Wow...thanks everyone for all of the great responses! You are all such a passionate, friendly bunch..I like it! I apologize if appear to ignore anyone.
Well, I tried two loaves last night at 500 degrees and I baked them for different lengths of time (30 min and 45 min). The end results between the two were identical and also the same as my 450 degree "test" loaves. The only difference was a bit (fair amount) of charring on the bottom due to the increased oven temp. (good thing I like burnt toast...not sure why? but I do).
I did not mention it earlier but I have also tried a slight reduction in the amount of water I added. The dough obviously seemed a bit less wet but this didn't even seem to change anything once baked.
I have not been checking the internal temp (I don't have a thermometer that can withstand 500 degrees). Maybe I should get one.
I have concluded that increasing the oven temperature does not change the final texture. Perhaps I try to bake it even longer? or just forget about the baking time all together and buy a thermometer as suggested... Or just admit defeat and try another recipe as suggested (the beer one sounds good but expensive at the rate I am going lol).
Overall, I really like the bread, the crust is awesome and the flavour is really addictive. It is the only bread I have ever felt does not need butter. However, something seems a bit off to the point I would feel a little weird giving it to someone other than my family.... perhaps one of the experts here could mail me a slice for comparison lol....
Oh yeah... mine does end up looking close to the picture posted. But it does not rise quite as well...close but a little less and I have not yet had a big crack like that on the top yet.
Thanks everyone, I am now out of flour, I will keep you posted when I resume with the next step.
Hello, I love this site and I finally joined. I am not an experienced baker by any means.
I have been making Bittmans no knead bread over the last little while and either I am making a mistake or this is how it is supposed to be?
I can get a great looking loaf, nice bubbles and a delicious crust... but the inside is rubber like and gummy. (strangely enough I still can't stop from eating half a loaf in a sitting).
I would describe the center as almost like an english muffin. (in appearance and texture).
I have made a number loaves and have started a fermenting assembly line in order to have the 18 hr dough ready for yet another test bake.
Here is some more info:
• I am baking a loaf tonight and am going to let it cool for at least an hour or more to ensure cutting it open too early before being fully cooled is not the cuplrit
• I have only cooked it at 450 (trying 500 tonight). I have even increased the cooking time substantially (beyond 45 minutes plus and then opening the lid for 15 minutes after that) and still no luck.
• I am using a 3.5 qt dutch oven and it seems to work great and does not seem too small
• My yeast is not expired according to the label but it has sat "open" in the fridge for almost 1 yr. Perhaps I am not using the right yeast? (I will have to get back to you on the type or I can look it up)
• When I complete the 2 hr rising stage before baking my dough does not increase size that much. I would say it maybe increases at most 25%. It does however, expand in size a fair amount during the 18hr fermentation stage and does seem to be a nice looking dough.
Any help? I have read a lot of posts here and elsewhere and still no luck in figuring this out fully. Please help! It tastes delicious so far despite my issue and I look forward to impressing everyone with the bread I make...lol