If “no-knead” makes you think only of the rustic white “pot” bread that appeared in the New York Times several years ago, you may be surprised that some no-knead breads don’t require a pot at all! My Cheese and Chiles bread (pic here, recipe below) is one the “kneadless,” breads in my Kneadlessly Simple book that requires no baking pot. And the best news–it comes out delightfully crusty. (It is a fab choice to serve with chili btw!)
Leit’es Culinaria Testers’ Choice (Jennifer Piercy) says about the recipe: “This bread was awesome! I haven’t always had the best luck with no-knead breads, but this one turned out great, with a good crust and crumb. Easy to make and easy to customize. Highly recommended.”
A number of other breads in my Kneadlessly Simple cookbook are also readied in loaf pans and come out looking like traditionally made sandwich-style loaves. But make no mistake–they are not made the “traditional” kneading way!
First, directions simply call for stirring all the dry ingredients, including the yeast, together in a big bowl. Next, cold water (yes, that’s right, ice cold!) is mixed in with a spoon just until a stirrable, but stiff dough forms. Then, the bowl just sits there over many hours, during which time the bubbling yeast actually kneads the dough very thoroughly. The next step is to stir down the dough, adding in the cheese or any other extras, called for. Finally, the dough gets turned out into the loaf pan until it rises again and is ready to bake.
The advantages of the Kneadlessly Simple method over the “traditional” approach:
> The dough gets mixed in and rises in a single bowl, greatly minimizing clean-up.
> All kneading is skipped, eliminating the usual effort and counter-top mess.
> The long, slow “self-kneading” process not only produces great texture but develops rich flavor normally only found in true artisan loaves.
> You don’t need to know how to knead, shape dough, or worry about “proofing” the yeast.
> You don’t need to stick around waiting for the rising to complete; while the dough “does its thing” for 12 to 18 hours, you can go off to bed, or to work, or to play.
> The long rising time is very flexible, allowing you to actually “hold” the dough for significant periods and fit it in when you’re available.
If you haven’t the expertise or the time to spend fiddling with dough all day, this method will probably seem like a godsend. I’ll admit, though, that if you actually prefer the old-fashioned way of setting aside a day and completing your bread straight through from start to finish, this may not really suit your style. Kneadlessly Simple breads take almost no effort or baking skill, but they do require a long, slow, unhurried rise. It’s the secret to their exceptionally good texture and taste.
In a survey conducted for Fleischmann’s yeast of their customers who had tried a sampling of my Kneadlessly Simple recipes, nearly 90 percent said they were “very satisfied,” or “satisfied,” and a whopping 97.9 percent said they would use the recipes again. So, while my kneadless method isn’t for everybody, it comes pretty close. BTW, the Cheddar & Chiles bread, below, was one the breads made by those surveyed. (Check out another of my kneadless loaf pan recipes from the book, an easy oat bread. Or see my Peasant Style Pot Bread that’s similar to the one that appeared in the New York Times.)
Instead of introducing this bread myself, I’m going to let a tester from the Leite’s Culinaria site do the talking for me. I’d be embarrassed to praise it so highly myself, but am perfectly happy to share other folks’ rave reviews!