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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

No-Knead Bread

If you love fresh, homemade, rustic bread, this is by far the simplest recipe I've ever tried.

This New York Times recipe has quite taken the food blogging world by storm. See pictures here, here, and here.

No kneading required.

Uses only 1/4 tsp of yeast. If you don't have instant yeast, dry yeast in packets will work if you add it to warm water.

It gave me a chance to use my Dutch oven. I used a 5-quart Dutch oven versus the recipe's 6- to 8-quart size and it worked just fine. A nice round loaf instead of flatter with the bigger pot. A pot makes a difference as it'll create steam while cooking, creating hole and air pockets on the inside.

I like wheat so I substituted one cup of wheat for white in the recipe.

And my bread was ready in about 35 minutes, as opposed to 60 minutes in the original recipe.

Also, if you're in very warm climates, the bread needs only half a day to rise instead of waiting a full day like the recipe calls for.

Look at how gorgeously crusty the top looks.

The inside was light and airy. Perfect fresh out of the oven and slathered with butter. Mmm.
Here's the recipe in case you can't access the NY Times' link anymore.

No-Knead Bread

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

January 24, 2007 Update: I simplified the recipe even more here.


  1. Cool! I've been reading about it on other sites, but no one bothered to link the original article. Imma try it out!

    - Chubbypanda

  2. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for visiting. Your blog looks great.

    Let me know how it turns out. So easy!

    Hi Budding Cook,
    Thanks for visiting.


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