Saturday, September 6, 2008

The No-Knead Bread

This article by Mark Bittman first introduced Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery and his No-Knead Bread. The technique took the world by storm. Everyone was trying it and it might really be the one recipe that has been tried and tested by amateur and professional bakers alike.

I've seen the recipe on several blogs, but hadn't tried it until today. It was simple and easy and as Jim Lahey says, even a 6 year old can do it. You can watch his video here, and the recipe as published in the New York Times here.

Thank you Bharti for your post and photographs and for finally inspiring me to try this. I loved the crust and crumb. The only thing I'd change is to add more salt next time. I might reduce the yeast too, since the Indian summer is really hot and the dough needed a longer rising time. I loved it though and will definitely make it often.

No-Knead Bread

3 cups All-purpose Flour
1 1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Instant Yeast
1 1/2 cups Water + 2 tbsp
1/2 cup Semolina or Cornmeal

Mix the flour, salt and yeast together. Add the water and bring it together loosely. It will look like a shaggy mess but as long as its holding together, you're fine. Cover and let it rise for about 12 hours. The dough's risen enough when tiny bubbles cover the surface.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and very gently fold it over itself a couple of times. Cover with a plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a loose ball. Place on a rough towel (but not a terry towel) sprinkled generously with semolina. Sprinkle semolina on top of the dough as well (be generous - this keeps the dough from getting too sticky).

Cover with another towel and let rise for about 2 hours. About a half-hour before the dough has fully risen, preheat the oven to 220 deg C. Make sure you heat the baking pan (use a 6-8 quart heavy pan - I used a Corningware bowl with glass lid) with the oven, so that its really hot when you finally put the dough in it.

When the dough has doubled in volume, quickly transfer it into the hot pan and cover with a lid or aluminium foil. Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on and then a further 20-30 minutes uncovered.

Remove from oven and let it cool for about 10-15 minutes.

The crust actually crackled! And there were lovely big holes in the crumb. It was, in short, gorgeous!


Passionate About Baking said...

YAY for you girl. I've been wanting to try this too. Looks GREAT!!

Bharti said...

Gorgeous bread.
Ya know, I made it one more time, substituted 1/3rd of the flour for whole wheat and it still was pretty good. Oh and I also stuck some roasted garlic pieces it in. Very tasty.

Bhavani said...


Aparna said...

You made it too. This has become one of my favourites because of the technique and the beautiful crust.


lovely bread .. hope to try it sometime

Divya Vikram said...

looks lovelu.I need to try this too!

Arundathi said...

Deeba - thanks - definitely try it!

Bharti - What a great idea! I'm gonna have to try it next.

Bhavani - thanks

Aparna - Yes I loved it too!

Vegetable Platter - do try it and let us know...

Divya - Try it - its great!

Siri said...

Wowy! I especially love the big holes in your bread..:) fluffy indeed. now somebody is inspiring me to try this.. but oh wait!.. the oven here, where I stay is out of order..:(( boo!


Nirmala said...

Lovely lovely loaf! And why shudn't u CLICK it ? u're in a baking spree dear :)

Rajani said...

looks great!!!!

Swati Raman Garg said...

hey anu how are you....
the bread looks yummm fluffy... too good... and hey hows kavya... and i have missed so much on your blog

Arundathi said...

Siri - uh oh - i hope the oven starts working again soon! Hugs!

Nirmala - Thanks!

Rajani - thank you!!

Swati - I've been fine - baking like crazy! Nice to see you here after a while!

raaji said...

Thanks arundhati.....would sure like to try check out my blog....

arundati said...

oh!! i so love a holey home made bread....this is getting bookmarked....wish me luck!!

Arundathi said...

Hi Raaji - thanks!

Arundati - Good Luck!! I'm sure you'll love it!

Anonymous said...

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!