Cookbook:No-Knead Bread

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No-Knead Bread
CategoryBread recipes
Servings1½ pound loaf
Time18 to 24 hours

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | American cuisine | Vegetarian Cuisine | Bread

This recipe for no-knead bread has circled the Internet rapidly since it appeared in the New York Times in November 2006, and it has been translated into German and Togo.

The original recipe came from Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery in Manhattan. It lets time, instead of you, do the work. Simply stir together the ingredients, and let the mixture sit for 12 to 18 hours. After brief handling, it sits for 2 to 3 hours more, then bakes in a covered cast-iron pot in a 450 degree oven.

It should result in a round, rustic loaf, with a chewy crust and an interior with irregularly shaped holes, not fine-textured, but similar to an Italian ciabatta. It's tasty and makes great crostini.

Ingredients[edit | edit source]

Ingredient Volume
[note 1]
Baker's %
All-purpose or bread flour 3 cups 411 g 100%
Yeast ¼ teaspoons[note 2] 1.5 g 0.365%
Salt 2 teaspoons 12 g 2.92%
Warm tap water 1 5/8 cups 384 g 93.42%
Total 808.5 g 196.709%

Procedure[edit | edit source]

  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, and salt.
  2. Add water and stir until you have a shaggy and sticky dough.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
  4. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably 18 hours, at warm room temperature, about 70 °F (21 °C).
  5. When the surface is dotted with bubbles, lightly flour a work surface or silicone mat and place dough on it.
  6. Sprinkle it with a little more flour, and fold it over on itself once or twice.
  7. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 15 minutes.
  8. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to the work surface and your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball.
  9. Generously coat a lint-free linen (i.e. not terrycloth) towel with flour.
  10. Put the dough seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour.
  11. Cover with another lint-free linen towel and let rise for 2 to 3 hours. Dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
  12. At least half an hour before baking, place a 3 to 4 quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic) in the oven and preheat to 450°F.
  13. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven.
  14. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot. seam side up. It may look like a mess, but that's okay.
  15. Shake the pan once or twice if the dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
  16. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes.
  17. Remove the lid and bake 15 to 30 minutes more, until the loaf is beautifully browned.
  18. Remove the loaf from the pot and cool on a rack.

Tips, Notes, and Variations[edit | edit source]

  • If you can't find a pot, look in a neighborhood hardware store.
  • You can substitute up to 50% whole-wheat flour, but much more and the texture will suffer.
  • Add herbs or other seasoning when initially mixing the dough.
  • Use wheat bran or corn meal to coat the towels, if desired.
  • If the pot has handles, remove them if they are not heat-resistant.
  • Use sturdy oven mitts.
  • Before removing the heated pot from the oven, place 2 or 3 cooling racks on the counter.
  • Do not place the superheated pot on the counter or anything else you don't want to scorch.

Conversion Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Weight conversions from USDA National Nutrient Database. Original recipe text and ingredient order preserved. Used "bread flour" for conversion, it weighs a little more per equivalent volume than all purpose, as well as absorbing a little more water due to higher protein. Density adjustment applied to warm water, warm defined as 40°C.
  2. Yeast type not specified. Conversion values to weight based on dry yeast.