any dry areas. You don't have to work too hard, it is just a quick mix to combine. No need to knead 🙂
- Place the lid on the container but do not secure it. I just place it on top but don't clip it down. The yeast is going to start working it's magic and you want those gases to be able to escape. (Isn't dried yeast amazing stuff!!!)
- Leave the container on the side for about an hour. A little more won't hurt it.
- Clip the lid down at this point, remembering to leave a small gap for any extra gases to escape.
- Transfer the container to the fridge and leave for at least 4 hours. Overnight is ideal.
- Lay a piece of baking paper on the counter.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and sprinkle the surface with a small amount of flour.
- Use your hands to scoop a piece of dough out and cut it away using a knife. You want a piece about as big as a rock melon. But anything goes here, a bit bigger or smaller won't matter. You'll soon get to know what size you need to pull out to make a loaf you are happy with. Honest 😉
- Shape the loaf as best you can. You want to turn the loaf around in your hands to try and achieve a nice smooth stretch of dough over the top.
- Place your dough on the baking paper and leave for 20 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan forced/Gas Mark 7 and place a baking sheet in the oven to heat up. Also put a small tin/disposable tray at the bottom of the oven.
- Using a sharp knife make 3 (or 4 if your loaf is bigger) slits across the top to allow steam to escape and also give the loaf a great crispy top and 'Look how great a baker I am' appearance.
- Using oven gloves remove the hot tray from the oven and carefully drag/pull the baking paper onto it.
- Get the loaf straight in the oven and throw your ice into the bottom tray.
- Bake for 40 minutes. I start to have a look at around 35 minutes just to check it isn't burning.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Step back and admire your creation. Then cut a thick slice, spread on the butter and enjoy 🙂
The remaining dough will keep in the fridge for up to 14 days.