I am in love with no-knead breads in general and with this No-Knead Sesame Seed Bread in particular. My family moves country quite often so I don’t tend to buy many kitchen appliances. They are too bulky and heavy to travel with and often the voltage in the country I move to is different from the one I’m moving away and it won’t work anyway. I always prefer hand-driven kitchen appliances. Of course one can knead a regular bread dough by hand but have you ever tried? I consider myself a pretty fit person but kneading bread dough by hand exceeds my fitness. I used to rarely make bread. It tastes a million times better than store-bought but it just wasn’t worth the time and effort in my opinion. I started looking for artesian bakeries and started to by my bread for an insane amount of money there, until…..I discovered no-knead breads. Oh my!! A bread dough that doesn’t have to be knead at all? This was too good to be true, I had to try it. Try it I did and I am happy to be able to announce that no bakery is going to get rich with me anymore. I will only eat this bread forever. It requires a little bit of organization but it only takes a couple of weeks until it becomes a routine to start a new batch. Most no-knead breads are baked in a dutch oven and since I don’t have one I tried using a stainless steel pot with a cake round as a lid and it worked fantastic but I’m not sure it was the best treatment for my pot :/ I hence worked with my cast iron skillet and it works wonderfully. The loaf doesn’t rise as much as in a dutch oven but in terms of taste it hardly made a difference.
Following, a step-by-step instruction on how to make this specific No-Knead Sesame Seed Bread. Now, let’s get started.
First, whisk flour, sesame seeds, yeast and salt together until well mixed. Then add water and incorporate water with a spatula until all becomes a uniform dough. This does not require much effort or time. Maybe a minute or two. The dough should look like this:
Then, cover the bowl tightly with cling film. If the cling film doesn’t stick well to the sides of the bowl, secure it with some tape. Let sit on the kitchen counter or any other room temperature warm place for 12-18 hours. Better 18 than 12. After the first rise the dough should look like this:
Lay a cotton cloth flat on a clean flat space close to a work surface and flour and flour with about 2 Tbsp flour and 2 Tbsp corn meal. Generously flour a clean work surface in your kitchen and take a spatula to dump the sticky dough onto your work surface. Excessively flour your hands and quickly try and form a ball. If the dough starts sticking to your hands, flour them even more. Keep half a cup of flour on the corner of your work surface before even starting so you don’t have to touch your flour container with your sticky dirty hands to get more flour. Form your ball and place it on your floured cotton cloth (Not terry! Cotton!), like this:
Then fold it together over the bread like this:
I covered this with yet another kitchen towel to keep it nice and warm. Let rest in a warm kitchen or on top of a radiator for 2 hours. After the two hours the dough should have almost doubled in size and should look like this:
30 minutes before the 2 hours of the second rising are over preheat the oven to 450 F (230 °C) with a cast iron skillet in it or if you don’t have one use a regular baking sheet, this will work just fine. The skillet or baking sheet has to be super duper hot so the bread doesn’t stick to it. After preheating the oven and skillet, take it out of the oven VERY CAREFULLY not to burn yourself, place your hand under the cloth and lift the dough with one hand under it and rapidly dump it into the hot skillet or onto the hot baking sheet. Take a knife and cut a superficial cross into the middle of the dough, then place all back in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Directly out of the oven it should look like this:
Take out of the skillet immediately and let cool on a wire rack. Resist the urge to cut into the bread until it is completely cooled down as cutting it open ahead of time will let all the steam escape and the inside will look and taste doughy. Once cooled down it should look like this:
Now you can cut it and enjoy it with some salted butter. Yummm!
No-Knead Sesame Seed Bread
- 3 cups unbleached white all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 1.5 cups + 1 Tbsp water
- flour and corn meal
- Whisk flour, sesame seeds, yeast and salt together until well combined.
- Add cool water and work into flour until a uniform dough has formed (no effort needed, just 1-2 minutes mixing)
- Cover bowl with cling film and leave dough to rise in a warm room temperature place for 12-18 hours.
- Lay flat a cotton (!) cloth and flour with flour and cornmeal.
- Generously flour a work surface and dump the sticky dough onto the work surface with the help of a spatula.
- Excessively flour hands and form a ball, then place ball on floured cloth.
- Cover dough with cloth and cover with another kitchen towel and let rise for a second time in a warm place for 2 hours.
- minutes before the 2 hours of the second rise are over, preheat oven to 450 F (230 °C) and place a cast iron skillet or a baking sheet in the oven to be heated to the same temperature.
- Carefully take out the piping hot skillet or baking sheet, place your hand under the cloth and lift the dough with one hand and dump it into the skillet.
- Cut a superficial cross into the middle of the dough and return everything into the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Take out of the oven and immediately remove from skillet or baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool.
- Let cool down completely before cutting.