Wednesday, October 24, 2012

{Favorite No-Knead Bread}

It's that time of year again.  Time for baking and keeping the kitchen toasty warm.  Our little oven is pretty neglected during our long, hot summers, but the return of cool weather sees me spending more and more time with a dab of flour on my cheek and a toddler at my side, cooking in my very favorite way.

A few years back, a friend introduced me to the new fad of "no-knead" breads made famous by "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day."  It was inspiration for me, someone who had experienced more than her fair share of kneaded bread flops.  Without a fancy mixer to help with the kneading, and with the bread machine turning out disappointing loaf after disappointing loaf, I was ready to try something new.  

I started with the basic recipe and was instantly a fan, however I do not have the all important baking stone required to truly make artisan bread.  This led me to improvise a bit.  After I became comfortable with the technique (which is really very simple), I began wanting to try something using whole grains.  The basic white flour recipe was delicious, no doubt about it, but for an every day loaf, I wanted something with more nutritional value.

My sister in law gifted me with "Healthy Bread in 5 minutes A Day" for Christmas last year, and after a bit of tweaking for flavor, I've finally come up with what has become our staple.  A few of you have emailed me and asked just what bread it is that I am constantly baking, so today I thought I'd share my take on this quick and delicious bread.

Whole Wheat, No Knead Bread In A Pan

Makes 4 Loaves


7 C whole wheat flour

1/4 C gluten

2.5 T yeast

2 T Kosher salt

Mix together and then add: 

3 3/4 C warm water gradually, mixing as you go.  You may need a bit more water.  Use wet hands to combine.

Cover and let rise for 2 hours, should double.

Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or use some right away!

To use right away, flour your hands and grab a grapefruit sized handful.  Shape into a ball and then elongate slightly.  Place in a well greased and floured bread pan (I use bacon grease), or line the pan with parchment paper.  Let sit for 30 minutes, 40 if the dough was previously refrigerated.

Preheat oven to 450, place shallow baking dish on lower rack.

After 30 minutes of preheating, slash loaf with serrated knife.  Pour 1 cup hot water into baking dish in oven and slide loaf onto top rack.

Bake for 30 minutes.

After baking, I immediately turn the loaves out of their pans and place them on a cooling rack.  Since they were not baked on a stone, sometimes the bottoms need some air circulation.

This bread is so insanely easy, so insanely good, well, we just can't get enough.  I can serve up slice after slice to my little ones, confidently knowing exactly what is in every bite.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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  1. Sounds yummy, I am going to have to try it out! Can you post your white bread recipe, too? The kids eat wheat, but I occasionally enjoy some fresh white bread. Thanks!

    1. I just used this one:

  2. That super Lydia! I'd tried one of those artisan bread recipes but haven't made more just because I hadn't taken the time to hone in on a way to make it with whole wheat flour.
    Thanks so much for taking the trial and error out of MY life - I can't wait to try it!

  3. Yummy! One of the things I loved most about being homeschooled was the smell of bread baking during lessons, and warm bread with honey afterward. Trying to recreate that in our little homeschool, too - such a pleasurable and cozy memory, one I'm glad your kids and mine will have, too.

    1. Yes, Karis - my Mom used to have pans of bread dough rising on the radiators in our 150 year old family home during lessons. I love the smell!

  4. I was just wishing for a no-knead bread recipe today! :)

    1. I hope you try it - I could eat an entire loaf alone!

  5. This sounds so perfect! I love the idea of baking bread - makes the house smell so warm and cozy. My husband used to bake a ton of bread and now that he is working more outside the home, I hope to take up his slack! Thank you for this!

    1. You are welcome! I love how cozy bread baking can be, too...and kneaded breads are wonderful, don't get me wrong! But this is so easy it makes bread every day more of a reality for us. Enjoy!

  6. I've been using this recipe for over a year and still can't get it right. I keep making it, hoping that it will work because the taste is good and the process is easy. For some reason it seems to be a problem with the fresh ground wheat. White bread works just fine, but my wheat loaves always deflate and go flat :( I get a beautiful rounded rise when I put it in the loaf pan, but instead of getting the "oven spring" they promise it gets flat! I've tried extra gluten, more or less water...same result. I blamed it on the altitude and climate last year, but now we have moved and I still get the same thing.
    So, do your loaf pan loaves get rounded on the top? And do you use fresh ground wheat? I noticed that you wrote 2.5 T of yeast, but the recipe calls for 1.5 T. Is that an adjustment you have made to get a better rise?

  7. This looks delicious! Just double-checking: there's no sweetner of any kind in this recipe?

  8. I made the bread tonight (finally!) and the texture and weight was great! My problem was it was SOOOOOO salty... was there by chance a typo? I did NOT use Kosher salt... and I just googled it and that could have been the problem. Otherwise, I'll just cut the normal salt in about half next time, cause there will definitely be a next time.

  9. Just FYI, I used fresh ground white wheat- no problems.. nice and fluffy. :)


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