No-Knead Bread

Happy Halloween! Due to all the panic before Hurricane Sandy came along, I decided to be prepared for extreme conditions and for the power to be out for several days and possibly even the rest of the week. Since Pepco went ahead and warned everyone on Friday that we would most likely not have power for several days and our power always goes out with any inclement weather, I spent Sunday afternoon in the kitchen cooking and baking bread to prepare for the hurricane and power outage.  After hearing so many things about Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread, I finally decided to give it a try and I was shocked by how great the bread turned out with such simple preparations!  The bread is chewy and delicious on the inside and nice and crusty on the outside, just the way I like it!

We were very blessed to survive through the hurricane without losing power and were even able to make it to work both Monday and Tuesday without difficulty. I will be keeping those impacted by Hurricane Sandy in my prayers. And I urge you to make this bread as soon as possible! It does require some planning ahead, but you will be rewarded for your planning! Have a safe and happy Halloween!


3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 5/8 cups water


In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450°F. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats.  I used my 7.25 quart Le Creuset dutch oven with the original handle and it held up fine in the 450 degree oven.  When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is what it’s supposed to look like. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Adapted from:  Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery via The New York Times



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