Monday, March 06, 2017

No Knead Sort of Irish Bread

Every once in a while I return to the No-Knead kind of bread because it is easy and you get a very artisan looking loaf with not much trouble. This time I used a good amount of the King Arthur Flour Irish Wholemeal Flour to make the bread, plus some nice sourdough starter, so it isn't an authentic Irish bread, but surely similar to some that might have been made on that green, green island.

It makes wonderful sandwiches and toast and French toast and can be eaten with pleasure, while still a little bit warm from the oven, without any butter, jam, topping of any sort and as just the simple, unadorned, unprocessed slice to enjoy.

I sort of poured the dough after the first rise onto a heavily floured sheet of parchment, then used that to flip half of the loaf over the other half, then it all went into the preheated Dutch oven which I had sprayed lightly with oil. I put the lid on for the first half of the baking and then removed it so that the top crust crisped up an became a lovely golden brown. It didn't fill the whole pot, but that was OK.

Oh, yes, below the recipe is a photo of the two little black lambs born in our field this morning. Sooo cute! Kinda hard to see them, but we were keeping well away until they bonded with their ewe. No interest in bummer lambs.

No-Knead Bread in a Pot Elle's Way

makes 1 large loaf

1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup Irish Wholemeal flour
1 1/2 cups water
2 -3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Put the sourdough starter in a large bowl. In another bowl whisk together the wholemeal flour and the water. Add it to the starter and whisk to blend. Let bowl sit, uncovered, on the counter for at least 1's OK for it to sit longer (another hour or two is OK) for a stronger sourdough flavor.

Stir the bread flour into the starter mixture 1/4 cup at a time with a wooden spoon, stirring until all the flour is mixed in before adding any more. You should have a shaggy dough that doesn't hold a shape. When you have added 2 cups of flour, sprinkle in the sea salt, then another 1/4 cup of the flour and finish stirring it in. You will have a very slack dough. You can stop here or add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time but the less flour the more holes.

Let the mixture sit, uncovered, on the counter for 1 1/2 to 4 hours. Mixture will be bubbly.

Place a large piece of parchment paper on the counter and flour it heavily. Place/pour the sourdough mixture over the flour. Using a bench scraper, lift up the dough all around the edges and sprinkle heavily with flour under the edges, then let dough fall on top of the flour. When you have gone all around the dough mass, use the bench scraper to flip half of the dough on top of the other half. Sprinkle top heavily with flour and let sit until pot is ready.

Place heavy cast iron pot or Dutch oven, with lid, in the oven and preheat for 20 minutes to 450 degrees F. When 20 minutes have passed, remove pot and lid from the oven and slide the dough into the pot, discarding the parchment paper. Cover with the lid (remember to use oven mitts for all of this...the pot is very hot!) and return the covered pot to the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 -25 minutes or until loaf is dark golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let cool, outside of the pot, for 10 minutes on a rack. Serve warm or cool before eating.

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