I made Mark Bittman's No Knead bread and found it to be heavy/dense in comparison to the size. What could I vary to make it a more airy dough (more holes in final crumb) without changing much of the simple technique?

  • Posted by: Marnely
  • February 8, 2011
  • 3911 views
  • 7 Comments

7 Comments

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nutcakes
nutcakes February 8, 2011

I usually get a loaf that is perfect, well full of elastic air pockets and a crisp crust. Maybe you are used to lighter weight breads, but my first guess is that you need to try again. Does yours look like this? I also use an 'old dough' method when I save some dough from previous loaves to use in the next one.
http://www.flickr.com/photos...

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Marnely
Marnely February 8, 2011

The old dough addition sounds like a good idea. My loaf does look very similar to yours! Thanks for the response...

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hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour February 8, 2011

How long did you let it rise? Bittman preferred it with an 18-hour first rise and a 2-hour second rise. If you want a shorter rise (12-hour) he suggests you add an extra 1/8th tsp of yeast. I suggest you read the article that accompanies the recipe in case it gives you any clues to help improve your loaf. http://www.nytimes.com...

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nutcakes
nutcakes February 8, 2011

oops, that wasn't mine (I just found a good example on Flicker.) The old dough develops tang over time and I just store it in the fridge if I'm not making another loaf the next day. Good luck with your no knead adventure.

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Jake
Jake February 8, 2011

I did the Bittman No Knead method for a while, then I got tired of making a new batch of dough every time I wanted to bake some bread. I found the method from "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" is a good way to take the no knead recipe and extend it for a week or two without having to make a new batch each time. And, like the others have said, over time the dough takes on a good sour flavor over the course of a week or so.

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Sam1148
Sam1148 February 8, 2011

Try another brand of flour and consider adding some gluten.
Also, weigh the flour using a digital scale.
Here's bit that's more in-depth on the why's and how's of the no-kneed recipe. With quantities in weights.
http://blog.khymos.org/2010/12/22/no-knead-bread/#more-526

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pierino
pierino February 9, 2011

You might want to consult the original recipe by Jim Lahey in "My Bread" to which Bittman gives full attribution.

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