Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

EATING well

A healthy, easy, no-knead bread anyone can make

No-Knead Walnut-Rosemary Bread comes together easily.

Associated Press

No-Knead Walnut-Rosemary Bread comes together easily.

There are bakers and there are cooks.

It takes a chemist's love of precision to be a baker. Me? I'm a cook.

However, I do love to bake bread.

In fact, I've been on a bread-baking kick for the past several years, experimenting with everything from the old-fashioned knead-it-up method to neo-hippie, grow-your-own-wild-yeast-before-you-even-start-mixing-the-dough recipes.

Recently, however, I learned a method so wonderful that my experimental wanderings may be over.

The breakthrough occurred when I took a class with the legendary Jim Lahey, founder of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York and the man behind a sensational recipe for no-knead, slow-rise, no-fuss bread.

Could baking bread really be as easy as he suggested?

Yes, it can.

I went home after the class and adjusted Lahey's basic formula to my liking, adding extra whole wheat flour, toasted walnuts and rosemary. Otherwise, I followed his instructions, weighed the ingredients, mixed them together and turned out an attractive, delicious loaf of bread.

One of the ways to ensure success is to measure your flour by weight, not volume. When you scoop and measure flour by volume, such as with a measuring cup, the amount of flour you get each time can vary widely, sometimes by several ounces. The discrepancy is due to how tightly or loosely the flour is packed. A few ounces may not sound like much, but it can make a big difference in baked goods.

That's why I recommend investing in a good kitchen scale if you're going to bake bread. The one I own, which registers both ounces and grams, has turned out to be useful for a number of kitchen tasks.

And please remember: This is not your grandmother's bread, or at least it's not your grandmother's method of making bread. So don't be thrown off by the wetness of the dough (it's very wet), the temperature of the water added (it's cool, not warm), or the temperature at which the dough first rises (it's room temperature, not warmer).

The only downside to this recipe is the need to plan ahead.

Even though mixing the dough takes no time at all (30 seconds), you have to let it rise for at least 12, and preferably 18, hours. Then, after you've shaped it into a loaf (another 30 seconds), it needs to rise for yet another hour or two. Finally, it takes 45 to 60 minutes for the bread to bake, and it has to cool completely before you can eat it.

But if you can deal with the amount of time necessary for the dough to set up, you may find yourself eating really scrumptious, fresh and healthy artisanal bread several times a week.

And every time you bake one of these loaves, your whole house smells wonderful.

NO-KNEAD WALNUT-ROSEMARY BREAD

½ cup (50 grams) coarsely chopped walnuts

2 cups (266 grams) bread flour

1 cup (133 grams) whole wheat flour

1 ¼ teaspoons (8 grams) table salt

¾ teaspoon (2 grams) instant or rapid-rise yeast

2 tablespoons (6 grams) chopped rosemary

1 ⅓ cups (350 grams) cool water (55 to 65 degrees)

Additional flour, wheat bran or cornmeal, for dusting

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the walnuts in a shallow baking dish, then place in the oven on the middle rack, toasting 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Once the nuts are cooled, in a medium bowl stir them together with both flours, the salt, yeast and rosemary. Add the water and stir briefly with a wooden spoon or your hands, until the dough is barely mixed, about 30 seconds. The dough should be quite wet and tacky. If it is not, add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water. Cover the bowl and let it rise at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours, or until it is more than double in bulk.

After the dough has risen, generously sprinkle a work surface with flour and gently, with the help of a plastic bench scraper, scoop dough onto the counter.

Working very quickly, with floured hands, fold the dough inward to the center on all sides to form a seam. Turn the dough over to form a round with the seam on the bottom. Generously sprinkle a clean kitchen towel with flour. Lay the towel flat on the counter and set the dough on top, seam down. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour and loosely fold the ends of towel over the dough.

Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, or until almost doubled in bulk. You will know it is ready when you poke the dough and it holds your imprint. If the dough bounces back, it is not ready.

About 30 minutes before you think the dough is ready, heat the oven to 475 degrees. Put a rack in the lower third of the oven, and place a covered 4 ½- to 5 ½-quart casserole dish in the oven to heat.

When the dough has risen, carefully remove the casserole dish from the oven and remove the lid. With the aid of the towel, flip the dough gently, seam side up, into the casserole, put the lid on the casserole and return it to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and bake until the bread has browned nicely, another 15 to 30 minutes.

Remove the casserole dish from the oven and use a spatula or dish towel to carefully transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf (10 servings).

Nutrition information per serving: 180 calories (40 calories from fat, 22 percent of total calories); 5g fat (0g saturated, 0g trans fats); 0mg cholesterol; 30g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 0g sugar; 6g protein; 290mg sodium.

A healthy, easy, no-knead bread anyone can make 03/05/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 6, 2014 3:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tom Sawyer with a revolver? Twain house has live 'Clue' game

    Attractions

    HARTFORD, Conn. — Was it Tom Sawyer in Samuel Clemens' billiard room with a revolver?

    In this July 14 photo, actor Dan Russell, left, portraying the character Arkansas from Mark Twain's book Roughing it, responds to a question from 10-year-old Emma Connell, center, of Arizona during a "Clue" tour at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Conn. The tour allows visitors to interact with Twain characters while playing a live-action version of the board game. [AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb]
  2. East Tampa store owner who survived one shooting is targeted again with fatal results

    Crime

    TAMPA — In the 2011 video, Mahamoud Ibrahim stands behind the counter of his tiny East Tampa convenience store, his back to the surveillance camera meant to discourage thieves.

    A memorial has sprouted in front of the 29th Street Store in East Tampa, where a robber fatally shot owner Mohamoud Ibrahim on July 16. Security experts say small mom-and-pop stores in high crime areas are easy targets for robberies and typically don't have the budgets for extra security measures. [TONY MARRERO/Times Staff]
  3. Pinellas superintendent, School Board pen letter to legislative delegation for help against 'unjust' funds for charter schools

    Blogs

    Because of a recent change in state law, the Pinellas County school district will have to shell out $25 million over five years  -- more funding per student than any other large district in the state -- for charter school construction and maintenance projects, and district officials …

    Pinellas County School Board Superintendent Michael Grego during a School Board meeting on August 25, 2015 at the School Administration Building, 301 Fourth Street SW in Largo.
  4. AARP still waiting for the two Ricks to send voter education videos

    Blogs

    AARP Florida wants to educate St. Petersburg residents on Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker’s views on how to make the Sunshine City more livable.

    It's been a frenetic St. Pete mayor's race so far. Maybe that's the reason AARP hasn't received voter education videos from the campaigns
  5. Photos: Kehlani packs fans into a sold-out Orpheum in Tampa

    Blogs

    R&B singer Kehlani had to postpone a spring show in Tampa due to illness, but it seemed she was no worse for the wear on Thursday, when her make-up show sold out the Orpheum well in advance. Ella Mai and Jahkoy opened the show. Aubrey Wipfli was there snapping photos; click the headline …

    Kehlani performed at the Orpheum in Tampa on July 20, 2017.