Baking No-Knead Bread in a Dutch Oven
No-knead bread high hydration is a great recipe to adapt to a number of unique ingredients like berries or sausage! This another easy bread recipe that gives you fresh bread with great taste. You can ferment for 12 – 18 hours or for just a couple of hours and then stick it in the fridge for 2-5 days. It makes a nice heavy loaf that many prefer. Following are optional ingredients, my “Kitchen Sink” style.
Servings: 14 slices
Dutch Oven, Measuring Cup, Mixing Bowl, Thermometer, Scale, Scoring Knife, Banneton Basket or Proofing Bowl, Wooden Spoon.
- 400 gm White flour organic
- 10 gm Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
- 5 gm Crushed Pepper optional to taste
- 5 gm Rosemary optional to taste
- 5 gm Onion flakes optional to taste
- 300 gm Water
- 7 gm Fresh Yeast or Dry Active
- 1/2 cup Parmesan optional to taste
- 4 slices Few slices of fresh garlic optional to taste
Mix all the ingredients into the flour other than the water, parmesan, garlic & onion; if you want to play with the textures go for it; substitute 75g with one or a mixture of, whole wheat, rye,7 grain, spelt to name a few. Next, warm up some water to 28 - 33 degrees, if you are using fresh yeast add it to the water and let it dissolve or crumble it in with the flour, then add the water and mix well with a wooden spoon or by hand. Cover it up with a lid if the bowl comes with one or place saran wrap on top; now you have the choice of letting it ferment for 12 – 18 hours or leave it to ferment for a couple of hours and then place it in the fridge for few days, just punch dough back daily.
Now that it is fermented whether retarding the fermentation over a few days or using a same-day method, gluten & simple sugars have now developed. I now incorporate stretching & folding the dough out in the bowl; this done by taking a corner of the dough stretching it out as far as possible without tearing the dough then pull it back on top of itself; rotating the dough 90 degrees, for a few rotations; do this 3-4 times every 15 minutes. On the 2nd last folding cycle add the extra inclusions, the parmesan, garlic & onion this will allow the new ingredients to get mixed in nicely. Let sit for 30-60 minutes, allowing the dough to rise. Take the dough out of bowl place on a lightly flour dusted counter. Make four or more folds creating a firm ball, now flip the ball of dough so seam side is down; sprinkle a little flour over the dough; and tighten this dough up into a nice ball using a dough knife if you have one, hands if not, push in on the bottom and rotating clockwise; once you have tightened it up the best you can, allow the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes; you should always give your dough a rest of at least 15 min between any forming or dough manipulation. Now flip the dough back over seam side up and place on a piece of parchment paper dusted with corn meal or in a coated 6” cake pan coated lightly with olive oil. Now take an end of the dough & pull back to the center pressing it down so the dough can stick to itself; continue to do this until you have completed a circle. This is called stitching and should be done at the very end before final proofing as it makes a tighter ball of dough that will improve your rise Now give the dough time to rise, this is the proofing stage; we want the dough to rise in size by roughly 30%. During the proofing stage, you need to keep an eye, as you do not want to over prove, try to catch on the rise. Touch dough with your finger if the dough responds back gently its good to go if it responds too quickly it has not finished. Best conditions for proofing are at 28 degrees C if you want you can stick it in the oven with the light on this can simulate a good environment for proofing. If you leave on the counter, it will rise depending on your climate and house temperature that will dictate its speed of the proofing. The proofing process could take 1-2 hours. Note dough will continue to rise in the refridgerator & you do not want to overproo, so catch on the rise and refigerate
Once it has risen my suggestion is to place in the refrigerator overnight; make sure bowl is covered with lid or saran wrap, so it doesn’t dry out. Preheat oven to 500-550 (Hotter the Better) degrees F and place the Dutch oven in to for 45 minutes. Take the bowl out of the refrigerator and score with a sharp knife or razor blade; this is much easier now that the dough is cold; sprinkle with some seeds for show sesame and poppy are a good suggestion or whatever you would like to garnish with or you can garnish right after stitching the bread.
Take Dutch oven out of the oven, place cake pan in Dutch oven; then get a little water sprayer and give it a spray, just enough to dampen it, then cover and return to oven, for 5 minutes, turning the oven down to 450 degrees and reset timer for 30 minutes; ovens can vary, so my times should be used as an approximation; after 30 minutes take lid off Dutch oven, the loaf should be golden brown at this point If you like a softer crust (my preference) brush bread with olive oil; leave lid off and return to oven for 5 – 10 minutes; the loaf should be turning darker brown by now; pull loaf out and let it air on a rack for a couple of hours before cutting.