No Knead Bread Baking Method

On this page, you will find both the short and long version videos of a basic no knead bread baking technique. See these variations of no knead recipe too.

Before we get started, I wanted to share an email I received from Leanna who says more for the benefits of the no knead method than I could ever convey. She says…

Love This Method

I’ve been baking bread for 40 years and this method has turned my bread baking upside down. I even had kneading down to an art. My dough had to feel just right. My ingredients had to be the best. Now I just throw these four items into a bowl and with no effort on my part, I end up with perfection. I take care of a lady with handicaps and bake it for her too. She has a gas oven and mine at home is electric. I have had no problems with this method. I used to have a sourdough starter but several moves ago, I discarded it. Now with your starter I am back in business. I can hardly wait for my first loaf of NK sourdough bread.

6 min. 40 sec.

12 min. long

Ingredients for basic yeasted No Knead Method:

3 cups bread flour (the above video used 1 cup (5 oz.) whole wheat flour and 2 cups (10 1/2 oz.) white bread flour
1/4 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups purified or spring water

  • Mix together the dry ingredients.
  • Mix in water until the water is incorporated.
  • Cover with plastic and let sit 12-18 hours.
  • Follow video instruction for folding.
  • Cover loosely with plastic and rest for 15 minutes.
  • Transfer to well floured towel or proofing basket. Cover with towel and let rise about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Bake in covered La Cloche or Dutch oven preheated to 500 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Remove cover; reduce heat to 450 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  • Let cool completely on rack.
  • Consume bread, be happy.

Note: Regarding the 15 minute rest after the long proofing period; it’s a habit of mine from working with “regular” dough where it helps to have the dough rest after folding in order to relax it so it’s easier to shape for the final rise. With the wet no knead dough recipes, I’ve been skipping it and haven’t noticed any difference in the results.

No Knead Revisited – A Three Year Check Up

The original New York Times no knead bread recipe was published in 2006, about the same time Breadtopia was born. By far the most common difficulty people write or call in about is with the dough being too wet to handle at the end of the long first proofing period and also when it’s time to place the dough into a covered vessel to bake at the end of the second rise.

When you run into this, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it other than attempt to follow through on the instructions and ultimately wrest the dough into your heated baker and into the oven. Your “mistake” may turn out better than you expected and if nothing else, you’ll learn from it. The next time around you can do one or a combination of a couple things differently.

  1. Add more flour and/or use less water than you did the first time. Dough has a way of getting more slack as it sits for many hours so if you start off with the dough being a little stiffer than you think it should be, that’s fine and maybe it’ll be easier to handle later.
  2. Consider reducing the long proofing time by several hours. Don’t get stuck on the idea of 18 hours. Depending on your room temperature and humidity, 18 hours may result in over proofing. When dough proofs too long, the gluten breaks down, the yeast looses some oomph and it can just get downright soupy. Most of the time, I find 12-14 hours to be about right (and sometimes even 9-10 hours during very warm weather). If you want or need to prolong the proofing time, but don’t want to risk over proofing, stick the dough in the fridge for several hours or overnight. That will slow things down a lot. Then resume proofing at room temp until it’s ready to bake.

The same principle holds true on the second rise. While 1-2 hours is the suggested range, I’m almost always at about 60 to 75 minutes.

Another concern we hear a lot is about the dough not rising much during that second short proofing period. I don’t see mine rise much then either and it doesn’t matter so long as you see a good rise during the first several minutes that the dough is in the oven. That’s called oven spring and it’s a very good thing. By keeping your proofing periods on the shorter side, you’re more likely to get good oven spring from the still vigorous yeast or sourdough starter.

Of course all of the above is assuming your yeast or sourdough starter is fresh and viable to start with.

In summary, most problems can be helped or solved by stiffening the dough a little and/or shortening the rising times.

If you’re new to bread baking, don’t think from reading this that it’s difficult or tricky to get great results. Most people find it a breeze and enjoy success right out of the blocks. Others may find it takes a few tries. It’s important to have fun with it and don’t worry about bombing. There’s no significant downside to bread baking but the upside can be fabulous. Enjoy!

This method of baking is quite forgiving if you alter the ingredients and proportions. One of the great things about a bread recipe that is so easy and involves just one loaf at a time is you don’t feel like you’re risking a lot if your experimenting goes awry.

Try using different flours and/or different proportions of flour and play around with the water measurement a little.

We’d would love to hear from anyone with their experiences using this technique, both successful and otherwise. Please share your experiences below.

Note: Here are some great dough handling tips from Breadtopia reader Mark Liptak. Also, check out these no knead baking techniques by Margaret Ball.

{ 1639 comments… read them below or add one }

ray January 5, 2010 at 9:44 pm

JIM ROE,if yur going to give a bread receipe then please tell us how much,yeast ,eater ,etc..
thanks ray

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Jim Roe January 5, 2010 at 7:56 pm

No Mess, No Knead Bread

While I consider the No Knead Bread method utopia, to me this recipe the Valhalla of bread making.

In its simplest terms, the dough goes directly from the mixing bowl to the hot Dutch oven. No parchment paper, no shaping the dough, no dusting with flour, no nothing. After two rises in the mixing bowl, the dough simply dumped straight from the mixing bowl to the hot pot, and baked.

The procedure, in a nutshell:

Briefly mix the dry ingredients.
Add ICE-cold water (50F) and mix like any other no knead bread.
Refrigerate from 3 to 10 hours.*
Place it on the counter for 10 to 18 hours.* At the halfway mark, stirring the dough vigorously is optional. (For me it was a necessity as the dough was overflowing the mixing bowl.)
The second rest is on the counter for 1 1/2 to 2 ½* hours. (Again, the dough was overflowing the mixing bowl.)
With the pot at 425°F, unceremoniously dump the dough in the pot. (It filled two thirds of the Dutch oven.)
Bake for 55 minutes with the lid on.
Remove the lid and bake for an additional 20 minutes or when the internal temperature of the loaf is 210° F. (Actually, my loaf reaches 210°F in less than 10 minutes with the crust well browned. I think I should have, as recommended, let it bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.)

*The times are independently adjustable to suit your schedule.

The recipe is in Nancy Baggett’s book “Needlessly Simple,” page 31, “Crusty White Peasant Style Pot Bread,” using 4 cups of all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and ice water. (I cheat: I always add little Vitamin C and A, a hangover from my bread machine days.)

One word of caution: be sure to use an oversize mixing bowl. The dough rises like crazy.

The photograph shows my first loaf, and it is a bit taller than the pot. Notice that for the first 2 inches, the bread hugs the side of the pot.

I could not put the classic slashes on the bread as it was just a sticky mess in the pot. Striving to be neat, I did not dust the top of the mess with flour.

As for taste? While I am no connoisseur of no knead bread, to me it was at least a match to my other no knead bread adventures.
The crumb? I only cut two small pieces so I cannot make any meaningful comment.

[img]NoMessNoKneadBread006.jpg[/img]

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Joan Nelson January 2, 2010 at 8:34 pm

RE: Sam’s question about crust getting soft once the bread cools
Dear Sam,
I’ve been told –and it works–that you should punch some holes in the bread as soon as you take it out. The holes allow the steam in the bread to escape. I usually use my instant read thermometer. It has a nice pointy end, but something a bit thicker would also work well. If you don’t do it, the steam inside has no where to go and the crust becomes moist/soft. I lived in Germany for quite a while, where they have great bread, and all the bakers there do it. It works! Good luck.

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Jim Roe January 2, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Temperature Meter

When the cover is removed for the final bake I insert the probe, aiming for its tip to be in the center of the loaf. In the photogragh, the probe shows room temperature, and the target temperature I have set to 210F. It typically takes about 5-10 minutes to reach that temperature as I use a 35 minute first bake as I only make four cup loaves.

As the internal bread temperature rises so does the read out of the dispaly. When it reaches the target temperature an audible alarm goes off.

In the picture the probe is on the left. The cable is about four feet long. The cable can easily withstand both the 500F and the physical abuse. The meter sits on the range or on the counter. It costs less than $10 in a dollar store. I bought mine in a high-end grocery store. When not used as a thermometer, it can be used as a timer.

The main advantage is that youu are not tied to being a clock-watcher, and there is no guess work when the bread is fully baked. Knowing the fully baked tempeature is critical for those not particularly accurate in the amount of flour used which seriously influensed baking time. Remember, regardless of flour quantity, the temperature of a fully baked loaf is a constant.

[img]NKBread003.jpg[/img]

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sam December 30, 2009 at 2:52 am

Hi all,
I ve been using the NK receipe, but the crust is hard when i take the bread out of the oven, but when it gets cold, the crust becomes soft. does someone have a solution?

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Chuck December 29, 2009 at 7:29 pm

I have been using the NK method for awhile, finally figured out some of the best ways.. The whole loaf is standard NK method with sourdough starter from Carl Griffith’s 1847 Oregon trail Sourdough. good stuff.
the sliced loaf is from the Almost No Knead method without the beer. I followed the whole cup of starter instead and added a T of malt.
FYI malt can be bought at Korean grocers for cheap, 1.99 for 1# bag, it is used to make Gochujang.
Looking forward to the Sicilian bread, when I find semolina flour.
I have purchased the hot gloves and a Danish Whisk, they work well.
The instant Thermometer helped to make the bread less spongy (wet)?
not sure how to explain it. The ANK crust is a little more like commercial Italian Bread available where I live, not as hard as the NK method. altho both are wonderful.
Thanks for the website
Chuck

[img]BreadNK.jpg[/img][img]bread1ANK.jpg[/img]

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Wendy December 25, 2009 at 1:12 pm

I am raving about my no knead sourdough loaf. I tried to follow the recipe from another website to my disappointment it didn’t work. I googled no knead bread and one of the websites was yours. I thank heaven for finding your website. I follow your detailed recipe and Voila. I am soooo happy!!!! Keep up the good work with your website

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Al in Omaha December 24, 2009 at 9:06 pm

For those worried about at the knob on the lid of their Le Crueset dutch oven: wrap it in foil. I’ve done this on my 3.5 qt oven and there’s no noticeable effect on it after a half dozen loaves.

I’m currently experimenting to find the right balance of flour/water/temperature. I’ve had a couple loaves with gummy crumbs and will try lower temps and longer baking times.

Cheers—–>Al

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Rick Lewis December 18, 2009 at 8:27 am

I just baked my first loaf of no knead bread…after watching the video half a dozen times and continually thinking of reasons NOT to try it…and I must say I was pleased with the results. Despite a “hardware” problem which forced me to change the baking method (I used a cookie sheet for the bread and a loaf pan w/water to provide a moist environment) the bread had a nice crust and the inside was perfect. Thanks to Breadtopia and all of those who post here for the help I’m a believer!

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April December 16, 2009 at 1:45 pm

FYI for anyone interested in purchasing an enameled cast iron round 5 qt dutch oven or 5qt oval casserole, they are at ALDI this week for a very nice price and they are very thick and heavy. I bought three of them yesterday. They are going fast! Check out the website.
http://aldi.us/us/html/offers/offers_12_13_2009_ENU_HTML.htm

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William Ross December 14, 2009 at 10:06 am

I make my stock without added salt. I figure I can add the salt later.

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Wil December 14, 2009 at 9:59 am

Hi William,
You probably can. It would be water, fats and salt (possibly seasoning). You would have to be careful no preservatives were included. The fats may provide freshness and softer crumb. Try it and let us know.
Wil

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William Ross December 14, 2009 at 9:53 am

I was wondering if anyone has ever experimented with using chicken stock as the liquid. Obviously it would require refrigeration after baking, but other than that, it sounds kind of yummy. Any thoughts?

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Wil December 14, 2009 at 9:02 am

Vajra,
I have been using kefir as well. I have been using 1/2 cup as part of my liquid. I agree with your findings. I have the intention to increase the amount of kefir but have not done so yet. Here are a copy of pictures of a sourdough/kefir Cranberry-Pecan that I made yesterday. It is my family’s favorite, that is why I am reluctant to mess with it. I also use 6oz of www to 11oz of bf. I also want to increase the amount of whole grain but have yet to do so.

Wil

[img]CranPecan12001.jpg[/img][img]CranPecan12005(2).jpg[/img]

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monte December 13, 2009 at 2:30 am

OK I’m sold on the concept and have a question on regarding the cooking vessel.

I have never baked bread before and my first batch is rising as I type this.

I love the little cloche thing but see others using enameled cast iron or even plain cast iron dutch ovens.

Do you think a large glass (Corning) caserole dish will work effectivly? It could certainly take the heat.

Also do you think I could use an unglazed terra cotta garden pot upside down on my pizza stone to good effect?

Of course it would be a new, clean pot and I’ll need to close up the hole (thinking of an alluminum foil plug).

Thanks for any input you may have,
Monte

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Vajra December 13, 2009 at 12:22 am

I’ve been making about two loaves a week, trying to perfect and improve the bread. For the last few loaves I’ve used kefir as part of the liquid. I”m still experimenting with amounts, but I have found that the bread has a better taste and texture with a “wetter” dough and a lower (450 0r 400) temperature.

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cheryl greis December 12, 2009 at 6:37 pm

actually you could eat as much of this bread that you wanted. it was a heavy bread, it was sold here back in the 80′s. i promise you this bread was awesome,
not to mention great for weight loss. a lot of people here in Ky are looking for it
it is made in Houston Texas, that’s all i know. if you find out any info on it, could you pass it along, and i will do the same. thanks, cheryl

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April December 12, 2009 at 11:12 am

Cheryl,

I am dying to know, what makes a bread a ‘diet’ bread? Thinner slices? My grandmother used to buy diet bread years ago that was sliced very thin. I actually have a vintage kitchen tool called a Slice-A-Slice that does just that.

Someone on this forum mentioned that using sourdough starter in your bread lower the glycemic index of the bread, making it safer for diabetics and also more carb friendly in general.

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cheryl greis December 12, 2009 at 10:08 am

i am also looking for the malsovit bread recipe. it’s a great diet bread. does anyone know if any of these breads are diet bread? i have a health issue and need to lose some weight, please respond. thank you cheryl

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Cathy December 2, 2009 at 11:41 am

Hi Eric!
Thank you sooo much for your fabulous videos, I have been making the NKB for the past 3 months and after a month of frisbees, have been getting better results. I started weighing my ingrediends, after watching you fab video and my bread is even more wonderful, better rises, nice cracking etc… I make mixes of unbleached bread flour and whole wheat, or rye or spelt. My question is that the crust gets soft after it cools down, it doesn’t stay crusty. I have lowered my oven temp to 450, from 475, because I was thinking that it was cooking too quickly on the outside and not fully inside (I leave it in as long as possible after removing the lid (which is about 5 minutes) until the crust is almost burning). My knife gets very schmutzie after cutting it. Any thoughts?

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Breadtopia November 29, 2009 at 11:23 am

I would leave the vinegar out when using starter.

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Ralph November 29, 2009 at 11:06 am

Eric, Last week I made white bread following the Cook’s illustrated “Almost No Knead Bread” recipe. I inadvertently added too much water so it was too wet and so, difficult to knead the ten times. Surprisingly, it still produced a good loaf proving to me that bread recipes can be very forgiving. This morning I am baking the whole-wheat version and I made sure I used the correct amount of water and the kneading went much better. I did not have raw sugar so I used honey. The next time I make the loaf I would like to use 1/4 cup of sour dough starter. In your video you said the tablespoon of vinegar and the beer simulated the complex flavors of starter. If I use starter should I leave out the vinegar?
Ralph

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Vieve November 28, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Wow! I have been reading all of these comments like crazy. Such variables. One person described my bread perfectly…gelatinous crumb and a turtle like shell! Exactly what a get! Tomorrow I will try this recipe with 500 degrees instead of 450. However, my initial thoughts are that my bread needs to bake longer (but at what temp before that turtle shell forms??). Somehow, it seems, that the crust is baking before the interior is right and thus the gelatinous interior and rocky crust. I am satisfied with the large crumb structure and the rise and the taste…it’s the rest that I can’t get right. I have bleeding gums before I sink into the gunk.

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Vieve November 28, 2009 at 12:17 am

I have made this 3 times with the oblong La Cloche. Every time the crumb seems too “wet” or rubbery to me. It tastes fine, but it’s not a dry consistency like I am used to. What could be wrong? The crust is also hard, not crunchy and crusty. I realize that you use higher heat than the printed NY Times recipe calls for. Maybe that would make a difference?

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Nelle November 25, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Eric

Thanks for all the bread baking help. I only found out about this method on Sunday, by Monday I had made a loaf of bread. I didn’t read the long video…LOL…so while it tasted ok, it wasn’t pretty. But I made loaf number 2 today and it was great. Shared it with my church group and the guys…mind you…not the ladies…were raving about the crust. Am so looking forward to doing a sourdough. Love sourdough bread but always thought it was better left to the professionals. Thanks also to the posters…a lot of the comments are very helpful.

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Harvey November 22, 2009 at 8:46 am

I am getting more amazed by the day. I found this site a year ago and have been making the breads since then. Over 250 assorted loaves and I have yet to have a failure. The recipes and the process are virtually foolproof.
Every problem I have read about in the past year is from some one trying to “tweak” the recipe. “WHY?????”
No salt, more yeast, more or less water, different amounts and types of flours, different temperatures and times. I repeat “WHY?????”.
If it isn’t broken,,, why are you trying to fix it?
These recipes work and work well. I live in South Florida with high temperatures and even higher humidity and they even work here.

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sam November 22, 2009 at 3:06 am

Hi Karen, You should add 30g salt for every 1kg of flour, i think you used too little salt.
Second, to improve the taste, you can use some rye flour instead of white one. (E.g. use 100g rye flour, 400g white flour, 15g salt and 200g water).
Also incubate at room temperature rather than in the fridge. If you think your bread is over proved, then incubate it 8-10h instead of 12h.

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William Ross November 21, 2009 at 5:05 pm

I used to overcook everything. I bought a thermometer and found that my stove is consistently 25 degrees too hot. So I adjust temp down. In addition, I still find that my stove cooks faster than most recipes! No lo entiendo.

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mike November 21, 2009 at 4:56 pm

I just baked a loaf of Pumpernickel no knead bread and it tastes great but it burned a little. I was wondering if lowering the tempature would solve the problem. I baked it at 475 for thirty minutes and fifteen more with the lid off at 450. If lowering the temp would I need to extend the baking time?

[img]bread2003.JPG[/img]

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April November 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Karen,

I let my dough rise overnight about 12 hours at room temp or slightly warmer than room temperature. In a refrigerator, the dough is retarded and may take much longer to rise and develop flavor. I would try to let it rise at room temp if possible, or if it has to be chilled let it go a full 24 hours to see what happens. Is there any reason you are keeping it in the fridge?

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Karen November 21, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Thanks for the responses. Yes, I did use a tablespoon of kosher salt and after the initial 2 hour rise, I put the dough in the refrig overnight – at least 12 hours. I’m thinking of tearing off a piece of the dough I have left and using it as a starter, adding flour, water and maybe some honey or mollasses and a little oil to give it some flavor, and putting it back in the refrig again to ferment. Any thoughts?

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William Ross November 21, 2009 at 9:56 am

I would add salt. Just not too much.

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April November 21, 2009 at 9:50 am

William,

I get that…but Karen’s problem is not with the rise, but with the fact that her bread has no flavor. Do you have a suggestion to improve flavor other than adding salt?

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William Ross November 21, 2009 at 9:19 am

April, I don’t know the answer to your question, but I thought I would throw out there that salt is not just a flavor factor but it also impedes the yeast. Sugar is the “gas” and salt is the “brakes” so that has to be considered…

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April November 21, 2009 at 7:44 am

Karen,

Is there any salt in your recipe? I forgot to put the salt in once or twice and the result was absolutely tasteless. How long was your initial ferment? The longer ferments yield better flavor, in general.

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Karen November 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm

I just tried the no-knead method for the first time using King Arthur whole wheat, unbleached flour and vital wheat gluten. The recipe is from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. I baked a loaf in my oblong cloche – the crust is great, the texture is great, but the bread has practically no flavor. It sort of has an aftertaste of flaxseed oil. Can you offer any suggestions?

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Shabnam November 19, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Ever since the No Knead Sicilian Style Bread recipe came out, I’m in heaven. The most difficult ingredient – Chapatti flour – is the easiest for me – it’s the staple diet here in New Delhi. I’m having a lot of fun, making bread with all sorts of seeds added, even some pizza herbs. Today is posto day – poppy seeds, yesterday was sesame. I’ve replaced the malt syrup with plain table sugar and some added water. I often replace the oil with clotted cream – sometimes fresh sometimes soured… all results have been great.
The best thing is that I use a donut tray that came with a set and has no central hole thingy to make buns. They make great burger buns for my kids.
The chapatti atta is great as it has all the bran(I don’t sieve that off), is fresh ground at a local mill in front on me – about the healthiest carbs I can pack for my kids!
Love it!

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April November 19, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Hi Ralph

I too make a bread with rolled oats. Its actually a rolled 5 grain hot cereal and I add 1 cup to my regular bread recipe. I use 140g of starter which is about 1/4 cup. My starter is about the same consistency as mixed bread so I add a tiny bit of extra water but if your starter is liquidy you may not need it. The texture of the bread is very hearty and makes terrific toast. If I were making this recipe with yeast I would only use 1/4t. You don’t really need a lot of yeast with the long ferment unless its a huge loaf and my recipe yields a bread over 2 lbs so any bigger than that and it won’t fit in the pot!

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Ralph November 18, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Eric, I’m in the process of making an oatmeal — rolled oats — no knead bread recipe. It called for 2 teaspoons of yeast — I used SAF yeast. Next time I would like to use my sour dough starter. How much of the starter do you think I should use the next time I make the bread? If the oatmeal bread is successful, I’ll share it with others.

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Andrew November 18, 2009 at 10:00 am

Instead of using all water try mixing with 3/4 cup buttermilk and topping up with with spring water to the total amount of 1 5/8cups.
It shortens the rising time to just 12hours and my bread rose really high in the oven. The bread is simply delicious without the bitter after taste given off when using yeast.
Tried the same on the no knead sourdough and your sourdough spelt recipe. they too turned out divine!

[img]nokneadusingmixtureofbuttermilkandwater.JPG[/img]

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Breadtopia November 17, 2009 at 9:25 am

Hi Blanche,

You’ll get better results if you do.

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blanche November 17, 2009 at 9:20 am

I love the 18 hour bread so much – it is perfection – and rarely bake any other recipe. My question is, when preheating the pot for 1/2 hour, must the lid also be preheated? I cannot find mention of this anywhere.

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Mike November 14, 2009 at 4:58 pm

I have never baked anything in my life until now. I’m sixty two and I love hard crust bread. I saw this on the internet and thought I would try it. I used all purpose flour the first time and it came out ok but not great. I made my second loaf with 1 cup rye 2 cups of bread flour and it was great. My third loaf I used 1 cup wheat 2 cups bread flour and it is great too. If I can do this anybody can.

[img]bread018.JPG[/img]

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Barbara November 8, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Thanks, William, for your response. I cut the bread at least 2 hours after it comes from the oven. I do hear it sing when it first comes out (that’s really terrific!). I’m putting it on the bottom or one up from the bottom shelf.

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William Ross November 8, 2009 at 3:58 pm

If the bread is too moist…

Are you cutting into it immediately after it comes out of the oven? This might account for it. The bread continues to dry out for some time after you take it out. You can hear it “sing” if you get close to it.

Also, which shelf are you putting it on?

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Barbara November 8, 2009 at 7:50 am

i’ve been trying several no knead recipes…Jim Lahey’s master recipe in “My Bread” and also the whole wheat version and also the Cooks Illustrated ‘Almost No Knead.’ Each one turns out too moist inside for my taste, despite the temperature reading up to 220 degrees on some versions. The recipes have varied from 85% to70% hydration. Is this the nature of the no knead method? When I first tried Bittman’s recipe as a bagette years ago, I don’t recall any moisture issue. But with the boule form, it’s always there (thought the crust from the dutch oven baking is extradorinary).

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Breadtopia November 6, 2009 at 11:29 am

Hi Marc. This post might be of some help with that: http://www.breadtopia.com/2008/08/09/increasing-your-no-knead-recipes/

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marc lowen November 6, 2009 at 8:01 am

Can someone help me increase the basic no knead by1and 1/2 times so I can get a larger loaf

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Breadtopia November 5, 2009 at 9:43 pm

BJ – go to your favorite building supply store a get one of those plastic troughs that sheet rock guys use to hold sheet rock mud. You can usually find one that’s about the same size and shape as an oblong proofing basket but maybe only a few dollars. Drape a well floured towel in it and voila you’re all set.

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William Ross October 27, 2009 at 8:07 am

Re: the turtle shell problem:

Lahey (the originator of this recipe) designed this recipe with the express desire to have a firm crust surrounding an airy crumb

That your crust is *too* hard suggests a few possible problems:

* your oven may not be calibrated quite right. Many ovens are 25 degrees hotter or cooler than the oven settings read
* you may be at a different altitude which affects the temperature at which water boils
* your flour may have settled, resulting in the measurement not being accurate (the solution is to measure by weight)
* your dutch oven might be of a different size or thickness

In other words, there are many, many things that could cause your problem.

I would try taking it out of the oven sooner, and then let it continue to bake while it cools. Don’t slice it open until it is cool because the inside dries out during the cooling process.

[img]woundednegpetroglyphlogosmall.jpg[/img]

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