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Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads Hardcover – February 3, 2009
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For years, countless home cooks have shied away from baking their own bread because they were intimidated by all the mess, the experience, and of course, all the kneading required. Now, with Nancy Baggett's revolutionary new Kneadlessly Simple method, even complete novices can bake bread quickly and easily in their own homes, with no kneading and no kitchen mess. The secret is in Baggett's slow-rise method, which allows the yeast to grow slowly and develop the same full, satisfying flavor of traditional bread, without any kneading at all. The technique calls for minimal ingredients, often mixed in one bowl with one spoon, eliminating all the mess of traditional bread recipes, and it can be used to produce a wide variety of breads, from Whole Wheat Boules and English Muffin Loaves to Raisin Bread and Caraway Beer Bread. With this innovative new method, anyone who can read, measure, and stir can now make delicious, fine-textured yeast bread at home. This book will differ from others on the same subject because Nancy Baggett is an experienced food writer who understand home baker's needs. While techniques by other experts may sound similar, they still require messy dough handling. Nancy Baggett's technique is the simplest one yet, and it's virtually fool-proof.
Exclusive Recipe Excerpts from Kneadlessly Simple
Easy Buttermilk Pot Bread with Coarse Salt
Great Granola Breakfast Bread
From the Inside Flap
Savoring a loaf of fragrant, warm-from-the-oven bread is one of life's great pleasures. Now you too can experience the joys of home-baked breadwithout all the hassle and mess of traditional bread recipes. Taking recent advances in slow-rise, no-knead bread making to a whole new level, award-winning cookbook author Nancy Baggett serves up seventy-five of the easiest, tastiest bread recipes ever developed.
Baggett's recipes involve no complicated procedures, no special equipment or baking expertiseand, of course, no kneading. The secret to her method is in the science: During a long, slow rise, the doughs actually knead themselves, and at the same time, develop wonderful flavor. Many of the recipes require no hand shaping, and all include a "KS (Kneadlessly Simple) Quotient" that explains exactly what's involved. With one bowl, one spoon, a few simple steps, and minimal kitchen clean-up, you'll be on your way, even if you've never baked bread before.
Inside, you'll discover terrific recipes for every taste and occasion. Enjoy loaves with the aromas and textures of today's best artisan breadscrusty Rosemary Focaccia, Ciabatta and Baguettes, plus buttery Brioche and other European classics. Savor all-American favorites like San FranciscoStyle Sourdough and Cinnamon-Raisin Bread. Stay healthy with Hearty Multigrain Boule, 100 Percent Whole WheatHoney Bread, and Gluten-Free Faux Rye Bread. And indulge with Panettone, Spiced Cranberry Orange Coffeecake, and other sweet breads. You'll even find recipes for bread-making kits you can give as gifts!
To make sure every bread turns out perfect, Baggett provides detailed advice on ingredients and techniques as well as step-by-step instructions for each recipe, including a range of rising times that you can select to suit your schedule. She also gives you in-depth troubleshooting tips and explains how to convert favorite old-fashioned bread recipes into no-knead versions. With a whole chapter of "Easiest Ever Yeast Breads" to get you started, along with sixteen pages of tempting color photographs, Kneadlessly Simple is all you need to create fuss-free, artisan-quality breads in your own kitchen.
Top customer reviews
Be aware that the author, as she confesses during the book, has a dislike for the kind of bread often sold as 'health bread', seeing it as something you're forced to eat on health grounds. She likes her bread really sweet (amazing amounts of sugar are called for in her recipes; that's fine because I just omit it and the bread tastes great to me, but she has a bread that calls for half a cup of honey and it was so sweet I ended up throwing it out) and somewhat fluffy. I don't like chocolate in my bread, thanks. I like 7-grain bread, 'health bread', and eat it for choice because I prefer the flavor and texture. The only sweet bread I like is challah. I also love rye bread that has real flavor.
For me, the recipes require timing that is very inconvenient. In the NY summer heat, I've found the first rise is always done within 5 hours, so I can't do that 18-hour rise she talks about. That means a) an inconvenience in terms of timing - I have to be around 5 hours after mixing the dough. And b) the flavor of a bread like rye doesn't get a chance to develop. Sure you can stick the dough in the 'fridge but she gives a max. of 10 hrs for that and I've found you can't give it as long as that. Well, that's no good if you want real flavor. Her rye bread was a hassle to make and at the end - it had no real flavor.
so I've gone over to 'Artisan breads in 5 minutes a day' for my regular way of making bread. So convenient to be able to store dough in the 'fridge for days or weeks; then pull dough out of an evening and have a loaf within 1.5 hrs or so. I will still use this book when time permits, esp for the seeded boule, but not for everyday bread-baking.
While I enjoyed the idea of "Artisan Breads in Five Minutes" and can recommend that book with some caveats, the method resulted in having a great deal of dough in my fridge and that didn't really work for my small family of two. Also, I found that if I made a "normal" size loaf the results would often be somewhat gummy. And the smallish loaves that book produces were just not enough to last the workweek or to serve at a dinner of friends. Baggett's method suits my needs much better, producing generous loaves with no gumminess or heaviness. Her book also offers an amazing variety of breads, from artisan to old-fashioned white loaves to dessert breads. I have made about a dozen of the recipes, and not a single one has failed or been less than delicious, which is no surprise, as I found Baggett's recipes from her The All-American Dessert Book and The All-American Cookie Book have also yielded consistently delicious results. I love the County Fair White Bread, the Everyday Oatmeal Bread, and the Buttermilk Pot Bread, and my current favorite in the book is the English Muffin Bread, which makes the most amazing crunchy toast and grilled sandwiches. I'm looking forward to trying the sticky buns and the various rye breads next.
An added bonus, and the thing that really clinches the deal and makes this a 5-star book, is the final section in which Baggett offers tips on converting any favorite bread recipe into one using her method. I tried converting my favorite Peter Reinhart pizza dough using her method, and the result was amazing. Now I can more easily bake up any of my favorite bread recipes!
The only slight flaw I've encountered is that one aspect of the author's method requires adding enough flour to make a stiff dough after the initial long rise. Initially, I was unsure of the consistency Baggett was describing; so stiff I couldn't stir it?, or just stiff enough that it isn't batterlike? And the instructions to "pour" the dough into the pan seemed to add to the confusion, as often the dough seemed too stiff to pour out of the bowl by itself. Since enough flour is needed to avoid a heavy, gummy loaf, this step is crucial, therefore this aspect was a cause for concern. But after making a number of loaves I think I've hit upon the right consistency. Anyway, whether I was doing it right or not, the loaves still turned out uniformly excellent. Perhaps the author has made a demonstration video that's out there somewhere that illustrates the right consistency of the dough. That's all it would take.
Overall, I can highly recommend "Kneadlessly Simple" for bread bakers of all kinds -- from the novice to the expert -- and for bread lovers like me who love to bake and have a great loaf always on hand but who have little time to spare.
In the end, the results are worth it! Even the basic white peasant loaf is wonderfully complex, with a chewy crisp crust that is leagues ahead of any supermarket loaf. The green chili cheddar bread was my last attempt, and it was awesome as well.