No Knead Recipe Variations

Menu of No Knead Videos:
Cranberry-Pecan Seeded Sour
Parmesan-Olive Steel Cut Oats

 

Here are some of my favorite No-Knead bread recipes. Each is distinctly different from the others, touching on some of what’s possible with this simple and hugely time saving bread baking method.

(Note: If you’re brand new to no knead bread baking, I strongly encourage you to give the basic no knead recipe a try first before moving into the variations.)

In each of the videos you will see I’m using sourdough starter as the leavening agent. The use of sourdough starter is usually my preference in baking but as the written instructions indicate, you can just as easily substitute instant yeast for the starter by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast in with the dry ingredients and leaving out the sourdough starter entirely. It’s that simple. I don’t want to see anyone deprived of the luxury of this bread experience if instant yeast is your preference for leavening.

As always, feel free to play with different flour mixes and ingredients to come up with your ultimate bread masterpiece.

Please leave your comments, questions and experiences at the bottom of the page.

December 14th, 2007 Update: Check out Kendra’s recipe for cinnamon raisin bread below. It sounds awesome. Thanks Kendra!

Also, see the post by Joanne Polayes with her variation of the cranberry pecan recipe.

July 2008 addition: Definitely check out Carolyn’s No Knead Sourdough Lavender Bread. Wow, well done Carolyn!

Jan. 27 2009 addition: For a great looking focaccia recipe, see Hedy’s post. And a little above that, Toni offers her focaccia variation which includes whole grains.

Feb. 9, 2009: See a Newfoundland favorite by Janet Kelly. Thanks Janet!

March 31, 2009: Donna Wakefield has discovered that baking with keifer for both leavening and flavor produces excellent bread. Her posts start here and continues above under her name (“Donna” and “Donna Wakefield”).

Dec. 22, 2009: Mike Owens suggests this no-knead variation: “I blend up some frozen spinach with the water and add to the flour. Then when I fold in thirds I add some grated Gruyere cheese to each fold and I do the trifold twice. It is fantastic. Hope others like it as well. Makes my lunchbox ham sandwiches more interesting.”

Aug. 1, 2010: Couldn’t resist adding this email from my new best friend ;). It includes some great no knead recipe variation tips…

“Hi Eric,

Ever since I found your website a couple years ago, we have not bought store bread (except for burger buns and pitas). Baking bread is a complete joy for me: making it is fun, seeing the results is amazing and the reactions I get from those I share it with are gratifying. Our “daily bread” is the regular sourdough (but I add 1 tsp.poppy seeds). The olive parmesan loaf is a special treat for when we have guests (my siblings love this one especially – we’re of Greek descent =)) – but I usually add a head of mashed roasted garlic to it.

I have even created my own sourdough KNM variation that I thought I’d share with you. Feel free to post it, if you’d like. It’s the basic NKM sourdough with 1/4c. chopped, pickled jalepenos and about 5 oz. shredded cheddar cheese mixed in. I was selling them to a neighbor for awhile, but then she started a weight-loss program that forbid bread (scary, huh?).

I currently take care of my elderly mother full-time, but all this bread-baking has led me to seriously consider baking as a career. I fondly imagine my own little bakery someday.

You have changed my life, Eric. Bet you don’t hear that everyday, but it’s true. Thank you.

- Elise Davies

Jan 1, 2011: Check out Bill Burk’s variation using 7 grain cereal. Makes an excellent sandwich bread.

Feb 27, 2011: Michelle Kaptor’s Cherries and Chocolate No Knead recipe looks like a winner.

Sep 9, 2011: Thanks Lisa K. for this gem - Black Russian  no knead. Based on a bagel recipe, it’s as intriguing and exotic as its name. 

Oct 17, 2011: Like Chocolate… a lot? Chocolate no knead recipe with great tips. Thanks Bart!

Mar 9, 2012: Here’s another Chocolate Cherry Sourdough version from Bradley that looks like a winner


Cranberry-Pecan Extraordinaire (makes 1 loaf)

1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz.) whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups (13 oz.) all purpose or bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1 1/2 cups purified water
1/4  cup sourdough starter or 1/4 tsp. instant yeast

(Read paragraph near top of page for instant yeast version of this recipe)

  • Combine the flours and salt
  • Mix the starter into the water until mostly dissolved
  • Mix the water/starter solution into the dry ingredients
  • Mix in the pecans and craisins
  • Cover bowl with plastic at let sit at room temperature for 18 hours
  • After 18 hours turn dough onto well floured surface and gently flatten enough to fold dough back onto itself a couple times to form a roundish blob. Note: This folding stage can be accomplished within the bowl, speeding up the process even further and leaving less of a cleanup.
  • Cover blob with plastic and let rest 15 minutes. During this rest period, coat a proofing basket or towel lined bowl with bran flakes.
  • Gently and quickly shape blob into an approximate ball and place in proofing basket or bowl.
  • Cover with a towel and let rise for 1-2 hours depending on room temperature.
  • As gently as possible, flip the dough into a Dutch oven or ceramic (e.g. La Cloche) baker preheated to 500F degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes at 450 degrees. See Great No-Knead Baking Techniques for more tips.
  • Allow bread to cool completely before slicing and eating. Warning: this most difficult step requires superhuman discipline and restraint.

You may have to adjust the baking times and temperatures to adapt to the various weights and materials of different baking containers.

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Seeded Sour (makes 1 loaf)

This recipe holds a solid spot on my “all time favorites” list. It is adapted from the George’s Seeded Sour recipe in Nancy Silverton’s Breads from the La Brea Bakery book.

1/4 cup (1 oz) rye flour
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups (13 oz) all purpose or bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 tsp. quinoa
3 1/2 tsp. millet
2 Tbs. amaranth
1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds

1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sourdough starter or 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
2 Tbs. yogurt

Seed Topping Ingredients:

1 Tbs. amaranth
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 1/2 Tbs poppy seeds
2 Tbs. anise seeds
1 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds

Combine all the dry ingredients (except the topping ingredients) and then add to that the combined wet ingredients.
The rest of the baking steps are the same as those listed above for the Cranberry Pecan bread.

As shown in the video, I coat the proofing basket with the combined topping ingredients so they stick to the dough during the final rise.

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Parmesan-Olive (makes 1 large loaf)

This recipe makes one amazing loaf of bread. It’s great for special occasions, and considering the price of ingredients, you may want to reserve it for special occasions. Use fresh parmesan cheese and it’s likely you will not find this loaf’s equivalent in any bakery. They would have to charge too much!

1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz.) whole wheat flour
2 2/3 cups (13 1/2 oz.) bread flour
1 tsp. salt
7 oz. grated fresh parmesan cheese
2/3 cup pitted kalamata olives (cut in half lengthwise)
1 3/4 cup purified water
1/4 cup sourdough starter or 1/4 tsp. instant yeast

Follow the same steps as those listed above for the Cranberry Pecan recipe. Combine the dry ingredients (including the cheese) then add to that the combined wet ingredients and then stir in the olives. The ingredient measurements are a little different than usual as the cheese is salty to start with and the dry mix takes more water than usual.

Here’s a video from Breadtopia visitor, Archer Yates… Nice!

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Steel Cut Oats (makes 1 loaf)

It’s amazing what the addition of a mere half cup of steel cut oats can do to enhance and vary the quality of a basic loaf of no knead bread. During the long fermentation period, the grains soften and swell to give the bread a wholesome and satisfying flavor and texture.

Simple enough to whip together in a heartbeat and interesting enough to become a regular in your no knead rotation.

3/4 cup (3 oz.) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (3 oz.) steel cut oats
2 1/4 cups (10 oz.) bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup firm sourdough starter or 1/4 tsp. instant yeast

Pictured here: Awesome steel cut oats no knead by Breadtopia reader Marianne Preston
Marianne's Steel Cut Oats NK
Another Breadtopia reader, Allan Castine, offered this…

In my last e-mail to you, I mentioned that I had made your steel cut oats bread recipe with mostly excellent results.  My only concern, as I told you, was that the bread was a bit bland for my particular taste.

I made the recipe again yesterday with a couple of alterations:

I added an extra 1/2 teaspoon of salt and, following a suggestion from a friend of mine, I lightly toasted the oats in a dry saucepan over medium heat before adding them to the flour mixture.

The results were great. The bread was very tasty, i.e., not bland.
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{ 547 comments… read them below or add one }

Carmencita Naron December 14, 2009 at 9:30 am

If I double the basic recipe of the No Knead bread and bake it in an 8-qt cast iron Dutch oven; how long should I bake it?

I have done the basic recipe of the No Knead Bread and also the Parmesan Olive with great success but because my cast iron is so big for the basic recipe, I don’t get much vertical rise but more on the horizontal side.

Any suggestions ?

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Jim Roe December 9, 2009 at 9:55 pm

The Betty Crocker website has an “Easy No-Knead Wheat Bread ” recipe. I do not think using and Mixmaster qualifies the recipe to be labelled no-knead. It was the picture of the bread that intrigued me. Baked on a cookie sheet, the dough did not spread out. Consequently, the bread was quite high, about one-half as high as its diameter.

Any no-knead recipes I have seen spread out, unless they are restricted by a container. The only unique thing in the recipe was the use of three eggs and 1/2 cup of melted butter or margarine for recipe using only 2 cups of flour.

Why did the bread not spread out on the cookie sheet? Was it the eggs? Did the eggs congeal early on in the baking process, limiting the spread of the dough? I cannot envision the butter limiting the spread of the dough.

I am willing to give it a try,the bread on a pizza board and covered by a large Pirex bowl. Any comments from the bakers in the group?

Are there no English teachers in the crowd? Writing “no knead” is incorrect.“no-knead” is correct. It is not a “no bread” nor is it a “knead bread.” It is a no-knead bread.

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Mike December 9, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Hey Eric,

I received my round Le Cloche monday. Tuesday I started the steel-cut sourdough. Today was my Cloche trial by fire. Amazing!!! The bread was awesome. So, I guess I’ll be “forced” to buy a long one. Do they make a larger(longer) one?

Thanks & keep up the good work.

Mike (satisfied)

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Jim Roe December 9, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Your site is a joy to read; professionally done, oceans of information, and fun to read. Here are some random thoughts:

This link tells you everything you ever wanted to know about each type of flour’s weight versus volume, and nutritional values. It discusses the merit of weighing, versus volume measurements; it convinced me to buy a scale. Using a consistent method of filling a 1 cup container I found there was a +/-6% variation in weights. For a 3 cup recipe this equates to a possible 1/5 per cup error. This is probably not that significant as the total weight of the 3 cups will be much closer than this 6%. However, my real goal is to achieve a mess free baking experience by dumping the flour directly into a mixing bowl sitting on a scale. That plus using parchment paper for the two rises leaves only a bowl to wash. It is not that I am a neat freak, I am just terribly sloppy. A no knead, no mess bread has a nice ring to it.

http://www.traditionaloven.com/conversions_of_measures/flour_volume_weight.html.

I must be the black sheep in the crowd; I am not impressed with crusty bread. The simplest way to soften the crust is to drape a tea towel over the racked bread while cooling. Storing in a plastic bag keeps it soft. For me, coating the crust with oil or butter makes the crust soggy. Coating with butter makes the crust very salty.

The standard 3 cup flour recipe produces a loaf too small for my liking. I increase all ingredients by one third producing a 4 cup loaf. 4/3=1.333 multiplier. All times remain unchanged. I obtain at a consistent 3 1/2 inch high loaf using the standard 9 inch heavy enamelled Dutch oven.

Extremely convenient is a continuous readout electronic thermometer. The probe is connected by wire to the readout display located out of the oven. I set the alarm temperature, at 205°C. I insert the probe when I take the lid off for the last 30 minute bake. They sell for well under $10.

So far, I have always used the Cook’s Illustrated “Almost No Knead Bread” recipe given on this website. For example, it makes a lovely raisin and cinnamon loaf by increasing the quantities of raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon, by one third. I warm the spring water and beer in the microwave. Toasting the occasion, I finish off the beer.

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Hans November 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Marilyn,

If you are concerned about lead in the clay dish, let your dough proof in another stainless steel bowl lined with parchment paper and after sufficient proofing lift it out of the stainless bowl using the corners of the parchment paper and place it on the clay dish. The clay dish I’m using is not glazed, so I’m not too concerned about lead poisoning. But that’s me.

Happy Baking

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Marilyn B. November 14, 2009 at 12:06 pm

OK, I could be seriously tempted to go the artisan route after seeing Hans Leenhouts’ setup with the clay bottom and stainless steel salad bowl top. My only concern is about lead in the clay dish. I thought there had been a discussion some months ago on one of these threads about the subject of lead in the clay, but I can’t find it. Can anybody help? Thanks.
Marilyn B.

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Marilyn B. November 13, 2009 at 8:05 pm

Hi Eric,
Been off the internet for months, but ISP offered 6 mo. of high-speed for price of dial-up, so now I can watch your videos! Can’t knead by hand, gave up kneading bread in my 25 year old Cuisinart food processor as it started to squeal (still chops veggies as quietly as ever, though). Then tried kneading with my rolling pin, which was pretty good, but after watching the videos I decided I must try the Almost No Knead Sandwich Bread. I am not going to lift heavy pots in and out of a 500 degree oven, so this seemed like what I wanted, a sort of sourdougish sandwich bread without the hassle of sourdough starter. Been there, done that.

This was easy and fun. Measured the stuff by weighing on my postal scale, but this morning, after it sat in my 64 degree kitchen for 12 hours, it was pretty wet and floppy. I had to be somewhere at 10 o’clock, so it was noon before I could try to knead it in the fold-up method. Had to use the bowl scraper, and finally just rolled the blob off the edge of the kitchen table into the bread pan I always use, a metal 9×5. Oven preheated to 425, then down to 350 when loaves went in. Didn’t get the spring I’m used to with regular bread, but it came out with a crispy crust, soft and chewy inside with lots of holes—very artisany for a sandwich bread! The taste is tangy, a teensy bit too much like beer. I think I will go more by feel than by exact measurements, but I definitely plan to make this again, probably cut down on the beer or use apple cider. (I had to find a convenience store to buy just one can of beer. Never bought it before, and discovered it comes only in six-packs and bigger in the grocery stores). I sent pictures by separate email.

I made a loaf of regular bread last week (store-bought yeast), but threw in a half cup each of chopped pecans and craisins. We loved it!. All gone, no pictures.
It’s great to be able to get on this site again.

Regards, Marilyn B.

Marilyn's no knead bread
Marilyn's no knead bread

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dick November 2, 2009 at 7:11 pm

PJ3,

I have a Bosch Compact that has earned its cost many times over. I am just about to order a Bosch Universal Plus from Eric in the next couple of days. My experience with the Bosch Compact is that it works very well but when you make the sourdough full recipe you are getting very close to the limit of the bowl to hold. That is why I am going to the Bosch Universal Plus.

Other than that I can only say that I have had absolutely no problems with my Bosch at all. I find that most of the comments about the Bosch mixers are that they last for years and years. One commenter on another website mentioned that she got the Bosch mixer her grandmother had when she was a little girl back around 1970 and was still using it weekly. That is 40 years. The new Bosch seems to have the same quality.

What I have been reading about the newer KA mixers is that the quality has really gone downhill since Hobart sold them. I read about people who have found they can only make 2 loaves of bread in the bigger ones. I can do that with the Bosch Compact – no problem. If they go beyond the 2 loaf limit with the KA it strips the gears since they are plastic these days and any stress will strip them easily. The older KA which Hobart made are about as good as KA gets and they get rave reviews. I know of people who sell the newer ones and buy used to get the Hobart quality.

My dad had a bakery back when I was a kid and Hobart was his go to choice for mixer. We had 3 of them in the bakery and never a problem. I wish I could find a small Hobart that would fit my lifestyle but with my apartment size and the weight of the Hobart it just won’t work out. The Bosch only weighs about 12 lb and is easy to store and move around. Even the Bosch Universal Plus is only about 12 -13 lb – big difference from the other mixers.

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tonytonytony October 17, 2009 at 8:52 pm

great site … thanks … my first nkb was sensational … even better toasted … my question is has anyone used a chinese claypot … they are much cheaper than the romertopf or similar … do you wet the clay b4 use?

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Hans October 13, 2009 at 9:04 am

For you No Knead Bread enthousiasts who don’t have or don’t want to invest in a Dutch oven, I have been working with a very economical alternative.
I purchased a clay plant pot underliner, which measures 8.25” at the bottom and a stainless steel salad bowl measuring 9.25” across the rim.
I preheat them in a 450 degree oven and tip the bread in it when it has risen enough. The benefit here is, as with a cloche, that you don’t have to plop the dough into it but gently lay it on the underliner.
Attached is a picture with the result. This is a modified version of the NK bread with steel cut oats. I just used more whole wheat instead of white. I also use this contraption to bake bread using more convential methods, such as the multi grain based on the recipe in Nancy Silverton’s book “Breads from the La Brea Bakery”.
For me the big advantage of baking in a dutch oven, cloche, whatever, is that, for the same end result, you don’t have to spray the oven with water which eventually will cost you $300/$400 in repairs if you have an electronic ignition system for the oven. (I have first hand knowledge of that).

Happy Baking

Hans Leenhouts

[img]1_P1030728.JPG[/img]

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Bucky Badger October 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm

This week, I thought I’d try to “roll” a no-knead bread. The stuffing I used was tomato, basil, and garlic. Unfortunately, there was too much stuffing, so I couldn’t comfortably add my grated parmesan cheese to the mix. Even so, the bread was good. Next weekend, I’ll cut the amount of the tomato/basil mixture in half.

[img]IMG_0131.JPG[/img][img]IMG_0139.JPG[/img]

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Wil October 9, 2009 at 11:25 am

The kefir cranberry pecan bread has cooled. The crumb is very soft almost like sandwich bread, which is what I would expect with milk (kefir). The crust is thin and crispy. The taste seems to have a little less sourness to it compared to my regular SD bread. I did use my sourdough starter but perhaps the kefir had it’s own effect giving a sweet & sour quality. Anyhow, it is scrumptious and will not make it to dinner at a friends house on Sunday. I guess I will do another one perhaps pushing the kefir envelope to 5 or 6 ounces.

Wil

[img]CranberryPecanBread005.jpg[/img]

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Wil October 9, 2009 at 9:57 am

Well, it is bread making time again and I thought I would practice making the Crandberry Pecan for the holidays. I wanted to try using kefir, made from my own grains. This time I used 1/2 cup of a nice creamy kefir to one cup of water and the 1/4c of starter mixed together. I used 11oz of bread flour and 5oz of white WW. I prepared the dough around noon yesterday and put it in the refrigerator. I took it out around 8pm last night and by 8am this morning it had risen nicely. The second rise at 1 1/2 hours was one of the highest I have had (the kefir addition?). Baked at 500 for 30, 450 to 205 internal temp, which took about 12 minutes for this bread. I am well pleased, can’t wait to cool to see what the kefir added to taste and the crumb.

[img]CranberryPecanBread001(2).jpg[/img]

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Mitch October 9, 2009 at 8:24 am

KatyC,

Your bread looks fabulous. You have every right to be proud.

I’m not sure what I did to help but thank you for your kind words.

Mitch

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Angel Spaccarelli October 9, 2009 at 8:19 am

Katy C…very nice first attempt! bread looks great and tasted good too. Did you use a cast iron Dutch oven or La Cloche? Doesn’t look like you had any kind of sticking problem, you really shouldn’t if you are using the cast iron or clay bakers that are pre-heated. If you are concerned, for the second 2 hour rise after you form your bread into a ball you can place it directly on parchment paper (depending on the quality of the parchment, you may have to oil & flour the paper) and into a bowl. Once risen, take the whole thing, (dough ball on parchment) and put in your baking vessel. The paper will char but won’t go on fire. Good luck, it looks like you don’t need any help at all you are doing just fine and you probably have shed some light on the fact that we can use some self-rising flour in the mix! Always remember, a mistake is not a mistake if something is learned. (I know you didn’t make a mistake, you just made a substitution)
Angel

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KatyC October 8, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Well, I’ve done it and am really really impressed with the outcome. My girls love the bread and they have stated that she won’t eat any other bread now!
A big thank you specifically to Angel and Mitch who have been very helpful with the information they have provided. It certainly made my first bread making attempt a successful one.

BTW using 1 cup of self raising flour didn’t seem to negatively impact the outcome. The holes were not as large as some of the photos I have seen, but I still really enjoyed the bread. THANK YOU

[img]loaf.jpg[/img]

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KatyC October 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm

G’day from down under
I was recently told about this method of making bread and was intrigued at how easy it seemed. A little research on the web gave me the basic recipe and indeed supported my friend’s statement that it was quick (apart from the proofing that is). Unfortunately I didn’t have quite enough flour so I have added some self raising flour to make up the correct quantity. I decided not to adjust the quantity of yeast.

I’m now at hour 14 and the dough it looking and smelling good. I must admit that all night I was dreaming of baking bread and I have spent all morning reading this web-site and getting all sorts of great ideas.

I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Though I’m not expecting great things as I have used SR flour. Even if it doesn’t turn out too well, I will certainly try it again – this time with the correct quantities of the correct flour.

I’m a bit concerned about the bread sticking during baking. Does anyone have any ideas on preventing this? I was thinking of putting baking paper on the bottom. Would this work or would it burn?

Thank you all for all your fantistic ideas. I’ve really enjoyed reading them. I’ll keep you posted on how my loaf turns out.

Katy

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Angel Spaccarelli October 4, 2009 at 9:12 am

Rebecca…you asked about adding vegetable purees into the dough. I did add homemade tomato puree in lieu of most of the water. It’s been a while, but I think I added a small amount of water. As you mix it in see if you think it needs the water. Give it a try you never know what the results will be, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Samuel…very nice, the roasted red pepper bread looks great! Bravo. Bet it tasted good too.
Marsha…I have the same results with the crust. I thought it was because of the moist ingredients that we add to the dough? Whatever the cause, before serving I pop the bread back in the oven to crisp up, that usually does the trick for me. In a comment above from Jeff B on Sept. 16…I suspect that bread is like glass in that it needs annealing. If one used a gradual temperature decline annealing as the bread cooled, there would not be the softer more moist crust after cooling. The quick insert in to the oven before cutting does crisp up the crust. Probably easier than rigging up an annealing oven that slowly drops the temp.
I think he is correct, it works.

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Marsha October 3, 2009 at 1:16 pm

I’ve made a handful of the no-knead loaves and am having a good time experimenting with it. The cranberry pecan and seeded sour recipes on this site were awesome. My only concern/question is that all of the loaves that I have made have had what I would consider to be a perfect crust just out of the oven. Once I let it cool down for an hour, the crust seems to soften and be less ‘crusty’ so to speak. The inside of the loaves seems perfect, but I am wondering what I could do so that the crust doesn’t soften up during the cool down? Any ideas?

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Samuel gaxiola October 2, 2009 at 7:39 pm

HOOO, SORRY THAT IMAGE IS THE LOAF AT SECOND RISE STAGE…..HERE IS THE GOOD ONE….

[img]DSC03130.JPG[/img]

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Samuel gaxiola October 2, 2009 at 7:36 pm

HI EVERYONE, I GOT A PICTURE OF A ROASTED RED PEPPER LOAF JUST OUT OF THE OVEN, THIS LOAF WAS BAKED FOLLOWING ANGEL’S RECIPE AND INSTRUCTIONS, THANKS ANGEL…..

[img]DSC03121.JPG[/img]

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Mitch October 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm

JeffB.

I am only responding because you apparently found it necessary to write something to criticize me and impugn my character in the process. Why is it that there seems to be some people on virtually every forum who apparently cannot wait for an opportunity to criticize what someone else writes?

I am well aware that Jim Lahey is reputed to have been in the forefront of the no knead method. I did not tell anyone not to buy his book and I made it a point of saying that “If you have a personal reason to buy the book by all means do so . . . ” The personal reason I referred to was primarily meant for people who wanted to support one of the persons (or the person) who introduced the no knead method to the rest of us, or for any other personal reason for that matter.

But I also was stating the obvious, based on what I had already observed, which was that “it doesn’t appear you’ll learn anything new from it as far as technique is concerned.” Particularly because the technique is so very simple to begin with. If one wants to buy it for the recipes contained therein, that is another personal reason for doing so.

That is not slander, it is a statement of fact. In this economy people should know what they are spending good money for and it doesn’t seem to me that a review of a no knead bread baking book is inappropriate on a site that is primarily dedicated to no knead bread baking.

I wish the author great success with his book and I’m sure that it will benefit many people who are unfamiliar with the no knead method. But that doesn’t change my opinion about what I wrote.

Eric,

If you find that this response or what I previously wrote is or was inappropriate please delete my comments. I will not be offended if you do. In any event I said my piece on this and and will not be commenting further because I don’t want this to turn into a you-know-what contest.

Mitch

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JeffB. October 2, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Mitch. I think that’s an unfortunate comment because Jim Lahey is one of the people that introduced No Knead bread to the world in the first place. Granted, Jim did his introduction in a very public way through a cooking show, and it is possible to get a lot of free info on the Internet about bread baking, but I really don’t think such a review is appropriate here.
Regards.

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Mitch October 2, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Howie,

I haven’t tried this but you might find it worthwhile.

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/sourdough-pumpernickel-bread-recipe

Mitch

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Mitch October 2, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Jim Lahey Book

I just looked at a free recipe on the Sullivan Street Bakery website and at the reviews on Amazon and except for the recipes the book provides it doesn’t seem that it has anything new to offer that’s not already provided on this site by Eric and the other wonderful people here. If you have a personal reason to buy the book by all means do so but IMHO it doesn’t appear you’ll learn anything new from it as far as technique is concerned.

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hipkip October 2, 2009 at 12:49 pm

There is a new book out from the guy who created the no knead method. It is “my bread” by Jim Lahey from the Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC. It is a very nice book and has many variations on the no knead method.

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Howie Cohen October 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Hi Gang,
I am looking for a good sour dough pumpernickel recipe.
Do any of you out there in Bread-land have one? I have supplies, culture, pumpernickel flour so I am ready to bake.

Thanks

Howie

[img]brread.jpg[/img]

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Rebeca October 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Have you ever added in veggie purees to the dough? If so, in what proportions? I’m imagining a butternut squash no-knead bread, for example.

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Phyllis September 29, 2009 at 11:26 pm

is purified water Spring water?
is it okay to make the pretty slashes on top right before baking? thanks so much for this website. cant wait to ake the olive cheese bread.
Ihave a rumptopf cooker and next time I will put all the dough in it.
thought I could make two but my dough was so wet, the “round
one (basket) just never did get the rise I wanted.

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Breadtopia September 23, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Nice, Bucky! I need to make this again. It’s been too long.

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Angel Spaccarelli September 23, 2009 at 8:37 am

looks very moist and delicious! Good work.

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Bucky Badger September 22, 2009 at 11:38 pm

I made the parmesan olive loaf last weekend. I enjoyed it very much. I adjusted the quantity of cheese from 7 oz. to 5 oz. because my local cheese company sells in 5 oz. quantities. I also used 3 C bread flour with no wheat flour (didn’t have wheat in my pantry). I look forward to making this bread again this upcoming weekend.

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Angela Spaccarelli September 21, 2009 at 10:40 pm

I perfectly understand what you did. I like your idea of the butter with the seeds, I will try that sometime. Most likely you will find your pot when you aren’t looking for it. This time of the year the stores are loaded with all kinds of bakeware, you may get lucky.

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PJ3 September 21, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Angela…
I am putting a thin layer of butter on the bottom of the 13 cup Rbrmaid bowl and then sprinkling the seeds onto the butter… then I drop the top of the loaf into the bottom of the bowl… then I actually sort of pour the bread from the bowl into the dutch oven… so now the bottom of the bowl becomes the top when in the dutch oven… could you make heads or tails out of that :-)

Tastes GREAT… turns out GREAT… and no I was not happy with the results ie (looks of the bread) from the Tramontina Pot… I did not like the looks of the flat sides on the bread I think I am gunna take the pans back to Wally world… I have looked and looked for a pot that was 9″ in diameter but alas I had no luck at all… so bummed

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April September 21, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Angela

I have been approached by the farmer owning a local farm/market propositioning me to sell bread. Can you please tell me what you are charging the deli buying your bread and what size are your loaves? You can pm me at cillymoo@aol.com if you deem it appropriate. I appreciate your help on this one! Thanks!

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Angela Spaccarelli September 21, 2009 at 8:26 pm

PJ3…you were brave to do some kneading for the second rise, good to know that it really didn’t harm the bread, how did it taste? Were you happy with your results? They look good, I see what you mean about the height from the new pot. Looks like you got a decent amount of seeds to stick to the bread, did you brush with water or spray with oil before adding the seeds?

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PJ3 September 19, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Instead of gentle folding the bread for the second rise… I roughly kneaded the bread 10-15 times… I was surprised to see the nice open crumb… much easier to work also. the smaller in diameter loaf came out of the Walmart Tramontina 3 ply multiclad 4 qt sauce pan… beautiful pot but was not 8.5 inches as advertised… it was only 8 inches… I was total bummed that it was not the size as advertised… it was flat up the sides for about 2 inches… not quit as pretty as the other loaf… but it was slightly tall than the other

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Angela Spaccarelli September 18, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Mitch…Yes, the Dutch ovens or La Cloche are in the oven pre-heating as well, so they are screaming hot when I place that dough ball in them. As for the parchment ordeal, I think it depends on the brand or quality of parchment. I learned by a terrible bread disaster with one particular kind, I had to spray with Pam with flour and dusted with flour in order for it to release the bread once baked, and did leave some crinkle marks. I now have a different quality paper which is really nice and strong and has some sort of coating that I don’t need to spray or dust with flour (I dust bottom anyway), this one does not leave indent marks.
My bread disaster was this. I ordered sheeted parchment from the internet and had great results. When I re-ordered and noticed that it looked & felt a little different, I called the company and they said that’s equal to the first batch, OK, so normally all I would do is sprinkle with a little flour before placing the dough ball on top of it. When I remove the baked bread from the Dutch ovens, I immediately remove the parchment then place on my wire cooling rack. Well, the paper wouldn’t release!!!!!!! It baked INTO the bread, bottom & sides….ughhhhhh. It became part of the bread, the dough just grew into it. So that was 4 loaves down the drain and 4 more in the oven awaiting disaster. I tried everything to try and remove the paper, wetting it, scraping with a razor, burning it, I ended up carving all the crust off the bread. So valuable lesson, all parchment paper is not created equal. Some will leave creases and some won’t, also I think it’s how moist your dough ball is, if it’s on the dry side (and you massage it lightly on the sides with flour before placing on the parchment) I don’t think you will get severe creases. I don’t know if anyone else had any similar incidents, it would be nice to know.
I am including a closer view of my bread, I really don’t notice any creases or they are not that visible. Take a look.
Angel

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Mitch September 18, 2009 at 8:18 am

Angel,

Hi. I just reread your detailed description that you so kindly provided and I have some questions.

You said: “Pick up the parchment with the dough ball and place the whole thing in the Dutch oven or La Cloche and into the pre-heated 445 degree oven for 45 minutes.”

Are you preheating your Dutch ovens or are they at room temperature when the dough goes into them?

Also, I once tried lifting my dough ball that had been proofing on parchment paper, but the paper crinkled all around the sides of the dough ball when I lifted it and remained crinkled when placed in the baker, so although the bread itself came out good the loaf had indention marks all around it because of the crinkled parchment paper. How do you avoid that from happening?

I have some my other thoughts I’d like to share concerning the process but I don’t have the time right now because this is a hectic day for us so I’ll get them down as soon as I can and hope you and others will respond once posted.

Best regards,

Mitch

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Angela Spaccarelli September 17, 2009 at 10:46 am

Mitch…Thank you for the great math lesson. You have opened a whole new window for me in understanding about the formulas in bread baking, this also led me on a crusade to research Baker’s percentage, which I never new existed. This web page is pretty interesting if anyone else would like to learn: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2008/03/22/bakers-percentage-1/
I know what you mean about not knowing the sciences behind a recipe, but succeeding. I feel that way about those “old time” recipes, which I’ve seen many people make (grandma’s especially) with success and don’t measure anything and bake in any old vessel!!!! My mother-in-law’s favorite baking vessel was a large frying pan with a broken off handle, she could make anything in that from cakes to lasagna. I’ll watch and try it with all my measuring cups and special bakeware and will never achieve the same results. I think if we have the knack with something we have to run with it. But, in your case now that you calculate the hydration values in my recipe, I bet you will have great results. Thank you again for your help.
Eric…I fully agree with what you have to say. I think that’s probably how I arrived at the 12 hour mark too!
Angel

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Mitch September 16, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Hi Eric,

Maybe it’s time to modify the video or at least put that info wherever there’s a recipe/formula for the NK loaves.

Mitch

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Mitch September 16, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Angel,

What’s really interesting is that I have no problem figuring out Baker’s Percent and all the other technical stuff but meanwhile you are the one consistently baking these fabulous breads. :-)

Baker’s percent iis really easy IF you are working in grams, which is what I do, because working in pounds, ounces, and fractions of ounces is totally madening. So, when a formula is given in US units I always convert to metric.

There are roughly 454 grams to a pound and, for simplicity I round that to 450g. A cup of water weighs roughly 240 grams. When you do Baker’s Percentage, the amount of flour use use is always taken as 100% and the percentage of each of the other ingredients is taken as the weight of any ingredient compared to the weight of the flour. An example would be best.

Using the weights you gave me earlier I converted the 1 pound, 3-1/4 ounces of flour to 541.4 grams (you don’t need that much accuracy but I do it just so others can see where I got the number. One pound = 450g and 3-1/4 ounces = 91.4g so that gives 541.4.

!-1/2 cups of water = 1.5 x 240g = 360g.

(360/541.4) x 100 = 66.49 or 66.5%, which is the hydration.

1-1/2 tsp of salt weighs about 9g.

(9/541.4) x 100 = 1.66% salt.

That’s what you do for all the remaining items. If this isn’t clear please let me know.

Mitch

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Breadtopia September 16, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Hi Mitch,

Thought I’d chime in here just to mention that I used to go 16-18 hours because that’s what the original no knead recipe called for and it worked fine, but now it’s more in the neighborhood of 12 hours plus or minus a couple hours depending on the temperature and my schedule.

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Angela Spaccarelli September 16, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Jeff B…for my slashes, I simply use a single edge razor blade, works well. On the steel cut oats, I added them in dry with no problems, they softened up to my liking enough during the rising periods.
Mitch…I am certain that I use only 1 1/2 cups of water, I have a plastic container that I marked with a sharpie at the 1 1/2 cup measurement and use that all the time. Don’t forget that I do add a lot of moist ingredients to my dough, but even when I use dried meats & cheeses, it still remains the same. Yes, the hydration is less than Eric’s as you pointed out, that’s why I have that stiffer dough on the first go round and that’s more than likely why I even have a firmer ball of dough after the 2 hour rise.
The reason I use my mixer is that when I am making several loaves 10 or more, it’s really time consuming to hand mix each loaf, therefore, when they are rising they aren’t created equal anymore. With the mixer it is only 2 minutes between the loaves. I also notice that when I use the mixer the crumb is smaller than when I mix by hand it has bigger holes. I will attach a picture of the inside of a loaf that was made using the mixer, I don’t have any pictures of hand mixed. Mitch, you probably are correct with the fact that some kneading does take place during those 2 minutes in the mixer, let’s think about it, it’s probably much more thorough than one can do by hand, right? You are also very good with figuring out percentages of dry vs wet, & hydration? Pardon my ignorance, what is your formula, how do you figure? We learn by reading, asking questions and experimenting.

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Mitch September 16, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Is there any way to edit a message once it’s posted.

Angel,

I forgot to ask you why you use the mixer, given that Eric says to just mix everything together in the bowl and then let it sit and ferment.

Now that I think of it, I wonder if the kneading that takes place in the mixing bowl is what allows you to shorten your fermentation time to roughly 12 hours compared to Eric’s 16 to 18 hours. Or, of course, it could just be that your kitchen is somewhat warmer than his. Or some combination of the two. :-)

Mitch

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Mitch September 16, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Angel,

Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to write that in such detail. It was all extremely helpful but what may have been the most enlightening was that you are using roughly 20% more flour for the same amount of water that Eric is using for the same amount of water. As such, using Baker’s Percentage, your hydration is roughly 66.5 % whereas Eric’s is 80%. That is a major difference in hydration. I was under the impression that the dough had to be reasonably wet (based on Eric’s formula) in order for the 12+ hour fermentation technique to work, but you clearly have dispelled that — unless, without realizing it, you are adding a lot more liquid then the 1-1/2 cups once the dough starts coming together.

Mitch

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JeffB. September 16, 2009 at 1:14 pm

My two cents. Enjoying the comments of late. I’ve found that the Steel Cut Oats always soften just fine, even with a 12 hour rise. No need for anything fancy. Flavor is always good as well with steel cut oats. Flavor is very subjective. If you want more flavor, add more stuff. For example, the Seeded Sour recipe has more flavor than the basic Steel Cut Oats recipe. But for big flavor, add all the peppers, olives, etc. that Angela adds.

I’ve never found that enamel or not matters in a dutch oven. And yeah, I second the crust crisping techniques of Angela. I suspect that bread is like glass in that it needs annealing. If one used a gradual temperature decline annealing as the bread cooled, there would not be the softer more moist crust after cooling. The quick insert in to the oven before cutting does crisp up the crust. Probably easier than rigging up an annealing oven that slowly drops the temp.

Maybe we can move the bread mixer comments to another thread?

BTW, Angela, you are a real baker. Nicely done.

I do have one question. What and how do you use to get such perfect slashes? I have not found a good slashing knife yet.

Happy baking folks.

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Angela Spaccarelli September 16, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Thank you for all the wonderful compliments! I will start from the beginning. My room temperature is from 75-80 degrees, no drafts. During the winter I like to rise my dough in the same room as the wood burning stove, which means the room temperature is between 80-85 or even 90 degrees! For my first rise I go by 12 hours, or by checking the consistency of the dough if the room is really warm it may even be 11 hours, but I will move the dough if it’s too warm. I like to rise at least 12 hours, if it looks like it can rise a little more and isn’t getting bubbly, runny & wet I will let it go an hour or two more. After the initial 12 hour rise, when I form my dough into a ball, the dough consistency is more on the dry side than wet. Sometimes it is a little loose and I might sprinkle it with some flour so that I can work with it.
EQUIPMENT: 6 qt. bread rising buckets, also use large Pyrex bowls, Cuisinart 7 qt. mixer or hands, Rubbermaid 13 cup plastic bowl (for second rise), disposable shower caps, plastic shopping bags.
INGREDIENTS: Gold Medal full strength bread flour (50 lb bag purchased at a restaurant supply), SAF yeast, Iodized salt, tap water, I have artesian well water, no chemicals added
RECIPE: 1 lb. 3 1/4 oz. bread flour, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. SAF yeast, 1 1/2 cups water*
INSTRUCTIONS:
1. In mixer bowl or large pyrex bowl, combine flour, salt, & yeast. Stir with a whisk to fluff the mixture. Add water and whatever flavor variations (olives, cheeses, dried deli meats, vegetables, etc.)the reason for the *on the water is that I will adjust the water according to what I am adding, if I am adding roasted red peppers or onions sauteed in olive oil, (they are pretty wet), I will cut back on some water…but for added flavor I will substitute some of the liquid from the peppers for some water, that goes for the olives, when I purchase them I make sure to get some of the oily brine they are packed in, I will add some of the olive brine.
2. I set my mixer for 2 minutes, speed 3. At 2 minutes my dough is where I want it to be, if it’s too wet I will slowly sprinkle in some flour, if it’s too dry I slowly add some water. I like the dough consistency to be on the stiff side, not sticking to my hands and releases easily from the dough hook. If I mix by hand I start out with the dough whisk then finish with my hands. When I say stiff I don’t mean that you can form a ball with the dough and it will remain in that shape.
3. I put the dough in the rising bucket, or leave in the Pyrex bowl, and cover with the plastic shower cap. Let dough rise for 12 hours (more or less).
4. After 12 hours, slide dough out of bucket onto work surface sprinkled with bench flour. When I make many loaves, I don’t let it rest for the additional 15 minutes, but if you have the time let the dough rest for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, stretch the dough out into a rectangle, if the dough is slack dust with flour, if not fold as Eric instructs, like an envelope, side on top of side, then top over bottom. Pick up and form into a ball, making sure you tighten up the ball and form a skin but being careful not to deflate too much, you don’t want to hear too many bubbles popping, also being sure to seal up the bottom by pinching. I place the dough ball on parchment paper and sprinkle with flour, then pick up the dough ball in the parchment and place in the Rubbermaid bowl and cover with plastic grocery bag and let rise for 2 hours, again watch this at the 2 hour mark, if the dough is breaking apart and is loose or jiggly, that’s too long, it should be somewhat still on the firm side but nice and puffy.
5. After 2 hours, usually the dough ball has absorbed the flour that I sprinkled on top before the rise, so I will sprinkle again with flour and slash. Pick up the parchment with the dough ball and place the whole thing in the Dutch oven or La Cloche and into the pre-heated 445 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove lid and see if it is as dark as you like, if not, leave lid off and brown to the way you like but be careful because the bottom is still browning as well.
That’s it. I know my saga sounds long, but without doing a video, I have to write it this way in order to convey my actions. I hope this helps anyone that may be trying this for the first time or struggling, it is really simple and rewarding, and most of all many thanks to Eric for teaching us!!!!!!!

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Angela Spaccarelli September 16, 2009 at 10:05 am

PJ3…I don’t use the Rubbermaid for the first rise because I don’t think the bowl is large enough when the dough starts to rise, sometimes they get pretty big, especially when I use roasted or fried sweet red peppers. There must be a lot of sugars in the red peppers, therefore, making a lovely enviornment for the yeast. I feel like I should give the dough as much room as it needs to grow for the first rise.

Gia…Thank you. I have used both the black cast iron and the LaCloche in addition to the enameled cast iron. I have almost similar results with all 3. I did notice with the black cast iron that the bread does brown more and you might have to adjust the oven temperature. I was lucky enough to get 4 of the same size enameled cast iron Dutch ovens and that they all fit in my oven at the same time. What works for me is 445 degrees for 45 minutes, I have an electric oven.

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Mitch September 16, 2009 at 10:01 am

Angel,

If I made just ONE loaf that looked like that I could die happy. Please, please, please give us instructions detailing EXACTLY what you did from start to finish (including times and temperatures where possible), because never, never, never, have I wound up with a loaf that looked even close to yours. Not to mention that you slashed them as well. My dough going into my baker seems much too weak to attempt slashing for fear it will collapse.

Mitch

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