Bread week, day 5: No need to knead

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I stumbled upon a recipe for no-knead bread on The Vegetarian Foodie blog. Not that I was excited to find a no-knead recipe. What are you saying? I love kneading. Are you accusing me of getting burnt out on all this bread baking, proofing and kneading? Nonsense. I was just … ummm … curious.


Anyway, I was slightly skeptical. Why would anyone ever knead dough if they could skip this step and still get a great bread (besides those of us who are brimming with passion for perfecting the art and science of kneading, of course)?

Well, my friends, I was utterly amazed at the ease of this recipe and the quality of end result. I’ll go ahead and say that this is the best bread of bread week so far. The steam trick yields a thick, crisp crust while the insides are moist, chewy and delicious.

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You will not believe that the crusty, beautiful creation that emerges from your oven consists of only four ingredients and requires hardly any work at all.

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Basic No-Knead Bread

Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

You’ll need:

1 1/2 cups warm water (no warmer than 100 degrees)

3 1/4 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons active yeast

2 teaspoons salt

Mix all the ingredients together until they are well incorporated. Cover the bowl with a warm, damp towel and let rise in a warm place for two to five hours. Replace the damp towel with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.

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The next morning, take the bowl out, flour the surface of the dough and form the dough into two equally sized balls. Let the dough rise for an hour in a warm place, covered by a warm, damp towel.

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Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone and a broiler tray in the oven.

Before putting the loaves in the oven, flour and cut two slits on the top of each loaf. Carefully slide the loaves (still on the parchment paper) onto the pizza stone. Then take a large cup of hot water and pour the water into the broiler tray. This causes steam in the oven and creates a hard, thick, exterior crust.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning the oven down to 475 degrees about 10 minutes into baking.

Absolutely …

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Deliciously …

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  • martha blom

    This recipe is a complete rip-off of the Sullivan St. Bakery. It has been published in the NY Times more than once and while its out there in public the people in the know have the decency to credit its author. Check your source and know that they stole it and didn’t credit their own source… even the great Mark Bittman list Sullivan St. as the source. along with Ruhlman, Bourdain… etc, etc, etc

  • Molly Dunlop

    This is similar to the Sullivan St./NY Times recipe, but it’s not identical. It uses more yeast and recommends refrigeration, which is not part of the Sullivan St. method.

  • admin

    Hello Martha,
    Sorry to have offended, but, as I state clearly in my post, this recipe was taken from The Vegetarian Foodie blog, who got the recipe from the book “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day.” I do not personally own that book, but as far as I can tell by searching inside the book on Amazon, the authors do not credit the Sullivan St. Bakery as the source of the recipe, and neither did the blog I found it on. Again, I apologize, and after a quick search I can see that you are correct about the baking method and recipe being similar, but how was I to know to quote a source that is no where to be found in my original sources (including a cookbook at that!)?

  • pixen

    Thank you for sharing the lovely bread recipes. Definitely will try them out for the family. Besides… you got really yummylicious food blog with fabulous recipes and picts! Love gawking at them 😀

    PS. If you have adapted a recipe and credited the source, I see it’s not your problem. The original baker (if they were) should approach the Book’s publisher for their claims. Bread bakers mostly had the same if not almost similar recipes they learnt from family or schools. They added their own style to create their own later on. That’s my opinion 🙂


  • Michelle

    Thanks for all the great pics of this recipe. Do you think it would be possible to use something other than a pizza stone on top of the broiler? I don’t have one…yet. I was thinking of using a baking sheet.

  • admin

    I think a baking sheet should work–the crust may not turn out as nice, but it’s definitely worth a try! I’ve also heard that you can use clay tiles and bricks, as long as they are not glazed at all (which would release chemicals in the oven). Thanks for the comment!

  • Adelina

    I’m really sick and tired of eating local grocery store’s “Artisan breads”! I am not a bread maker At All but I’m very picky when it comes to choose a good loaf of bread to eat, I love bread, period. I must say I am a beginning to think that I really really need to bake a loaf of basic, good bread to eat after looking at your pictures! I mean after all, it’s so much carb so I might as well be picky about which carb should go into my body!

    Thanks for posting and for sharing! Your breads look “absolutely, positively, deliciously” Good!

  • Shelly

    Hello, I have just discovered your blog! Lovely! Thanks for the shout out and well done on your photos and description of the bread. It really is the best isn’t it? Have great holidays!

  • Zorba

    In response to Martha Blom, this recipe is similar but not identical to the Sullivan St. Bakery recipe, as the proportions on ingredients are different. Has anyone here tried them both and have a comment? I’m curious because the Sullivan St. recipe is pretty much fool-proof. It uses less of all the ingredients and doesn’t use refrigeration in the instructions.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe on your blog, and for ethically crediting the proper resource as you have done. Martha should check her facts before making such a bold and inflammatory statement.

  • Tricia

    I stumbled across your blog while looking for a French baguette recipe – made this instead because I love bread but I DON`T love kneading. It is FANTASTIC! My Italian husband is raving about the crunchy crust, and best of all, it was so easy to throw together. Now as long as I know a day ahead, I will have the best fresh bread for company.

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