Loafing Around: No-Knead Bread

They say that man cannot live on bread alone. That’s why I gave this post an UNBELIEVABLY CHEESY title. Now when I read it back, it makes me rather sick to my stomach  cringe.

I bought some yeast quite a while ago, and got myself a loaf pan. But I only got down to trying my hand at baking bread this week. I did not have bread flour, only atta or stone ground whole wheat flour which is used to make chappatis and rotis. I searched and found a cool recipe for a no-knead bread, using atta flour.

I was a little afraid of this; because even now, when I bake, I do go by instinct at times, pinching and tweaking recipes as I go along…perhaps I’ve just been lucky that most of those recipes have come out well.

I don’t have a kitchen thermometer, (or any thermometer in the house, I’ve just realized- not even one for the baby! Must change that…) and I was not sure if the tepid water I had to add to the yeast would be the right temperature.

But, I took a deep breath and followed the rest of the directions and put everything in the oven and prayed it would be ok. And for a first attempt, it was not bad at all. A rather crusty bread, and the original recipe described it as such, so I guess I did something right.

Oh, and since I believe in tweaking every recipe I can lay my hands on, I added some of that bhuna jeera powder to the dough. Just for fun.

NO-KNEAD CUMIN BREAD (Adpated from Jugalbandi.)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups 100% atta flour (I used Ashirwad atta, if you do not live in India, then look for atta flour that says 100%)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water (the recipe calls for temperatures between 95 F to 105 F)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons bhuna jeera

METHOD

  • Combine the atta flour, salt and bhuna jeera in a large, airtight seal-able container.
  • Mix the lukewarm water and the yeast in a bowl and let it sit for a few minutes till it starts getting bubbly.
  • Add this liquid mix to the atta flour. Stir with a wooden spoon; you will most probably need to add more water. The dough is supposed to be a little stickier than usual- sticky enough so that it would be a tad difficult shaping it into a loaf- definitely looser than regular chappati dough.
  • Seal the lid of the dough and let it sit on your kitchen countertop for 2 hours until the dough doubles in size. By this point, the dough had gotten pretty stringy and had indeed doubled in size.
  • What I did next, was shape it on a floured surface, and let it sit in a warm place, covered with a tea towel, for another 1.5 hours.
  • Then, I simply pre-heated my oven to 240 C, pressed the dough into a buttered loaf pan, and baked it for 50 minutes.

I realized that I forgot to add this- I sprinkled some naachni or finger millet over the top. They look very similar to mustard seeds, and because I sometimes am in a hurry and don’t bother to read labels at grocery stores, I had some in the kitchen.

And my loaf pan is blue!! I realize it looks a little alien in this picture.

Crusty? Yes. Tasty? Quite. Perfect? Far from it. But it’s a start.

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21 thoughts on “Loafing Around: No-Knead Bread

  1. I was wondering about that blue on the bread..:) that loaf looks great.. i work by feel and touch, so i have to make it a point to use the measuring cups/ thermometers and such if i have to put up a recipe.

    • Yeah I guess when one puts up recipes, especially if it’s something baked, it needs to be accurate to the T. I bake like I make curry- tasting, testing and instincts rule! Thank you so much for dropping by, and sorry for the tardy reply.

  2. Atta-girl Meenakshi! Keep baking, you only get better! Should try making a banana bread loaf. Freeze your overripe bananas and then add it to the dough- you will enjoy it!!

  3. Fantastic. A bread recipe that doesn’t need kneading? Never attempted that lot before. Must be easy to put together. We crave for Ashirwaad atta over here in Bahrain. We have to make do with Pilsbury unfortunately which I suspect is not 100% atta.

    Love the loaf. It look spectacular. Bookmarking this.
    You just gave an obsessed bread maker another reason to bake bread. I have baked 3 already this week.

    • OMG I feel so awesome hearing that from you. You are bread royalty. You made lavash crackers!! That is quite a feat. I also suspect pillsbury may not be 100%…it appears more refined than Ashirwad.

  4. Your title is witty, ‘no-knead’ to cringe 😉 This is a great bread to start off with. I love tweaking and throwing in random ingredients I think of while cooking and baking too and have been lucky so far to have only a few bomb on me. Hehehe Love the blue baking loaf pan you have, I’m a big fan of color in the kitchen 🙂

  5. faaaabulous play on words, faaaaabulous! i look fwd to yr posts… wish I could be as regular. raghav must be a really chilled out, baby, if he lets you have your personal time to blog etc…

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