No-Knead Pumpernickel with Raisins

Having perfected, in my opinion, the best deli caraway rye I’ve ever tasted, these past several months of bread baking have emboldened me to experiment with my second holy grail of loaves – pumpernickel.  Actually, raisin pumpernickel, as described in The Silver Palate as a “uniquely New York bread” also known as “Black Russian.”

Like the deli rye, this takes planning ahead, as the dough must be allowed to proof for 15-18 hours.  Start this between 3-6PM on day one and you’ll be ready to shape and bake by late morning or early afternoon the next day.  I usually allow the full 18 hours for my caraway rye, but was getting a bit antsy this morning to test the results after a 15 hour rise.  Turns out nothing was lost in that short-cut, and I’m thoroughly kvelling over the results.  I know there are raisin-haters among my followers, and so you can simply leave them out, but I found the addition of 1/2 cup golden raisins to this dough was well worth the inclusion for a moist counterpoint of sweetness in every bite:

RONI’S NO-KNEAD RAISIN PUMPERNICKEL

IMG_0870

INGREDIENTS:

1-3/4 cups lukewarm water

1/4 cup molasses

2 T kefir, plain yogurt or buttermilk

1/2 t SAF instant yeast

1/2 T instant coffee or espresso granules

2 t kosher salt

1 cup rye flour

3/4 T unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill artisan bread flour

1 T vegetable oil

1/2 cup golden raisins

Egg wash – one egg white lightly beaten with a t water

Caraway seeds

PREPARATION:

Stir together the lukewarm water, molasses and yeast in a 5-quart mixing bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Stir in the instant coffee or espresso, salt, rye flour and cocoa powder.  Add the whole wheat flour, bread flour, kefir (or buttermilk or yogurt) and the vegetable oil and stir well until all combined into a wet sticky dough.  You could use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer for this, but I found it easy enough to stir the wet dough by hand.  Cover with plastic and allow to rise 15-18 hours.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured work surface or bread board and rinse out and dry your bowl.  Then flatten the dough slightly and sprinkle 1/2 the raisins all over.  Fold the dough over, flatten and repeat with remaining raisins.  Shape the dough into a boule and place on sheet of parchment back in your mixing bowl.  Cover with plastic.

Preheat oven to 450º with a 4-quart Dutch oven on middle rack while letting the dough rest for 30 minutes.  Just before baking, brush all over with the egg-white wash and sprinkle with caraway seeds.  Make three shallow slashes across top of bread.  Carefully place the dough in its sling into your very hot Dutch oven, cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Then remove lid and bake another 16 minutes.  Remove from pot with oven mitts and allow to cool on a rack for about an hour before slicing.

Enjoy by itself, with a schmeer of cream cheese or butter, or as a unique bread for your favorite sandwich.

IMG_0871

Can’t Stop Baking No-Knead Artisan Bread

 

fullsizeoutput_9e3Forgive me if I repeat myself, but I continue to be amazed at how simple it is for a home cook to turn out a bread like this.   Anyone who’s never tried bread baking for fear of failure or of time-consuming hands-on work should just set all that aside and jump on this bandwagon of no-knead artisan baking.

Do you have an oven?  Check.  Do you have a cast iron Dutch oven with 4-6 quart capacity?  Check.  Now all you need is a few readily available ingredients and a bit of planning for the 10 hours it will take your dough to work its magic before you touch it again a half hour before baking.

The quality of your flour and yeast is essential for success.  I’ve been baking bread on and off for over 25 years with various bread flours and with all-purpose flour enhanced with vital wheat gluten.  I have never worked with anything that comes close to Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour for outstanding results.

The package has your basic recipe, to which I’ve added the technique of using a parchment sling, the dusting of flour and the slashes across the top for that genuine artisan look.  And for this latest loaf, I tried something that worked to both amp up the leavening and a bit of sourdough taste – two tablespoons of plain yogurt mixed in with the warm water.  With or without the yogurt, when this bread comes out of your oven you’ll be patting yourself on the back and making excuses to do it again and again.

BASIC NO-KNEAD ARTISAN BREAD

(ADAPTED FROM BOB’S RED MILL)

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour, plus more for dusting later

2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp SAF instant yeast (or other high quality instant yeast)

2 tbsp plain yogurt (I used goat milk yogurt) plus enough lukewarm water to measure 1-1/2 cups; or simply 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water

PREPARATION:

Plan to start this either early in the morning so you can bake right before dinner, or late at night to be baked the next morning.  In a 5-quart mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and yeast.  In a small bowl or 2-cup measuring cup, stir together the yogurt and lukewarm water.  If not using yogurt, just use 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water.

With a sturdy silicone spatula or wooden spoon, stir the liquid into dry ingredients until it all looks like a soft, ragged dough.  Make sure to get all the bits of dry flour that might cling to your bowl.  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap – not touching the dough – and set it aside for 10 hours.  I stash mine in the microwave overnight to protect it from mischievous cats.

Meanwhile, go about whatever activities you normally do, including possibly sleep, and come back to this 10 hours later.  This is what you should see:

fullsizeoutput_9e0

Amazing, huh?  Yes, it’s alive.  Now, place your Dutch oven on the middle rack of your oven and turn the temperature to 450º.  Set a timer for 30 minutes.  Scrape your dough onto a generously floured work surface or bread board and, with floured hands, coax it into a round shape.  Rinse out your bowl, line it with a large sheet of parchment, and gently move your dough into the bowl.  Cover it loosely with plastic.

When your 30-minute timer goes off, sprinkle a bit of flour across the top of your dough, cut three vertical slashes across the top, take your screaming hot Dutch oven out with your best oven mitts, move it to a heat-proof surface, and lower your dough into it in its parchment sling.  Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.  This is where more magic happens, as the dough releases steam inside the pot, and rises again to become bread.  After 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue baking uncovered for another 12 minutes.

That’s it.  All you need now is the patience to let it cool on a rack for at least an hour before slicing.  I really want to hear from you after you’ve tried this for the first time.

fullsizeoutput_9e2

 

 

 

 

 

Hearty Multigrain Multiseed Bread

Yes, bread baking can be addictive.  Having stocked up on my favorite Bob’s Red Mill flours and having baked both a Sesame Semolina loaf and an Artisan crusty loaf in the past three days, I was inspired to harken back to my favorite, most toothsome loaf first created before I started this blog in the winter of 2015.

This is another loaf that employs the magic of Dutch oven baking, and, because I love the texture and seedfullness of this loaf for sandwiches, I make it a very large boule – a full 2-1/2 lbs.  Yes, it can be halved with minor adjustment to the baking time, but it also freezes beautifully if you want to cut half and store it.

Hearty Multigrain Multiseed Bread

 

IMG_3792 2

INGREDIENTS:

 

1/2 cup Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf

2 cups boiling water

1 tbsp SAF instant yeast or other quick-acting yeast

2 cups AP flour

1-2/3 cups whole wheat flour

2/3 cup semolina flour or rye flour

2 tbsp vital wheat gluten

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp olive oil

1-1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Seeds: mix together 2 tsp each sesame, poppy, flax and caraway and 1-1/2 tbsp sunflower

1 egg white lightly beaten

TOOLS:

Stand mixer with 5-quart bowl, paddle attachment, and dough hook

another 5-quart mixing bowl

7-quart cast iron Dutch oven

parchment paper

cooling rack

DIRECTIONS:

Place Kashi pilaf in stand mixer bowl and pour the boiling water over it.  let sit until lukewarm, about 18 minutes.  Meanwhile, in your other bowl combine all the flours, sugar, 1-1/2 tsp salt, and all but 1 tbsp of the seed mix.

Sprinkle 1 tbsp yeast over the cooled water/Kashi mix and add 1 cup of the flour mixture, stirring until smooth.  Using the paddle attachment on your mixture, gradually add the remaining flour on low speed to form your dough.  Cover with plastic wrap or cotton towel and let rest 15 minutes, then need with your dough hook at #2 speed for 10 minutes.

Lightly oil the 5 quart mixing bowl, add the dough, cover and let rise about one hour until doubled.  On a floured surface, punch the dough down and shape into a boule.  Place a large piece of parchment into your 5-quart bowl, move the boule onto the parchment-lined bowl, brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining tbsp reserved seeds mixed with 1/2 tsp kosher salt.  Cut three shallow slashes with a sharp knife across the top.  Cover again and let rest 30 minutes.

Place your Dutch oven in the center of your oven and preheat to 450.  After 30 minutes, very carefully move the loaf in its sling into your Dutch oven, place the lid back on, reduce oven temperature to 400 and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the lid and bake another 25 minutes until crust is a deep golden brown.  Internal dough temperature should be 200-205.

Set loaf on a rack to cool and enjoy after about an hour.

 

 

 

 

 

Dutch Oven Artisan Bread

IMG_3766

 

The pain in my right thumb was well worth the minimal effort that went into baking this latest loaf of Dutch oven bread.  After heating my Le Creuset Dutch oven for 30 minutes  during the final rise of my loaf, I gently placed the dough in its parchment sling into the oven and then reached for the lid – without my mitt.  Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

But the rest of the process in turning out this loaf was a breeze.  Simply put – combined 3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour with 1/2 tsp SAF yeast, 2 tsp kosher salt, and 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl.  Stirred with a wooden spoon and covered with plastic wrap.  Went about my business for the next 10 hours.

Put my 6-quart Le Creuset Dutch oven with lid into the oven to preheat at 450.  Turned out the dough onto a generously floured sheet of parchment, floured my hands, and shaped it into a ball.  It flattened a bit as I released it and then covered it loosely with plastic wrap for another 30 minutes.

Final handling step – sprinkling some more flour over the top of the dough, moved it in its parchment sling into screaming hot Dutch oven, and lightly scored the top with a sharp knife.  Piut the lid back on – this time with my mitt – and baked, covered for 30 minutes.  then removed the lid and finished baking for 12 minutes.

Why buy when this is so easy and beautiful?  The key is placing your dough in a preheated Dutch oven where the steam that’s released creates this gorgeous final rise. The final 12 minutes give you a golden crisp crust.  Waiting a few minutes before slicing – can’t wait!