Mark Bitman, in his NY Times column, hit a nerve with his no-knead bread recipe. He didn’t invent it, but his article motivated a gazillion people to bake bread. All well and good, but somebody please explain why this is better than kneading.
• The time element is the same if you use a pre-ferment like a poolish or a biga. (Make a small batch of bread dough, with some sort of yeast; leave it in the fridge overnight).
• You get to work out all aggressions on the dough, it’s a great upper body workout and it only takes 10 minutes. You want to eat the bread, so you need to work out at least a little.
• You have the satisfaction of feeling the dough go from a flour ball to a lively, living thing. Quicker satisfaction than gardening.
• And you cannot compare the mess element. I’ll clean up after a knead, any day. Take a click and compare the flour factor from an enthusiastic Chez Pim as she sings the praises of the no-knead method.
Here is my counter top this morning after kneading.
Which mess would you rather clean up?? So, somebody tell me why this method is so wonderful, and if you say because you get a good crust baking in the Crueset, try a spray bottle squirt in the oven. You get to fool around, make great hissing sounds and you get a terrific crust. (Warning: do not hit the light bulb with the wet spray!)
So, somebody, please explain the allure.