Sunday, September 26, 2010

40-Second Knead Bread

When my friend Prof. Kitty first posted about her discovery of a 40-second knead bread that turned out just as well as dough she'd knead for 30 minutes, I was a bit skeptical. But the concept behind it - essentially that the gluten just needs time to develop, not necessarily brute force - made some sense to me. And I'm not that big of a fan of kneading (is anyone really?), so I decided to at least it a shot.

I found the full recipe with a picture tutorial here. As long as you have a kitchen scale and can do a little temperature conversion, this recipe is super simple. I don't have any sourdough starter on hand, so I followed the instructions for making a basic sponge. A few seconds of kneading here and there... time to clean the house in between kneads... and a few hours later- voila! - an awesome loaf of bread!

I thought it came out not only just as good as other recipes I've tried that require 10-15 mintues of kneading - but perhaps even better. It has a nice chewy crumb and is soft on the inside, yet with a rugged enough crust to make for easy slicing. One tip that I really love from the tutorial is the one about putting the bread in a floured tea towel to rise. It's perfect for helping the loaf keep it's shape, rather than spreading and flattening out like so many other recipes I've tried tend to do.

The first time I made the recipe, I did it exactly as the instructions state. From start to finish, it takes about 5 hours, though most of that is just waiting. This last time, I decided to make the sponge overnight to cut a couple of hours off the wait time and found it works just as well. Plus, I got more of that sourdough flavor.

I am a definite convert to this method of kneading. The real test will be to see if it works on other bread recipes I have. I'll let you know!

4 comments:

Amanda @ Bakingwithoutabox.com said...

Wow! That's awesome! Let us know how the future adventures turn out.

"Prof. Kitty" said...

Yay! So glad you tried it and it worked out OK for you! Your loaf looks yummy, I want to grab it and make sandwiches right now.

N.D. said...

wow that looks really good! and 40 seconds sounds perfect.

Jenn said...

There's nothing like homemade bread to make the house smell like a bakery. Mmmmm...