Sunday, October 21, 2007

Taste and Create: I Finally Don't Knead

I am late to the No Knead Bread party. Like, over a year late. I no longer qualify for being fashionable about it, either. O well. Better late than never!!!

How did I get here? Well, via Abby over at Plate Tectonics! We are participating in Taste & Create - an event in which we each pick a recipe from the other's blog, make it, and post about it! I waffled on what I was going to make - Abby had so many delicious things to choose from! Halloween being only a week away, I almost made her severed finger cookies... Yet... what I needed this weekend was the smell of baking bread... that o-so-comforting aroma permeating the apartment... Not to mention, I needed to see how fantastic this no knead bread was for myself!

I started the dough late Friday night. Sure, I'm still pretty new to yeast, but there are only three ingredients, what could I do wrong? Seriously people, this dough is a snap to make. And the way it smelled as it baked... omg. I could very well end up making this bread every weekend. Maybe.

Only one part frightened me. When I took the rolls out of the oven, they were rock hard... solid... stiff... and scary. I thought, "The whole world loves this recipe, how could I have killed it???!?!?!" But once they'd had a chance to settle, they softened. Not too much, though - they still retained a nice, chewy crust! Yay!

I can personally say that these rolls are terrific with just butter or with butter or jam. Tonight I will find out if they are as tasty with pasta (I'm sure they will be!) If you are another latecomer to this bread, consider this your invitation. These rolls are super easy and they smell and taste great!!

Thanks to Nicole for hosting this tasty little event. I look forward to next time!!

No-Knead Dinner Rolls
This recipe is adapted from Jim Lahey/Sullivan Street Bakery’s recipe published in the New York Times on November 8, 2006
Via Abby at Plate Tectonics

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting (I like Bob’s Red Mill white bread flour)
¼ teaspoon instant (“quick rise”) yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly gather dough into a manageable lump. Divide ball into 12 equal size pieces, approximately the size of a large plum. (An easy way to do this is to cut it in half, then half again; then cut each of those pieces into thirds.) Using your fingers, tuck each piece into a ball shape. Generously coat a Silpat baking mat or a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Be sure to space dough balls an inch or more apart so they don’t stick together as they rise. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When they are ready, rolls will have significantly increased in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

About a half hour before baking, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Get a nonstick 12-cup muffin pan and use aluminum foil to make a tented lid that fits around the pan. The tenting part is important—if the foil doesn’t rise well above the pan, your rolls will stick to it as they rise. You may need to join two pieces of foil. Set the foil “lid” aside and put the pan in the oven so that it, too, preheats.

When dough is ready, remove muffin pan from oven and quickly drop one dough ball into each cup. Cover with foil lid—and if you’re feeling frisky, spray some water under there just before covering (increasing the humidity under the foil tent). Bake 15-20 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 15 minutes, until rolls are beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yields: 12 crusty, golden dinner rolls.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

Well, you're not the only one - I still have not made no knead bread!! This is such a fun event, though, and I'm glad you've participated!