This week’s Martha Mondays was chosen by yours truly. I picked Pane Integrale, the no knead bread in April Living. I’ve never made no knead bread, but I’ve read a lot about it. My mom got the Jim Lahey cookbook that is about this for Christmas and I’ve looked through it. I’ve always been deterred by a few things. First of all, the bread always looks so dark, almost burnt, that it never appealed to me. Secondly, the timing is hard to manage. The bread has to rise about 14-20 hours total which means you can’t quite start it at dinner time one day, you’ve got to start it late at night if you want it to be ready for dinner the next day.
The recipe in April Living was pretty simple. You mix the ingredients together (nothing unusual here) and you put it in a bowl and let it sit out for 12-18 hours. It’s supposed to double. Mine did not double but it got bigger. Then you knead it once, let it sit in a towel for a couple more hours, then dump it in a preheated Dutch oven and put it in your preheated oven.
I admit I fudged the timing a bit and mine sat for longer than it was supposed to at the different stages, but that was the only way I could get it done (I had a hellacious week last week – a kidney stone AND a burst ovarian cyst in one week – more than anyone can handle really, so it is simply a miracle I made this at all).
I admit it was pretty easy to make. I took it out of the oven before it got as brown as the photos in the magazine.
It was hard to slice because the crust was really hard. I thought it looked nice, but honestly I wasn’t wowed by this. It tasted like bread. That’s it. Nothing exciting. Now maybe if I borrowed my mom’s cookbook and explored some of the interesting variations there I would be more excited, but this was not worth the effort as far as I was concerned. I’m glad I got to try it because I’ve always wanted to make this, so Martha gets points for including it.
If you made it, how did it turn out for you?
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