tried out a few recipes for a garden party. It was Ronan’s birthday and we were having a few friends round – I’ve been dying to try the ubiquitous ‘no knead bread’ recipe (see the bottom of post for video link) and had the chance on friday night before our saturday afternoon shindig. The basic premise of ‘no knead’ bread is that the bread dough is made a bit wetter and allowed to prove (or double in volume) for 18 – 24 hours and then baked, rather than kneading the bread, allowing the gluten to develop and rise quicker.
So, on friday night I muddled about in the kitchen with a simple but wetter bread dough made simply from strong bread flour, warm water, yeast, salt & sugar and olive oil, mixed it up and poured the mixture into oiled baking tins. On saturday morning, the dough had indeed almost doubled with large bubbles through the texture; I ripped up some rosemary and added sea salt and black pepper to the top and heated the oven at full temperature.
Now – a few mistakes were made; I shouldn’t have left the mixture overnight in the baking tins.. I oiled the tins before but this made no difference 18 hours later, and I ended up struggling to detach the bread from the tins :S then, i had to rebake the bread in flour because the texture in the middle was a little bit raw (i thought so anyway) and the flour was there to try and stop the sticking!
I had a panic because all the bread stuck and I thought didn’t look the best but I used a spare basket and some plain linen tea towels to rustic the bread up which I think looked pretty good! To be honest, I’m not sure about the texture of the bread; because the gluten hasn’t been developed through kneading, the bread takes on a texture of chewy english muffins. Though, the rosemary and sea salt and pepper made the bread flavour totally yum, I’m also convinced that the longer you leave yeast dough to prove, the better the flavour. The fresh bread smell wafted everywhere and in the end everyone seemed to enjoy it, especially our blues playing friend Davy 😀