Cook’s Illustrated Almost No Knead Bread

After way too long a lapse, today I’ve added a video of a recipe called “Almost No Knead Bread” developed by the talented chefs at

This recipe is unique in both its formulation and wonderful flavor. And like the New York Times version, it’s simple and easy. It’s one of Denyce’s favorite breads and judging from feedback and inquiries from others, it looks like it has found its way into the hearts and mouths of many.

This recipe also converts well to a sandwich loaf. So in addition to the two part video on their white and whole wheat recipes, you’ll find a third video covering this sometimes useful variation.

I’m excited about more videos in the works and always welcome suggestions for new content or site improvements from you. 


Almost No Knead

Almost No Knead Bread

The photo below shows a masterpiece rendition of this recipe by Mike McGibbon.

Mikes Almost No Knead

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Breadtopia May 15, 2010 at 7:21 am

Hi John,

The most likely contributor to that is proofing the dough a little longer than is optimum and the yeast looses some of its oomph at the end.


John Felkins May 10, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I made some and it “fell” a little. Does anyone know why? Thanks.


Jeff B. March 4, 2009 at 2:48 am

I love using pale ales. I use Sierra Nevada and Full Sail Pale. Both common here in the Puget Sound. I just turned out another three loaves about an hour ago. I find that it works well to make them in threes because that makes use of one 12 oz beer. I freeze two of the loaves, and get about 10 days or so out of three loaves. This is the bread my family uses for sandwiches and I’ve been making it for months now. Nice dense crumb. Flavorful, and does not go stale quickly.


Breadtopia March 3, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I’ve used a bunch and haven’t noticed any difference to speak of.


david March 3, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Dear Dough Buddies,

I am wondering what brand/type of beer is giving YOU good results. There are so many kinds out there I don’t know where to start. Pilsner? Lager? Dark Lager? HELP!

A name brand and type available in central California would sure help.

Thanks much


Shanno November 11, 2008 at 7:09 am

I was wondering if it’s possible to make a no knead pumpernickel bread. I saw a description online to carmelize sugar in order to give the bread a darker color, but they didn’t have a recipe to show what kind of flour was used or if there were other ingredients except for the carmelized sugar. What’s your thoughts on it working well with the CI almost no knead bread recipe? (I’ve made this bread quite a few times and fallen in love with the easiness and the great taste!)


Breadtopia October 8, 2008 at 7:54 pm

Hi Jeff,

Great looking bread. Looks like you nailed the crust.
Thanks for sending the pic.


ps. may all your Christmas wishes come true! ;)


Jeff B. October 8, 2008 at 1:15 am

I just love the site and your attention to videos. You are obviously dedicated to the craft and to your customers.

I tried to get in to Sourdough last year, and didn’t have much luck. But I found No Knead and your site, and I’ve been churning out loaves for the family. My favorite is the Almost No Knead Sandwich loaf, which you modified from CI. I use Alaskan Amber beer, and honey. Two loaves a week. I’ve got a picture to send you of the latest two.

Anyway, I am rambling, but thanks for your efforts. Almost all of my Christmas wish list items are products from Breadtopia!

Jeff's Almost No Knead Sandwich Bread


Renee July 21, 2008 at 9:19 am

Many years ago I learned a technique called “Rapid Rise” from the Farm Journal Bread cookbook. This method called for all dry ingredients going into the bowl, then adding the liquids. Almost from that point on, I did that. I baked bread — teaching myself how via cookbooks — for about 15 years followed by 19 1/2 years of selling it. In tht time period I learned that bread rises – under all conditions including air conditioning. I also learned to buy yeast in bulk so I could measure it. I also learned that a little yeast goes a long way — according to noted food writer Elizabeth David, we use far too much yeast in the United States when baking bread. There is a definite taste difference when using less yeast and allowing more more rising times.


Katerina July 16, 2008 at 7:25 am

I too am obsessed with “almost no-knead bread making” I created my first batch of the ‘traditional – white’ this morning. However, I threw the dry ingredients in a bowl and realized my yeast wasn’t “instant yeast”, but “active dry yeast” and I didn’t proof it in water like I should have. So my question is when I get back home today 10 hours later, do you think my dough will have risen? Or will I have to start all over again? Has anyone else made this mistake?


breadtopia March 25, 2008 at 11:01 am

Hi Erina,

Yes. You’ll find a few no knead recipes adapted for sourdough here

My personal feeling is that beer and vinegar are great by themselves and aren’t necessary if using sourdough starter.


Erina March 24, 2008 at 10:27 am

Great videos. Thank you for posting them.
I don’t know if you ever experimented with this, but I have sourdough starter, so I was wondering if I can use it to make a no-knead bread? Since the flavor already developed in the levain, should I still use beer and vinegar?



breadtopia March 14, 2008 at 8:18 am

Hi Wendy,

I got a good laugh out of your “obsessed” comment. You’re definitely not alone!

That’s interesting about getting a larger, lighter flavored loaf the way you did. I could only take a guess at the reason since I’m not at all experienced with different types of yeast. Perhaps someone else knows why.


Wendy Greene March 13, 2008 at 12:23 pm

I’ve made this a few times, but the first few times I used active dry yeast instead of instant. I proofed the active dry yeast in 1/4 cup of water and just reduced the amount of water I added later by that amount. Anyhow, I found that it made a much larger loaf, and I think the bread was lighter in flavor than bread I made with instant yeast.

Any one else have this experience? And any ideas about why this is so?

I’m really new to bread baking, so please excuse me if the answers are really obvious! and by the way, great site! I thought I was the only person out there who was obsessed with bread baking, so it is really nice to know I have company.



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