3.12.2013

Artisan No-knead Bread




Two years ago I posted a recipe for "Crusty Bread", "No-Knead Bread", "Artisan Bread"...whatever you want to call it.  It has been the most popular recipe on my blog.  I have received over 2.6 MILLION page views on this recipe alone (thank you Pinterest). 

Let me clarify that the recipe originated with Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery.  Please do not send me a comment stating that I make it appear to be my brain child.  I'm not.  I'm just helping everyone through the process.  

I have received THOUSANDS of questions and responses to this recipe.  I have received helpful hints on how to clean my pots, which are sparkling at the moment.  Thank you very much.   Many of you have sent in your fabulous creations.  From classy fig, walnut, and bleu cheese to less classy pepperoni and sausage.

I have had more fun reading about how successful bread baking experiences.  I have scratched my head over questions that completely puzzle me.  Oh how I wish I could just pop into a few kitchens to help solve a dilemma.  I have answered the same stickin' questions OVER and OVER  again.  I have literally answered some questions HUNDREDS of times!  I have to admit I don't mind.  Keep them coming.  I love hearing from you.

I would like to go over this simple recipe once again.  

My starting advice:
  • Be chill.  It's only yeast.  It won't hurt you.  Just follow the instructions the best you can.  
  • Play in your kitchen and play with your food.  Especially this bread.  CREATE!
  • Take a deep breath.  You can do this.
  • The recipe is VERY forgiving.




The base of this bread recipe calls for 4 simple ingredients.  

Simple.  Don't complicate the ingredients.

You will need:

3 cups of all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid rise yeast
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups cool tap water 





If you can find this product, buy it.  It's fabulous yeast.  My local grocery store carries it.  If you can't find it you can order from King Arthur Flour  for $5.95.  





In a large mixing bowl add 3 cups all-purpose flour.  I always use unbleached flour.  I just do.  If all you have is bleached flour, then use it.  If you have bread flour, use it.  It actually works well in this recipe.  Remember this is a VERY forgiving recipe.




Add 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast.  

IF you do not have instant or Rapid-rise and you only have regular active dry yeast, THEN proof the yeast before you use it by mixing the yeast with 1/4 cup warm water.  Let it set for 5 minutes then mix the yeast in with the water.  BAM!  It will work.  




Add 1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt.  If you only have table salt, you may want to reduce the amount of salt by 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon.





Stir the dry ingredients together. 





Pour in 1 1/2 cups water.  You don't need to stress over the temperature.  I just turn on the tap and use whatever comes out.  



Mix the dough together.  

I'm using a dough whisk also found at King Arthur flour.  (they are not paying me to promote their products. I just wanted to give you a source for purchasing if you want one more kitchen toy)

You can use a wooden spoon, rubber spatula, whatever you have to mix the dough.





Don't over mix.  Remember it's "NO-knead".




Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Let the dough sit for 12-18 hours.

If the dough only sits for 11 hours, it's ok.  Don't sweat the fact that it needs another hour.  If the dough sits for 24 hours, it's ok.  Don't stress.  It will all be good in the end.  





I made this dough at 4:00 p.m.  I covered it and let it sit overnight.  I went to a lower body workout, then ran up hill for 6.6 miles, made a smoothie, showered, put on my makeup, dried my hair and threw in a load of wash.  I finally got around to making the bread at 11:00ish.  It was rising for 19 - 20 hours. It's all good.  The bread will be awesome.




RIGHT NOW:  Heat your oven to 450 degrees F.  

Once the oven has heated to 450 put your pots with the lids into the oven to preheat for 30 minutes

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:

You do not HAVE to have a enamel coated cast iron pot.  They are awesome and I can't live without mine, but it's not completely necessary.

Here is a list of what many people have used with great success:
Old camping dutch oven
A crockpot insert.  If the knob on the lid is plastic, it must be removed or it will melt)
Glass Pyrex dish with a lid
A heat proof bowl with aluminum foil to cover
Stainless steel pot with lid
Clay bakers with lids or foil
Pampered Chef clay bakers
Pizza stone with a stainless steel bowl to cover the dough

As you can see anything that can take the heat that has a lid or is tightly covered will work.

The idea is to create a steam oven inside the pan.  The steam is what produces a nice crisp crust.  What ever the container is that you use, just make sure it can take temperatures up to 450 degrees F.  I have some Emile Henry covered dishes, but they don't like an oven hotter than 400 degrees.  They will crackle like crazy if you put them in a 450 degree oven (experience).

Oh!  Your pot will need to be hold at least 3 quarts.  5 - 6 quarts is ideal, but the smaller will work, just be careful not to burn yourself putting the bread in or removing it.  I received at least 500 questions about the size of my pots.  I hope I answered that question well enough.

MEANWHILE...





Note:  the dough is super sticky.  

Heavily flour a surface.  I'm using a pastry cloth, which is nothing more than canvas with the edges surged.  You can use your counter top, a bread board, whatever works.  Just flour the daylights out of it.

If you have a dough scraper, use it.




IMPORTANT:  Do NOT knead the bread.  Remember it's "NO-knead".  

Gently form the sticky mass of dough into a round ball.  Look closely at the dough and you will be able to see a large air bubble in the lower right side of the dough.  That's good.  I don't want to knead out the large air holes.  We are making artisan bread and want many large air holes.  





Flour the heck out of your hands and gently smooth the dough.  





Just to make life easier, I am placing the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper.  This parchment paper makes it easier to lift the dough in and out of the pot.




 Cover with plastic wrap and let sit while the pots are heating for 30 minutes.




After 30 minutes carefully place the dough into the preheated pot.  

Place the lid on the pot.  Remember we are creating a steam oven.  If you are using aluminum foil, crimp it around the edges as tight as you can.  Please don't burn yourself.

Bake covered for 30 minutes.

I know what you are thinking.  If I don't use parchment paper, do I need to grease or oil the pan.  NO!  NO!  I have never had the bread stick to the enamel covered pot.  Oil or grease in this hot pot will smoke like crazy.  If you are worried about the dough sticking, invest in parchment paper.  




After 30 minutes remove the lid.  

Ta da!  Isn't that just amazing.  It's so pretty I get all giddy inside.

Bake an additional 15 minutes with the lid OFF.


After 15 minutes, remove the pot from the oven and place the bread on a cooling rack.  Chances are you are going to be cutting into the bread immediately.  I did.  Why not.  It's amazing.  

If you have the will power to let it sit until it's cool, it will be much easier to cut.  Who cares?  The bread is amazing right out of the oven.



You did it.  Pat yourself on the back.  You are one amazing bread baker.

Now you can start creating my mixing wonderful flavors into the dough.  The sky is the limit.  I will be posting a few ideas during the next few days.




Crusty Bread

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.  Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours.  Overnight works great.  Heat oven to 450 degrees.  When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.  Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough.  Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.  



FAQ's 
For many of the answers click on the following:  Beware there are thousands of posts.  The best way to get a quick answer to a question is to use the "contact me" at the top of the page.

Stay posted for more bread ideas.


219 comments:

  1. Lol, I posted a recipe very similar to this one, and got the same response! I love your recap, full of every possible answer to every possible question. I might have to just refer them back here when I get new questions! And hey, now I know why mine was flat when I tried yours, wrong yeast! Silly me :)
    ~April @DimplesandDelights

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    1. Thanks, April. Love your comment.

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    2. I have made the recipe 3 times now carefully following the amounts and directions but every time the mix is like thick cake batter. I added extra flour which rectified the consistency but would like to know what you think the problem may be? After adding extra flour it tasted good but was much heavier than the photos of the ones you made.
      Many thanks

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    3. Evette,

      Are you perhaps using a non-instant yeast, blooming it in 1/4 water as suggested, and then still adding 1 1/2 cups of water? That would result in a thinner batter.

      Luck!

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    4. Awesome! Now that’s a perfectly baked NO-KNEAD BREAD. It’s definitely going in my recipe book. I regularly bake at home in my pure clay pot I got from miriamsearthencookware.com, they are perfect for baking. The bread baked in it is always soft moist and delicious.

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  2. I'm so thankful I found your original post! This is my go to recipe! Last Christmas I made 15 loaves wrapped up in red and green dish towels... It was such a hit! We just love this bread and love bringing it as a hostess gift too.

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    1. Lucky friends and family. It does make a great gift. Thanks for the reminder.

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  3. I just wanted to let you know that my father, who was born in the Southern mountains of Italy, can't stop eating this bread. His mother would make crusty bread like this in a big brick oven, about a dozen at a time. They lived on a farm with no running water or electricity. This recipe is quite impressive for my father to compare it to hers. Bravo.

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    1. Wow! What an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing. My son's would LOVE a brick oven. It would be a dream for them. Way to make your dad proud.

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  4. I can vouch for the ease of this recipe. My family LOVES this bread, and so do I. Thank you for posting, and for encouraging people to bake. It's much easier than so many of us think!

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    1. Thank you, thank you. That's the message I want everyone to hear.

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  5. I have LOVED this recipe since I discovered it here a year or so ago. Thank you! My family thanks you, too. I cover mine with a dishtowel, instead of saran wrap. Works fine.

    I bought my cast-iron enameled Lodge pot at Target online, fairly cheaply. I'm waiting for a sale to buy a second one, as we always double the recipe and I hate having the oven on for over 2 hours straight.

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    1. They are even cheaper at Walmart, same Lodge Dutch oven

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    2. Thanks for the comments. Great tips and ideas.

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  6. Thank you for your testimonials and helpful tips. I would love to have a brick oven in my back yard, Trina. That would just put this bread over the top.

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  7. I love this recipe since I first found it a couple months ago, I use my crockpot insert, covered with alu foil, works perfect. Last week I made this bread with cranberries and walnuts,it's just as good. Also the cheesebread is delicious, can't stop eating it.

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  8. I am a huge fan of "thefreshloaf.com" and always thought that great bread took lots of time and work - boy was I wrong!!!!! I just pulled the bread out of the oven, and all I can say is "holy cow - that was easy"! It looks just like yours, is crusty, and absolutely delicious! I had an old Calphalon 8qt stock pot that I used along with parchment paper (I think the parchment helps to retain the shape as you're putting it in the pot) and it turned out perfect! Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!!! Now, on to make another loaf (or 2, or 3.......).

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  9. I've made this and I love it. I think I got the recipe from you originally. thanks. It's great.

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  10. The first time I made this it was amazing! The second time I was impatient and didn't let the pot heat in the oven for a full 30 minutes. It didn't cook all the way through. :( Oh well. We can't learn if we don't make mistakes! And I put a little bit of corn meal in the bottom of my pan so it didn't stick.

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    1. Cornmeal is a fabulous idea. Thanks for the great idea.

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  11. I thought you did a fine job of explaining this recipe the first time around, and it cracks me up that you still get so many questions despite having covered them, reanswered them, and created a forum. It is very simple and flexible... I have made it countless times -- sometimes with white flour, sometimes white and wheat, sometimes whole-wheat -- with varying amounts of water and yeast and additives as well as a variety of pans (Le Creuset enamelware like yours, stainless steel pots with lids, and loaf pans inside covered roasting pans), and I have never had a bad loaf! The least successful loaf hadn't risen as much as I would've liked because it was cold in my kitchen during the rise. Thank you again for this recipe.

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    1. Fabulous comment. I can't tell you how many times I answered the question, "how big is your pot". I guess I should have stated the size from the very beginning. You made me smile.

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  12. I followed your recipe today and I just pulled the bread out of the oven and I said out loud "You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!" I'm literally laughing because I can't believe how pretty and perfect it turned out! Thanks so much for posting the play by play of what to do. I love your blog, Janet! A big thank you!!

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    1. You are one amazing baker, Suzanne. Keep it up.

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    2. "You are one amazing baker." LOL! We all are. ;)

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  13. You seriously need to do a recipe book. I know it would sell like crazy.
    Tammy

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    1. Tammy, your are my new BF. My husband keeps telling me that. I'm curious...does anyone buy cookbooks any more. I find myself turning to blogs more than cookbooks. Hmmm....you have me thinking.

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    2. Yes! I've been wanting to cook through one in a year for fun but having a hard time finding a decently healthy one and also one that cooks things I've heard of lol do it!!!

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  14. I have mad this bread several times and it is amazing. I would like to know how you clean your enamelled cast iron after the bread baking. Mine is looking a little, shall we say, used.

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    1. My pots looked like they had been through a war. I put them through a cleaning cycle in my oven and they came out looking brand new. I keep them up with the magic eraser sponge after each use and they still look great.

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  15. Thank you for this recipe. I have made it many times since I first discovered it. Loaves have been donated to bazaars - they sell well. When there is a pot luck, I am asked, "Barbara, can you bring a loaf of that bread?" I just mixed up dough with cheddar and dried onion for a lenten soup and bread supper tomorrow night.
    The enameled cast iron dutch oven was purchased from Amazon just for bread. I do not remember the brand, but it was not expensive and happened to be on sale, which didn't hurt.
    Thank you again.
    Barbara

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    1. You must be the most popular person at the bazaar. You are amazing. Thank you so much, Barbara for all of your tips and ideas.

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  16. Just tried your no kneed crusty bread. So good! Thanks. And, I thought I might be able to add to your Q&A forum.
    1) bleached flower worked great!
    2) stainless steel dutch oven worked great -- absolutely zero sticking. Didn't oil it or anything. (Figured the oil would smoke immediately on a 450 degree bottom.) Just dumped the blob onto the stainless and it came out perfect.

    Thanks!

    -Doug

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  18. I made this type of bread many times. Always amazing. I even make it on vacations ( we have timeshares) I DO grease my pot and no problem at all.
    Great post!

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    1. Thank you for sharing how easy the recipe is. I have made this on vacations as well. It's a no brainer. Thanks for the tip on oiling pans.

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  19. Made my first loaf today. I used 2 cups unbleached white whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour. It turned out excellent. Thank you so much for the recipe. I can't wait to try different varieties.

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    1. Fabulous! I'm so glad you had success. It's great to hear that the addition of whole wheat works. Thank you for your comment. I can't wait to hear about your new creations.

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  20. I made my first loaf today. I used 2 cups of unbleached white whole wheat flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Thank you so much for this recipe. It came out perfect and tasted delicious. I can't wait to make some different varieties.

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  21. My loafs look fantastic and taste great, but the inside still seems a bit under cooked- not doughy but not at all fluffy. I've scanned through the posts as best I could, but no one seems to have an issue with this. How dense should the inside of the bread be?

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    1. The bread isn't a light a fluffy bread like normal homemade bread. It is wetter and more dense. If you feel you need to bake longer, just leave the lid on an additional 5 minutes. This should continue to bake the bread without browning the crust too much. I hope this helps.

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  22. you don't mention that dough rising time depends on room temperature. the warmer it is, the less time you need for the dough to rise. give it more time at higher room temperature, and the dough turns into a liquidy mass that you cannot work with anymore. so no, it's not that simple. ;)

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    1. This may be helpful info. Thank you so much. I personally have not had any trouble with room temp and rising time. I have let the dough go for 20 hours in the summer.

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    2. I've had no problem with time/room temp either - I make it loads and always just bung everything in a bowl and leave it on the kitchen counter for an amount of time, then bake - it really is that easy, don't be tempted to put in more yeast than stated!

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    3. THE best bread I've ever made at home, I just put it all in a bowl, generally in the evening, put it in when I get home from work the next day - virtually makes itself. I used to make it in a cast iron pan with a foil lid, which worked well but I recently got a cast iron pot with a lid (sales!) and it is even better! Thank you so much, it's the only bread I eat at home now, easier than going to the shop!

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  23. I find that if after the final bake with the lid off, if you turn the oven down to 300F and bake for another 15 min you get an amazing crust without over browning the bottom. Love this bread.

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    1. Fabulous tip!! Thank you so much.

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  24. For the second bake, I turn down the oven to 400 and bake for 20 minutes. We are at an elevation of about 1100 feet. Here, the original recipe comes out doughy in the middle and over brown on top without this adjustment. My daughter in Colorado, at 7000 feet, got good results without the second bake at all.

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    1. This is such helpful information. Thank you so much for sharing it with everyone.

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  25. How did you get your dough from the pastry cloth to the parchment (since it seems like it's very soft and would lose its carefully crafted shape if simply lifted by hand)? Did you flip it over, or use a bench scraper, or what? Thanks. Can't wait to try this recipe.

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    1. Very carefully! Yes the dough is sticky for sure. I just flour my hands well and I can always count on the dough sticking to my fingers. It's all good the bread looks great in the end.

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  26. Hi,
    Has anyone tried baking "No Knead" bread using a vintage 1930's Westinghouse stone loaf pan? I bought one from eBay and am wondering if it can take the high temperature of 450 deg Fahrenheit especially when it is pre-heated for 30 minutes before the dough is added in?

    Thanks,
    Suet

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  27. Evette: First of all what kind of flour are you using? I have had a few comments about Lily White not working on this recipe. Check the protein content of your flour. It should be a brand that is consistent with their protein content. Around 12% protein in an all-purpose flour is best. I would start my using less water...oh maybe about 1/4 cup less. Then mix and see how the dough looks. Let me know how this works. Please use the comment tab at the top of the page to respond to me and I can get back to you directly. Good luck.

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  28. Thanks for the recipe! It worked!
    K from Australia

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  29. Bravo! Thanks for sharing from Australia.

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  30. have just baked your bread in my brand new Le Creuset....yummy, yummy. Also turned the temperature down for the last 15 minutes. Thanks so much.

    Shelley from S. Africa

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    1. Hi Shelley from S. Africa. thank you so much for commenting and so happy to hear the bread was a success in S. Africa.

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  31. Hi from a mountainside (7500 ft) in far Northern New Mexico. Thanks so much for your excellent explanation. Before I read your blog I used a no-knead recipe my neighbor has used for years and the bread was the best I've ever made. Your blog, however, answered some questions I had after that first experience. Thank you.

    Here's an interesting variation my friend does: Using the same proportions she makes up 3 or 4 times more dough recipe. She lets it rise a couple of hours then puts it into the fridge for from 12 hours to two weeks. Any time she wants to make a loaf of rustic bread she just cuts some of the chilled dough off, shapes it (shapes easily when cold) and lets it rise for about 40 minutes.

    This approach is really helpful for folks like us who live far from a supermarket and bake our own bread regularly.

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  32. Thank you so much for this excellent advice and idea. I will try it. Thanks you for your kind comments as well.

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  33. Hi! I have never, ever had any success with yeast breads ... until last night and today! You made the process look so easy, I decided I had to give this recipe a try. So glad I did. My bread looked exactly like your photos and my husband (who has had tried a fair amount of my bread failures in the past), declared it delicious! Thank you! I love your site and look forward to trying more of your tasty looking recipes.

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    1. Bravo. I hope you come back and try other recipes. I think you have mastered the art of yeast.

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  34. Do you score the top of the bread?

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    1. I don't score the top, but you certainly can.

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  35. Hi Janet

    I baked the bread on a pizza stone with a tray of hot water set beneath it. I also wet the bread before it went in the oven and sprayed a couple of squirts from a spray bottle into the oven.

    It came out lovely and crispy on top with heaps of lovely holes in the middle. Very springy crumb also, similar to a ciabatta bread. Served it to some guests with cheese and dips and they loved it.

    Cheers
    Toby

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  36. Help - I keep trying this no knead bread but it keeps failing flat - quite literally - I get a mix that looks like yours in the bowl (I get a really fast bubbly rise to start but then after about 5 hours it starts to fall back down) when I try to shape - yes it is sticky and I don't have a problem working with it sticky and well floured but I cant get it to a ball shape like your picture - it just keeps spreading and oozing - I bake it hoping it will rise in the dutch oven but it stays pretty flat - I really really want to make bread for my kids but It just aint working - any ideas? Pete

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  37. Hi Pete, Let's see if we can figure out your problem. Start by reducing the water by 1/4 cup. If it appears to be too dry then add in 2 tbl. You could try reducing the amount of yeast. Try 1/4 teaspoon. If you are still having problems, send me a comment through the "contact me" at the top of the page under my header. Then we can chat through email. Good luck

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  38. It worked - it is much better - haven't tasted yet but it just came out of the over looking a lovely shape and colour. Fantastic!!! I can't wait to taste it.

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    1. Great news! Let me know if you venture into other flavor additions.

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  39. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe,it's amazing to find you end up,with such a fantastic loaf from such a simple process. I find that wet hands make forming and lifting the dough easier than floury hands.

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    1. Fabulous tip. I'm so happy you like the bread. Happy baking.

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    2. A little bit of experimentation using a cup each of plain,whole wheat and semolina flour resulted in a great tasting loaf you just have to try. To complete the experiment I scattered some sesame seeds on top of the dough straight after I popped it into the pot...Looks really pretty and tastes great too :)

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    3. After reading your comment, I jumped up from my chair and went to the kitchen to make this wonderful creation only to find I was out of semolina. I thought I just purchased a 5 lb bag, but I purchased Polenta. I'm off to the store to buy semolina. I can't wait to make this. You are genius! Thank you so much for sharing such a great idea.

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  40. I moved from San Francisco bay area to northern Minnesota this summer. Nary a loaf of hard crusted artisan bread to be found. I was bereft until my daughters (one in Nevada and one in Louisana) pointed me in the direction of your recipe. It worked perfectly the first time. I make this bread once a week now. Last night I prepped the dough using half unbleached Red Mill white flour and half of Red Mill's white whole wheat flour. I noticed it didn't 'look right' when I put it to rest. After looking at it on and off for about 10 minutes I decided tp add 3 tablespoons of water. I gave it a mix with my dough whisk and covered it back up with plastic wrap. When I looked again 15 minutes later, it 'looked right' - had a moist appearance and was starting to bubble. I love that you gave me courage to trust myself with this bread. Using white whole wheat flour changes the texture a bit. I don't think I will try using more than half of whole wheat flour and next loaf I'll try 1/3 whole wheat and 2/3 white. Thanks for making this transplant from foodie paradise happy again.

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    1. I'm so sorry you left the foodie city. Nothing compares to San Francisco sour dough bread. I'm happy you sent your trail of the wheat and white version. You must be an awesome baker. Thanks so much for your comment and tips.

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    2. King Arthur flour folks suggest adding 2 tsp liquid per cup of whole grain flour used to substitute for AP - so with half of this subbed out, a little extra water should be the ticket. :) That will help the loaf not be too dense. :) My favorite version of this bread is 2/3 AP and 1/3 white wheat.

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  41. I've been making Jim Lahey's bread since the technique was first published in the NY Times. I always bake covered for 20 mins and uncovered for a further ten. Any longer and it would burn in my oven. I've tried many variations - lots of olives, soaked mixed seeds, rolled oats, different flour combinations, and also added sourdough starter. It ALWAYS works!

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    1. Great tip. Thank you so much. Many comments have been regarding the bread burning a bit on the bottom. Problem solved. Thanks for your variations. Great ideas.

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  42. I have made your recipe and passed on your link to so many friends! I have made varieties of this recipe for gatherings, reunions, and even as part of a fundraising auction (one loaf went for $25!).
    I wish you could have a separate page listing all the different varieties people have made of this (what add ins they have done).
    Thank you for this gift of a recipe! I have not bought store bread in over 6 months since finding your recipe!

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    1. Thanks, Bev. A separate page is a fabulous idea. I'll check into it. I have over 4,000 comments. It could take some time to archive all of the great ideas. Thanks for spreading the joy. I had someone email me with the cost break down of making this bread only using white flour. The cost was .25 cents. $25 is a great return. Way to go!!

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  43. Linda, The loaves aren't huge. I wish I had a measurement. I have some loaves that turn out larger than others. Was you dough pretty stiff or did it seem pretty sticky?

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  44. Hi there,
    Has anyone tried to make this bread with Gluten Free flour? If so, how does it turn out?
    I make this bread pretty regularly, but I have a friend coming to a dinner party who is GF and if possible, I don't want her to miss out on this bread!
    And, has anyone added cheese or olives or anything to this mix and is it safe to leave out on the counter over night with these things in it? I have added garlic powder and dried herbs before, but never cheese.
    Cheers,
    Danielle

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    1. Yes GF has been tried with success. Cheese olives and herb mixtures work really well.

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  45. I've made this a dozen times, followed the recipie word for word and all I can say is wow. I've added combinations of; candied ginger and dried apricots, cheese and carmelized onion, lemon peel and...thank you so very much

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  46. Just made this for the first time, after reading the recipe a long time ago. I baked mine in a 6 qt (gallon?) calphalon copper pot. They are oven safe up to 500 degrees. Thanks for all of the extra tips! They were super helpful.

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  47. Hi, I love your recipe, it's so simple and looks gorgeous!
    But I have a question.. I would like to add 1 cup of rolled oat and 2 cups of flour, instead 3 cups of flour as your recipe says.
    Is that possible?

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    1. I haven't tried that combination, but I think it would work. This bread is pretty forgiving. You could put your rolled oats in a blender and make flour with the oats. That would work. Let me know your results.

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  48. Have you tried 50% whole wheat or higher proportion? I really like high poocentage of whole wheat. Most of the times I even include a third flour: Rye (whole), just because I love the flavor. Also, I use my own sourdough starter. So my question is:

    Including these changes - sourdough starter and more than 50% of whole wheat (maybe rye too) how much the time changes (the 18 hours in your original recipe)?

    I am asking this because the reason I am baking is because I prefer healthier bread (higher whole wheat) so I want to keep baking my own bread because it simply delicious.... but I am getting a little tired - after a year - of having to be 6-9 hours sticked at home each time I bake. So if you have any idea about who the time should be would be good. By the way, if that helps, I always use 20% of sourdough starter, that is, is I use 1000 gr of flour, then I use 200 of starter (I am basically following Chad Robertson's Tartine Book... but I would prefer more free time too).

    Thanks for any advice!

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    1. I know what you mean. The more whole grain the better. I agree with you. You shouldn't have to add more time to the rise. You may notice that the more whole wheat you add then less the dough will absorb the flour. You can play with it. I added rye and loved the flavor. The bread didn't rise as high, but the flavor was fabulous. I love the addition of sour dough start. You can add the same proportions that you are used to adding. You should have great success. This recipe is very forgiving. Start with 50 percent, if that works great add 1/2 cup more. I hope this helps. Best of luck.

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  49. Can the recipe be doubled?

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    1. I make it using 12 cups all the time , works fantastic ... todays batch was 2 cups 12 grain , 2 cups WW , and 8 cups unbleached white .

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    2. Thanks Rich. Great combo idea.

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  50. Wonderful post ! Love all the crazy answers .. I've been making a version of this for several years , often using a combo of flours and extras ... always works , and only ever had one loaf stick to my pots . For fun I tried this in a silicone meatloaf pan , with a tinfoil top ... guess what , it worked out perfectly . Thanks for the post , i really enjoyed it .

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  51. Helpful tips - First, I buy really cheap shower cap/hair color covers at Walmart, fifteen of them for about a dollar... I use these to cover my bowl during rising. They fit about any size bowl and are way cheaper then the equivalent Glad brand ones and work just as well. Second, when I do the twelve hour rise I put a cereal bowl full of very warm water in my microwave, then a ceramic plate, then the covered dough bowl... This makes for a nice draft free warm "sweat box" as it were. I love this recipe and bake this bread 4 or 5 times a week! -- TraceyinVA

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  52. Made this last night so that it could be baked on Christmas morning, and it is fabulous! I mean really really good and so easy - it might be the easiest thing I've ever baked. It is now Christmas night, and the little piece left that I stored in a ziplog bag is still very moist and delicious. Can't believe it is so easy - it tastes like there's more ingredients. Going to try a garlic version this weekend.

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  53. I found a crack across my big Rival Crock-pot ceramic inner and almost consigned it to the bin before thinking it would be just perfect to cook this bread. The glass lid has a plastic handle so I covered it with aluminium foil and it worked a treat. I need to find a way to make the bread a more suitable shape to cut for sandwiches! Thank you for all the tips and encouragement to have a go, I feel confident I could share this bread even after my first attempt, and for a cowardly cook that's real progress!

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  54. Love the recipe. I use beer in place of the water and it tastes wonderful and I get a beautiful darker brown crust. I have several friends now making this bread with beer.

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    1. Wahoo! I'm so glad you shared this information. I have had questions regarding the use of beer. Thank you so much.

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  55. I just stumbled across this recipe and am anxious to try it. I have Corning Visions Dutch Oven with lid. It's amber color glass. Am thinking of using that to bake the bread.

    Could I do two loaves together in an oval enamel roaster?

    I'm thinking of adding caraway seeds to one loaf, and rosemary and thyme to the 2nd loaf.

    Thank you for your recipe and helpful hints.

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    Replies
    1. Yes you can bake two loaves in a larger pot. If you don't want the bread dough to touch you can place a piece of parchment paper in between the loaves. Caraway seeds are delicious in this bread. Rosemary is probably my favorite addition. Happy baking.

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  56. Great recipe. Made this on my Big Green Egg last night. Tasted wonderful. The smoke from the grill gave it this great wood fired oven taste! Thanks much!

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    Replies
    1. Juan, when you did this on the big green egg did you just do it on plate setter or did you still put it in the dutch oven?

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  57. I have wanted to buy a Big Green Egg and now I want one even more!! Sounds delicious.

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  58. Thank you for the recipe! I need to make a few adjustments (which I found on the forum - thanks!) I found a Caphalon baker at Marshalls...worked great. Can't wait to make it with add ins...something with lemon...

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  59. Thanks for your comment. It's amazing how any container that can take the heat will work for this recipe.

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  60. Hi! I used half whole-wheat flour and half bread flour. I increased the yeast by 1/4 tsp and it worked magnificently. I put my pizza stone on the bottom rack of my oven to absorb and distribute the heat more evenly, which prevented my bottom from burning.

    I also have this recipe for a more sour-dough like bread, with a similar process.

    3 cups (15 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
    1/4 tsp instant or rapid rise yeast (the fresher the yeast the better - I've done this with some yeast in a packet that had been sitting in the fridge for a few months and it doesn't work as well)
    1 1/2 tsp table salt
    3/4 c plus 2 tbsp (7 oz) water at room temperature (too hot or too cold is bad - the yeast don't like it)
    1/4 c plus 2 tbsp beer (they say use mild-flavored lager, but I've used just about anything we had in the fridge)
    1 tbsp white vinegar (as we discovered, apple cider vinegar does not work as well)

    1. Whisk all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add all wet ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into wet, scraping bottom of the bowl until a shaggy ball forms.

    2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 - 18 hours (I have found 12 - 14 hours works best for me)

    3. Lay a sheet of parchment paper inside a 10-in skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead 15 - 20 times.

    4. Shape dough into a ball and transfer to parchment paper in skillet. Lightly spray surface of dough with cooking spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger. (I have found this is usually about 2 hours)

    5. About 30 min before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position and place a Dutch oven, with lid on the rack. Preheat to 500F. Lightly flour the top of dough, use a sharp knife to make one 6 inch long, 1/2 inch deep slip along the top of the dough. Carefully transfer parchment paper and dough to the heated Dutch oven. Replace lid. Reduce temperature to 425F and bake covered for 30 min. Remove lid and continue to bake for 20 min longer.

    6. Cool on wire rack!

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    1. Wow!! This just looks amazing. What a great resource for others to follow. Thank you so much for sharing with everyone. I have had several comments regarding a sourdough bread. This will be very popular for sure. Thank you!

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  61. Just read through all hundred million comments! You are a popular lady, and for good reason! Okay, I tried GF! In fact, I've been making them and selling them at our Farmer's Market for the past 4 weeks. I sell out every time! They are beautiful, but not quite as round and smooth as yours. Can't wait to try leaving it on the parchment paper, what a gooey mess!
    I have to increase the water by 50% so I use 2 1/4 C water. I have tried Pamela's Bread Mix and Better Batter Bread Mix, they get pretty close to the same results. The only other alteration that I've had to make is I throw it in my stand mixer and let it go on low for 5 to 10 minutes. When it's GOOD AND BLENDED, I add the extras! The one that I came up with that sells out fastest is the "No Thyme" loaf. It has parsley, sage, rosemary and .... oregano?
    WaaLa! Thanks for making "That Gluten Free Lady" look like she knows what she's doin'!

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  62. I keep my yeast in fridge. Should I have yeast at room temperature before I make the bread? I have the yeast you suggest but it doesn't seem to raise well. I have checked it to be sure it was still active (yes it was) and still didn't raise well so my only thought was that I should have it at room temperature. Do you store your yeast in fridge? I have a dutch oven cast iron pan, will this work for this bread? As you can see I am a beginner at this. Thank you so much, Pam.

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    1. I do store my yeast in the fridge, but you don't have to bring the yeast to room temp. It's ready to use. I have not had any trouble using my cold yeast in recipes.

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    2. I buy my yeast in bulk at Costco, divide it into 3 jars, and store it in my freezer. I use one jar at at time, and it lasts me a year - staying as fresh & active as when I first bought and opened it. I use it straight from the freezer in recipes as directed. They're so tiny they heat right up in the warm water. :) As for this bread - I got a cast iron Dutch Oven JUST for this!! So, I went to my Bookmarks to find the recipe, and found I had 8 different sites! Each with *their* recipe for Jim Lahey's "No Knead Bread"! (The only differences in their ingredient amounts... but no one had explained *why* they needed to be changed from the original at all.) I chose you because you're so detailed, clear, and have all these photos! *Thank you*!! And like others have said, you gave me courage to just go ahead and try it, and your humor made me feel like I would do *fine* my first time! Even though mine has only been mixed for 5 hours, I'm already excited to try flavoring my next loaf! I want to try Rosemary, but I don't know how much to add, whether to add fresh or dry herbs, or when to mix them in? The user that added walnuts with the Rosemary - that sounds delicious! I love nuts in bread! You've covered about every question in the comments (you're so amazing, btw, that you pay so much attention to your readers, and take the time to respond to almost every one! :) ) When I came I only had two myself - one you've answered already - on whether to oil the bottom of the pan with something with a high heat tolerance, like Crisco... but I *love* your parchment idea better! My other was whether a stainless steel bowl would be okay to hold the dough for that long, or if I should use glass or plastic, but it appears it is! Well, my loaf should be ready in 12 to 18 hours! I'll let you know how it turns out. Thank you so much for this post! Now I'm excited to look at and try some of your other recipes, too! :)

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  63. Today I used my cast iron and my stainless steel dutch ovens. One plain loaf, one with lemon, rosemary, and walnuts. So good!! Thanks again for this recipe!

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  64. I have a true cast iron dutch oven which I have never used?? I am going to try using this recipe in it and was wondering if I should oil/grease the dutch oven first? I am a total beginner at trying this sort of bread since I have always used a bread machine before. I have a potato bread recipe that I want to try using also. If anyone is interested I can post the recipe?? Thank you, Pam.

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    1. No need to grease your new cast iron pan, just as long as the pan has been seasoned you should be ready to bake.

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  65. Hello. I read Attic24's account of making this recipe and I made a loaf last night/today. It was perfect. Thank you for the recipe, and for allowing Lucy to publish it with her photos and translation into British measurements. We in Britain have always used weight to measure dry ingredients, and a measuring jug marked off in fluid ounces for liquids, so Lucy has made the recipe accessible for many of her followers. Your blog has now been put on my "favourites" list. Pauline

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  66. Thank you so much, Pauline. I was thrilled to see Attic24 repost the recipe. I have had several questions and comments from UK. So happy to hear it is more accessible for you. I'll try my best to offer metric measurements.

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  67. No need to grease your new cast iron pan, just as long as the pan has been seasoned you should be ready to bake.

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  68. If you add cheese to this recipe, how much and how is it cut? I tried to make cheese biscuits once and the cheese melted all the way through the dough. They came out terrible! Help, please!

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  69. If I want to use
    1.) All whole wheat flour OR
    2.) GF flou

    How do I need to change the yeast and/or water content?? Thanks!!

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  70. Good recipe. I am a first time bread maker and this came out perfect.

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  71. Pumpkin Pie Crusty Bread

    2 cups unbleached flour
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
    1/2 cup water
    your preferred spices for 1 pumpkin pie
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp yeast
    3 tsp wheat gluten

    Mix the water with the whole wheat and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
    After 30 minutes, mix the remaining ingredients and follow the rest of the Crusty Bread instructions.

    This bread will be very moist and the smell of pumpkin pie will be stronger than the actual taste, but oh, so yummy for something very different.
    I have gotten much better results lowering the temp to 425 degrees (even for preheating the water filled pan) and prefer to place corn meal in the bottom of my pan prior to adding the bread.
    In keeping with home made is best, I use pie pumpkins grown in my garden that have been cleaned, baked, pureed and frozen.

    Thank you for the excellent blog! I have learned so much!
    Jeanette

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    1. Thanks, Jeannette. This looks fabulous!!

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  72. Another attic 24 follower here. I made the loaf last weekend but like someone else commented, it was a little flat. I put the mixture in my airing cupboard to rise for 12 hours, could it have been a little too warm in there? It started to rise and then eventually went flat. Would it be okay to just leave it at room temperature in future for the required time - am I being too fussy?! However, even though it was flat it still tasted gorgeous and I WILL be trying again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's possible the dough got too warm. It is pretty forgiving, however. Just let it sit on the counter top no need to fuss. You could try to add less yeast. Maybe the rising time was too long for your dough. the dough will collapse when that happens. Start with less yeast, maybe you will only need 1/4 tsp?? Let me know if this works. I will feel so bad if it doesn't.

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  73. Made this for the first time ever and I was skeptical using my crockpot insert...ha ha was I wrong. This was the most amazing thing I have made, it was a work of art!

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  74. I love this recipe. We have had trouble finding a good rye bread so I thought I would adjust this recipe and see how it would turn out. I used 1 1/2 cups Rye flour and 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour plus 3 TBLS Caraway seeds. It was fabulous.

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  75. first make today - great . I used fine oatmeal and sesame seed mix to coat - sprinkled liberally on top before turning out of bowl and tipped it onto silicon sheet so didn't have to handle it again - little too moist, maybe needed a little longer after the lid came off

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    Replies
    1. I would let the bread baking longer with the lid ON. This way the bread will not over brown, but will allow the inside to cook longer without burning the outside. I love your idea of oatmeal and sesame seed to coat the dough. Sounds fabulous.

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  76. Hi!
    If I have a brick oven already, would combo cookers still be necessary? Thanks!
    -Andee

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    Replies
    1. I'm so jealous. I would try it. The reason for the pots is that the lid on the pot creates a steam oven inside the pan which creates the crisp crust. Let me know how if you use your brick oven. I would love to know the results.

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  77. I discovered this recipe a few months ago, and have been making it a couple of times a week ever since. My Italian husband LOVES it (his grandmother called store-bought bread "poor man's bread"). I add sesame seeds on top, and have started making 3 slashes across the top just before putting it in the oven. Makes it rise a little higher. It is beautiful and delicious! Much better than $4 per loaf "artisan" from the store. Thanks, Janet

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your ideas and success, Susan. I will try making the 3 slashes in my bread. Great tip!

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  78. This is my first time baking bread & I have made two loaves in the last two days & I LOVE this bread. Thank you so much for sharing. I would love to be able to make this as more of a "loaf" to make sandwiches for my family. Would this recipe work in a loaf pan & if so could someone suggest a pan to purchase for this?

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    Replies
    1. The purpose of placing a lid on the pot is to create a steam oven. This makes the the bread so crusty. You could try placing a loaf pan inside a large pot. That might work. You could cover the pan with foil, but I'm not sure if you would get the same results.

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    2. You can use a regular pan and get crispy bread. The key is using a pan below it. You put the pan in while you're preheating the oven, and when you put in the bread, pour some water in the pan. Close the oven in a timely manner to keep the steam in. :)

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  79. Wow! I have made this bread and my family went nuts for it! Tonight we are having your chicken pot pie recipe. I am so glad that I have found this blog. The pictures are fantastic and your directions are easy to follow. Thank you for taking the time to post such lovely recipes!

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  80. Hi, I found your blog and couldn't wait to make the recipe in my new Dutch oven. Alas, the top part of the knob flew off as soon as I opened the oven door. The knob basically split in half! My husband tells me that the lid is not made to go in the oven, but this is not stated on the box. Have you had any problems with the knobs on your pot? I have the Sandra Lee pot from K-mart, it looks exactly like your blue one. I am so disappointed :(

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    Replies
    1. So sorry to hear about your knob. Many knobs can't take the heat. I have had people comment that they purchased a heat proof knob from Amazon. I believe you knob can be replaced. Check Amazon.

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  81. I just made this with white whole wheat flour. It is very good. The crust doesn't crack as much but the color is beautiful and there is a lot of crunch. I baked in a pyrex casserole which worked well. I did have to adjust the water amount quite a bit. I ended up using two cups of water. I possibly could have used a tad less. But it is good none the less. :)

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  82. Success!I am a bread baker now! Thank you, I am so grateful , but my waistline isn't ;-). Can'twait to make loaves for special occasions (love the "wrapped in a seasonal dishcloth idea). I read the posts here, and no mention of storage (not that this is lasting on the counter, uneaten). Brown bag or plastic bag?

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    Replies
    1. You can do a brown bag overnight, but it will keep longer in plastic. I have rewarmed and recrisped the bread by placing in a 300 degree oven until warm and crisp.

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  83. If you have a loaf pan that will fit inside your dutch oven, then you can easily have a regular loaf and still have it steam cooked.

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  84. I just made this bread – followed the recipe exactly except used a steel heavy base 7 quart dutch oven with lid. Experienced one major problem – the lower 1/3 of the bread was very compact, dense and tight crumb with no air spaces, while the upper 2/3 was just right with very large holes about 1" diameter. Also the bottom crust while light colored, was as hard as leather! The top crust was perfect. I could not cut the slices through with a bread knife – when I got to the bottom crust, I had to switch to a cleaver. But the bread tasted very good. What did I do wrong?

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    Replies
    1. You could try heating the pan while you heat the oven. When the oven temp reaches 450 add the dough to the pot. This should help with the dark crust. Handle the dough as little at possible. This well help keep the large holes. I'm not sure why the lower 1/3 was so dense.

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  85. OMG...why have I been making Bread the other way all of these years? My Husband even commented on how crispy the crust was . We had it while it was still warm and the butter seeped in to it!..Awesomeness in a bite! I will make this over and over again! Thanks so much!!

    Michele

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  86. Hi Janet,
    I have tried this loaf now about 10 times and just cant get it to work perfectly? I have read everyone of your forums and q and a's about it.. It just wont rise up high like yours do.. it stays about 6-7cm high each time i bake it.. I have tried adding a 1/4-1/2 cup extra flour.. have tried several different types of flour.. even tried different types of instant yeast.. have changed proofing times from 12, 14, 20, 18 hours.. have literally tried everything.. I just cant seem to get it to work and Im starting to get frustrated because I have tried everything I can think of haha.. any suggestions?
    Thanks Timothy

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    1. Ok Timothy, let's try to help you out. It's hard for me to know what's going on when I'm not in your kitchen to see the dough. If all else fails, turn the dough into focaccia that way your 6-7 cm height would be perfect. I'm perplexed as to what can be wrong since you have tried so many different solutions. Be sure not to handle the dough very much after the rising time. That will help maintain the large holes. Hmmm...you could try adding 1 teaspoon sugar. This will feed the yeast, but the rise time will be shortened. Sometimes if the bread rises too long it will deflate while baking. However, I have let this rise for 24 hours before without any problems. You were right to add more flour. This bread is supposed to be a "no brainer". With simple mixing, long rise time and plopped into the pan with an amazing loaf at the end. I'm sorry you are struggling. Does the dough seem to be bubbling after the long rise time? Sometimes my dough looks like it is beginning to bubble and boil. You could try this: instead of trying to form the dough into a ball just carefully dump into the preheated pan. Perhaps not working the dough at all will work??? I'm sorry to be so vague, but I'm not quite sure what to tell you.

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  87. Can I split the dough and makebthesebinto rolls? How would I adjust the baking time?

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    Replies
    1. Yes you can. I would bake them covered for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake until golden. If the rolls are quite close together, you may need to bake them covered for 25 minutes. Good luck.

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  88. Tip from a fellow baker: I found a baking vessel for my "No Knead Bread"
    A brown clay planter from Home Depot, 14 x 4 x 5.
    My loaf was superb.

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  89. Wow. I've never baked anything from scratch. When I took the lid off, I brushed some butter on the bread and that turned it a bit more golden brown. This went great with Chipotle stuffed meatballs. This will be my to go staple recipe for bread.

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    1. Hey Janet, I would like to mix roasted hot pepper, onions, tomatoes and cheese. However, I am not sure if the vegetables are too moist to mix into the dough. Do you have any suggestions on how i can mix this? I've had this from a bakery in So California and I moved to the East, so I'd love to make this bread.

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    2. First of all your meatballs sound AMAZING! I have never mixed vegetables in with the bread. I think the only one you could have trouble with would be the tomatoes if they are fresh. If they are sundried, it shouldn't be a problem. You could reduce the water by 2 tbl. to see if that helps with any additional moisture. This bread sounds delicious. let me know if this works.

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  90. I almost got it right. I followed the instructions. After forming the ball, should it immediately go on the parchment? I let it rest on the floured board, and had a very heavy crust on bottom. Also, your bread looks nice and white, mine was very off-white. It did rise pretty well in my Cornflower Corningware. It was very hard to slice--maybe because I brushed with butter after baking. Would that make the crust harder to cut through? I do plan to try it again. Kneading is hard for me because of rheumatoid arthritis, but I DO love homemade bread! Thanks for this recipe!!!

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  91. Lenny the Pitmaster (as in BBQ)4/2/14, 10:51 AM

    A few answers: to those who find the (finished) bread doesn't rise much, the original recipe says to let it rise a second time for 2 hours after the initial 12-18 hr.

    I also use parchment paper as my Lodge is not enameled. But here's my difference: after the first 12-18 hr, pour the reeeealy sticky dough onto the parchment paper (no flour dusting is required). Then lift the whole thing into a slightly smaller bowl (I have a set of 4 Pyrex nesting bowls) and let that sit (covered) for the two hours.

    After the first hour, turn the oven (with the C.I.pot/lid inside the oven) to 500o so the oven and pot get thoroughly hot.

    When the 2nd hour is up, lift the dough by the paper and place all in the pot.

    Put the covered pot back into the oven, turn DOWN the temp to 450/475o (your preference) and bake covered for 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes etc etc.

    The extra 2 hr kind of got lost having been repeated so many times. Even the video makes no mention of it (but the written instructions do).

    The extra 2 hr should help with your finished product. Be as gentle as possible with the dough. Do NOT punch it down after the second rise.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Pitmaster for your most helpful suggestions and comments. I'm sure there will be many readers that find this post a great resource. Now I just need to all of your knowledge in BBQ. I'd love to master myself. Love BBQ.

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  92. Lenny the Pitmaster (as in BBQ)4/2/14, 11:00 AM

    Here is the original recipe that mentions the additional 2 hr rise
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html

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  93. Thanks for posting your recipe. My dough was really dry and seemed dry even when I was ready to bake it. I didn't have to use much flour to get rid of the stickiness, and then when I baked it my bread was really dense and almost doughy in the middle. It was still good, but I'd like to get an airier, lighter bread. Any advice?

    Thanks! Beth

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    Replies
    1. Hi Beth. First of all you need to know that this bread is not light and airy. It is rather dense and moist in texture. You may want to add 2-4 tablespoons of water so that the mixture isn't so dry. Try baking the bread 5 minutes more with the lid on. Then remove the lid and bake until golden. This should help the center cook more. I hope this helps.

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  94. Unfortunately it came out doughy for me. I was using a thin stainless steel pot, and I don't think it retains heat well enough. Next time I'll let my nose be the timer.

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  95. I've been making this for a while now. Thank you for posting this recipe; I know it originated with Jim Lahey, but I was introduced to it via your website, from a friend who's a fan, so I wanted to thank you for popularizing it. Before this, I had never given serious thought to baking bread. The first time I pulled a loaf out of the oven I stared at it dubiously for a few moments, confused that the rough glob of dough I'd shoved into the dutch oven could come out looking like something from a cooking magazine. I cut off a hunk of it and tried it and promptly started laughing at how amazing it was. I've been hooked on it since then, and make it at least once a week.

    Each time I make a loaf of this bread, I try to alter some part of the recipe to see how it changes the finished results. I figure that way, I learn something new from each loaf. Here are some of the things I've stumbled across so far, for anybody who is inclined to care.

    1) Throwing in a tablespoon of instant yeast will cause the bread to rise sufficiently in two to three hours, instead of eleven to eighteen. I know that as a consequence the gluten is not as strongly developed and have seen the difference in the texture of the bread, but this hasn't impacted my enjoyment of the finished loaf at all. In fact, I find it makes for more solid and substantial grilled sandwiches and toast. I've tried Mr. Lahey's rapid rise version (same amount of yeast as the normal recipe, with 1/4 tsp of red wine vinegar added) and I still prefer increasing the yeast. Basically, if any reader wants to give the extra yeast a shot, I don't think they should be afraid that they'll "break" the recipe.

    2) Yeast bloomed in warm water smells like childhood memories and happiness. I'm on the cusp of turning 30 and have just now become aware of this fact. Thanks for helping me discover it.

    3) King Arthur all-purpose flour produces a loaf that rises better than store brand all-purpose flour, probably due to the higher gluten content, although I'm new to this so I can't say for sure. If what I've seen is right, though, store brand bread flour should have about the same gluten content as King Arthur all-purpose, so I'll be giving that a shot in the near future to see if it produces a comparable loaf at a cheaper price.

    4) The water to flour ratio in this bread is 80%. I used that basic understanding to make a larger loaf, so I could use it for larger sandwiches. I've stopped using measuring cups now and I just use a scale to measure out 600g of flour and 480g of water. I throw in about two teaspoons of salt and tablespoon and a half of yeast and the end result is still wonderful enough to make me want to steal it and hide it from everyone else.

    5) I just tried a flavor variation; I used beef broth instead of water, and threw in a pack of Lipton Onion Soup Mix. The end result was a bit too salty for me, but I'll be trying it again with just the broth because I think it adds some strong flavor undertones which would make this ideal for serving with stew or something equally hearty.

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    1. Fabulous ideas, suggestions and helpful hints. Thank you so much for posting this!!!

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  96. Mine turned out like a bowl of slop,no where near enough flour and I used the rapid rise yeast

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    1. Well, start with reducing the amount of water. I'm not sure how much to tell you without seeing your dough. Try 1/4 cup. If it still seems to wet, throw in more flour. Just play with it. Read the above comments and you may find something that clicks that might help.

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  97. Hello, GREAT!!! 1 question though....is there anyway to make this bread in little french style rolls for sandwiches?

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    1. Yes, I have baked them on a pizza stone. You could bake them in a pot as well. You may want to watch them so they don't over bake. Check out this post: http://www.simplysogood.com/2012/05/another-use-for-no-knead-bread-dough.html

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  98. Tip for keeping hands clean: I turned this out onto the center of a very well floured cloth bandanna and then pulled in the outer corners of the cloth to turn the dough into the circular shape and smooth it without having to use my hands. There was so much flour on the cloth that I had no problems with the dough sticking and I kept my hands clean.

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  99. Hi! I'm planning to make this as party favors for my Mum's birthday party, along with jam and coffee/tea. I'm making around 50 pieces, so I thought that making a mini version of this is a good idea. Any suggestions on how to make mini bread rolls out of this recipe? I could probably use muffin tins but I have no idea what to cover it with.

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    1. You can cover the muffin tins with foil and crimp the foil around the edges of the pan. I have never tried this before. I'm not sure if they would stick or not? I have only baked individual rolls on a pizza stone. I would experiment first.

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  100. Wow, what a long thread of Q &A's! I tried Searching through for an answer to my query, but the length defeated me.
    I use a Japanese Cast-iron cooking pot, called a 'Tetsunabe'; it has a wooden lid, but I wrap this in aluminium foil before covering the dough. It works brilliantly, and my initially -sceptical husband now eats no other bread.
    My ONLY problem, is that as the dough spreads in the pot, it enfold the creases of the parchment paper. The result is that when I remove the loaf from the oven (Mmmmm! Yummy!) the parchment has irremovably stuck in the folds.
    Not enough flour? Could I risk baking WITHOUT the parchment, and just tumble the dough into the heated pot, with loads of flour, rather than any parchment?

    What would you suggest?
    ALEX, Bedford, UK.

    Great recipe! Amazing results every time!

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  101. Ok! Hold the front page! Change of tactics!
    I revised the method to include the 2-hour re-rise, and used a Pyrex casserole dish. The lid got broken ages ago, but I used the Japanese pot lid, with an added layer of tin-foil...and the Pyrex casserole worked like magic! It doesn't even need washing, just a wipe out with a clean cloth! And the bread is AMAZING!! This is it from now on!

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    1. Fabulous! Thanks for sharing. Pretty much anything works...right?

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  102. For those concerned about sticking...I plopped my dough from the bowl onto a piece of parchment paper. Put the parchment paper and dough into the heated cast iron pot and put the lid on. When it was time to remove it from the pot I lifted it out on the parchment paper and set it to cool on a rack. No burns, no extra flour on my counter to clean, and lovely bread to show for it!

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  103. So i had to proof my yeast because i only at the active dry yeast so the dough seemed a bit more watery. 12 hours later it looks like it has done something but it is still flat and loose looking. I figure I'll wait the whole 19 and see what happens. Anyone have any experience with this?

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    1. Next time you make the bread try adding 1/4 cup additional flour. It's possible that your dough may be too watery. If it still seems too thin after 19 hours just turn the dough into focaccia. You can find my recipe in the index. No need to waste the dough. Let me know if it works.

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  104. Comment from Kitty: I writing because though I have been making No Knead Bread for about 6 years, tonight I sat and read through your blog...so much interesting information, and great ideas for add ins! The recipe I used for a long time was the one from Cook's Illustrated and it included 3 oz. of a flavorful beer and 1 T of white vinegar as part of the liquid. I started up a batch of dough one evening before realizing I didn't have any beer so I just made up the difference with water and went on my way. I've never bothered with beer again.
    I watched the video with Mark Bittman and Jim Lahey a couple of years ago and then tweaked my basic recipe again (I think you have to adapt the recipe a bit to suit your particular kitchen environment...I need to use a little less water) This is the basic recipe I use in my kitchen.

    15 oz. Unbleached All Purpose Flour (approx. 3 cups)
    ¼ tsp SAF Instant Yeast
    1 ½ tsp salt
    10.5 oz water
    ½ tsp red wine vinegar

    I put the dry ingredients in the bowl of my Kitchenaid (because I can!), give it a brief whirl, add in the liquid with motor running and scrap the soft dough into a container to rise. Perhaps this ratio of flour to water might work for people who are finding that 1 ½ cup (12 oz) water makes a dough that is too wet.
    After dinner tonight I mixed up a batch of dough using your ratios and including the ½ tsp of vinegar and I just peeked under the towel...it has risen so much that it is almost touching the top of the container...in my house your method will be a 4 hour rise method! Every kitchen is different. Thanks for all the wonderful information, Janet, and for tirelessly reading and posting all of the wonderful ideas from you and your subscribers.

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  105. I'm a total newbie to baking. I've made this bread 3 times. Every time, the appearance and texture come out stunning. But my bread always tastes very dense and the flavor is overly and distractingly "yeast-y". Am I doing something wrong? Any advice? Thanks!

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    1. My guess is that because this is basically a quick bread using yeast (no kneading, no working of the yeast) and a long rise time (time to ferment) it turns out a more flavorful (yeast-y) bread. If you can do a quicker rise (or a shorter rise), and bake sooner, I think this would reduce the yeast flavor.

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  106. I live in Brazil, and for some strange reason is way easier to find fresh yeast than dry one over here. I used that (one 15gr tablet) and it worked! I really though I had messed it up, because my dough looked more watery than the picture, even though I followed the measures precisely. So I came back and added more flour (even though the dough was already growing for some ten minutes then) until the consistency were more like the one showed here. In the morning some of the dough sticked to the bowl, and the bread itself looked more pasta-like (stringy) than bubbly. I almost gave up at this point, but I figured that since I had already used the ingredients, I could at least give it a try. And all ended well!! The bread was delicious, with a thick crust and very soft interior, with lots of air pockets. Since I used fresh yeast the fermentation taste was on the strong side. It's ok to me, I like it more this way. I'll make it again tonight, this time with more flour from the begining.

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    1. I'm jealous that you have fresh yeast. It is pretty much impossible to purchase in my town. I would try adding 1/2 the amount of yeast that you are adding now. That might help with how yeasty the bread tastes. Due to the fact that the rise time is so long, a little yeast goes a long way. Let me know if this helps.

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  107. A hint for letting it rise if your kitchen is cold BTW is to put a cup of water in the microwave, run it for 3 mins. Take out the cup and then put the bowl with the dough in the microwave. It makes it nice and toasty for the yeast to rise.

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  108. Tried this recipe because we were out of bread and I had no money for store bread. Knowing I had all the ingredients to make my own I went hunting on the Internet and found this recipe. This bread is so tasty that I don't think I will go back to store bought bread (my kids agree)! I did grease my Pyrex (have to wait for funds so I can order enamel cookware) with coconut oil which has a very high scorch temp so there was no smoking.

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    1. My kids lived off this bread while in college. It costs only pennies to make. I'm so glad you found my blog and the recipe. No need for enamel cookware when pyrex will create the same loaf of bread. Best of luck and happy baking.

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  109. Hi there... Maybe someone asked this question before, but I followed your directions perfectly and have made the bread five times and every time it has come out perfect. However I find myself having to add about 1/2 cup more water than is required. Am I doing something wrong?

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    1. You're not doing anything wrong. It's interesting you are adding more liquid because most readers end up adding 1/4 cup more flour. Flour's differ as well as the moisture in the air, etc. Do what works best for you. If adding 1/2 cup more liquid is working, stick with it as long as your bread is working out and you are loving it.

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  110. Thanks for the info if you don't have a dutch oven!

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  111. Greetings from Irekand. Thanxs for this wonderful recipe, made it today & my kids & my husband loved it, the bread came out very nice & the crispy crust topped it all & we actually finished the whole bread within an hour from coming out of the oven. What should I do to stop the yeasty taste & smell other than that thank you so much for sharing the recipe

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    1. You can reduce the yeast by 1/2 and/or lessen the rise time. That should do the trick. I'm so glad the family loved your bread.

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  112. Great recipe! Now to tweak it with your help. Used exact measurements. 1) was very bland and I prefer a yeast-y taste to homemade bread so how do I get that taste? 2) My rise time was 16 hrs. 3) crust was very crunchy out of oven but lost that crunch with an hour. Thanks so much!

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    1. You could add more yeast or add about a tablespoon of vinegar. That will give it a stronger yeasty flavor. I have found that if I cut a bit of the end off of the bread it allows the steam to escape through the end instead of around the entire bread, which can make the crust less crunchy. Just a thought??? As the bread cools it seems to crunch up. I leave my bread cut side down on a cutting board and just cover it with a towel once it has cooled. A plastic bag will soften the crust. I hope this helps.

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  113. There's really 'No knead' to worry with this amazing recipe! (I'm sorry, that was awful)

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  114. I can not stop thinking about the dough that I stirred up last night and has had all day to get all nice and happy and how happy it's going to make me when I get home! Chicken is cooked and just needs to be pulled off the bone, tomatoes are in the windowsill, all I need to do is to fry up some bacon while the pans are in the oven, so I can have one awesome sandwich later on tonight. Thanks for sharing such an easy and wonderful recipe! Rhonda

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    1. So where do you live? I'm coming for dinner. You are AMAZING!

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  115. Wow...just WOW! I have tried making bread many many times and it has always turned out like a brick. This recipe is so simple and makes the best bread. Thanks you so much for putting this up here. I will be subscribing.

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    1. I'm thrilled you love the bread. It' a keeper.

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