Whoo hoo. Made my very first no-knead whole grain bread today. Started it yesterday afternoon around 1pm. Decided to follow the recipe over at GinaDepalma.net – I liked that it wasn’t just whole wheat flour, but also included rye, white, ground flax, & wheat bran (I used wheat germ). I didn’t have any vital wheat gluten but I will get it for next time.
Here is my recipe:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup white flour
3 Tbsp ground flax seeds
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 Tablespoons honey (dissolved in 1/4 cup of hot water)
1 3/4 cups water (total of 2 cups including the 1/4 cup mixed with honey)
- In a big bowl, mix thoroughly all dry ingredients. Next time, I will definitely add the gluten for sure! It’s on my grocery list!
- Dissolve honey in 1/4 cup hot water, mix with the other 1.75 cups of cooler water. Test it with your finger to make sure it’s not hot water, but luke warmish.
- Pour water into the dry ingredients
- Mix thoroughly, make sure there are no dry flour spots, but don’t over mix. I use a wooden spoon.
- For me, it was like mushy oatmeal cereal. It didn’t look like dough at all!
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap or seal in a large plastic bag. Let it sit on counter for hours. Original recipe called for 12-14 hours, but I let it rise for about 22 hours.
- Dump the dough onto a floured wood board. Flour the top of the dough.
- Using a metal pastry scraper, fold each end over into itself, and flip & flour.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.
- Then transfer to a large piece of floured parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and/or towel & allow to rest for 2 hours. The dough grew, almost coming over the edge of the parchment paper. Make sure to use a larger piece of paper to allow for expansion!
- Within 30 minutes of 2nd rest, preheat the oven to 350°, along with your baking pot. I think this might have been my problem, because I didn’t preheat the pot, and I barely preheated the oven. It took a lot longer to cook. But because the dough was expanding so much, I figured it was okay to bake before the full 2 hours.
- Once the dough is ready to bake, grab the parchment paper (like a sling) and carefully place the dough (with parchment) in the preheated pot. If needed, trim the excess parchment around the edges.
- Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 – 15 minutes more.
- Remove and cool completely
I baked it in a 2 qt enameled cast iron (Staub) pot, in my smaller counter-top convection oven. I think initially I baked it for about 40 minutes. When it cooled, I tried slicing a piece, and it was mushy inside, so I assumed it was undercooked. I put it back into the cast iron and back into the oven for about 15-20 minutes. I think total baking time was approximately 60 minutes at 350°.
The parchment gave it a strange indented shape, which is fine. It didn’t stick at all to the paper, thankfully!
Even though it tasted pretty darned good, the crust was separating from the bread (crumb) and I discussed it with my online bread buddy (who is graciously mentoring me on bread baking); she gave me some good pointers, which I will try next time. I guess my main problem is that the bread didn’t proof properly.
I did also find a great bread troubleshooting web site:
It did have good flavor and I hopefully will get better at it!
It looks a little curvy, because the parchment paper kind of squished it inside the smaller 2 qt. Next time I will either split into two loaves or bake in my larger 4 qt.