Recipe: No Knead Almond Poppy Seed Wheat Bread

no knead bread
Many ask what fills my mind during my long runs. Most times it is food. Either what do I eat when I am done or what shall I experiment in the kitchen. Breads are one of my faves and as much as I have the option of using my breadmaker, I do find it more fun these days to bake no knead breads which is really simple. All you need is a Dutch oven and if you find that darn pot too costly, fret not because I have baked no knead breads just as well in a Visions Pot.

In case you are wondering, Jim Lahey invented the process of baking bread in a Dutch oven. The idea was to mix flour, water and yeast to form a simple dough that will rest over night before it is baked in a Dutch oven. This Dutch oven replicates the bakery's bread ovens that create steam inside the pot resulting in breads with a thick crispy crust. While I have replicated the same recipe by resting the dough 3 hours, 12 hours or even 20 hours, they all resulted in delicious bread like Jim Lahey intended but with different extent of yeast flavours.

Last week, I decided to bake (like any other week) but the game play was to let the dough rest for 20 hours instead of the usual or minimum 3 hours. The results was a very rich and fragrant bread - the yeasty smell that you either love or hate, thick crust and a dense filling that is very satisfying eaten on its own or with any sweet or savouring toppings that you like.

• 3 cups wheat flour for bread 
• 1/4 teaspoon yeast (active dry or instant)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups hot water (not boiling) 
• Extra flour for shaping
• Egg white
• 50g almonds
• 30g poppy seed

• Combine flour, yeast, 20g poppy seed and salt in a large bowl. 
• Stir in water until it’s well combined. You do not have to use all 2 cups of water. Add little by little until you get a nice sticky consistency.
• Cover bread dough with plastic wrap and let it stand in a cool part of the kitchen for at least 3 hours.
• When you are ready to bake, the dough is nice and puffy with bubbles.
• Heat up the Dutch oven with lid in a cold oven to 230°C.
• Flour the table well and fold the dough approximately10 times with the almonds. Shape into a ball.
• Make incisions of 1" deep on the top of the bread.
• Mix egg white with a little water. Brush it on top of the dough.
• Sprinkle the remaining poppy seed on top of the dough.
• Place ball of dough on parchment paper and cover with a towel for 35 minutes.
• When the oven is ready, place parchment paper and dough into the pot.
• Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
• After 30 minutes, remove pot cover and bake another 10 minutes or until you get the desired golden crust colour.
• Let the bread rest on a tray for 10 minutes before slicing it.
no knead bread
Isn't this a beauty? An amazing aroma and golden crispy crust. 
no knead bread
20 hours rest results in a compact bread with almonds and poppy seed. It also has a richer yeast aroma as well.

For this bread, I let it rest for 20 hours out of curiosity. The results were of course pleasing to the eyes and most importantly the palates! These home made breads don't last long because they are preservative free. So keep them refrigerated and you can just sprinkle some water before reheating them in the oven at 100°C for 4 minutes. knead breads are really simple to make! Delicious preservative breads are really easy even if you do not own a bread maker. If you don't own a Dutch oven which cost a lot in Malaysia, you can always use a Visions pot. I have not tried it on a Corningware as I am not too confident that the glass cover can go up to 230°C. Do drop me a note if you have done it successfully with Corningware.

An alternative to folding the dough before to shaping it into a ball is to punch the dough! It works just as well and is perfect if you want to vent some extra energy or anger. The bread dough won't mind it!

The above recipe can be replicated with any bread dough or all purpose flour. You can make it with or without fillings of nuts, seeds, dried fruits etc. Alternatively, this recipe also is perfect for dinner rolls or as I call them "minions". 
no knead bread
My first no knead bread made in a Dutch oven. I was worried about it being too dark or crusty.
no knead bread
My first no knead bread baked in a Visions Pot with cranberry, pumpkin seeds and almonds. No incisions were made.
no knead bread
Bread with seeds and dried are fruits are great on its own. This is using white bread flour.
no knead bread
...Or served with fruits for extra fibre and vitamins.

These freshly made breads will wake your household and neighbours. They go really well with butter - watch how the melt! Equally good with nut butters (which I also make on my own) or for any open faced sandwich.
no knead bread
Open face sandwich with avocado mash, cheese omelette and a side of fruits.

Happy baking!

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no knead bread