The weather has been gorgeous this week and I have been goofing off BIG TIME. Seriously. So despite the fact that I finally have a chance to get going on all of the outdoor cleaning-planning-prepping that needs to be done, I’ve just let it all pile up. The lesson here? The weather will always provide an excuse for doing nothing. Aaaaahhhh thanks, nature!
Anyway, as you know, I’m the type of person will happily spend three days just making a pumpkin pie. So obviously, we have nothing in the house to eat. We have ingredients, of course, but I’ve just been too lazy to make anything. Unfortunately, there’s only so long a person can go just eating handfuls of chocolate chips and Craisins instead of cooking a meal. So yesterday, I had to rally and cook us something.
I came across this recipe for No-Time Bread at thekitchn.com a few months ago, and now seemed like a good time to try it out. The basic premise here is to make a version of Dutch Oven No-Knead Artisan Bread that is ready in about an hour. To do this, you speed up gluten formation by kneading the bread in a stand mixer for a few minutes, and then speed up the rising time by using a liberal quantity of yeast and a little bit of sugar (I used honey), plus a couple of short spurts in the microwave.
Of course, all the flavor from no-knead bread essentially results from that long slow fermentation/rise, so the recipe also calls for a little vinegar to simulate that yummy sourdough-ish flavor.
Then mix and knead everything for 4-5 minutes on low speed or until the dough is smooth and elastic. It will clear the sides of the mixing bowl, but it will probably still stick to the bottom, which is fine.
At this point, the original recipe recommends speeding up the rise using the microwave. To do this, microwave on high for 25 seconds. Then let the dough rest 5 minutes in the microwave. Microwave another 25 seconds. Then let the dough rest an additional 15 minutes.
My vote: forget about the microwaving. Just let your dough rise on the countertop on parchment like you would with regular no-knead bread. I mean, that’s not what I did. But that’s what I will do the next time I make it.
What you end up with is not the light, crispy, hole-filled artisan bread that you’ve gotten used to. No-Time bread is very dense and the crust is pretty hard. On the up side, though, it tastes just fine! I served it with soup, and we basically barely noticed that it wasn’t optimal. It also is great for croutons, strata, and French toast where dense bread actually works really well. So basically, it wasn’t the best bread ever, but it worked. Overall grade: C+
- 3½ cups flour, divided
- 4½ teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1½ cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon apple cider, red wine, or balsamic vinegar
- Place cold Dutch oven inside cold oven and preheat both to 450 degrees.
- Add 3 cups flour, yeast, and honey to bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Pour in warm water. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Switch to the mixer’s dough hook attachment. Add remaining ½ cup flour, salt, and vinegar to bowl. Mix and knead on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic. It will feel tacky and may stick to the bottom of the mixing bowl.
- To accelerate rise time in the microwave: brush or spray a microwave safe bowl with oil. Transfer dough to bowl, the cover with a very wet towel. Place a dry towel over the top. Microwave on high for 25 seconds. Allow dough to rest in microwave for 5 minutes. Microwave on high for an additional 25 seconds. Then allow dough to rest in microwave for 15 minutes.
- To rise on countertop: brush or spray a mixing bowl or a sheet of parchment with oil. Transfer dough to bowl or parchment, and cover lightly with a sheet of greased parchment. Place a towel on top of the parchment. Allow to rise until approximately doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Form dough into a ball and transfer to preheated Dutch oven. Bake 30 minutes, covered, then remove cover and bake additional 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.