How to Make Homemade Bread Better than a Bakery

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Tamar Genger MA, RD
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When I first read Hadassah’s story about bread baking with Alan, I was so sorry I missed it.   I was really intrigued by no knead bread.  I kept it in the back burner and it took a few months to finally try it out for myself.  I wanted to make an olive bread, my favorite kind, so I found a recipe similar to Alan’s but that left out the salt.  My plan was to make it for Shabbat, but as I am prone to skim through recipes without reading the whole thing (I know, rule number 1, read through the recipe) the 18 hour rise time passed me by and on Friday morning after I already put the ingredients in a bowl, I discovered this bread would not be ready for Shabbat.

NO KNEAD OLIVE BREAD

No Knead Olive Bread

Instead of chucking all the ingredients into the garbage I covered the bowl and stuck it in the fridge in the hope of something halfway decent for Sunday night.  To my surprise, it was the best bread I had ever made!

This bread looked and tasted like it came from a bakery, I could not get enough of it and I couldn’t believe how easy it was.  The following week I tried Alan’s recipe, starting it on Thursday so I could have it for Shabbat.  FYI - I used half whole wheat flour and added roasted garlic and rosemary.  No one could believe I made the bread.

NO KNEAD PIZZA DOUGH

No Knead Pizza

Around that same time I came across an article for No Knead Pizza.  The same person that helped popularize no knead bread, and inspired my olive bread recipe just came out with a new book.  Jim Lahey owner of Manhatan’s Sullivan Street Bakery is the author of My Bread and now My Pizza.  I tried the pizza dough recipe and it was the best pizza I ever made.

NO KNEAD WHOLE WHEAT PITA BREAD

No Knead Whole Wheat Pita

If it could work for pizza it might work for pita.  I now make a batch of this pita every other week and it just sits in the fridge for me to make as much fresh pita as I need each day for up to two weeks. This recipe is half whole wheat.

NO KNEAD CHALLAH BREAD

No Knead Challah

I did try a few No Knead Challah recipes, like this one, and they were okay, but not quite challah.

NO KNEAD WHOLE GRAIN BREAD

no knead whole grain bread

I also tried a 100% whole grain bread from Mark Bittman. While everyone at the table loved it, it is still a work in progress am and I will keep you posted as my journey with no knead bread continues.

 Do you have any tips for bread baking? Especially the whole grain and No Knead varieties?