A Dry No-Knead
May 1, 2020
Let's try a second no-knead bread. This one is 75% hydration and is much better behaved than our 100% one.
There's nothing wrong with the 100% hydration bread. It was simple to make. We just stirred the ingredients together like pancake batter, waited over night, and poured them into the waiting loaf pan.
Today, we use less structure and create a loaf with more strength.
This is based both on Felisa's 75% measurements and from this great recipe and video from J Kenji Lopez-Alt. In his Serious Eats article he suggests 70% hydration which is about the same as our basic bread. He suggests you mix with a wooden spoon. My spoon broke during this experiment but the bread came out great.
He's revised his recipe for no-knead in a video where he shows 75% hydration and mixing by hand. The video is well worth watching - on reason is to see him handle the dough gently in the morning to fold it a bit before the final rise. It's unnecessary to do this step but I think it will help you learn to handle dough if you try this.
We'll do a further variation on this recipe in the next post that adds strength along the way.
So here's the formula. I used 420 g all-purpose flour, 75% hydration is 315 g water. 2% salt is about 8 grams and I used 2 g yeast. We actually want a little less but my scale only measures in grams. I usually use about 1/3 of a percent of yeast.
Mix it all together. I used a spoon to mix the dry ingredients, added the water, and then stirred everything into a shaggy mess and then used my hand to combine so that everything was mixed together. I'm not kneading with my hand I'm just making sure that there's no dry flour anywhere.
I put it in a big bowl, covered it, and let it rise overnight. A half hour before baking I preheated my oven and dutch oven to 475 degrees F/246 degrees C and turned the bread out onto a floured counter and shaped it into a ball.
I baked the bread for 10 minutes with the lid on and then reduced the oven to 450 degrees F / 232 degrees C and baked for 25 minutes. Check for done-ness and bake more if needed.
Variations... I replaced 50 g of flour and water with 100 g of sourdough starter. I planned to use more but that's all I had. I also used more flour and water because I miscalculated the water and had to add some flour to compensate. I was happily pouring the water in before I remembered to subtract 50 from the desired total. So I ended with 460 g flour and 345 g water. It doesn't make a difference but I wanted you to know.
I got a much higher loaf from this one and the slashes opened up nicely.