Since the year is just about over, I thought I’d better conclude my thoughts and shares my notes on the now-infamous No-Knead Bread that swept around the world with such force and bravado that I starting calling it ‘The Nail In The Lo-Carb Coffin’.
Although I don’t really keep up on the various diets du jour, when the No-Knead Bread starting flaring up on blogs and web sites worldwide, it seemed that once again another fad diet had delightfully gone bust. And I didn’t want the year to end without letting you know how my final loaf actually turned out…
So for the past few weeks, everyone out there seemed to be having the time of there life stirring up batches of carb-rich, yeasty dough, and baking the soft mounds to crunchy perfection in their brand-new Le Creuset pans. While I’ll admit there’s nothing like the thrill of pulling a puffy loaf from the blistering-hot oven and tipping the loaf onto a cooling rack, or the thrill of buying a new piece of Le Creuset, I discovered the bread has one fatal flaw:
It tastes like nothing.
In fact, it was so flavorless that I could barely eat it.
To get to the point where I had an edible-looking loaf, though, I’d spent weeks roaming through Parisian health food stores learning about French flours, quizzing experts and friends, making metric conversions, and immersing myself in all the interesting, and mostly kind comments that many of you left at my original post. I stirred & scraped, slapped & tapped, and dusted & draped, all in an effort to pull the best, tastiest, most bakery-perfect looking loaf of bread I’d ever imagined proudly out of my humble little home oven.
That’s what I had anticipated.
But as you might remember, my first batch of dough flowed across my counter as urgently as the story of this amazing bread spread across the internet. What a mess! I baked them anyways, then froze those first couple batches of bread which I’ll serve as matzoh next Passover.
Since I live in the land of a gazillion bakeries, I asked myself (which a few of my readers asked as well), “David, what’s the point?”
Why should I bother making bread when within three minutes from my front door are numerous places where people get up at ungodly hours and bake bread so I could wander in and have fresh bread whenever I wanted to?
But I was determined, and once I got the proportion of flour(s) right, my final bread indeed looked fabulous as I pulled it out of the oven. I could barely wait for the bread to cool, so I took a knife to the warm bread and hacked a nice slice from heel of the steaming load.
I took a bite and chewed.
Then I waited a bit more.
I waited for that yeasty scent that curls up into your nostrils. A slightly-sour, pungent flavor that draws your tastebuds forward…
Update: During a site and server upgrade, the rest of this post along with my adaptation of the recipe, was somehow deleted. The conclusion was that while the loaf look great, I wasn’t all that thrilled with the taste, which I found very flat. I think it’s an interesting technique and some folks have had good success with the recipe and liked it a lot.
I felt that 5 minutes of kneading, which normal bread requires, yields a much nicer loaf of bread. But for those who don’t want to bother, or who want to try something new, may want to attempt a loaf and see for themselves.
You can read the original recipe for No Knead Bread, which appeared in the New York Times.