Saturday, May 9, 2009

No-Need Bread

Bread is my downfall. Not sugar, not dessert, not bacon (although that is good, too). I'm sure that at the end they will find my corpse with a slice of buttered bread in my hand. I wish I didn't love it. I wish my hips didn't love it. I wish Barry didn't love it. But we do.

We don't however, love mass-produced bread. I make my own loaves now and can vary the style and flour content at will. I had been using my bread machine, but it is limiting and takes up too much counter space. Lately I've been on a no-knead recipe kick. I've found one that really works on the King Arthur Flour website. I've got a book on no knead recipes, but I haven't found one that works as consistently as the KAF recipe. I also love their flour. I mix their Artisan flour and bread flour and a soaked wheat flour that I get from a lady in Alabama.

I do love to make bread the 'old fashioned' way, with kneading and resting, but frankly I don't have the time. So now I mix the whole mess up and let it rise overnight, then pour it into my pan to bake it and within an hour we have nice bread. And then I go for a run to ward off the coming expansion.

This is what the dough looks like after rising for about four hours in a warm room.

...and this after eight hours...
I let it rise another two hours in the baking pan. I use my Le Crueset casserole pan.

Here it is after it has come out of the oven.
...and now out of the oven and into our tummies. Mmmm...

This is the recipe I use, many thanks to King Arthur Flour.

Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
15 mins. to 20 mins.
Baking time:
55 mins. to 60 mins.
Total time:
11 hrs 10 mins. to 17 hrs 20 mins.
1 large loaf

No-Knead Bread

An overnight rest develops this bread's flavor, and strengthens its gluten-it effectively "kneads" itself!


  • 2 1/4 cups cool water
  • 5 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


1) Mix the dough ingredients in a large bowl to make a sticky dough. Or beat in a stand mixer for 3 minutes.

2) Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature overnight, or for at least 8 hours; the dough will become bubbly and rise quite a bit, so make sure it's in a large bowl.

3) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and form it into a log or round loaf to fit your 14" to 15" long lidded stoneware baker, or 9" to 10" round lidded baking crock.

4) Place the dough in the lightly greased pan, smooth-side up.

5) Cover and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, until a slight indentation remains when you poke it with your finger.

6) Just before baking, make several slashes to allow for expansion. Spritz or brush the dough with water.

7) Place the bread in a cold oven, and set the temperature to 450°F.

8) Bake the bread for 50 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until it's deep brown in color, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 205°F.

9) Remove the bread from the oven, turn it onto a rack, and cool before slicing.


  1. I want a taste please!!! :-)

  2. So sorry jj-aka-pp, I didn't even think about bringing you a slice today. Will save some for you. :0)

  3. I wonder if the recipe could be adapted somehow to work with gluten-free flours. I miss bread and butter sumpn' awful! Jane

  4. Thanks for the mention. Your bread is absolutely incredible! What a rise!

    Happy Baking!
    MaryJane @ King Arthur Flour

  5. Jane, I like to make a loaf type bread with nut flour. Have you tried that? It comes out as a savory bread but more crumbly than gluten flour. It just works as a sandwich bread, but does fall apart when it isn't super fresh.

    MaryJane: Thanks so much for visiting! I love you guys at KAF and I really appreciate your comment. :)