On even quicker real bread


So.  I’m a breadmaker, or rather, I fear not the whole yeasty/kneady/loafing thing, and I make all our bread.  I *love* to knead, too.  But I mentioned Jim Lahey’s bread a while back and, like most great ideas, his No-Knead Bread and variations have really caught on.  I wish Jim well, really I do, but I found an even easier recipe that you guys should try.

Considering I have more time on my hands in the winter, you’d think shaving minutes off my plush schedule wouldn’t be a priority, but hey.  It’s my duty to serve YOU, especially all of you who claim you’re too pressed for time to bake bread.  This is very similar to the kneadless bread, but… you simply make a bunch of dough and leave it in the refrigerator (for up to 2 weeks) until you’re ready to bake some of it.  And just like the kneadless recipe it’s not the best on the 2nd day, but because you’re making a lot of dough, it’s easily parceled out for smaller loaves.  It does require a bit of a thaw before it goes in the oven (enabling its final rise), and it helps if you have a pizza stone (the underside of a cast-iron skillet also works) and a pizza peel (a lipless cornmeal-covered cookie sheet works too).  The recipe suggests you leave the dough in a covered plastic bowl.  We’re anti-plastic around here so ours lives in a glass bowl with a tightly-fitting plate atop of it.


This recipe works fairly well too to simply pull a hunk or two out to bake in the morning.  I’ve rolled out cigar-sized pieces and covered them in cinnamon and sugar, and I’ve made a kind of English muffin with them too.  Because the dough stays cold, it tends to use my whole-wheat flour to best advantage.  So, well, give it a try!  The weekend is coming, spring’s not here yet, and you should still have time!

The Master Recipe:  The Boule (Artisan Free-Form Loaf) from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois

Makes 4 1-pound loaves

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1⁄2 tbsp granulated yeast (1 1⁄2 packets)
1 1⁄2 tbsp coarse kosher or sea salt
6 1⁄2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour
Cornmeal for pizza peel

Read the rest of the instructions HERE or HERE.  See their blog and more recipes HERE.

21 responses to “On even quicker real bread

  1. When we were first married we kept a pot of sourdough going all the time (I think money was the main motivator). I’ve gotten lazy I guess, now I just buy sourdough bread at the store.

  2. Looks delicious!

    So it is a bread that needs to be eaten on day 1 only? Any good human uses for it after that? I currently make bread pudding with all my homemade breads when they get a bit on the hard side, but this doesn’t look like it would be a candidate.

  3. This looks FABULOUS …. I’m going to make up a trial batch this week. We’ve been baking most of the bread we eat in our wood cookstove oven, and it’s been great but I’ve been looking for a quick bread recipe that I can use when time is tight. Thanks!

  4. Delurking to say that I have this cookbook and love it! I haven’t gotten into it as much as I’d like, but when I make a loaf from the master recipe, my husband and I demolish it in an evening.

    If there’s any left the next day, it makes great toast.

  5. Who says spring’s not here yet? bah. We already have to do the second raised bed. We haven’t had a low below freezing in a couple of weeks now, and the snap peas are on steroids.

    The okra appears to have survived the winter.

    But I’m still pro-bread.

  6. I’ve given this book to 4 people in the past 2 months as a gift…it’s SO GREAT! Totally transformed my bread making. It’s funny, kneading was always my favorite part, but my wrists have gotten wonky (arthritis and carpal tunnel combo) and it’s just too painful.

    the olive oil dough is also incredible. we do pizza and flat bread with tons of herbs and olive oil drizzled on it… so good.

    one of these days i’ll blog about it. if i ever get back to blogging seriously again.

  7. I’ve actually made this recipe a few times, and I’m solidly in the scared-to-bake camp. It works fine. Best part is you have leftover dough in the fridge, so you are obligated to bake another loaf, and another… or else you’re an idiot.

  8. eggsalad!!! (a.k.a. excellent) thank you.

  9. I love that recipe, I’ve been using it the last week and I have had awesome success.

  10. This bread looks *really* good. I’m starting to experiment a bit more with bread as my fav recipes are seeming a bit, well, “used up”. And since I’m pretty much by myself on eating the bread (even if I do eat it like a fiend), knowing that you can just grab part of the dough at a time to bake up is a good thing.
    Have you ever tried the recipe using just whole wheat flour rather than the white?

  11. This might make me actually bake some bread. I ordered that cookbook for my bread-baking child’s birthday. Maybe I should put a note inside that I would selflessly volunteer to be her taster. What a mom.

  12. Wow, that looks wonderful. I’ve just been reading about the ‘no knead’ bread and to say the least, have been skeptical. I like the look of this one though…


  13. OK. I’ve got my first batch on, sitting in the morning sun in a ceramic bowl! I’ve used half white and half of my own freshly milled organic Red Fife heritage wheat–will let you know how it turns out.


  14. This book is amazing. I’ve made about 4 of the recipes now and they’re all great. So quick and easy. I’ve been making all our own bread by traditional methods for years but this is my staple now. In fact I made a batch of the oatmeal recipe and a couble batch of the deli style rye this morning.

  15. Hi El,

    Sylvie’s husband here. I use variations on this recipe & its a winner. If you’ve got a cast iron dutch oven (like Lodge, not Creuset) use that in a 475 degree oven, preheated at 475 for 20 minutes. Cook for 25 min covered, plus 5 min uncovered (finishing temp +/- 200 degrees). You won’t need to worry about getting hot-steam face peel. I think I actually got this technique from somewhere else in Mother Earth. This is like the bread stone/lasagne pan cloche but retains the heat better.

  16. Goodness, who knew this was so popular? I’m glad to hear back from all of you who own the book, have tried the recipe, etc. I obviously don’t get into a bookstore too often! (I heard the recipe on the radio.)

    Aww, Lee, I guess thrift is my motivator, too, but…dang is homemade bread so much more tasty than the store-bought stuff. Maybe you should dip back in…though yes it is tempting if you have a great bakery handy. We don’t!!

    Christy, no, the bread isn’t inedible after the first day, it just isn’t fabulous. My kneaded stuff is great at day 3, and makes the best toast at day 2. But to answer your question, most of our leftovers get made into salad croutons. This’d be fine as a bread pudding!

    Milkweed I am so jealous of your lovely cookstove. And to think you’ve had it for a while and aren’t newly on the bandwagon…great stuff! I would definitely throw some logs on and make some, winter is still here.

    Heidi, hah, my family and I have that problem too (devouring most of a loaf of bread) and I usually have to stop us so the kid can get a sandwich for lunch the next day. SO glad you delurked and piped up about the recipe/book. I really would love it if folks just gave home-baking a try.

    Zandt, thanks for rubbing the spring thing in!! I had to put the Sherman tank (Volvo wagon) in low gear just to get to the highway today, what with the “extra” 4″ of snow that decided to fall. Have you progressed in your bread quest? This would be an easy way to get there.

    Kelly, aging is a bitch, isn’t it? Well dang girl who knew you were such a breadmaking fiend lately: oh yeah, you’re just not telling us about it 😉 . I can see your crew devouring up a pizza, yum. I still use your recipe for turnover dough and think of you every time (remember, with the chard?).

    CC, merci. Glad to hear it even passes the scaredy-cat test. Have you tried to make other things with it? I did some garlic-y breadsticks with it on Fri. They’d pair well with an orange-y salad, methinks.

    Bree, great news! Thanks for telling us.

    Yay, Sarah! I hope you won’t wait another 10 years before you bake more 😉

    MC, usually I try to push the whole-wheat thing to its limit. What works best for us I think is between 1/2 and 3/4 whole-wheat: especially if you let it sit a day or two the moisture gets a chance to work its magic that lots of kneading otherwise would do. It won’t rise as magically as white flour but that’s fine by me.

    Pamela, if I could hire out like that, I would. I taught the child how to make crepes yesterday, so…I am at least trying.

    HDR believe me I was skeptical too about the first no-knead thing. Really this knock-off recipe works just as well…and is flexible, which likewise suits us. SO do tell how it turned out, especially with your wheat!

    Dani, great to hear that it’s even caught on in Oz. (are you baking bread in high summer? Hat’s off to you!) I was wondering how this would fit into the rotation of the bread-baking routine, so I am glad to learn from another baker that it’s working so well as the staple method. Like I mentioned I do like just being able to get up in the morning and throwing some little bits into the oven: helps wake the troops up.

    Keith, hey! Yay, glad to know. The no-knead method suggests the covered casserole too: and I do know what you mean about steaming your face off. I’ve done it enough! I’ve experimented with all kinds of loaf methods with that old recipe and I do just normally use my cast-iron bean pan to make it, with a cast-iron skillet as a lid. Not pretty, not sexy, but surely effective. And I LOVE that you’re the bread-baker. You two must be quite the team.

  17. OK. So it is incredibly tasty, especially with my fresh ground wheat, BUT, it doesn’t stay round and rising like your pictures. It sort of slumps out to the side, flattish as it ‘rises’. I’m thinking of trying to knead it just a bit to see if it will hold its shape better. Other ideas welcomed.


  18. Huh, HDR. That sounds to me like maybe your stone (or whatever it was you cooked it on) wasn’t hot enough. The dough needs to expand as rapidly as it can, and it does this best in a toasty hot oven…even if the dough is a bit wet. It up and expands MUY RAPIDO and then gets stuck inside its crusty crust. I say this because I made some of my regular bread yesterday in one hot-assed oven and POOF it hit the rack above it. That was a big mess! I hope you make it again. Supposedly kneading it hurts it because it squeezes the air bubbles out of it…maybe just start with a really hot oven.

  19. If you don’t have a bread stone, unglazed tiles from the lumberyard work great. I purchased four 8 inch square tiles and lay them on my oven rack. It makes a large area for one big free form loaf or I can separate the tiles in pairs and have two surfaces for 2 baguettes. I also heavily sprinkle my rising loaves with flour, and just before putting them in the oven, slash their tops with a knife and spritz them with water from a spray bottle.

  20. If you like the no-knead bread making method, you should check out Nancy Baggett’s kneadlessly simple bread book. It is filled with a variety of no-knead recipes. All of the recipes that I have tried, have come out great! Her directions are easy to follow, which makes baking so nice. Here’s her website http://www.kitchenlane.com It has a recipe archive, so you can try out some of her recipes. There is also a link to her blog, so you can keep track of her latest activities. Happy Baking!

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