No-Knead Masala Bread
No-Knead Masala Bread is made with whole wheat flour and Indian spices. The base recipe is from Artisan Bread in 5 (ABin5). I made it as a baguette as well as a loaf.
I have been making No-knead whole wheat bread for a long time now from the New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book. Initially the recipe didn’t turn out as great I expected and after some tweaking I realised that whatever whole wheat flour I use, the water content is not enough, the dough was always too dry.
I assume that the whole wheat flour available in US has different moisture content than Indian variety. Well for a novice like me this reason sounded plausible enough. After few trials and errors, where I adjusted both milk and water quantity little by little, I found that now the bread is reasonably good.
I also experimented by adding some Indian Masala (spices) in the dough while giving it the initial mix. I have shaped the dough differently, once in a loaf pan and the other time as free form baguette.
No-Knead Masala Bread
- 1 cup water lukewarm
- 1 cup milk lukewarm
- ½ tbsp instant yeast
- 1 tbsp salt
- ¼ cup honey
- 2½ tbsp olive oil
- 3⅓ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp turmeric powder optional
- 2 tsp cumin seeds optional
- ⅛ cup dried fenugreek leaves optional
- Mix the yeast, salt, honey and oil water and milk in a lidded (not airtight) food container. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients (along with Indian spices if you are making masala bread) without kneading. You can use a wooden spoon or a heavy-duty stand mixer. If you are not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.
- Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate the container of dough and use over the next 5 days.
- On the baking day, grease a loaf pan (8½ X 4½ inch). Using wet hands, scoop out the dough. This dough is pretty sticky, and often it’s easiest to handle with wet hands. Quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Elongate the ball to form an oval loaf. Drop the loaf in the prepared pan.
- Cover with plastic wrap ad allow to rest for 90 minutes. In the meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 170-180°C. Before baking, flour the top of the loaf and slash, using the tip of a serrated bread knife. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until deeply browned and firm.
- Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely before slicing; otherwise you won’t get well-cut sandwich slices. If the loaf sticks, wait 10 minutes and it will steam itself out of the pan.
- You can use dry active yeast, I have used instant as that’s what I am most comfortable using.
- I use olive oil in most of my baking, you can use any oil of your choice.
- You can also use room temperature water and milk instead of lukewarm.
- For making Masala Bread, you can add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds and some dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) in step 1.
- Recipe adapted from ABin5
- Refer book for detailed technique on storing, refrigerating, etc of the dough.
- Since I use a microwave/convection oven to bake, I don’t have a broiler tray for steam and hence use alternative method given in the book.