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No-Knead Bread Success

December 13, 2010

After spending this cold and blustery weekend in a warm kitchen, I’ve finally gotten a kind of rhythm down for making no-knead bread.

My first attempt fell flat. Well, not quite. The dough was a little too wet, so when I set the finished loaf aside to let it rise, it rose outward instead of “up.” I baked it anyway, thinking it might puff up some more, but it was still pretty flat. So I took it out a little early, sprinkled some grated cheese and Italian herbs on top, put it back in for a few minutes, and pronounced it focaccia bread! It was delicious dipped in extra virgin olive oil and some cracked pepper.

The second loaf was a success, and gives me courage to keep going. This one was baked in my covered cast iron dutch oven, using that to capture the steam from the dough, rather than humidifying the whole oven. Those are slices of the focaccia bread in the background.

And here are slices of the big loaf, showing those nice big holes.

A third batch of dough has now been rising at a very cool room temperature for about 16 hours. This one looks more like the dough in the now-famous videos from Sullivan Street Bakery in New York. Looking at their website I can now see that I want Santa to bring me Jim Lahey’s new book My Bread.

For detailed instructions, this is the best video I’ve found to date:

If I get really brave, I’ll be making two baguettes next.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. December 13, 2010 11:36 am

    Nice loaf. I’ve still never tried the no-knead method, although most of the methods I’ve pursued are more time intensive than labor.

  2. December 13, 2010 11:55 am

    Thanks, Wayne. I really don’t mind kneading and find it rather therapeutic. But I just had to try the no-knead method. It might result in more homemade bread in the long run since it’s almost effortless.

  3. December 13, 2010 12:32 pm

    Looks yummy!

  4. December 13, 2010 1:09 pm

    OK, I’m definately trying this.

  5. December 13, 2010 2:32 pm

    It looks delicious! I’m just now uploading a baking video to youtube, I will blog about it once it is up. I guess baking gives us that holiday feel… 🙂 Happy Lucia!

    • December 14, 2010 2:06 pm

      Can’t wait to see, Hanna! Baking definitely stays uppermost in my mind lately. It’s so nice when the house needs warming.

  6. CarolineC permalink
    December 13, 2010 3:08 pm

    Martha,
    I was looking or my “no knead” recipe, but you beat me to it. My sister gave that recipe to me and it makes great artisan style bread. Thanks for the hint about adding grated cheese and herbs.

    My husband bought me a bread maker, but I use it only for making the dough, since it is hard to keep the house at the warmer temperature needed for rising. Happy cooking!

    • December 14, 2010 2:05 pm

      Good solution using the bread maker for the dough, Caroline! Yes, it’s a little cool in my kitchen for getting dough to rise too. I just leave it until it happens (which today means forever!) 🙂

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