No-Knead Bread Taking Over the World

A year ago, the New York Times published a no-knead bread recipe that challenged the belief that bread is difficult to make. In fact, the recipe was so easy a 6 years old could make it. The word spread out like wildfire across the blogosphere and soon everyone in America was producing amazing rustic bread from their home kitchen. Everyone except me. I guess i wasn’t paying attention and dismissed it as just another fad thinking that in the world of bread there is no room for innovation (for a video of the old me making bread click here). So then what happened?
Well, being the dysfunctional chef that i am i managed to finish my Spring cleaning this Fall and to my utter amazement the precious recipe has magically surfaced from the abyss of my own desk. I took it as a sign, nothing ever survives the abyss. Not even the goldfish!

Today i prepared the no-knead bread for the one year anniversary of the NY Times article to see what the fuss was all about and let me tell you, it made me very happy! As you may already know this bread is truly delicious, rustic looking, country tasting with a crisp crust and a pillowy interior and way better than the one you get… anywhere else. The hardest part was waiting for the dough to rise with great expectations.

This is an instant classic that deserves all the praise that it’s been getting, i was wrong dismissing it because it truly works beautifully. The recipe below is from the NY Times article and don’t forget to check out the video at the bottom to see Mark Bittman and Jim Lahey making the famous bread. Happy no-kneading!

No-Knead Bread
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
for NY times article click here
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 1/2 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

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  • Ann

    Oh, all RIGHT! I’ll try it already!

    yeah, I’ve been ignoring it too, but for a different reason– I have a killer oven that refuses to maintain an even temperature so I don’t bake very much anymore (picture me checking the oven every 10 minutes and fanning the door open and closed and you’ll see why).

    BUT! I am in the midst of getting a new one, so… I’ll finally get to try this new-fangled no-knead bread.

  • A Z R A

    errr…the bakery has lots of bread…so i shall not dwell on the no-knead bread…i wish i have the passion to cook or bake….;D

  • Zen Chef

    Ann, i thought I was the last person in America trying this recipe!! hehehe
    The buzz for this recipe was justified, it really does work well!

  • annna

    wow.. simply a must try! looks so simple and easy. can’t believe that u dun need to knead it!

    like ur blog! so heavenly to me. Haha..

  • Zen Chef

    Thank you for stopping by.
    It’s really easy indeed, everyone can make it!

  • annna

    come to think of it, waiting for it to rest well, it’s torturing. LOL

  • Zen Chef

    Yes Annna,
    Torturing is the word…hehehe
    It’s the kind of thing you have to make and forget.
    It takes self-control….now breath deeply…hehehe

  • jon

    Wow is all I can say. I’m a big bread eater and I’m going to try it now! :)

  • Zen Chef

    Thanks Jon!
    This is a keeper, guaranteed!
    Let me know how it goes.

  • Cindy. Lo.

    It looked so good,
    How am I going to taste something like this?
    Flying all the way to New York?