Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No Knead Sourdough Cheese Bread, adapted from Jim Lahey's Recipe

(about a 1 lb loaf)

My curiosity got the better of me when I kept coming across images of no knead bread based on Jim Lahey's recipe. When I finally decided to give it a try, I understood why people were raving about this bread. This is possibly the best loaf of bread I have ever made at home. It had a wonderful crust, chewy texture, and this one had a nice sour tang to it because I extended the time, to over 48 hours.

It will be a while before I try anything else. I'd like to make this a few more times; with  kalamata olives... prosciutto and caramelized onions....  roasted garlic and rosemary....   I might swap out some of the water for olive oil, or yogurt.. lots of choices.

Adapted from Jim Lahey's Recipe
2 tbsp organic rye flour
2 3/4 - 3 1/3 cups unbleached flour
1/4 tsp dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups spring water

2/3 cup Swiss cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes

olive oil for coating

(Day 1, morning) Combine the rye flour, 2 3/4 cup unbleached flour, yeast and salt in a large glass bowl. Make a well in the centre and  add the water. Stir until well combined. Cover the top with a cheese cloth and set in a draft free place in a room with a temperature of about 70-75°F. for about 12-14 hours.

(Day 1, evening) The volume should have doubled and the dough should look bubbly. Stir the mixture down, cover with the cheese cloth and allow to sit another 9-12 hours or so.

(Day 2, , morning) Again the dough will have doubled and look quite bubbly.  Stir down and cover with the cheeseckoth and leave sit 9-12 hours or so.

(Day 2, evening) Stir down and stir in 1/4 cup of unbleached flour. (I did this at this point because the dough was beginning to look a bit soupy). Cover with the cheesecloth and allow to sit another 9-12 hours or so.

(Day 3) Sprinkle a small amount of flour onto a piece of baking parchment paper. Add the cheese cubes to the dough and stir down. The dough will probably have a pronounced sourdough smell at this point.

Sprinkle a small amount of flour over the dough. Flour your hands and place the dough onto the parchment paper. Shape the dough into a ball, tucking the ends underneath it. Cover it with the cheesecloth and allow to rise 2-3 hours, or until it looks like it's doubled in volume.

Brush the top lightly with olive oil.

Place a Le Creuset cast iron dutch oven (this seems to work best from what I've read) into your oven and turn on the heat to 450-500°F. (My Breville counter top convection oven will only allow me to go to 450°, but the bread turned out fine).

When the pot is good and hot, carefully pull it out and place the parchment paper with the dough into pot and cover with lid. Bake for about 25 minutes.

Remove the lid and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until the crust is a nice brown OR turn on the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the top of the loaf is nicely browned; this is what I did. In all honesty, I was a bit worried baking it any longer than that because the loaf seemed done to me, and I was concerned about drying it out.

Allow the loaf to cool at least an hour before cutting into it.


Tupper Cooks! said...

Very nice loaf- I'm a huge fan of no-knead breads. As a matter of fact I've got some dough in the fridge right now just waiting for me to come home.
Keep on baking!

Anonymous said...

That looks gorgeous!

I just stumbled across your blog whilst googling a recipe for fleisch salat and I have to say, your site is lovely!

I am totally impressed by the diversity, skill and courage shown in your dishes. Great pics, too.

I noticed your post on sweet cardamom bread. I just rediscovered that bread. So good!

Oh...and thanks for the naan bread recipe. I have been looking for one. Hubby and I make indian food now and then and we have been wanting to incorporate naan into the repetoire.

- Jen/Seattle

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