When Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City shared his brilliant method of making no-knead artisan bread at home, he probably didn’t realize how quickly people would embrace his recipe. It was with such passion and enthusiasm that even non-bakers were converted into believers that they too could produce a loaf that rivaled upscale store bakeries.
Even a small child could make this bread known for its hard crunchy golden crust and soft warm texture on the inside. Using only all-purpose flour, yeast, salt, and water, baking artisan bread only required a few minutes of time to mix the dough, enough patience to wait overnight for the yeast to do its thing, and an oven proof pot with a lid. This no-knead bread become a movement that swept across the country.
Honestly, what is better than fresh baked bread still crackling right from the oven? I know. Warm freshly baked bread with a smidge of butter and homemade jam spread across a newly cut slice.
In our home alone we used to bake bread nearly every day for months because the end product required so little effort. I discovered I should always double a batch because I could fit two pots in my oven and bake two loaves simultaneously in the same amount of time it took for one. Furthermore I discovered a quicker and easier way of baking the bread. Lahey’s original method involved heating a pot in a hot oven first before quickly adding the unbaked ball of dough to it. Instead of this method I learned you could get the same results by just setting the dough in a cold pot and placing it in a cold oven first and allowing it to heat together.
My mom, who lives with us, wanted to learn how to make this bread. I taught her in 5 minutes. She was amazed that she, who never bakes, could bake such a beautiful loaf. Needless to say she became obsessed. So obsessed that she would bake in the early hours of the morning to have a fresh loaf of bread to take to church for her 6 am prayer service. She baked 3-4 loaves daily giving them out to families within her congregation. Once you learn how to bake bread it becomes hard to ever buy it again.
Today I have for you my method for baking no-knead bread slightly adapted from Lahey’s original method. I encourage you to watch the video to see for yourself just how simple it is. Once you try it for yourself, you too will become a no-knead convert. Just remember, if you decide to bake as much bread as my mom, expect your energy bill to reflect your new zeal for baking. Enjoy!
Easy No-Knead Artisan Bread
A simple method for making no-knead bread faster and easier than the original no-knead recipe.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1½ cup slightly warmer than luke warm water
- In a medium large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and yeast together. Pour the water over the flour mixture and mix with a spoon until the flour is absorbed and the mixture resembles wet sticky dough. Cover the bowl with either plastic wrap, foil, or a clean, wet, kitchen towel. Place the bowl in a warm place.
- Allow the dough to rest overnight.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper slightly smaller than the base of the pot. Place the parchment paper inside the pot.
- Sprinkle just enough flour on the dough to be able to scoop the dough out with your hand without being too sticky. Place the loosely form dough ball in the center of the pot, on top of the parchment paper.
- Place a oven-safe lid on top of the pot and place it in the cold oven.
- Turn the oven on to 450 degrees F and set a kitchen timer for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, carefully remove the lid from the pot and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven and carefully remove loaf from the pot.
- Allow the bread to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into slices.
Yield: 1 loaf
Alice Currah is the publisher of popular food blog, Savory Sweet Life. Her approachable everyday recipes are accompanied by beautiful step by step photos and have been featured online at Martha Stewart, Real Simple, The Pioneer Woman, Epicurious, Bon Appetit, Saveur, iVillage and many more. In March 2010, Forbes.com featured Alice as one of “Eight of the Very Best Food Bloggers.” You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.