Cook’s Illustrated Almost No Knead

A Clever Variation of an “Old” Theme

My hat is off to CooksIllustrated.com for formulating a worthy variation to the now famous New York Times no knead recipe. They call it their “Almost No Knead” bread since it involves a bit of light kneading, but another key step in the process is streamlined so overall their recipe is still a cinch to make.

If you’re already familiar with the “traditional” no knead recipe, I think you will find the final results of this one significantly different in almost all respects. This crust has a nice crunch to it but is much thinner and easier to chew and the interior crumb is tighter (smaller holes) and softer. I wouldn’t classify this bread as “rustic” like I would the NYT version.

But what really sets this recipe apart is its flavor. The addition of a few ounces of beer and a tablespoon of white vinegar creates a unique and pleasing flavor all its own.

In these videos I cover the Cooks Illustrated plain white flour and whole wheat flour versions.

This recipe also converts extremely well to sandwich loaf bread. In the third video below, I do just that.

I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of this bread – please leave your comments below.

Update: See Virginia’s comment post of 8/22/08. She made a few changes to get great results with a rye version (click link) of this recipe.

White Flour Recipe:

3 cups (15 ounces) all purpose or bread flour
1/4 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (7 ounces) water at room temp
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (3 ounces) mild flavored lager
1 Tbs. white vinegar

Whole Wheat Recipe:

2 cups (10 ounces) all purpose or bread flour
1 cup (5 ounces) whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. honey (I used 2 Tbs. raw sugar)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (7 ounces) water at room temp
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (3 ounces) mild flavored lager
1 Tbs. white vinegar

Note: The beer can be non-alcoholic.
Also, regarding the use of sugar and the ratio of white to whole wheat flour in the ‘Whole Wheat’ recipe, see the post from Beatrix below. She used 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 of white and it still came out light.

Baking Instructions: For both these recipes, preheat your oven with Dutch oven or Cloche inside to 500 degrees. Reduce temperature to 425 when the bread dough goes in and bake covered for 30 minutes. Then remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the internal bread temperature reaches about 200 degrees.

Almost No Knead

Almost No Knead

Almost No Knead Sandwich Loaf Recipe

The thinner crust and softer, tighter crumb of the Almost No Knead recipe, combined with its subtle flavors, makes it a nice candidate for a sandwich loaf. Here’s a video of the process with the the adjusted ingredient quantities.

18 ounces (~3 2/3 cups) flour. Use all white or a combination of white and up to 6 ounces whole wheat.
1 3/4 tsp salt
3/8 tsp. instant yeast

1 cup (8 ounces) water
1/2 cup (4 ounces) beer

1 1/4 Tbs white vinegar
2 1/2 Tbs honey
(I use raw sugar instead). The honey is suggested only when baking the whole wheat version of this recipe.

Baking Instructions: Preheat oven to 425. Place bread pan with risen dough in oven and reduce temperature to 350. Bake for 55 minutes or until internal bread temperature is about 200 degrees. Note that in the video I’m using a Pyrex bread pan. A metal bread pan would probably bake a few minutes faster.

Note: some have reported an issue with the loaf sticking to the bread pan. After buttering/oiling the baking pans, cornmeal can be sprinkled liberally on the insides and bottom of the pans. This eliminates the bread sticking to the sides while baking. Thanks to Tom & Melody DeGraziano for this tip.

{ 609 comments… read them below or add one }

Annette October 18, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Hi Breadtopia and June! Thanks for the feedback. The other thing we noticed is the way of using pineapple juice instead of water. That method does not ask you to toss the starter, does it? (Have to re-read…no coffee, yet! LOL!). But, I thank you for your remarks. We are going to be baking bread through the Holiday season. Don’t have to Christmas shop for gifts, just spices and additives! LOL!

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June October 18, 2009 at 2:31 pm

My thoughts exactly- when I know I will be baking more than one loaf I let the starter build up to the amount that I will be needing. I loathe waste but I have given away all the starter I can- people have started to avoid me- LOL!

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Breadtopia October 18, 2009 at 5:17 am

You don’t. Making massive amounts of bread to feed the hungry hordes should easily allow for whatever amounts of starter you generate. Sounds nice!

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Annette Jimison October 17, 2009 at 11:27 pm

I am curious, as to why I have to throw out perfectly good starter in the feeding process. If I start out small enough, (I don’t have to start with a cup of flour and one of water), could I not just feed it, adding to the starter and not throwing any out, at all? I know that I will have massive amounts of starter, but, I am planning on making massive amounts of bread. My sisters and I will be baking all day long. I guess we plan on using up all the starter during our bread baking marathon. We have a large family, and they love our bread. We like being frugal and can’t stand the thought of throwing something good out. Can anyone help us understand why we have to throw out the starter as we feed it? If it is thrown out due to the subsequent feedings creating a large volume, that is okay with us to have. We will use it up quickly. Help!

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Renate September 7, 2009 at 5:03 pm

I find regular clay flower pots are great for baking. Use any size saucer as bottom, cover with a fitting Pyrex bowl or a suitable size and shape clay flower pot. With the saucer you will not get a burned bottom. ( the made in Italy clay pots)

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James Smart August 28, 2009 at 2:03 pm

In recent weeks I have spent a lot of time trying to source a reasonable priced ‘Diastatic Malt (liquid or powder) whilst the price in the U.S. is very good,the shipping charges to cross the ‘Pond’ are prohibitive and it works out as an increase of 600% in cost.
So far I have been unable to find any European outlet,( plenty of malt extract (non-diastatic)) which as far as I understand, is just added as a sweetener.
Which brings me to the point, in Eric’s video he mentions that ‘experiment with different types of beer’ and although I have added beer to many different recipes I have never been sure as to what its value is to the ‘end product’ if the beer is a ‘Real Ale’ or ‘Cask/Bottled Conditioned’ then it has not been pastuerised,filtered/and any other form of dilution (in other words the Real McCoy) Ergo, the Enzymes have not been destroyed and are free to get their ‘Naughty Way’ on the poor unsuspecting yeast, another Ergo, DIASTATIC!. On the other hand the Emasculated beers would need to have a couple of Viagra tablets added before it could do anything(don’t think I will continue in this vain, which after all is a family show !!!)
SO, have I found the ‘Holy Graill’ and forget all about high shipping costs?, stop trying to find ‘hulled Barley (to sprout and make my own D.M.P. now I can just tip in a glass of ‘Conditioned’ beer’!
Unless anyone knows different !
Happy Bread-making to All
James Smart
Dorset
England

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Don H August 25, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Hello Eric,

Thanks for everything you are doing on this site! The dough whisk works great, and having the videos available is really valuable. I’ve baked the sandwich loaf version of ANKB several times, with excellent success. No more store bread for us. I’ve sent along photos of the last round, just loving the smell of fresh baked bread from the oven. Converting the recipe to gram weights makes it really easy to be consistent. Why we’ve not gone to metric, I really don’t know. Best wishes!

Don

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Karil August 21, 2009 at 1:04 am

RE: Difficulty slashing loaf before baking
I also find that the breadknives with a scalloped edge rather than the pointy edge slashes well. Dust loaf with flour before slashing.
Karil

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Bob Johnson August 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Folks,
RE: Difficulty slashing loaf before baking
SOLUTION: I simply snip the dough in whatever pattern fits my fancy with a kitchen scissors. You can go to whatever depth you want and the result is always fine. Dust with flour before baking.

Good Baking
Bob Johnson
Bonsall, CA

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Breadtopia August 4, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Hi James,

Nice job of innovating on the ANK recipe.

We ship to the UK fairly often. What you can do is add item(s) to the shopping cart and select UK from the country drop down menu then enter a postal code and hit the “Recalculate” button. It will tell you your shipping charges without having to enter any personal or financial information.

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James Smart July 30, 2009 at 8:28 am

Hi Eric
for sometime now I have enjoyed visiting your web-site and trying different recipes that appeal to me.The one I have been concentrating on has been the ANKB which I enjoyed experimenting with, and have now settled on a slight departure by leaving out the Beer and Vinegar and adding a DOLLOP of Sourdough+ 1TBS of brewers Malt+ 1TBS of honey or Maple Syrup plus all the other standard ingredients. This SD doesn’t give a open crumb but still gives a sour flavour, and all and all, gives a lovely malty taste to the end product.
I use a Big ‘PYREX’ bowl to cover it and I don’t ‘oven-heat’ it (I warm it with hot water) as lacking handles it is very awkward to handle.
NB
as the glass bowl retains its heat for much longer, make sure you place it out of ‘harms way’.
Shooting off at a tangent, do you ship to the UK? as I (and others) am unable to purchase a Danish dough whisk (even though the are made in Poland) If so how much?
Keep up the good work!
James Smart
Bournemouth
Dorset
England

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Ambimom June 21, 2009 at 7:44 am

Adopted the almost no-knead methodology but instead of beer and vinegar I bake mine with 1 cup active sourdough starter, 330 grams of white bread flour, 110 grams of whole wheat flour, 2 teasoons salt, approximately 1 1/4 cup water. The water is variable because after making scores of no-knead bread, I learned to rely more on the way the dough looks than on following the exact water. It needs more or less water on different days. After 14 to 18 hours I knead a few times, shape, let rise on parchment for 4 to 5 hours, slash the top, then bake as usual. What a difference in result using the almost no-knead method. In the past, the bread tasted ok, but sometimes the dough spread out rather than up during the final rise. Next I’m trying the sandwich loaf.

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Rich Witt June 10, 2009 at 9:48 am

Davo

When I baked a round loaf like yours in a dutch oven, I got a dark, burnt looking bottom too. There must be too much heat concentration there.
I have since switched to a clay baker, with much better results.

I bake my oblong loaves in the oblong “Le Cloche” and do not have dark bottom crusts at all.

The amount of hydration does not seem to affect the darkness of the bottom crust.

You might try using parchment paper. Maybe try 2 sheets. Spray the paper with oil and let the dough do its second rise on the paper, then when ready, just put the paper with the dough in the dutch oven. It is also an easier way to get the dough into the pot.

Rich

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Jeffrey June 9, 2009 at 11:23 am

Hi, Dave

Your bread has a very nice color – it definitely shouldn’t be that dark on the bottom at that stage of the baking. I have a few suggestions:

Try baking with the oven rack one slot higher.

Try inserting a cookie sheet under the dutch oven part way through the cook-time. When to do so is something to experiment with. If that doesn’t do a good enough job, maybe try a double-layer (insulated) cookie sheet.

Or maybe try the reverse – start with a cookie sheet under the DO, then remove it part way through the process.

I don’t know if this is relevant to your situation, but I’ll mention it anyway: I’ve noticed a real change in the way my bread dough is going together (I do a lot of kneaded doughs) since Spring has sprung here in Kansas. With the increase in
interior humidity since we turned off the heating system, my doughs have become a lot wetter, so I’m using less water in the recipes. Maybe you’re encountering the same thing, and maybe that’s having some effect on your baking, but I’m not certain enough to give any sort of advice in this area.

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Davo June 9, 2009 at 10:22 am

Hi…

I am always getting burned bottoms… I bake in a preheated cast iron dutch oven 425 for 30 min and then five minutes with the cover off. The picture doesn’t show it so much but the bottom is a bit too dark. The crust tends not to be crunchy enough for my taste… and I wish I could bake it a little longer but the bottom is always getting burned a little too much. The internal temp of the bread is 190… I can’t leave it in any longer and the pan is in the top third of the oven…. the oven temp seems to be correct when checked with a thermometer.

Any thoughts on how to avoid the burned bottom?

Thanks!

[img]DSCN2182.JPG[/img][img]DSCN2183.JPG[/img]

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Harvey April 22, 2009 at 10:36 am

I have made this bread with a number of different beers. I have used stout beer, pilsners, lagers and ales. My favorite was using a ‘wheat’ beer like Blue Moon. I just used the Budweiser American Ale and the bread was terrific, but I still like the wheat beer the best. The actual flavor differences are minimal to most people. Most of the time my family usually didn’t taste any differences. So go with it and try a simple, readily available beer like Bud. If you are not a beer drinker get a beer from a neighbor that drinks beer. Then give them some of the bread.

Harvey
“Man does not live by bread alone. Sometimes he needs some Butter as well”

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Breadtopia April 22, 2009 at 10:28 am

Hi Carol,

People use all kinds of different beers. I personally don’t think it matters much. You could even use the non-alcoholic beers if you want.

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Carol April 22, 2009 at 10:09 am

I’m not a beer drinker. Can you please tell me what kinds of beer to use in the bread? Thanks.

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Rich. Witt April 20, 2009 at 7:43 am

Hello

Another experiment in bread making:

My sis-in-law asked me if I ever used “potato water” in making bread. I had not, and decided to try it. I made 2 loaves. One was the ANK 1/3 whole wheat loaf, where I substituted 7 oz of the potato water for the spring water for the round loaf for my personal consumption.

The other ANK loaf was an all KAF white bread flour, using 4 oz of the potato water in the 10 oz of liquid. I brought the all-white loaf to my son’s place for the Easter holiday, for an appetizer with brie & gorgonzola cheeses. Everyone devoured the entire loaf and proclaimed it the best they can remember ever eating.

My brother is a trained amateur chef, and wants me to teach him how to make it.

I’m just about to boil up some potatoes for the potato water, but I wonder, does anyone know if I could achieve the same result [chemically] using some potato flour rather than using potato water?

Rich

[img]SDC10506.JPG[/img]

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Charles April 19, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Eric, here are pictures of my latest bread making efforts. JPG 1194 is 50/50 white whole wheat and all purpose flour. 1195 is all purpose flour. 1199 is the crumb of the APF and 1204 shows the crumb of the white whole wheat. Even though I forgot the 2 Tbs of sugar in the WWWF it turned out great. Thanks

[img]DSCN1194.JPG[/img][img]DSCN1204.JPG[/img][img]DSCN1195.JPG[/img][img]DSCN1199.JPG[/img]

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Jeffrey April 18, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Two ways of lessening or avoiding the bitterness of whole wheat:
1. Use white whole wheat, which is milled from a different kind of wheat grain, and has a less bitter taste.
2. According to what I read in “Local Breads” by Daniel Leader, buy unmilled wheat berries and then grind your own flour (using a mill) as you need it.

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Breadtopia April 18, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Skip the sugar this time. You don’t need it.

It is food for the yeast but also just flavor and covers the bitterness in the whole wheat but the bread will probably be fine without it.

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Charles April 18, 2009 at 8:17 am

Eric, yesterday I started the whole wheat version of the “Almost No Knead” bread, and it has been rising for about 12 hours. However, last night I forgot to put the 2 Tbs of honey/sugar in the dough. Since it has been rising for 12 + hours, is it too late to add the sugar? Isn’t the sugar just food for the yeast, if not, what does the sugar add?

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Breadtopia April 14, 2009 at 5:12 am

Hi James. That’s a Danish dough whisk.

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James April 14, 2009 at 12:04 am

Just curious what that thing is that you are using to stir in the Almost No Knead Sandwich Loaf Recipe video. Your answer would be much appreciated, thanks in advance.

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BJ March 21, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Well, I made the recipe just as Eric said to with the exception of using yeast, I used my very active and healthy starter and used half the amount of vinegar. I got a great looking loaf. Rose up quite a bit more than I expected while in the oven. It is still cooling so have not tried it for flavor. I also have put together another loaf, as an experiment, omitting the beer altogether. Want to compare. Thanks for the advice from all. Starting to realize that it is all an experiment and even the mistakes are edible!

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Jeffrey March 21, 2009 at 1:20 pm

BJ

Sourdough starters must be fully “activated” before using them in any recipe. If the culture has been sitting idle, it should be fed with flour and water, and allowed to ferment a good 8 – 12 hours before actually using it to make bread. Most recipes I’ve read say that an activated culture stored in the refrigerator can be used for up to 3 days, after which it should be reactivated. Most bakeries feed their SD cultures at least once a day, often more.

1/4 cup of a starter that’s been sitting in your refrigerator for a week isn’t going to do a very good job of raising your dough.

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Rich. Witt March 21, 2009 at 10:19 am

BJ
Go to Eric’s & my comments & photos here starting 02-28-09, re 100% whole wheat.

I, of course did not use sourdough starter. However, I did use 1 TBSP of vital wheat gluten per cup of flour. I still did not get a great rise. Eric suggested using a lot more instant yeast, like maybe a TSP. Maybe you want to increase the amount of starter. If cups of starter are equivalent to TSPs of instant yeast, you may want to try a full cup of starter – or work your way up. Start with a half-cup of starter.

I did not try increasing the yeast because I simply did not like the taste of the 100% whole wheat loaf, and will not bake it again.

Of course, maybe you like that flavor.

Rich

I have not tried increasing the yeast

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Marianne March 21, 2009 at 9:49 am

BJ, I would imagine that you can substitute the starter for the yeast. I’m guessing that 3/8 cup of starter could be substituted for the 3/8 tsp. of instant yeast.

As for the beer, the beer adds liquid as well as flavor, so substituting water for the beer should work, but the flavor would be different.

Using all whole wheat flour may result in a loaf which doesn’t rise as well because there’s less gluten in the whole wheat flour than in white flour. If you can find whole wheat bread flour, that might help. Or, you can add some vital wheat gluten to increase the gluten content of the whole wheat flour.

Give it a try and see how it goes.

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BJ March 20, 2009 at 3:59 pm

I want to use my starter to make the sandwich loaf. Do I just do as this site says and sub the starter for the yeast? Can I leave out the beer and go with all water? What I really want is just a whole-wheat sourdough sandwich loaf. Any suggestions? I have made the sandwich loaf the way the video shows and it was very good, but I have this great starter and don’t want to use yeast.

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Breadtopia March 9, 2009 at 6:52 pm

All the information is in the videos. I gather you are unable to view the videos on your computer so here you go… 8 to 18 hours on the first rise and 2 hours on the second.

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Carol March 9, 2009 at 5:55 pm

You don’t give any rising times for either the breads on this page for for the banana bread, or the no knead loaf bread, or I just don’t seem them. Any help is greatly appreciated. I know the original no knead has an 18 hour and a 2 hour rise time. Thanks.

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Breadtopia March 8, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Hi Carol,

There’s a long rise too. It’s pretty much like the regular no knead recipe in that respect. I can’t remember if it’s in part I or II of the the two videos, but I’m pretty sure it’s in there.

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Carol March 8, 2009 at 4:09 pm

I don’t see anywhere in the recipe where it says how long the rises. Only the video mentions a 2 hour rise. Is the 2 hour rise the only rise?

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Jeffrey March 4, 2009 at 9:13 am

Hi Stephanie

Glass has texture, although you can’t really see or even feel it, and I think it makes a difference how oil or shortening is applied to the surface. My recollection (it’s been a while since I used my Pyrex loaf-pans for bread) is that problems with sticking for standard bread recipes came when I didn’t rub the oil (or shortening – I used Crisco) into the surface of the pan. The solution I arrived at was to put a slightly excess amount of oil into the pans, then really rub it into the surface with a paper towel, which also acted to absorb excess oil. When I used shortening, I loaded up the paper towel with shortening, then rub it in, paying particular attention to the corners of the pan, where I most often encountered problems.

I could also be that your glassware has slight manufacturing defects, making the surface just a little bit more textured than most, which would add to sticking.

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Breadtopia March 4, 2009 at 4:41 am

Hi Stephanie,

I don’t know why you’d have such problems with sticking. I’ve only used butter because it’s always worked fine for me. I don’t even use very much. Hopefully someone else can help with this and your yeast question.

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Stephanie J March 4, 2009 at 12:18 am

Clarification to above question…hey, it’s almost 11:30 pm and I should be sleeping :(

When I say I use “standard” yeast, I mean Red Star active dry as opposed to instant or bread machine style.

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Stephanie J March 4, 2009 at 12:14 am

Your lovely sandwich loaf slipped out ever-so-easily from that glass Pyrex. I have NEVER had luck with glass. My bread ALWAYS sticks! What am I doing wrong? I’ve tried Pam-type sprays, straight olive oil (heavy or sprayed-on with a Misto), straight canola oil (heavy or sprayed-on with a Misto), and butter. I loved the crust in that glass. Any suggestions?

Secondly, I’ve seen it asked before, but I couldn’t find an answer. I’ve been doing the CI Almost NK since it was published regularly, but I have never used instant yeast, always standard. I don’t soften it prior in a bit of water, just throw it in the dry ingredients. I’ve never had a problem with performance. However, has anyone used both methods? Did instant actually result in a significant difference?

Thanks!

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Rich Witt March 3, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Marianne

Thanks for the link. When I get a little more time, I’ll utilize the nutritional formula.

Rich

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Breadtopia March 3, 2009 at 11:05 am

I really like Kamut too. And I love using these ancient grains. I’m growing some rare heirloom wheats now. I planted last Sept and hoping they come up this Spring. I’ll be putting up a page on growing wheat and posting progress of the project. It’ll take years to build a good seed supply but what fun working on it.

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Karil March 3, 2009 at 10:55 am

Hi Eric
If you like spelt, you will love kamut, which is supposedly an ancient wheat precursor from Egypt. It is sweet and nutty and also has absolutely no bitterness. The color is a beautiful golden hue. The gluten is supposed to be more digestible than wheat, however, from what I have read, it is best not to add extras to the dough, such as bran or nuts or wheat berries because these elements might cause the gluten strands to break. It makes wonderful loaves!
Greetings,
Karil

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Marianne March 3, 2009 at 10:21 am

Rich,

If you’re interested in knowing the nutritional composition of your recipes, check out Nutritiondata.com.

http://www.nutritiondata.com/

Just input all of the ingredients in your recipe, and the program does all of the work and does a complete nutritional analysis. It will calculate the amount of fiber in the recipe as well.

Marianne

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Breadtopia March 3, 2009 at 9:44 am

I’ve been working (playing) on a 100% spelt bread that I love the taste of. Not bitter at all. Spelt is wheat but unique in some significant ways. You could try that.

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Marianne March 3, 2009 at 9:43 am

Here in Canada, Robin Hood Flour has a new product. Robin Hood Nutri Flour Blend is a blend of unbleached white flour and ground wheat bran. It tastes like white flour, but has the same amount of bran as whole wheat flour. Apparently it can be substituted for white flour in any of your recipes. I haven’t tried it in a no-knead recipe yet, but if I do, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Here’s the link to the website:
http://www.robinhood.ca/product.details.asp?pid=122&prodcid=9

Marianne

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Rich Witt March 3, 2009 at 9:11 am

Eric

Increasing the inst. yeast is an idea that would be worth trying, but since I really didn’t like the intense whole-wheat flavor of the bread, I don’t think I’ll try a 100% whole wheat loaf again.

I wanted to try the 100% whole wheat for the increased fiber and get away from the white bread problem as respects digestive physiology. But if it doesn’t taste good to me, there is little point.

I think I will try your variant again with 2:1 white flour to whole wheat ratio, but try to add something to increase the fiber level of the loaf. Perhaps the addition of wheat berries and edible bran.

I saw a recipe somewhere that used an ingredient that was specifically for raising the fiber content. I’m going to try to find that again on the web.

Unfortunately, determining the fiber level/serving is beyond my abilities.

After all, my initial intent in all of this was to have a hobby activity to carry me through winter, with the added benefit of having some good bread to eat!

Rich

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Gabe March 2, 2009 at 9:07 pm

love watching these vids but the first one made me cringe……I know youre not using it for aerospace precision but working on top of your scale is a no no.

Still, keep up the great work, this place has given me some big dreams

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Breadtopia March 2, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Looks good to me, Rich. A tight crumb is common with 100 whole grain bread. Peter Reinhart really ramps up the instant yeast in his whole wheat recipes (2 1/2 tsps). A mere 10x the no knead amounts. It’s a different recipe and all, but I wonder if you’d get a more open crumb with, say, 1/2 – 1 tsp. yeast. Just a thought. I have no idea without trying.

Wow, what a harrowing experience with the kitchen fire. Thank goodness it wasn’t worse.

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Rich Witt February 28, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Hello

The last time I posted, I was planning to bake a 100% white whole wheat flour ANK loaf.

The date of that post was January 13, 2009, which turned out to be a rather fateful day for me. That evening, I burned down my kitchen, and ended up in the hospital emergency room with nasty 2nd degree burns on my left hand.

This weekend, now that everything is restored, with a new stove and all in the kitchen [ except for a new range hood and counter top, which is expected to be installed next week some time], I decided to proceed with the bread making.

The 100% [except for 3 tbsp of vital wheat gluten] white whole wheat flour loaf was baked using the following recipe:

15 oz of KAF white whole wheat flour [including the 3 tbsp of gluten]
2 tbsp raw sugar
1.5 tsp of kosher salt
0.25 tsp of SAF instant yeast
3 oz organic apple cider
7 oz + 2 tbsp of spring water.

All was mixed , formed into dough and left to ferment for 18 hours. The expansion of the dough was less than I had anticipated [perhaps because the dough was in the coolest corner of the kitchen - maybe 68 F.

This morning, I formed the dough into the typical ball and placed it on parchment paper in a frying pan, for the 2nd rise for 2 hours.

I placed my clay baking vessel in the oven and pre-heated it to 500 deg.
then reduced the oven temp to 420 F. and baked the loaf for 30 min. When I checked the loaf temp after 30 min, the inst. read thermometer only read 160 F. To make a long story short, I continued baking until I got a bread temp of 205 F. This took 1 hour of total bake time.

I'm wondering if the new stove is displaying the proper temp setting. I have to go out and get an oven thermometer to check it.

The bread cooled, and I cut a couple of slices. It all looked nice, but the bread had very tight crumb. [I'm going to forward Eric a couple of pics to post here].

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Add more vital wheat gluten? More hydration? Oven not hot enough?

Well, the proof of the experiment is in the eating: The crust has a nice crunch to it and the inside is somewhat chewy, which is what I was trying to achieve. However, I think the loaf is too dense.

Also, I’m not crazy about the taste. It might have tasted better if the loaf was less dense. I think the loaf with 2 cups of KAF white bread flour and 1 cup of whole wheat tasted much better. I’m not sure I’ll try this recipe again.

Rich

Rich's ANK Whole Wheat

Rich's ANK Whole Wheat

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Breadtopia February 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Same here.

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Marianne February 25, 2009 at 2:34 pm

I also put the left-over beer into the fridge and used it again about a week later. The bread seemed to turn out just fine.

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