Sicilian No Knead Bread

This Sicilian no knead bread recipe holds a solid place on my short list of favorite no knead recipes. Huge thanks to its creator Ed Pillitteri from Seattle, who is generously sharing it with us. Serve with spaghetti, eggplant parmesan or lasagna and watch your family or guests weep with joy.

Ed Pillitteri - Sicilian No Knead Creator

Ed Pillitteri – Sicilian No Knead Creator

That’s the good news.

On the flip side, some of its ingredients are not easily found in most grocery stores. One of those is durum flour. While closely related to common durum semolina flour, which is also milled from durum wheat, durum flour is typically a finer grind and performs better in bread baking than its courser cousin. If you happen to live near a Whole Foods type grocery store, see if they carry it. Otherwise, check for chapatti flour. Chapatti flour, used mostly for the Indian flat bread, is durum flour with a little bran in it. I’ve used both and can’t tell the difference.

Update: See Ed’s comment below about doing a search for “Golden Temple Durum Atta Flour”. Same goes for this reference by Kitchen Barbarian (nice name!). Also, thanks to Eileen for finding another good on line source for durum flour (http://www.barryfarm.com). And this from Kent Perry… good work, Kent.

The other not so common ingredient is barley malt syrup. Most health food grocers should either sell it or be able to get it for you. The brand I see around is Eden (edenfoods.com). Barley malt syrup is occasionally called for in other bread recipes as well, most notably bagel recipes.

If you’ve made it this far and are actually ready to start baking, congratulations, the rest is relatively easy.

Following is the recipe, instructions and a two part video thrown in for good measure. In the videos I make Ed’s original version and also a sourdough version.

No Knead Sicilian Style Bread

300 grams  (~2 cups)  Durum flour (not semolina for pasta)
120 grams (~1 cup)  White bread flour
1 1/2 tsp.   Salt
1/4 tsp          Instant Yeast
1 1/2 cup      Purified Water
1 Tbs          Barley Malt Syrup
1 Tbs          EV Olive Oil
1/4 cup          Sesame Seeds

(for the sourdough version I simply substitute 1/4 cup of starter for the 1/4 tsp instant yeast)

Mix the two flours, salt and yeast in a bowl.  In a separate container (2 cup measuring cup works well) measure out the water then add the malt and stir until combined.  Add the olive oil and pour it all into the flour mixture.  The mixture may seem too dry but don’t  add more water.  The Durum flour takes a bit longer to absorb the water so cover for 10 minutes after mixing then mix again, briefly.

Place the bowl in plastic bag or cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 18 hours.

On a well floured surface, flatten dough and fold into three (like a letter) then in half.  Cover with plastic or a towel and let rest for 15 minutes.

Preparing the  proofing basket: Brush or spray the inside of the basket liberally with good olive oil.  While standing over the sink (to avoid a mess), sprinkle the sesame seeds evenly inside the bowl, pressing them in the grooves (if using a basket) with your fingers.

Depending on the container (proofing basket) to be used, shape the dough into a ball or log.  Place dough in the basket, cover with a kitchen towel or lightly with plastic and let rise for up to 1 ½ hours.

At least 30 minutes before baking, heat a large Dutch oven, including lid,  or La Cloche Baker ( highly recommended) in the oven at 475 degrees.  Once preheated, remove the lid, invert the loaf into the La Cloche, replace lid and bake for 30 minutes.  (The parchment paper technique, shown in the video, also works well for moving the dough to your baking vessel.) After 30 minutes with the lid on, remove lid and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more to finish baking and achieve a nice golden brown crust and toasted sesame seeds – be careful not to burn yourself.

Cool to room temperature on a rack before eating – no cheating.  Buon Appetito .

Notes:

Ed later added this:

“I lightly toasted lightly toasted the sesame seeds in a frying pan then soaked them in water for a few minutes and drained them well.  I lined an oblong proofing basket with parchment paper, lightly sprayed with oil, and let the dough rise as usual.  Just before baking, I brushed the top of the loaf with water then packed the seeds all over the top in a single layer, lowered it into the La Cloche and slashed the loaf one time down the center.   I think the combination of toasting and increased quantity of the sesame seeds added a lot of flavor.”

One of Ed's Gems

One of Ed’s Gems

Nice oven spring and natural split

Nice oven spring and natural split

By placing your dough in the oven before it’s fully risen, you’re more likely to get the nice oven spring (a quick burst of rising in the first minutes of baking) and the artsy splits in the crust as pictured above. In the video, the oblong loaf over proofed (for my taste) and rose no further during baking.

{ 225 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe March 1, 2014 at 6:46 pm

So I was able to make a loaf today. Preheated the oven at 475 for an hour to heat the baking stone. Loaf very nice and had a great crust when I took it out of the over – a little while later the crust had gone soft. Not sure why?

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Joanne March 2, 2014 at 8:57 am

I have made bread many years and have read a multitude of ‘fix it’ tips to keep the bread crisp. In the end, nothing works, it eventually loses the hard crispness. The only remedy I have discovered is that after bread is made and you want to eat it again (for dinner or another meal), preheat the oven to 375 and insert the bread back into the oven for up to 10 mins…the crust gets crisp again and the bread is warm as if just baked. Life is too short to fret over this problem in my opinion, and this solution works for me.

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Joe C March 2, 2014 at 12:12 pm

makes sense – thats what I’ll do!

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Joe C February 26, 2014 at 11:27 am

Has anyone has success with this recipe without using a Dutch Oven, maybe just on a baking stone?

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Russ February 26, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Joe,

See my post a couple below, with pictures. I made it just fine without a dutch oven, and without any steamer or spraying water in the oven.

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Joe C February 24, 2014 at 7:57 am

Do you think this type of flour would work or still too dense? Semolina & Extra Fancy Durum Pasta Flour
http://www.walmart.com/ip/17340108?wmlspartner=wlpa&adid=22222222227015517370&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=42154906270&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=40013680870&veh=sem

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Ed February 24, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Hi Joe, Unfortunately, that flour is ground coarse especially for making pasta and won’t produce a satisfactory loaf. Your best bet in finding the kind of durum flour, ground for bread, at a reasonable price, is an Indian grocery. You can get it at Amazon but shipping is a killer. http://www.amazon.com/Golden-Temple-Durum-Atta-Flour/dp/B004XTDLZU/ref=sr_1_1?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1393292686&sr=1-1&keywords=atta+flour

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Joanne February 25, 2014 at 8:20 am

I buy 50 lb bags of fine durum semolina at a wholesaler open to the public. I also have freezer space in basement. If this is not working for you, go online to sites, google “where to buy durum semolina flour” and you will find a half dozen or so online sites. That’s what I did before I bought the larger bag. I use the durum as a pizza blend mix, pasta, and for breads, so it’s a good deal for me to buy in bulk.

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Joe C February 25, 2014 at 11:43 am

Thank you – I found some Atta Durum Flour. 4.99 for 5 lbs. I just realized I dont have a dutch oven – has anyone had luck with this recipe just being baked in the over without any container?

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Ileen Cuccaro January 10, 2014 at 6:25 am

I tried this bread, and it has great taste and texture, although it came out of the oven very crispy it softened up in 10 minutes, not the crunchy that it is supposed to be. Also all the seeds fell right off

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Ed January 10, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Hi Ileen, Not sure why your bread softened up so quickly. I’ve never had that experience. Maybe take the lid off the cooking vessel sooner? On the seeds – the recipe needs to be amended. Toast the seeds as before. Once your loaf is shaped and ready baking, brush the loaf with a beaten egg white and a little water then apply the seeds to the top. You’ll loose a few but most will adhere. One more modification – I’ve added 20 grams of flour.
Ed

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Joe March 2, 2014 at 8:17 am

Ileen,
Mine lost its crisp as well. I am thinking of trying a higher temp next time. Had you tried again since your first attempt? Any luck with other loaves?

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Russ December 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Ed,

Thanks so much for all of this info, it was invaluable in me getting my very first “successful” loaf of sourdough. This was the first time I recognized I needed to adjust the dough proof when it was done, the dough was too slack so I added flour. I had been worried I would be taking all the rise out of the dough, and now I realize working the dough after the dough proof doesn’t affect the rise.

Its also the first time I’ve seen that “oven spring”, my loaf nearly doubled in size in the first 30 minutes of baking. What I found even more amazing was that the loaf continued to expand after the 70 minutes baking and being taken out of the oven. It sat there snapping and cracking for a good 15 minutes. I hadn’t put any slashes in the loaf.

A question, if I may, my crumb was fairly tight. Not dense, but very few holes, except at the very top of the loaf where the hole was a good 3/4″ tall and as wide as half the loaf from end to end just under the crust. Any ideas? Would slashing have prevented this?

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Ed January 10, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Hi Russ, Sorry for the tardy reply. A couple of thoughts. I’ve never had a doubling in the oven, maybe 50% which leads me to speculate that something was not right in the process. Too few holes usually means not enough water so adding flour when you did may have caused the problem. Next time, add 20g of flour to the mix. Also, make sure your cooking vessel has been preheated for at least 40 minutes. Last, brush an egg white and water mixture over the surface before you add the toasted seeds. See today’s post to Ileen on this.

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Rita May 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Here’s a picture of the finished bread.
It was kind of flat, but it tasted great with cheese and tomatoes!
I forgot to mention that my starter had been fed a few days with the same durum flour. Is that OK?

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Sandy September 12, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Ed,
Would you ever consider sending a loaf of your bread to Minnesota for those of us that don’t have time to make it? Really looks good!

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Ed September 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Hi Sandy, If I was your neighbor I would happily bake one for you! A fun thought to ship but it wouldn’t do the bread justice, not to mention the logistics and cost of overnight FedX. Like most artisan breads, this one is best about 2 hours out of the oven. Thanks for the post.

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Ed September 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Hi Rita, Sorry for the tardy reply. Your loaf looks great! Yes, feeding your starter with the same flour is fine. Having said that, I’m not a fan of using a sour starter with this bread. It’s a matter of taste and if you like it great but to me it’s no longer a Sicilian bread. Next time use 20gr more flour (either one) and your loaf should turn out taller.

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Rita May 24, 2013 at 8:09 am

Well, my attempt at the sourdough version of Ed’s Sicilian is quite soupy as well. I had to add another 8og just to be able to fold it, shape it and get it into the pot. It did rise nicely though. I’m using durum atta flour by “Suraj” which I found at the local Maxi grocery store here in Quebec(20 lbs) for $10.
I thought I had the wrong flour, as it was kind of yellowish, but it seems it is whole wheat flour made from durum wheat. Will try your suggestion, Ed of using the yeast. May be my sourdough starter is the problem.
I would like to know the different grains of wheat and their characteristics. Can any one suggest a good reference book?

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Marie April 4, 2013 at 12:48 am

A friend told me about dough enhancer. Would this work for NK bread.

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Christine March 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I scored big at the local Indian market. 20 lbs of Durum flour for $9.99 and a pound and a half of sesame seeds for $4.49. This is an international effort!

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Christine March 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Hi there,
Has anyone tried making this bread with semolina instead of durum flour? What were your results?
This bread is fantastic and instantly became my favorite.
Happy Baking!

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Ed March 26, 2013 at 12:05 am

Hi Christine, Semolina is coarse ground and will produce a brick like loaf- if it comes together at all. Glad you’re enjoying the bread. Ed

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Christine March 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Thanks Ed, I took your wise advice and didn’t even try it. I’m excited to report I just returned from the Indian market with 20 lbs of Golden Temple Atta Durum flour ($9.99) and 28 oz or sesame seeds ($4.49). This is the only bread I make now, it is my all time favorite. Thanks so much!

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Ken January 27, 2013 at 11:34 am

Hi,tried this recipe and the bread looked great ,let it raise for 15 hrs and 1 1/2 hours when in loaf shape.Found it to be very heavy like cornbread almost.Good flavor,but way to heavy.Any ideas why this would happen?or is this the way its supposed to be?

Thanks
Ken

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Christine March 28, 2013 at 12:30 pm

By chance did you use semolina instead of durum flour?

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Neal Golovin January 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Just took my loaf out of the oven. It looks great, can’t wait to try it. See my pic below. I have one question. I did the semolina to bread flour ratio as stated in the recipe. The results was something more like cake batter than bread dough. I ended up adding quite a bit of bread flour (just added until a dough resulted). Did I use the wrong semolina (i.e. the pasta semolina)? The bin at the store was labeled “Semolina flour”. It looks beautiful. It is still cooling down, as I write.

Thank
Neal

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Carol D November 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm

First of all would like to send warm thoughts to all affected by Sandy. Can’t even imagine the reality.

Finding this recipe was the last half of a happy accident. I accidentally bought Atta flour’ and opened it before reading the label. Lesson learned! My quest then became finding a recipe and lo and behold this one is a double whammy with the no knead factor. Well! I started it in the electric mixer – it was quite wet,but I outfit to rise anyway – 18 hours later’ I just kneaded atiny bit to add enough flour to firm it up a little, with misgivings. Let it rise about 2 hours, then cooked as per instructions. I ended up with my first artisan loaf that tasted smelled and looked fantastic!
Thank you So much!

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Anthony October 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I made my first Sicilian No Knead Bread!!! I am from NYC and have since moved to Texas. This bread was an everyday staple in just about every Italian house in NYC. You could get it at any bakery. After moving I was LOST! No bread like this exists in Texas…that is until I found this site!!!! wooo whoooo! I made it and it tastes exactly like back home (minus the NY water :-)). So crunchy and delicious. I did use some black sesame seeds because I forgot to buy more white ones. Check the pic out.

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Anthony October 29, 2012 at 12:41 pm

thinking about making a variation of this which will include some good prosciutto chunks.

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Joanne October 29, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Hi
Waiting for Hurricane Sandy to come it us full force. Wish I could count on my power to be on tomorrow to bake another loaf of this bread, but alas, we’ll be out of commission I’m sure here on Long Island, rain coming down and wind is whipping already. To all NY’ers and states in the path of Sandy–keep safe, and happy bread baking after she leaves.

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Adrian Howartha October 20, 2012 at 6:54 am

Hi, does anyone know if you could make this bread with spelt flour=

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carol wharton October 20, 2012 at 9:14 am

Hi Adrian,
I make the Sicilian bread almost every other day…but I also make spelt bread according to Eric’s spelt recipe…the method is not very different…and the results are good. Give it a try.
I return to Scilian when I run out of spelt flour.
BTW I buy the durum flour from India…in 25 lb bags…through Amazon.com called Chapatti Ada durum flour.
carol

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Milla July 26, 2012 at 2:48 am

Great recipe, thanks! Very similar to the Greek Koulouri bread with mastic and sesame, though I use Kamut flour instead of Durum (which are quite similar anyway).

However, about the parchment paper – I’ve nearly burned my house down once with the stuff! I opened the oven door and I suppose with all the oxygen rushing in, the parchment paper caught fire! I was lucky I was able to contain it by throwing a bucket of water into the oven…:-/ So careful with parchment paper! Its a good idea to trim as much off as possible so its not flapping around browning.

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Alan Seager July 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Sicilian no Knead is fabulous. I baked it this morning & the loaf was gone by dinner. A double batch is in the bowl for tomorrow. Thanks for a terrific recipe.

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Ed July 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Thank you Alan. I’m glad it worked out well for you.
Ed

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Marie May 14, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I bought some durum flower at a health food store and tried the sicilian 2X now but it has come out as a hard and heavy small loaf. Not sure if I overproofed it–once was a little over 12 hours and the second was close to 18. For yeast, I used a half teaspoon the first time and a quarter the second loaf. I’ve been making no knead bread for over 2 years now and use white bread flower. I had made the sicilian in the past but with a cheaper flour I bought at Superstore (Canadian grocery store) but I didn’t really like the taste of it. Any suggetions of what I might be doing wrong. It just didn’t seem to rise very much for the second proof or maybe I’m overproofing it….

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Dave April 27, 2012 at 10:43 am

my question is more about broforms then this gough particularly

I just bought one but from what i heard, you should never wash it and never put oil on it. but your brotform looked like it was washed and dried(or brand new) and then you spayed alot of oil… can you comment on if oil will go rancid and if you wash your proofing basket

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David April 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Ed,

Apropos the “cold” baking article in Cook’s Illustrated, it is in
the current; i.e., May/June, 2012 issue rather than the same period
2011 issue. It is really an advance in the “state of the technique” so to
say. One places the raised, ready for baking loaf into the Dutch Oven
or ceramic/clay pan, puts the baking utensil into the cold oven, turns the heat control to 425, wait till the oven reaches that temperature, then start the timer: thirty minutes covered as usual, about ten/fifteen minutes uncovered and voila, the bread, without having to maneuver the 500 degree hot baking container.

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Ed April 10, 2012 at 1:15 am

David,
I didn’t think the May-June issue had arrived yet but there it was on the coffee table in a stack of other magazines & catalogs . We’ve been out of town for a few weeks. Thanks again, going to try it.
Ed

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carol wharton April 9, 2012 at 11:04 am

Hi All,
I have been baking the Sicilian Sesame bread for awhile now and love it…several times now I have added a twist for variety…a handful of crystallized ginger cut up mixed with brown sugar and cinnamon and spread on the dough with a little butter while folding it prior to the last proof…I cut the dough with my pastry blade and layered it with the sugar mixture then lifted the layers one on top of the other and placed the pile into the proofing basket for usual time and then baked as usual…actually at a lower temperature for a softer crust.
May add nuts and raisins next time but omit the ginger.
Nice for breakfast and makes great toast anytime… yum yum!
carol from landaff

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David April 8, 2012 at 10:22 am

Eric,

Check my note to Ed. You’ll want to try the “cold” method for almost
no knead bread. Seems to me, after trying it earlier today, it eliminates
a lot of handling and makes the process ever more easy—no more
working with searing hot ceramic or Dutch Ovens.

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David April 8, 2012 at 10:18 am

Ed,

One additional comment. Happy Easter!
An additional question:
I shop at one of the great Italian groceries in the Chicago area,
Joe Caputo and Sons in Palatine, IL. There, among the flours, I find
a ten pound bag of “Farina,” with no translation from the Italian of
any text on the bag. Next to it, from the same supplier, is another
flour, clearly labeled “Semolina.” No one in the store seems to be able to tell me if the “Farina” is, indeed, Durum flour. What do you think? (I’m finishing off a bag of Chapati flour I obtained in a local Indian grocer, and thought I’d try the “farina” if that is durum.

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Ed April 8, 2012 at 10:54 am

David,
A Happy Easter to you too.

As far as I know, farina is a hot cereal. My mom occasionally served it for breakfast , came in a box that read “Cream of Farina” .

Semolina flour is indeed made from durum wheat but it’s ground for making pasta, too coarse to make bread. It won’t come together. I tried grinding it finer in a food processor to no avail. Then I discovered chapati, now available at Costco here. Lot’s of Indian engineers at Microsoft.

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Joanne April 8, 2012 at 11:03 am

“farina” is the Italian word for “Flour.” If you cannot see any hints on the bag as to its main use, go by the name brand on the bag, who makes it. Look up that name on Google, Amazon, or other Italian food sites on the web of which there are many, that brand will pop up and be further investigated. If it’s “OO” flour, then it can be used for pasta or pizza. If it’s semolina, it’s an ingredient in bread or flour used in a SMALLER proportion with other wheat flours. Alone it is too coarse. Hope that helps.

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David April 8, 2012 at 9:41 am

Ed,

Your reply to Tom concerning a highly wet dough is apropos. I have made this recipe a number of times and obtained fairly good results
with sour dough. I think the problem with sour dough is that the starter adds an extra dimension of moisture requiring extra flour to offset it. I have a loaf baking now to which I added the extra flour, still with a couple of table spoons, the dough was very tricky to handle. Maybe, since this is your recipe, and all of us love the bread,you might, as an exercise see let us know the optimum extra quantity of flour to get the best results.

Also, another tip. I paint the top of the bread before baking with
egg wash (whole egg beaten), then lay on the sesame seeds. Excellent results.

Finally, on the general subject of almost no knead bread, the latest
number of Cook’s Illustrated (May/June, p. 51, reports on a revised procedure, starting the baking process with a cold Dutch Oven or
ceramic baker. I did it today. Works like a charm. Lot easier to make the bread.

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Ed April 8, 2012 at 10:37 am

Hi David,
I didn’t notice that article in Cooks Illustrated. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll give it a try. In the meantime, did you add time to the baking or alter the temperature?

If you’ll take a look at an exchange between a different David and me back in October 2010 you’ll see that your discoveries regarding both additional flour and seed management coincide with mine except that I use just he white of the egg and a little water. I also lightly toast the seeds which I find really enhances the flavor. Someday I’ll get around to updating the recipe.
Cheers.
.

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Ed Pillitteri April 8, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Hi David, I pulled my copy of 2011 May – June Cooks Illustrated and couldn’t find anything on almost no knead. Do I have the right year?
ed
.

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carol wharton April 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Sesame Sicilian bread has quickly become the favourite in our home…I mix the ingredients in the evening, let it proof overnight and bake it the next morning anytime before noon. I live near King Arthur Flour but order the Durum flour, Atti Chapatti, from Amazon in 20 lb bags at a very reasonable price. It appears to be good quality and the bread is incredible. We like a softer crust oftentimes, so I bake the bread at a lower oven temp somewhere around 400 for 30 minutes or until interior temp is 200. I did it at 375 once by mistake and it had a nice soft crust which kept well for several days.

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Ed Pillitteri April 2, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Hi Carol, So happy to hear you and your family are enjoying the Sicilian style bread. I grew up in NJ and in the early 50′s a loaf of this style bread was delivered to our house every day – imagine such luxury! Thanks for the tips on the softer crust – I know kids prefer it. enjoy.
Ed

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s leete March 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I spied a 20 pound bag of Durum flour (the chapatti sort) for a very low price recently. Shall try the no knead recipe but live in a cool house so wonder if the ambient temp will be high enough for the rising. Comments please.

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Joanne March 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I have a ‘proofing’ function on my oven, but if you don’t, there is a way I’ve read to do the same. Turn on oven, to 120 I think–I’d google this to be sure–for a few minutes, then shut oven off. It creates a warm but safe environment for dough to rise. The temp will cool more as it sits and won’t kill yeast. Use the warm oven to proof. King Arthur sells great Durum flour in 3 lb. bags. I use it for pasta blends too.

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Mary March 3, 2012 at 8:30 am

Cover your dough with plastic followed by a dish towel to keep what heat is generated by the proofing action in the bowl, in the bowl, and place the bowl under an incandescent lamp overnight. You can also place it in the oven with your oven light left on. Both should offer the dough enough heat to not stall rising, especially overnight while your home is at it’s coolest..

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paperpushermj April 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Try a heating pad on the lowest setting

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carol wharton February 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I finally got around to making the Sicilian Sesame bread and it is now my new best friend. Wonderful color and the toasted seeds add a nice flavor to the crust. I used Organic Barley Malt which I purchased at King Arther Flour along with the durum flour because the store is nearby but I will not hesitate to look in my local Indian store for Durum Chapati flour and perhaps try dark molasses instead of the barley malt to see if there is much difference. It is so easy to make. I have used both my white flour starter and ww. One of the proofed doughs was much looser than the other ( impossible to shape ) but all have turned out really well baked in my Sassafras clay oven…excellent rise, crust, crumb, taste etc. As with Eric’s other recipes, I now proof in a warm drawer ( temp about 74) and only for 10 t0 11 hours including the last proof. I believe the looser dough was one I left in the fridge for 48 hours before proofing in the drawer…maybe that made a difference? Please ignore the photo…don’t believe it is the correct one.
carol

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Tom Owen February 14, 2012 at 7:22 am

Eric
My sourdough version of the sicilian loaf tasted great had some nice bubbly holes and all but it poured out of the proofing baskets ,dough was very loose ,both versions were ,I would’nt say a failure BUT they did not come the way I was hopeing I have a scale all the eexact ingredents but dough did not seem stiff of put together like the one on the video I have had great sucess with other type breads and really like the no knead method ,how do I make sure this does not happen again after mixing all the right levels and still having soupy dough this is my 3rd try and not having much luck .

Tom Owen

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Ed February 17, 2012 at 12:13 am

Hi Tom,
Others have mentioned a wet dough and in fact, I now use 20 additional grans of white four myself for a lighter loaf. However, the dough was never reported as so soft it could be “poured”, just that the finished product was a bit too moist. So, since you didn’t deviate from the recipe, I suspect you may be using semolina instead of durum flour. Both are made from durum wheat but semolina (used for making pasta) is a coarse grind and will not come together enough to make acceptable bread. I’ve tried it and the dough is a gooey mess and the bread very flat.
On the other hand, if you are using the correct flours, the problem is probably your starter. Try using yeast next time and see what happens, that’s the more authentic recipe anyway.
In the meantime, for additional information and tips on the subject, go back in the posts to October 2010 and look for an exchange between David and me. Let me know if I can help further.
Ed Pillitteri

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Kitchen Barbarian January 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Durum flour is commonly carried at Indian groceries, but the store owner may not recognize the term “durum flour”. Ask for “chapati flour” instead.

Look for Golden Temple Brand Durum Atta Flour, white bag, red decoration on the bag. It contains no maida or all purpose flour. Ask the grocer for chapati flour and this is almost certainly going to be one of your choices.

There are many kinds of durum flour used in Indian bread making. You can read about the different Golden Temple products on their website at http://goldentemplefood.com/, and you can read about Indian flours in general at http://www.indiacurry.com/bread/attadurumgehun.htm

I own no stock in Golden Temple, but I have been using it for over 30 years to make puri and chapati. Trust me it is EASILY found in any Indian grocery.

There are online sources as well. I have listed some sites that will help you locate local Indian groceries and several online sources on one of me webpages at http://barbariansatthekitchengate.blogspot.com/2009/05/masala-chai-indian-railroad-tea.html#IndianGroceries

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Ajl December 31, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Just tried this for the first time – it was perfect. Although, I wasn’t patient and cut into the bread within 5 minutes after taking it out of the oven, so I lost a little heat and internal cooking.

I’ve never had bread turn out this well. The only thing missing is the smokey flavor – any thoughts on baking it on the gas grill with some wood chips?

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Joanne November 4, 2011 at 11:55 am

I assume the first rising time ofs 18 hours is done room temp, on the counter? Or do you refrigerate?

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Breadtopia November 5, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Yes, room temp. But sometimes 18 hours can be a bit long. If the room is warm, the optimum proofing time can be several hours less. It should be fine either way but you’ll get so you can tell when it’s ready from just looking at the dough.

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p33sm33l July 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm

I am paralysed in a wheelchair and I am having great success with the Sicilian bread; so thanks for the recipe. Now my question: if I want to make double the quantity of bread or even triple, doI simply just double or triple everything? Double yeast, molasses, salt, oil etc? My in-laws want me to make loaves for them too.

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p33sm33l July 22, 2011 at 11:59 pm

yes, I substituted molasses and the bread is perfect. First time go at this recipe and it is fantastic; so simple. Also, I used atta flour from my Indian shop instead of regular durum; still a great success.

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The Libretti's July 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm

We love it! I used one of my Baparoma steam proofers to back in. Since I used water to adhere the toasted seeds I did not fill the lower vessel at all. After 30-35 minutes I removed the top as recommended. Though it was difficult to wait until it cooled down, we did and the bread is PERFECTION. Next we are going to make rolls with this recipe. THANK YOU.

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Breadtopia July 9, 2011 at 6:44 pm

That sounds great. I’d love to more about a Baparoma steam proofer.

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Henry July 9, 2011 at 9:34 am

Can molasses be used instead of malt syrup?

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Lulu June 17, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Eric, Just watched the beer & vinegar recipes. Can’t wait to make the sandwich bread version. My poor family is about to explode with my new found recipes for great bread making. I am so excited about your site & how simplified bread making has become. Any way you make it is fun but these are especially beautiful loaves & rounds. Thanks again, Lulu

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Toni June 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm

To avoid the bottom over browning you could always put the bread on a piece of parchment paper on the pizza stone and remove it at the halfway point. Also if you don’t have a dutch oven or la cloche (I highly recommend the purchase after getting one for my birthday they work GREAT!) try starting it in a bread pan which will give it some height with the rise and then at half way or so slip it out of the pan and put it on the stone to brown and get a nice crust. I do this with all my sandwich loaves to develope the crust and it works very nicely.

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Marisa June 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I have made this recipe several times using yeast and the breads turned out fantastic. I tried it with Eric’s sourdough starter and it was a flop!! I had a nice rise after the 18 hours but once I poured it on my silpat formed it and let it rest and then put it in the form it didn’t do a thing. It was a runny mass with no strength. I have used sour dough starters for years and this is my first huge mistake. What went wrong? Normally I would feed the sour dough starter, let it sit overnight and then I would add the rest of the flour, let it rise and then bake. By adding all the flour and letting it rise and then deflating it I felt as if the sour dough had lost all of its strength. Is it me?

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John Davies June 6, 2011 at 6:53 am

Jessica-

This recipe really needs a Dutch oven, but have you tried pre-heating the pizza stone for a shorter time or at a lower temperature? Or try moving the bread from the pizza stone to the rack when it is halfway done.

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Jessica June 6, 2011 at 4:02 am

I have made this loaf 3 times now and it is fabulous. The problem I have run into (this may partly be because I have no La Cloche baker or dutch oven, but have been baking my bread on a pre-heated pizza stone) is that the bottom is *always* burnt before the bread is done. After three tries I still haven’t been able to take it out after the top is golden and before the bottom burns. Please advise.

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Jessica March 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Luckily, I live in Italy where Durum flour is common :) Awesome recipe, I already made your sourdough pizza crust and it was delicious, I think this will be the next one I try!

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Mary March 24, 2011 at 9:57 am

Hi,

I used a heaping tablespoon of Carnation Malted Milk Powder the first time I used this recipe, with great success. You can find it in most grocery stores. I also found by using less water that the dough was more manageable when flipping out into baking forms.

Happy Baking,
Mary

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Jessie March 24, 2011 at 7:39 am

Can Eds bread be baked in a coffee can??

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