no knead bread

No Knead Bread Baked in the Romertopf

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“There is no knead for this” – my daughter

I have had this Roemertopf for many years. It looks a bit worse for wear, but it still does what it is supposed to do. A few days ago I decided to give the no knead method another try and use my Roemertopf with it.

The no knead method is great, because it takes very little time, is flexible and a good solution for a little problem I have at the moment: my daughters don’t care for crusty bread ( weird, I know). So it makes not much sense to use my professional dough mixer. I need at least 8 cups of flour to make it work. That is too much bread just for me. I also have Kitchen Aid. This machine is over 15 years old and can’t handle bread dough anymore. It just makes an angry noise and stalls. I keep it to beat up softer things.

For my bread I used the following recipe:

3 cups bread flour

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp fresh yeasts or 1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 cup muesli mix, combined with 1 cup boiling water, cooled

Here is the dough after resting overnight:

No knead dough

The Roemertopf comes with its own challenges. The original instructions tell you to always put it in a cold oven. I did some more research and found that you are supposed to water the lid for 10 minutes, plop the dough into the form, put it with the lid on in the cold oven and preheat the oven with the bread in it. This is what I tried.

I took the dough out of its container and shaped it with the envelope fold twice ( Pat the dough gently into a rectangle. Fold the short sides towards the middle, then the long sides).

shaped dough

I cut some parchment paper to size, lined the Roemertopf with it, dropped the dough  into it seam side down and slashed it.

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I slid the Roermertopf into the oven and turned it on to 420F. I waited 15 minutes after the oven had reached its temperature, then I took the lid off and baked it for another 45 minutes at 390F.

This is what it looked like:

no knead bread

At first glance not too bad and I ate a few slices, but tossed the rest. The crust was thin. I would have liked a darker colour. The crumb was very nice looking, but there was too much moisture in it and it had the distinctive wet dough flavour. I really don’t like that.

After this disappointment I researched some more. Some people claim, that you can use the Roemertopf just like any other vessel traditionally used in the no knead method. The claim you can preheat the empty topf in the oven without soaking it and drop the much cooler dough into it when it is hot without breaking it. I’ll try that the next time.

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2 thoughts on “No Knead Bread Baked in the Romertopf

  1. sweatyknitter says:

    I use Romertopfs baker regularly for making bread. I make only sourdough breads, and after their last rise (shaped as you did) in brotforms, I turn them out into Romertopfs (no preheating, no soaking, no parchment paper – just some coarse corn meal sprinkled), cover, and pop into a preheated oven. Half way through I remove the lids, turn the Romertopfs and continue baking. Perfect every time.

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