No Knead bread is not a new thing. In fact in went through an incredible Instagram photo binge ever since the New York Times interview when New York Baker Jim Lahey invited Mark Bittman for an interview. That recipe can be found here. I adapted this recipe from the original. Yet, when all this happened, I somehow missed it. It took a visit from my uncle who lives in Europe for me to discover it. He simply said, “Didn’t you see this on YouTube?” Actually, no, but now that I have I can’t live without it. The beauty of this bread is in its simplicity and minimalism. It does not require special artistry, just time and patience.
This no knead method produces the most delicious, crusty, sourdough like bread that only can be found in the best of bakeries. But wait, you don’t need a starter. There are no messy hands, there is no special equipment needed, it requires a few ingredients, a hot oven, and one pan with a lid. That’s it. It requires time to rest on its own. I typically mix the dough on a weekend evening, and bake it the next morning. It was a huge hit at every one of the Holiday gatherings and we always seem to run out. This is not a last minute bread. It requires time to to rest. I cannot stress enough how this rest time is vital. Because this bread is mixed up with very little yeast, with no working of the dough, it has to rest overnight to slowly rise.
This replicates the slow fermentation process you get with a sourdough bread and it creates a crusty exterior with an incredibly soft puffy interior.
The bread starts with mixing flour, water, salt and a small amount of yeast in a large bowl.
The dough is roughly mixed and left to rest overnight, in a fridge. The dough will look shaggy. It is a complete departure kneading to achieve a smooth dough, but it that’s part of its magic. Once it goes through the initial rise, the dough must be worked and shaped a little bit and finally baked.
This is best served, a hearty soup, it makes amazing sandwiches, or just simply with butter and a dash of salt.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon yeast
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 to 1 cup of extra flour for dusting the board
- Mix flour, salt, yeast and water until just combined. The dough will be shaggy. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 12-16 or just over night. You can also refrigerate the dough for this rise period.
- Once the dough has gone through the long rise, take some of the extra flour and generously flour your working surface, a board or counter top. Place the dough on the floured board. Generously flour the dough as well. Flatten out the dough into a rectangle and then fold it each side towards the center, like you are building an envelope.
- Take a clean kitchen towel or piece of parchment and generously flour it. Place the dough, with the folded side down onto the parchment, then move the parchment into a bowl. Let rise until doubled, about 1 to 2 hours.
- While the dough is rising, heat the oven to 450. Place a dutch oven or a baking pan with a lid in the oven and let it heat.
- Carefully remove the pan from the oven and gently place the dough into the pan. The folded part should be on top, and flat on the bottom.
- Cover with a lid and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 20 minutes.
- You can use 1/2 cup of wheat bran and 2 -1/2 cups of regular flour.
- The water may need to be adjusted by 1/4 cup either way due to the humidity that day.