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Jim Lahey

No-Knead Bread: The Burnt Bottoms

No-knead bread with a beautiful crust.
I know, I know my recipe crush on the Lahey-Bittman no-knead bread is glaringly obvious. Hell, I’ve even gone as far as making a stop-motion video homage to it. But, this obsession goes beyond an appreciation for the concept that great bread can be made with very little effort; it’s something that I actually do two or three times a week.

A detailed description of the method probably isn’t necessary since: a.) the original youtube video has been played about 1.75 million views, so I’m guessing it’s fairly widely known; and b.) I’ve gone into some detail in previous posts. Today’s post has a special focus so let’s say that a sufficient summary of the recipe is: mix dough, ferment overnight, allow a second countertop rise while the over heats with a Dutch oven inside, bake inside the closed Dutch oven for 30 minutes, and then remove the lid and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more. (more…)

No Knead Bread in Stop Motion

How to make homemade no-knead bread in stop motion video.

I have a terrible video voice. When that light on the front of a camera is lit in red I sound like my grade nine gym teacher teaching us about the various rules of badminton when clearly he was just thinking about his next coffee-donut-smoke break. Why this happens is beyond me and I’m working on it but in the meanwhile I think I have a solution.

What’s the problem? Well, I know that many of you are visual learners and like to have a demonstration of techniques that you don’t have to read. Video seems weird if the presenter doesn’t opt to talk about what they’re doing. Last week a link to a very good stop-motion video demonstrating how to make yogurt crossed my Twitter stream and I knew instantly I’d have to borrow the idea for my own purposes.

The original was created by Agnes “bob” Gentili (bby_su on Twitter) and I encourage you to take a look at it on Vimeo. She makes yogurt and for my first attempt I went with Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread.  This is the pane integrale (fancy for “partly whole wheat”) recipe from his book My Bread. (more…)

Lahey’s Bread

Our wood oven has been operational since the beginning of August and I’ve turned out a ton of pizzas but–with the exception of three pathetic baguettes–no bread.  This had to change.  With the help of Jim Lahey’s My Bread I set out to bake my first true round of wood-fired bread.

My entirely unscientific guess is that the average bread recipe for home bakers calls for about three hours of rising and another hour for a second rise, so that including the mixing and baking the whole operation takes no longer than six hours.  My current bread cookbook champion is Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice (my review) and most of his recipes take this a step further and call for the preparation of a starter, poolish, or soaker the day before you want to bake.  Lahey keeps the amount of yeast low and prepares the dough the day before but also has the dough ferment over night (for 12 to 18 hours) at room temperature. Most remarkably he does away with kneading. (more…)