Saturday, May 30, 2009

no-knead olive rosemary pan bread

I attempted the no-knead no-transfer experiment with an olive rosemary bread. Liquid was eight ounces of beer, two tablespoons of vinegar, and the water used for proofing two packets of yeast with sugar. I took the salt down to a teaspoon and a half. It was a wet dough and looked small in the big dutch oven.

After rising for two hours in the oven with the light on (and door closed) it was quite gaseously immense. I left the door cracked after this.

By morning I think the waves of dough had receded a bit.

I set the oven for 500 with the dough inside, and baked for 30 minutes covered. That is, no preheating of anything. It clearly contracted during this time.

It baked for another 20 uncovered. The decrease in size was significant.

So I ended up being disappointed that the volume was not retained. For whatever reason, the structure is just not quite there. I wonder if there's any way to end up with something as pillowy as it was after the first two hours.

However, the bread was pretty darn good. The crust wasn't quite as flavorful as what I've had using a preheated dutch oven, but it was still very tasty. The "bread finger" form factor is kind of fun, and since the crust is decent it's nice to get it in every bite. The crumb was soft and stretchy. Everyone liked it.

I'd use more rosemary next time. This had perhaps a little more than a tablespoon.

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