Not Martha

more no-knead bread

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Another post about the no-knead bread. First a question – it seems the collective opinion is that the 6 to 8 quart covered pot called for in the recipe is too large, it allows the bread to spread out too far creating a flat loaf. I used a 4-quart casserole dish because it’s what I had, and the loaf was a good size. However, for the sake of my holiday wish list I’m wondering if the 3 1/2 Quart Oval Le Creuset French Oven would be a good size and shape. Has anybody used this particular pot, or even the similarly sized 3 1/2 Quart Round Le Creuset French Oven to make the bread? Was it large enough? My thanks, you lucky pot owner you.

And now, the recipe for posterity with the collective changes found on many message boards in general and in this post at Chow and this post at The Kitchen in particular. I’ve made three loaves total and I like the changes, which appear in [brackets]. And here is a printable version.

No-Knead Bread

Appeared in the article The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work by Mark Bittman in the November 8th, 2006 New York Times

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

Time: About 1 1/2 hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

– 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting [I used bread, also suggested is substituting 1 cup whole wheat flour*.]

– 1/4 teaspoon instant [aka Rapid Rise, QuickRise, Instant Active Dry, Perfect Rise, or Bread Machine Yeast] yeast

– 1 1/4 [1 3/4] teaspoons salt

– Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 [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. [I put it on top of my fridge.]

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 [rice flour was suggested as it won’t get gummy**]; 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 [about a 4-quart pot is preferred] 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 [10 or 15] minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1 1/2-pound loaf.

* I tried substituting 1 cup whole wheat white flour and did not prefer the flavor, I have not tried regular whole wheat flour yet.

** I’ve tried flour, cornmeal and wheat bran and prefer the wheat bran so far. Also, seriously overdo the generous coating of the towel, otherwise you risk the dough sticking to the towel during the next step.

update July 12th, 2007, Sharon (thanks Sharon!) emailed a tip that I thought was worth noting here: So it sticks to the towel, to parchment
paper, to my silicon mat, everything. But, I finally found something
that it doesn’t stick to – Reynolds wrap Release non stick foil. I
still have to basically pour the dough off the foil, but it rolls off
instead of glopping and stretching off.

· comments [108] · 11-24-2006 · categories:food · recipes ·

108 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Easy No-Knead Bread - It’s All the Rage! « picky eatings // Mar 13, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    […] The recipe I used was from […]

  • 2 Nancy // Oct 10, 2009 at 9:32 am

    I didn’t have a Le Creuset casserole, so I used a 2.5 quart corning casserole (white with French provincenal style) ith a glass cover and it worked great.

  • 3 Fred // Feb 14, 2010 at 5:58 am

    I have been making no-kneed bread for a year now. I have made a dozen or so batches. The first was under a stainless mixing bowl on top of a pizza stone. It worked great except the baked on whatever on the bowl was a pain to clean off. I quickly bought a 6 qt Lodge Dutch oven and it works great. Needing a second casserole I purchased a $7.99 ceramic 5 Qt casserole at building 19. It works every bit as well, and is much lighter making it easier to move and store. You don’t need a $100 cast iron caserole to make bread. In fact the high cost seems to defeat some of the purpose of cost containment. By ancestry I’m a Scot and somewhat thrifty. For the $90 difference you can but a lot of flower and yeast.

    I’ve also found that you can change the basic recipes a lot. I add a lot of Oatmeal and use a lot of whole wheat and rye flower. I don’t get as much rise as with a 100% white flower but I get great chewey and flovorful bread, much like the europeans enjoy.

    My favorite recipe is:
    1 cup white
    1 cup whole wheat
    1 cup rye
    1/2 cup quick cook oatmeal
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon yeast
    2-3 table spoons caraway seeds

    My wifes favorite recipe is:
    1 1/2 cups white
    1 1/2 cups whole wheat
    1/2 cup quick cook oatmeal
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon yeast
    3 tablespoons brown sugar (or molasses if we have any)
    1/2 cup raisins

    Both baked at 450 for 1/2 hour with cover on and 15 minutes with the cover off.

    I haven’t seen any difference between which caserole the breads are baked in.

  • 4 Fred // Feb 14, 2010 at 6:03 am

    I forgot to mention water. I stick with the 1 1/2 cups water for the 3 cups flower but add another 1/4 cup for the 1/2 cup oatmeal, for a total of 1 3/4 cups warm water for each recipe.

  • 5 Sunday Dinner: Party of Three | ukulele diaries // Apr 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    […] Saturday I tried to make this no-knead bread recipe. All of my favorite bloggers had raved about how easy and simple and foolproof this bread was to make. So easy a four-year-old […]

  • 6 Rhei // Dec 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Hey guys! I’m lateeee to the party but I could really use some pointers. I’ve baked a couple of no knead loaves (each time reading more and more discussions and posts) but the inside of my bread is still a little gummy – it’s a little translucent in fact.

    I use bread flour, let the dough sit for 12 hours (I live in Singapore and the temperature is around 28 Celcius on the average), the dough even sleeps with me in my air-conditioned room (24 Celsius) for the last eight hours. It rises really well, and I bake it at 45o F, 20 minutes covered, 30 minutes uncovered. It rests for 45 minutes…… but every time I cut into it… it’s… just kinda gummy. It’s not inedible, and makes for great croutons… but I’d really like for it to look more cooked and be just a tad lighter and fluffier like some bakers said their’s were. What am I doing wrong? =/ Help? Please?

  • 7 megan // Dec 15, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Rhei – I’m afraid I cannot really say what is going on. From listening to a lot of cooking shows on the radio I know that the protein content of a lot of flour can differ greatly from place to place, maybe you have too much protein? (Is that possible?) Are you preheating the pan you’re baking it in?

  • 8 Rhei // Dec 16, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Thanks Megan! Yea, the pan was blazing hot. =/ No idea if the flour here has too much protein. Will have to do some detective work on that I guess. Think I’ll probably try a kneaded recipe next. Thanks again! xx

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