I have tried no knead bread on several occasions, but was never very happy with the results. Most of the time they ended up being too chewy and little gummy. I recently baked them again. I have realized that secret to a good no knead bread is to not over hydrate the dough when mixing, it should still be dough like and manageable. Too much water and the next day it won’t even form a ball but rather fall flat. So while adding the final 200 ml water be watchful and don’t over hydrate, if it’s little dry better. As slow cold fermentation will anyways hydrate the bread fully.
I can never make a complete white bread using all purpose flour, so my breads are always whole wheat and all purpose in some ratio. This is super easy bread and very flavorful when compared to breads baked the same day. An important equipment you need for this bread is a heavy cast iron dutch oven, sorry without the pan it is almost impossible to bake this bread, as this require high temperature and using a dutch pan will make the bread crisper on outside and soft in the inside.
I bought my dutch oven couple of years ago back from Prestige, unfortunately they have discontinued it now. However, Amazon India ships lots of exported dutch oven, which are rather expensive.
No Knead Whole Wheat bread
4 cups of whole wheat flour or atta
2 cups of all purpose flour or maida
1 and half tsp of salt
1/2 tsp instant dry yeast or use active yeast, hydrating it in 1 tbsp water before adding to flour
2 cups + 1/2 cup of water
Mix together whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl. Use a bowl large enough which will help rise the bread overnight. Slowly first add 2 cups of water, using a wooden spoon to hydrate all the flour. Add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water mixing rigorously with a wooden spoon. Take care not to over hydrate. The dough should still be manage and if required you can form a ball out of it.
Now is the most interesting part. Tightly cling the bowl with a plastic wrap. Leave it for a min of 12 – 18 hours on a counter. Next day the dough should be bubbly with a strong smell of yeast.
Use your counter or a large work area, dust it generously with flour. Tip the dough onto the counter. Using floured hands overlap the flour into 3-4 folds to form a ball. The dough will be very sticky, so use as much flour as you like. Also you can use wheat bran. Dust a parchment paper. Tip over the ball onto the paper. Cover loosely with a cling film and let it rise for around 1 hour or till double it’s size. You can also use a kitchen towel underneath the parchment paper so that it is easy to move it around. Dust it with lots of flour or wheat bran before tipping it off into the dutch oven.
Preheat your oven to 225 degree C. Put your dutch oven in the oven to be preheated. When the dough is ready, slowly take out the hot dutch oven. Using your kitchen towel and holding it on the edges, carefully flip the bread in the heated dutch oven seam side up. Cover it with the lid and bake for approx 40 mins. Remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 mins till the crust is golden and sounds hollow on tapping. Remove from pan and let cool completely for atleast 2 hours before slicing. Best is to leave it on counter top uncovered for atleast 6 hours. This will dry out the bread, as it’s already very gummy. You can wrap it in paper and store in refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Perhaps it’s not one of the best looking bread, but very flavourful.