Saturday, August 23, 2014

Easiest No Knead Sourdough Bread Ever!

This is the easiest—and best—bread I've EVER made. Seriously.

I've been experimenting with sourdough (no added yeast) bread for about a year now. I tried the "no-knead covered casserole" method before, without terribly exciting results. In my previous post, I wrote about the two day method I've been using to make two loaves of bread-pan sandwich style bread. I've been happy with the results but it takes a bit of work and planning.

A few weeks ago I found out about Jovial einkorn wheat from the leader of our new local chapter of The Weston Price Foundation. Having a little bit of gluten sensitivity and intrigued by the heritage of this ancient wheat, I tried my recipe using this less complex, easier-to-digest wheat. It didn't rise as much as what I'm used to and although the bread tasted great, the loaf was kind of small.

I re-worked my old no-knead recipe using einkorn rather than organic flour and it had great texture and flavor, but it was still a smallish loaf. I have this great, economical, 3 quart lidded cast iron casserole, which I bought at IKEA for about $40 (take THAT Le Creuset $300 casserole!). The next time around I added about 50% more of the ingredients and it turned out even better! The NEXT time I even simplified the process more by skipping TWO steps and was blown away at how perfectly easy this recipe had become. And, this bread is to die for! So, here we go:

Easy No-Knead Einkorn Sourdough Bread  [print]

Prep Time: 8.5 hours (8 hours of rise time)
Cook: 1 hour
Result: A 3.5# artisan loaf that will knock your socks off

Ingredients:

6 cups Jovial Foods einkorn flour
1 cup proofed and bubbling sourdough starter
2-1/2 cups room temperature (filtered) water (approximate amount of water)
2 teaspoons finely ground pink sea salt

Tools:

Large non-reactive bowl with lid
Scraper
3 qt casserole with cover

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl (preferably with a lid), add the flour, sourdough starter, water and salt and mix until blended. It should be a gluey thick batter, a little thicker than brownie batter.

2. Cover and let it rise in a warm spot for about eight hours, or until doubled in size. I put the bowl in my oven and turn on the oven light to keep a consistently warm temperature.

3. Once the dough has risen sufficiently, remove it from the oven. Place your covered casserole in the oven and heat it to 450° F.

Before/after baking. This
was a previous batch
in my larger casserole.
4. Once temp is achieved, remove your casserole from the oven. CAUTION: HOT HOT HOT! Remove the lid and dump/pour/scrape the dough into the casserole. Cover and bake for one hour.

5. Remove the bread from the oven. After 15 minutes dump it out of the casserole, place on a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely before slicing and serving. I usually leave it on the counter over night and cut it in the morning with a meat slicer.

This bread is beautiful, crusty, fragrant and due to the einkorn flour has a warm nutty flavor. Don't forget the Kerrygold!