We’re going to talk about the pros and cons of making no-knead bread and a little bit of why people choose to make this type of bread.
What Are the Pros and Cons of No-knead Bread
The pros of no-knead bread are it’s very simple and easy to make especially for the everyday beginner. It’s as simple as combining ingredients, the flour, water, yeast and salt and leaving it to sit for a certain amount of hours then baking it.
The cons are there are limited ways to style the bread and if you like kneading you don’t get that extra time to manipulate the dough. You also find that you don’t have to put in as much effort in making the bread that the kneading bread would require. You don’t have to worry about if you kneaded the dough correctly and used the right technique.
Using this technique is definitely a confidence boost for anyone that has never baked bread before and wants to just get their feet wet and bake their first bread.
The no-knead method of making bread has changed the way many people bake. You will learn about some differences between making no-knead bread and kneaded bread and find out what can be lost when only using the no-knead bread method.
Differences Between Kneaded And No-Knead Bread?
The difference between kneaded and no knead bread is kneaded bread depends a lot on water because of the fact that you’re not kneading the dough in order to get the gluten development that you usually get from kneading. Kneaded bread depends a lot on flour and water mixing together to develop the gluten.
Because you’re not kneading the dough to speed up the process of developing gluten that you would usually get from kneaded bread. There is a need to give no-kneaded bread 12 to 24 hours for the gluten to form and react. This is a high-hydration recipe so usually, the dough will be sticky because of the amount of water used.
When gluten forms in the dough it usually gives the dough its structure and form so by the time you would bake it the bread would have a nice form and shape. But with no-knead bread, they’re usually isn’t much structure informed because the gluten doesn’t form as much. Hence why it’s usually baked in a dutch pot so it can at least have some type of form with some help.
This is not mentioned a lot but making no-knead bread is also very cost-effective it uses simple ingredients that you probably have every day in your kitchen cabinet such as flour,water, salt and yeast. Whereas other kneading bread usually uses fat – butter, milk, etc which is known to be a bit more expensive.
What Is The Disadvantage Of No-Knead Bread?
The disadvantage of no-knead bread is though they are very easy to make they lack structure. That you usually wouldn’t find an issue with kneaded bread. That’s why you see a lot of people use dutch pots because it helps the bread to have some type of form and rise upwards.
Without the dutch pot, it would end up just baking outwards and not upwards based on what you’re usually used to. It’s almost like you don’t have a lot of control in its form because you can’t knead it.
So you have no choice but to just let the bread be and if you’re not used to that and you’re used to being able to manipulate the dough this technique isn’t it for you. Because you don’t get to manipulate or knead the dough and you don’t get the chance for the gluten to develop so the surface can form.
Also though no-knead bread is a good start there’s still a journey ahead. It will make good bread but it doesn’t make the best-tasting bread or the best textures compared to making kneaded bread.
Is no-knead bread better?
No-knead bread is better in terms of it being great for someone who wants to get over the intimidation of making bread. Making this type of bread allows you to experience baking bread for the first time. Choosing to bake no-knead bread is just another option to bake bread and is not necessarily a replacement for all the bread out there.
Making bread has evolved a lot and now there are many options it started with making no-knead bread to it evolving to kneading the bread. Then having electric mixing machines to mix the dough for you to then having breading machine doing all the steps to make bread.
The technique you choose will depend on what your preferences are and what works for your lifestyle depending on the results that you’re looking for in bread.
Before making bread was very intimidating and a lot of people didn’t have the luxury of having bread freshly baked. So when no-knead bread came out and it blew up, people quickly found out that you could make it in a dutch pot and the bread came out just as beautiful, it was a game changer.
Making no-knead bread is a very accessible option for the regular busy person who wants simplicity and wants to be able to make bread easily.
Why Is My Homemade No Knead Bread So Dense?
Your homemade no-knead bread is dense because of these reasons. you may not have given your oven enough time to preheat. Your oven needs to be fully heated before putting your dutch pot in the oven. No kneaded dough depends a lot on hydration so there may be not enough water that was added to your mixture. The way you handle your yeast can affect the way your bread bakes.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure that your yeast is fresh and that you’re giving the yeast enough time to rise. Just having the water too hot can kill the yeast so having the water at the right temperature (warm water) will activate the yeast.
You may need to give the dough a little bit more time to rise. There is another option to leave the dough to rise in the fridge for a good 3 to 5 days after you have done the first rise. This technique is called cold fermentation. You also want to make sure you’re handling the dough as little as possible so it has the best possible shot to rise properly and not be dense.
Also, giving the bread time to cool afterward for at least 15 minutes will make a big difference in the texture from the inside of the bread. And this is before you slice the bread. These tips are small but just doing these little things can make all the difference in preventing your bread from being dense.