I do not have anything against kneading. I tried this kneadless bread-making technique because the recipe offered an alternative way to feature carrot bread on the Easter table. This loaf is not your typical cake-like, quick bread. This is a hearty, dense, fruit and nut loaf worthy of a slice of Easter ham and fixins!
The source of carrots in this bread comes from freshly pressed carrot juice, which lends a warm, orange hue to the dough and final baked product.
If you do take the kneadless route, be sure to leave yourself plenty of time. Time is the tradeoff for this less complicated technique.
No-Knead, Whole-Wheat Carrot, Raisin, Almond Bread
Adapted from Jim Lahey’s recipe on Martha Stewart
3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
1/4 teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed carrot juice
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, and yeast; add carrot juice. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix until a wet, sticky dough is formed, about 30 seconds. If it’s not really sticky to the touch, add another tablespoon or two of water. Add raisins and almonds and mix until incorporated. Cover bowl and let stand until surface is dotted with bubbles and dough is more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours.
Generously dust work surface with flour. Using a bowl scraper or rubber spatula, scrape dough out of bowl in one piece. Using floured hands or a bowl scraper, lift edges of dough in toward center. Tuck in edges of dough to make a round.
Place a clean kitchen towel on work surface. Generously dust towel with flour. Gently place dough on towel, seam side-down. If dough is tacky, dust top lightly with flour. Fold the ends of the towel loosely over dough to cover and place in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. Dough is ready when it is almost doubled in size and holds an impression when gently poked with a finger. If it springs back, let rise 15 minutes more.
Meanwhile, one half hour before the end of the second rise, preheat oven to 450 degrees with a rack set in bottom third of oven. Place a covered 4 1/2-to-5 1/2-quart cast-iron, high-quality all-ceramic, or enameled cast-iron (with plastic handle removed and screw hole plugged with aluminum foil) in the center of rack.
Using pot holders, very carefully remove preheated pot from oven and uncover. Unfold towel and quickly but gently invert dough into pot, seam side-up. Cover pot, return to oven, and bake for 25 minutes.
Uncover and continue baking until bread is a deep chestnut color, 15 to 20 minutes more. Using a heatproof spatula or pot holders, carefully lift bread out of pot and place it on a rack; let cool completely.