We’ve been baking our own bread for 3 weeks now. Just two kinds, the ones I wrote about in Baking Our Own Bread. My brother-in-law Tristan managed to borrow another Lodge cast iron Dutch oven from his parents. We thought we’d save on the fuel by baking two loaves of No Knead Bread at the same time.
Last Thursday night my little niece Lilo mixed all the ingredients together for two recipes’ worth of NK Bread. One was a mix of all-purpose flour and a bit of whole wheat flour, while the other one used a mix of bread flour and whole wheat flour. This time we lessened the water from 1 1/2 cup to 1 1/4 cup, producing a less runny, but still sticky dough. The next day we put the dough on some greased foil for its second rise, and put the whole thing in the preheated cast iron pots. This made it easier to remove the bread safely.
Next time we’ll try not using the greased foil and will pour the dough directly from a greased bowl. Small bits of foil got stuck in tiny creases in the bread, which were a PITA to remove. But on the whole, I thought the loaves looked delicious. This time we let them cool for about 45 minutes before we tasted. Some of it was a little gummy – we discovered (thanks to our new oven thermometer) that our oven only reaches a maximum heat of 400 degrees F instead of what we thought was 450. So next time we’ll add about ten minutes to the covered baking time.
This IS a crusty bread. It’s great for toasting and buttering. I love the crunch and the almost-popcorny flavor in my mouth with every bite. I’ve been having this for breakfast two days in a row now. We’ve finished the first loaf and a quarter of the second already. Next time we’ll try the version flavored with beer and vinegar, called the Almost No Knead Bread on Breadtopia.com, with all the adjustments we’ve made to the recipe. While making our own sourdough is a bit beyond our powers, that ought to be interesting.