No-Knead Bread Recipe

by Angela aka Farmer Jane on February 6, 2012 · 4 comments

Our no-knead bread trials have been amazing. Dom has taken the lead in making bread a few days a week or as needed. Its become almost like second nature to him. Currently he’s experimenting with a new sour dough culture which requires a bit of babying. I’ll write a post on making the sour dough culture when we get consistent results while making bread.

No-knead bread is fairly simple to make since it doesn’t require punching down dough or kneading. The bread is reminiscent of the expensive artisan breads one might see at Whole Foods or other stores specializing in simple honest peasant fare. The secret of success to making this bread is in the long resting time, high temperature and most importantly the cast iron dutch oven.

A cast iron dutch oven is heated to 500 degrees and creates an “oven within an oven” effect. Everyone Dom has made a loaf for loves to take a bite out of the rich hard crust and amazing soft inner bread. Its the cast iron dutch oven that allows the bread to form such a crispy crust, by trapping moisture in the dutch oven during the baking process. High heat and short baking times also add to the lure of crusty goodness.

We’ve been reading a lot of literature on the importance of sprouting grains before making bread, and our next bread baking goal is to make a sprouted grain no-knead bread and eventually sprouted grain sour dough bread. The process of sprouting grains changes the actual grain from a starch to a vegetable making it more digestible by removing the phytic acid as well as other enzyme inhibitors. After the grains have been sprouted, they are dehydrated and once all moisture is removed, the dried sprouted grains are then milled into flour.

Here is an excerpt from the Weston A. Price Foundation page on phytic acid:

Living With Phytic Acid

PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ramiel Nagel
March 26 2010
Preparing Grains, Nuts, Seeds and Beans for Maximum NutritionPhytic acid in grains, nuts, seeds and beans represents a serious problem in our diets. This problem exists because we have lost touch with our ancestral heritage of food preparation. Instead we listen to food gurus and ivory tower theorists who promote the consumption of raw and unprocessed “whole foods;” or, we eat a lot of high-phytate foods like commercial whole wheat bread and all-bran breakfast cereals. But raw is definitely not Nature’s way for grains, nuts, seeds and beans. . . and even some tubers, like yams; nor are quick cooking or rapid heat processes like extrusion.Phytic acid is the principal storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues, especially the bran portion of grains and other seeds. It contains the mineral phosphorus tightly bound in a snowflake-like molecule. In humans and animals with one stomach, the phosphorus is not readily bioavailable. In addition to blocking phosphorus availability, the “arms” of the phytic acid molecule readily bind with other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, making them unavailable as well. In this form, the compound is referred to as phytate.

Phytic acid not only grabs on to or chelates important minerals, but also inhibits enzymes that we need to digest our food, including pepsin,1 needed for the breakdown of proteins in the stomach, and amylase,2 needed for the breakdown of starch into sugar. Trypsin, needed for protein digestion in the small intestine, is also inhibited by phytates.3

Through observation I have witnessed the powerful anti-nutritional effects of a diet high in phytate-rich grains on my family members, with many health problems as a result, including tooth decay, nutrient deficiencies, lack of appetite and digestive problems.

The presence of phytic acid in so many enjoyable foods we regularly consume makes it imperative that we know how to prepare these foods to neutralize phytic acid content as much as possible, and also to consume them in the context of a diet containing factors that mitigate the harmful effects of phytic acid.

 

To read more, you can either click the pdf logo to the right of the excerpt or click here for more information from The Weston A. Price Foundation.

No-Knead Bread

Prep time 45 minutes
Cook time 35 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 20 minutes
Allergy Wheat
Meal type Bread, Breakfast, Lunch, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet

Ingredients

  • 3 cups High gluten bread flour
  • 2 cups Water (Use 1 1/2 cups if you are at sea level. )
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fleischmann's active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Salt

Directions

Step 1
In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt until mixed together.
Step 2
Heat water until its warm to the touch.
Step 3
Add warm water to flour and mix until dough is sticky.
Step 4
Cover bowl with plastic wrap, wax paper or a towel and store in an area that stays a constant 70 F degrees for 24 hours. (Note: at higher elevations with less humidity, wax paper or a towel will not prevent dough from forming a brownish ugly skin as it rises)
Step 5
After 24 hours of rising, lightly dust a pastry board, counter top or clean kitchen surface with flour.
Step 6
Dust hands with flour and pour dough out of bowl onto floured board.
Step 7
Lightly dust the top of dough and spread evenly on top and sides.
Step 8
Gently fold dough over on itself and turn upside down. (See video instructions below)
Step 9
Cover with a large stock pot and let proof (rise) for 2 hours.
Step 10
After 1 hour 30 minutes of proofing, heat oven to 500 degrees and heat up cast iron dutch oven and lid for the remaining 1/2 hour.
Step 11
When dutch oven has been heated for 30 minutes, remove from oven, remove lid and place dough in dutch oven. Cover with lid and put into oven.
Step 12
Bake dough at 500 F degrees for 30 minutes
Step 13
After 30 minutes, remove cast iron lid and return bread to oven for 5 more minutes.
Step 14
Remove bread from oven after five minutes and place on wire rack to cool. If bread is left on a hard surface it will create moisture underneath resulting in soggy crust.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane@Peaceful Acres Farm February 7, 2012 at 5:56 am

OMGosh, the only thing better is sourdough! I use to make it before GAPS and Paleo….I’ve passed my starter onto a good friend. I loved making it. It was such a beautiful creation. Now I’ll watch Dom….

Reply

Angela aka Farmer Jane February 7, 2012 at 7:56 am

Hi Diane,
I have a copy of the book Cultured Food Life and in it this is what was said about sprouted grains:

I discovered that grains are not the same as they used to be. For 100 of years they would cut the sheaths of grains and stack them in the fields and leave them to gather the next day. The dew would make the grains sprout and unlock the nutrients and deactivate the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Then the workers would gather the grains and take the seeds off the stalks to be used. Today we have combine machine that take the seeds off instantly never allowing the grains to sprout. Then for years and still today in European countries we always used sourdough starters to raise our breads, which transform the bread in the same way that sprouting does. It puts lactobacillus into the bread and transforms the grain. These wonderful bacteria that not only change our breads into healthful foods also change our bodies the same way. Now we have instant yeasts that raise the breads quickly and the bread never has a chance to transform. Couple this with guts that are so damaged they can barely digest anything and you have a recipe for disaster. Grains take huge amounts of B vitamins to digest and when you are under a lot of stress you don’t have what you need. Sprouting a grain activates all the B vitamins that are locked in the grain, and transforms the bread so you can digest it. 

So here’s the formula. Remove or deal with stress. Heal the gut with fermented foods and nutrient dense foods. Then once it is healed, add sprouted or sourdough grains. This is what I did and I have also watched many others do. My daughter can now eat anything and is free from a life sentence without grains. She loves life and can’t wait to get out of bed. Food is not something that she is afraid of but something that brings her great joy. If you are reading this, chances are your body is trying to tell you something.


I love Donna Schwenk’s book. Its a simple read and it has a lot of great recipes.

Reply

Annette Knipfing February 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Hi Guys,
Great bread making video !!!! The bread looks absolutely amazing !!! I have never made a loaf of bread…..I think its time that I start baking. I think TV needs a bread-making show, too !!!

Reply

Angela aka Farmer Jane February 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Hi Mom,
Its really simple to make this bread, and you could start the bread after work and 24 hours later when you get home again, let it proof for two hours and poof! done! It costs us about .50 cents to make this bread. :)

Reply

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