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Minimalist No-Knead Bread Technique (Part 1)


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My second batch is now in the second rise and the first loaf made yesterday is crumbs on the cutting board.

I am used to weights not measures so was hesitant using measures with the first loaf but wanted to follow the recipe exactly. And, it was simple as could be. The flavour is good and I agree that next time 2 tsps of salt would be better.

This second loaf I used weights and I used unbleached flour rather than bread flour. I can definitely understand the difficulties about being too wet. This batch is much harder to work with.

I proofed mine in the oven with the light turned on for a couple of hours as it is cool in the evenings. That seems to do the trick nicely.

And I am now doing the second rise on a flour-covered piece of parchment under a large plastic bowl. I did the second rise of the first loaf on the towel on the counter which is granite and I think it was too cool - it took longer than 2 hours to get to double and some resistance to a poke.

I also took off a 1/4 cup of the dough/batter to use with the next loaf.

We will soon see whether this much wetter batch can be made to bake up as nicely as the first. But so far, this is a winner in terms of convenience - I will still need to work on the timing if I want to have fresh loaf and work!



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is yours a Puritan? I inherited it from my grandmother at least a dozen years ago and have never needed to re-season. And yes, NOTHING ever sticks.

Well, I just checked and it's a Griswold from Erie, PA...but it sure looks exactly the same!

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I could not wait. Here it is. It went through a 14 hour rise, 2-1/2 hour second rise. I did not find it soupy as others did. (I used Whole Foods 365 brand organic all purpose flour). The only downside was I burned a finger when it touched the extremely hot Le Cruset pot. WATCH OUT! The darkened part on the top  was a bubble that burst when I flipped it out of the pot.


I couldn't wait to see the inside so I cut it open. It's a very soft crumb, tasty, though not as tasty as my sourdough. Crust was perfect. Salt was good, reading other posts I went up to 2 tsp sea salt. I'd say the recipe is a winner, though will try it next time with a starter and maybe 20 percent King Arthur whole wheat white.


To continue the saga..... I decided to do it again using 2 teaspoons of salt and substituting 1/3 cup of just-refreshed sour dough starter for the yeast. The result was just as beautiful as the first time but this one was a real sourdough - slightly chewy texture. The crust was the identical to that of my first loaf. If I had to rate them I would say that the sour dough gives the crumb more character but both were terrific breads

Ruth Friedman

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Such beautiful pictures!

Does the Le Crueset get damaged in any way from this recipe? I only have a very new one, and I don't want it to be very beat up.

My LC is fairly new, also, and I had the same concern. I called the company and explained the process to someone on their customer help line, and she indicated that there was no danger to the pot. I've made one loaf with it this way, and noticed no problems. I think I will, however, cover the handle of the lid with foil. It may not be necessary, but if it prevents damage over the long haul, it's a small thing to do.

Thanks jgm. I can't wait to try this recipe :laugh:

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Now that I've got your attention, I just want to do a little report on my recent loaves.

As promised, I made the dough a little wetter, a little saltier, and I used 20% semolina flour. I made part of the batch in a Le Creuset terrine pan. This time I cooked it to 210 instead of 205.

I made 1 1/2 times the recipe, with some little tweaks. What I used was

20 oz King Arthur AP flour

4 oz semolina flour

3/8 tsp SAF Gold

3 1/2 tsp DC kosher salt

2 1/2 cups water

the terrine produced a cute and very crunchy little loaf


the boule, because the dough was slacker, was flatter than my first one.


The flavor was a lot better. The semolina, and additional salt, really did a lot for me. The crust was quite a bit crunchier from the wetter dough. The boule didn't look as pretty as with a drier dough, but it tasted considerably better. Hey, you're gonna cut it up anyway! The bread tasted just like it looks in that first picture.

Edited by Abra (log)
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Hi Gang,

I'm new here and I have been reading this thread with great interest but I haven't had a chance to try the recipe yet.

I happened to stumble upon another "no-knead" recipe which is very easy but only needs to be left for a couple of hours with minimal work before baking. I have no idea how well it works but thought it might be of interest:


Cheers - Gordon

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Thanks Austini for the link to the REALLY EASY-TO-MAKE BREAD recipe. I've just discovered this Thread today and haven't made the No Knead Bread yet, but I will definately be trying both recipes.

I think that the larger amount of yeast in the Really Easy To Make Bread as compared to the No Knead Bread is why the rise time is so much less. What do you think?


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Well, I've baked my first boule, er, foccacia, with this method/recipe. Yes, my dough was so slack it came out pretty flat. (No pix -- The Husband is traveling with the camera.) I loved the crust and the open crumb. The flavor is good, but I think I might want 2 1/2 t. salt. (I'm using Diamond Crystal coarse kosher.) What I wish is that I could see (in real life) an example of how wet the dough should be. I guess experience will teach me that. For comparison purposes, today I'm making the rustic Italian bread from No Need to Knead.

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Well, I've baked my first boule, er, foccacia, with this method/recipe. Yes, my dough was so slack it came out pretty flat. (No pix -- The Husband is traveling with the camera.) I loved the crust and the open crumb. The flavor is good, but I think I might want 2 1/2 t. salt. (I'm using Diamond Crystal coarse kosher.) What I wish is that I could see (in real life) an example of how wet the dough should be. I guess experience will teach me that. For comparison purposes, today I'm making the rustic Italian bread from No Need to Knead.

Lahey does do bread baking classes:


Most of the dates have passed, but there is a point of contact listed. I have a brother in NYC within walking distance of Hell's Kitchen, and if I had the time and some cash to burn, I would be sorely tempted.

In the video, the ball looked sort of shaggy after he added the liquid, and that is what I have been shooting for. I am at 2tsp of DC kosher as well, and for my tastes I agree that I would go to 2 1/2, but my bread consuming audience (hubby, who can do a loaf and a stick of unsalted butter by himself in a couple of hours) is not big on salt. He's funny about holes as well. I can't seem to make him appreciate the large open holes and the flavor they impart. Left on my own, I would slack up the dough a bit, but he DOESN'T WANT ME TO CHANGE A THING. Stubborn and sometimes I have to pry his mind open with a crowbar, but I love him. I am sneaking some variations in on the batch working right now.

Oh well, I'll have more flexibility over the holidays with the kids around, and maybe I can convert him!


Edited by annecros (log)
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Hi all, I just baked a loaf of the NYTimes bread, and it came out great. I used a Wagner brand cast-iron dutch oven (4.5 quart) that has a clear glass lid. Very good results. I baked it 30 mins. covered, then 15 mins. uncovered. I probably would bake a little longer uncovered next time (inside bread was a little too moist). I used oat bran instead of wheat bran, because that's what I could find. in the store. I think more salt next time. I wish the flavor were a little more intense. Overall I like this recipe a lot, but I must say that the step of kneading bread really isn't such an imposition and I would not stop making kneaded breads in favor of this no-knead bread.

here's my QUESTION:

What's the best way to store this bread? I find good breads go stale so quickly, and I want this load to be worth eating tomorrow at last. Any suggestions?

Rory Bernstein Kerber


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I mixed up another batch of dough yesterday. Here's what I did:

I measured out three cups of KA AP flour into a 5-quart stainless steel bowl sitting on top of my kitchen scale. I used my one-cup measure, dipping it into my flour container, and shaking the cup slightly to level the top. Measured this way, three cups of flour was 473 grams. (RLB's measurement is within 5 grams of mine.)

Then, because I wanted to use part whole-wheat flour, I took out a cup or so of flour. This brought the mass of flour down to 337 g. I then added KA regular WW flour to bring the mass back up to 473 grams. Then I pressed the tare button on the scale.

To the flours in the bowl, I added a quarter teaspoon of SAF regular yeast from the red, white, and blue bag. This wasn't enough mass to register on my scale, but I re-tared it again anyway. I also added 2 teaspoons of Diamond Crystal kosher salt, which had a mass of 9 grams. I gave the whole thing a bit of a mix.

For my water, I used some plain old west-side-of-Oswego tap water from a pitcher that's been sitting on my counter for a couple of days. West side water tends to taste more chlorinated than water from the east side of town, but I've had good results by letting it stand on the counter. I used the same old one-cup dry measure and added a full cup, and then a smidge more than half a cup. This totaled 353 grams. As I mixed it together, it felt dry. I don't know if this is because of the WW flour, or because I wasn't measuring the same amount of water I used the first time around. In any case, the dough wasn't gloppy enough, so I added another splash (24 g), which brought the texture around to match the video.

For those of you keeping track, this is a total of 377 g of water, to go with the 473 g of flour. 377 g divided by 473 g is 0.797---or about 80%.

I'm now ready to turn out the dough onto a rice-floured towel. This time, though, I'll remember to put it on my peel so I can move it across the aisle of my kitchen to the oven easily! I'm also going to see if I can hunt up one of my hubby's cast-iron dutch ovens to bake in.

For next time: sourdough starter, here I come!



Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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here's my QUESTION:

What's the best way to store this bread? I find good breads go stale so quickly, and I want this load to be worth eating tomorrow at last. Any suggestions?

I had pretty good luck keeping the bread for a day and a half by simply turning it so the cut side was facing down on my cutting board.

Any more than that, and I'd wrap it well and stick it in the freezer.

I'll be interested to hear if anyone using either a starter or a piece of old dough has better luck in keeping the bread from going rock-hard. Or is that not a problem in your houses?



Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Re: storing the bread: I put half a loaf in a ziploc bag for a day or two. It didn't stale, but the crust softened considerably and was difficult to chew. The good news: For dinner, I put the loaf in the oven for maybe 10 minutes and my husband actually said, "Why did you buy this bread? Don't you still have the bread that you made?" Yes, friends, it was that good. I'm loving this recipe. IN fact, I'm obsessed with it.


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I've gotten obsessed with this bread, too... to the point where, when I found out my elderly parents will be in town tomorrow and want to have dinner with me, and I thought, "Dang! I can't start another batch of bread tonight!" Shame on me.

Moving on, I made my second loaf yesterday. I put it together around 10 in the evening, just before going to bed, and left it until I got home from work yesterday, around 6. I pulled it out of the bowl and onto a floured cutting board, folded it a couple of times, and let it rest for 15 minutes as directed. Then I pulled the two sides into the middle, as shown in the video, and then the two ends into the middle and picked it up. More flour on the cutting board, and the bread went back down and was covered with a towel for 2 hours. When time came to bake, I held the cutting board over the sink while brushing away the excess flour, then plopped the dough into the hot LeCreuset, using a bench scraper to handle the little place that stuck. This was far, far easier than trying to manipulate a towel full of dough.

This time, I measured the flour by scooping each cup, all at once, out of the container, and so used more flour than I did the other day when I carefully spooned it in. I also used SAF yeast from the blue box, instead of the Fleishman's that I used the first time. The results for this second loaf were far better than for the first loaf.

The loaf was turned cut-side-down on the cutting board overnight, and was in excellent shape this morning. Crust was still crunchy, bread was still moist.

The only change I'll make next time is to bake it a little longer after taking the lid off. 15 minutes was pretty good, but after first cut, the interior was a bit moist. But I waited only 15 minutes to cut it... I just couldn't stand it any longer!

I think I'll also try some of the variations I'm seeing here, as I continue to fight an urge to quit my job and bake bread all the time.

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Here's the 2nd batch that I tried:


This dough was very slack at about 80% hydration using Gold Medal Harvest bread flour. The crumb was practically ciabetta like - good flavor, great crust.


For the 3rd try, 2 doughs - one with 20% whole wheat four, 80% a/p, at around 72% hydration and a second with 50/50 a/p and bread flour at 72% hydration.

Here they are proofed (the one on the left is the w/w, risen in a basket lined with parchment, while the white flour dough was proofed only on parchment paper.


Here are the finished products...I got beautiful oven spring on the dough risen in the basket and baked in cast iron...the all white flour version I baked on a stone, and it's quite a bit more "free-form."


And finally, here are the two loaves cut open - on top is the w/w. I notice a much tighter crumb and a softer crust with both these loaves compared with the much slacker dough in #2. Additionally, I think I'm going up to 1 T of kosher salt, as I still feel the bread needs more.


On to batch #4 - goin' somewhere in between the 72% and 80% hydrations, and having way too much bread on my hands! :laugh:

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Try this to de-stale either a whole or a portion of a loaf.

preheat your oven to 400. When it is hot, run cold water from the faucet directly over the crust, try to avoid getting the crumb too wet. Immediately place directly on the oven rack and leave it alone for 12 to 15 minutes depending on how large a piece you have. for a whole boule I would got 18 - 20 minutes.

use immediately.

I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett


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I've done two loaves so far; with a broken thermostat (two temps: Off or Inferno) I'm still trying to outsmart the oven. First loaf had an overthick crust, too dark on the bottom with a damp crumb. The second rose better and had a thinner "musical" crust which quickly lost its crackle and became leathery, crumb still damp. I've been playing with hydration, pre-heat time, using a pizza stone, and removing bread from the LC pot halfway through baking.

My third batch of dough, now 4 hours old, is destined to become a foccaccia. Has anyone tried this yet?

Looking for the next delicious new taste...
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I have only"rapid rise" yeast in the house. I have read that it is not the same as instant, but wondered what it would do to the recipe? I would love to mix a batch tonight, but don't want to get out to get more yeast. Also, I don't think the SAF brand is available here, so probably could get only dry active yeast.

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I have only"rapid rise" yeast in the house.  I have read that it is not the same as instant, but wondered what it would do to the recipe?  I would love to mix a batch tonight, but don't want to get out to get more yeast.  Also, I don't think the SAF brand is available here, so probably could get only dry active yeast.

Go ahead and use the rapid rise yeast. It should work fine.

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I have only"rapid rise" yeast in the house.  I have read that it is not the same as instant, but wondered what it would do to the recipe?  I would love to mix a batch tonight, but don't want to get out to get more yeast.  Also, I don't think the SAF brand is available here, so probably could get only dry active yeast.

I used Rapid Rise and it was fine. As with any yeast, just make sure it's still active - mine was a little sluggish (I stupidly tested it after the fact), so the bread didn't rise as much as it should have. But it still turned out well.

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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Arriba!, I'd asked about rapid-rise vs. instant vs. active dry. It appears from these posts that all 3 have been used with success. I hapened to use Fleishmann's Rapid Rise for Bread Machines, and can happily say the resulting loaf is delicious!

Used 3 cups AP white flour, 1/4 tsp yeast, 2 tsp kosher salt (Morton's), and 1.5 cups + 1 TB water. 1st rise was 20 hours (stuck it out of the way in the oven), 2nd rise was 2 hrs. Probably incorporated another 3 TB of flour with the folding process. Dusted the 2nd rise towel liberally (I mean LIBERALLY :biggrin: ) with yellow cornmeal. I didn't feel like the volume was doubled after the 2nd rise, but the cast iron dutch oven had been pre-heating for an hour and, limited on time, I popped that doughball in.

This is where one small problem arose. As the dough rolled in, it folded on itself so that some of the cornmeal was now folded into the internal structure of the loaf. Oh well- shook the pot, covered it, baked on the baker's tile-lined floor of the gas oven for 25 min (450 F), finished off uncovered for 20 minutes.

Came out of the pot with no problem. Wow- that was one noisy lil' loaf of bread! I heard it crackling one room over as it cooled. The final shape was rather flat, as the dough as quite wet and I knew it wasn't risen quite enough the 2nd time. Barely waited 45 minutes, and sliced off a heel.

Took a little work to get through that crisp crust with an old, dull serrated knife. This bread is the motivator I've needed to finally get a new one. Cornmeal on exterior got nice and toasty. Cornmeal accidentally folded inside the crust didn't adversely affect flavor, though it made a funny yellow stripe through the middle of the loaf :raz: . Texture of the crust was fantastically crisp, internal crumb was moist and similar to foccacia. Flavor was tasty but I think a little more salt would be helpful. I'm very curious to see how the bread keeps for a day or two. Or how it keeps for a day. Might not last too long.....

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Question: Has anybody tried pyrex yet? My daughter and stepdaughter are both interested in the recipe, but only have pyrex in the cabinet, and would hate for them to get discouraged right out of the gate.

Would love to hear about results. I'm thinking my smallest muffin pan will fit into my largest Pyrex piece, and I may be able to do dinner rolls. Maybe.

If all else fails, I will take the liberty of putting cast iron on their Christmas lists. Probably a good idea anyway.

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    • By andiesenji
      Here’s the thing about pickles: if you’ve never made them, they may seem to be an overwhelming (and possibly mysterious) project. Our listener Andie – who has offered some really valuable help to the show several times in the past – has sent this recipe which provides an opportunity to “try your hand” at pickle-making without much effort. Andie suggests that making a small batch, and storing the pickles in the refrigerator (without “processing”) can get you started painlessly. Our Producer Lisa says that the result is so delicious that you won’t be able to keep these pickles on hand - even for the 3-4 months that they’ll safely keep!
      The basics are slicing the cucumbers and other veggies, tossing them with salt and crushed ice and allowing them to stand for awhile to become extra-crisp. You then make a simple, sweet and spicy syrup, (Andie does this in the microwave), rinse your crisp veggies, put them in a jar, pour the syrup over, and keep them in the refrigerator until they’re “pickled” – turning the jar upside down each day. In about 2 weeks you’ll have pickles – now how much easier could that be? If you are inspired, I hope you’ll try these – and enjoy!
      4 to 6 pickling cucumbers (cucumbers should be not much larger than 1 inch in diameter, and
      4 to 5 inches long)
      1/2 to 3/4 of one, medium size onion.
      1/2 red bell pepper.
      1/4 cup, pickling salt (coarse kosher salt)
      2 quarts, cracked ice
      water to cover
      2 tablespoons, mustard seed.
      1 heaping teaspoon, celery seed
      1 1/2 cups, vinegar
      *NOTE: Use cider or distilled white vinegar, do not use wine vinegar.
      1 1/2 cups, sugar
      2 heaping teaspoons, pickling spice mix.
      Carefully wash the cucumbers and bell pepper. Slice all vegetables very thin, using a food processor with a narrow slicing blade, or by hand, or using a V-slicer or mandoline. Toss the sliced vegetables together in a glass or crockery bowl large enough to hold twice the volume of the vegetables. Sprinkle the salt over the vegetables, add the cracked ice, toss again to blend all ingredients and add water to just barely cover the vegetables. Place a heavy plate on top of the vegetables to keep them below the top of the liquid.
      *Set aside for 4 hours.
      Place the vinegar, sugar and pickling spices in a 4-quart Pyrex or other microwavable container (the large Pyrex measure works very well)
      Microwave on high for 15 to 20 minutes. [if a microwave is not available, simmer the syrup in a narrow saucepan on the stovetop, over low heat, for the same length of time.] Allow the syrup to cool. Strain the syrup and discard the spices.
      Place one wide-mouth quart canning jar (or two wide-mouth pint jars) with their lids in a pot of water to cover, place over medium heat and bring the water to a simmer (180 degrees). Remove the pot from the heat and allow jar(s) and lid(s) to remain in the hot water until needed.
      *After the 4 hours are up (crisping the vegetables as described above) pour the vegetables into a large colander and rinse well. The cucumber slices should taste only slightly salty. Return the rinsed vegetables to the bowl, add the mustard seeds and celery seeds and toss well until evenly distributed. Set aside.
      Return the syrup to the microwave, microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes [or heat the syrup on the stovetop] until an instant read thermometer shows the temperature of the syrup is 190 to 200 degrees.
      Place the vegetables into one wide-mouth quart jar, or in 2 wide-mouth pint
      jars that have been scalded as described above. Pour the syrup over the vegetables, place the lids on the jar or jars, tighten well and place in the refrigerator overnight.
      The following day, turn the jar upside down - then continue to turn every day for 2 weeks. (This is to insure that the pickles are evenly flavored)
      After 2 weeks open the jar and taste. The pickles should be ready to eat.
      Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 months.
      ( RG2154 )
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