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How to Make No-Knead Bread with Currants

Learn how to make no-knead bread with currants in this bread making video from Howcast.

Transcript

I showed you how to mix plain no knead. If you feel like having a variation I've got a no knead bread with beer that I think is really, really wonderful. This recipe calls for beer and buttermilk in place of the water, and so it is 175 g of beer and I use a stout, a Guinness stout. The beer should be at room temperature. You want all of your liquids to be as close to room temperature as possible, so that the dough can ferment at around 72 degrees, and 175 g of buttermilk.

Next we add 300 g of bread flour and 100 g of whole wheat flour. If you don't have whole wheat flour, you can certainly substitute all bread flour. If you don't have bread flour, you can certainly substitute all-purpose flour for the bread flour. The all-purpose flour will ferment faster, so whereas this would take 12-18 hours of fermentation, and I prefer about 18 hours. It probably would take less time with all-purpose flour, probably closer to 12 hours.

Next we're going to add 12 g of sea salt, and a quarter teaspoon of instant yeast, and then finally we're going to add 185 g of currants. And this is such a wet dough that you can add the currants right at the same time that you're mixing the dough and because we're not kneading this dough, it's not important if the currants are added before or after the kneading. They can be added right in, and these currants have been soaked in warm water and then drained. They were soaking in the warm water for about 5 minutes. And so I'm going to take a wooden spoon and just stir it.

You can see it's just starting to come together. You want to soak your currants because if the currants aren't soaked, and you add them to the bread, they will pull some of the moisture from the bread into the fruit, and so by soaking the currants ahead of time, that allows the dough to
remain at the same hydration. All right, so once your dough is mixed, just cover it with plastic wrap, and I prefer to use these clear containers and then I put a lid on. Putting a lid on won't affect the fermentation at all. There's plenty of air circulating in here to allow for fermentation. So you're going to put the lid on and then let this ferment for about 12-18 hours at the most.

Okay, so this is the no knead beer bread and it has proofed for about 18 hours, and you can see these very, very beautiful air bubbles of fermentation that have occurred over the 18 hours, and that's really awesome. You want to see that, and so this is a thicker bread, because it has the currants in it. And so what I'm going to do is, I'm going to heavily dust the work surface and then use my hand, and just, sort of, very, very gently, scoop the dough out onto the surface. You don't want to handle this dough too much. And then, you just want to scoop out whatever dough is left
in the container, and just be very gentle with this dough.

And then what you want to do is you want to take-- this could be a board. I happen to have a bread board or you could also use a sheet tray. You just want to dust the surface where the bread is going to proof really generously with wheat bran or you could use something else, like cornmeal or something coarse, so that the dough doesn't stick to the surface. And then what you're going to do, this dough barely needs to be shaped at all. You're just going to fold it over on itself. And this is a stiff dough, because of the currants, and so you don't want to do too much shaping, and you want to put it onto the wheat bran, and it's going to proof for about two hours. And then, you want to cover it with a kitchen towel or a kitchen linen, so that the surface doesn't get dried out while it proofs.

So our beer bread has been proofing for an hour and a half, and I'm checking it right now, and it looks proofed and looks ready to bake. And the reason why I say that is I see lots of open crumb, and when I push on the side of the bread, it's not quick to spring back, and that's what we
want. That's what we're looking for in a proofed loaf of bread. And I'm going to do the same on this side and see, my indentation stays. So I'm going to get ready to put this into a 450 degree preheated oven with a Dutch oven, already preheated in the oven, so that it's at the same temperature as the oven.

And I'm going to sprinkle the top of the bread with some wheat bran and then I'm going to take this over to the oven and I'm going to carefully take the lid off my Dutch oven, and I like this Dutch oven because it has a pan on the bottom, and sort of like a cloche on the top, and it's great for getting browning on your bread. So I'm going to very carefully pick this loaf of bread up with my hands, being careful not to squish it. I'm going to get underneath it and I'm going to quickly put it into the Dutch oven, and I'm not scoring it at all. It doesn't need to be scored, and then I'm going to quickly put the lid back on.

Okay, so my no knead beer bread has been in the oven for 20 minutes now, and now I'm going to take the lid off the Dutch oven and then let the bread continue to bake for another 20 minutes or so, to let the steam evaporate off the bread, and then also to help the formation of the crust. That smells good. Okay, so our no knead beer bread has been in the oven for 40 minutes and we're going to check on it, and it's a nice, mahogany brown.

So we're going to remove it from the oven. You'll see that this bread bakes faster than the regular no knead bread because it has more sugars in the dough from the beer and also from the dried fruits. And we're going to do a tap test and you can hear the hollowness of the bread, and so we're then just going to move this bread over here, and let it cool, and that's how you make no knead bread with beer.

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