Country Bread with No-Kneading

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Country Bread with No-Kneading
  1. Place bread flour, spelt flour, and yeast into a large mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon. Pour in cold water and mix until a very wet, sticky dough comes together, about 3 minutes. Add salt and mix for another 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with foil, and allow dough to rise at room temperature for 18 hours.

  2. Deflate bubbly dough with a spatula by scraping down the sides of the bowl and folding dough over itself, turning the bowl as you go around in a circular motion, about 12 times or so.

  3. Scrape dough out onto a heavily floured surface. Sprinkle the surface of dough generously with flour. Use floured hands to roll and fold dough on the table into a round or oval shape with a smooth surface, 1 to 2 minutes, adding more flour if dough is too sticky. The loaf shape doesn’t really matter, but a smooth surface is the goal.

  4. Transfer to a Silpat-lined baking sheet and let rise, uncovered, until doubled in size, about 2 hours. The dough will spread out more than rise up; this is normal.

  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Place a rack in the center of the oven.

  6. Use a very sharp knife or razor to cut a shallow slash down the middle of dough, being careful not to deflate dough too much; the slash is optional. Spray the surface of loaf very lightly with water to help a crust form.

  7. Bake on the center rack in the preheated oven until nicely browned and loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack before slicing.

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Chef’s Notes:

Regular all-purpose flour can be used for white bread flour; whole wheat flour can be used for sprouted spelt flour.

You can use fine sea salt or another salt with no additives instead of kosher salt.

If you don’t have a Silpat liner, you can generously sprinkle the baking pan with cornmeal.

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