Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Basic No-Knead Bread

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

I was a little late to jump on the No-Knead Bread bandwagon—it was one of those recipes that I'd been meaning to try but never got around to, until about a month ago. Ever since that first loaf, no-knead bread has become an instant staple in my kitchen and I try to have a bowl of dough proofing on my counter at all times.

This recipe, adapted from Jim Lahey's My Bread is a basic outline for a dough that can be manipulated to be used in any number of bread recipes. Once you have the basic technique down and familiarize yourself with the various stages of the dough's rises and fermentations, you can replace the flour, liquid and flavorings with pretty much anything your heart desires.

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Before trying out the no-knead method, my bread baking was roller coaster ride of great successes and disheartening failures, but using this recipe every single loaf has emerged from the oven consistently beautiful, crusty, with a complex and delicious flavor that I have never achieved using another recipe.

Pulling this loaf out of the oven never ceases to amaze me, since it has turned out perfect every single time. No matter the temperature or humidity, the dough has the same pliable, silken quality when placed in the vessel and bakes up into a beautifully browned boule with a crust that has all of the tell-tale signs of great bread.

Win My Bread

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of My Bread to give away this week.

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