1st attempt at Lahey's No-Knead as a Loaf

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strikingtwice's picture
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1st attempt at Lahey's No-Knead as a Loaf
So one of the issues that i've been running into with the no knead bread recipe from My Bread by Jim Lahey (run and get it immediately if you don't have it), is that it's not great for sandwiches. The boule that it makes is beautiful beyond belief and delicious, but the inconsistent natural shape doesn't give you a lot of sandwich worthy height. 

One of the main points of the cooking method (read about the whole method in the book), is that it's done in a cast iron dutch oven. An oven within an oven. It's meant to replicate a closed door wood burning stove (more accurately, an ancient roman clay oven). Instead, today I used a super cheap loaf pan that I got from The Restaurant Store or http://www.webstaurantstore.com. I covered it pretty tightly with tented foil for the first 30 minutes, then uncovered for the next 15-20.

Also, before the second quick fermentation, I gave it a couple of folds. The no-knead bread produces a very light open crumb, one that is not ideal for sandwiches. With a few folds and some VERY light palm presses, I squeezed together some of the dough. Then cooked. The result is a beautiful looking loaf of bread, but I still can't get the height I want. I'm thinking more dough for the batch? Is my solution that simple? Thanks everyone, enjoy the pics.

If you can't view the pictures, here's a link.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v637/strikingtwice/



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Dave

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Hi Dave,

I had a similar problem with my sourdough and Chef Jacob suggested I reduce my % of water to 60% from 70%.  This made a difference in height but at the same time increased the density of the bread thus yielding less of an airy crumb.  I have been experimenting with different percentages between 60% and 70% and will eventually find a balance that works.  I also use the cast iron dutch oven.  

Hopefully Jacob will release the second part of the bread series podcasts to provide some insight  on going from dough to a nicely prepared boule that gets a good spring and has a great crust and crumb.  Most of what I am doing now is based on the help he has provided that you will find in the sourdough thread.


By the way, your link is password protected.

Elliot
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Elliot

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Elliot, try the link again.

I actually have no problems with the boule, I want to do loaves now, and this is the problem. I've been trying to replicate the cooking method in a loaf form. I will try the hydration change. Thanks.
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Dave, and watched a youtube video of him preparing the no knead recipe just a little while ago.

The recipe I use for sourdough is very different and of course doesnt even include anything other than natural yeast from the starter.

So the hydration rates I use are very different than what Leahy uses.  He actually uses a 50% hydration rate with the 1 1/2 cups water to 3 cups of flour.  So I really cant help you out here.

I was intrigued by the video though that  I just mixed up a batch and am letting is proof over night and into tomorrow.

I did change the recipe somewhat and converted to grams as cup measures are not really replicable.

I decided to use a mixture of 85% bread flour and 15 % whole wheat flour.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Sorry for any confusion as the confusion was all mine.

Elliot
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The best mix that I've found for the lahey method is 50 50 bread/AP.

The recipe from the book is as follows
flour 400g
yeast 1g
salt 9g
water 300g

His hydration is actually 75%.

Hope it turns out well, as long as you don't handle it a whole lot, it usually does. It also doesn't need the sourdough starter as much because the long ferment really creates a lot of the alcohol and sour.

Enjoy.