My friend Robin made the most delicious bread to contribute to a dinner party at our friends house a couple of weeks ago. It was one of my favorite parts of the meal and while we were all “ooh-ing and ahh-ing” she explained how easy this particular bread recipe is. I was determined to try it as I have always wanted to bake bread but have been intimidated by anything that requires yeast. She sent me Jim Lahey’s “No Knead” recipe of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City. Let me just say that I am so incredibly happy with how simple and beginner-friendly this method is. And it’s delicious! You can totally impress your friends and family with this one.
No Knead Bread by Jim Lahey
You will need:
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid rising yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water
Yield: one 1 1/2 pound loaf.
In a large bowl mix together your flour, instant yeast and salt. (I purchased Saf Instant Yeast on Amazon, but you should be able to find it at your local grocery store.) Next add your water and mix until it forms your dough. I am using a dough whisk, which I also found on Amazon, but you can use a wooden spoon.
Mix until all the dry ingredients are combined. You don’t need to over mix. Next cover your bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 12-18 hours. If the dough sits for longer that’s okay. Mine sat for 20 hours and was fine.
Heavily flour your work surface, I placed parchment paper on my counter top to avoid a mess. Place your dough in the center of the flour and form a big ball, heavily floured.
Cover with plastic wrap again and let sit an additional 1-2 hours. When your dough has thirty minutes left of this rising period, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and place your french oven or clay baker inside to heat up. I have a Le Creuset 5.5 Quart French Oven that I used and it turned out perfect. Just be sure to get a heat safe knob for your top. Le Creuset knobs are generally plastic and will melt in the oven.
UPDATE: If you do not have a french oven, a stainless steel pot with a lid or even an oven-safe bowl with aluminum foil should work just fine.
After 30 minutes, carefully take your very hot pot out of the oven and place your dough inside. I placed mine in a little sloppy due to a cute one-year-old boy tugging on my leg. Do not grease the bottom of your pot. It will smoke. You can line the pot with parchment, but it is not necessary. My bread did not stick at all. Cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid and let bake an additional 15 minutes uncovered. (I took mine out after 10 because I have a convection oven which tends to cook a bit faster than a traditional oven.)
Remove from oven and place your beautifully crusted and incredible smelling bread onto a cooling rack for a few minutes or just cut right into it and enjoy while hot and fresh.
There you have it. Easy, no knead bread. Give it a try! I already have another dough on the shelf rising for tomorrow morning. I am excited to try different variations of this recipe. Adding herbs or dried fruits into the mix. I am also looking forward to trying this bread using a sourdough starter in the place of yeast. More on that in a future post.
All the kids loved it, especially Sailor!
Recipe adapted from Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery. Photos by Bleubird.