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No-Knead Bread

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No-Knead 1

First, it’s important to distinguish No-Knead Bread from No-Need Bread. The former is a very laid back way to make bread if you have no food processor, stand mixer, bread machine or time. The latter is what you keep eating out of the little basket with a napkin in it, even though your pants are a little tight, just because it tastes really good, and look! There’s Ciabatta in there, too!

I have had this recipe forever, in many forms. It was sent to me via snail mail by an old friend, I found it again on line and bookmarked it, but I just kept losing it. Frankly, I don’t mind making bread that has to be kneaded either by hand or machine, but when this recipe appeared in my life a third time last week on someone else’s blog, I decided it was a cosmic sign.

It’s really, really good bread that emerges looking beautiful and crusty and artisanal, and tasting far more flavorful and nuanced than your average white loaf. It has real, shatter-y crust, and lots of texture. I really think you could pass it off as something from a bakery (which is fitting, since that’s where the recipe came from). Best of all, you really need nothing but a bowl, some plastic wrap, two towels and a big pot with a lid. (Well, and an oven). No hard labor, and easy clean-up.

No-Knead 2You do, however, need to plan ahead. Including rising time (and I went with the 16 hour option on the first rise) you are looking at at least 20 hours. If you want bread for dinner at 6:00, you’re looking at starting the bread at 10:00 the night before. I would also use cornmeal, or something prettier and more interesting than flour for the final rise, as whatever you use clings to the finished loaf and effects it’s appearance.

Here’s the recipe. Don’t wait for two more people to tell you to make it.

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About imagineannie

I feel like I'm fifteen - does that count? I'm lots of things, I get paid to be the Managing Editor for a local news publication, and I love my job. I am also inordinately fond of reading, animals (I have four), elephants, owls, hedgehogs writing, tramping in the woods, cooking India, Ireland, England, avocado toast, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Little Women, Fun Home, Lumber Janes, Fangirl, magic, Neil Gaiman, Jane Austen, YA books, not YA books, classical music, Salinger (OMG SALINGER), Brahms, key lime pie, indie music, podcasts, sleeping in, road trips, marmalade, museums, bookstores, the Oxford comma, BBC, The Miss Fisher Mysteries, birdwatching, seashells, kombucha, and stickers. Not a huge fan of chewing gum, jazz, trucker hats or dystopian and/or post-apolcalyptic fiction (but I'll try anything).

12 responses »

  1. Ann,

    This was an interesting entry, read it before elswhere. Nothing quite like good crusty coarse bread, especially if you dont have to work hard at it.

    Hard to get us worked up again over the concept. But you know where the lazy among us will go the next time its time to make homemade bread.

    Now if I could find a way to get the nieghbor to do it for me……..

    Reply
    • Well, of course we can’t eat this anymore…I think the “big deal” aspect from my point of view was that it had a really great, shattery crust and a fabulous texture – more “bakery” than homespun. Sigh.

      Reply
  2. I’ve been meaning to try this recipe for ages. Everyone seems to have such good results with it. Maybe this weekend will be THE weekend…

    Reply
    • Did you try it? Did you like it? It’s kind of hot for baking bread now, but you can file this away for fall and make it with some great soup….

      Reply
  3. Ann,
    I was so excited to find you! We are in Michigan as well and I am always happy to see other Michiganders so interested in the great food our state has to offer:)

    Reply
    • Counrtney, I’m SO sorry I took so long responding – I sort of got de-blogged for a while due to lifestyle changes that completely changed how we eat around here. Right now, it’s pretty great to be eating in Michigan!

      Reply
  4. Beautiful bread on a lovely blog. I must make this soon 🙂

    Reply
  5. I have also received this recipe several times. I am going to make it. I don’t eat a lot of bread, but Blaine will love it. Especially because it isn’t made with whole grain flour and there is no tofu or applesauce in it! School is out after this week and I should have more time for my domestic pursuits! I also will have time to make sure that Blaine and I meet you and your husband at wine night SOON! Are you guys traveling at all in June? Let’s get something on the calendar.

    Reply
    • This is out of my life, but I hear that there is a whole grain version that isn’t quite as “fine” as the white…but I can eat it which is a HUGE advantage. It’s already July. Wine is in order.

      Reply
  6. Pingback: object: perfect bread « this is a design blog

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