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No Knead Bread

This no-knead bread is just incredible. This bread is so easy, anyone can make it, but it tastes like an artisan-crafted bread. This bread is almost sourdough-like in taste, but has an airy texture that is quite frankly amazing. I have never made bread so good. Thanks to Jim Lahey, you too can make this bread.

bread with crispy crust
This recipe was developed by Jim Lahey from Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City. He was able to create a bread recipe that will have the most inexperienced bread breaker making some of the most delicious bread in their life. What makes this recipe so incredible? The very long rise—this bread may rise up to 18 hours. What does a long rise get you? This flavorful and tangy bread, with an incredible crust.

The cooking technique is also unique. The bread is baked in a Dutch oven with the lid on for a portion of the baking time. What does this do? It helps to replicate the baking ovens in a bakery. In a bakery, some ovens inject steam into the oven while it is baking. Home ovens do not have such a feature. It is the steam that makes this bread incredible.

So if you have never baked bread before, you can make this bread, and it isn’t difficult at all. There is no kneading, nothing complicated about this recipe at all. If you can measure, stir, and follow some very basic directions, you are going to have some of the most delicious bread you have ever had in your life. If you are a more experienced baker, be aware that the dough is going to be spongy, and very sticky, and you can leave it alone.

This recipe has just four ingredients: flour, salt, yeast, and water. You use just a tiny amount of yeast. I use SAF brand because I like the way it tastes. I also used King Arthur flour because I love the density of any baked good when you use this flour. What I love about this recipe is that there is nothing artificial. I also like that it tastes like a hint of sourdough bread without having to keep that culture alive—I have always had the worst luck when trying to keep a sourdough bread culture going. So without any more of my blathering, let’s get down to some delicious bread baking.

Please note, the cooking time is not listed correctly in the recipe.  It will take at a minimum 14 and 15 hours to rise, and at least 45 minutes to bake.

  • Frank

    What is the equivalent for instant dry yeast?

    • stephaniemanley

      I stick with the 1/4 teaspoon.

  • Linda S

    Can I use a covered clay pot

    • stephaniemanley

      i am sure that will work well.

  • Linda W.

    what if you don’t have a dutch oven?

    • stephanie manley

      You need to use a pot with a lid.

  • Amy Siegel

    Can you do this w/ whole wheat flour?

    • Stephanie Manley

      It is not recommended to do this with whole wheat flour.

  • jenlunew

    This is an America’s Test Kitchen recipe. Look it up. I’ve been making it for years. This one leaves out the beer. Try it the ATK way…suggest using a German wheat beer.

    • Stephanie Manley

      Hmmm, well this version is Jim Lahey. Maybe American Test Kitchen made the recipe with beer.

  • booch221

    I tried Lahey’s recipe and think I’ve improved it and made it easier, by using a cold skillet, instead of a smokin’ hot one. I always weigh my flour. If you don’t have a scale, then use the dip and swipe method of measuring, don’t over pack it. The recipe with pictures can be found here:

    • Stephanie Manley

      I really liked your suggestions. I am going to give some of your suggestions a try. Thank you so much for sharing your link.

  • Donna

    What type of flour? Also the yeast, is it rapid rise or regular?

    • Stephanie Manley

      Any type of flour, preferably bread, but All purpose is fine. Any type of yeast will work, rapid rise doesn’t have much meaning when it has a 14 hour rise time. I used SAF brand. I will be posting a video on this next week.

    • booch221

      I use rapid rise yeast. If you use regular active dry yeast, dissolve it in the water for 5 minutes before adding it to the flour.

      I use a combination of bread flour and all purpose unbleached flour. You can use all of one type or the other. It’s fun to experiment with different types.

      Whole wheat flour–in any amount– won’t work with this recipe. Gluten will not form and the bread will not rise.

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