Sunday, September 2, 2012

Baking no-knead bread

I'm still a little traumatized. It took four tries and once more for luck, but there is a happy ending: that one on the right, whose crust is lying up front with butter and wild oak honey. Dense, but pillowy and moist. It is as close to South African brown bread as I can get...

I needed the recipe for the book, but was changing quantities and also baking methods. Never bake in Pyrex (the one in the middle, which clung fast and didn't want to leave). Who knew? And the one on the left is a bit of a brick.

And I am full of honey.


  1. Nigella does a pretty fail safe no need bread, I love it. I think she calls it lazy bread and it has muesli in it. Yum!

  2. Knead I mean - sorry, it's late!x

  3. Wild oak honey.... any more info on species? My old ref books says "all the oaks are nectarless" (being wind-pollinated), so I am curious. I'm addicted to cherry honey, which turns out to be regular clover/wildflower honey with Montmorency cherry juice added.

  4. petoskystone - tasting good :-)

    Thanks, Belinda! I should check hers out, though in the end I'm happy with this one.

    Janet - it's Spanish - I found this link

    Then I found this - sounds complicated. "Honyedew from a node secretion"???

  5. Just in the last two or three years when young grandsons started requesting biscuits and I started making them on a regular basis, I learned that the baking pan matters! That's after 50 years of baking (and then not so much). For biscuits, the best thing I own is a round stoneware pan.

    The pictures of your bread are making me hungry. When is that book coming, again?

  6. That looks so good. I'm a big fan of no-knead.

  7. I made bread that had to be kneaded for the first time last week. It was awful. As best I can figure, I either under-kneaded or added too much flour. Even went out & bought new pans for it. I'm trying to decide if I should make croutons with it or chuck it.

  8. When I started making bread it was via the nyt no knead. I started with one of those enameled camp ovens. Then moved onto ceramic bowls with plates on top, :-), and now mostly use my cast iron Dutch oven. I wish I had a smaller one.

  9. dianefaith - do your biscuits touch sides when they are baking, so that they are pulled apart?

    G - I had a look: looks very good! LONG wait - I am so impatient; must be worth it, though. This bread just does that initial proving in the pan, for about...30 minutes.

    Nancy - chuck it and try again. It's worth it. The kneading: after about ten minutes the dough should start to feel silky and pliable and elastic. How did yours feel?

    Frank - yes. You remind me of camp cooking...And another bread. I must get in touch with Selina. Baked - steamed, really - over bubbling water. Must be eaten at once.

  10. I am addicted to Jim Lahey's No Knead bread, and I know not to bake in Pyrex!

    Thank you for the Painted Lady butterfly clarification, my husband told me they were Red Admirals, so we were both wrong!

    Happy Labor Day!

  11. Not from flowers - from the sap excreta of boring insects which is then collected by hone bees. This from an Italian website on Melissapalyonology (pollen in honey):
    Oak-tree (Quercus spp.) honeydew.
    It is obtained periodically in good quantities. Its quality is inferior to spruce and silver fir honeydew from the organoleptic point of view. Honey made with oak-tree honeydew does not remain liquid for long; it crystallizes firmly, forming large crystals. Oak-tree honeydew is always very poor in fungi substances, because bees usually gather this sugar source for a short period of time and when the honeydew has just been secreted and is, therefore, quite pure. The insects which play the largest role in oak-tree honeydew production are Tuberculatus annulatus Hartig. and T. borealis Krzywiecz. Holm-oak (Quercus ilex L.) honeydew is probably the worst of the oak honeydews. Oak-tree honeydew is quite common in central and southern Italy, in Spain and other Mediterranean countries.

  12. Isn't it hot there? Oh I remember, noisy air conditioner.

    We have 2 window units dripping away here. No bread baking or eating allowed.

    But we just score 2 lbs. of homey from our friends farm in Maryland.

    Clover, wildflowers, now if I just had a piece of bread...

    xo J.


  13. Stacey - so you know about the Pyrex - but-but WHY? What happens? I have never baked in Pyrex and it seemed like such a good idea, until, well, you know.

    janet - word...

    Jane - I am a slave to the book. Must bake. Actually, wasn't so hot today - opened all doors. So nice that you have honey friends. Do you like dark honey?

  14. Marie, I didn't really know how it should feel, but it seemed to rise okay. It just didn't come out of the oven ok. I've since purchased an oven thermometer in case the oven temp is off. Also, it was white bread & I really don't eat white bread. I just thought that would be easier to start off with. I will try again at some point.

    I can't wait for your book to come out.

  15. Do you remember Kapteinskloof bread, made by the ex-wife of Pieter Fourie ? Without looking it up, it was wholewheat flour with yeast, water, salt put into tins and put into a COLD oven - heat turned up etc. If you want it I can look it up but what you've created there looks beautiful and just perfect. I can't remember the recipe so will look it up anyway in one of those H and L pages.

  16. I have been baking bread for two years now and hands down Classic Sourdough by Ed Wood is the best book you can have to hand for no kneads - good read too. You have not lived till you have tried Tanya's Black Russian Bread....baie, baie lekker.

    Lisa, London,
    PS Just purchased our first Hobart OMG It is huge.

  17. Oh and almost forget Ed Wood's book is for the home makers, he does his bread from a cold oven. This works wonders and save's on the electrical bill too.

    Lisa, London.

  18. Wow, did your reference to oak honey send me on an amazing informational jaunt! I never knew that tree honey existed. Called Honeydew Honey because it is made from insect (like aphid) secretions instead of flower nectar. The bee eats the fallen secretions then heads back to the hive and whips up a batch of tree honey! Not as available as nectar honey, fairly expensive and unique in taste. Thanks Marie, I plan on ordering some Spruce Honey.

  19. Mommy, I mean HEN - I'd be happy to look at that Kapteinskloof recipe - you know I never went there or ate there and am sorry about that...weren't her beans famous? This one I'm working on is a version of Phillida's...

    Oak honey - yep, who knew? - thanks to Janet for asking about it. Honey made from the secretions of aphids. YUM! I had more for breakfast. the bread is holding up well. Still moist.

    Lisa from London - thank you for those suggestions :-)


Comments on posts older than 48 hours are moderated (for spam control) . Yours will be seen! Unless you are a troll. Serial trollers are banned.