Not Martha

more no-knead bread

round or


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 Heather in MTL // Dec 3, 2006 at 10:50 am

    I was so happy to find out we were going to be able to leave comments, I had to go back to this post.

    The same day I read about your Creuset contemplation (mine belonged to an ex, his mom’s hand me downs- I wish I could have kept them when we split!), I got an ikea flyer in the mail featuring some of their new wares.

    Their enameled cast-iron casseroles might be a great alternative for those that don’t have the cash for their more upscale cousins!”

  • 2 emira // Dec 3, 2006 at 4:06 pm

    You know I’ve been wondering the same thing (about the IKEA ones). I actually just came back from the Gourmet Warehouse where I paid my regular visit to the Kiwi Le Creuset 3 1/2 quart dutch oven. Yum. And I read on the little pamphlet that accompanies it that the plastic on the handle can not handle temperatures above 200C, which is about 392F according to a little web tool I just used. So? Is it in fact the best for the no knead bread? I’m not convinced now. Though I still want it.

  • 3 megan // Dec 3, 2006 at 4:41 pm

    Heather – Oh hey. I considered the Ikea ovens initially but though the 5 quart was too small. I had completely forgotten about them by the time I found out a smaller pot would be better for the bread. I wonder how high heat they can manage, my catalog doesn’t mention anything. It looks like the handle might be cast iron as well though, those might be perfect.

    Emira – 329, really? Yikes. I had read that they say they are ok up to 400 in one place and 450 in another. I read about enough people using Le Creuset for the bread that I figured it would be ok.

    Ok, here we go, according to Le Creueset website for the enameled cast iron ovens: “Pans with metal or heat resistant plastic handles may be used in the oven. The maximum temperature that should be used is 450°F or 232°C.” So it might be ok.

  • 4 Mary // Dec 4, 2006 at 5:14 am

    I put my Le Creuset pot in a 500 degree oven to make this bread and the lid handle now has big chip out of it. You could smell some plastic burning while I heated the pot (the handle is plastic, not metal, and held on with a screw). The handle is still on and usable, but weakened, so next time I’ll make the bread at 450 degrees.

  • 5 megan // Dec 4, 2006 at 8:06 am

    Oh Mary, I’m so sorry to hear that. Thanks for weighing in.

  • 6 emira // Dec 4, 2006 at 8:58 am

    Mary thanks for weighing in on this as well, though I’m very sorry to hear about the damage to your le Creuset. I’m not sure what to think at this point. The pamphlet I read was inside the pot itself… Anyone know if using un-enameled cast iron ovens is fine? I saw one at the camping supply store this weekend that is all cast iron (and therefore surely fine at high temps) for $50 and am tempted. I know you aren’t supposed to use those with any tomato or acid based foods as they’ll react with the pot, but perhaps bread is fine?

  • 7 Jane // Dec 5, 2006 at 4:38 pm

    Cornbread is made in regular cast iron all the time.
    I had wondered the same thing and was going to check out a nearby BassPro, but remembered an old crock pot that I had in the basement. It hasn’t a removeable crock and the edges of the cover are a little rusty, so I’m going to take it apart and try the crock.

  • 8 megan // Dec 6, 2006 at 5:54 pm

    In his follow-up article Mark Bittman recommends that people unscrew the handle from Le Creuset pots before putting them in an oven over 400 degrees. The Ikea pot is looking better.

  • 9 anne // Jan 4, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    i have tried to make the no knead bread three times and it is always doughy and gummy inside. the CRUST is nice and shattery but for me bread is all about the inside! i’m open to constructive critiicism…PLEASE!

  • 10 megan // Jan 4, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Anne – I don’t know much about baking but from the little reading of message boards I’ve done about the no-knead bread the problem often comes from the type of yeast used. Are you using instant yeast? And are you using a high-protein bread flour?

    Otherwise the no-knead bread I’ve made has a very chewy interior, but I like that. The definitely isn’t a type of bread that will soak up liquids. Perhaps this simply isn’t the type of bread you prefer. I suggest trying the recipe for Nigel Slater’s white bread loaf that Amateur Gourmet posted – A Really Good and Very Easy White Loaf.

  • 11 anne // Jan 4, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    i used active yeast but adjusted it to 1/4 tsp as i have read in some of the noknead recipes. i have not been using the correct flour though….what’s a widely available high protein flour?(i’m sure you’ve been over this a million times).
    i like the chewy bread. clearly this is a case of operator error.

  • 12 megan // Jan 4, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    Anne – I use King Arthur Bread Flour (blue bag) which I find at a local grocery store (QFC). I cannot find bread flour at my local Safeway store, so you might need to look around. Good luck, I hope this helps out.

  • 13 anne // Jan 5, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    so is the yeast substitute okay or should i look for the real deal? this will be my last question. i’m bound and determined and no knead bread is my grail!
    thanks for your help!

  • 14 megan // Jan 6, 2007 at 1:10 am

    Anne – I’m not certain. You might need to wake up your yeast first?

  • 15 Sara // Jan 6, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    We got the Mario Battali Dutch Oven which has a metal handle and is good to at least 500 degrees. We use it for this recipe. It works well.

    To anyone sitting on the fence for any reason — just do it! Three cups of flour plus the tiny amount of yeast, salt and water is a trivial price to pay to try this recipe out. And when it works, it’s as great as Mark Bittman promises.

  • 16 Cricket // Jan 10, 2007 at 11:23 am

    My husband and I started our no-knead baking career over the New Year’s weekend and have made about 8 loaves since (sometimes two at a time). We use an oval enamel-coated cast iron dutch oven (I’m not ure if it’s 3.5 or 4 quarts) I found at a yard sale for $2. Given how often we use it, it’s not surprising that it’s beginning to discolor, but given our meager investment, we don’t much care, as long as it doesn’t completely fall apart. We *don’t* use our La Creuset pieces; the plastic knob is an issue, and also it’s too beautiful and expensive to abuse. So we keep it on top of the stove for making the soup that we like to eat with the bread! My brother uses an old-fashioned cast iron pot (no enamel coating) with much success. For Anne: Bittman says any type of yeast will work. We’ve tried both instant and some other kind and they worked equally well. So far, even the less-than-perfect loaves have been delicious, so just get started on your own no-knead learning curve!

  • 17 megan // Jan 10, 2007 at 11:37 am

    Cricket – thanks so much!

  • 18 Cathy // Jan 11, 2007 at 7:31 am

    I’ve made several loaves (nearly one per day for 5 weeks). I use a le Crueset cast iron pot that has enamal on the exterior, but plain cast iron on the inside. It works great. I assume an all-cast iron pot would be fine. (In a pinch I used a stainless steel pot with glass lid – it worked well.)
    I have found great success in substituting some of the white flour with semolina flour (really good with sesame seeds on top), and also substituting about 1/2 cup of flour with 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour.
    Sesame seeds work very well in place of corn meal in the final step before baking.
    I increase the recipe by 25% (4 cups flour, 17 oz water, etc), which seems to fit in the large pots better. I even shaped it into an oblong loaf and roasted it in a cheap enamal roaster w/lid (the black speckled kind), and it was great.
    Also, I have found cooking with convection at 425 degrees (rather than thermal baking at 450 degrees) makes a wonderful, thin, chewing crust — a nice variation.
    A few evenings ago we took the proofed dough and made pizza out of it (after the 18 hours of rising). It was really good – better than most pizza dough recipes.
    Have fun with the recipe. We’ve tried lots of variations, and haven’t failed yet.

  • 19 I’m late on this, but bread. at All That And A… // Jan 14, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    […] Ever since I read the NYTimes story on no-knead bread, I’ve gotten a hankering for cast-iron cookware. Supposedly, cast iron dutch ovens are the way to go for this wonderous bread. AT has a good collection on blogs who have commented on it here. I would give you the NYTimes story, but it’s been archived. Not Martha has the recipe here, though. […]

  • 20 » Blog Archive » No-Knead Bread // Jan 17, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    […] Damn this bread looks good! My sister made this and I just had to know how she did it so she sent along the link to Not Martha to get the recipe. Check it out. She says it is the easiest bread she has ever made and it tastes amazing. UMMMMMM Carbs I love bread and chips!!! Also the Not Martha site in general is a really cool site for bakers and crafters alike. […]

  • 21 Honest-Planet » Blog Archive » I hope it tastes as good as it looks. // Jan 18, 2007 at 10:15 am

    […] I made this today. We will be eating it tonight. Doesn’t it look absolutely scrumptious? And let me tell you… it couldn’t have been any easier. […]

  • 22 Gardenia // Jan 18, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    I just love the recipe. I do have a question about the crust, though. It is always crusty — but some times the curst is thin and crusty while other times it is thick and a bit too hard. Why? Please share your remedies. I bake at 450F for the first 30min with lid on (a thick stainless steel dutch oven about 6 qt) and take off the lid for about 15 min. Looking forward to hear your suggestions. Thanks.

  • 23 megan // Jan 19, 2007 at 12:04 am

    Gardenia – Unfortunately I do not know. I seem to get a thick crust most of the time, I live in Seattle where it is rainy and humid.

  • 24 Barbara // Jan 21, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Okay, so like a lot of others, I have tried this bread many, many times now, and the results have been good to superb. Our favorite variation is a raisin pecan bread with the following: 2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
    1/2 C. whole wheat flour
    1/4 tsp yeast
    1 1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp cinammon
    2/3 C. raisins
    1/2 C. toasted chopped pecans
    1 5/8 C. tepid water

    I mix all of this together at the inital step. Also, when I uncover the bread after 30 minutes, I brush the top with 1 Tb. melted butter.

    You’ll love this bread!!

  • 25 Indie Shopper » Baking is Fun! // Feb 6, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    […] Speaking of baking…I am, at this very moment, trying out Not Martha’s No Kneed Bread (actually, I think it belongs to NY Times but I found out about it on Not Martha). I will be using my cute apple cooker that I found at Marshall’s for 20 bucks! I originally bought it because it was so cute and such a deal but I’ve actually used it quite often. It perfect for making a stew or soup. We’ll see how it works out with the bread. _______________________ […]

  • 26 Indie Shopper » Baking Is Fun! part 2 // Feb 6, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    […] Just some quick notes on the No Kneed Bread trial… […]

  • 27 Marie Gunther // Feb 8, 2007 at 11:08 am

    I do not have the type of pot recommended. All of my cooking pots are AllClad and I do love them. I decided to use a really deep dish apple pie pan and made an aluminum foil “hat” for it. I gave it lots of room to expand upwards and it did. It did not spread out at all. The results were wonderful.
    I was in Europe for Christmas and after and was tempted to buy some French white flour. I now regret that I did not. So, next trip, later this Spring, I plan to bring back a bag of flour and see what happens.

  • 28 anne // Feb 15, 2007 at 10:13 am

    for those of you keeping track at home i had my first success. i don’t know what the difference was..planets in alignment..but it was very delicious and gone in a jiffy!
    i’ve got a half whole wheat loaf percolating !wish me luck.

  • 29 Cupcakes // Feb 16, 2007 at 2:43 am

    My chefmate pot turned from fire engine red to a nice deep burgundy color after i made the bread…this happen to you?

  • 30 megan // Feb 16, 2007 at 11:02 am

    The last time I made no knead bread I was using my red Chefmate pot to make pasta sauce. I’m so sorry to hear that it changes color!

  • 31 MVB // Feb 21, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    I used my Le Creuset dutch oven (enameled inside, purchased ca. 1990) with no problem–covered the handle with foil and put the oven temp slightly below 450 and all was well. I’m not sure which size it is (stamped with a 22, lid is about 8.5″ across), but the loaf size is fine. I tried the recipe once the normal way, which was nice but sorta bland, and then again trading the yeast for 1/4 c of sourdough starter (fed and revved up), and it turned out beautifully.

  • 32 DEBBIE // Feb 25, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    I use either an All-Clad stainless steel pan with a domed lid or if I’m making two loaves use a large pyrex casserole dish with a lid. Both work equally well and neither are particularly large (or have any handle issues.) Also I often drizzle the bread with olive oil after taking off the lid and returning to the oven.

  • 33 Dori // Mar 9, 2007 at 2:26 am

    I just found a Chefmate red pot at Target and was going to use it this weekend. You mentioned that it turned color. How was the bread and would you recommend the pot?

  • 34 megan // Mar 9, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Hello Dori,

    I have not yet used mine for baking bread, but one person left a comment saying her pot looked darker after she used it for bread. Other people responded saying the Target pot turns dark when heated that high, but returns to it’s original color. (I hear similar things happen to the Le Creuset pots.)

    Do remove the Chefmate lid handle before you put it in an oven over 350. Some people replace it with a stainless steel cabinet handle, some use a nut, bolt and a few washers, other people say they simple stuff the hole with tin foil and carefully remove the lid.

    Have fun.

  • 35 Jada // Mar 9, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    I didn’t care for the high prices on the various cast iron pots around town; enameled and otherwise. Then one day I wandered into Ikea and there they were! They are red ,enamel on the outside and I guess preseasoned on the inside. You boil a combination of milk and vegetable oil before first use. I bought two large ones for less than the price of one not so large Le Cruset. Try 1/2 to 3/4 cup roughly cut calamata olives and 1tbs chopped rosemary in the white bread, olives and rosemary into dry mixture then add the 1 5/8 cup water. Fabulous! Also, I personally marinate calamata olives in olive oil, rosemary, orange peel, garlic, thyme, oregano, peppercorns, and a touch of sherry vinegar.

  • 36 megan // Mar 9, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Jada – The Ikea ones are a matte black enamelled interior (according to their site) so you don’t have worry about rusting. I liked the look of those very much, but the round one seemed to small, and the larger size is oval, where I wanted round. Also, I like having the offwhite interior color so I can see what is cooking easier (I’m a newbie when it comes to thinks like caramelizing onions). But one good thing about the Ikea pots, the handles are also cast iron so you don’t have to worry about them in a hot oven.

  • 37 Sassy Priscilla's Craft and Life Journal // Mar 12, 2007 at 10:28 am

    No Knead Bread…

    Here is my No Knead Bread loaf in my $16.50 Used Le Creuset pot found on eBay. This recipe appeared in a New York Times article last fall. I first heard about it on Not Martha. It spread like wildfire…

  • 38 Sassy Priscilla's Craft and Life Journal // Mar 16, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    No Knead Bread – Round 2…

    click any image to enlarge. click twice to taste. click three times and you’ll back in Kansas. I made another stab at the No Knead Bread. I followed the adapted recipe posted by Megan at Not Martha. I was a…

  • 39 Pancho // Mar 19, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Like many around the world, I got hooked on baking bread by trying the recipe in the original NY Times article, but found it cumbersome and time consuming, plus not spontaneous. Fortunately, I found the following much faster basic recipe on a yeast packet, and then adapted it: mix one cup room temperature water with one cup unbleached white or whole wheat flour and one packet of yeast…let stand for one hour then add the mix-ins: 1.5 teaspoons salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cups flour (I go half unbleached organic white and half whole wheat, preferring King Arthur) and let that sit for one hour, then bake at 350 for one hour until temperature reaches 200-205 or so, and I use a food thermometer that announces the temperature through a remote transmitter so you don’t have to open the oven repeatedly to check (available at “Bed Bath and Beyond”).

    I have had great results with this, and have modified it to my taste, replacing the sugar with 3-4 tablespoons grade B maple syrup, and upping the olive oil to 3-4 tablespoons. I also toast raw unsalted nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans or walnuts) in the toaster oven for 5 minutes then chop them to quite small bits and mix them in, so they essentially form part of the flour rather than being called out as nuts…and usually chop calamata olives or sundried tomatoes and stir them in for extra flavor. I add two ounces of water when mixing in the dry nuts to help blend them in. I have tried various baking forms and prefer the rectangular, non-stick high sided breadpan (also sold at Bed Bath and Beyond) rather than the heavy baking pans mentioned in these blogs which require sprinkling the pan with raw flour, which sticks to the finished product. Nothing sticks to the non-stick aluminum pans, they are inexpensive and perform well.

    I have also experimented with a higher temperature, like 375 degrees at around 50 minutes, and find it provides a harder crust, which is quite nice with the nut and olive bread versions. I sometime prepare a double recipe and cook one half right away for that evening’s dinner and save the other (loosely covered) in the refrigerator for the next day.

  • 40 Max // Mar 25, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    When my Le Creuset handle broke in half (not in the oven; just a lemon handle I guess!), I wrote them asking how to get a replacement and fully expected to hear there would be some exorbitant Le Creuset-scale charge. Instead they sent me *two* new handles for free. Just ask!

  • 41 Lucy // Mar 26, 2007 at 10:44 am

    It is so exciting to see this bread breading accros the internet. It is such a fabulous recipe. It is so nice to be able to make a bread from home that rivals bakery breads it texture and flavor.

  • 42 Anna // Mar 27, 2007 at 9:38 am

    To solve the problem of dough sticking to the towel, is use a (clean of course) pillowcase sprinkled with cornmeal. Flop the bread onto it sprinkle a little more cornmeal on top of the dough and fold the case over the dough. I have made the no-knead dozens of times, and because the case is smooth I’ve never once had the sticking issue. Also, the Le Creuset will turn a deep color at high temp, but restores as it cools down. Expect discoloration of your cookware over time, it’s all part of the process.

  • 43 Jenne // Mar 28, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    I have the Chefmate pot from Target and it does get darker when it heats up, but it returns to the original color when it cools down, no problem.

    I just remove the knob and cover the hole in the lid with foil–that also seems to work fine.

    Rather than rising the bread on a towel, I put it in a glass bowl lightly rubbed with olive oil. That way it’s a lot easier to drop it into the pot and it bakes up higher in the oven.

    I did a flaxseed loaf too, and I thought it was great! I also agree that the white whole wheat flour was not especially good.

    I’ll have to try the olive-rosemary loaf–sounds delicious, plus finally something else to do with my enormous rosemary bush!

  • 44 Heather // Apr 4, 2007 at 7:14 am

    Today I made No-Knead in a gallon ziploc bag. After the initial 12 hour rise in the bag (which nearly exploded), I scraped the sides, added flour, shook it around and then added cornmeal and made sure the bottom was nicely coated to prevent sticking. It’s now doing it’s final 3 hour rise and getting ready to go into the NASA-hot oven. It saves a heap of mess to do it all in the ziploc bag.

  • 45 Miss Sassy // Apr 8, 2007 at 10:11 am

    Great tip, Heather! I use a flexible cutting board to let it rise on – no more messy towels. I think I’m going to try the olive oil coated bowl, too. I made some Rosemary salt and am going to substitute that for the regular salt.

  • 46 Michelle // Apr 8, 2007 at 7:21 pm

    Didn’t anyone on the planet notice the Le Creuset that Lahey used? The handle was gone and a wad of foil filled the hole. Problem solved.

  • 47 megan // Apr 8, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    Michelle – It’s pretty common knowledge that you can remove the handle and plug the hole with foil. I myself find that would exponentially increase the chance that I would badly burn myself, something I can do quite well without extra help. I wrote a post about phenolic know alternatives here.

  • 48 Jem // Apr 22, 2007 at 11:43 am

    I found a lovely pot by Rachael Ray. Cast iron enamel covered. It was on sale at my local home store. I went to my hardware store and replaced the lid handle with a b.b.q. high heat handle. It looks really funky and stands up to the higher heat of the oven. It will also work to bake in the b.b.q. this summer, when it’s too hot inside to bake this wonderful bread. By the way, the pot is oval, 3 1/2 qt. and does a great job.

  • 49 At Home with kim vallee // May 1, 2007 at 7:06 am

    I have to buy a cast iron pot to make the bread. So I am glad to have found here so many comments to lead my choice.

  • 50 Carol // May 7, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    I just made this bread using a white corningwear straight sided 2.5 quart casserole with a glass lid as it was the only thing I could find without plastic or teflon to use. I lined it with non-stick foil as I was afraid it might stick and it worked perfectly. My dough was on the dry side to start with as I misread the 3 1/3 cups of flour for 3.5 and I added extra water. I also used 1/4 heaping tsp of machine bread yeast. There is a lot of leeway in this recipe. My family finished this bread in one evening and wanted more!

  • 51 Michelle // May 16, 2007 at 12:29 am

    I know this was all a while back but I thought I’d weigh in on the pot debate.

    I decided my cast iron pot might be a bit too big so I chose instead my $15 chinese hotpot (The kind you get chinese and vietnamese hotpots served in). It work perfectly and if it ever gets damaged it’s just a quick trip to chinatown for a new one and no real loss. You can kinda see the pot in the photo on my blog.

  • 52 megan // May 16, 2007 at 8:25 am

    Thanks Michelle!

  • 53 Allie // Jun 23, 2007 at 7:33 am

    Save your pennies: I’ve made dozens of perfect loaves in the last six months (during winter in the midwest), using corningware, an enameled steel casserole, an All-Clad saucepan . . . nothing *doesn’t* work.

  • 54 Shawn Harris // Jul 28, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    I followed the NY Times recipe to the letter. However, after the 18 hours was up, I poured the dough out, and it was so runny that it ran off my work surface. I used 3 cups flour and 1 5/8 cups water. Is that right, or should I have used less water? Thanks.

  • 55 megan // Jul 31, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Shawn – I myself use 1 1/2 cups water instead, and I’m fairly careful to be on the scant side of that. Otherwise yes, the dough is really quite runny. I didn’t knead it the first time I made it, just turned it out into a bowl with a Silpat shoved into it for the second rise.

  • 56 Davey // Sep 11, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    I’ve been making no knead whole wheat bread since last winter. After trying to make good whole wheat by hand-kneading, mixer, and bread machine with mediocre results, I’m finally regularly making bread better than anything I can buy.

    I adapted the basic recipe as follows: 3.5 cups whole wheat bread flour, .5 cups unbleached white, .5 tsp dry yeast (not instant, I don’t think — I bought it bulk some time ago at Wholefoods.), about 2 cups water, or as needed to make a soft but not runny dough. It rises 18-20 hours, then again 2 hours. The second rise seems more important to the quality than it does with all or mostly white flour.

    I top it with rolled oats or millet, etc., and pumkin or sunflower seeds.

    Bake in a preheated ceramic crockpot liner at 460, 35 min covered, 13 uncovered. This gives a nice light loaf with a great crisp crust. I could probably forget the white flour altogether, but like the results I get now.

    For those who don’t want to buy a dutch oven, the crockpot liner works just great. After breaking my old one while washing it, I found the current one for 8 or 10 bucks at a local resale shop. It has a glass lid, but the former one didn’t so I just used an old heavy aluminum pot lid.

    Now my question, at last: the bread is great, but I tried to adapt it for pizza and got a very tough and disappointing result. Anybody figure this one out?

  • 57 Janice // Sep 22, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    I bought an oval ceramic Le Creuset casserole (with a lid) from the clearance section of Amazon and this pot makes the best version of the bread. It’s evem better than Le Creuset metal roasters.

  • 58 trex // Oct 10, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    i have been making no-knead bread for a year; cannot count the number of loaves I have made. I have found that the LeCrueset bread (handle removed) makes a loaf w/ a much crustier crust while my all Clad cooked bread makes a much softer crust which I perfer for sandwiches. I make two batches following Mark Bittman’s original recipe exactly and use both pots for the two different results. Also, Mark Bittman did do a follow up with some additional notes. NY Times is now free for past articles, so search for no-knead bread and see both articles. try it and enjoy!

  • 59 Tommy // Oct 23, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Great posts here. I love all the help each of you give. So, wanted to share my little experience. I’ve made dozens of loaves now. And, I use an old fashion ‘boston baked bean’ pot. It works great, I use the 475 degrees with the cover on and reduce to 450 degrees with the cover off.
    Hope this helps someone with pot selections, bean pots are often found at garage sales and thrift stores for just a couple dollars.

  • 60 Mary // Oct 28, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Lots of great info here and I’m new to this.
    I have 2 options for pots…a regular, old fashioned, cast iron dutch oven, 5 quart, or a LeCrueset cast iron dutch oven that’s enamal lined and ok for heat to 450, 3 quart.
    Any recommendations before I make my first test run on which is better to use, in particular size wise, and should I “grease” either one?

  • 61 T Vilberg // Nov 6, 2007 at 6:19 am

    I have been making no-knead bread for the past year in cast-iron pots with great results.

    I have also experimented with a “multi-grain” bread made a la Bittman except I substitute 3/4 cup of white flour with 1/2 cup of multigrain hot cereal mix and 1/4 cup of oatmeal. I add a tablespoon of gluten and a bit more water than called for. Also, after placing the bread in the cast-iron pan, I sprinkle oatmeal on the top, then slash the crust (with a scissors). The oat gives the bread a wonderfully warm, nutty, aroma as it bakes (and later, if you toast it).

  • 62 Kelley // Nov 10, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that I use a 5qt chefmate (target) 19.99 cast iron pan (not enameled) with excellent results. The lid handle is plastic but works to bake at 450 with no problems, for over a year.

    Also not to plug that store but when looking for the brand name I noticed they too have several enameled cast iron ovens for about 50$.

  • 63 jude // Nov 14, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    I have been adapting the recipe using up to half rye flour, adding caraway seed, increasing the yeast a bit with mostly great and delicious results.
    I am wondering about cooking time if I double the recipe.

  • 64 alison edgar // Nov 27, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    I have made this recipe a bunch of times and here are my tips, let it rise in a glass(or pyrex) bowl covered with plastic wrap. Instead of the whole floured towel thing, take your lightly floured hand and pull the dough from the sides of the bowl, the bubbles will deflate, dough is still very wet. It is impossible to get it off the towel so just leave it in the bowl. When it’s time to bake it, I use a 7.5 Qt le creuset OVAL dutch oven (unscrew and remove black knob)and heat it in oven as it preheats. Make sure your pan is long enough to hold a 1 pound loaf pan. Pour very wet dough into loaf pan and put that into the dutch oven with the lid on. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes and romove lid, bake another 15 minutes. It also bakes up into a nice round loaf if you use the LC 3.5 QT round or heart pan(without the loaf pan). Also, I found that increasing the salt to 2 tspns and sprinkling a little chunky sea salt on top makes it even more delicious!!! Enjoy

  • 65 Morgana McCade // Nov 29, 2007 at 10:58 am

    I usually use a 3 qt. oval Corningware casserole with glass lid with great results. I don’t even wash it. Just wipe out the crumbs. It doesn’t stick and just waits in the oven until the next loaf. It has become stained but, since it’s the dedicated bread pot, it doesn’t matter.

    Cook’s Illustrated this month has an article on No-Knead Bread. Instead of 1 1/2 c. water, they used 3/4 c. plus 2 T. water. Then they added white vinegar (1 T.) and a little beer (1/4 c. plus 2 T.) to add a little more taste.

    It was great, probably the best I’ve made. I used Bud Light, since that was the only mild-flavored lager I had. CI suggested mild lager and we usually have ales or porters on hand.

    A great suggestion from Cook’s Ilustrated is to let the dough do it’s second rising after shaping on a 12 X 18 piece of parchment paper sprayed with Pam and placed inside a 10″ skillet. Let it rise there for 2 hours lightly covered with plastic wrap. The skillet keeps it from spreading out too much. Then when your cooking pot is hot (this time I used a 5qt. Mario Batali Dutch Oven) lift up the parchment paper and set the whole thing, dough and parchment, in the pot. Cover and bake, 30 minutes covered, and 20-30 uncovered. When the loaf is done, just lift out the parchment and the bread comes out easily.

  • 66 cara // Dec 4, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    I bought the Ikea enameled pot (the smaller one) awhile ago because I can’t afford Le Creuset, and I love it! It was perfect for making this bread, and perfect for stews and stuff.

  • 67 Rose Lynn // Dec 22, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    The Cooks Illustrated changes are great. I’ve been making a whole wheat version of this bread now for a year….lots of variations, too. With whole wheat flour (I usually use King Arthur’s), you will need a bit more liquid. I do not mix in any white flour. The Cook’s Illustrated version with the vinegar and the lager beer and especially the parchment paper was terrific, with whole wheat.
    I use cast iron Dutch ovens (sizes 2, 8, 9 and the HUGE # 13) I just doubled or quadrupled the recipe.
    Using the Rapid Rise yeast gives abad flavor, use regular yeast…and just wait over-night. Beautiful bread, healthy, great taste.

  • 68 Pat Alexander // Dec 23, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    I use the 2 3/4 qt. Le Creuset oval. I even increased the flour to 3 1/2 cups and use 1 1/2 cups water. It fills the pot and has never hit the lid. It also gives me a slice size that fits in my #8 cast iron pan for grilled cheese.

  • 69 Pat Alexander // Dec 23, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    I read more posts and have more to share.

    I replaced my Le Creuset handle with a solid (not hollow) ordinary round cabinet handle. Find someone with a tap and die set and they’ll retap it to your Le Creuset screw. They should do this for the price of a loaf as it is very easy. Le Creuset even sells a metal knob for $7.95 USD.

    Make whole wheat breads with some orange juice. The whole wheat bread board recommends this to improve taste.

    Don’t store your fabulous crusty bread in a plastic bag, that will make your crust soft. Store the bread on it’s cut end and throw a dishtowel over it. You could sew up a bread towel for more fancy storage but I haven’t yet.

    I heat my oven to 425° for only 12 minutes with my pot in the oven. I also turn my oven off 7 minutes before I quit baking. Why heat the oven even one minute longer than you have to?

  • 70 Pat Alexander // Dec 23, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    One more thing, I grind oatmeal, or any grain for the topping, in my coffee grinder. Flax seed works too.

  • 71 Susan // Dec 28, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    I just made the CI bread – it is FANTASTIC!!! I used my mom’s le creuset, but have just ordered an oblong cast iron dutch oven so I can have an elongated loaf – easier to serve whole slices. I hope it works!

  • 72 thehumblecook // Dec 29, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Hey, I tried both the Bittman/Lahey bread and the new Cook’s Illustrated improved No-Knead Bread from their Feb 2008 issue… Check my site for comparisons:

    For the NYT’s recipe, I used 1 5/8 cups water, but in practice for myself I use less, but more than 1 1/2 cups… comparison

  • 73 Loren Brown // Dec 30, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    I’m past 100 loaves by now and love making this bread.

    I borrowed an Emile Henry large oval pot ($250?) until I bought the $50 one at Ikea.

    My variation is this: I do the second rise on a smooth surfaced tray with lots of flour. When it’s time to put the dough in the pre-heated pot, I flour my left hand with the excess flour on the tray next to the loaf, then I slide a 12 inch wide plastic drywall finishing knife (used exclusively for bread) around under the loaf with my right hand and tip it onto my left hand, and transfer it to the hot pot. This puts the folded side up and works great.

  • 74 Randy Francisco // Jan 2, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    A word to the wise. If you use the Chefmate brand enameled dutch oven and if you pre-heat to 500 degrees, some enamel is likely to flake off on the pot. Mine did. I will go back to the all cast iron d.oven, which will not crack, chip or peel.

  • 75 Margaret Scott // Jan 8, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    I bought the 3 qt. enameled cast iron pot from Ikea, but they also have a 5 qt. Any thoughts on which one would work best? I can return the smaller one if necessary…

  • 76 megan // Jan 9, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Margaret – It depends on what you want to cook in it, the oval pot is good for roasting larger birds or roasts, the round pot might be better for stovetop use. If the 3 qt. pot seems big enough for what you’ll use it for then it’s fine.

  • 77 Margaret Scott // Jan 9, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Sorry I wasn’t clear…I really want to make the no-knead bread in it. I’ve been dying to make it, but have been trying to get the “right” pot first. I have an 8 qt. Le Creuset, but I think that’s too big.

  • 78 megan // Jan 9, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Ah, either Ikea pot should be fine.

  • 79 Propagatrix // Feb 19, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    I made this for the first time last night using an old 4-qt. Pyrex mixing bowl (the old primary-colored nesting ones). Just happened to have a clear Pyrex lid that fit the bowl exactly. Worked beautifully!

  • 80 Karen Newcombe // Mar 18, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Yesterday (17-March-08I found a large cast iron enameled Dutch oven at TJ Maxx for $49 clearance price. The brand is “Outset” – whatever that is – never heard of it before. Probably 7 quarts or so, it has stainless steel handles, is enameled inside and out, and I made a NKB loaf in it today that came out perfectly. The stainless handles stood up to the 500 degree oven just fine. It is indeed large and makes a wider, flatter loaf, but when I want a higher rounder loaf I can always use my good old Pyrex casserole.

  • 81 Beth Battista // Mar 22, 2008 at 8:41 am

    I have made the no-knead bread about 8 times now. I use the recipe by Mark Bittman, but it calls for 3 and one third cups of flour. It always seems dry, so I add a bit of water. I have never made a loaf that would fit into a 3-4 qt. dutch oven as the recipe calls for. I always use a 12 inch cast iron skillet with a glass lid from another pot. It usually does spread to fill up the pan, but the one I am making at this very moment did not fill up the pan. I gave this one an extra fold than what is called for. Am I doing something wrong that I am unable to make a loaf that would fit into a 3-4 quart pot? I have also found that the last few times, my crust softens as the bread cools and I am not sure why? Any suggestions?

  • 82 Ellen // Mar 30, 2008 at 6:38 am

    My 10th loaf of no-knead bread is in the oven now. This time, it is an olive loaf, made with cured kalamata olives. I use a 3-quart, square Pyrex lidded pot. It works perfectly. The result is a lovely domed top loaf.

  • 83 sherrieg // Apr 1, 2008 at 9:46 am

    There’s a NY Times video clip here which might be helpful to someone (I didn’t see it any other comments, but it may be there. Sorry if I’m repeating!)
    I think I’ll try this very soon!

  • 84 Susan Robinson // May 1, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    ok – here is the deal – I am now on about my 20-30th loaf – I use 475 F – i put the dough out on a floured plastic cutting board, I use a pyrex casserole or a cast iron dutch oven (maybe a bit better but not much) I use 1 tsp of regular yeast – have tried rapid rise – not much diff – use 3 cup flour, 1.5 tsp salt, 1 tsp salt 1/1/2 cup warmish H20 – perfect every time – after 1st rise add handfull of asiagon cheese and aprox 1/4 cup jalepeno for variation – never had googy – pretty much always perfect – ps also ok with 1 cup white wheat – this recipe has changed my life – love it

  • 85 Edie Burns // May 11, 2008 at 8:52 am

    I have been making no-kneed for a year and love it.My grown married kids love it also,soooo who has to supply their wants,mother dearest.The only problem I have it sticks to a very well flowered smooth kitchen towel.Please give me some advice somebody.Thanks

  • 86 abby // May 12, 2008 at 9:12 am

    I am using a Martha Stewart Collection enameled cast iron dutch oven – the 5.5 quart size. It seems to be just right. The first time I made this bread it seemed really bland once the novelty of hot bread wore off – I have been experimenting with add-ins ever since. My most successful: a teaspoon extra salt, two handfuls of oats, a handful of flaxseed, and 1/4 cup honey added to the batter before first rise. SO delicious.

  • 87 abby // May 12, 2008 at 9:12 am

    p.s. the MS oven I got at Macy’s… was $60 but on sale for $40! super steal!

  • 88 pym // May 15, 2008 at 8:03 am

    hope someone can help. just finished baking first time loaf. let it cook 30 min with covered dutch oven then 15 mins without cover and its good but the crust is way too hard. i am senior citizen and my teeth not in great condition and i was afraid i’d break one of the few remaining teeth i have.
    what can i do to ensure a less crusty top???
    thank you

  • 89 zyx // May 17, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    After letting the bread cool down, place it in a plastic zip-lock bag for a few days. That should help soften it up.Hope this helps!

  • 90 Michael // May 21, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    While I love this recipe, mine rises inconsistently.

    It rises great up-untill I remove the 6.5gt dutch over cover

    More often than not when I remove the cover it is only about 2-1/2″ in hight. Other times it rises to about 5-1/2″

    Help, help…

  • 91 Jennie // May 23, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    In my search for the perfect pan for this fabulous bread, I found the best one is from K-Mart, the small Martha Stewart speckled enamel roasting pan. It is the exact size needed and makes an oval loaf. At $9.00 this is preferable the Le Crueset and I bake three loaves at a time in my oven. Also I put the dough on parchment paper rather than the towel and spray the hot pan with Pam to prevent sticking.

    I have even made multiple loaves (6) when doing a dinner party for forty and baked them 3 at a time then just reheated the pans for a few minutes for the second batch.

    Today I am trying 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat flour. Doesn’t it need sugar?
    Any experiences with this?

  • 92 Isabel // Jun 2, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Ive been making this since the NYT article came out, and it has evolved over the year +

    POTS: I use a cheap disposable aluminum foil loaf pan (rectangular) to get a loaf I can slice for sandwiches. I cover it snugly with aluminum foil and am fine. No need to spend big bucks on fancy bakeware.

    FLOUR: I use 50% – 70% stone ground whole wheat (a very fine flour), it is amazingly delicious.

    INCLUSIONS: I have thrown in everything I could think of from time to time: walnuts & almonds; sunflower & pumpkin seeds; dried fruit; fried onions; etc etc

    RISING: I use an old pillowcase, since all my kitchen towels are terry. I dust with whatever I have around – sesame seeds, bran, oatmeal, sometimes sunflower seeds too; usually a mixture of the above.


  • 93 Sharon // Jun 9, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    I sampled this bread at a friend’s house two weeks ago, and can’t get it out of my mind. My very first attempt is loafing on the kitchen counter this very moment. Anyone care to comment about how much weight you’ve gained since you started baking this bread?

  • 94 NKotB to the NKB « resistance is fertile // Jul 4, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    […] add my voice to the hugely gigantic chorus, no tidal wave, no really more like a tsunami, of blogs, forums, articles, and even baking guru Rose Levy Beranbaum extolling the virtues of the NKB. […]

  • 95 Judy // Jul 14, 2008 at 5:51 am

    For everyone that is using Aluminum Foil to line their pots or fill the handle holes. Please stop…Autopsys of people who suffered from Alzheimers, showed huge amounts of aluminum in their brains. Not Good.

  • 96 Darlene // Jul 30, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I haven’t read all the posts so this might have been suggested already, but for those who want an inexpensive idea for baking your bread – just use the ‘crock’ part of your crockpot. Works perfectly!

  • 97 Awsmile // Aug 10, 2008 at 5:38 am

    A mess to make? Stick it in your bread machine, set it on dough, and leave it for 18 hours. It’s no more messy than any other dough. Anything I want to mix but don’t want the mess – biscotti’s a good one – goes in my bread machine on the dough cycle. Also, I do the second step in a bowl with parchment paper, then just leave it on it to transfer to the pan. It doesn’t burn in the oven and nothing sticks – an idea I got from Cook’s Illustrated. Love the bread.

  • 98 Kathleen // Sep 28, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    I haven’t tried this no-knead bread in a dutch oven or crock yet, and instead use a tall bread pans made from silicone. They seem to work OK too – just have to be careful not to put in too much at a time! It doesn’t look all that rustic, but it’s easy for sandwiches and toast. (Not that much of it ever gets to toast stage!)

  • 99 Shannon // Nov 9, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    I saw a video of them making this bread on a different website and messed up the ingredients (added 1 1/4 tsp yeast and they didn’t say anything about it resting an additional 2 hrs before putting it in the oven.) despite these flaws, the bread had a nice hard crust and didn’t taste too bad. I’m sure when I make it correctly…yes there will be a next time…it will taste much better. I thought that with the whole wheat though, it would have been better if it had some molassus or honey added to it. Has anyone added this with good results?

  • 100 Clifford Cooley // Nov 12, 2008 at 12:44 pm


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

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

  • 102 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.

  • 103 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.

  • 104 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.

  • 105 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 […]

  • 106 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?

  • 107 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?

  • 108 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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