Healthy Diet: No Knead Bread

Posted on Sep 17, 2015

Posted in: Healthy Diet

No Knead, No Work, So-Easy-Your-3-Year-Old-Could-Do-It Bread Recipe

Baking bread sounds intimidating, right?  All that kneading and loaf-shaping business is best left to pros. But what if I told you that you don’t even have to knead or shape, that it is so easy that a 3-year-old could make it?  Welcome to the No-Knead, No-Work, So-Easy-My 3-Year-Old-Could-Do-It-Bread-Recipe.   This technique — it doesn’t really qualify as a recipe — came from Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City.  Jim has created a way for home cooks, not even ones who are serious bakers, to nearly duplicate an artisan bakery loaf, with a crackling crust, open-holed crumb, light texture, and fantastic flavor.  All without kneading, fancy ingredients, or special equipment!  The prep time is around 3 minutes which is less time than boiling pasta.  A wet dough and slow fermentation are the keys to success, as is the baking method—a heated covered pot, which creates essentially an oven within an oven to trap steam as the bread bakes.  This is the original, simplest version, though many people have tinkered with the formula since it was first published in 2006.  I’m not kidding when I say the results will blow your mind.  The only thing required is forethought.  Ideally, you will start the dough about 18-24 hours before you plan to eat it; you can cut that to 12 and even 9, but you’ll be sacrificing some of the yeasty flavor and open crumb.

No-Knead Bread



  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups of lukewarm 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.
  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; 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 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 20 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned.  Cool on a rack.

*my dough expands out, not up so don’t worry if yours does the same

No knead bread ingredients

Ingredients – don’t mind the husband in the background!

No knead bread

What wet, shaggy dough looks like

No knead bread

The dough after it has rested for 18 hours.

No knead bread

Fold the dough over on itself one or two times

No knead bread

Shape the dough into a ball, place on a generously floured tea towel and let rise another 2 hours

No knead bread

Hot out of the oven

No knead bread

Enjoy with butter or other delicious spread like orange marmalade