Yukon Mike’s, No-Knead Bread
No Knead Bread is the easiest, best tasting, moist and chewy white bread recipe you can make. The is no need for a kitchen mixer, just a bowl and spatula, throw in all the ingredients, mix for a minute, cover, let rise for 6-8 hours, dump out onto the counter, deflate the dough (punch down), shape to fit the bread baking pan, place it in the pan, let it rise again and bake.
My recipe differs from the original because I add sugar and use less water and slightly more yeast to speed the rise time. It now takes 8-10 hours start to finish instead of 20 hours.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups water room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1¼ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon instant yeast
In a large bowl combine all the flour, yeast, salt and water about 2-3 minutes. Do not try to knead, just blend until the flour is uniformly moist. The dough will be very goopy and tacky.Cover the bowl with a cloth towel and let rise 8 hours. Dough is ready when the surface is showing small gas bubbles and it’s at least doubled in size.Lightly flour a work surface and dump the dough out of the bowl and onto the work surface.Use enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to work surface or to your hands, gently and quickly deflate the dough and shape to fit into the bread baking pan. Do not overwork or knead the dough at this stage, it is not necessary.Place the dough in a standard, greased bread pan and let rise 1-2 more hours, or until the dough will be about double in size again or has risen about one inch over the top of the pan.Bake at 375 degrees for 29-30 minutes or until the internal bread temperature of 190-200 degrees.Cool on a wire rack.
How come you don’t have to knead “No Knead” bread?
Well let’s look at the reason you need to knead bread?You knead bread dough to produce gluten or actually align the gluten protein structure.I’ll try to explain; imagine the gluten protein as a one inch long piece of thread and there are millions of them in your dough. Now imagine these millions of threads are wadded up into a ball and facing in all directions. Kneading breaks up this ball and aligns them side by side so they will now trap the yeast gasses and allow the bread to rise.So how does No Knead work?It is the extraordinary amount of water in this recipe and the process call “Autolyse”. Autolyse technically refers to the breaking up of cell proteins through enzymatic action. Because of the extra water, the dough is sloppy or not firm and it’s this looseness that allows the Autolyse process that loosens up the wadded up ball of gluten and allows it to realign itself into the structure needed to hold yeast gasses. This is a very slow process hence the long hours of rise time.