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.

{ 1592 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina December 8, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Hello all,
I attempted my 2nd loaf of the basic no knead recipe tonight. I baked it using the cold oven method (see Gary from Wisconsin’s post).
The first time I used cheese and olives in my recipe and the flavor was VERY pungent of yeast or fermentation. I didn’t care for the flavor so it took me almost 3 years to give it another try.
Last night’s results were not as pungent but still very yeasty or fermentationy. Am I doing something wrong or is this the typical result?
I did notice that the crust was not nearly as crunch with the cold oven/cooking receptacle method as with the hot oven/cooking receptacle method. The inside was wonderful both times.
I would like to try with cheese and olives again… Or maybe something with rosemary and salt, like the loaf at Macaroni Grill. I have my 3rd loaf currently rising and waiting to be baked tomorrow. I will try the hot oven method and see if the flavor is different.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Reply

Gary from Wisconsin December 10, 2011 at 12:35 am

Tina, My suggestion would be to go back to making a loaf with nothing in it, just to make sure cold oven method works for you. And if it works out I would try adding one ingredient at a time. I don’t know when you add the extra ingredients but maybe you could try putting the cheese and olives in after the long first rise, just before you put it in the pot.

Reply

Judy December 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Scroll down to read my long review on Gary’s techique. For some reason it posted way down the page. Also note to Gary: the handle on the enamel baker from Aldi’s is metal, no plastic.

Reply

Gary from Wisconsin December 2, 2011 at 9:15 am

My recipe for No Knead Bread. As an Industrial Engineer I am always looking for ways to stream line processes to make them easier to do. Here is my way to make No Knead Bread.

6 cups bread flour. One cup at a time. Gold Medal Better for Bread.
(I tried King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat, but did not like the taste of it)
1/2 tsp. instant yeast
3 tsp. salt
3 cups water from the tap. (use the same 1 Cup measuring cup I used for the flour) Sometime a little more if needed. Was using filtered water from the frig, but found that to slow and did not make any difference.

Mix together the dry ingredients in large metal bowl using the 1/2 tsp spoon I used for the salt and yeast.

Mix in water until the water is incorporated using a rubber spatula. Mostly I am scraping the side of the bowl and folding over. If dough sticks to the spatula, I use the measuring spoon to scrap it off.

Cover with plastic and let sit 12-18 hours in the microwave. If I put it in the oven, my wife will turn the oven on without looking inside. Amazing what that does to plastic wrap.

Spray the bottom of Dutch Oven with Pam and sprinkle corn meal on the bottom too.

Turn the dough that has been rising for about 18 hours over in the large metal bowl with a spatula. Once again, mostly I am scraping the sides of the bowl and folding.

Immediately dump the dough into the COLD Dutch Oven. Sometimes I try to cut a X in the top. And lately I sprinkle Sesame Seeds on top.

Place the COLD Dutch Oven into a COLD oven and turn the oven to 500 degrees F and set the timer for 50 minutes. When the oven says it is preheated to 500, I turn it down to 450.

After 50 minutes I take the top off the Dutch Oven and check the breads temp with a meat themometer. If it is 200 deg F or above I take it out. If below 200, I will leave it in the oven with the top off for another 5 mins and check again.

Take the Dutch Oven out of my oven. And flip it over on a cooling rack and it is done.

I put the HOT Dutch Oven back in the oven to cool and leave it there for days until my wife turns the oven on for something else and yells at me for leaving a dirty and now hot Dutch Oven in the oven.

So for me this seems easier then the original recipe and I never have to mess up the counter with flour or a dirty towel, etc… Also, it eliminates to me the most dangerous part of the process, dumping the dough into a 500 degree Dutch Oven.

Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas on how to make it easier.

Reply

KXJ December 2, 2011 at 10:37 am

A cookbook written in the style above would be great, something like, “The Real Man’s Guide to Cooking and Baking: How to Get Good Food Without Cleaning and Puffery.”

I’m wondering how your crust came out heating the bread slowly instead of searing it? Soft or crisp? Do you have a photo?

Reply

Gary from Wisconsin December 2, 2011 at 11:21 am

KXJ here is a picture of bread. Crust was crisp, to me anyways.

Reply

KXJ December 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Looks great! and the crumb is soft, airy? I’ve never heard anyone putting bread in a cold oven and bringing it up to temperature so I’m curious.

Reply

Gary from Wisconsin December 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm

The inside is great. See picture. I read about this on this site I believe over a year or more ago. Also, someone asked about doing the bread in one pot. I have thought about just mixing in my Dutch Oven, but I am fearful of the bread sticking once it is cooked.

Reply

KXJ December 2, 2011 at 1:09 pm

wow! it does look great. I have to try it.

Marius December 2, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Hi Gary,

So I understand once you let the dough rise for 12-18 hours you put it in the dutch oven and right to the oven or do you let it rise for about 2 – 3 hours and then put it in the oven.

Thanks,

Marius

Gary from Wisconsin December 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Marius,

After the first rise, I take the spatula and fold the dough over in the bowl. Mostly I scrap the side of the bowl and fold over, so the dough is not sticking to the side of the bowl. Once I have a nice ball of dough at the bottom of the bowl, I dump it into the the Dutch Oven. Maybe shake it a little, maybe cut the top and maybe sprinkle sesame seeds on it. No second rise. I tried second rises and it seems to make no difference to me. And waiting for the second rise just adds another time you have to handle the dough. I think I read here awhile back that while the oven is warming up, my dough is getting the second rise.

Judy December 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Long review of Gary’s “No second rise” technique. Everyone should try this at least once! I am a HAPPY CAMPER! As you can see by my past posts I bake a LOT of bread so am not opposed to waiting for rising time (that is part of the nature of baking bread!)…..but today I was running short on time and decided to try his technique. I had already made up three batches of my regular recipe last night so did not use his actual recipe, just the baking technique. I must admit I was not so sure ahead of time but decided to try at least one loaf. My dough was a little too wet so my round loaf did not rise to a high loaf but was a little flatter. That was my fault! I did NOT notice a difference in the taste and the crumb was perfect, soft and full of holes! The internal temp was 200 after the initial 50 minutes so I did not bake it any longer. The only difference I did notice was the crust was not quite as hard but DEFINITELY tough and chewy, just not real CRUNCHY hard. So….when I got home I baked the next two loaves in a similar manner. Still very happy with results. I must agree with Gary about the safety factor. I am almost 70 years old, have a high wall oven, and it is always a challange for me to get the bread into the heavy clay and cast iron bakers without burning myself. I loaded the cold bakers on the counter top and placed them easily into a cold oven. I also noticed one other change. I LOVE to hear the crackling sound as the bread cools but did not notice it as much this time. That could have been because of the room temperature in the kitchen so can’t blame that on the baking technique. I am sure there are times when I will still use the second rise but for now will try this method. Will make my dough drier the next time and see if that makes a difference in the height of the loaves. Thanks, Gary, for a new technique. I must admit that I do like the calmness of baking bread and knowing that Mother Nature is at work with “life” in the dough, but
this method will certainly help me with timing. Wish I knew how to post a picture. The loaves are beautiful….except that two loaves are missing all four heels! Wonder how that happened!!

Reply

Janie Williams December 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I have used Gary’s cold oven NK three times in the past 4 days. It goes so dang fast. My family is like a bunch of vultures staring at the timer I set so it can rest after coming out of the oven before they can cut it.

The first loaf was outstanding. The second was too wet and didn’t raise much. It was also still wet doughy in the middle even tho is registered 200 on the digital thermometer.

Last night, I whipped up a batch of dough and added a little extra flour so it was a firmer dough. Baked it off today and it is FANTASTIC. I let it cook until it registered 205 and then added another 12 minutes. The crust of perfect and the crumb is open and airy.

Oh, and I used my sourdough starter in lieu of yeast.

=Janie

Reply

Gary from Wisconsin November 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm

The current November 30, 2011 Aldi ad has a 6-Qt Dutch Oven (10″ x 4.7″) for $29.99. I can’t tell what the handle is made out of.

Reply

Judy December 1, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Thanks, Gary, for posting about the Dutch Oven at Aldi’s. Today is Dec.1 and I got the last one they had…a 5 qt, oval. I have the round and long La Cloches, plus another huge cast iron dutch oven, but I got this one for a gift. It looks pretty nice. Thought maybe it was a second but I don’t think so. Thanks again. Judy

Reply

Martin November 30, 2011 at 9:49 am

I’m baking bread in breadmachine for several years already. Just recently I found this no-knead method, so I tried two times this week… it’s fabulous! even I have to decrease a bit water the result is really superb.
It looks like my bradmaking machines will not be used so often…

Martin

Reply

Raquel November 25, 2011 at 11:58 am

Hi, I have a problem with the crumb, seems to be too wet, like it’s not finished cooking, so that when we cut the bread the knife gets “dirty” , sticky. The crust is great, any solutions for this? I’ve tried leaving it much longer in oven and that doesn’t help.
Thanks!

Reply

Breadtopia November 26, 2011 at 8:39 am

When the crust is done but not the inside, you might need to reduce the temp and increase the baking time. Did you happen to test the internal temp with an instant read thermometer? At 210° it should be done and not gummy.

Reply

Raquel November 26, 2011 at 12:46 pm

No, I haven’t checked the temp, but I’ll try. Would you reduce the temp by 25F or more? Is the thermometer the same type you use for meat?
Thank you!!

Reply

Bill November 27, 2011 at 10:55 am

I love it that way! That “doughy” texture is what I bake for!

Reply

Raquel November 30, 2011 at 10:36 am

reducing the temp by 25F really helped, the last one was perfect!
Thank you!

Reply

michelle November 24, 2011 at 6:48 pm

can someone tell me the conversion for 1/4 instant yeast to active dry yeast?

Reply

Marius November 24, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Hi Michelle,

Based on Peter Reinhart’s book you need to multiply the amount of instant yeast by 1.25 in order to know the amount of active dry yeast.

Reply

Judy November 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm

OK, should have reread twice before hitting submit button! The steel cut oats were uncooked when adding to ingredients. Also while preheating the oven the La Cloches were preheated at the same time.

Reply

Judy November 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Oh my goodness…can’t stop trying new ideas for this basic no knead recipe. Tried two new ones yesterday and they are gone today!

#1: RYE BREAD: 1 c rye flour, 2 c AP flour, 1/4+ tsp SAF yeast, 2 tab. caraway seeds, 1-1/2 tsp salt, 1-1/2 c water. (By weight: 133 grams rye, 266 grams AP flour, 2 tab caraway seeds, 1-1/2 tsp salt, 1/4+ tsp saf yeast, and 300 grams water. ) Proofed, covered, for 12 hours. Preheat oven to 500 for 1/2 hour. Bake in La Cloche 30 minutes at 500 covered, then uncovered at 450 for 15 minutes. The crumb was good but had less holes than usual. Very good texture though. BE AWARE! this has a very strong taste but we loved it.

#2: STEEL CUT OATS WITH WHOLE WHEAT: 1 c whole wheat flour, 2 c AP flour, 3/4 c uncooked steel cut oats, 1-1/2 tsp salt, 1/4+ tsp saf yeast, 1- 1/2+ c water. (by weight: 133 grams whole wheat flour, 266 grams AP flour, 130 grams steel cut oats, 1-1/2 tsp salt, 1/4+ tsp saf yeast, 300+ grams water.) Proofed, covered, for 12 hours. Preheat oven to 500 for 1/2 hour. Bake in La Cloche 30 minutes at 500 covered, then uncovered at 450 for 15 minutes. The crumb was good but had less holes than usual. Very good texture though. This was so good toasted this morning! When I was mixing this I added just a little bit more water (but didn’t weight it) because I knew the oats would absorb some of the water.

I added 1/4 tsp, plus just a smidge more, of yeast in both recipes because of the heaviness of the rye and wheat flours.

I think with both of these recipes next time I may add just a little more water to have a wetter dough that will produce a few more holes, but there was nothing wrong with the texture the way they turned out, just not as many holes!

I am finding that this basic recipe is very forgiving and lets you experiment. This is so much fun and oh sooooo good!

Reply

lorraine November 22, 2011 at 9:49 am

I have been making NKB for a few years now. I have used just about every cooking vessel available. This may suprise some, but my best and highest loaves are the once I cook in my corningware. Yup plain old white corningware with clear glass lids on a cookie sheet for sandwich type bread and without a sheet for crispy bottom toasting and appetizer bread. I kick myself for the money I have spent on all the other cooking vessels. Still love this website and love to see so many bread bakers.

Reply

Bill November 27, 2011 at 10:52 am

Thank you for that tip, Lorraine! I too have been using the NKB for years, and started with the dutch oven. Switched to a La Cloche and used it until the bottom cracked in the oven one day. I loved the La Cloche so much, but not the price, so I went to the local Home Depot and found an unglazed clay base for a flower pot with raised sides that fit the La Cloche lid perfectly. It’s what I use all the time now. That fix cost only a few dollars!

Reply

terri7 November 11, 2011 at 4:44 am

Made this one yesterday using the pineapple juice starter, and it’s excellent, my most successful yet and also the nicest to eat. Airy, tasty with a thin crunchy crust all round.
I cook it in bread tins. After taking the 2 tins out and my wife baking scones, I decided the larger loaf wasn’t cooked enough, so turned oven back on and gave it an extra 30 mins. Perfect!.
So next time I’ll just cook it for 45-50 mins at 180C.
It was all a bit wet so I added a small amount of baker’s flour so it could be handled.
Left it 3 hours or so to prove in the tins.

Reply

Marius November 15, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Hi Terri,

When you baked this bread using the Sourdough starter, can you please let me know how much starter did you use? Did you omit the yeast all together?

Cheers,

Marius

Reply

terri7 November 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I followed the recipe which suggests either 1/4 teaspoon of yeast or 1/4 cup of starter. Makes 1 loaf.
Made another 2 loaves yesterday-I double the recipe-with a little less water to produce a much firmer mix. Easier to handle, and still works perfectly.
Doesn’t make a high loaf in my longish tins.

Reply

Kristine Nickel, New Smyrna Beach, Fl November 11, 2011 at 4:19 am

Hi Eric, I just found a great baking video on YouTube for topping and shaping bread.
Can’t wait to try this baker’s technique. My dough will be ready to shape later today…..take a look at the “CHOPPED BREAD” it’s very interesting and creative.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=S6SvhkO3aEE
After viewing the video, please let me know what you think.

Kris “The BREADMANIAC “

Reply

jj wayne November 10, 2011 at 9:45 pm

just made my best, tastiest loaf yet, based on the no-knead recipe above. i used 15 oz. of red mill organic unbleached, unbromated white flour. i added only 1 tsp of salt and left out the yeast. instead of water, i put 1 bottle of killian’s irish red beer in a pot, turned the burner to lowest, and simmered without boiling for about an hour–the idea being to drive off the alcohol. i ended up with 1 cup of beer, which i mixed into the flour/salt after it cooled to room temperature. finally, i added 1/2 cup of fresh liquidy sourdough starter, mixed everything well, covered with plastic, and let sit overnight, a total of 14 or so hours.

the dough had doubled by morning. i turned it out, patted it and folded it per instructions, balled and stretched it, and placed it into a shallow bowl lined with parchment paper. the bowl went into my oven where i had turned on the oven light (my kitchen temperature can be on the cool side) .

after 2-3 hours, the dough had nicely doubled. i turned the oven to 500, after first placing the bowl of risen dough on top of the oven, in between the two front burners, where vented heat would naturally flow.

i don’t have a la cloche. i use the very heavy ceramic bowl from my crockpot, with its glass lid. this went into the oven when i fired it up.
after 1 hour, 500 degrees was reached. i sliced the top, transferred the dough, parchment and all, into the crockpot (the warm vented oven air had caused it to rise more), covered it, closed the door, and turned the temp down to 425.

1 hour later i pulled it out. it had sprung to twice its raw height! dark golden-brown crust, gorgeous bubbles, chewey but not sticky, and OH so tasty! the beer gave it a beautiful tan color, as though i’d used 1 cup of whole wheat flour. the sharpness of the beer had mellowed, and blended perfectly with the single tsp of salt. the finished loaf, hot, weighed 1 lb./9.7 oz.

this loaf won’t last even 24 hours. i’ll be making this recipe again and again!

Reply

Chris November 10, 2011 at 11:30 pm

I’ll try this, thanks

Reply

terri7 November 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I’m going to make this bread in a few days time using a starter.
I’d like to ask why the yeast/ starter amounts are so small when compared to most other recipes.

Reply

Breadtopia November 7, 2011 at 10:03 am

Hi Terri,

The small amount of yeast or starter necessitates a long proofing time with allows for more gluten development and flavor development. At least that’s my take on it.

Reply

terri7 November 7, 2011 at 9:49 pm

That makes sense and is just what I’m hoping to achieve.
I’ve read so many recipes, blogs and articles that it is all a bit much so I may have overlooked these points.
Looking for a low GI bread with the sugars reduced.
I found the heavier version a bit too heavy, so this one is eagerly awaited.
The pineapple juice starter works very well.

Reply

Chris November 1, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Hi, I’ve been making a few of your bread recipes with great results. I use a covered Dutch oven but was wondering if the la cloche would give superior crust crispiness.

Reply

Breadtopia November 2, 2011 at 5:58 am

Hi Chris,

I’m a bad one to ask, because I’m biased and think the cloche is a tiny bit better. But I wouldn’t necessarily spend the money unless you’re looking at the oblong one for the longer, narrower shape. Maybe other can chime in on this.

One thing I’ve started doing more recently to further boost the crispiness that would work regardless of the type of vessel is removing the lid earlier. Instead of taking it off for just the last 15 minutes or so of the total baking time, I’ve been taking it off after just 15-20 minutes of baking.

Reply

Judy October 25, 2011 at 8:15 pm

I am visiting some Romanian friends in Pittsburgh. They have really missed the European Artisan bread since they moved here. I brought my cast iron dutch oven on the train with me and have been making “two” loaves of bread a day. They are in HEAVEN. Every loaf has turned out great with perfect crumb. Tried one loaf of the Harvest Bread and I think the oven was just a little too hot as the crust and bottom were really black. We loved the taste so will try it at a lower temperature. We think maybe the molasses may have caused this…..sugar content. Thanks, Eric, for starting and maintaining this wonderful site. Your videos are so nice to follow and needless to say, the recipes are wonderful. I know this is a lot of work for you, but you have touched the lives of so many people and come into our homes with your wonderful bread. Thanks, again. Judy

Reply

Breadtopia October 27, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Wow, thanks Judy. That’s very nice of you.

Reply

Donna October 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Great recipe you have on the bread. I still can’t get those holes in my bread. Do you have any suggestions?

Reply

Janie Williams October 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I love baking bread. I have been making sourdough using this recipe for months in my Romertopf. But it never rises as high as the harvest bread, using just about the same recipe except I add 1/4 cup molassas, a handful of pecans and handful of dried cranberries. That loaf it spectacular. The plain sourdough never rises as high. I use the same amount of sourdough – 1/4 cup. I feed my sourdough and wait until it rises, then subsides a little bit. That is the stage I use it. Any ideas on why the plain SD doesn’t rise and the pecan/cranberry does? Only difference Ican think of is the molassas. Think it needs some sugar?

Reply

Jay Keeland October 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I’ve made three loaves of whole wheat sourdough using your no knead method. The first came out great. The second and third tasted great, but are flat (less than 2″ high). All use the same recipe, etc. What’s happening?

Reply

Breadtopia October 2, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I wish I could take credit for the no knead method, but alas I’m just a big fan of it. As for your flat loaves, I think I’d almost have to be there to tell you anything useful. It’s a little hard to tell without knowing more.

Reply

Erica September 27, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Hi – I’m moving from the ‘sourdough starter’ questions to the bread page questions now! Have successfully started my (third! we keep moving…) starter and am hoping this will be the keeper. Got a better rise than ever before and am starting to understand how to tweak proofing times/dough wetness, etc. Now I’m wondering – I love the superhard and thick crust I’m getting in my dutch oven (with a 1.5x recipe, if that matters), but am thinking it’s right at the edge of too much. Lot of chewing, and lots of work for the kids (3 and 4)! The inside is *just* barely done at the recipe’s stated times/temps, but the crust is really done. How might I take it down a notch? Uncover later? thanks!

Reply

Breadtopia September 29, 2011 at 8:46 pm

You might try lowering the baking temp a bit and cooking longer. Also keep the lid on the whole time.

There are other things you can do too, like adding a couple tablespoons of veg oil to the recipe and/or substituting some water with milk. They both soften the crust some.

Reply

Fred melnick September 25, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Slide a cookie sheet underneath the one you are baking on to insulate it.

Reply

Don September 25, 2011 at 11:47 am

I recently moved and have a new stove. Like my former one, this one is gas. I had my former stove figured out perfectly – bake at 425 in a covered dutch oven for 40 minutes, then uncovered for 15. Perfect crust, perfectly cooked inside.

In my new stove, this method is burning the bottom of the crust while the inside of the loaf is not fully cooked… I use the highest rack possible in the stove, which is approximately middle. How can I get the inside more thoroughly cooked without burning the crust, particularly the bottom?

Reply

Breadtopia September 29, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Hi Don,

A lot of people have solved the burnt bottom problem by simply putting a cookie sheet under their baker. I guess it deflects enough heat to make a significant difference.

Have you used an oven thermometer to check if your new oven is running hotter than you think it is?

Reply

Breadtopia September 29, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Oops. Just noticed Fred answered this already.

Reply

Mary September 25, 2011 at 6:36 am

I found a recipe for noknead bread but it says to put in cast iron dutch oven an cover can I just put on cookie sheet and bake

Reply

Breadtopia September 29, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Hi Mary,

You could certainly try that. However, the results that no knead baking is known for, come largely as a result of baking in a heavy covered baker, like a Dutch oven, which distributes the heat evenly and more importantly traps some of the steam from the baking dough. The steam helps develop a great crispy crust.

Reply

Mariella September 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm

This method is just perfect! I am a newbie in making bread and have tried the traditional method but somehow it didn’t work, but this one is perfect! is there any way to do it with rye flour?

Thanks y lot! great tutorial,

Mariella

Reply

Breadtopia September 29, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Sure Mariella. You might want to try this method first just to get the hang of it. It’s really easy to make a rye version. Most rye recipes use about 1/3 rye flour to 2/3 white. Or maybe 1/2 and 1/2.

Reply

Mitch September 29, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I’ve read a fairly large number of authoritative books on bread baking and the consensus seems to be that if you have too much rye flour in the mix you will need to handle the dough differently than you otherwise would . One book specifically said not to use more than 1/6 rye flour of the total amount of flour (which comes to a baker’s percentage of 17%). On the other hand, Jim Lahey, a recognized authority on no knead bread baking gives a formula in his book that utilizes 75% bread flour and 25% rye flour. Given that rye flour has essentially NO gluten forming protein, you may be looking for trouble if you exceed that amount. It’s only a bread so you certainly are free to experiment, but you are more likely to have satisfactory results if you stick to someplace between 17% and 25% as your maximum, at least at the beginning. Good luck and let us know how it turns out. :-)-

Reply

David September 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Thanks Maxina, Wil, and Mitch. I went out and purchased from my favorite flour et. al. supplier (Bob’s Red Mill) the steel cut oats. Added a couple of tablespoons to the mix and will see how this turns out, when I bake tomorrow morning. This addition along with the medium grind corn meal I usually add to this recipe should provide some added texture.
Do you all use about two Tbs?( I usually use a half cup of the medium grind corn meal and a half cup of regular corn meal.) Would you recommend more of the steel cut oats.

Reply

Maxina September 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I also throw in some flax seeds and chia seeds. So 3oz steel cut oats and hmmmm a hand full each of the other two. That is my daily bread thing.

Reply

Wil September 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm

For the oats, it may be a trial and error type effort to find out what you like. You can start with 2tbls and see what you think, and adjust from there. When I add steel cut oats to my recipe, I’ve used up to 4oz with good results—– for me and mine.

Reply

Mitch September 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I use a baker’s percentage of 14% for my steel cut oats, which I purchase online from Honeyville Farms (www.honeyvillegrain.com) in 4.375 pound cans at very good prices. I also buy my vital wheat gluten from them. Once you’re on their mailing list they send period notices of discounts on orders placed within a specified time period. And they have flat-rate shipping, which is also good. No, I’m not connected with them in any way; they are just a great company to deal with and I wanted to share this info. :-)

Reply

Wil September 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

I was going to say use steel cut oats as well. Soaking is not required due to the long proofing period, especially extended times in the refrigerator.

Reply

David September 22, 2011 at 9:18 am

I have been baking sour dough bread with my starter (now about forty years old) for years. I’ve always wanted to get a little more texture in the bread. Currently I add a half cup of medium grind corn meal. I’ve
thought about adding cracked wheat. Any tips on this? Must one soften
the cracked wheat before adding it to the dough? (I add all the dry ingredients together and add these to the starter/water mix.) Comment
would be most appreciated.

Reply

Maxina September 22, 2011 at 9:39 am

I used bulgar wheat, which is similar to cracked wheat, I suppose. I preferred the steal cut oats instead. The bulgar wheat came out heavy.
But like the steel cut oats it did not require any soaking.
Try it. Tell us what you think. It’s still quite edible!

Reply

Mitch September 22, 2011 at 10:00 am

It’s interesting that you said “…like the steel cut oats it did not require any soaking.” I know that in Eric’s video he does not pre-soak the steel cut oats, but I’ve been baking many variations of bread using steel cut oats for several years now and I’ve found that I get better results when I pre-soak the steel cut oats overnight, at the very least.

That is not to say that one can’t get great bread without pre-soaking the oats, and maybe some people would even prefer it that way, but I’m just commenting on my own experience.

Reply

Maxina September 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

I’ve also noticed two different kinds of steel cut oats. One looks like a grain chopped up into maybe three or four obvious pieces, and the other looks like smaller pieces. I use the former. I’ve never tried them soaked but I find my dough quite wet so felt that I didn’t need to.

Reply

sasi September 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Hi,

What should be the volume of the dough after first proofing ?
Should it be doubled or tripled ?

thank you

regards
sasi

Reply

Breadtopia September 19, 2011 at 8:02 pm

I guess I’d be happy most of the time to see 1 1/2 – 2 x increase.

Reply

sasi September 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm

thank you

Reply

melen August 6, 2011 at 5:16 am

I just found this site. So informative! Thank you. Just wondering if I can use whey (leftover from my strained yogurt) instead of water in the Almost No Knead Cooks Illustrated Sandwich Bread?

Reply

Breadtopia August 6, 2011 at 5:40 am

Yes, definitely.

When there’s a will, there’s a whey.

Reply

Breadtopia July 29, 2011 at 3:57 am

Hi Karen,

Sure. She can just feed it with more flour and water and let it sit out for several hours until it’s spongy again and then take out her 1 1/2 cups and feed the remainder again and refrigerate. Or refrigerate and feed later.

Reply

Karen July 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Hi,
My sister made a starter with pineapple juice and it is very nice and viable. She, however, doesn’t want to use the whole starter in one recipe, but only has 1 1/2 cups of starter, and that is what her recipe calls for. How does she go about making more starter (with the starter she has?) Can she feed it without removing any of the starter?
I grew my starter bigger, but that has been quite a while ago, and I can’t remember what I did.
Thanks for you help, I love this website and your pineapple starter
recipe.

Reply

Jeff July 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Hi all,

I have a dutch oven that measures 9″ (inside diameter at the top and tapering sides) The basic no-knead bread, 3 cups of flour fits quite well.

Another dutch oven measures 10″ (inside diameter and vertical sides)–the basic recipe produces a loaf that often doesn’t quite reach the sides and doesn’t quite rise to the height (3-3.5″) of the bread baked in the smaller d.o. For this d.o., I revised the amounts to 600 gm (4 cups) flour, 2 teaspoons salt and 500 gm (17 oz) water–same amount of yeast: 1/4 t. Baked 40 min covered and 15 min open@450 deg F. Inside temp on removal: 190 deg F. A great loaf with height that’s more proportional to its diameter.

don’t worry, be happy.

Reply

Maxina July 6, 2011 at 9:06 am

Gerry
Must agree. It’s a great website. I’ve got it up on my iPad all the time. Nice loaf!

Reply

Gerry July 2, 2011 at 6:28 am

LOVE your website! I have successfully made the sourdough rye (with yeast) and today made an all white sourdough with a starter (your recipe, very active, yay! but not yet “sour” enough). The bread is nice and crunchy on the outside, and light and moist inside. Who knew making bread this tasty could be so easy?! Thank you!

Reply

Sharon June 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Re: Romertopf – I bouught it second hand at a thrift store and it looks to be lightly used. I will try a few more times and see how things go. I suppose it could be a knock-off although it looks authentic…..might have been wiser to buy new. Thank you for the advice.

Reply

Sharon June 27, 2011 at 10:10 am

I just purchased a Romertopf and used it to make a no knead loaf. The bread was great but the Romertopf created huge amounts of smoke during the pre-heat and baking. I didn’t pre-soak the Romertopf as suggested on their website. Do they always need to be pre-soaked? Has anyone else had an issue with this? Thanks.

Reply

Breadtopia June 27, 2011 at 10:23 am

Hi Sharon,

Our Romertopf will do that after it’s been used for baking other foods that might leave an oily residue. But never heard of that happening with a new one. Did you purchase yours new? In any case, you don’t have to soak it first (I never do when making bread) and whatever is smoking will eventually burn off.

Reply

Mitch June 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Lynda,
You answered your own question — the bread didn’t bake long enough. Get yourself an instant read, stem thermometer from this website (I have the RT301WA) and use it to determine if your bread has reached the right temperature before taking it out of the oven. I prefer my bread to reach 207 F before removing it from the oven.

Reply

Fred June 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Give it more time to bake. There are no hard and fast rules.

Reply

Lynda June 23, 2011 at 6:59 pm

My bread seems to come out doughy in the center like it hasn’t cooked long enough. Any ideas?

Reply

Marlena June 23, 2011 at 11:59 am

I tried making this for the first time this week! I skipped the 2nd rise after reading in a few places that people have fine results that way. My bread was good, but dense, it seemed to lack “oven spring”. I had mixed the dough in the evening to be ready to bake in the morning, it had doubled by bed time…I’m wondering if I should have baked it sooner or maybe refrigerated it over night? I baked in a covered stock pot. I know nothing about baking bread, so I’d appreciate some tips!

Reply

Mitch June 22, 2011 at 6:01 pm

CindyT,
Given how inexpensive Terra Cotta bakers can be (especially in the sizes we need for bread), and how long they will last if not dropped, I just can’t see messing around with flowerpots, etc., and not buy a product specifically meant for food.

Reply

CindyT June 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Mitch, I believe the lead and cadmium warnings are for lowfire glazed products (I fooled with pottery throwing for a while, someday I’ll get back to it.) I’m not saying a unglazed terracotta or earthenware pottery couldn’t have those elements in them, but I suspect it would be highly unusual.

Reply

Romertopf June 15, 2011 at 10:56 am

I just barely starting cooking with these. There not that expensive either. The bread rocks!

Reply

Maxina June 14, 2011 at 9:27 am

Mitch
I have an Emile Henri casserole dish, smaller than the ones sold on the website. I tried it and it worked very well. Not as flat as you were saying which I was concurring with. I think I’ll wait for the long cloche to come available instead.
Regards.

Reply

Wil June 11, 2011 at 9:14 am

Kate, check out the Whole Spelt area on here and the comments others have made. It seems the Gluten intolerant people do well using whole Spelt wheat flour while retaining that good rustic homemade bread goodness. It is a tricky recipe, very wet but well worth the results.

Wil

Reply

Kate June 10, 2011 at 2:07 pm

My family and I love this bread. It’s so convenient and tastes fabulous; it seems we always have a loaf proofing. We are having a bunch of relatives over shortly and we would love to impress them with some homemade bread; however, one of my aunts is gluten intolerant. Do you know if this recipe works with gluten-free wheat, or do you have any recommendations for us?

Reply

Mitch June 10, 2011 at 8:41 am

Maxina,

I had the cloche. That’s how I discovered this website because my son-in-law ordered one for me from here. I never liked it because of the design. The bottom is flat with very low sides and I found the diameter to be too big so I kept winding up with large diameter essentially flat breads because there were no confining sides to the cloche to prevent my wet dough from collapsing . I accidentally dropped the bottom, it shattered, and I never replaced it.

I wound up purchasing the Romertopf 111 from this site, which I use with a loaf pan (see me posting below to Brenna) or without a loaf pan for free form oval loaves. When I do the latter I let the dough sit on a piece of parchment paper which also comes up the sides of the dough to ensure that the dough doesn’t stick to the baker (although I’m not sure that would happen without the parchment).

I also purchased a round terra cotta baker from another site, which has a bottom with high sides and which has a smaller diameter so that I get a bread that looks very much like the photo posted by Erin below.

Reply

Maxina June 10, 2011 at 7:21 am

Mitch.
Yea……you might be right. Hadn’t thought about that. My first degree as a materials science engineer I should know that. I just got so excited with the concept. Just started some herbs. They can go in there and I’ll buy a cloche.

Regards,
Maxina

Reply

Mitch June 6, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Maxina,

I seem to recall that you have to be very careful with some of these clay products because they could contain lead or other harmful substances, which is why I stay away from anything that isn’t specifically meant to be used with food. For example, if you go to the Romertopf website here http://www.romertopfonline.com/romertopf.html you will find that it says: “The strictest of supervision ensures that Romertopf’s natural terra cotta contains no lead or cadmium.”

Reply

Maxina June 6, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Firstly, allow me to say that I am so happy to have found your website. The Speerville Flour Mill in New Brunswick, Canada was my link while I was looking for organic stoneground flours. Having lived in Europe for many years, in particular Italy I have been striving to make a bread that can come close to a typical a Mediterranean rustic bread with big holes and a good texture. With so many kneading technique recipes they always result in a fine holed, soft, boring north American (sorry), “bread”. Having completed my first attempt of your “no knead instant yeast” recipe with Speerville’s wholewheat “white” flour and their wholewheat flour I am happy to scarf down my first remotely resembling bread with butter and a glass of white wine.
Here’s the funny bit though. I don’t have a “le cloche” so I went to Canadian Tire, our canadian hardware store, and got a shallow terra cotta flower pot with matching bottom plate; and used that instead. Worked great! I shall continue to tweak my quantities to suite this area of Newfoundland, and hopefully perfect many kinds of bread. Having promised myself a few items from your store I have ordered them after my first loaf, but I shall stick to my flower pot cloche!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Optionally add your bread image (.jpeg image format)

{ 7 trackbacks }