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Wednesday, December 6, 2006

No-Knead Low Sodium Bread

Don’t eat much store bought bread any more. Have become accustomed to the taste and texture, and aroma of home baked bread, and can’t really match that off the shelf at the supermart. So for a long time I’ve been baking bread, and find that the whole bake-your-own bread process is much easier and much more forgiving than I had imagined.

For starters here is a really great no-knead bread with an amazingly simple recipe. You need flour, yeast, salt and water, that’s it. Now this has to be a really old and basic recipe, going back to the days shortly after somebody learned how to mash wheat into flour, but the current version comes from Jim Lahey, at the Sullivan Street Bakery, and is blogged all over the internet. Here is the Murphy low sodium version.

Mix together the dry ingredients
• 3 C flour (I’ve tried white and wheat, liked the white better)
• 1/4 teaspoon yeast
• 1/2 teaspoon salt (1200 mg sodium)
• 1 5/8 C water
Stir until all the all of the flour is wet and sticky

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise 18 hours in a warm room. The original recipe says a warm room is about 70°F but our place is 60° over night and mid 60’s, sometimes 70° during that day, and this dough rises OK.

Dough is ready when the surface is dotted with bubbles. Dump it out onto a floured surface, dust the top of the dough with flour, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise about 2 hours.

Put an oven proof bowl, casserole, or dutch oven, with a lid in your oven and heat to 450°F (Original recipe calls for 6 to 8 qt capacity, I get along just fine with an old oven proof 4 qt mixing bowl and lid I bought at the library thrift shop)

When the dough is ready, carefully (450° is hot, real hot. I use my fire place gloves.) remove your pot or bowl from the oven and dump in the dough. Might not look great at this point but have faith.

Cover with a lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until the loaf is browned and looks good to you. Cool on a rack.

If you could cut 12 equal slices (which I can’t, because I end up with this really gorgeous crusty round loaf) each slice would contain 100 mg of sodium. No fat, no cholesterol, and about 3g of protein per slice.

1 comment:

tjclaw1 said...

I loved this bread. I used 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups white flour, then substituted 1 TBS vital wheat gluten for the salt (it has lower sodium and adds iron). Rather than waiting 18 hours for it to proof, I put it in my oven on the "proof" mode at 100 degrees and it was bubbly in just a couple of hours.

I baked it on "convection" heat at 425 degrees for 25 minutes with lid on and another 15 minutes with lid off. We then put butter and honey on it. Yum, yum! My 5-year old immediately ate 3 whole pieces of it.

I think I'd also try it with some rye flour for a change of pace.

Thanks for a new "favorite" bread recipe.