Very easy no knead overnight white bread recipeDec 08, 2021
Whether it be cleaning or cooking, I am a huge fan of shortcuts. Anything that means I can spend more time in the bath reading or in front of the fire is a winner for me!
When I'm cooking, my preferred recipes have 5 ingredients or less and are ready in 30 minutes. Though I make an exception for a good curry - thank you Madhur Jaffrey.
The same rules apply when I'm making bread. It needs to be quick and easy and not involve me kneading for ages.
I always try and prove my bread overnight in the fridge.
This makes it easier to digest and means, as a B&B owner, you're not having to get up at 5am to make bread for breakfast.
I have 2 go to bread methods:
The first is using the breadmaker. You can find my recipe and method here >> How to enjoy freshly baked bread every morning
The other method is the no knead method which produces a wonderful crusty loaf, with an open crumb much like sourdough without the faff!
I owe this recipe to James Morton, the Great British Bake Off contestant. It's from his brilliant book >> Brilliant Bread
But I've adapted the recipe to make it even easier.
I find I do need a bread basket to support the dough for this recipe. This banetton bread proofing basket is ideal ( and would make a great gift for someone new to bread making packaged up with James' book and a Dutch oven- if you're feeling generous! )
I also use a a precision scale to weigh out the yeast and the salt, as my kitchen scales aren't quite accurate enough.
Unlike James, who does it all by hand, I cheat and use my Kitchenaid mixer to mix the dough to start with. Saves me a bit of time and means I don't get my hands sticky! This is very lazy...
No Knead Bread Ingredients
- 500g strong white bread flour ( I like Wessex Mill but any strong bread flour will do )
- 10g fine salt ( normal cheap table salt will do )
- 7g fast-action dried yeast ( I have the green tubs of Allinson easy bake yeast or you could use one of those sachets )
- 350ml luke warm water
No knead bread method
Put the flour in a mixing bowl. Add the yeast on one side of the bowl and the salt on the other. You want to make sure they don't touch as salt slows down the yeast growth and can kill the yeast if they get together too soon!
With your fingertips, rub the yeast into the flour, then on the other side rub the salt into the flour.
Add the water and mix together to form a rough dough. This is where I get very lazy and use my mixer but you're only doing this for a matter of seconds.
Cover the bowl with damp tea towel, clingfilm, beeswax wrap or - and this is my favourite - a shower cap! As a B&B owner I have a lot of these hanging around and tend to reuse the same one.
Leave for about 45 minutes in a warm place.
You then need to fold the dough. I have a bowl of water, dip my fingertips in to wet them, then slide my hand between the dough and bowl and fold the dough in half. You then turn the bowl by 90 degrees and repeat for a minute or so until the dough is smooth.
Cover with your shower cap and leave for about an hour until the dough is double in size.
You then need to shape the dough. Drop it out onto a sparsely floured surface and with floured hands shape into a ball, then cup your hands around it and drag it towards you across the surface. You turn it a quarter and repeat this a few times until you get a nice tight surface. Then pop it into the banetton.
Make sure your banetton is really well floured. You're going to want to spend time flouring it otherwise the dough will get stuck!
There's a video here which shows the technique of shaping. I must admit that I don't the resting in the middle bit that she does.
I don't like scoring so I tend to put my bread into the banneton seam side down, as recommended by Ken Forkish, because I don't score it. This way the natural seams create those lovely cracks in the cooked bread.
You could now leave the banetton somewhere warm till the dough doubles in size ( about an hour ) then bake. But this is point that I pop it in the fridge for 12-48 hours to prove slowly.
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees ( 200 fan, 430 degrees F or gas mark 7 ) You can now put the bread onto a lightly oiled baking tray and bake for 35-40 minutes. I don't always score my bread as I use the natural seams, but if you've proved seam side down you'll need to put a couple of shallow slashes across the top of the bread.
I always bake my bread in my dutch oven - in my case this is my oval cast iron lidded casserole dish - round would be better! Here's a round dutch oven to show you what I mean!
I line the Dutch oven with baking parchment ( I've had too many incidents of just baked bread sticking to tins to skip this step ) and pop in the proved dough. Put the lid on, bake for 40 minutes with the lid on then 10 minutes with the lid off!
Leave the bread to cool on a wire rack and try not to eat it all in one go!
It freezes really well. I recommend you slice it then freeze.
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