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No Knead Bread



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When there is no need to knead, & when the bread talks to you, what are you waiting for?

For those of  you who are still contemplating taking the first step to baking a loaf at home, this is for you, a Bread in a pot. The unbelievably great crackling crumb, the hole-some lightness, awesome  flavor — all come from no kneading, a long fermentation, & a hot pot.

Published in 2006 in the New York Times, Mark Bittman’s article about Sullivan Street Bakery owner Jim Lahey’s magical new no-knead bread-making method created quite a revolution.  Bittman says -”The dough is so sticky that you couldn’t knead it if you wanted to. It is mixed in less than a minute, then sits in a covered bowl, undisturbed, for about 18 hours. It is then turned out onto a board for 15 minutes, quickly shaped (I mean in 30 seconds), and allowed to rise again, for a couple of hours. Then it’s baked. That’s it.”

It is a simple method of making a wet, sticky dough  with flour, water and a little bit of yeast -barely folding it up to a ball – and then letting it ferment slowly for a long long time & then  plopping it into a “blazing hot” pot with a lid to bake.  Harold McGee, an amateur bread maker validates saying  “The long, slow rise does over hours what intensive kneading does in minutes: it brings the gluten molecules into side-by-side alignment to maximize their opportunity to bind to each other and produce a strong, elastic network. The wetness of the dough is an important piece of this because the gluten molecules are more mobile in a high proportion of water, and so can move into alignment easier and faster than if the dough were stiff.” In the video, Lahey claims a 4-year-old can make this bread.

I did not venture as far as allowing my 3 year old try her hand. While I kept her busy with stirring water & shelling steamed edamammes, my 8 year old measured & mixed up the ingredients to form the sticky dough… yes she did it all by herself, flour till her elbows & on her flying hair.. but it was all worth it.


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Recipe has been adapted from the article in NY Times & I have been experimenting for quite a few times now. This is my version, but I would suggest (as per some suggestions from a reader) that you follow the  original Lahey recipe. (I have the link of the Article with the recipe) above. For those who are not ready to or prone to experiment like me, that would be the best choice! His video is very good too.

Ingredients:

  1. 2.5 Cups of All Purpose Flour
  2. 1/4 Tablespoon Dry Active Yeast
  3. 1.5 Teaspoon Salt
  4. 1/2 Cup Luke Warm Water
  5. 1/4 Cup water (more or less)
  6. 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  7. Cornmeal or flour for dusting





Preparation:

Stir the sugar in the 1/2 cup luke warm water. Stir in the yeast & let it sit till it gets frothy & rises.

Combine salt & flour. Add the water with yeast & with a with a wooden spoon ( my daughter actually just combined everything with her hands:-D ), combine till it just starts coming together. Add the 1/4 cup water.. more or less if needed. The dough will be kind of sticky.

Cover the bowl where you made the dough & leave it in a warm place overnight, or about 14 hours.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.

Lightly flour a work surface with cornmeal/flour and place dough on it. Sprinkle some more flour and fold it over on itself a couple of times. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Shape the dough to a ball, & cover with a damp towel & let it rise for another couple of hours. It will be more than double.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-8 quart heavy duty pot with lid in the oven while the oven heats ( make sure the pot & the lid is oven proof & can withstand the high temperature). I used a Corning/Pyrex with a lid.

When the dough is ready, carefully take out the pot, uncover the lid & plonk the dough ball inside the pan. Cover it back again & bake for about 30 minutes.

At the end of 30 minutes, uncover the lid & bake for another 15 minutes approximately. This allows the so special crust formation.

When done, take it out & ENJOY with all your senses. It is literally a superb 5 sensation! You see how beautiful it is, you smell it,  you feel it like  your baby, you  really hear it & last .. you obviously taste it.

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The bread literally sang to me!! I could hear the Crrrrr…. crackle!! & saw the bread cracking all over while it cooled! My goodness, I sat there mesmerized!

More Surprises when I sliced the bread.. Look at those air  pockets! The fantastic air holes which I used to so envy are mine now.. mine, mine, mine…

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Here is one more -

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Now it is time to eat. I very generously slathered some butter on it. Nothing else would have done justice to it. I don’t have to tell you how it tasted right? A warm just baked fluffy light yet chewy bread, with a golden, crunchy singing crust & a thick layer of butter…. go ahead make, you make your own poetry.

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While I enjoy my bread…Here it goes to Susan’s Wild Yeastspotting.


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68 comments to No Knead Bread

  • I need to give this a try soon! Heard many many rave reviews about this method of break baking. I love crusty breads, they are so much more satisfying to me. hmmm, I don’t have any oven safe, deep pans. And butter on toast, tch tch… I thought you would use the roasted garlic :D

  • Finally!! I made that twice already, so easy, no? great bread, looks perfect. Enjoy! :)

  • M drooling over the pictures…..yummy, can try to add in few spices and herbs too :)

  • I know! this is the recipe that gave me courage to try my hand at break baking. Yours looks awesome Soma.

  • I’ve seen this mentioned a couple of times over the past few months, but have yet to try it. Your pictures are pushing me over the line — the bread looks great!

  • mohana

    ok !! This is for me to make..am the one ” new ” to baking and am elated to see this recipie !!!!

  • Not baked bread yet. Would love to try this.

  • Wow that bread looks so so so good and so delicious that i want to grab a slice.
    I have a book caleed artisian bread in 5 minutes and you also don’t need to kneed .
    It is always fun to bake with your kids, even if they make a lot of mess :-)

  • I guess am gonna steal your recipe lol :) Love the idea of no knead bread … Bread looks so perfect and nice air pockets inside…

  • Lady u r not giving me a chance to breathe with the speed u post recipes as if participating in a marathon, and each so different and more gorgeous than previous
    And look at the bread dear….i am at loss of words…would just say…..Muahhhhhhhh

  • Gorgeous. I can just imagine the smell of your kitchen while this delightful loaf was baking.

  • That looks so wonderful and easy, I’m making this for sure. Love the crackle!

  • perfect bread and delicious too… you 8 year old just have loved baking it with you….

  • spectacular looking bread :)
    loved reading this post!

  • I did already with chocolate and simply with wheat flour, easy bread na! looks prefect Soma!

  • bee

    i’ve made this many times. thanks for reminding me to make this again. i even have a crockpot now and can use the container inside to bake this.

  • Cham

    I imagine ur angel doing the measurement, great novice bread!

  • haa a prescription for baking phobia ppl like me?? It sounds so easy and the way u have described it’s texture and taste is really tempting. Wish you had put up step by step pics of the dough too so that I at least will get to know that my dough is coming out ok…lols anyways will give this a sure try

    Sakshi..here is the original video… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Ah9ES2yTU
    I have made light changes… if u compare.

    Here is another one from jaden’s blog: http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2007/09/10/no-knead-bread-revisited
    She had her son do it..:-) & has good steps… illustrations.

  • I can’t believe I still haven’t tried this recipe! Thanks for the reminder. Yours looks wonderful :)
    xox

  • My dear..I can sense ur delight..This is amazing..I so so want to try this,but I dont have a heavy duty pot.All I have is a big Non stick Pot.It wont work I guess..sheesh..:(
    Amazing n Kudos to ya..:)

  • thanks for the reply…will check both the links…and yeah I do come back to check back comments on my fave blog…lol..

  • I tried no-knead bread the first time I ever baked bread and it got me started!

  • [...] Bittman’s article about Sullivan Street Bakery owner Jim Lahey’s magical new no-knead bread-ma click for more var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : [...]

  • looks so yum,..:-) Soma,..

  • Wow….this looks sooooo good! Reminds me of the soup in bread bowl you get in San Fran! It looks fantastic. Love the holey texture of the bread!

  • The bread is singing to me Soma…it’s wonderful!!

  • I don’t love to bake! but I have to try this recipe.
    Looks Great!

  • sandeepa

    This looks awesome Soma. I should try this one out definitely

  • The bread looks b’ful.. I should make this sometime!

  • Your bread is beautiful! I have to try the no knead technique one of these days!

  • Beautiful! Gotta do this. Tell me … meyer chobi tulecho? Ja shundor description diyecho … ekta chobi howa chai. :-)
    What do I do when I don’t have a pot for the oven?

  • Love the bread Soma.I too have bookmarked the NYtimes recipe.Too lazy I have become especially with summer.

    Thanks for the comment and sorry to hear you could not post earlier.I think there is an “openid” option apart from google account and you could use that.but if that is not working then I am not sure what it is,may be some problem with blogger itself.Thanks for letting me know.Hope there is no problem in future

  • Gorgeous….that smear of butter got me.

  • Soma I can smell the airy-tasty bread from here, no doubt you’re an excellent baker :)

  • tbc

    That bread looks fantastic, Soma! I’ll bookmark this for when I feel confident enough to bake my first loaf. :-D

  • tbc

    Hmmm… I just realized that I do not have an oven-proof vessel/container this big!
    :-(

  • That’s great Soma! I looks delicious and just like regular bread. I dislike kneading (although nowadays I just use my KA mixer which is a godsend)

  • Don’t you love it when bread sings to you? Very pretty!

  • That’s one beautiful bread!

  • Now this is something that I will definitely try this given that your 8 year old made this (under Mom’s guidance of course). I have heard so much about this no-knead bread. We love crusty breads and the bread with beautiful crust and holes looks awesome.

  • Soma, this is a beautiful bread. I’ll wager you all enjoyed every crumb.

  • Soma, what a beautiful bread. I have had this bookmarked on my computer for some time but have not made it yet. May is my month though. Really gonna make every effort to liberate myself from the bread isle at the market… I will do it (I think)!

  • soma

    A lot of u like me do not own an oven proof pot. I really do not know what to suggest. Here are some options:

    Get a cheap cast iron pot.. some come with the lid.

    I use Calphalon Hard Anodized for my cooking ( NOT with the non stick) – i did not try that in mine as i wasn’t sure.. but they do seem to be able to take that heat in the oven.

    Bee said she will use the pot inside the crockpot.

    I baked in a French White Corning Serve ware.

    If nothing is available, just try to cover a bakeware tight with foil during preheating & baking…..please do this carefully.

    Those of you who have already done this, any tips please share to help the others.

  • Sig

    Everytime I see this in someone’s blog I make a mental note to make it myself.. Your version looks so awesome that I might finally end up making it one of these days :)

  • A&N

    :D I saw this the other day and ran away. I’m on that no carb thing every first week of every month. So, now that I’m stronger :P I’m back.

    I love this. Never tried this bread before. I shall dutifully pass this link onto someone else ;)

  • Soma this is such a beautiful looking bread , I absolutely loved it. This is something I would love to try asap :-) Great pictures as usual !

  • Good looking loaf!

    But I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate and suggest that you perhaps “adapted” a bit too much from Lehey’s original formula – his (3 cups flour/ 1 5/8ths cups water) would appear to be much more hydrated than is yours (2.5 cups flour/3/4 cup water). Why such a departure?

    Given that rather significant difference, I suggest you try using Lehey’s formula and compare the results – I think what you’ll find are even bigger holes and an improved texture, because as McGee suggests, the added liquid allows the gluten to develop more effectively . Try it and see.
    john

    Thanks for being the Devil’s Advocate:-D … I am in the habit of twisting all recipes i get.. I have to agree tho that i never baked a better bread as this one, just by following Lahey’s process, if not his measurements. But U R absolutely right about trying out the original recipe. I will do it, & soon!

  • Your no-knead bread looks perfect! I must get around to making this again :)

  • Hi Soma,
    gorgeous and perfect looking bread! All’s fine but abt the oven proof pot :( don’t have one…read ur baking tips too, the last one seems to work , lemme try sometime.
    Thanks
    TC

  • [...] No Knead Bread eCurry The Recipe Blog Posted by root 22 hours ago (http://www.ecurry.com) Thanks for the comment and sorry to hear you could not post earlier get a cheap cast iron pot some come with the lid i use calphalon hard anodized for my cooking ecurry the recipe blog is proudly powered by wordpress Discuss  |  Bury |  News | no knead bread ecurry the recipe blog [...]

  • Jayeeta

    Soma,

    Made this bread… this is the first time am tried to bake… :) .. had to make changes to ur time specifications cos i live in “Sunny Scotland” and instead of 14 hours.. had to leave the dough for 24 as well the couple of hours standing time was extended to overnight.. but the end result… amazing .. (thought a bot salty :( )… This one is definitely a keeper…

  • I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don

  • i am making oatmeal and honey bread, are you meant to knead i deliately and is there any partiular hand movements your meant to make? i just kept stretching it and folding it back into itself, it all came together really well i think and was very smooth elastic and plump. im probably worrying about nowt but its the 1st time ive baked bread, im so excited to see how it comes out!!

  • Deepti

    love the pictures! and love how you make it all yours! can’t wait to make them mine ;) cute post!

  • Hii…I made your No-knead bread and have posted in my blog and have given this link for the recipe. Hope thats ok with you :) Your posts are wonderful…am planning to make the goan bread next !! :)

  • Absolutely picturesque! That bread is lovely to the inside. I will be making this on Wednesday!

    Cheers,

    My Sassy Chef Recipes

  • sarah

    Just curious- Does the bread smell or taste yeasty at all?

    No this should not have any yeast smell. It smells like any fresh baked bread.

  • Hey Soma,
    Was going through your bread section today since I’ve been thinking of trying some bread making for a while now and long weekend gave me some time to do something. You have some really good collection of bread recipes, specially love them because a lot of them are so easy and quick.
    Making NO KNEAD bread today. Would let you know how it went. Was just curious if you refer any book for bread making or would you recommend something. I’m looking for one.

    Hi Prerna, Sorry for this late reply.. we were out of town. No I do not refer any particular book for breads. I slowly overcame the yeast phobia and started baking and experimenting not too long ago. I read a lot of other blogger’s bread recipes and I try them out as I know they are tested. I have a few bread recipes in the cookbooks which i have but they are not just bread. In the blog, I have mentioned if I have adapted or used any recipe from other source. if not mentioned they are the result of my experiments at home. The book I would like to own is Peter Reinhert’s Bread Baking Apprentice.

  • Samidha

    Hi Soma di,

    Guess what?? ur bread is singing to me too..it looks so gorgeous..I love love the smell of warm breads and linger in bakeries for as long as I can and this one is begging to be baked by me too…bt i have a m/w, no OTG :( . Could you please tell me if this bread can be made in m/w?

    Samidha

    Samidha,

    Out here, I have no bake feature in my MW. I do not know what kind you have. I know some in India which can bake cakes. This recipe requires a pretty hot oven, and an oven proof vessel with a lid, to create that professional moistness. I am so sorry I would not be able to tell you if the MW will bake this. :-(

    xo
    Soma

  • Samidha

    No issues…even me dont hv bake option with my m/w but I still compell it to bake fr me ;) so far I have ben successful with cakes/cookies and muffins…of course the texture is far from what we get with OTG baked ones…I would possibly start of with a basic white bread…and if it works , wl experiment with the rest of baked goodies :) …thanks anyways

  • Samidha

    No issues…even me dont hv bake option with my m/w but I still compell it to bake fr me ;) so far I have ben successful with cakes, cookies and muffins…of course the texture is far from what we get with OTG baked ones…I would possibly start of with a basic white bread…and if it works , wl experiment with the rest of baked goodies :) …thanks anyways

  • Samidha

    No issues…even me dont hv bake option with my m/w but I still compell it to bake fr me ;) so far I have ben successful with cakes, cookies and muffins…of course the texture is far from what we get with OTG baked ones…I would possibly start of with a basic white bread…and if it works , wl experiment with the rest of ur baked goodies :) …thanks anyways

  • Olga

    When there is no need to knead, & when the bread talks to you, what are you waiting for?

    Uh…taste? Because this bread has absolutely no flavor.

    Yes this is a plain bread, posted more for the technique than anything else. I would think you would know even before you started? by reading the ingredient list? I wonder what stopped you from adding flavor/herbs/spices to your liking. The recipe does not say anywhere that it cannot be adapted.

  • it looks amazing. i will try and let u know.

  • I am glad to be a visitor of this pure web site! , thanks for this rare information! .

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