Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No Knead Bread Baking

Probably by now you've all heard of and maybe even tried the no knead bread baking procedure. This was popularized in the New York Times a few years ago by Mark Bittman.
I was always informed, that to make a good loaf of bread, you had to knead the dough, really a lot. Well, you don't have to. In fact, you can make a great loaf of bread without kneading the dough at all. But don't you have to knead the dough to develop the gluten, you might ask? Remember, it's the gluten that holds it all together, and that's why you need it
Sure, kneading the dough does develop the gluten, but gluten will develop all by itself if you don't rush the process. If you enjoy kneading dough, then don't let me stop you, for not only does it give you an upper body workout, but kneading dough can also be a meditative enjoyment. A danger of kneading, however, is that there is a tendency to add too much flour, and this might contribute to baking a doorstop. A slack dough will help you to achieve a nice, airy texture, and that's what you might want to strive for.
In the video there is no mention of sourdough bread baking, but if you're a sourdough baker as I am, then you can easily convert what you see in the video to sourdough techniques.