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I made a recipe from the NY Times for No Knead Bread. Whole wheat flour, yeast and water. It gets baked in a dutch oven and made a good crusty loaf of bread. The only problem was taste, it was just blah. I would like to add some honey, maybe some nuts or seeds. I'm a novice bread baker, so I wonder if adding any other ingredients will alter the rising time etc. The recipe is great because you mix it and leave it for 8-24 hours before you fold it over, let rest again and then put it in the oven. So easy!

asked by fancyprincess12 almost 8 years ago

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14 answers 3089 views
drbabs
drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 8 years ago

Here's a great article about it: http://www.nytimes.com...
It sounds like it's pretty forgiving so you could probably experiment with add-ins as long as you make the very wet dough and let it rise for a good long time. (Longer seems to be better.) I have been curious about this for awhile, so please post your results if you decide to try a variation.

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fancyprincess12
added almost 8 years ago

Great follow up to the first article I read. I'm going to make a few adjustments and I will let you know how it goes. I'm so excited to see what happens!

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rwheat
added almost 8 years ago

I experienced the same problem when I followed the original recipe. Incredibly easy but very bland. Cook's Illustrated has a nice spin on the original recipe - they add beer and vinegar which really boost the flavor. Try this version, you won't be disappointed -

http://www.cooksillustrated...

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pierino
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 8 years ago

The problem may be with the whole wheat flour. As the Bittman article points out this technique was invented by Jim Lahey and you can read about it in his book "My Bread". In the book Lahey's recipe calls for all-purpose flour but he also say's that at Sullivan Street his bread is made with flour from "spring wheat" which just has to do with when it's sown and harvested. So bread flour is probably a better alternative.

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Mr_Vittles
added almost 8 years ago

I am surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but if you only used water, whole wheat flour, and yeast, the glaring ingredient that seems to be missing is SALT! Your bread probably needs a good pinch of salt to give it some flavor. I know when I make Artisan Bread in 10 Minutes a Day, and I a forget salt, the whole batch seems to taste bland and well bready. Salt makes the difference.

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pierino
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 8 years ago

Yeah, I was wondering about the salt too. As Lahey mentions in his book the salt not only adds flavor but inhibits the fermentation to a degree. It's interesting though, that in Toscany and Umbria they do make saltless bread, which actually isn't bad in the hands of a professional baker. The reason for omitting salt goes back to the middle ages when it was taxed. This was also around the time when the entire Umbrian city of Perugia was ex-communicated by one of the popes.

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fancyprincess12
added almost 8 years ago

Mr Vittles, you hit the nail on the head! I went back after posting and decided to give it another try. I used regular, all-purpose flour and realized I never added the salt in the first batch. To this batch, I added 2 Tbsp honey, but kept the rest the same. I feel good about this one. Thanks for the help!

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Soozll
added almost 8 years ago

If you like a little sour dough flavor, add about 1/8 tsp wine vinegar when you mix the dough. I got the idea from Lahey's quicker no-knead method and it really does add just a hint of sourdough flavor. And yes, don't forget the salt!

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nutcakes
added almost 8 years ago

The first thing I thought of was salt too, so thanks for confirming that that was the problem. I have made the orginal no knead bread countless times and find it a good loaf. I've never used more than 1/3 whole wheat when I want something other than white flour. Another thing I do to boost the flavor is to keep a walnut sized piece of the dough for the next batch. This bit of "old" dough will add a little complexity to the loaf. I leave it out on the counter and feed it with a little water and flour each day until I make a new loaf. Often I will add up to a cup of old dough. Then the next morning I take back a knob of it to save again for the next batch. This will give the loaf a sourdough tang.

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pierino
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 8 years ago

And there is a vernacular term for Nutcakes' venerable technique. It's called "feed the b**ch". Dough lives on and on whereas cheese lives and then it dies. Bread really is neuroscience.

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fancyprincess12
added almost 8 years ago

I like the idea of a piece of the old dough as a starter. There are so many possibilities!

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ADS
ADS
added almost 8 years ago

SALT....I had the same problem.....once I added salt, everything was fine. It needs a full tablespoon.

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Abra Bennett
added almost 8 years ago

A good addition to that recipe is substituting half a cup of semolina flour for whatever other flour you are using. Semolina somehow gives it a greater depth of flavor and doesn't adversely affect the texture.

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fancyprincess12
added almost 8 years ago

Salt was it! I also added a tablespoon of honey and used all purpose, unbleached flour. This bread is to die for and so easy to make. I may add in a little whole wheat flour next time. Thanks for all the help guys!

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