Making bread - the easy way!

Easy recipe suitable for a daily fresh loaf

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Update 2017-06: No need to add sugar, vinegar or oil, so these are now removed!


This is really easy - I make this bread every day (unless I wake up late, because you need one hour in the morning if you do the rising overnight)

Here is the original no-knead bread recipe that became very popular: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread

I follow that recipe roughly, although I don't use a real "dutch oven" but instead a backing tray or roasting pot with a lid (see picture below). Also I immediately throw the dough in a shape and put the whole thing in a cold oven.

Here is what I do:

  1. In a bowl, mix 3 cups of flour (460 g) and a teaspoon of salt (4 g) and make a little bowl in the middle of the flour
  2. Pour 1.5 cups of water (340 g) in the bowl of the flour and add 0.5 teaspoons of yeast (2 g) (the dried one, can also be 1 teaspoon depending on how fast you'll find it rises, start with 0.5) and let it sit for about 15 minutes to dissolve the yeast (you can also skip the waiting, but then the holes in your bread become bigger if your dried yeast is really coarse, whatever you prefer). For a more sturdy dough that becomes less flat when baking, you can also add just 1 cup of water, but then you will need to knead the dough with your hands.
  3. Mix the yeast, water & flour mixture
  4. Cover with a a plate (or cellophane) for about 10 hours until it has risen a lot in volume (a few hours more or less do not matter, it mostly matters whether it got significantly more volume)
  5. Prepare a deep backing tray or roasting pot that has a lid with a bit of oil or parchment paper. Drop in the dough and cover with aluminium foil (in case of the backing tray) or put the lid on (in the case of the roasting pot). The cover/lid is to create a moist environment inside which allows the ouside of the bread to stay flexible so that later it can form a nice crust.
  6. Place immediately in the cold oven, turn it on 200 degrees C.
  7. After 35 minutes, take off the aluminium foil or lid and bake for another 20 minutes.
  8. Done! take it out of the form and let it cool

I often prepare the dough before going to bed. I warm up the oven slightly (lowest setting is 50 degrees C), then turn it off and put the dough mixture inside until the next morning. In this warm environment it will rise nicely, which helps when your kitchen is cold (like in England).

It sounds like a lot of work, but when you have done it once it's quite easy. Check out the following table with the step and how little time it takes.

step active time waiting time
1 Mixing flower and salt 2 minutes
2 Adding water 1 minute
3 Letting yeast dissolve 5 minutes
4 Stirring and mixing 4 minutes
5 Put away 1 minute
6 Overnight fermentation ~8 hours
7 Prepare pot with parchment paper 2 minutes
8 Transfer dough to pot and put in oven 1 minute
9 Bake 35 minutes
10 Take off lid 1 minute
11 Bake 20 minutes
Total 17 minutes ~9 hours

Step-by-step images