Monday, January 3, 2011

Easy and Faster No Knead Bread Recipe in a Dutch Oven

Faster and super easy no-knead bread, made in a Dutch oven and simply delicious!
A faster no knead bread made in a Dutch oven, that's simply delicious!

Easy and Faster No Knead Bread Recipe in a Dutch Oven

No Knead Bread really doesn't take less time to make than good ole hand kneaded loaf bread - kneading bread is not that difficult and certainly a cinch with a Kitchen Aid. No knead bread just became sort of a novelty ever since the recipe from Jim Lahey, for his New York Sullivan Street Bakery, made an appearance on the circuits back in 2006. For awhile there, everybody was talking about it, and, making it.

His takes more than 18 hours to make. Mine doesn't.

And yes... I know that there is certainly something to be said about allowing yeast to ferment over a long time to produce a flavorful bread. This method is just a shorter way to get a wonderful loaf of no knead bread, faster. And trust me. Even if you don't consider yourself to be a bread maker, you can do this - and you don't have to have a fancy pot for it either. It's nice if you have one, but in truth, you can use a plain ole cast iron Dutch oven, or enameled cast iron Dutch oven, or one of those high dollar, fancy French ovens. Any one of those will work.  I used a vintage Corning Ware Visions Dutch oven my grandma gave me this time.

If you don't have a Dutch or French oven, you can keep the bread very rustic and dump it right on a parchment covered baking sheet for the second rising if you like. The main difference between the open baking and the covered baking is that the pot both conforms the bread to a specific shape, and it also acts as its own little oven that creates condensation inside. The results of this tightly closed environment is an ever so thin, crispy layer on the crust that you are gonna love. The pot is uncovered for the last 10 minutes or so, allowing the bread to brown beautifully.

Chef Lahey preheats the baking vessel and takes a few extra steps with the dough by transferring it to different bowls and folding it a bit. He also leaves the dough for that first rise for somewhere between 12 to 18 hours. I don't find all that necessary to be honest.

This is a much more simple recipe. You'll bloom the yeast, and warm the milk and water, and bring it all together in a big bowl until it's gooey. If you like, add in some herbs, or some cheese, or whatever ya like. That's it! Leave it right in that bowl, cover it, and let it rise in a warm spot. Use my trick and that'll only be about an hour.

Then you just deflate it. {Punching down just sounds so violent, don't you think?} I just stir it down from the outside to deflate it and loosen it from the bowl really.

Now you turn the dough out into the well lubricated vessel of your choice. I used non-stick spray and that Pyrex covered Dutch oven that I mentioned. Let that rise again, another 30 minutes or so.

Cover and bake in a preheated 475 degree oven for 30 minutes, then remove the cover.

Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until nicely browned.

Turn out onto a cooling rack and let rest. Enjoy!

They say Lahey's 18 hour bread is tasty and maybe one day when I have the time to spare maybe I'll give it a try. In the meantime, this quicker no knead bread is plenty tasty for me. It's nice and tender on the inside, and by cooking it in a closed vessel, has a wonderful thin and crispy outer crust. Just a fantastic and easy bread.

Tip: I buy yeast by the jar and store it in the freezer. When I'm ready to make rolls or bread, I remove whatever amount of yeast that I need and let it come to room temperature. Success with any kind of bread or yeast rolls is dependent on the yeast and the freezer keeps it fresh for a long time. Hasn't failed me yet!

For more of my favorite bread recipes, check out the collection on my Pinterest page!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!


Recipe: Easy No Knead Bread

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Inactive time: 1 hr 30 min
Cook time: 45 min
Total time: 3 hours 15 min
Yield: One round loaf

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups of bread flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons (1 package) rapid rise yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil

Turn the light on in your oven and preheat to the lowest setting.

Combine the milk and water and heat to almost boiling. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 2 teaspoons of the sugar and salt. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar to the yeast and stir in 1/4 cup of warm water (110 degrees F); let stand for 10 minutes until the yeast mixture is puffy and expanded. If it doesn't puff up, your yeast is dead and your bread will not rise.

Add the milk mixture, the yeast mixture, and the oil to the flour mixture. Include any add-ins you like here. Stir the mixture together well. It should be soft and somewhat gooey but use additional warm water if needed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean dishtowel. Turn off the oven and set the bowl inside the oven to rise, about 1 hour, leaving the light on. This oven procedure will help to speed up the rising process, without damaging the yeast.

Generously spray a 4.5 to 6 quart sized covered Dutch oven with non-stick spray. When dough has doubled in size, deflate it and turn it out into the prepared Dutch oven. Cover and keep warm to let rise a second time, until doubled, about 25-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Bake the bread in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, remove, uncover and bake another 10 to 12 minutes, or until top is nicely browned. Carefully turn the bread out onto a cooling rack.

Optional Add-ins: 1 tablespoon of crushed dried herbs (rosemary, basil, Italian seasoning, hard cheeses (cheddar, monterey jack, pepper jack, swiss etc.) about a cup, cut into very tiny cubes, or grated, using the large holes on your grater, cooked chopped bacon or pepperoni, 1/4 cup of pickled, chopped jalapenos, 1 small jar of pimentos, well drained, 1/4 cup of well drained and rough chopped olives - stuffed, green, black, Kalamata, whatever kind you like. Use your imagination.

Variations: To bake as a rustic loaf on an open baking sheet, after the second rise, turn dough out onto a parchment covered baking sheet and bake at reduced temperature of 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake another 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Loaf will be flatter than if baked in a container. Can also make into one or two oblong loafs.


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Posted by on January 3, 2011
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