Thursday, February 13

No-Knead Bread

Bakery-worthy bread can be made at home with this simple recipe

No Knead Bread Recipe

Bread is my desert island food. That is, if I was stranded on a desert island and could only bring a few foods with me, bread is at the top of my list. I've dabbled in breadmaking a few times, but none of the recipes were close to the crusty, perfect boules and loaves I pick up at the market every week. This recipe, which was famously created by Jim Lahey and has been featured on countless websites and cookbooks since, is the closest replica of my ideal bakery-quality bread and is incredibly easy to make. There are only four ingredients and probably all of them, except maybe the yeast, are in your pantry right now. You just have to mix everything together, let it sit, form it into a ball, let it sit, and then bake it. Truthfully, it does require some planning because the whole process takes nearly 24 hours to create (almost all of it is rising time for the dough), but the active time is only about 15 minutes. The wait is well worth it because the bread comes out perfectly: a crunchy brown crust, soft spongy center, and just the right size to slice for sandwiches, snacking, garlic bread, etc.

Tip: To store it, I keep leftovers wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in a resealable bag in an empty microwave. I know it sounds weird, but we have limited counter space and no bread box, so the microwave is the best bet. Leftovers should stay fresh for a couple days, then any remaining stale bread can be turned into croutons.

Related Recipes:
- Crusty Rye Buttermilk Bread
- Easy Homemade Pizza Dough
- Buttermilk Cornbread

No-Knead Bread:
  • Combine 3 c. all-purpose flour with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. dry active yeast in a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir in 1 1/2 c. warm water* until just combined, then cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let the dough sit out at warm room temperature** for 14-18 hours, or until bubbles have formed at the top of the dough and it has grown in size.
  • Scrape the dough out on a floured surface and fold onto itself once. Let sit for 15 minutes under plastic wrap.
  • Add a generous coating of flour to a dry, smooth dish towel.
  • Form the dough into a ball and place on the floured towel, then sprinkle generously with flour and put another clean dish towel on top.
  • Let the dough sit at room temperature for another 2 hours, or until it's doubled in size.
  • Thirty minutes before the dough is ready, place a large dutch oven in the oven and preheat it to 450F.
  • Carefully take the hot pot out of the oven, then carefully add in the dough and shake gently so its evenly distributed.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then take the lid off and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the bread has a golden brown crust on top.
  • Let the bread cool on a wire rack, then slice and serve.

Serves eight or more
*The water should be about body temperature. If it's too hot, it will kill the yeast.
**About 70F. I kept it in the warmest part of my house.

No Knead Bread