More No Knead - Walnut&Raisin and less ugly!
I’ve fallen in love with this no knead method of making bread. It is no knead and less mess and the crust even crackles when I pull the bread out of oven. And above all of it, it is amazingly simple, anyone can make bread.
The only issue I have with this recipe is the long time that it takes to ferment. It takes planning. The initial fermentation takes 12-18 hours and then 2 hours for the next proof. The initial fermentation is a little tricky to plan and the only time I managed to string together enough hours and to blend my social and bread fermentation schedule was on the weekends. So I’ve been thinking about how I could work the dough into my weekday schedule and I’ve figured out a way of making this bread-work-life balance work. If I wake up 20 minutes earlier on a weekday to mix the dough and to set the fermentation process, I can shape and proof the dough when I get home from work, have a little dinner and pop it in the oven 2 hours later, then volia I’d get fresh bread for the next day! Hurray! Hurray!
3 cups bread flour
½ cup raisins
1¼ teaspoon table salt
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup walnuts
1½ cups water
½ teaspoon instant or active dry yeast
pinch fresh ground pepper
wheat bran, cornmeal or additional flour for dusting
1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, raisins, walnuts, salt, cinnamon, yeast, and pepper, mixing thoroughly. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. If it’s not really sticky to the touch, mix in another tablespoon or two of water. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours.
2. When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Using lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper or spatula, lift the edges of the dough in toward the center. Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round.
3. Place a tea towel on your work surface and generously dust it with wheat bran, cornmeal, or flour. Gently place the dough on the towel, seam side down. If the dough is tacky, dust the top lightly with wheat bran, cornmeal, or flour. Fold the ends of the tea towel loosely over the dough to cover it and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.
4. Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 250 degree Celsius, with a rack in the lower third, and place the covered heavy pot in the center of the rack.
5. Carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Unfold the tea towel and quickly but gently invert the dough into the pot, seam side up. Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.
6. Remove the lid and continue baking until bread is a deep chestnut color but not burnt, 15 to 30 minutes more (It took me about 15). Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to gently lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly.