Saturday, December 26, 2009

Jim Lahey's No-Knead Bread

I made this? Seriously?  Legitimate artisan bread was crafted by my own hands and pulled out of the oven?  It's true!  I had wanted to try making this bread, especially after trying the speedy version of no-knead bread.  I must say, this is so much better.  It tasted like sourdough and I got beautiful irregular holes:

The only reason I hadn't made this before is because of time constraints.  While the actual time of 'physical labor' need for this bread isn't substantial at all - you still need to let the bread rise for about 18 hours.  My best recommendation (and what I did) is to prepare the dough the night before you plan to bake it, let it rise over night, and in the morning make the bread.  This dough is quite sticky, so make sure to have enough flour on hand to use on your hands and to flour the dough/cotton kitchen cloths.

I used this bread in "over night french toast" for Christmas morning so we would have a nice, hearty, breakfast but without having to take someone away from the family to slave away in the kitchen making breakfast.  I hope to post the recipe ASAP because the recipe received RAVE reviews!

Jim Lahey's No-Knead Bread
Adapted from The New York Times


  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 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. (This is what my dough looked like right before I started working with it... dotted with bubbles)
  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 1 1/2-pound loaf

And a closing photograph - my dog PRAYING for the bread to fall on the ground.  I had to shoot outside because my lightbox is at my house in Ann Arbor:

God Bless Bella!

1 comment:

Me and My Pink Mixer said...

Your bread looks delish - will have to try this soon! Your photo made me laugh - I almost always take my food photo's outside on our deck since the lighting in my kitchen is not very good. The neighbors probably think I'm crazy :)


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