Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No-Knead Bread and Pizza Making Class

No-Knead Bread on boatMonday, March 23rd. 2009
I gave my second No-Knead Bread and Pizza Making Class for the Seattle Free School at the Cascade People's Center.

12-15 people showed up to my first class I did on February 5th which went extremely well, especially since it was my first. (with a write up from one of the attendees blogs)

Around 18 - 20 people showed up to the March 23rd class and in it and went fairly well considering it was more of a lesson on how NOT to give a class. In any case it turned out alright despite the following...
1). bringing 'sugar' instead of 'flour' to make bread
2). no pizza pan to cook pizza on
3). only sauce, Italian seasonings and cheese for the pizza
3). burning said pizza worse than the February 5th class.
4). being totally disorganized.
5). forgot to bring the free Seattle Green Festival tickets to hand out.

The primary lesson was if I can do, it you can doing it.

The pizza was by far the worse I've ever made. It was still pretty good, maybe has something to do with the caramelized cheese. a good reminder to keep an eye on the pizza especially if you are not use to the oven. maybe keep the temperature around 400 deg F (also not cooking bread and pizza at the same time in the same oven would help). oh yea, here are the New York Times links I promised.

Original New York Times Recipe and video from this page. along with the Speedy No-Knead Bread and Faster No-Knead Bread versions. I personally think there is too much water in the recipes they give. I've adjusted mine below with good results.

my quick and dirty, long winded, and not completely edited, recipes below...

my modified recipe is
1). 3 cups (bread) flour (1 cup of this may be white whole wheat for best results)
2). 1 tsp (up to 1 & 1/8 tbs) salt
3). 1/4 tsp yeast (can be 1/2+ tsp yeast if in a hurry)

mix thoroughly in a medium bowl (I use a butter knife). then add

4). 1 & 1/2 cups (filtered) water or a little less (maybe 1/8 cup less)

If you want your dough ready in 3hrs time use warm water (around 95 deg)
otherwise use room temperature or cool tap water if you are making it for the next day.

mix into rough dough with same butter knife (keeps hands clean).
cover and leave overnight or 3hrs if you used warm water.
use 1/2 batch for single 12in. pizza or whole batch for bread.

bread in dutch oven method -
on heavily floured surface (with oats, bran, etc. if you like) fold 2 opposite edges of dough over onto itself then the other 2 edges to make a ball. turn over the ball and place on floured surface and cover. wait if you can until it's doubled in size or just go ahead and go to the next step if you are in a hurry.
preheat oven with dutch oven in it for 30 min. at 425 deg F.
quickly remove lid to preheated dutch oven and place dough (seam up) cover lid quickly and get back into oven to keep from loosing heat.
bake for 30 min. with lid on. take lid off and cook for another 15 min (45 total).
adjust time and/or temperature depending if your first loaf come out too dark/over done. if bread seems too wet reduce water a little on next batch.

for best results use a little less water if making pizza dough.

Baking (Pizza) Stone and Broiler Pan Method -
if you don't have a dutch oven you can 'cheat' by using a pizza stone on the middle rack in the oven and a broiler pan on the bottom rack. preheated in the oven for 30 min. at 425 deg F. place your bread dough onto a piece of parchment paper with a little cornflour on it. put this setup onto some sort of flat pan you can slide easily onto the hot pizza stone in the oven. after it's preheated put the dough onto the pizza stone in the oven and quickly pour 1 cup water (pre measured) into the broiler pan. do it quick, keep your head away from the steam, and close the door quick. keep oven door closed for 30 min at 425 deg F. open the door carefully, keeping your head away from the escaping steam and then cook for another 15 min. to crisp up the crust of the bread (45 min total cooking time). again adjust time and/or temp a little if it come out with burnt edges.

you can pre-make multiple batches and keep them in the fridge for a number of days so you can have fresh bread on tap. also spreading a batch (or two) out on an well oiled baking sheet with sides and putting on melted butter and freshly crushed garlic makes some fantastic garlic bread sticks in about 20 min.

Here is a good article from Mother Earth News that follows the same basic idea in Five Minutes a Day for Fresh-Baked Bread. Notice that they use slightly less than 2 to 1 on their flour to water ratios as well.

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