The kneadless bread is so alluring. It takes such little effort and beautiful artisan bread comes out! The only thing this dough requires of you is time and patience. Heck, if you like to sleep, you can do the time, patience and sleep all at the same time! You could do almost anything in the meantime. We decided to go on a nice hike up a mountain. I would show you photos, but I was trying to avoid being mosquito dinner.
By the way, have you ever had the famous “Jim Lahey’s No Knead Bread”? If you haven’t, you need to get to this recipe and make it! It takes almost no real work. And it is delicious. It looks like nothing to start with, but transforms into something beautiful!
The greatest thing about this recipe is that it is sooooo very forgiving. I rarely have bread flour and often just go with whatever I have in the pantry. But this time, I decided to make it a little more special.
I had a handful of walnuts left over from the bottom of my costco sized serving and I got inspired by the fig and walnut variation from Dinner wth Julie. So I decided to go with Cinnamon Walnut Swirl variation for myself. Really, I didn’t want to stare at the sad handful of walnuts anymore.
I have to confess is that I have turned an incredibly simple recipe into something complicated. The beauty of the no knead bread was that it was easy, simple and beautiful. The original is a naturally beautiful landscape that photographs beautifully without an artsy filter. However, this recipe is like a Kardashian; it looks beautiful, but it is well known to be high maintenance to appear that way.
Secondly, I don’t actually eat too much of my own baking. Though I do have a sweet tooth, I find that the act of baking cathartic and I love feeding people
This bread was an exception. From that first steamy slice, my husband and I knew we found a winner. Even though the loaf could have lasted us around 4-5 days, unrefrigerated; we ended up devouring it within a 36 hour period or less.
[picture of me stuffing my face is not available]
Cinnamon Walnut Swirl No Knead Loaf
1 ½ cup AP flour + more flour for dusting the day after
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour (the original recipe calls for bread flour, but use your own variation and let me know how it turns out)
¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cup warm water
¼ cup + 3 tbsp brown sugar (divided)
1 ½ tbsp cinnamon (divided)
½ tbsp ground nutmeg
½ cup walnuts (I forgot to toast my walnuts, I wish I did.)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, yeast, salt and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Add the warm water and mix until it looks like a huge shaggy mess. Then add ½ tablespoon of cinnamon and swirl it in the messy dough.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it overnight. Ideally, leave it be for more than 8 hours, but I have left it for nearly 20 hours before and it still turns out perfect.
In a smaller bowl, combine the rest of the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and set aside.
Turn out the shaggy mess of a dough onto a floured cutting board or your favourite floured surface (that’s where the extra flour comes in!). Pat it down flat and sprinkled a thin layer of cinnamon sugar and fold it over. Do this a couple of times so a ribbon of cinnamon sugar will be visible in the dough. Make sure to leave half of the cinnamon sugar concotion for the last fold.
Roll the dough flat and sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon sugar with the walnuts. Carefully roll the dough, like you would if you were making cinnamon rolls. Tuck the ends of the dough and stretch it until you make a round loaf shape. Turn the round loaf onto a sheet of parchment paper in another bowl (don’t worry, this bowl won’t get dirty. It’s just there for easy placement). Let it rise for another 2 hours.
At the 1.5 hour mark, turn on the oven to 450 degrees and place your 6-8 quart heavy pot (make sure you have a lid. If you don’t, make sure you have oven mitts and aluminum foil) in the oven. When the 2 hours are up, carefully take the heavy pot out of the oven and plop the dough with the parchment paper in the pot (makes cleaning up a breeze!). Put the lid on the pot (or make a nice seal with aluminum foil using oven mitts because the pot is going to be hot!).
Bake for 30 minutes and then remove the lid and bake for another 15.
All the work will be well worth it.