May 9, 2012

No Knead Bread

What's with this no knead bread trend in the foodie chef world?  I keep reading about it in cooking magazines, and Bon Appetit magazine featured the concept as a cover story in a recent issue.

I've been making bread for a while, and some loafs turn out well, and others "don't rise" to my expectations (ha, couldn't resist the bread pun!).  Everything that I read about this no knead concept made it sound almost fool proof.  So, it was time to see if this easy way to make bread really worked.

And, it did.  The best part of this bread was the crust, and the crust comes from being baked in an enclosed pot which traps the steam.  I used my Le Creuset French oven to bake it.  (It's such a versatile piece of cookware!)  If you do not have a French oven or Dutch oven, you could make this in any lidded pot.  Just make sure to check whether it is oven-safe at high temperatures, and be sure to make sure that the knobs on the pot won't melt in the heat.

I always equated kneading to good crumb.  By not kneading the bread, the bread developed a crumb texture with lots of holes.  It tasted like an artisan-quality bread: crunchy crust with a soft, light, and flavorful inside.

Think you can't possibly make bread at home?  Surprise yourself, and give this recipe a try.  You will be glad you did!

No Knead Bread

3 cups (430 grams) bread flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 cups water
Extra virgin olive oil, for coating
Flour, wheat bran, cornmeal, or semolina flour, for dusting

Special Equipment:
6-8 quart pot (Dutch oven works perfectly)

Mix the flour, salt, and yeast in a medium sized bowl.  Add the water, and combine ingredients using a wooden spoon or your hands. (Note: It should only take 30 seconds to 1 minute to combine the ingredients.)

In a second medium sized bowl, coat the bowl with extra virgin olive oil.  Place the dough in the coated bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 12-18 hours.

After the 12-18 hours have passed, remove the dough from the bowl and fold twice.  Let the dough rest for 15 minutes in the bowl.  After the dough has rested, shape the dough into a ball.  Generously coat a cotton towel with wheat bran, flour, cornmeal, or semolina flour.  Place the dough seam side down on the cotton towel, and dust the top of the dough with flour.  Cover the dough with another cotton towel.  Let the dough rise for 1-2 hours, or until more than doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450ยบ F.  Place a 6-8 quart pot with lid into the oven for at least a half hour so that the pot can be preheated before the baking.  After the dough has more than doubled in size and the pot is preheated, carefully remove the pot from the oven, and place the dough in the pot seam side up.  Cover the pot with the lid, and bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, remove the lid, and bake for another 30 minutes so that the loaf is nicely browned.

Source: Directly adapted from Jim Lahey's Sullivan Street Bakery


  1. What an interesting recipe. I've never tried no-knead bread before.

  2. Oh how I love a good no-knead bread! Here's a nomination! I love your blog!


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