Thursday, November 5, 2009

Almost "Cook's Illustrated Almost No Knead"...

This is my favorite bread to make when I have the least amount of anything.. meaning just a bowl and a corningware covered dish.
It's like Jim Lahey's a bit..but has beer and vinegar and I like those additions..
The fun part is I discovered I can put the risen dough in a cold corningware in a cold oven.. bake 30 mins covered at 450 and 30 mins uncovered at 425..and it comes out perfect..Crunchy crust.. beautiful interior..

La Recette..
This is the recipe as published..see my notes below..
Makes 1 large round loaf. Published January 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated.

An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid yields best results, but the recipe also works in a regular cast-iron Dutch oven or heavy stockpot. (See the related information in "High-Heat Baking in a Dutch Oven" for information on converting Dutch oven handles to work safely in a hot oven.) Use a mild-flavored lager, such as Budweiser (mild non-alcoholic lager also works). The bread is best eaten the day it is baked but can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces), plus additional for dusting work surface
1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (7 ounces), at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mild-flavored lager (3 ounces)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1. Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

2. Lay 12- by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.

3. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

* Again..I used a white corning ware.. and placed the Boule in the the cold oven..put the temp to 450 w/ lid..then took the lid off and cooked another 30 mins..425.I had previously combined all the ings. the night before it a big bowl.. the next morning..I formed my boule and right away put it in the Corning Ware..Just before putting it the oven I dusted and slit.
Parchment makes it come out perfectly.I oiled and used took a few minutes to come out:)


  1. This "Almost bread" is almost too good to be true! Minimal effort, huge returns :) That bread looks heavenly. Monique, whereabouts are those places in the last photo (the collage?)

  2. This bread looks divine! Your photographs, are as always, beautiful and very inspiring. Oh how I wish I had your talent!!

  3. Quelle merveille, à cette heure,je t'en prendrais bien une tranche, tu me donnes faim d'un seul coup
    Bonne journée

  4. This is my kind of bread Nana!! It looks fabulous!

  5. Good Morning!Yes it is my kind of bread too:)The photo top left is a dear cookbook about Heirloom tomatoes prettily wrapped up from a the right our kitchen..below a holiday kitchen and to the left a shop I loved in Provence.
    Have a great day!

  6. there is nothing you do not do well... honest!

  7. I've started making bread again now that summer is over. Your loaf looks lovely :) and sounds so easy!

  8. Spectacular Bread M!
    I need to try this version ...I have been meaning to but never did. My darling boy will be home from college this weekend unexpectedly...maybe will will give it a whirl!
    Beautiful always!

  9. A beautiful loaf, Monique. I've been very happy with the results of baking bread in my cast iron pot. It produces a delicious crust. Looking forward to trying your recipe.

  10. I am making another for my daughter tonight:) So easy.. :) have fun and thank you!

  11. I have got to try this!

    On a side note - your almost and almost made me think of a double negative. Don't they sort of cancel each other out.

  12. :) It's cause it's almost the almost no knead recipe..I didn't follow the rules..
    Goodie One Shoe:)

  13. Looks delish, Monique... and your photos look familiar (a couple of them ;) and I know that biscuit shop in France! Love the blonde little girl on the labels, wanted to bring loads back home. I've been thinking of you all week! I will ask my husband to make the bread, perhaps this weekend?

  14. My kind of recipe..and it really looks delicious!.
    I think I will mix it up before I go to bed..

  15. wonderful looking bread....I love the crust on the top...tq for sharing :))

  16. Oh my - your bread sounds (and looks!) wonderful! I can just imagine the aroma of the baking bread wafting through your house... That has to be one of the most divine scents in the world!

    Beautiful, Monique!

  17. I thought so Lori..until I made Orangette's banana bread:)We went to bed with it!

    can't wait to try your apple cake..:)

    Kathleen..hope it turns out I have some rising now..I did try last night and can you believe I had put it to first rise in the oven..and we turned ON the oven to bake something..

    Round 2 :)

    Tracie..good eye:)

  18. Gorgeous crust. I can just imagine a slice of your bread toasted with butter melting into every crevice.

  19. A beautiful bread M. I love the whole kneading. Your photos are perfect...took me a while getting here...little ones abound until Monday. Loved this little respite,xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  20. You make this sound so simple, that I'm actually tempted to try it.
    As usual, beautiful photos.

  21. Check it though!! as it is baking uncovered as every oven is different:)

  22. Can't believe how easy the recipe looks. I LOVE bread and this looks like it would be perfect for me. Thank you!

  23. I am sitting here torn. You see, I don't believe in no-knead bread. Well ok unless it's a quick bread.

    I'm scared of no knead bread. How can it work chemically? Yet, your's looks like a beautiful loaf out of a french bakery.

    I'm going to make this one next week. I'll be brave.


  24. I agree with Laura, I haven't tried a no knead bread because, can it come out to be so wonderfully light and crusty as yours? I'll give it a try. There is not much as appealing as the aroma of fresh baked bread.
    Thanks! Diane

  25. It DOES look crusty and it DOES look featherlight inside! This is an amazing recipe and I have to agree with the above comment!Getting a no knead break like this? Will I be able to et it like this too - will have to try!

  26. j'avais loupé cette recette ! je note pour l'essayer cette semaine, tu connais mon amour pour le bon pain :)

  27. I made this bread -- Jim Lahey's version -- and we all swooned. I haven't made it in awhile, so now I am inspired for an encore!