At least half the time I tell someone I make all my own bread they get all excited and say, “ohmigosh, have you tried no knead bread?! It’s awesome.” My answer is always no, I like kneading, I like doing the windowpane test and getting my hands all gooy. I’ve always thought of no knead bread as the lazy short cut, and while I still believe this, I can’t help but admit how tasty this bread is – I’m glad I gave it a try.
Normally, the kneading process brings together glutenin and gliadin and forms gluten strands (thank you, Alton Brown). Supposedly, with no knead bread, the dough is very soft and ferments for so long that it kneads itself. It was explained to me that, with the combination of soft or slack dough and long rising time, molecules are able to “bounce around” enough to form gluten strands on their own, maybe even better than with kneading.
This bread truly tastes like a wheaty seed bread you would buy in a bakery for $6 per loaf. Baking it in a casserole with the lid keeps in moisture and creates a wonderful crunchy crust. And it is seriously so easy you really can’t go wrong, the only thing you need is time. But next time I am not dumping a ton of seeds on top, some of them stick, but without an egg or milk wash they mostly just fall off and make a big mess. Avoid my mistake stir most of the seeds in and only sprinkle a small amount on top.
No Knead Seedy Wheat Bread
1 2/3 cups white bread flour (bread flour is high in the proteins that form gluten- it really is necessary for this recipe, so don’t go subbing any of that AP!)
1 2/3 wheat flour
3 1/2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp active dry yeast (that is about half a packet)
1 2/3 cups cold water
1/2 cup mixture of seeds (I used sun flower, pumpkin, sesame and flax)
Find a big bowl and combine the flours, sugar, salt and yeast.
Slowly stir in water with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add more water if needed, but be patient before you start throwing in a lot of extra water… It will start to come together with less water than you think.
Now comes the waiting part. If you can, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for 3 to 8 hours, the flavors will develop further. If you don’t have time for this step, skip it and let your dough rise at room temperature for 10 to 16 hours.
After the long wait, fold in your seeds – leaving a few for the top of the loaf.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap again and allow it to rise 1 or 2 more hours. During this time preheat your oven to 425 with your casserole in the oven.
When you’re ready to bake the bread take the casserole out of the oven, spray the inside with nonstick spray and turn the oven down to 400. Carefully pry your dough out of the bowl and into the casserole – it will sizzle! It may also look shaggy and lumpy, don’t worry about it. Just sprinkle some seeds on top, put the lid on and put it in the oven.
Bake the bread with the lid on for 50-55 minutes. Take the lid off and, if necessary, allow the bread to bake another 5-10 minutes. It might be ready when you take the lid off, if the crust is crispy and the internal temp is 205 degrees (or a skewer comes out with just a few crumbs on it).
Allow to cool and slice for sandwiches and the best toast ever.
No knead bread is perfect for the lazy kittens in your life…