No-Knead Olive BreadI didn't particularly care for the above Olive Bread. The recipe calls for 3 g of instant yeast for 400 g of flour and somehow the flavor and smell of yeast came out too strongly for my taste. I forgot to shoot the crumb and the bread disappeared so fast (I guess my kids liked it better than I did) that by the time I remembered to take a picture, it was too late. There was nothing special about it anyway.
No-Knead Peanut BreadNow the No-Knead Peanut Bread is good (it uses 1 g of yeast for 300 g of flour). Its greatest advantage (and I suspect that it is the case with most of the recipes in the book) is that it is truly no-hassle, provided one is willing to wait 24-hours between the mixing and the eating. If one doesn't have an overwhelming preference for levain breads or other breads made with a preferment (aroma-wise, I don't think the 18-hour slow fermentation of the whole dough offers a valid substitute, at least in this case) or if there is no good bakery in the vicinity (as often happens in vacation areas), then it is a quite handy recipe to have in one's repertoire. It tastes specially good when toasted. Lahey also offers a slightly different peanut butter and jelly version which must be specially popular with the younger set. I'll have to try it on my grandchildren back home. Ingredients (for 1 loaf): 280 g unbleached all-purpose flour (Lahey specifies "bread flour" but in my experience what bakers often mean by "bread flour" is actually regular all-purpose and, unless there are indications to the contrary, AP flour is always what I use) 20 g whole-wheat flour 4 g table salt 1g instant yeast 260 g water (@ 55 to 65 degrees F/13 to 18 degrees C) 50 g unsalted smooth peanut butter 35 g unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, whole 35 g unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped Method: Please note that his bread is made over a 2-day period.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, salt, and yeast. In a blender, blend the water and peanut butter (some settling will occur if this is left to stand, so blend just before using).
- Add to the flour mixture and, using a wooden spoon or your hand (I actually used a dough hook, a tool which I find most useful for mixing no-knead doughs)...
- Stir in the whole peanuts until evenly distributed
- Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours
- When the first rise is complete (in my case the dough fermented for 24 hours because of a scheduling conflict but it still looked perfectly fine when I took it out of the bowl), generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece
- Using lightly floured (or wet) hands or a bowl scraper, lift the edges of the dough in towards the center. Nudge and tuck in the edges to make it round
- Place a tea towel on your work surface. Generously dust with wheat bran or flour. Gently place the dough on the towel, seamside down. Sprinkle the surface of the dough with a light dusting of flour.
- Fold the ends of the teatowel loosely over the dough to cover it and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes
- Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F/246 C, with a rack in the lower third, and place a covered 4 1/2 to 5 1/2-quart heavy pot in the center of the rack
- Using pot holders, carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Sprinkle half the chopped peanuts into the pot. Unfold the tea towel and quickly but gently invert the dough into the pot, seam side up. (Use caution - the pot will be very hot). Sprinkle the remaining chopped peanuts on top of the dough. Cover the pot and bake for 45 minutes
- Remove the lid and continue baking until the bread is medium chestnut color, about 10 minutes. Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly.