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.

{ 1649 comments… read them below or add one }

Maxina October 31, 2013 at 12:03 am

It just worked out so pretty…..
This is the recipe with steel cut oats, except I add about 1/3 cup hemp seed as well. It works well, adds texture and taste!


Phillip September 22, 2013 at 12:05 am

If I choose to use a dutch oven, which size do I need?


Breadtopia September 22, 2013 at 4:51 am

I think the 4 quart size is best.


Rebby August 25, 2013 at 3:43 am

Can I use pyrex? and if so, do I spray it first with cooking spray???


Sue Clamp August 25, 2013 at 4:01 am

As far as I know, you can use anything ovenproof that has a lid, although the only thing I use is a Römertopf (clay cooking pot). I line it with baking parchment (which the dough has been left to rise on and then gently lowered into the pot) rather than trust that it won’t stick. The size of the baking parchment is long enough for me to avoid accidentally touching the hot pot, so it has a dual purpose.


Marian Hale June 20, 2013 at 8:58 am

Just baked a loaf using Lori`s recipe which I really like, the only difference is that I use malt instead of honey.
I forgot to give the dough a second rise, but I achieved the best oven spring ever over 4 1/2 inches in height.
Because it was a very humid day yesterday, I put the dough in the fridge for about 6 hours then I left it out on the counter top overnight and cooked it after 13 hours.
In future I might skip the second proofing as it worked so well for me today.
Happy baking everybody.



Pat June 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm

I just signed up for your email today, I have been baking sourdough bread for about 3 years now In use a totally different method but your no knead sounds interesting except I am so impatient that 18 hours is going to drive me nuts. I am curious about the cast iron dutch oven can it be an enamel one? You didn’t show in your video so I am not sure. I was actually baking today by my method not yours and looking for recipes for sourdough pita. I will be sure to send along a photo of my finished bread later.
Do you have to use instant or any yeast beyond starter as I don’t like to use recipes that call for yeast.(purist here)

I know I am going to have fun trying out your recipes as they look incredibly easy. Should have found this info 50 years ago


RALPH May 27, 2013 at 11:46 am

Flavio, what I do is preheat the oven to 500 degrees with the dutch oven or my LaCoche, place the dough in vessel, place the cover on and immediately turn the oven down to 450 and bake for 20 minutes, remove the cover and bake 20 minutes more. I use and instant thermometer to make sure the bread has an internal temperature of about 202 degrees. I let the bread cool on a rack for one hour.


Flavio May 27, 2013 at 9:14 am

I’m having trouble finding the right baking temperature for the almost no knead bread. 5oo degrees (I have an oven thermometer, and my oven seems accurate.) for 30 minutes– then 450, lid off, for 15 minutes leaves me with a burnt loaf. I’ve tried various temperatures, as low as 430 degrees, but lower produces a soft unsatisfactory crust. I don’t mind some burning of the crust, even prefer a bit of it, but this is excessive. I leave a pizza stone permanently in the oven and bake everything on it. The clouche or Dutch oven I use rests on the baking stone, and I’m wondering if that could generate additional heat? I’ll try my next loaf without the stone but I’m wondering if anyone might have a thought on this?


Melissa May 27, 2013 at 9:26 am

I’ve found that dusting my dutch oven with a layer of cornmeal generally keeps the bread off of the hot metal enough to prevent much burning. Also, after the dough has been shaped and risen for 1 hour, after folding, I immediately place the loaf in the cornmeal-dusted dutch oven, and then into the cold oven at 500 for 30 minutes. Then I reduce the heat to 450 for another 15 minutes. Success!


amanda June 1, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Just a bit confused when you say you placed the dutch oven into the cold oven at 500 degrees. Are you not preheating it?
Many thanks.


Vickie July 8, 2013 at 11:07 pm

I use a basic cast iron dutch oven. I line the bottom of my pan with foil, this keeps the bread from becoming too brown and still gives it a very good crunch. I put my pan in a cold oven 30 minutes prior to using it at 425 degrees and then cook for 30 minutes and take lid off and bake additional 10-15 minutes for added crispness and browning. Hope this helps.


Cindy August 10, 2013 at 6:53 am

I’ve heard of people just turning the oven off for the last 15-20 minutes of baking too. I bake mine in a seasoned cast iron dutch oven (preheated for 20 minutes at 450) placed on top of a baking stone too. I cook it for 30 minutes, then take the lid off and bake it for an additional 15 minutes. I’ve never had a burnt crust, just golden brown. Good luck!


Marian Hale May 22, 2013 at 7:11 am

Just a footnote to my message yesterday, I mentioned that there was a very small area of wetness near the bottom crust.
This morning when I cut some of the loaf it has disappeared, the crumb is lovely and so light. I think this is my best ever bake thanks Lori for the recipe.
What is a poolish And what does it do Is to impart flavour to the finished product? Is it used in yeasted loafs only to give that rustic feel. I would like to try baking a loaf using this method has anybody a good easy recipe please.

Marian H.


Karina Ohep May 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Hi! Just saw the short video to see if I had made any mistakes with my first no knead bread. The dough is indeed quite soupy and hard to manage, that was my first problem. However, after watching your video I know I can work it out. My biggest problem was that the bread stuck to the pot!!! It broke when I tried to get it out, and it was burnt on the bottom. I did not see you grease the clay pot, I used a cast iron one with a Pyrex lid that fits. Should I try greasing the pot or inverting the dough onto parchment paper? (Got to mention I used a recipe similar to yours from another site but can’t get through to them)


Chris May 21, 2013 at 8:13 pm

I only use cast iron for this recipe, not a clay pot. Assuming that the cast iron ware is well seasoned you shouldn’t have a sticking problem, even without addition grease. Still I “help it along” by throwing in a small amount – maybe a tablespoon or thereabouts – of corn meal into the bottom of the cast iron just before I flop the dough in for the final bake. With the corn meal I can invert the (very hot) pot and the finished bread just falls right out.


john currie October 11, 2013 at 9:31 am

hi chris, any tips on how to season a cast iron pot?


Chris November 27, 2013 at 10:16 am

Hi John – sorry for the slow reply. Zzzzz…
If the pot is new, it’s probably pre-seasoned (all Lodge brand pots are). If it’s older, looks rusty or (heaven forbid) been washed in a dishwasher or scrubbed with a metal scrubbie thing, it will need to be reseasoned. It’s the black “patina” that gives the cast-iron its “Teflon”-like nature. Any cast-iron ware should probably be reseasoned about once a year anyway. Yeah, it’s a hassle but well worth it.

Rather than retype it all, here’s the info from the Lodge page, which is exactly what I do (and no, I don’t work for Lodge):

Most of my cast iron is about 30 years old (my newest one, a small “dutchie” is only about 10 – a baby!) The stuff never wears out and you can often find inexpensive (and rusty) cast iron at thrift shops for cheap when people don’t know how to season it or get tired of dealing with it. Too bad for them!

Many years ago (40?) backpacking in Colorado I came across a 16-18 inch cast iron skillet tossed on the side of the trail at the base of a pass with – by my actual count – 42 switchbacks in the trail. I could just imagine an inexperienced hiker looking at the pass, looking at their skillet and saying, “Nope,” and pitching it out. I could have picked it up but since I was also about to attack the 42 switchbacks myself it stayed by the trail. It might still be there (but in need of seasoning).

Off to start bread for Thanksgiving dinner. Good luck!

cj in NM


Marian Hale May 21, 2013 at 10:05 am

Just want to say a big thank you to Lori whose recipe I baked today, I also followed Sol`s suggestion and added bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar to the fluid for the recipe, we have incredibly hard water as well. And lastly I added the salt after the first proofing like Jay mentioned.
I ended up proofing it for nearly 24 hours due to unforeseen circumstances. I should have popped it into the fridge overnight but forgot. So I don’t know if it was over proofed?
It rose well over 4 inches the crust was thin and crisp and the crumb was well constructed and light, but there was a very small area of wetness on one side near the bottom crust. I used the recommended quantity of water but I forgot to deduct the two tablespoons of vinegar from it, would that make a difference?
I suppose it might the mixture was wet but not unmanageable when I came to knead and fold.
I will have to make another loaf tomorrow and revise the quantity of fluid to see if that makes a difference!
Despite the slight problem this loaf will work really well for sandwiches for my husband to take to work , it will certainly be a weekly bake in our house, and so easy to prepare. I tried to take a picture to post on the website but couldn’t get a good enough one.

Marian H.
Marian H.


Marian Hale May 19, 2013 at 4:37 pm

I want to try vinegar in the next loaf I bake, but I only have white wine vinegar will that do?
Does it not matter as long as it is white, would love to hear from anybody who has tried the above vinegar and the result they got.

Marian H.


Marian Hale May 19, 2013 at 11:24 am

I have come across a NK recipe using yeast the quantities of the ingredients were doubled. After the first 18 hours proofing you could halve the mixture, bake one and keep the other half in the fridge for up to two weeks until needed.
Could I add dried malted barley extract to this recipe to help it rise I would like to add vinegar as well to aid flavor.
Would using both of the above ingredients help or hinder the final result.
Marian H.
I like the thought of having dough sitting in the fridge waiting to be baked saves on time.
I like the idea of having dough already made and waiting in the fridge to be baked.
Marian H
Has anybody used both of the above ingredients in NK bread using yeast. What was the end result like?


Mary April 26, 2013 at 11:45 am

Thank you for all this wonderful information. My question is about add-ins. If I want to add wheat germ, or ground flax seeds, (to make the bread healthier), do I decrease the flour, or just add the extras? How much can be tolerated–a few tablespoons or more?


América April 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm

This recipe looks yummy! I’ve been wanting to try it, but we don’t have a dutch oven (I’ve checked the prices of those in my area and Holy Moly! they are very expensive), but we a “barro” pot (very much like clay, I’m Mexican). Could that serve as an alternative?


Breadtopia April 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm

You could try a barro pot. I saw one that tapered up at the sides which could make it difficult to get the bread out. But any covered vessel that can be heated to as high as 450-500 degrees might be worth a try.


Lee Sek Kean April 20, 2013 at 3:14 am

No knead bread baked in clay pot.


chris April 19, 2013 at 7:25 am

Hello – I have just started making No Knead bread, following the Jim Lahey recipe, and am generally pretty pleased with the results, however, the crust is not very crisp and crackly. I am cooking it in a glazed ceramic casserole pot, and I was wondering if the glazed interior may have something to do with keeping the crust soft? Do you think the process would still work ok if I kept the lid off for the whole baking period, which would be more akin to baking on a stone but with the advantage of the pot helping to maintain the shape of what is a fairly loose dough? Any help or advice would be much appreciated.


John R April 17, 2013 at 6:54 am

I have had a lot of success with No Knead bread – I would say it is almost perfect …………….except……….. the crumb is very rubbery and elastic. It looks perfect but when you press it springs back immediately. We find it a rather too chewy. My standard recipe is-

300g strong flour or a mix
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1tsp salt
225g water
Fermenting – up to 18hrs ( may have been in fridge before)
Proving – 1 1/2 hrs
Baking – total 3/4 hour

I have tried several flours and a number of mixes but it is always chewier than any other bread I have tried

I wonder if anybody has any ideas or suggestions. Many thanks in advance
John R


Kathy April 17, 2013 at 8:03 am

That’s exactly my issue too. The bread is very “heavy.” No one complains but me and maybe it’s just the nature of the beast. My starter is very, very active. I will say, the rise in California, when we still lived there, was much better than here in New Hampshire. I’m wondering if climate is having an effect. Ideas? My starter is not like thick pancake batter, but full of air and stretchy.


Fred April 17, 2013 at 6:47 am

To easily and safely transfer the dough into the hot baking container, I place two 4″ wide pieces of parchment paper crossways in the proofing basket under the dough before it proofs. To put the proofed dough into the hot container I simply pick up the four ends of the parchment paper and carry the dough to the oven and the container. BTW, here’s a tip for using parchment paper: because it usually curls up, before using the piece(s), crumple them up and then smooth them out. They will then stay in place.


Harvey S. Cohen April 16, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I bake a lot of bread, both NK and K. I hate transferring risen dough into a preheated cloche or clay baker. It’s too easy to get the dough caught on the edge, or get the dough in crooked, or deflate the dough, or burn myself.
So I usually either do the final rise and cold-oven start in the cloche, or do the final rise in a loaf pan and then put the pan in a preheated dutch oven.
But I rarely get the very open crumb and thick crust we all love. Any suggestions?


Martina April 16, 2013 at 11:41 am

I`m wondering how long to bake the bread if I want to double up the recipe? I love the bread!


Marie April 14, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Could you add a gluten product when mixing whole wheat NK bread so you could use more whole wheat and less white flour (greater than the 1:4 ratio Jim Lahey reccomends) in order to get a higher loaf or add high fibre maize to the white flour in order to get higher fibre without using whole wheat flour. Has anyone tried either of these. Thanks.


Shabnam April 14, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Have baked the NKB with 75-80% whole wheat. Just takes longer to rise. Have also added bran to White flour and 50% whole wheat. Adds a nice texture. Also, the whole wheat in India has a much lower gluten content. Works fine.
Infact, to ensure my dog gets the right food, I bake whole wheat bread with absolutely no white flour with no salt, sugar or fat content at all. Just flour, water and yeast. Rises well. sometimes, I think it looks a great deal better than the one for the Humans ;).


Bonnie April 2, 2013 at 4:05 am

I was told I could find an address on your website for information to send a self address envelope for some Oregon Trail Starter. Can you give me some guidance because I couldn’t locate it?


irwin April 2, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Bonnie, try and if that does not connect write to: Sourdough Preservation Society, P.O. Box 321, Jefferson,,MD 21755 or

Hope one of these works out for you. Irwin


Joanne T Ferguson March 31, 2013 at 12:17 am

AMAZING! I would love to try some of the no knead breads, TRUE!
No question to me is ever silly or stupid if you don’t know too!

My oven only goes to 450C (~482 C) that still ok to do? I presume I would just have to cook it longer, but when I reduce it, what do I reduce it to?

Can I make this in my clay tangine with a clay top lid?

Thank you in advance. Cheers! Joanne


Breadtopia March 31, 2013 at 4:04 am

Hi Joanne,

Do you mean 450F? 450C is over 800F. If your oven goes to 450F, that is fine for no knead baking.

Yes, you can use a tangine. I’ve wondered if the lid shape would get in the way of the dough rising. If you try it, please let us know.


Joanne T Ferguson March 31, 2013 at 5:23 am

G’day and thank you for your reply! Sorry is 250C which is 482 F

I would like to try it with my tangine.

With the new information, about how long would I bake it for and when I reduce the heat, what would I reduce it to

Thank you!


Breadtopia March 31, 2013 at 5:39 am

Just follow the same times as whatever the recipe calls for. I’d preheat the tagine first for about 25-30 minutes. Personally, I wouldn’t reduct the heat. Bake with the lid on for the first 15-25 minutes and take off for the remaining time.


Joanne T Ferguson March 31, 2013 at 6:59 pm

G’day and thank you! This method is now on my “list to do” Will let you know how I go baking it in the clay tagine too!


Lee Sek Kean March 29, 2013 at 6:45 am

This is my first born no knead bake bread! Baked in Le Creuset Dutch Oven. I am happy with the result. Thank you for the great recipe.


Ann March 18, 2013 at 7:10 pm

My first batch is in the oven. Smells wonderful!!! Great video, thanks!!


Regina March 17, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Let me start by saying that I have never before baked a loaf of bread from scratch. I watched these videos and read “My Bread” by Jim Lahey. The two together made it sound so easy so I purchased a few of the key items mentioned in your video and BAM! My very first loaf ever came out absolutely PERFECT! Thank you for an excellent video! I am now anxious to make my first loaf of sourdough.


David March 15, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Followed recipe and bread turned out perfect. When I removed the cover, bread was already golden brown. Didn’t really need the extravtime with lid off. Great texture and taste. Got the next loaf going now. The video was terrific.


Melissa March 15, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I tried the No Knead method for the first time and produced two beautiful loaves of sourdough bread! Thank you very much, I could not believe how easy this was! Up to this point my idea of homemade bread was instant starter and a bread machine. I even have my own starter going and thriving.


Sue February 15, 2013 at 6:40 am

Just started using this method this week and would not have believed it would work if I hadn’t tried it myself. It’s incredible! Have tried playing with the proportions and used some rye flour in the mix.


Rachel February 14, 2013 at 6:55 pm

OK, I hate to be just another person saying “Do you know why my bread did this?” I cannot get the dang loaves to rise…I’ve tried different changes and it doesn’t seem to help. Is there a more specific trouble-shooting area on the website than this? Would like to follow the list and make sure I’ve left no option untried. It’s getting old and I’m tired of wasting my time for a sub-par loaf every time. Thanks in advance!


Chris February 16, 2013 at 10:21 am

See my overly-long posting below. I had the same rising problem with my first three or four attempts. They made nice hockey pucks. My issue may have been altitude (I’m at 7300 feet) or my inexperience but I think I’ve perfected it with:
• more yeast (1/3 t instead of 1/4t)
• 2 Tbls gluten flour mixed in to keep the break from imploding under its own weight (I think this was the real key)
• a long rise (18 hrs+) in a good warm area with a very constant temperature.
Those three changes made my last two batches come out perfectly.
Details are below. Good luck!


Bob February 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm

rachel are you using bleached flour? bleached flour or water with high clorine will reduce the rise .


Phyllis February 13, 2013 at 11:44 am

I was wodering how I can add parm cheese and procutto to this no knead bread


Janetta February 9, 2013 at 10:27 am

Sorry, forgot to say the recipes have to be without common wheat! Thanks once again!


Janetta February 9, 2013 at 10:25 am

Hi! Must say I’m amazed with your website, and it’s given me hope! I have had very, very bad problems with my gut and have finally discovered that I am intolerant to wheat. So I just wondered where I can find recipes for bread, pastry, muffins, sponge cakes etc…
Can any of you help me, please?I live in Spain so it is not always easy to purchase ingredients either at my health store or through the internet, so I just need really simple recipes.
Thank you !!!


Mark H. February 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Question: How do you store bread after it has cooled…in a plastic bag? That softens the crust.


Adam March 9, 2013 at 12:11 am

I have a linen/cotton bread bag that I put all my bread in after it is cool (usually 12 hours after). It hangs in the kitchen from a hook. This keeps the bread fresh for a week since I only bake on the weekends.


Breadtopia March 11, 2013 at 7:04 am

Hi Adam.

What do you do to keep it fresh after you cut it?


Adam March 11, 2013 at 8:13 am

It stays in the bag. By the end of the week, it is drier but it is not too hard, but to be honest it does not last more than 5 days.


Chris November 27, 2013 at 10:29 am

You mean there is actually some left that isn’t warm? Amazing!


Mark H. February 1, 2013 at 11:26 am

Ok. I have perfected this recipe. This bread is now a staple in our kitchen and I am baking it regularly. Everything from toast to sandwiches to a crust of bread to mop up soup…and I have developed the touch to make it well consistently.

My wife, daughter and I are indebted to the breadtopia website. Thank you so much!

Now to try to make the sourdough starter using pineapple juice. This is intriguing!


Ling January 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Do all the no-knead breads use instant yeast? Can I use the active yeast instead?


Todd May 31, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Yes, you can use active yeast.


michelle January 22, 2013 at 11:58 am

Since I am already here I thought that I would add my experience with no knead. First of all I LOVE it!! So easy and yummy!! AND versatile!! We have used it for pizza dough and cinnamon buns!! And let me tell you the cinnamon buns were well to die for or kill not sure which :] you just make the dough the new york way and when it has sat 8-18 hours use it (bake too) as you would any other dough, comes out beautiful!!

And to add for those that find bread hard to digest, well when you soak the flour you help the digesting process out by helping to break down the gluten and other difficult to digest components
another great reason to use nkb!


Mark H. January 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Oh and one more thing. I shape the loaf on parchment paper and lift it into the dutch oven. I am going to purchase a proofing basket before long. When watching thevideo, this made a nicely textured crust and seemed easy to unload into the Dutch oven.


Mark January 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm

And here is the crumb.


Mark January 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm

My latest made with KA unbleached white flour. This recipe is so simple yet makes bread that can only be equaled by bakeries in the large city an hour away. I have also learned that even if you weigh everything exactly, the dough may still not come out perfectly; it must have a consistency that is somewhat sticky but not dry. One must slightly adjust either the flour or the water to attain this consistency.


michelle January 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Been making this bread for just about a month! And have been loving it!
I add a tbsp of vinegar (I use 6 cups of flour, so double this recipe). I have made cinnamon buns using this dough and pizza crust, both turned out delicious! The vinegar will help of you are having troubles rising and helps break down the grain to make it more easily digested.


Mark H. January 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm

I am enjoying baking the no knead bread. I bake either all white or use 1 cup of whole wheat in the recipe. I bake it at 450° and the crust comes out nice and brown. Would not 500° make it too brown?

Also, my bottom crust is always really tough. I am using parchment paper in the dutch oven as it is easier for me to get the bread in without deflating etc. I still get the tough bottom crust. Any ideas?

Here is a pic of the loaf I made today (I love to do the square slash!).


Tries January 14, 2013 at 3:38 am

Your bread is worth the picture, beautiful! My two cents…: Try to put your Dutch oven on a pizza/breadstone and see if the crust comes out better…..


Larry Rand February 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Try moving the rack up or down in the oven, depending on whether you have gas or electric stove (usually down for electric, with an overhead heating element, up for gas with the heat from below).


Marianna January 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I was lost and now am found: after watching this video on the no-knead method I will never again measure my flour in cups, and I will buy a bread whisk and proofing basket. For years I have been too cavalier as a bread baker and inconsistent results are the consequence. I appreciate the attention to details (where the devil resides) and have a renewed enthusiasm for bread making.
A question: Do I have to buy spring water to make bread or will my pour-through water filter (a Britta) remove the chlorine?
Thank you for such clarity and high-quality teaching,


Breadtopia January 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Hi Marianna,

You’re very kind.

The pour through Brita filters are perfectly fine.


Sol January 1, 2013 at 9:07 am

I spent about a year-and-a-half experimenting with bread-making technique – baking about one 1½ pound loaf a week. Only recently have I been satisfied that I could reproduce an open-crumb “no-knead” bread of consistent quality. Here’s what I learned:

1) I was originally motivated to try to adapt “no-knead” recipes for use with a kitchen bread machine. (I didn’t want to use my regular oven in July.) I adjusted the machine’s cycle for quick mixing of ingredients, long rise time, and the hottest temperature (about 375º.)
a) High hydration is not enough to produce open crumb. The bread machine does not seem to get hot enough to drive all that moisture off. The loaf sometimes came out soggy in the middle.
b) Shape matters. The weight of dough in the vertical bread machine arrangement compressed the spaces toward the bottom.
c) Overhandling the dough is a problem. “Mixing” is an imprecise term, but stirring, folding or kneading enough to ensure uniform wetting of the flour is probably too much. More on that later.
d) Temperature and specific heat both matter. At some point, I began using the bread machine as just a micro-oven. I did all of the other preparation (including 12- to 24-hour rise time in a wide, covered bowl) by hand. The bread machine could not transfer heat to the dough rapidly enough and evenly enough. That is, the walls of the bread machine probably got too hot at certain times, prematurely hardening the crust and inhibiting further oven spring. I even tried “basting” the inside edges of the pan with a bit of water from time-to-time, to no avail.

2) So in the fall, I switched to using a pizza stone in my main oven. But first, some critical insights on ingredients and technique.
a) Poolish is for flavor; the main dough is for structure. I have gotten into the habit of preparing a poolish 1 day ahead of baking. I mix the dough, water and yeast thoroughly, cover the bowl, and mostly leave it alone at kitchen temperature. Sometimes I scrape down the sides of the bowl and fold the poolish once or twice during the day. In this time, the yeast should be making all kinds of tasty enzymes. Handling seems to produce no noticeable difference in the outcome. More on the main dough later.
b) Yeast matters. For the first six or eight months of experimentation, I was frustrated by my inability to produce complex flavors. (During that time, I concentrated more on bread structure.) I finally concluded that the “highly active” dry yeast in those little square packets – suitable for bread, cakes and other pastries – was probably bred not to impart unique flavors. I switched to using a refrigerated block of compressed fresh yeast that I purchased at a local bakery. Much better.
c) Mix early, then not again. For the main dough, I dry mix my unbleached white and whole wheat flours (and sometimes a tiny amount of active dry yeast) to achieve a consistent blend. That’s the end of that. (I no longer add salt at this step. More on that later.) I then add about half of the water to the poolish. (At one point, I tried mixing the slurry in a blender, but that turned out to be unnecessary. A spoon does the trick.) Mix only until you see no standing water. Add the resulting slurry to the flour. Stir – do not mix – the ingredients only until there is no standing liquid. Dump in the rest of the water and stir again until there is no standing liquid. The result will look awful, with streaks of dry flour plainly visible. Leave it alone.
d) Autolyse. Add salt last. This is the step at which the dough achieves more (though not completely) uniform hydration. Cover the bowl and let it stand at room temperature for 20-40 minutes. At the end of this time, portions of dry flour may still be visible. Fold – do not overstretch – the mixture just a bit to move the dry areas toward the inside of the dough ball. At the same time, add salt, sprinkling some of the dry crystals on the surface before each fold. Do not try to achieve a uniform distribution throughout the volume of the dough. Do not overhandle the dough.
e) Slow rise. Cover the bowl containing the dough ball. Plan to leave it alone for at least 12 hours. It needs this much time to develop structure. I find that my kitchen is too warm (resulting in too rapid rise) and my refrigerator is too cold (resulting in near dormant yeast.) At different times of the year, there are different parts of my house to which which I can move the bowl to keep the dough between 40º and 60º most of time. I stick a thermometer in the dough at the beginning of this process and leave it there until the dough goes into the oven.
f) Don’t overproof. I find that a single rise works best for me. When the dough reaches twice it’s size (or if 24 hours have passed), it’s ready for baking. I try to keep handling to an absolute minimum, so that I will end up with an open crumb.

3) Baking
a) Make a tent. Humidity is a huge factor in crust development. After trying other low tech approaches (e.g., a shallow pan of water at the bottom of the oven), I have achieved the best results by skipping the extra water and simply folding parchment paper into a rectangular cover that will fit loosely over my baking dish. The high hydration of the dough will provide enough humidity during baking.
b) Shape matters, and I find that baking my 1½ pound loaf in a 2 quart Pyrex dish gives me the best compromise between oven spring and final cross-section. Otherwise, the very wet dough spreads out more than I’d like on a bare pizza stone, producing something closer to a ciabatta – great for dipping in oil, but less versatile for sandwiches. Preheat the Pyrex on the pizza stone in the center of a 500º oven for at least 15 minutes. (The pizza stone gains temperature as slowly as it will eventually give it up.)
c) So that the bread will not stick to the baking dish, sprinkle some corn meal onto the bottom of the dish immediately before transferring the dough. Also sprinkle a little corn meal onto the entire surface of the dough as you work it off the sides of mixing bowl. Cover the baking dish with the parchment paper, turn down the oven to 450º and bake for 6 (yes, only six) minutes.
d) I find that the unworked, wet dough, is too sticky to slash before it has gone into the oven. After six minutes, though, it has firmed up enough that a few slashes across the top (and in the corners) will greatly improve oven spring. (I use a sharp, oiled paring knife for this.)
e) Replace the parchment paper and continue baking for 30 more minutes at 450º. At the end of this time, poke it with a thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature is 205º – 210º. If not, give it 5 more minutes in the oven under the parchment. Then remove it and cool the bare loaf on a wire rack for about 60 minutes. (Incidentally, my total cost of electricity for this baking exercise is about 9 cents. [We've got smart meters.] Of course, I still do not bake at the same time as I am trying to air-condition the house.)
4) Ingredients. Weigh everything. (It’s easy and it makes a big difference. Also, easier cleanup.)
a) Poolish
60 grams whole wheat flour
40 grams unbleached all-purpose flour (I like high protein 5g/40g flour from Montana.)
6-8 grams (not precise) compressed fresh yeast, finely chopped with a little flour
100 grams water
b) Main dough
370 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
270 grams water
12 grams salt
200 grams poolish
1/8 tsp active dry yeast (optional – belt & suspenders)
about 2 tablespoons corn meal


Sol April 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Here’s an addendum to my earlier post, reflecting more recent experience. I had achieved a perfectly nice texture and flavor before, but I never quite achieved the open crumb that I sought until I focused on my water.

From what I understand, “Excessively hard waters (above 200 ppm calcium carbonate) are undesirable because they retard fermentation by tightening or toughening the gluten structure too much….On the other hand, soft waters (10-50 ppm calcium carbonate) are objectionable because they lack the gluten-strengthening minerals and tend to yield soft, sticky dough.” (See .)

My tap water is excessively hard and a little alkaline. I do nothing to soften it, though I run it through a Pur™ filter. I tried adding a bit more yeast to my recipe, adding up to a teaspoon of vinegar, etc., but not much changed. Then, I added ¼ teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar (5% acetic acid) to my usual amount of water. This seems to produce the desired open crumb, and it does not seem to add objectionable flavors to the finished product.

Here’s my theory of what is going on. The baking powder and vinegar react with one another in the water, producing a neutral pH. The reaction also produces some mineral salts that chemically buffer the solution – that is, they hold the pH of the overall dough mixture closer to a neutral 7. I think that some of the sodium in the baking soda may also replace some of the free calcium and magnesium in my hard water, tying them up with part of the vinegar.

My direct observation is that the yeast seems to develop more slowly and the crumb is much more open – a sign of slackening in the gluten structure. All in all, a better loaf of bread.

For the main dough – not the poolish – add ¼ tsp of baking soda and 1 Tbsp of white vinegar to 270 grams (=270 ml) of water, stir and let it stand for 5 minutes or more. Do not add any more yeast at this step. Table salt can be mixed into the flour ahead of the treated water, without ill effect.


Jocelyne December 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I was at a workshop where we were given some bread done this way. It was good but I think it uses more electricity to cook only one loaf or who has 4 dutch ovens ? I will keep on making mine 4-6 loaves at a time and I do my thinking while I knead. I freeze the other ones. If I made only one, I would have to bake everyday.


Gary from Wisconsin December 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I posted this over a year ago. Let me know if you if you have an easier method.

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.
1/2 tsp. instant yeast (sometime I put in more to hurry things up)
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.

Happy Holidays.


Harvey S. Cohen April 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm

That’s a natural break in the top crust? No slashing?


kobold December 1, 2012 at 12:01 am

i made a superb sourdough loaf using 1 cup wm spelt, 2 cup white flour and 1 cup spent grain (leftover from an all grain beer ferment – i ferment on the grain bed). it added taste, texture and fibre, plus, it looked great. i think in this recipe 1.5 – 2 cups would be also safe to use.


Raamá November 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm

thank you for your recipe bread no knead. my machine broke and it was a solution for me to do what I love bread. I live in Brazil and I managed to make my sourdourgh already has 4 months. I tried your recipe for 12-18 hours but the dough very stressed due to the heat of that country, then tried again leaving rest in the refrigerator and was perfect, crunchy crust and soft crumb, hj try later add grated onion and cheese in the dough, the smell coming the oven was very good! Thank you again,


Breadtopia November 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Glad to hear it Raamá. Nice adjustment on using the fridge. Good idea.


Mke November 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm

This is so darn good that I want to try to make sandwich rolls with the dough. Has anyone tried this. I am planning on separating into 12-16 pieces, let them rise and cook them in my dutch oven a few at a time. I am curious if the cooking times and temperatures need to be adjusted.


Shabnam November 25, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I do this regularly. After the first rise, Simple dust a large pan with flour and place dough in the shape you’d like and let it rise. Bake till the right colour is on the crust(its uses less time as the pieces are smaller)! enjoy!


Chris November 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm

High altitude: I live at 7300 feet in New Mexico. I’ve been trying to perfect this recipe for a while but still have a rising problem. I’ve added and subtracted yeast, added and subtracted salt and varied the amount of flour and generally get the same half-risen results.

Any thoughts out there from the high country? Thanks


Lori December 1, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Hey Chris, I live in Colorado and don’t seem to have a problem with the dough rising. What I have had success with is each time I make the bread, after the 18 hours, I take about 1/3 cup of the dough and save it for my next batch. It keeps well in the fridge and seems to add power to the next loaf and the flavor gets better and better. I use slightly more than 1/4 tsp of yeast….and my yeast is OLD. Still works. This bread is amazing. :) Hope that helps you.


Lori December 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Here’s a pic of what I just made. :)


Lori December 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm

One more thing: I do use SAF-instant yeast. Maybe that makes a difference? We are at about 7500 feet.


Chris December 2, 2012 at 11:22 am

Thanks, Lori! Your bread looks great (I’ll be right over…). I fiddled with the yeast amount and it didn’t seem to help. I’ll look for the SAF yeast. A friend also recommend adding a dash odds gluten flour. Back to the kitchen! Thanks!


Lori December 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Thanks Chris, Here is the exact recipe I’ve been using in case there’s some magic in there. :)
10 oz unbleached all purpose flour
5 oz whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp Saf yeast
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp white vinegar
10 oz water
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Plus I add the starter dough from my previous batch once I have some.
When I mix it up I do add a little water if it’s too dry, but once it forms into a nice ball of dough, I leave it alone.

Another trick you might try is: after it has sat for 18 hours at room temperature and you take the dough out, I turn/fold it about 10 times on itself on a flour surface. Then I put it back into my proofing bowl on parchment paper. Here’s the other trick I use. I heat up about a cup of water in my microwave and use the microwave oven as a warm, moist place for the dough to do it’s final rise. I leave the cup of water in the microwave way in the back so it stays warm longer. Maybe this will help? Good luck and let me know!


Lori December 5, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I have another note to add here. I made bread yesterday and was delayed in starting it. So instead of it going 18 hours, it was closer to 20 or 21 hours. It was the best loaf yet. The crust was crisp but not hard and the inside was a bit softer as well. I thought this was going to be a disaster, but it came out great. Maybe mistakes are good! ;)


Chad December 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Hi Chris,

I don’t think the problem you are having is related to elevation. I’ve had the problem in the past when using yeast packets and I’m at 900 ft elevation. I now use Fleischmann’s Active Dry yeast in the 4 oz jar. The date on it is Oct 2010, but it’s as good as it ever was. I would try new yeast.

If the yeast change doesn’t solve the problem, you might try rising your dough in the oven with the light on. I was surprised at how much heat this produces. I generally let it take its time, but if I’m in a hurry I’ll kick start it by using the oven light.

Hope this helps!!


Chris February 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm

High Altitude Update:
I finally got around to bread baking again…way too much going on. I went back to the original NYT recipe and started over. I only made a couple changes to the original recipe based on some ideas from here @ B’topia and one from a friend of mine who is a good cook. The result was much better (i.e. really good) than previous attempts. Not a hockey puck. Here’s what I did (and did differently):

Followed the basic Bittman/Lahey recipe with the following modifications:
1. Used a _heaping_ 1/4 t of yeast (maybe 1/3 t or thereabouts. I don’t have a 1/3 measure so “heaping” is my unit of measurement). It was still cheep-o yeast, nothing fancy.
2. I added 2 T of gluten flour to the 3 cups of KA bread flour at the suggestion of my friend Brian, the good cook. According to him the gluten flour (apparently) holds the dough together as it rises so you don’t get the giant air bubbles in the bread that tend to make it collapse later. It appeared to work beautifully as I had nice, small, well-distributed bubbles when I cut the bread open.
3. Let it rise for 18+ hours. By the time I got to start working on it was almost 20 hours. “Room temperature” around our house is about 65° or less – we like it cool – and even cooler in night. So for warmth (you’ll laugh) I did the overnight rise with the bowl sitting on top my big computer – the warmest place in the house. Worked great!
3. Baked it at 500° instead of NYT’s 450° for 30 minutes, then took off the lid of the big, black 30 y/o dutch oven, dropped the temperature to 450° and gave it another 10-12 minutes. It could probably go a bit longer but it sure looked done (and I was hungry). For the heck of it I stuck a meat thermometer into it when I pulled it out to cool: 185°
Results: Excellent! Good rise, quite crispy crust, and uniform bubbly interior. Bingo!
Things I might change on the next round:
1. I’ve always covered with a towel instead of plastic wrap but with an 18+ hour rise the top really dries out. Plastic wrap it is.
2. Have real butter in the ‘fridge instead of The Low Priced Spread.
I don’t know much of the changes actually helped the altitude issue – a tad more yeast and added gluten – but I have a hunch that the 2 T of gluten did the job by keeping it from imploding under its own weight.
Next loaf will be with roasted garlic. I’ll post an update if other changes in the recipe make it even better. Thanks, all.


Chris February 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Made another batch last night: Even better.
1. Dropped the temperature to 475° for 30 min, then about 20 with the lid off.
2. Used plastic wrap (well, actually a plastic bag) for the 18hr+ rise
3. Had real butter on hand
Result was a very smooth, golden brown crust and a fine textured interior. I think 2 T of gluten is THE silver bullet.
–Happy baking!


Jay March 1, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Another idea is to add the salt later, after a few hours or the next day. Salt inhibits growth of most micro-organisms, including yeast (it is also used as a preservative).
Wait to get a robust yeast culture happening, first. After the dough has tripled in size, now add the salt, knead it in…


Chris April 14, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Hi Jay – Pardon the slow reply (just back from a month in New Zealand…yeah, I know. It’s tough). I think the idea of adding salt after the rise is a great one. I think the same would be true with any addition of vinegar (to add to the sourness) as some folks do. Haven’t had a chance to do any backing since I got home but it’s on the horizon.

Thanks for the good ideas!



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