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Best Bread Ever!

by on January 2, 2009 · 29 comments

The New York Times No-Knead Bread recipe worked! So far, I’ve made one loaf and there’s another on the way. Thanks to Jaden for her detailed directions, Karenfor inspiring me with her description of the bread and her addition of lemon and rosemary. And mostly, Bittman and Lahey for sharing the recipe.

The bread reminds me of some bread I had years ago from La Brea bakery. It has a good flavor, but the best feature is crisp and crackly crust. This is something I was never able to achieve with other bread recipes and it’s what I like most about bread. My loaf spread a little bit more than I’d hoped, but it still tasted excellent and had a light and slightly chewy (but not overly so) crumb.

This really is a great recipe and I think Le Creuset should use it in all their promotional material so people will buy their pots. I used a Le Creuset 7 1/4-Quart Round French Oven, I’m tempted to buy another smaller pot just so I can make some smaller and possibly rounder loaves.

Of course Lodge makes less expensive cookware. They have a 2 quart lidded bean pot on their site and you can buy a Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned 5-Quart Dutch Oven with Loop Handles on Amazon for less than $30.

I’m pretty excited about searching for or maybe creating variations on the recipe. It’s opened a whole up a whole new realm of possibilities and what a great way to start the new year. Now I have to go buy some butter worthy of the bread.

No Knead Bread

Published on January 2, 2009

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen January 2, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I still haven’t tried this but want to. The authors of the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day were on The Splendid Table the other day and the bread made from their technique sounds quite similar to this. I want to check out the book.

VeggieGirl January 2, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Looks perfect!!

clumbsycookie January 2, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Looks exactly like mine did. OMG Anna, are you gonna turn cookiemadness into breadmadness? ;)

C L January 2, 2009 at 3:36 pm

I’d better scoot away from the computer screen before I drool on it! LOL Seriously, though, my mother-in-law gave me a well-seasoned (over 5 decades old) cast iron Dutch oven. If that Dutch oven doesn’t work, I’m going to town and buy a Logic pot at the hardware store. ;)

Anna January 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Jen, after making this bread I’m really interested in the book.

Rita, no. That won’t happen!

CL, that Dutch oven should work just fine.

I just pulled the second batch out of the oven and it came out much rounder and taller. I think I might have used a little more flour in the second batch and am kind of expecting that it will be tasty, but not as good as this first one which spread more.

Sue January 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm

A fresh baked loaf of crusty bread is a beautiful thing! Do you have access to the Cook’s Illustrated version with the beer and vinegar? You get the same crusty results with a little more flavor.

Anna January 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Sue, I don’t have access to that. Do you have it? It sounds good.

Judy Neary January 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm

If you think that’s could, you’ve got to try Artisan Bread in 5 minutes – even more convenient!!

Sue January 2, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Anna, I sent you an email.
If you type No Knead Bread 2.0 into your browser you’ll find the recipe I’m referring to. I think it might even be a free recipe with a video option on the Cook’s Illustrated web site. Enjoy!

Sue January 2, 2009 at 4:55 pm
Katrina January 2, 2009 at 4:56 pm

YUM! It looks great. I have a pretty simple recipe that also sits for hours and hours, but I think you have to knead it 8-10 min. first. Gonna have to try this one. Kevin especially loves a good crusty bread. I don’t really have the correct kind of baking pot. Hmmm.
Glad it was so successful for you.

TG January 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm

how spooky – i too had been avoiding making this and then saw the Amateur Gourmet blog do it and got similarly motivated to try it this weekend

Jackie January 2, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Like the other posters I was going to recommend artisanbreadinfive.com. Their bread is better and easier than the no knead bread in my opinion. I tried the recipe on the site and went out and bought the book as the bread was so great.

Sara January 2, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I love this recipe, I like to add chopped walnuts or olives to the dough to change it up a little. I’ve baked it in as small as a 3 quart saucepot with good results.

Anna January 2, 2009 at 6:12 pm

What I didn’t note (because I just realized it!) was that I used Rapid Rise yeast instead of instant. My loaves still seem to rise pretty good — the second loaf was much higher than this one. I think it might be because they dough sat for 20-22 hours rather than 8-18. For my next batch, I’m going to use the instant yeast and use beer in place of some of the water.

sue January 2, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Hi Anna,
I just love your website.
If you really want another enameled cast iron piece, check qvc for technique brand.
I have both le creuset and this, and except that it doesn’t have a plastic handle, and it’s a LOT cheaper!

Erin Mylroie January 2, 2009 at 11:51 pm

I love this bread in all its forms. I’ve made the rosemary lemon version-I think it was in Williams Sonoma catalogue last year? Anyway, it is so lovely to be able to bake bread like this at home with such a mininal amount of effort!

snookydoodle January 3, 2009 at 12:45 am

wow this looks great. i m not good at bread making but maybe this might work for me :)

Gina January 3, 2009 at 1:54 am

A tip:

Check T.J. Maxx for interesting, heavy, lower-cost pots to bake your no-knead breads in. That’s where I found mine–a nice German one, very well-made and handsome, with a glass lid, for 25 bucks!

Sue January 3, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Can I just say the holes in your bread are gorgeous? My loaf is missing those gorgeous holes this time. There are a few, but nothing like yours!

Gigi January 4, 2009 at 1:09 pm

OMG – there was a time when I was making 2-3 loaves of this every day! It’s seriously addictive! I was trying lots of add-ins too – rosemary/roasted garlic, kalamata olive/oregano, cinnamon/raisin and sundried tomato/basil to name a few. I like that the loaf is somewhat small…so you don’t feel guilty if you end up eating the whole thing in one sitting :)

How about making your own butter? It’s super easy and you can flavor it any way you want.

C L January 5, 2009 at 2:55 pm

One quick question…is 1/4 TEASPOON yeast correct? That sounds like an awfully small amount. Just wondering…

Anna January 5, 2009 at 3:18 pm

CL, I used 1/4 teaspoon.

C L January 5, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Oops,sorry about the caps lock…didn’t mean to shout. :( Thank you for clarifying. :)

Anonymous February 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Did you see Bittman’s Oct 8, 2008 article and recipes for speeding up this process? It supposedly doesn’t quite yield the same results, but makes it possible to do in an afternoon. Also has a whole wheat variety. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/08/dining/08mini.html?ref=dining

Louise February 22, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Did you see Bittman’s Oct 8, 2008 NYT article where he speeds up the process so you can make a loaf in an afternoon? Also he has a recipe for a whole wheat loaf. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/08/dining/08mini.html?ref=dining

Erica May 11, 2009 at 2:31 pm

If you like the Jim Lahey method, you should try Nancy Baggett’s kneadlessly simple bread book. It’s full of delicious no-knead bread recipes. Her website has a recipe archive that has different recipes to try. http://www.kitchenlane.com Check out her blog, too. She has some interesting stories to tell.

Laura December 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Your site is awesome!! My newest bookmark!! So many recipes and great-to-read blogging. When I make NK bread, I use it for PB&J, cinnamon and sugar toast, or fresh-made butter. The loaf in your picture looks perfect, large holes and a tender crumb… Nice to meet you; I’ll be hanging around for a while. TC&TC!!!

Anna December 18, 2011 at 8:09 am

Hi Laura, thanks for finding me and posting a comment.

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