No-Knead Bread

No-knead bread is courtesy of Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery and Grandaisy. This easy bread recipe has a wet dough and sourdough texture. Jim uses organic, Daisy Flours from Lancaster PA.

No-knead bread edited from a recipe published in The New York Times
by Mark Bittman.

Boule or artisan free-form loaf  yield 4 1-pound loaves

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1⁄2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1⁄2 tablespoons coarse kosher or sea salt (non-iodized)
6 1⁄2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour or 6 1/4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup cornmeal

5-quart mixing bowl
baking stone or shallow baking sheet pan to hold water for steam during baking

Mixing and storing the dough

Heat the water to 100° F. Add the yeast and salt to the water in a 5-quart bowl. Use a wooden spoon or food processor with a dough attachment to mix in the flour until uniformly moist.

Cover loosely. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse or flatten on top, about two hours, depending on temperature. Longer rising times, up to about five hours, will not harm the result. Refrigerate the dough for at least three hours before shaping a loaf.

To bake

Prepare a baking stone or shallow baking sheet by sprinkling it with cornmeal. Sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour, then cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-sized) piece with a serrated knife.

Add flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Stretch the surface of the dough to the bottom on four “sides,” rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. The loaf will flatten out during resting and baking.

Place the ball on the baking sheet. Let it rest uncovered for about 40 minutes. The dough may rise during this period and more rising will occur during baking.

Preheat the oven to 450° F.  Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Place an oven rack at the bottom of the oven. Place an empty pan for holding water on the bottom shelf and fill the pan with hot water.

Dust the top of the loaf liberally with flour. Slash a 1⁄4-inch-deep cross, scallop or tick-tack-toe pattern into the top. This helps the bread expand during baking. Place the loaf on the baking stone or sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is brown and firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

To store

Refrigerate the remaining dough in a lidded (not airtight) container. This will improve the flavor and texture of the bread. Use within two weeks. Cut off and shape loaves as you need them. The dough can also be frozen in 1-pound portions in an airtight container and defrosted overnight in the refrigerator before baking day.


Buy yeast in bulk not expensive packets.