March 31, 2014
weekend baking ~ no-knead bread
I can't imagine ever going on a low-carb diet or giving up bread completely just because I love all kinds of bread. From sweet to savory, there's something about freshly-baked bread, the aroma, the texture and taste of it that makes it a universal food transcending many centuries and cultures. Artisanal bread with a chewy interior and crispy crust has always been one of my favorites. It's great that they're now available at most grocery bakeries. I'm also happy that they can be made at home with a little effort and time. It just needs some planning ahead as the dough has to rest for 18-20 hours or overnight.
No-knead bread was a breakthrough for many home bakers like me and with its introduction, we gained the opportunity to make artisanal bread anytime. Supermarket breads are good but thay can be pricey for the budget-conscious shopper. I've read that baking bread at home is much more economical. Aside from that, there's nothing more rewarding and satisfying than fresh warm bread. I'm glad I was introduced to the world of bread making years ago. After more than 10 years since I baked my first batch of rolls, I still enjoy baking bread and eating it too :-)
I finally disposed my sourdough starter and although I regret it at times, it was getting to be a chore to keep feeding it. Too bad but even without the sourdough starter, making artisanal bread at home is still possible by mixing an overnight starter or biga. I particularly like no-knead bread's uncomplicated procedure, just stir together flour, water and a little yeast then let it rest overnight at room temperature. The long resting period allows the gluten to slowly develop creating the chewy interior with an open crumb as shown above. A slice of this bread (I prefer it slightly toasted with butter) and a cup of soup is the perfect combination for lunch or dinner :-)
For the recipe and procedure, here's the link to the video. I find it helpful to watch the video with more info about the mixing and baking techniques.