Monday, March 22, 2010

I hate no-knead bread

There. I said it. Finally. Someone had to say it. Everyone seems to be so enamored with that whole thing and you know what? When I first heard about it, I was, too. I thought it was a fantastic idea. Especially since I had previously never been able to make my own bread (because our house was too cold not because I had an aversion to kneading. But in the early days of finding good bread recipes and having never made bread myself before, this was really appealing). So I tried it. And then I tried a kneading bread recipe and immediately realized the whole no-knead bread thing was super tedious. The hours it had to rise, the difficulty in trying to put it in another pan to bake, the messy dough covered bowl I'd have to wash after, all the dough that was washed off my hands and off the bowl and down the drain completely wasted. No, thank you.

Strangely enough, even after all that, I'd found this other interesting no-knead bread recipe and had it bookmarked to try. Since I'd hurt my finger, it seemed like a perfect time to print it off and make it a priority. 

It was supposed to be more like a breakfast bread. The idea was that it was going to turn into this fancy, oooh look at me I'm like an english muffin only I'm bread! bread. And despite my no-knead reservations, I decided to make it this weekend for our breakfast on Sunday (and yes, I could have made pancakes which would have been far easier, but I had already made this new blender pancakes recipe on Saturday, and it was so terrible that it's seriously turned me off of pancakes indefinitely). Anyway, case in point. Mixing the dough was way harder than it needed to be. The dough hook wasn't cutting it at first, so I used the beater which eventually found the dough climbing up into the mechanism so I had to switch back to the hook halfway through. Then I had to get the dough out of the bowl and divide the dough equally between two loaf pans. Like, seriously. Am I God? Do I look like the high priestess of dividing a wet, sticky, clump of unmanageable dough into two equal pieces? Freak. Otherwise, the rising time was acceptable. It wasn't a stupid 24 hours or whatever the hell crazy time the other popular no-knead recipe called for. The cooking time was also fine and dandy though difficult to gauge as one loaf was noticeably smaller than the other (duh).  I'm not going to say the final result was a disaster and tasted awful, cuz it didn't. It's pretty yum.  It doesn't resemble english muffin bread at all, but it's good toasted with butter and honey. Again, was it worth all the fiddling around and the mess and the dough all up in my sink and dried on the counter? Nope.

I've read all the foodie blogs and how they're all so in love with the no-knead bread concept, but come on, you guys. Kneading's not that much work. No-knead is just stupid. Bread is supposed to be kneaded. That's bread's whole thing. But when the reigning how-to-cook-everything king says it's something awesome and we should all try it, then I guess. Who is anyone to argue? Well, me that's who. I have no room in my recipe box for this bread trend and I'm not going to sit here and pretend it's super cool either. It's like the overalls and jumpsuit trends. Just because all the cool kids are wearing it, doesn't mean you should run out and put that shit on, too.

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