No Knead Bread

I am a big fan of Mark Bittman and his minimalist cooking style. Last year I had privilege to attend one of his book signing event for his book Vegan Before 6. But I did not get the copy to get signed from him as I decided to buy eBook version. I have tried few of his recipes and his flavor combinations do amaze me! Simple and flavorful! He also talks very casually and does not force his though process on his followers. I miss his regular column in New York Times but happy that archives are

I have been trying to make breads with various recipes but kneading dough by hand for 10+ minutes is not fun! Been there done that! And food processors are useless when it comes to huge amount of dough. And you must have figured by now that I do not have a stand mixer. So I wanted to try a bread that needs no kneading!! I watched Mark Bittman's video on NY Times at least 5 times before I tried my first loaf. It was a success in first trial. But then there are lot of things go really well in first trial and then all downhill from there. So I gave it another try this time with sun dried tomatoes and garlic and it was a hit too! Now I had much more confidence in the recipe so I tried pull apart version with Zatar, also tried rosemery version. I have made it with half white and half wheat flour. And results were awesome every time! I then found out from a friend that there is a 'Quick No Knead' recipe. I have tried it twice and that comes out really great too. And the you do not have to wait for 12-15 hours for it! But today So here I am jotting down my notes of customizing Mark Bittman's Original No Knead Bread.

Here is the link to original recipe -

No Knead Bread

And here my basic recipe followed by my variations -

1.5  cups All Purpose Flour, plus more for dusting
1.5 cups Whole Wheat Flour
3 tsp Vital Wheat Gluten**
1 and 5/8 cups Water
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Instant Dry Active Yeast

Other ingredients - 3-4 tbsp Chopped fresh Rosemary Or 1/2 cup chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes Or 2-3 tbsp Zatar Or 3-4 tbsp Freshly chopped Garlic or any other things you like in your bread.

Preparation -
Mix APF, wheat flour, and vital wheat gluten in a non reactive bowl big enough so that there is enough space to flour to rise.

Add yeast and salt to the flour mix and mix again.

Now add water and mix it to form a loose dough. Make sure all the flour is incorporated.
Cover with plastic wrap and keep it in a warm place for 3-4 hours. I usually put mine in oven with light on. Dough should be almost tripled in 4 hours.

Lightly flour work surface and punch it down the dough. Casually make a ball and let it rest for 15 minutes. Additional ingredients like rosemary etc should be added at this step. Flour your hands, sprinkle little more flour on the work surface and fold the dough and form a nice ball. You do not need to work on the dough too much, just slightly form a ball.

Sprinkle corn meal or flour on a cotton towel (do not use Turkish towel). Put the dough ball seam side down. Sprinkle more corn meal or flour on top and cover with cotton towel and let it rise for 2 more hours. I use flour most of the time.

About 1.5 hours after you have put the dough covered in towel, preheat oven at 450F. Keep a 6-8 quart covered Pyrex or cast iron skillet or cast iron dutch oven in the oven (cover should be oven proof at 450 degrees F). I usually use a cast iron skillet and cast iron griddle as cover.

in half an hour carefully remove the heating container from the oven. Open the dough from the covered kitchen towel and with hand carefully drop the dough in heated container. Casually shake the container, cover and slide back in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes covered. Carefully remove the cover and bake for another 20-30 minutes.

Remove the container from the oven and remove beautifully baked bread on cooling rack. Slice with serrated knife and enjoy with oil+balsamic vinegar mixture.
No Knead Bread, Crumb!

Tips - 
  • If you do not have Vital Wheat gluten, please use only All Purpose Flour and don't use any wheat flour as bread will be extremely dense and will not test good. 
  • Please handle the hot containers with care, use oven mitts all the time. cast iron container are extremely heavy and becomes even more heavier with dough. 
  • The crumb and taste resembles sourdough bread. 
  • I like the rosemary bread the most.