Sticky…not Tacky

Every morning I receive an e-mail from Bookbub with listings of a variety of e-books on special–usually for $.99 or $1.99, but sometimes even for free. Anyway, this morning I received an invitation to purchase the Kindle edition of Peter Reinhart’s Artisanal Bread Every Day. Since I already own a hardcover copy of Jeff Hertzberg’s Artisanal Bread in Five Minutes a Day, it seemed a bit indulgent, BUT it was only two bucks and I also wondered whether I might not learn something more from the great Peter Reinhart that I didn’t from Dr. Hertzberg (apparently, he’s a medical doctor when he’s not a baker).

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And, after only a quick skim of the first few pages, I did learn something! One thing I’ve found frustrating about forming loaves with the no-knead bread is that I have to spray my hands with vegetable oil to work with the dough because it sticks to my hands otherwise. According to Mr. Reinhart, the dough should be “sticky, not tacky.” Indeed, he likens the level of desired stickiness to a post-it note: it should stick, but peel away clean.

This is definitely NOT the case with my current dough recipe.

Therefore, I added 1/4 cup more flour to my white no-knead dough recipe, and it seems to be approaching the appropriate level of stickiness. Reinhart also indicates that one should use as little yeast as possible because you want the fermentation to be slow. To that end, I’ve reduced the yeast to one tablespoon (from 1.5). Here are the new proportions:

No-Knead White Loaf (latest version)

3 and 2/3 cups warm water

1 TBS yeast

1 TBS salt

7 and 1/4 cups of white flour

It’s better, but something tells me, it’s still too tacky, not sticky. Oh well–it still tastes great! The experiment continues!

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UPDATE: After the initial rising, the dough was PERFECT, so I’m very happy with the revised proportions!!

I even tried a couple more flat breads, but on the indoor grill this time, as opposed to the barbecue. They turned out very well indeed (though my grill is on its last legs and can’t even be turned off now).  The flatbread turned out very well indeed, and the dough is very much easier to work with!

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Oh, and I also tried a new spice mixture:

Spice Mix

1 TBS each of

  • basil
  • rosemary
  • oregano
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder

1 tsp each of

  • sage
  • savoury

I added two tablespoons of the mix to my latest batch of dough. It’s very nice, but a bit more subtle than I’d hoped. Next time, I’ll try three TBS of the mix in the dough!

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