June 19, 2020
If you’ve never baked bread from scratch before, this no-knead cinnamon nutmeg loaf is one recipe you can start from. It’s unlike your usual Singapore bakery-style breads. The loaf has a crisp crust, with a slightly chewy and holey interior, along with a light sweetness and beautiful tang to it. It's a hearty breakfast by itself, but enjoy it at any time of the day with your favourite condiments! [Go straight to recipe]
To anyone who has never attempted to bake bread before, some of the steps needed might seem too laborious and time-consuming.
Although a bread machine or stand mixer can help to knead the dough, you’ll still need to continue kneading by hand, before shaping and proofing the dough twice before you can put it into the oven to bake.
Baking bread from scratch usually takes a lot of time and effort, and some of us are also daunted by the thought of it, especially with the countless tales of bread failures we might have heard.
But what if we told you that you don’t necessarily have to go through all that to get a fresh slice of homemade bread?
This No-Knead Cinnamon Nutmeg Raisin Bread Recipe gives you a loaf of artisan bread with zero kneading involved. All you’ll have to do is to mix up the ingredients before leaving the dough overnight to rest. No kneading, mixer work, or complex shaping techniques required!
This is one recipe beginner bakers who have never baked bread before can confidently attempt.
Most bread we get in Singapore bakeries are typically soft, fluffy, and sweet because of the amount of butter and sugar that go into them.
Fat, which comprises up to 15% of the bread, tenderises the dough by coating and shortening the gluten strands created during kneading.
As a result, the bread’s interior becomes extremely moist and tender. Just look at how soft and fluffy these sweet Matcha Rolls are!
Unlike this type of bread, this no-knead bread’s characteristics lean toward artisan bread, which has some notable differences.
Artisan bread dough traditionally comprises four main ingredients: flour, water, salt, and yeast.
Fat and sugar are only added in minimal quantities; some artisan breads even have none (think baguettes and pizza crusts).
Artisan breads also tend to have thicker crusts and larger air pockets.
These air pockets give artisan bread a holey interior, and they are the result of a long fermentation process which also contributes to the complex flavour artisan bread is known for.
If you try to analyse the flavour profile of an artisan bread, you’ll notice a pleasant tang to it.
We might not grow up getting used to the taste of such bread, but you’ll love this one as much as we do! Enjoy a slice of this Cinnamon Nutmeg Raisin Bread with your favourite fruit jam, or simply toast it with some butter.
If you have only baked bread that requires kneading, it might be surprising to discover that it’s actually possible to bake bread without kneading the dough.
But how is it possible? Isn’t kneading very important for developing gluten and creating the bread’s structure?
Surprisingly, kneading is not the only way to create a gluten network in bread dough!
In no-knead bread, the long proofing time acts in place of kneading which allows the dough’s gluten-forming proteins to align.
No-knead bread has more water in the dough, which makes gluten molecules move and align themselves more easily.
And just like kneading, this process will result in an elastic network that supports the bread’s structure.
Here’s an overview of what happens throughout the long fermentation (proofing) process:
The high water content in no-knead bread dough helps with the gluten formation, but it also makes it a bit challenging to work with. Make sure to coat your hands and working surface with lots of flour to counteract the dough’s stickiness!
Trying to create the best version of this no-knead bread was not a smooth journey. In fact, we went through nearly ten experiments!
In each trial, we made some tweaks to the recipe to make it better than the previous one. The type of liquid, amount of yeast, and proofing time vary between each test loaf.
Since we used different combinations of ingredients and dough treatment, each of our trial bread loaves varied in flavour and texture.
Some did not turn out well—we made a loaf that was too gummy, and it failed to form a beautifully browned crust like how an artisan bread is supposed to be.
Another loaf was too crumbly, and we could not even manage to slice the bread properly.
In one trial where we used more yeast, it tasted unpleasantly sour.
These unexpected outcomes were slightly disheartening at first, but we knew that we’d eventually succeed.
When we came close to the tenth trial, we finally baked a decent loaf. There was so much anticipation when we sliced into it. Our efforts paid off!
Although the crumb structure was not as good as we expected, this one was obviously way better than the failed trials. The crust was what we’re looking for; all that was left was just a little bit more tweaking to get the right crumb!
Finally, after many trials, we got the perfect loaf of no-knead bread that we were looking for—a crisp brown crust of the right thickness, along with a soft and slightly chewy interior that’s punctuated with bursts of sweetness from the raisins.
If this is your first time baking bread, don’t be daunted! Just like baking other types of food, tackling your first artisan bread might seem scary.
But, this No-Knead Cinnamon Raisin Bread recipe you’ll find below is very easy to follow, even if you’ve never tried baking anything with yeast.
Before you start, read through the tips we’ve rounded up that’ll definitely come in handy.
Score the bread's surface quickly and at least 1-2 cm deep to ensure that it'll rise nicely.
375g bread flour
10g instant yeast
30g brown sugar
30g granulated sugar
5g ground cinnamon
5g ground nutmeg
Storage: Best consumed on the same day as the bread doesn’t contain any chemicals or preservatives. Otherwise, store in an airtight container and consume within 48 hours. Toast overnight slices for best results.
Making this no-knead bread is much easier than it seems. By using the right ingredients and following the recipe accordingly, you’ll be one step closer to your first loaf of artisan bread. Once you get acquainted with the addictive flavour and texture of artisan bread, you won’t be able to stop at one slice!
Check out our tips on baking bread to get that perfect loaf. If you’re into soft breads with exciting flavour combinations, be sure to check out our bread baking kits!
Read Next: RECIPE: Soft & Fluffy Milk Bread Loaf
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The Bakestarters blog features tips and lessons to baking in Singapore, along with useful tips when using our signature baking kits.
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