Dishing the DivineYum!

no knead bread

November 21st, 2009 · 21 Comments

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My mom came across this recipe a year or two ago in a NY Times article and I have made it at least 50 times since. It ALWAYS gets rave reviews, and I just smirk because I know the truth. It’s 4 ingredients and it takes about 4 minutes to whip together and a 4 year old could make it with no problem at all. No one ever believes me when I say it’s this easy. They always say, “Yeah, right. You have your own food blog. You have no sense of what is ‘easy’ anymore!” Fine, I say. Don’t try it. I’ll just keep getting rave reviews on something that a pre-schooler could make.

The trick to this bread is simply remembering to start it 14-20 hours in advance (I prefer less to more – sometimes after the dough sits too long, it gets tired and falls flat). Typically for me that means just starting it late at night before I go to bed. If you can do that, then I promise – you can make this bread with no problems at all.

RECIPE UPDATE: I just bought this cast iron Dutch oven set to cook this bread in after reading a recommendation for it in the Tartine bread book. It’s AWESOME! You can use it to bake this bread, and when you’re not baking, you can use it for soups, roasts, and anything else you cook in a Dutch oven! Simply preheat the entire Dutch oven, invert your dough onto the lid portion, set the 5 quart Dutch oven on top and voila! Your own steam oven for only $35!

no knead bread

from The New York Times

3 cups of bread flour
1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups luke-warm tap water

Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the water and stir until well mixed. Your dough will be VERY wet. Don’t stress. It’s supposed to be that way. Work the dough well to ensure that all the flour is absorbed. Chunks of raw flour in the middle of your bread are unsightly and gross.

Cover the dough with well greased plastic wrap. If your house is cold like mine, you can microwave a glass of water until it’s very hot and then put the bread in the microwave overnight. The heat from the steam will keep the microwave warmer than the ambient air. If your house is 70 degrees or more, just leave it on the counter and it will be fine. Let sit for 12-18 hours. (I have found 18 hours to be a little too long – I always aim for closer to 12 hours). Your dough should have risen substantially and be very bubbly.

Pour your dough out on a floured cutting board and fold in on itself a few times so that it’s less of a blob and more of a ball. Since the dough is so wet, I just use a rubber spatula to lift one edge and flop it into the center. Then I do the same in a circular motion.

Cover with a clean towel and let sit for 1 hour. The dough will probably flatten back out. Again, no stress folks. Remember – four year olds can make this!

After an hour, preheat your oven to 450 WITH THE POT INSIDE! That’s important enough to warrant all caps. :) Once it’s preheated, let your pot sit in there for another half hour. You want the pot to be so very hot that the dough will cook instantly when it touches the pot. Otherwise, the dough will stick to the pot and you’ll never get your loaf out in one piece. Been there, done that, and it’s not pretty. Very, very hot is the goal.

Working quickly, pull your pan out of the oven, sprinkle some flour on the bottom, and dump your wet dough into the pan. It’ll look ugly. That’s okay. Put the lid on it and put it back in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove lid, raise the oven temperature to 500, and cook for 20 more minutes or until dark golden brown.

Remove from oven and immediately remove bread from the pan. Let sit on a wire rack until cool.

Rip or slice into pieces and enjoy with butter or dip it in a homemade sauce. My personal favorite dipping sauce was created by my chef friend Dave Hutchings – simply mix olive oil, balsalmic vinegar, garlic, salt, and fresh orange zest for a stunning combination that will leave your guests asking what the secret ingredient is.

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Tags: breads · vegetarian

21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lizatoni // Nov 21, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Yummy! So easy I’D even try making it. Hmmm, it looks so familiar to me . . .

  • 2 Shirley Madsen // Nov 22, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Grandpa Madsen shared this recipe with me three years ago this month! He had read about it in the New York Times. Jim Lahey from the Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC got the craze going for no knead bread. The recipe spread like wildfire. I learned many tricks by making this bread that I have carried over to my sourdough bread baking. If you plan on making this bread often, I suggest investing in a 4 or 5 quart Dutch oven. You will not regret it.

  • 3 LeAnn // Nov 22, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Love this bread so much…. gonna go eat some right now… mmmm…

  • 4 Tiffany // Dec 1, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    thank you so much for the loaf used to make this post!! We loved it so much we finished it in one sitting, as soon as we got home…

  • 5 myFudo // Sep 16, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Good recipe and is easy to follow.Nice photos too.

  • 6 tempesto // Sep 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I’ve found the inverted dutch oven to be a necessity when using the Tartine no-knead recipe. The dough is so wet that when dropped into an non-inverted dutch oven, the air bubbles formed during the final rise collapse.

  • 7 Ickysgirl70 // Oct 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Tempesto, what do you mean by an inverted Dutch oven? I’m sure this is a “duh” question, but I haven’t heard of this before.

  • 8 Paula // Oct 3, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Ickysgirl70 – he’s referring to the note listed above. :) RECIPE UPDATE: I just bought the Lodge Logic 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven with lid to cook this bread in after reading a recommendation for it in the Tartine bread book. It’s AWESOME! You can use it to bake this bread, and when you’re not baking, you can use it for soups, roasts, and anything else you cook in a Dutch oven! Simply preheat the entire Dutch oven, invert your dough onto the lid portion, set the 5 quart Dutch oven on top and voila! Your own steam oven for only $35!

  • 9 Ickysgirl70 // Oct 3, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Ahhh! Thanks. I kind of thought that’s what was meant, but wasn’t sure.

  • 10 Lisa // Nov 2, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Have you ever tried this using whole wheat flour?

  • 11 Paula // Nov 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Lisa – yes! It’s not as good. :( If anything, use half whole wheat flour and half APF. And I’d make the WWF a white whole wheat flour. And add in a couple tablespoons of vital wheat gluten. For a more “official” recipe, check out Healthy Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. :)

  • 12 Rachel (De Ma Cuisine) // Dec 3, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    This sounds amazing!!!

  • 13 Deborah // Dec 10, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I found this recipe several months ago and it is a huge hit with everyone that tastes it.
    The only difference in my cooking of the bread is what I use to cook it in. I use my Pampered Chef Stone Deep Dish Baker. I heat the oven to 450 and put the baker in empty with the lid on for 20 min. Then I take it out and just dump the bread into it. I then put it back in the oven with the lid on keeping the same heat for 25 minutes then take the lid off for and cook it for an additional 8 minutes. This allows the top to brown up nicely. The taste and texture are amazing using the stone. It is kind of like cooking it in a Brick Oven. Just a variation on the cooking that works really well. If you would like to get a deep dish baker you can order one at: http://www.pamperedchef.biz/prince

  • 14 Lisa // Dec 21, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I’ve made this using fresh herbs and chopped garlic. There are other recipes that call for cinnamon and raisins. It’s a very versatile recipe.

  • 15 kitchenneophyte // Jul 21, 2012 at 11:34 am

    It was fun to make bread from scratch (it was my first time!), though I didn’t use bread flour (I didn ‘t even know what that was), and didn’t have a great bread pot/pan to cook the dough in . . . so I got creative. I don’t know if I’d make it super often, but I’m so proud that at least I know how! Is there a good French bread or sourdough recipe that you have? I’d love to try those sometime! :)

  • 16 Mikki // Dec 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Am I understanding this right…bake the bread in the lid of the pan? Thanks for your help.

  • 17 Paula // Dec 2, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Mikki – Yup! And put the bottom of the pan on top and bake covered for the first half and then uncovered for the second half!

  • 18 barbwhite // Apr 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    looks totally easy and yummy, definitely must try!

  • 19 David M // Jun 19, 2013 at 1:14 am

    I have tried a similar recipe and instead of inverting the dutch oven place the dough ball on parchment paper for the final rise (use some flour and a bowl to maintain shape to fit in the dutch oven). When you are ready to cook just pick up the 4 corners of the parchment paper and place the dough and paper into the dutch oven following the recipe.

  • 20 deborah // Oct 27, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    My bread was delicious. The bottom of my bread was very hard. Can you give me a suggestion to solve the problem for next time? The top was crusty and the center was perfect.

  • 21 Paula // Oct 27, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Deborah,

    Are you using the dutch oven I recommended? How about moving the rack up one level? That’s my first thought. :) If that doesn’t work, I’ll try to think of other ideas.

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