No-Knead Wheat-y Rye Bread

July 16th, 2008  |  Published in All, DIY Food Projects, Grand Grains, Most Popular, Weekend Projects  |  10 Comments

No Knead Wheat and Rye Bread

I have tried to make bread from scratch many times, and I have failed miserably many times… It’s probably that I don’t knead enough, but whenever I try to make bread from scratch (quick breads excepted), they turn out as dense and heavy as a brick.  In the words of the lolcats, homemade bread – FAIL!

And then…. and then… and then I found this amazing NO-KNEAD bread recipe!  It’s been making it’s way around the blogosphere with very good results in the past couple of months, though it originally appeared in the NYTimes last fall…  It’s not often that innovation happens in the baking world, but this no-knead bread was most-certainly an innovative recipe.  Who’d have thought that by being lazy, you could get super delicious, airy, crusty, artisan-style bread?

And oh, this bread is good — it’s light and airy like the best bakery breads, the crust is crisp, and the interior has a beautiful crumb.  And best of all, it is SO EASY!  Though the recipe takes time (give yourself 24 hours), the active time is only about 20 minutes in total.  The patient cook knows, save your energy and let time do the work.

The original NYTimes recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but for the sake of experimentation (and healthiness, and cleaning out the cabinets), I decided to substitute 1 c. of the AP flour with a mixture of wheat and rye flours.  I imagine you could experiment here quite a bit with good results — whole wheat flour, potato flour, amaranth flour, rye flour, quinoa flour, rice flour, even mesquite flour (this has a very strong taste so just use a bit) would work well here — but note, the lower the gluten content of the flour you use, the longer you should let it ferment and proof.  And note, thought the NYTimes recipe calls for a 6-8 qt pan, I used my 5 qt. Le Creuset pan with great results.

Anyhow, whether you’re a seasoned bread maker or have never tried it before, I encourage you to give this a try — it’s simple, delicious, and versatile.  Oh yeah, and you’ll probably get a lot of compliments if you serve it to anyone!! :)

No-Knead Wheat-y Rye Bread
Adapted from NYTimes No-Knead Bread recipe

2 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. rye flour
water
1/4 t. instant yeast
1 1/4 t. salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat 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. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

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Responses

  1. Maggie says:

    July 16th, 2008at 5:26 pm(#)

    I just bought some rye flour and was trying to decide what kind of bread to make with it. I’ve seen the no-knead recipes but never have tried any of them. I’m going to mix some up tonight to bake tomorrow.

  2. Susan/Wild Yeast says:

    July 16th, 2008at 8:43 pm(#)

    I love a rustic boule and this is right up there! The no-knead recipe is so great because it has so many people who thought they couldn’t bake bread baking bread.

  3. YeastSpotting July 18, 2008 | Wild Yeast says:

    July 17th, 2008at 11:02 pm(#)

    [...] No-Knead Wheat-y Rye Bread ~ Modern Beet [...]

  4. White On Rice Couple says:

    July 20th, 2008at 12:51 pm(#)

    i’ve not yet tried the NY times recipe and have been wanting to for so long.
    I just love rye and think I’ll try this one for my first try.
    Just your words of “SO EASY” is my inspiration!

  5. Jen says:

    July 20th, 2008at 6:55 pm(#)

    Maggie — I bet you could use a full cup of rye flour for a more pronounced flavor — let me know how it goes if you try it!

    Susan — I am certainly one of those people who never thought they could bake bread :) Also, I have a question for you: are dense/heavy loaves is a result of not kneading enough?

    White On Rice Couple — it’s true! SO EASY!! :)

  6. Maggie says:

    July 23rd, 2008at 11:08 am(#)

    I’ve made this bread twice now. The first time I used the same amounts of flour and the second time I cut out another 1/2 cup of the all-purpose and used more rye. Both were really great. My son liked the one with less rye and I liked the one with more. My husband enjoyed both. I was thrilled that my smaller Le Crueset dutch oven worked so perfectly for this. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Jen says:

    July 23rd, 2008at 12:32 pm(#)

    Maggie — Awesome! I want to try a version utilizing other types of flours — I have amaranth and mesquite kicking around my cabinets, and might give those a try soon

  8. Don says:

    September 24th, 2008at 12:31 am(#)

    Just tried the NYT recipe for the first time. Brilliant, and SO EASY. But we only have a 3 qt Le Creuset (actually a Chinese knockoff, you can’t imagine how expensive real Le Creuset is here in New Zealand) so I split the finished dough in half and did two bakes each going 20 minutes covered and 20 uncovered. Each little loaf is perfect for a family to finish off at dinner time with, say, a bowl of soup and a salad. I’m keen to try a little whole wheat or rye, as my wife the doctor sneers a little at straight white flour bread, although she seemed happy enough to eat it.

  9. Jen says:

    September 24th, 2008at 7:15 am(#)

    Don — that sounds like a great idea; as it’s just me and my partner, when we bake or buy fresh bread, inevitably some ends up going stale and getting made into croutons/bread crumbs etc. I wonder if the dough would freeze ok? worth a shot I suppose

  10. Suzanne Steinberg says:

    October 7th, 2009at 12:17 pm(#)

    My guess is that your mistake with kneaded breads is not that you’re kneading too little. You’re probably forcing too much flour into the dough. You don’t have to work all the flour called for in the recipe into the dough. Just use enough flour to make the dough workable, then use enough on your hands and work surface to keep the dough from sticking. Less is more, here.

    You probably don’t have to knead for more than about five minutes, unless you have some frustrations you’re trying to work out! Just knead until the bread springs back a bit when you poke it.

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