The easiest bread ever, no kneading required. Inspired by the famous recipe from Jim Lahey and made popular by New York Times, this one takes a little planning ahead but most of the time is completely hands off!Print
The easiest bread ever, no kneading required. Inspired by the famous recipe from Jim Lahey and made popular by New York Times, this one takes a little planning ahead but most of the time is completely hands off!
- 3 cups / 450 grams flour
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 3/4 / 315 grams cups water (room temp)
- Mix flour, yeast and salt together in a large bowl. Add water and stir with a wooden spoon until dough starts to come together. It will look shaggy and kind of weird - don't worry! Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for at least 12, preferably closer to 18 hours.
- When dough is puffed and jiggly, with lots of little air bubbles in it, carefully turn it out on a floured surface. Use a bench scraper or a rubber spatula to get the dough out of the bowl without deflating all that air.
- Sprinkle a little more flour on the top and fold the dough on itself 2-3 times. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, sprinkle a bit more flour on the dough and bring the "corners" of the dough to the center, creating a seam. Carefully pick up dough (use that bench scraper or spatula!) and put it back in the bowl, seam side down. Cover and let rise for 2 hours, or until dough has doubled.
- When ready to bake, place your dutch oven in the oven and preheat to 450. Let pot sit in there for a good 30 minutes after the oven comes to temperature.
- Transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper, seam side up. I do this by just flipping the bowl over onto a the parchment paper. Tap the bottom a few times and then slowly remove the bowl, using your fingers or a spatula to help the dough out of the bowl. Don't work if it's not perfect, the oven will fix it!
- Remove the pot from the oven and carefully lower the parchment paper in. Use the corners of the paper and work quickly so you don't burn yourself! Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove lid and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes.
- Let cool on a wire baking rack before slicing.
Recipe slightly adapted from New York Times
- A dutch oven is definitely the best option to bake this bread, but any oven-safe deep pot with a lid will do.
- The bread will keep well for days (if you can manage to keep it around that long). I like to loosely wrap it up in the parchment paper it baked in and then keep that in a large ziplock bag. Foil or plastic wrap will work just fine too.
I was never great at science. This is a fact. But I'll tell you what, if someone had told me baking was basically science in food form I can promise you my grades would have been better.
I'll never get over the fact that flour + yeast + water = bread. And not like, just blah bread. But REALLY GOOD BREAD.
More importantly, today we're talking about no-knead bread. A type of bread that goes beyond science and is just straight up magic.
Do not fight me on this. I feel like Hermione Granger when I make no-knead bread.
Okay yes, from start to finish it takes like 20 hours. That's rough. But 99.5% of that time is totally hands off. Your just waiting for the flour and yeast to do all the science-y stuff and then you stick it in the oven and wait for your kitchen to smell amazing.
This recipe has been floating around the internets for years and, like homemade ricotta, was one of those things I always saw and knew I could do, but just never really got around to it. Especially strange for me, the girl who went through a pretty intense bread baking phase in her early 20s.
Whoops. Better late than never!
And I've certainly made up for it, as I've made this bread in some way or another many many times. Yes, yes
I've made both versions. Both are wonderful. You really can't go wrong with this one! Even when I think I've screwed up, it always turns out beautifully. ALWAYS.
So if your dough feels too sticky, or the finished loaf looks a little dense? Keep going, because science/magic is cool.