EdibWasa — Winter 2014
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No Knead Bread Redux
By Smiley

It all started innocently enough with an easy, "fun" bread recipe printed in the Food section of the New York Times. Called "No Knead" bread, it described how to combine flour, salt and a tiny amount of yeast with a bit of water, mix and let percolate for 18 hours while one goes about his or her business. At the 18-hour point, you plop it out onto a well-floured dishcloth and let it rise to double in size about another 2 to 4 hours. When it doubles in size, you put a lidded Dutch oven or heavy pot in the oven and bring your oven to 475-500º. Then you handily flip the risen blob of dough into the hot pot, replace the lid and bake. Easy as pie! A gorgeous boule ensues! I couldn't wait to try it, and did. . . with disastrous results.

The theory behind this recipe is sound. Using a heavy pot with a lid creates a miniature oven inside your oven, trapping the moisture for the bread to use and creating that perfectly crisp crust. It's a way for the average home baker to get the kind of results traditionally achieved by a commercial bread oven. The very wet dough (which couldn't be kneaded even if you wanted to stays better hydrated inside the lidded pot.

My first try went nicely, up to and including dumping it out onto the floured dishcloth. With my oven at 500º I attempted to flip dough from dishcloth to screamingly hot pot. No dice. The dough stuck to the dishcloth like fly to flypaper. I screamed to my wife, "Help!" and we both tried to get it unstuck. Finally with knife and scissors we managed to release at least some of the dough (along with some of the dishcloth) into the pot. We then discarded the residual blob, still connected to the accompanying dishtowel.

It just didn't work. Luckily, I don't quit easily. I proceeded to watch a video of the author and master bread baker performing said feat and saw some discrepancies, which I quickly decided to inquire about. I followed up with email correspondence and criticism. And apparently I wasn't the only one who had problems. Hundreds of others complained and a follow-up article acknowledging problematic instructions was printed. I'm not convinced that the whole thing wasn't an intentional publicity stunt. But we'll never know.

The end result of all this fuss is a simple "Only Knead a Little, Only If You Want To" recipe for delicious homemade bread. Here is that recipe.

In mixer or large bowl, mix 500 grams of bread flour (3 1/2 cups) with 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (or 1/4 cup live bread starter) and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. When these dry ingredients are blended, mix in 1 1/2 cups of water. Let this nice wet mixture bubble away in a bowl for 18 hours or so covered with plastic wrap. Try to pick an appropriate size bowl, so that dough rises up instead of spills sideways.

With a spatula, spill the dough out onto floured work surface or cutting board and, if so desired, knead it for a minute using a little additional flour if necessary, and form into a nice ball.

Line your bowl with parchment paper. Drop in the dough. Cover with a dishcloth and let rise until double in size, two to four hours.

Heat oven and dutch oven or large heavy pot with lid to 475º. Using hefty oven mitts take out the pot. Using parchment paper as a sling, lift dough out of the bowl and down into the hot pot, parchment paper and all. Put the lid on and bake for 30 minutes.

Take lid off pot and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes at reduced temperature of 425º. Be alert and monitor the browning of bread continuously here. It can quickly go to far.

It's done when it's done. You're the boss. Internal temperature should be 190º to 210º F. Restrain yourself and let cool completely before you indulge, then eat quickly. It gets stale in a hurry. No preservatives.

However the next few pages have some great recipes that work really well with this bread in day old form.

Congratulations. . . You did it!!!

2. MIX



2 cups white rice flour
1 1/2 cups tapioca starch
1/4 cup organic sugar
1 Tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp yeast
3 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup organic raisins; soaked in warm water
2 cups tepid whole milk
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil or unsalted soft butter
3 large farmer’s market eggs

2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon.

In a small bowl, whisk these together and set aside.

This loaf bread is made best with a stand mixer and a narrow loaf pan such as a Pullman bread pan with high sides. If you don't have a Pullman pan, use two smaller loaf pans and make two loaves.

Combine milk and cider vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside. While raisins soak, combine dry ingredients in a stand mixer bowl or mixing bowl and whisk together thoroughly. Add softened butter in pieces (if using oil, pour in slowly in a steady stream). When the mixture begins to come together, add the eggs one at a time. Mix on medium speed till mixture looks like cornmeal with some chunks in it. Slowly add in milk mixture (milk will be a bit chunky as vinegar has soured and curdled it), mixing on low. Dough will become sticky and begin to pull away from the bowl. When all the dry ingredients are mixed in, add the rest of the milk and mix, increasing speed to medium and then beating for an additional 3-4 minutes.

The dough will have a consistency of thick cake batter, spreadable but not pourable. Drain the raisins and stir them in to the dough. Cover bowl with towel. Let rise 30 minutes

Spray pan with oil or coat with butter. Take your prepared pan, and working in two cup measurements layer dough in bottom of pan. Next, take your cinnamon and sugar mixture and spread a heaping Tablespoon down center of dough, leaving a perimeter of dough around the inside of pan that isn't covered. This is so the loaf can form together all around the edge. Continue layering, dough, cinnamon & sugar, ending with dough on top. Smooth the edges and top let rest 5 minutes. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until thermometer reads above 185°. Let cool for a few minutes before devouring with heaps of warm butter!


Garlic soup is a dish that is traditionally eaten during lent in Spain because it contains no meat. It also has a long history of being eaten to restore one's strength after a night of revelry. In other words sopa de ajo great anytime whether you're nursing a hangover or practicing spiritual restraint. Maybe the perfect prescription for Utah.


1/2 cup olive oil
8 cloves of garlic, evenly, but not too thinly, sliced
2 cups day old bread, the one on page 28 is great, in small chunks (crusts welcome!)
6 cups water or chicken stock
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed 4 quart Dutch oven or pot over medium heat, and add the garlic slices. When garlic just turns golden add in the bread chunks. Sauté the bread and garlic for a few minutes over medium heat until the bread is a little toasty, being careful not to brown or burn the garlic.

Add in the paprikas, season with salt, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add in water or stock and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl and stir them into the hot soup. To make a more complete meal serve with one of the fish crostini on page v.


12 thick slices of good bread, toasted, rubbed with a clove of garlic, and drizzled with olive oil
6 canned San Marzano tomatoes, whole
1 large yellow onion
1/4 cup pitted green olives, halved
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 Tbsp whole capers
12 white anchovy fillets
Fresh chopped parsley

Slice the onion thinly and sauté over medium heat in olive oil until deep golden. Chop the tomatoes, removing as many seeds as possible (but don't stress about it). Add the tomatoes to the onions and cook down until tomatoes are jamlike and onions have caramelized. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in raisins and olives and allow to heat through. Top toasts with vegetable mixture and lay two white anchovy fillets on each toast. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.


12 thick slices of good bread, toasted, rubbed with a clove of garlic, and drizzled with olive oil
1 tin sardine fillets, packed in oil (4 or so fillets)
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
3 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp finely minced shallot
2 tsp lemon zest

Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Remove sardines from tin and grill on both sides until warmed through. Break sardines into large chunks, removing most of the bones (again, don't stress too much about the bones, they're little and ok to eat). Toss warmed sardines with the remaining six ingredients and divide among toasts to serve


12 thick slices of good bread, toasted and drizzled with olive oil
2 4 oz tins mackerel fillets in olive oil
1 Tbsp crème fraiche
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp chopped tarragon
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste Smoked paprika

Remove fillets from tin and place in a glass bowl; flake them with a fork. Mix remaining ingredients except paprika with the fish and continue breaking up the fish until you've achieved a pate-like consistency. Divide the spread among the toasts evenly. Dust toasts with paprika and serve.