Monday, August 17, 2015

Friday Night Dinner Project: No Knead Artisanal Bread

Back in January, I cooked the Dinner With Kids menu from Friday Night Dinners.  There is a recipe in this meny for No Knead Artisanal Bread that I could not make at the time because I did not have the right cooking equipment.  Fast forward 8 months (8 months!! What??  When did that happen?), and I recently invested in two Le Creuset French Ovens.

Sidebar:  My first Le Creuset purchase was during one of the The Bay's flash sales.  They had two different Le Creuset French Ovens at a significantly reduced price.  I took the plunge and bought one - also using Ebates during a Double Cash Back special, meaning I got 5% cash back.
Next up, we were recently on holiday in the States and we visited Sur La Table.  This is my absolute favourite (chain) kitchen store.  The prices here are amazing and they sell top of the line kitchenware.  I was able to get a 6.75qt round and wide French Oven from Le Creuset 40% off through a series of promotions and discounts.  If you live in a bordertown and are looking at investing in some Le Creuset, you will not regret a trip to Sur La Table.  

Now, where was I?

The bread.  Right.  To make the No Knead Artisan Bread you need a cast iron dutch oven style pot: enter - my Le Creuset French Oven.  This weekend we made the bread.

It's sooooo easy!!!  And econmical.  We buy large bags of flour at Costco (10kg for about $7.00).  I calculated that this bread costs about 0.18 cents a loaf to make.

You start by mixing the dough - which is essentially flour, water, and yeast.  The recipe uses All Purpose Flour, which I love because it means you do not need to have Bread Flour.

The dough is covered with plastic wrap and a tea towel, then left to rise for 12-24 hours.  I let my bread rise for about 13 hours.

After the first rising period, the dough is patted down then folded into a little cube.  The dough goes for its second rise which is only 2 hours.

The dough is popped into your dutch oven and cooked at a very high temperature (450F).  And that's it.  Bread is done.  So easy.  Does the bread taste good?  YES!  It certainly does.  This recipe is great, easy, cheap, and you get beautiful artisan style bread.  My only note is that I found the crust a bit tough and chewy - although it was great for dipping in soup.  When I make this bread again, I think shorten the cooking time slightly to have a softer crust.

This bread is also open for experimentation.  In Friday Night Dinners, Bonnie mentions multiple variations which include adding black olives, adding dried cranberries and nuts, adding raisins, and the list goes on.

If you love fresh homemade bread - this recipe is for you.  Here is the link to Bonnie Stern's Six Hour No Knead Artisanal Bread Recipe.

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