Bread Heartbreak.
November 23, 2010 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Lost my favourite recipe for bread, please help!

I moved house a few months ago, and the bread recipe I cherished, which lived on a post-it note stuck to my cupboard, disappeared during the move.

It was a basic recipe, all purpose flour, yeast, salt and water, nothing else.

What I do remember is, you would mix the ingredients together, then leave it in a covered container, on the kitchen surface for about 3-4 hours. By that time it's kinda all fallen down on itself and is a bubbly gooey mess.

Then I would leave it in the fridge for about 12-14 hours.

This is where I really start to get fuzzy-- I think the next stage was to make some more dough, still never having to knead it, and then mix that cold gooey mixture with it-- leave it to rest for a while, quick knead, score the dough, then leave it again-- and finally throw it in a very hot oven.

I'm kicking myself for losing it, so please, if you know of a recipe that's close to that process can you mention it below and hopefully I can slowly recover from this terrible loss!
posted by Static Vagabond to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Is it the No Knead Bread recipe? The Internets were abuzz with it a few years ago. I keep meaning to try it.
posted by rdc at 11:54 AM on November 23, 2010

This No Knead Bread recipe. Sigh.
posted by rdc at 11:55 AM on November 23, 2010

Best answer: Yeah, it's usually referred to as no-knead bread. Cook's Illustrated also had a recipe that was slightly different from the one linked above. I think the title was Almost No-Knead Bread (they had found that the structure of the bread was improved by a very small amount of kneading -- something like 15 seconds). I don't have a subscription so can't link to it online, but I have the magazine at home, so memail me if you want me to send you the recipe.
posted by spinto at 1:06 PM on November 23, 2010

Response by poster: It's not the traditional no-knead recipe you linked to-- I used to use that one before I discovered this newer one. With the no-knead version, you don't have to remix the dough with more 'fresh' dough after the 12+ hour wait-- (see my 'fuzzy' paragraph).

I'll have a look at the 'Almost No-Knead' recipe you mention spinto-- I used to be a member, maybe still am, so perhaps that's where I came across it. I'll leave a note here if it's the one. Thanks.
posted by Static Vagabond at 1:21 PM on November 23, 2010

Best answer: Doesn't sound like no-knead if it was in two stages like that. It sounds like a 'poolish' bread to me. The first watery dough you make is the "poolish" (which is also sometimes called a "biga" depending on the hydration (% water:% flour ratio)). It's often left for longer than 12-14 hours in the fridge for extra flavor. The high hydration and long cool rise develops lots of flavor which is then mixed in with the greater bulk of the loaf.

I would search for 'basic poolish loaf' or 'basic biga loaf' either on google or somewhere like

e.g. (biga)

or (poolish)

hope that helps
posted by thelaze at 1:27 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It wasn't the Cooks Illustrated 'Almost No Knead Bread' but it was their 'Rustic Italian Bread' recipe. I also found a copy of the recipe for non-members here. It's a fantastic recipe, thanks for pointing me down the right rabbit-hole.

Might be slightly more effort then the totally no knead bread, but it's well worth it.

posted by Static Vagabond at 1:38 PM on November 23, 2010

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