a couple of weeks ago, i got myself jim lahey – my bread, the revolutionary no work, no knead method. i seldom read de story behind de cookbook. i am always anxious to see what i can possibly make. i dun know why but for this book, i am just drawn to the introduction (and perhaps because de entire book is devoted to bread. ha).
after i read de introduction (and also de praises jim got from fellow chefs), i was moved and inspired. i want to make bread NOW. de recipe is simple, and you only need 4 ingredients – bread flour, salt, yeast and water. to make de bread, seriously speaking, you can almost do it blind-folded. its that easy. de only thing you need to have is patience. you will have to wait 18 hours for de first rise and another 2 hrs for de second rise. thus timing and planning are essential.
when i first made de no-knead bread, it was a bit of a disaster. i was v anxious about de dough – i kept checking on it every couple of hours, wondering why it is not rising. and of course, when de 18hrs was up, de dough was perfectly fine. same goes for de second rise.
when i popped de dough into de oven, that is where disaster struck. firstly, jim lahey used a cast-iron pot to bake his bread. hmmm firstly its not something that i can run out to get as its bloody expensive. and because he used cast iron pot, he can afford for de oven to be really hot. in my case, i managed to discover something called pullman loaf pan – it is like your normal loaf pan but with a lid. as it is a normal loaf pan, this means that it will heat up really fast and de crust of de bread will get cook really quickly too. thus i ended up with a super duper hard crust with undercooked dough.
i was quite upset by this failure. jim lahey took so much effort to derive this easy formula yet i screwed it up. as i was about to chuck de idea of making bread till when i have de mood, i decided to give it another go. i did de same as before but i decided not to be so anxious about de rising. left de dough alone while i go to bed.
de next morning, de dough rised a lot better than de previous batch. it has more air bubble and rised alot more. this time round, i also lowered de temperature of de oven so that de bread will be cooked thoroughly.
and guess what?? it was a success!!! de crust is nice and not overcooked. de inside is soft and chewy. even my mum loved de bread.
i will still play around with de oven temperature till i think i get de right texture that i fancy. i know i will not get de color of de bread crust as jim lahey (his bread crust is more chestnut color while mine is alot paler. ALOT). hey if de bread tastes good, i have nothing to complain about.