This is the first no-knead bread that brought tears into my eyes when I took out from the oven. Made from simple ingredients: organic bread flour, organic sugar, himalayan salt, organic olive oil, organic dry yeast, and enzyme water.
My first attempt to make bread was when I lived in Sydney and it was Cheese German bread that was only last for that day as it was so hard that I could not eat after several hours. Since then I kept telling myself that bread was not for me. The second attempt was last year when I did try again to bake a loaf pan and again it did not rise and I could not even finish eating.
But thing seemed to change dramatically when I found a Japanese bread recipe using no-knead method, which later I learnt from Jim Lahey and Peter Reinhart books that it was originated from “poolish”, a fermentation starter used in bread making, which is referred to as an indirect method. It was first used by Polish baker around 1840 and was brought to France in the beginning of the 1920s. I believe the idea of no-knead method is coming from this “poolish”.
What I have learnt from my successful attempt in baking this tasty bread is in line with my believe that we can’t force the nature, that the best bread can only be made when we leave the nature to do its wonder. I found out that when we force the dough to raise by kneading them, it will make the dough lose most of its wonderful taste. It forces the microorganism (yeast) to grow faster that it is supposed to. When you leave them to grow naturally, you will get the original taste of all ingredients you put into your bread, the flour, the salt, the oil, the sugar, and the water.
I instantly fell in love in bread making! What I love the most in bread making is the simplicity of ingredients and its forgiving nature in my opinion. Just like human being, not all flour are the same, and thus the water needed to make bread can vary depending on the quality of the flour. You can always substitute water with other liquid such as milk, soya milk, butter milk, even I did try to use red wine! I usually use enzyme water but for baguette I prefer to use Evian. You can always replace butter with oils, any type. I prefer to use organic olive oils or nuts based oil such as organic hazelnut oils. You can use different types of salt and sugar. I normally use organic sugar or molasses. The interesting part is that you can have different flavour when you are more creative and bold in the way you choose what flour you use and in what proportion. I have been blending bread flour, wholemeal flour, rye flour thus far for my bread making. Another interesting part of bread making is that you can add eggs and more butter to make brioche, when you modify the way you incorporate fat into the dough, you can have croissant! You can also be possibly add dry fruits, seeds such as sesame seeds, quinoa, and nuts. Walnuts and raisins are great for both lean dough and rich dough. I normally add cinnamon powder in the raisins bread. As far as bread making is concerned, the sky is your limit, Trust me!
Simple and forgiving… and I am still experimenting.