Let’s Break Bread!

First of all, no panicking!  I know, making bread from scratch can be scary and intimidating, or just too much work.  But here’s a secret: it’s really not.  In fact, it’s so easy, you’ll be wondering why you never did it before.  Plus, how cool are you gonna look next time you have a brunch party and you pull out the homemade stuff?  Celina Dean, guest-blogger extraordinaire, has shared with us her easiest, fail-safe-est bread recipe, and I guarantee you: your bread-lovin’ life will never be the same again. Here’s to bread! And to pilates, which lets me eat more bread!

Is she cute or what?

No Knead Bread

by Celina Dean

Adapted from Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery via Mark Bittman at the New York Times, and Deb at Smitten Kitchen

This recipe has been blogged about, talked about, emailed and shared just a ton. And I’m sharing it with you because it’s truly worth it. YOU’RE worth it. Yes you. No… you.

This recipe allows you to make kick-ass bread in your own oven with SO little effort. You can sabotage this recipe to infinity and beyond- trust me, I keep screwing things up and it’s damn near indestructible. How, you ask, has perfect me screwed this recipe up? Here goes- I’ve made it with white whole wheat flour instead, let it rise for only ten hours, let it rise for 26 hours, baked it in a Teflon pot, let it rise on terry towel, gah… point being, it somehow always turns out and so there’s just no such thing as “screwing up”. Now be warned, there’s a step or two where you’re gonna look at your “dough” and wonder how on earth will it make a loaf, let alone be edible. Friends, this recipe is not only edible, it’s nearly the best loaf of bread you can bake out of a home kitchen, and compares to anything that your adorable local bakery will sell you for upwards of $4 a loaf.

Embrace carbs, making tiny messes and fear of failure. Come on guys! Let’s bake some bread to enjoy with those Myer Lemon preserves your friend brought over or the fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and basil that will crown it to make perfect simple bruschetta or the midnight grilled cheese you’re gonna need to help you power through Season 2 of Weeds on Netflix while your husband is still away in Toronto (damn him). You need this recipe for a million reasons. Mostly though, just for bragging rights. I mean, for the taste.


3 cups All Purpose or Bread Flour, more for dusting

¼ tsp Instant or Rapid Rise Yeast (guys… yeast. There seem to be a million kinds. Go here ( LINK) for a thorough explanation of yeast and Deb’s directions)

1 5/8 cup water (I just use a little less than two cups and it works like a charm)

1 1/4 tsp salt

That’s IT.

What to do:

1) In a large bowl, measure the ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined into a shaggy, messy lump. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-18 hours… the longer the better (I like to let it sit in my turned-off oven, with just the light turned on- it’s warm and cozy in there).

2) Lay a piece of parchment on your counter, sprinkle it with flour. Pour/scoop the dough (which at this point will have risen and have tiny bubbles dotting the surface) onto the parchment, sprinkle with more flour and fold it onto itself a couple of times; let rest for 15 minutes.

3) Using enough flour to keep it from sticking to your hands and the parchment (guys- this part kinda stinks… it’s going to be as sticky as can be and will remain so, even when you get it into your round loaf shape) just keep adding enough flour so that you can work with the dough to get that god forsaken glue ball off of your hands and back onto the floured parchment paper.

4) Dust with more flour, cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature another 90 min to 2 hours- the dough should double in size and spring back when you give it a little poke.

5) A half hour before baking, preheat oven to 450°F – put the pot you’ll be baking the bread in (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, ceramic- something with a lid) on the middle rack to heat along with the oven.  Plop dough into warmed pot (remove this from the oven carefully- it’s hotter than a mofo). This is also going to be messy- don’t worry. Scrape it off that parchment as best you can, keeping something of a round loaf shape if you can manage. If there’s dough shrapnel left behind (and there will be- it’s basically glue), just scrape it and add it to your loaf. OR! Plop the whole damn thing, paper and all into the pot. You heard me! Why don’t I do that always? Because the dough can kinda cook in an around the paper leaving creased bread once you peel it off. But honestly, it’s way easier- and who cares if there are creases in your bread bottom except for me (but I’m prrrrrrretty judgey).

6) Bake covered with a lid for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake 15-30 minutes longer until a golden brown.

7) Remove and let cool completely before slicing and serving. Ha! Just try, I dare you. My husband gets angry at this step. Why oh why would I bake fresh bread and not cut into it immediately? Because it’s nearly impossible to cut when it’s so fresh and soft… just give it some time and guys I promise, it’s worth the wait.


~Wanna be a real jerk-wad? Make your own butter to go with this bread. If you have a food processor collecting dust on your counter, it’s just the easiest thing. Pour whipping cream (say 500 ml) into it with the steal blade attachment, turn it on and let it go. You’ll get to whipped cream- keep on going! This is when it gets sciencey and fun- the buttermilk is going to separate from the solid butter, the color will turn into a lovely light yellow, and that’s how you know you’re done! Scoop it out of the container and squeeze it between paper towels to get as much moisture out as you can. Season with salt as you like, or have fun and flavor it with fresh herbs, garlic, fruit preserves, whatever! It’s delicious. Try a sip of that leftover buttermilk and I dare you to not to drink it all, or use it to replace some water during your next no-knead bread session.


No Knead Bread- Original Recipe

24 Comments Add yours

  1. Michee says:

    You should try the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day (and it’s sequel: Healthy Artisan Bread…). 5 minutes to prep with a KitchenAid, 2 hour rise and plop it in the fridge. Makes enough for 4 loaves of bread (or more) and you can back as necessary. 😀 And it “sours” as it ripens, so by the end of the week (or two, depending on the recipe), you have a pseudo-sourdough loaf. Tasty!

  2. You can also use a stand up mixer for the butter. A friend of mine was going to make lemon whip cream but stepped a way for to long. That butter was great on toast in the mornings. Just add lemon zest, honey or sugar let which ever you machine you like to use go to town.

  3. kilawinguwak says:

    This post is AWESOME. Now I want to make my own bread. And, well, butter.

  4. Katie says:

    Holy moly, this bread looks scrumptious! And I actually think I have those ingredients in my cupboard already! Why did I think bread had so many complicated ingredients? I am really excited to try it because I love bakery bread, and I live near this bread factory which always smells so wonderful, and now my house will smell like the bread factory!

    Awesome post, thank you so much! 🙂

  5. Chris Nellis says:

    Gah, curse you and your oh so simple recipes to make a mess of my kitchen with!

  6. scotchgrrl says:

    I love this recipe. I usually find it works better with 1 1/2 cups water but that may be due to humidity/elevation where I am. A variation I use is to replace 2 tablespoons of water with pesto for an Italian loaf. Add some chopped up garlic with this, too, if you like. YUM.

    Love your blog!

  7. eden says:

    I’m going to try this… and compare to the Family recipe… http://mcphersonbonilla.blogspot.com/2011/05/yuca-ultimate-ice-breaker.html
    and report back.
    I’m just a tad concerned about the timing. Do I want to start in the evening, and then finish the next morning? Or vice versa? I don’t want this to be like the time when I put on a pot of beans to boil at 7PM and they’re still tough at 10PM.

  8. jfeldt says:

    This is happening tonight, awesome.

  9. Kim says:

    This sounds so yummy! I barely cook but the more I read I Happy Opu the more I wish I did. Celina you make this sound so easy and I love how you used mofo – I use that all the time. Thanks Jewel for making it okay to be indulgent!

  10. Maryann says:

    OMG!! I love me some homemade bread..of course I have never had to make it myself, so I will definitely give this a try 🙂
    I have made homemade butter before 🙂 it was supper fun cause we did it old school so you were very involved in making sure you did it properly…or else your arms hurt like a bitch for no reason 😉

  11. Steph says:

    This looks yummy! A silicone pastry mat and a silicone scraper/spatula work really well for getting *all* the dough into the pan easily.

  12. JamieAnne says:

    Looks great. I make oatmeal bread, that rises in my fridge. I’ll have to try this one!

    1. Juneann says:

      I would love to try your oatmeal bread recipe if you could please send it to me. We love oatmeal. Thank you very much for your time.

  13. Cristelle says:

    Sounds delicious, I’m gonna try it this weekend 🙂

  14. Harlan says:

    Homemade bread is epic!
    My Dad makes great bread of all different flavours 🙂

  15. My mother used to make 20-30 loaves of bread per month in one of those breadmakers; she kept a notebook of the different kinds and rotated them out weekly. Over the years she’s made thousands (though she slowed down quite a bit after 3 years).

    I gotta admit, this post is making me think about taking over where she left off.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I love using new recipes and adapting them to my breadmaker. Anyone who wants to try more recipes after you try these. I suggest going to http://www.allrecipes.com and trying a few from there. This one sounds delicious and super easy. I am not ordinarily a bread eater. But give me a fresh, hot loaf from the oven and I am waiting with the butter and knife in my hands for it to cool.

  17. Becca P says:

    From a veteran breadmaker…
    Tip 1: along with the plastic wrap, also cover your bread with a warm damp cloth. Yeast loves warm & damp.
    Tip 2: at step 4, instead of setting the bread back on the floured parchment to rest that last 90 minutes, set it on a fresh piece of parchment that’s (liberally!)lubed up with crisco or butter. That way it won’t stick like hell when you go to put it in the pan to bake.

  18. Dave says:

    Honestly.. I love making my own bread.. I stay away from the machines tho.. doing it yourself and baking it in the pans is the way to go.. my favorite that I’ve made is the Zopf (I think I spelled that right) loaf.. it’s a braided loaf with a egg wash.. it’s very nice, albeit a heavy, bread..

  19. Don says:

    This is a great recipe and gives you breads that have large holes and great crunchy crusts just like a bakery.

    I’ve been baking bread for over 20 years and the biggest tip I found was investing in a kitchen scale. On any given day your flours will vary in weight depending on the humidity of the air. A scale will give you consistency and takes out the guess work.

    Another tip is if you can keep the temperature of your kitchen consistent. I am in an old building where the temperatures vary during the year. On really hot and humid days my bread dough gets even wetter so i have to add a lot more flour. On cold days the dough rises very little.

    You will find the no knead dough in this recipe is much wetter compared to other breads where a lot of kneading is required. Occasionally the bread might stick to the pot when you take it out of the oven after baking. The trick is don’t try to pry it out. Leave it alone for a few minutes and let the steam release the bread. It works every time.

  20. Daniel says:

    I’ve actually done quite well in the local fair using a similar recipe. It’s also really good if you roll it out into a rectangle, coat it with melted butter, brown sugar & cinnamon, then roll that up & bake it for a delicious cinnamon swirl bread. 🙂

  21. Kathryn says:

    I made this bread, and even though the dough didn’t rise hardly at all, due to my house being the same temperature as my fridge at the moment, it tasted just like the bread I buy for $5 a loaf at the place near my work. So in the future I will be making my own, and saving a bunch of money.

  22. Nan says:

    This is an incredible loaf of bread. Just sayin’

    And! Just for fun, don’t “squeeze out” the butter on paper towels, instead try this:

    Put the just churned butter into a bowl, add a little ice water to it (yes, ice water – or very very cold water). Swirl it around the butter, then pour that off. Repeat. If it’s still milky looking then do it again. It’s not *that* bad, honest!

    Congrats, you have just “washed” your butter! You can add salt (teensy amount) or not.

    Oh, and save the stuff you lifted the butter out of – that’s why they call it buttermilk, after all. It works great for buttermilk biscuits (or cornbread or…).

    Love this blog!

  23. candace says:

    I was making bread like this last winter – so good! Now I want to try making butter. 🙂

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