Recipe: No-Knead Bread

No Knead Bread Cooling

This is my third attempt at making homemade bread. I came across this No-Knead recipe in the New York Times over the weekend. It’s delicious and tastes like it came from a fancy bakery. The recipe required a little forethought. I started yesterday around 1pm—total time about 22 hours. Hands on time is minimal so don’t fret the advance planning. I can’t wait to have it with my bean soup I have simmering on the stove for dinner.

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery via The New York Times.

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 5/8 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 (I used 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 (I baked it 500 degrees). Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, ceramic, I used my dutch oven) 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.

No Knead Bread Inside

No Knead Bread Rising

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  1. This is a really dumb question but I have never made bread before. Do you really leave the towel wrapped around the dough in the oven?? It looks delicious and I would love to try this tomorrow.


  2. I’ve been making this bread for several months now, and have been blogging about my bread baking a bit. I always bake twice what we will eat and give the second loaf away. It has been quite an adventure…

    So fun to discover your blog. My family and I are coming to New England this summer for the very first time. We are renting a farm house in Vermont, and another little salt box in Rhode Island. We can’t wait to live in your world for a moment or two…


    Oh, here’s a link to one of my first posts about this bread

    and then another post about making sea salt from scratch :)


  3. just made it! My house smells so cozy on this rainy day…I’ve posted the recipe on my blog to share the love…of bread. Thank you for inspiring!


  4. this bread turned out so yummy! more successful than the brioche i tried. i am not giving up on the brioche but this bread was so simple i could make it every week.


  5. i’m so glad you wrote about this – i had been meaning to make this bread since i read that story in the times. your loaf looked so great that you inspired me to finally attempt it yesterday/today… and it worked really well even though i used “dry active yeast” thinking that it was the same as “instant yeast”. my bread didn’t rise quite as high as yours but still had a nice hole-y structure and great crustiness. totally worth the 18hour+ wait. am looking forward to making it again with the instant stuff and maybe some rye flour.


  6. Thanks for the inspiration! I’m kind of a rookie with bread making. I just followed this recipe and my loaf turned out pretty good but maybe a little too crusty. Does anyone have thoughts on what I should do differently? Maybe shorter baking time or lower temp?


  7. we’ve been experimenting with bread making since we got married in 2008. this is by far our new favorite! my husband says he’ll be happy if this is all we eat for the remainder of our lives. ha! thanks for sharing, Katy.


  8. I baked my loaf last night in a casserole dish. It came out charmingly square and tasted wonderful. Thanks for the idea!


  9. i’ve always been hopeless when it comes to baking yeasted bread. maybe i will try one more time with this recipe :) your bread looks lovely and delicious.


  10. Looks beautiful! I have been reading Jim Lahey’s book, its such a pleasant read. I am schedule to bake my first loaf this week…thanks for the inspiration.


  11. i make this bread all the time- it is so wonderful! i need another dutch oven though, so i can make this bread and a good, slow-cooked pot roast for the same meal :)


  12. If you can, get this book:
    Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day.

    It involves even less work, and amazing results!


  13. There have been some recent adaptions, such as using warm almost hot water to start, and the addition of a miniute bit of vinegar. Then, less rising time, but the long rise is essential, I think. Wonderful bread.


  14. Katy I am ADDICTED to this bread!! It actually changed my life! I live in the middle of nowhere in Ireland and moved here from New York, I missed many things about NYC but when I discovered this bread it was like a little bit of the city was here with me again! I have been making this bread for about 2 years. I have adapted it a little, I just go straight from bowl to hot pot……. that is I cut out all of step 2 and 3 ……. and it makes no difference at all I promise you, do everything else the same except take the pot out of the oven throw in a little flour then tip in the dough, shake a little flour on the top of the bread, lid on etc. It makes it EVEN easier. Do try and let me know how you get on (sorry for incredibly long comment) x