Cold-raised Bread

S15 (US Season 9)EPISODE 09
Everybody knows about arduous bread kneading. But you really don´t have to knead!


Let the mixture of cereals, water and a very little amount of yeast rest in a cool place (temperature around 55 F/12 C) overnight, and magic things happen. This way you give the dough a nice texture, and the bread will taste better and be more nutritious.

This recipe will be even better if you use sourdough culture instead of yeast. If using store-bought yeast, it is important not to use very little, or else the bread can obtain an unpleasant taste of alcohol (fermenting with yeast – natural or store-bought – produces alcohol as a bi-product). If you have a wine cabinet or a cellar, you have the perfect place for developing such a dough, but you can also use your fridge, even if it is a bit cold. If the days are not too hot, you can even just leave it covered on your kitchen countertop or in the hallway, but then for a much shorter time, maybe 2-3 hours.

Do like this:

Day 1:

Mix finely milled and whole flour together with some amount of sourdough culture, salt and cold water, to a smooth mixture. Use a wooden spoon or a large spatula. Place the dough in a large baking bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Keep in a cool place overnight.

Day 2:

Set the oven temperature at 220 degrees.

Turn the dough out onto your counter-top, and shape into round loaves. Put the loaves on a baking plate, dust with a little flour, and let them to rise for 45 minutes, under a kitchen towel. The fabric prevents moisture from evaporating from the surfaces of the loaves, which would lower the temperature inside the dough, with less rising of the loaves as a result.

Bake for about 50 minutes, varying a little from oven to oven.

Let the breads cool on a rack.