While you wouldn’t think there’s room for improvement on a recipe with the word ‘miracle’ in the title, such is the case with this (re)post of No Knead Miracle Boule. What’s truly a miraculous loaf of bread has been unbelievably improved on – by incorporating techniques from baking bread of all types, since the initial post over 3 years ago.
I love it when ideas collide in the kitchen. This must be the true meaning of kitchen alchemy!
While this post is lengthy, it’s not a lot of work to make this fantastic bread. No kneading is necessary, as it’s the overnight rest of the dough that develops the gluten, and the taste!
Simply mix the dough by hand, using the handle end of a wooden spoon and the Italian pasta-making technique of slowly pulling the flour in. Just make a deep well in the dry ingredients, pour the water in the middle and gently stir; adding the flour slowly means easy & thorough mixing. (Using a bowl/container with tall sides is best; I use my tall 8-cup glass measure/mixing bowl.) The dough mixes, and rests – in the same bowl!
Scrape the dough off the spoon (adding it to the mix) then cover it with plastic wrap. It needs to sit on the counter for 12 hours (I’ve made it after as little as 6 & 8 hours, but the full 12 is best). Make things really easy for yourself, and mix the dough the evening before, to bake the next day. It does its thing (developing the gluten) while you’re sleeping. Promise.
Check out that rise; that’s after the full 12-hour overnighter!
Next scrape the dough onto generously, floured dusted parchment paper, not a kitchen towel as in the previous recipe. This eliminates the most awkward & difficult steps of not only transferring the dough to the heated pot by inverting it, but of the dough sticking to the towel in the process. Plus, I found the bread didn’t bake properly with this method, as turning it over squished it.
Using the parchment paper means an easy lift to the pre-heated pot. And no squishing!
The dough should be fairly sticky, to get the best crust. If you find it does stick to the floured parchment, sprinkle on a little more flour.
Use a bench scraper (or spatula) to help form the dough into the round-shaped boule, turning it around and over several times creating surface tension, and an even round ball/boule. This ensures a good, even rise!
After shaping, the dough rests again for a couple hours. You go get on with other things!
45 minutes before you bake the bread, put your Dutch oven in a 450°F oven to pre-heat; give it the full 45 minutes! When the oven is at temperature, trim the parchment paper so it fits the pan, but you still have enough to be able to lift the bread. Carefully take the heated pot from the oven, and using the parchment, lift the dough into the pot. Cover, put in the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes.
The first photo is after the initial 35 minute bake.
The second photo, with the deeper, gorgeous colour, is the finished loaf.
When the loaf is finished baking, leave it in the pot to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. If a nice thick crust has formed, you’ll hear the loaf ‘sing’ as the bread starts to cool. Remove the bread from the pot, to finish cooling on a rack.
No one can resist freshly baked, warm bread, but when you cut into it is up to you!
*Note: while there’s very little actual ‘work’ involved to make this stunning bread, the dough needs 2 rest periods: 12 hours for the initial rise, then 2 – 3 hours after forming!
No Knead Miracle Boule: Now Easer
Try your own combo of flours and whole grains to suit your taste, but make it at least once as is, to see what the recipe will do. Do be sure the dough is wet, as it will give a dense texture to the crumb and a thick, chewy crust. Bake in a cast iron, steel or ceramic type Dutch oven.
- *Note: while there's very little actual 'work' involved to make this stunning bread, the dough needs 2 rest periods: 12 hours for the initial rise, then 2 - 3 hours after forming!
- 1 cup all purpose flour (or bread flour)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 5/8 cup warm water (you may need a bit more, depending on how dry the flours are)
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, making a deep well. Add the water and stir into a wet dough until all flour is combined, about 60 seconds.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a tea towel then let it rest in a warm place for 12 hours; it will double and long gluten strands will form.
Lightly flour your hands and work surface, remove the dough from the bowl onto generously floured parchment paper and quickly form it into a ball. Let it rest a second time on the floured parchment, for 2 - 3 hours.
45 minutes before baking turn your oven to 450° and put in the Dutch oven to preheat (cover any knobs or handles with foil if they’re not heatproof). This really helps make the crust!
Remove the heated pot from the oven and carefully lift the dough into it. Cover and return the pot to the oven for 35 minutes with the lid on, then 15 minutes without.
Remove from the oven, let cool in the pot for 15 minutes, then place on rack to finish cooling.
Tip: if you change the types of flours, keep the white flour to at least 30% of the total - otherwise you might have a very heavy loaf.
Tip: if any handles or knobs might not be heat proof to the high oven temperature, cover them with a double thickness of foil.
Tip: if you leave the dough to rise more than 12 hours, it may start to fall; judge the time accordingly to your kitchen conditions, temperature, etc.