I'm a fan of the NYT no-knead bread method and applied it to this recipe. This means, I mixed the dough with a little extra water (about a cup total), used a teaspoon of instant yeast (which I don't bother to mix with water first--just add yeast to dry ingredients and water with wet ingredients) rather than the active dry yeast, then let it rise for 8 hours. I turned it out on a generously floured board, floured the top, let it rest for 10 min. or so. Then folded it over on itself several times and gathered it into a ball. I put it on parchment paper and let it rise another couple of hours covered by a cloth napkin. I then scored the top of the loaf with a razor and baked it in a dutch oven that had been heated in the oven--I lowered the loaf into the pot holding onto the edges of the parchment. I baked at 450 rather than 375, about 25 minutes with the lid on, 10 with the lid off. Also, I used a full 3 cups of flour--right from the beginning (a mixture of 2/3 bread flour, 1/3 whole wheat flour), then a little extra as indicated.
The bread does not have the crusty crust of most artisan breads, and it actually wasn't my favorite bread (I'm partial to the plain old flour and water variety). But it was well received by some at dinner and the recipe and technique were highly successful. It was not nearly as dense as I expected. It rose very nicely and created a beautiful loaf. I would not even attempt this bread if you don't have very good molasses available to you.
3 users found this review helpful
Aug. 17, 2008