I also made bread yesterday! Another no-knead recipe, found here. I was skeptical of the call for 4 cups of whole wheat flour, so instead I did 3 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour. And I’m doubtful of that, even. As a still-new member of the dough-making club, I don’t know really feels and looks right. This dough definitely didn’t feel right.
I do know that the 2 cups of water was definitely half a cup shy of being enough water for the my flour (keep in mind that I’m working in the desert Southwest, so super duper dry air), and I also know that the water should be warm so that the yeast activates nicely. Stay in tune with how your dough’s turning out so you can edit proportions while mixing so that it doesn’t (completely) flop.
I expected the 12-18 hour rise to end looking similar to the white bread I made a couple weeks ago, but this one was more solid and didn’t have a bubbly surface. Maybe I didn’t wait long enough? It definitely didn’t look like any more time was going to produce bubbles though. . .
I was supposed to put dried cranberries in the bread, but neglected to put them in on the first day of mixing. Instead, I added them in after the first rise and before the second rise during the two turns of the dough. Hence the sad two areas of dried cranberries that you see. In future, I must remember to mix them in on Day 1.
The bread turned out very dense, somewhat similar in texture to homemade gluten free bread. It didn’t taste very lively, unless you bit into a dried cranberry section. But I got mixed reviews on the bread–my mom liked it more than the white bread and my dad definitely did not like it at all. So, it comes down to personal preference! Or perfecting the recipe so it brings the best of both worlds.
Personally, I’d add the dried cranberries in on Day 1 to help the bread with flavor and alleviate its density.