No Knead Bread – step-by-step

We made our second loaf of no-knead bread this weekend – thought it would be a good idea to see if we could repeat our initial success before sharing the technique after all..  Our results?

No Knead Bread   step by step November Flour Cooking Recipes

I added a dusting of flour as the loaf went in the oven, scattered some seasalt on it and cut the surface in a few areas with scissors to get a bit more of a rustic look.  It tastes as good as the last one!

Here’s how you can join the party and make your own bread as well:

4 cupds all purpose flour, 2 cups warm water (70 F), 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast (must say instant on it – there are 3 or 4 types of yeast and I bought the wrong one initially).

Mix together.  If it’s dry, add a bit more water  (optional step: cover surface with olive oil).  Wrap in plastic and leave room temperature to rest.  Wait 18 hours, surface should be dotted in holes.

Lightly flour working surface.  Flour outside of your bread.  Fold once or twice.  Cover loose with plastic wrap.  Wait 15 minutes.

Make a dough ball, quickly dust with flour and leave covered with plastic wrap for about 2 hours.  The dough will double or triple in size.

30-45 minutes before you cook turn over to 450.  Heat a pot with a cover on.

After pot is at heat, pour your dough into it.  Let it flop, it will straighten itself out.

Cook for 30 minutes, remove lid.

Cook till brown 20-30 minutes more.

Let it cool on a rack.

Tada!  You too can have artisan bread at home as a novice baker (like me).

If you’re looking for more background on no-knead bread, we shared the story of Bittman’s unveiling of the technique in New York City in 2006 here and shared our first attempt here.

I’d love to hear about any of your experiences or see some photos of your results in the comments!


  1. Ms. Shorty says:

    I was convinced at least 12 times….or maybe a baker’s dozen times that I was the only one in the world that this would not work for….I was wrong!!!

    Yummo Joel….click….treat!!!!

  2. Joel, will this recipe work with multigrain ingredients or would the resuting dough be too dense to rise with this method?

  3. Hi Anu!

    We are going to experiment a lot with it and see what happens. I intend to try two themes – one is to change the initial mixture and the second is to add ingredients into the final fold (i.e. 2 hours from cooking).

    For the initial mix I am told you can substitute up to 50% whole wheat flour or replace up to 30% with other whole grain flour.

    For the additions right before the final rising you can add cheese, whole nuts, anything perishable, onions, fresh herbs etc. Basically fresh ingredients (including those that may perish).

    You can also experiment with different sized pans for different results (i.e. a fish pot to make a baguette).

    Ms Shorty emailed me a pic of her attempt – it also looks amazing. She told me (we work together) that hers was very liquidy and it still worked. Mine has ended up being doughy and I am curious to experiment further with things like cutting it in 3 and braiding it.

    I put salt and a final coating of flour before putting the last loaf in the oven and those additions turned very dark – almost burnt. I am thinking that I’d add those things when you open the lid or at the end (to make coarse salt stick I’d give the hot loaf a quick rub with butter a la corn on the cob and spread coarse salt.

    If you try, let us know how it goes – would love to know!


  4. I am most impressed. I stopped making bread as I’ve got 3 little kids and it is difficult sometimes to get back to the kneading and rising, kneading etc. This set and forget really works for me!!

    I am also going to experiment with different flours (quinoa flour and I’ve just discovered chia, but also buckwheat or couscous & semolina for graininess – is that a word?). My thought there is to soak grains a little first in hot water and drain, then add to the flour mixture. Let you know when I get to it. Also to add a handful of herbs or crushed garlic.

    I’ve experimented with extra water, just to make it easier to mix initially and it works fine. I let it rise for as many hours as it takes, till I get back to it, fold four corners in, let it rest while the oven is heating and chuck it in. Am now also going back to my oven instruction manual to see how to set the timer, so it is hot for a specific time (ie 6am) and bake it so my husband has fresh bread to take to work.

    I would attach a photo, but don’t know how =p, but it is as good looking as Joel’s efforts and most importantly is very popular with the family


  1. [...] 15, 2009 by Joel For the recipe and details on how to do this, click here – if you are uncertain what no knead bread is or why it rocks, keep reading this article [...]

  2. [...] 3 minutes Start the no knead bread.  We altered the recipe (both it and the technique can be found here) by replacing 1/3 of the white flour with a 9-whole grain mix that we found in the bulk barn.  The [...]

  3. [...] are 3 breads to bake today (and likely another 1-2 to start for tomorrow).  2 pies, these slow-roasted tomatoes (and we [...]

  4. [...] I was turned onto this recipe by my friends at Joel’s gone into great detail with this recipe and if you’d like to hear more check out their post here. [...]

  5. [...] am a fan of Mark Bittman.  He changed my kitchen by introducing me to No Knead Bread (instructions here), and How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian are staples in my kitchen.  Of [...]

  6. [...] the dinner roll girl made bread. I’ve been watching Joel make no knead bread for years and enjoyed every piece. I even gave cast iron pots and the ingredients as a basket gift [...]

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