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Old 02-19-2008, 04:05 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
This narrows it down even futher.
So you're saying it can only be gotten with specific no-knead recipes?
No, that is not true. You can get a crusty bread from any basic bread recipe if you steam the oven periodically. My grape yeast sourdough comes out crusty, as does my Italian bread recipe shown below.

But, let it be known that, if you take a crusty loaf of bread and store it in a plastic bag, the crust will soften. How much depends on how long you keep it in the plastic bag.



1 1/2 cups warm (105F) water
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl and mix in a Kitchen Aid mixer, with a dough hook, on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes until a stiff, elastic batter is formed. Divide the starter into two equal pieces. Wrap one piece in oiled plastic wrap and freeze for later use. Place the remaining starter into an oiled glass bowl, cover, and allow to rise until triple in volume. This should take about 8 hours at room temperature or at least 14 hours in the refrigerator.

Bread Dough:

1 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm (105F) water
1 cup cool water
Starter, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups bread (preferred) or all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbs kosher salt

Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl and stir with a fork to dissolve the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Add the cool water and sponge to the yeast mixture and mix by hand for about 2 minutes, breaking up the sponge, until the sponge is completely dissolved. Pour this mixture into the Kitchen Aid bowl, and, using a dough hook at low speed, add the flour and salt, scraping the sides of the bowl, until the dough gathers into a mass. The dough should be wet and sticky with long strands of dough hanging from the hook. Increase mixer speed to medium low and allow to knead for about 5 minutes, until it pulls completely away from the sides of the bowl and wraps itself around the dough hook. Move the dough to a work surface lightly dusted with flour and shape the dough into a ball. Allow the dough to rest, covered, for 15 minutes. Knead the dough by hand for 3 to 5 minutes, until it is stretchy and smooth yet still slightly sticky. Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly oiled glass bowl, cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap, and let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size.

Place the dough onto a well-floured work surface. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and shape into baguettes for bread, or into balls smaller than a tennis ball for rolls. Place the loaves or rolls on a heavily floured surface leaving plenty of space in between. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour.

Preheat your oven, and a baking stone if you have one, to 475F. If you have a baking stone, place the loaves or rolls directly on the baking stone. Otherwise, sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal, place the loaves or rolls on the baking sheet, allowing enough room for expansion, and place the baking sheet in the pre-heated oven. Using a spray bottle of warm water, quickly mist the oven, not the bread, 8 to 10 times, then quickly shut the oven door. Mist again after 1 minute, then again 1 minute later. Bake for about 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 450F and bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer for rolls, or 10 to 15 minutes for loaves, until the crust is well browned (if the crust is not completely browned, it will soften when cooled) and they sound hollow when tapped. Transfer to cooling racks and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:23 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
This narrows it down even futher.
So you're saying it can only be gotten with specific no-knead recipes?
No. Sorry.

What I mean is those recipes are ones for crusty bread. And they are obscenely easy, though the better one requires some planning.

Crusty breads generally have little more than flour, yeast, salt and water as ingredients and are generally baked on stones or in something like a dutch oven at high heat, often with a pan of water to provide steam.

Like a baguette.

Cain's is another good example.

Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:38 PM   #23
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Lots of different "crusty breads" out there....

Give us this day our daily bacon.
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