Wednesday, January 22, 2014

No Fuss/ No Knead Bread

I was on Facebook last week when a recipe for "Crusty Bread" floated by. Normally i would just keep surfing, but when I saw that it was "No Knead Bread", I was intrigued. I have no need to knead!  Ok-sorry for the bad pun. But it is so true right now in my life. I need simple flexible recipes that can withstand dough being neglected and forgotten on the counter for an extra 5 hours while I tend to the needs of my 7 year old, 5 year old, and 7 month old. Even with my neglect, I still need the the bread to bake consistently delicious. Is that too much to ask????  With this bread, I get a resounding NO, it is not too much to ask.  
Consistently Awesome!!!
 With this ridiculously easy recipe, everyone (yes, even sleep deprived half crazy moms) can bake up artisan style quality bread that the whole family will "Ooo and Ahh" over.  
Can you tell Mama needed a win here?  
First loaf of the Crusty Miracle Bread

So after trying this Facebook recipe, it turns out that this is not some new miracle. Jim Lahey from Sullivan Street Bakery posted the recipe in the NY Times.  Some have written books about it.  Many have blogged about it.  But it was new to me.  I want to share it with you, so you to can enjoy scrumptious No-Fuss Bread.  You don't need to have a bread maker or to be a master breadmaker to enjoy bakery quality bread at home.
Here is the recipe I came across on Facebook. 

No Fuss/ No Knead Bread

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon Instant or Rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 cups water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and mix until mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours. 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.

Resting Dough

Pesto Bread Variation
For a delicious change, I stirred in two heaping spoonfuls of store bought pesto when mixing the dough.  It was a nice change and very easy to do.   The bread baked up beautiful and it was tasty. 
Add Pesto to the dough mixture
The pesto bread dough (left) and garlic bread dough (right) just after mixing
Baked Pesto Bread

Garlic Bread variation
I added a huge spoonful of crushed garlic to the bread dough when I mixed it together. After rising the loaf was very wet even when I added more flour. When the dough was resting on the counter while the pot was heating, it flayed out like a pancake. And the baked bread had a little rise but came out more like ciabatta.   I am not sure if it was the extra liquid from the crushed garlic or the garlic itself?  It was still yummy.  The garlic flavor was mild and delicious while eating but the flavor intensified after I was done eating.   
Baked Garlic Bread

good texture but did not rise as well

So my husband jokingly asked if my arm was tired from patting myself on the back the day after I cooked my first loaf of the bread. We laughed because I was so excited that the bread was SO delicious and easy. Admittedly, I could not stop talking about it. I sure hope this inspires YOU to try it. And please let me know what you think. Also let me know what kind of additions you make. 
 This is one recipe both City Girls and Country Girls will like. 


  1. Mmmmm, this looks so good, Stacey!! It's gorgeous!

  2. I can't wait to cook this! And its vegan! Thanks, Stace! Love your blog, glad to read it all!