Easy No-Knead Artisan Loaf

ollie
ollie-3

Guess what?

Dan and I welcomed a new addition to our home in the form of a tiny four-legged tail wagging monster! His name is Ollie and he’s a working English springer spaniel and behind those adorable floppy ears hides tiny little devil horns. A rambunctious little guy, Ollie is like any young puppy…take your eyes off him for even one second and he’s bound to be up to no good! Chewed shoes aside, it’s hard not to adore his cuddly spaniel face, plus Ollie sure is smart! Within 3 weeks he’s learned a handful of tricks, including a crowd favourite of playing dead at the cue of Bang!

Artisan Boule Bread Loaf

Now that I’m a new Puppy Mama, I’ve realized how much work a pup can be.  I’ve only had family dogs growing up and my mom did all the grunt work of raising our little ankle biters. I was determined to crate train little Ollie the moment we knew we were getting him, dreaming of a perfectly behaved pooch. But alas, the crate training is coming along rather slow…he much rather be my little shadow in the kitchen, flopping down next to my feet wherever I go. Which can make my usual cooking prep a little annoying… or absolutely adorable!

Easy No-Knead Artisan Loaf
Easy No-Knead Artisan Loaf

Usually every week I’ll bake at least one type of bread (which I sometimes shamefully gorge on when alone). And since all my attention in the next few weeks will be making sure Ollie doesn’t get himself into trouble I wanted to bake something easy.  One of the simplest methods I have come across is from Ken Forkish’s Flour Water Yeast Salt. His Saturday Bread requires no kneading and only the four ingredients that the book is named after. The recipe does take some planning (about 6 hours from start to oven), but it doesn’t need much work, just the initial mixing, a few folds a proof, and voila! a crusty boule! So in between chasing after the little rascal, and putting in a few folds of this dough, I was still able to produce my weekly loaf…that I’ll now shamefully gorge on!

Easy No-Knead Artisan Loaf

Easy No-Knead Artisan Loaf
Easy No-Knead Artisan Loaf

note:  It’s best to work with a kitchen scale, but I’ve provided approximate cup measurements for those without.

Saturday 50% Whole Wheat Boule
Adapted from Flour Water Yeast Salt
Makes 1 1/2 pound loaf

250g white flour (2 cups)
250 g whole wheat flour (2 cups)
760 g water (3 ¼ cups)
10 g sea salt (2 teaspoons)
1/2 tsp yeast

In a large tub, mix the flour and water with your hands until the water and flour are incorporated. Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes to let the flour absorb the water.

Sprinkle the salt and yeast over the top of the dough and mix with your wet hands by alternatively stretching it and pinching it to fully incorporate the yeast and salt. This should take about five minutes. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Fold the dough by picking up each side and stretching it, and folding it over the middle like a little package. Re-cover. Fold the dough again after 30 minutes and repeat. When the dough is triple its original volume, about 5 hours after mixing, it’s ready to be proofed.

Heavily flour a proofing basket. You can also use a mixing bowl lined with a lint free kitchen linen that has been heavily floured. Carefully shape the dough into a boule (ball), tucking the sides around tightly. Place the shape loaf seam side down in the proofing basket.

Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hour 15 min, or until the loaves are puffy (it’s about an hour for me in Bermuda). Here is a great tip on checking dough doneness by Ken Forkish that I came across on Karen’s Kitchen.

About 45 minutes prior to baking, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F and place a covered Dutch oven on the middle rack. Make sure your Dutch oven has a knob that is oven safe.

Invert the loaf carefully onto a lightly floured countertop, keeping in mind that the top of the loaf will be the side that was facing down. Being cautious not to let any body parts touch the side of the Dutch oven, use oven mitts to remove from the oven and remove the lid. Carefully place the loaf in the hot Dutch oven and replace the lid. Place the Dutch oven in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes until medium dark brown. Check after 15 minutes in case your oven is hotter than normal.

Remove the Dutch oven and carefully tilt it to turn the loaf out. Let cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing.