Recipe: No Knead in No Time Multi Grain Artisan Bread


We finally had our first snow to herald in the first Monday in 2012. And it wasn't just a fluffy snow, but a crisp, icy snow that likes to blow around. I have to admit, Chicago has had almost springlike temperatures. I was beginning to wonder if cranky-pants, old man Winter was going to forget about us. Well, wishful thinking. Being a seasoned chi-town girl, I should know better. So the blustery day made me want some crusty bread baking in the oven. The problem with craving bread is time. Usually when I want it, it's too late to do anything about it. But I remembered a no-knead recipe from Williams-Sonoma from many years ago. But just because it was no-knead did not mean it was less time. The recipe I recalled took 2 days. I began poking around the web, and I combined kitch'n.com's no time no knead bread with the traditional no knead bread recipe. Then I made up my concoction of whole grains to start the year off right and healthy. All in all, I think it turned out pretty good!

You can make this in an afternoon easily. Kitch'n even has a trick with the microwave to cut the time to a total of an hour (Imagine throwing down fresh bread right after work? You will make your significant other swoon with delight!). It does change the bread flavor and consistency. The crumb is more delicate as well as the artisan flavor. That is why I took the best of both worlds and allowed the bread to rise twice for a total of three hours...though you could probably just do two if you are pressed. The best way to make no-knead bread is in a Dutch oven. If you don't have one, visit Kitch'n.com for some Dutch oven substitutions. Also, flax seeds and the yeast amounts make the bread tangy and earthy. You can add a little honey to sweeten the bread a little and take down the tang.

Mmm. I can smell it right now. When will Google provide smell a vision?

No Knead in No Time Multi Grain Artisan Bread

Ingredients:

3 1/4 cups lukewarm water
4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 tsp. Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 Tbsp. flax seeds
1/2 cup wheat germ (or cracked wheat, pumpkin seeds, steel cut oats or other grains and seeds)
1 Tbsp. honey (optional)

Plenty of nonstick cooking spray
A handful of cornmeal for dusting the pot


Directions:

In a mixing bowl sprinkle yeast and sugar over the water. Let sit for about 3 minutes, or until yeast is bubbling.

In a small food processor, pulse oats until roughly chopped.


With a paddle attachment on the mixer, mix in 2 cups whole wheat flour, regular flour, salt, oil, vinegar, flax seeds, pulsed oats and wheat germ into the yeast mixture. Move to a kneading hook (but I stayed with the paddle and it worked fine, fyi) and work the dough for about 7 more minutes while working in the last cup of whole wheat flour. The dough will pull away from the sides when ready in a workable ball (see above).


Grease a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray and plop the dough inside. Wet a lint-free towel until it is damp. Lay it over the bowl and place in a dark place. (I use the oven). Let it sit for 2 hours. The dough will have doubled in size. Take it out. Pull the dough from the sides and fold it over itself a few times. Cover with the towel again and let sit again for 1 more hour. It will rise again.

Heat oven to 425˚, placing the Dutch oven bottom in there while preheating. The Dutch oven will create a crisp crust if it is hot.

When the oven is at 425˚, pull out the Dutch oven and sprinkle the insides with a handful of corn meal. Pull your dough away from the sides of the bowl again, fold it over a few times on itself, then plop into prepared Dutch oven. You can hear it sizzle as you plop it in, which means you have your pot hot enough. With a sharp knife, cut 3 slits along the top of the dough and cover with the top, making sure it, too, is sprayed down with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another ten minutes, or until crust is crisp and golden. Flip bread onto a cooling rack before cutting. Serve warm.

Even faster?
Kitch'n says you can make the basic dough, then put it in a greased bowl and microwave on high for 25 seconds. Let it sit for 5, then microwave for another 25 seconds. Then let it rest for 15 minutes. Plop dough into prepared Dutch oven and bake! I am not sure how this would work. But I may give it a try one night I am pressed for time. I'll let you know.

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