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14 Nov 2006 - 01:20
This sounds cool.
November 8, 2006
When I used to bake all of our bread, I was especially interested in super-sticky dough. I had my own super-sticky recipe, which I made up myself because I'd read somewhere that ciabatta bread uses a super-wet, super-sticky dough. It worked pretty well. Maybe I'll make it again one of these days. Or maybe I'll try this recipe. I've been planning to get back to baking bread.
Don Hogan Charles/The New York Time
Photographs by Ruby Washington/The New York Times
1. When dough is bubbly, it is ready to be worked.
2. Fold dough once or twice; do not knead.
3. Shape it into a ball and let it rise.
4. Wheat bran flies as Jim Lahey lifts dough and drops it into a hot pot.
5. After baking, the crusty result.
UPDATE 12-9-2006 This is incredible:
Iím Mark Bittman for the New York Times, and Iím at Sullivan Street Bakery in Manhattanís Hellís Kitchen, where owner and head baker Jim Lahey says he has a method for producing bread that, using it, a 6-year old can make better bread than almost any bakery in the country including this one. Jim Lahey: Or four-year old.Itís definitely worth watching the video, which I think you can access from here. If not, you can definitely access it from Slashfood. (Actually, no. I think the slashfood link is wrong. Interesting site, though.) The photo of no-knead bread at slashfood is incredible. Iíve just watched the video, and this is the recipe I put together years ago in Studio City after reading another TIMES article about ciabatta. The secret was supposed to be super-wet dough, so I used super-wet dough & didnít knead it. It looked exactly like the dough in the video, "stringy." What I didnít use was 20 hours rising time! If this works as well for me as it has for every food blogger on the planet, Jimmy and I may go back to baking all our bread.
LAST month I wrote about Jim Lahey, the owner of Sullivan Street Bakery on West 47th Street in Manhattan, and his clever way to produce a European-style boule at home. Mr. Laheyís recipe calls for very little yeast, a wet dough, long rising times and baking in a closed, preheated pot. My results with Mr. Laheyís method have been beyond satisfying. Happily, so have those of most readers. In the last few weeks Jim Laheyís recipe has been translated into German, baked in Togo, discussed on more than 200 blogs and written about in other newspapers. It has changed the lives (their words, not mine) of veteran and novice bakers. It has also generated enough questions to warrant further discussion here. The topics are more or less in the order of the quantity of inquiries. [snip] SALT Many people, me included, felt Mr. Laheyís bread was not salty enough. Yes, you can use more salt and it wonít significantly affect the rising time. Iíve settled at just under a tablespoon. YEAST Instant yeast, called for in the recipe, is also called rapid-rise yeast. But you can use whatever yeast you like. Active dry yeast can be used without proofing (soaking it to make sure itís active). TIMING About 18 hours is the preferred initial rising time. Some readers have cut this to as little as eight hours and reported little difference. I have not had much luck with shorter times, but I have gone nearly 24 hours without a problem. Room temperature will affect the rising time, and so will the temperature of the water you add (I start with tepid). Like many other people, Iím eager to see what effect warmer weather will have. But to those who have moved the rising dough around the room trying to find the 70-degree sweet spot: please stop. Any normal room temperature is fine. Just wait until you see bubbles and well-developed gluten ó the long strands that cling to the sides of the bowl when you tilt it ó before proceeding. THE SECOND RISE Mr. Lahey originally suggested one to two hours, but two to three is more like it, in my experience. (Ambient temperatures in the summer will probably knock this time down some.) Some readers almost entirely skipped this rise, shaping the dough after the first rise and letting it rest while the pot and oven preheat; this is worth trying, of course. OTHER FLOURS Up to 30 percent whole-grain flour works consistently and well, and 50 percent whole-wheat is also excellent. At least one reader used 100 percent whole-wheat and reported ďgreat crust but somewhat inferior crumb,Ē which sounds promising. Iíve kept rye, which is delicious but notoriously impossible to get to rise, to about 20 percent. There is room to experiment.
-- CatherineJohnson - 14 Nov 2006 Back to main page.
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Perhaps this dough is different, but the dough I've worked with should be baked before the surface bubbles. Surface bubbles indicate over-proofed dough that will result in bread with large voids. If you bake before the dough gets to that point, the texture will be more consistent. But then I like chewy bread. -- DougSundseth - 14 Nov 2006
Kneading is only necessary to develop the strands of gluten in the dough that makes bread chewy. Less kneading a more cake-like texture. I like to not knead my dough when making monkey-bread so it is more like a coffee cake. Gluten is also the reason you should fold rather than mix pancake or brownie batters. The more the mixing the tougher the result. -- SeanPrice - 14 Nov 2006
Doug THANKS! I've spent years trying to figure out how to create "large voids"! -- CatherineJohnson - 18 Nov 2006
Gluten is also the reason you should fold rather than mix pancake or brownie batters. The more the mixing the tougher the result. THANKS!!! I've known this all my life - avoid "overmixing" - and I've never known why! -- CatherineJohnson - 19 Nov 2006