Friday, November 16, 2007

Toaster Oven No-Knead Bread!

If you read any food blogs, and if you are reading this blog, then you almost certainly do, then you have heard endlessly about the famous "No-Knead" bread. Heck, you have probably made a few batches yourself. I have made this bread quite a lot as well. One type of comment that seems to come up a lot, particularly on bread-focused blogs/websites is, "Why do people like this recipe so much, I've been making wet dough types of bread for years..." I have thought about this because prior to this recipe, and I can't say that I made a lot of bread.

I think that the answer is that this recipe is in the tradition of "pure" bread recipes (i.e. those consisting of water, flour, yeast & salt), yet is nearly effortless and is VERY FORGIVING. When I realized this, I thought, "Well, how forgiving is it?" So, I thought, let's try it in the Toaster oven. Because, frankly if you can make a credible rustic loaf of bread with a crackly crust and moist interior in the toaster oven, well, you have something there!

So, I found a casserole dish that could hold a recipe based on 2 cups of flour. I made a 4 cup recipe (I work approximately from this variation, which I think has even more of a nutty, bready flavor), split it in half and ran the other half as a control in the oven.  I should note that my toaster oven is the $49.99 special at Target.  No fancy convections or ceramics here!

So, here is my toaster oven running at ~400ยบ with tin foil as a top:

and here after 30 minutes covered & 10 minutes uncovered is the loaf:


I will report this so far as a partial success. Unfortunately, I did not have instant yeast and I hadn't noticed that until my control loaf was also a little dense and "not quite right", so I will try again. But given that, this is a very auspicious sign. Smeared with butter and hot, this was bread that 90% of most people would find "fantastic".


Originally uploaded by chris brandow

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