The no-knead method of baking bread consistently produces a final product that is chewy, crusty, and which boasts a beautiful crumb.
Generally, the loaf is baked in a dutch oven.
And when it is, it’s totally delish.
But did you know that you don’t knead, *ahem*, need a dutch oven to make bread worthy of an artisanal bakery?
Ohh, yes. It’s true.
So mayybe you can’t make a full-sized boule, but you can make amazing sandwich rolls/dinner rolls/burger buns that’ll have you and your newly-found bread-baking-abilities on your friends’ speed dials.
(Pictured above: top the tasty little guys with a layer of goat cheese and Roasted Carrot & Red Lentil Dip + spinach for a satisfyingly-wonderful snack or meal.)
When you follow the no-knead method for preparing the dough, and then bake it on a sheet tray, you will be rewarded with similarly-crusty and chewy buns that will remind you of the most delicious ciabatta bread you’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Oh, and the basic bread recipe is infinitely customizable. So strap on your party hat and get creative.
You’ll be glad that you did.
Here’s one of my favourite creations…
Cheddar & Onion No-Knead Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1.5 tsp salt
1/4 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1-1/2 cups water
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese (or other similar cheese), grated
1. In a large bowl, combine the flours, salt, yeast, cayenne pepper (if using), and sliced green onions. The cheese will be added later; I don’t add it until after the initial rise because, call me crazy!, I take issue with cheese sitting on the counter for a minimum of 18 hours.
2. Stir in the water. Your dough will look shaggy. That’s good.
3. Leave the dough in the same bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a draft-free place for 18-24 hours. **This means that you’ll have to plan ahead and mix everything together the day before.**
4. After the first rise, sprinkle the grated cheese over the risen dough and stir/fold dough back onto itself a couple times to incorporate the cheese. Let it sit for a few minutes while you prepare for the next step.
5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle the parchment with flour.
6. Using a knife or a dough scraper, divide the dough into 8 sections. Sprinkling your work surface and hands with flour as you go, shape your dough pieces into rolls and place on the prepared baking sheet.
8. 1-1/2 hours into the second rise, preheat your oven to 475 degrees.
9. After the 2 hour rise place the rolls in the preheated oven.
10. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Halfway through the baking time, rotate your baking sheet 180 degrees to ensure even baking. Check for doneness after 15 minutes. Mine usually take around 18 minutes.
11. Remove from the oven and allow bread to cool completely.
(Pictured above: Mmmm. Hummus-Veggie Sandwich on Cheddar & Onion No-Knead Bread.)
All of my no-knead recipes can be cooked in dutch oven or, as buns, on a sheet tray. Follow the pot-method for a large and lovely boule.