Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread

Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread recipe turned traditional bread making upside down for all of us. Made with just flour, yeast, salt, and water, the bread is the fastest, easiest, and best you may ever make.

Jim Lahey's Bread

This is it, folks. Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread recipe. The technique that incited an insurrection among bread bakers everywhere. The recipe is ridiculously easy, even for first-time bread bakers, and will make you wonder why you ever spent all that time and effort kneading dough in the past. The loaf is an adaptation of Lahey’s phenomenally and outrageously popular pugliese sold at Sullivan Street Bakery in Manhattan. And once you try it, you’re going to wonder where it’s been your entire life. Originally published April 23, 2015.Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Ensure Magnificence From Your Loaf Of No-Knead Bread

Baker Jim Lahey took great care, in his original recipe for this no-knead bread, to explain as many tricks as he possibly could to help ensure you have spectacularly satisfying results at home. We’ve included them in the instructions below. Don’t rush through this recipe and skim the details. Each word, each visual cue, each explanation has meaning. Rely on the description of how the dough should appear or feel more than the timing. And know that conditions change from kitchen to kitchen and from day to day, depending on the exact flour you’re using and the temperature of your house and the humidity and, we suspect, the barometic pressure, the phase of the moon, and maybe even your mood. So some days your bread baking may seem blessed and others it may feel cursed. Although as Lahey says, “Even the loaves that aren’t what you’d regard as perfect are way better than fine.”

A round loaf of Jim Lahey's no-knead bread, dusted with flour on a leather chair

As easy as this recipe is, Lahey cautions that it’s not exactly an impromptu sorta thing. “This bread is incredibly simple and involves little labor, but you need to plan ahead. Although mixing takes almost no time, the first rise requires from 12 to 18 hours. Then you’ll need to shape the dough and let it rise for another 1 to 2 hours. The longer rise tends to result in a richer bread, but you need the patience and the schedule to do it. After preheating the oven and the pot, you’ve got 30 minutes of covered baking, another 15 to 30 of uncovered baking, and about an hour of cooling. And please, don’t gulp down that first slice. Think of the first bite as you would the first taste of a glass of wine: smell it (there should be that touch of maltiness), chew it slowly to appreciate its almost meaty texture, and sense where it came from in its hint of wheat. Enjoy it. You baked it, and you did a good job.”

Jim Lahey's No-Knead Bread

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 3 H, 30 M
  • One 1 1/2-pound loaf

Special Equipment: 6- to 8-quart heavy pot with lid

4.9/5 - 46 reviews
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  • 3 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • Cornmeal or wheat bran, as needed


  • 1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and mix with a spoon or your hand until you have a shaggy, sticky dough. This should take roughly 30 seconds. You want it to be a little sticky. (Many people who bake this bread find the dough to be sticker than other bread doughs they’ve worked with. Even though it’s not what you’re accustomed to handling, it’s perfectly fine.)
  • 2. Cover the bowl with a plate, towel, or plastic wrap and set it aside to rest at warm room temperature (but not in direct sunlight) for at least 12 hours and preferably about 18 hours. (Ideally, you want the room to be about 72°F. In the dead of winter, when the dough will tend to rise more slowly, as long as 24 hours may be necessary.) You’ll know the dough is properly fermented and ready because its surface will be dotted with bubbles. This long, slow fermentation is what yields the bread’s rich flavor.
  • 3. Generously flour your work surface. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to turn the dough onto the surface in one blob. The dough will cling to the bowl in long, thread-like strands and it will be quite loose and sticky. This is exactly what you want. Do not add more flour. Instead use lightly floured hands to gently and quickly lift the edges of the dough in toward the center, effectively folding the dough over onto itself. Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round. That’s it. Don’t knead the dough.
  • 4. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal. Place the dough, seam side down, on the towel and dust the surface with a little more flour, bran, or cornmeal. Cover the dough with another cotton towel and let it rise for about 2 hours. When it’s ready, the dough will be double in size and will hold the impression of your fingertip when you poke it lightly, making an indentation. If the dough readily springs back when you poke it, let it rise for another 15 minutes.
  • 5. A half hour before the dough is done with its second rise, preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C). Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and place a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot and its lid (whether cast iron or enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats.
  • 6. When the dough is done with its second rise, carefully remove the pot from the oven and uncover it. Also, uncover the dough. Lift up the dough and quickly but gently turn it over into the pot, seam side up, being very careful not to touch the pot. The blob of dough may look like a mess, but trust us, everything is O.K. Cover the pot with its lid and bake for 30 minutes.
  • 7. Remove the lid and bake until the loaf is beautifully browned to a deep chestnut color, 15 to 30 minutes more. Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a wire rack. Don’t slice or tear into it until it has cooled, which usually takes at least an hour.

Recipe Testers Reviews

For me, this is the PERFECT bread recipe. Making bread is my obsession. I have made nearly every bread recipe you can name. As much as I love the ritual of old-fashioned bread-making—kneading, resting, proofing, etc.—this no-knead bread recipe is my go-to loaf.

I base this on two things: texture and flavor. This is hands-down the best-tasting "white bread" that I have ever eaten, let alone made. I use a digital scale and weigh my ingredients.

Good bread takes several hours to produce. GREAT bread takes nearly 24 hours. If you rush this recipe, you will be doing yourself a great disservice. When

Jim Lahey says this dough should be wet, trust him, it will be as wet as a ciabatta dough. VERY WET. When folding the dough, it doesn't have to be precise. I simply pull 4 edges up and toward the center. Then simply turn the dough, seam side down, on a floured cloth or linen. Do not scrimp on the flour for the tea towel. You will NEED a thick coating on the cloth or it will stick when you flip it into the 450°F Dutch oven. Trust me. Don't fret over how the dough looks when you put the lid on and just slide it back in the oven, set your timer for 30 minutes, and, like some crazy magic, when the lid comes off, it will always be perfect. The last 15 minutes is the hardest for me. I always want to take it out of the oven before it turns a lovely dark brown. DON'T DO IT! Let it bake without the lid for at least 12 minutes.

Remove your masterpiece from the oven, carefully place it on a cooling rack (I use 2 silicone spatulas) and, while you're admiring your mastery, listen. The bread will crack and hiss and sing. Truly one of the most beautiful sounds that you'll ever hear.


#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


  1. This recipe is fantastic. A friend of mine showed me this link, and I thought I would give it a go. The recipe is easy to follow and it was very helpful in telling you not to worry if the dough looked like something crazy….it’s not like any recipe that I’ve ever used for bread before.

    Once you get the hang of it, it’s the simplest thing to do. The bread has a wonderful flavour and the crust is excellent. It makes an open textured loaf that is perfect with cheese or soup. It’s also fairly forgiving in the measurements. Wonderful! You do have to plan ahead by a day but the best things in life are worth waiting for.

  2. I use this as a whole wheat recipe (2/3 whole wheat, 1/3 unbleached white). I make a larger loaf (approximately 5 cups of total flour). And, I cut the salt … normally to nothing. That said, if I’m making my “pesto bread,” it’s getting sodium in general, and some salt, from the parmesan.

    Other “twist” is that, with the larger loaf, since I’m going to have a longer cooking time, I usually start tapering the temperature after 10 minutes. I don’t get precise, but I usually cut the oven temperature 15 degrees every 15 minutes or so.

  3. This bread came out beautiful. I have made it before, and I used a four at Le Cruset with parchment paper and it came out without any kind of sticking.

  4. Hello everyone! I am making this recipe today for first time. I wanted to ask, can you use this as a starter as well?

    1. Ive, sure! Any flour-water mixture can become a starter. But you’ll need to go through the 1- to 2-week feeding process so it’s strong enough to raise a loaf.

  5. I first made this recipe by following Jim Lahey’s instructions on Mark Bittman’s video. In the video, Lahey puts the bread into the oven right after the 12-18 hour rise (your step 3). He does not let it rise for another 2 hours in the towel. When I followed those instructions, the bread also came out great – and looked just like your photo. I’ve made it twice already (in the past week!) and both times it was perfect. But just for comparison, next time (today) I’m going to try it with the second rise. Thanks!

      1. I’ve now tried the version on this blog (with the second rise). After the second rise the dough didn’t quite “double” in size, but it spread out quite a bit. After baking, though, the bread was higher than it was without the second rise. The taste was great in both versions!

  6. Love this recipe. I make it once a week now for my husband. We can’t get a good crusty bread here in the mountains of Virginia and this satisfies. My only problem is when the bread is risen, the top part of the bread is hard. Should I put oil on the dough to keep it soft?

    1. Saundra, love that you’re as hooked on this recipe as we are! And yes, you can absolutely slick the surface of the dough with a mild oil prior to letting it rise. I do this when I bake bread simply by
      putting a little oil in the bowl and coating the surface of the bowl, then gently turning the dough in the bowl to lightly coat all sides. Terrific question! We so appreciate you asking it so others can also benefit from it.

    2. Saundra,

      I add 30 to 40g (2+ tbsp) olive oil into the dough alongside the other ingredients, which gives the whole loaf a lovely slightly softer crust. It also adds a richness to the flavour that I love. I don’t find it necessary, but you may want to reduce the water by 10 ml if you do this.

    3. HEY Sandra when the bread is hot out the oven wrap it in a very damp but not dripping wet teatowel, it will give you a soft crust as it cools! Works a treat!

  7. 45 years of using Canadian flour with US recipes and no problems so far for this professional cook/restauranteur…

    1. Heather, while we didn’t test it that way, I’ve researched the topic for you, and you can swap out half of the all-purpose flour for the spelt flour. Spelt is low in gluten, so you need some all-purpose or whole wheat flour in there for proper gluten formation.

  8. Hi, I made my bread about 6 hours ago, waiting for it to rise. I don’t have a pot with a tight lid, what can I do or use in it’s place? Thanks

    1. Hi Natalie, I would tightly seal the top of the pot with foil. You just want to create an environment that holds the steam in.

  9. Hi there! Just finished my first rise and I realized I only have a Schlemmertopf Clay Pot that holds about 5qts. (I just measured it out and the bottom seems to hold 3qts, while the lid is shaped in a way that adds extra room.) Do you think this is okay to use? I’ve given the first rise ~21 hours so I’m thinking about stashing it in the fridge until I can hear back. :) Thanks so much in advance!

    1. Maddie, it might be too small. Without seeing it next to the dough I’m not sure. The loaf does rise, about 1 1/2 to 2 times its size. But, it also flattens a bit when you put it in the pot. I’ve always used a five or 6 quart pot. I say go for it! And let us know how it goes.

  10. For anyone looking to develop a sourdough starter, search at Sunset magazine. Years ago Sunset collaborated with UC Davis to analyze San Francisco sourdough and developed a starter using yogurt because their research showed that much of the leavening came from lactobacillus. I started my decades old starter using their recipe. If I killed or lost mine somehow I would go back to their starter recipe. I make 8 loaves of bread a week to sell as a fund raiser for my local farmers market. I just add water and flour to refresh the starter and I keep it at about 67% hydration. I’m living on the central coast of CA for the winter. I didn’t bring my starter, so I’m back to making Jim Lahey’s fabulous bread.

  11. Excellent loaf. Similar to ciabatta but much simpler to make. I baked it in a wood-fired oven and the contrast between the crisp chewy crust and the moist interior is delicious. Definitely a go-to recipe.

    1. Magnificent, Neal! Lovely to hear this has been added to your go-to list. Greatly appreciate you taking the time to let us know how well it worked for you! And looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next…

  12. Two things.

    First, altitude probably is a factor in the results.We live near 3500 feet and many recipes have adaptations for this.

    Second, is this recipe adaptable for gluten-free flour? My wife is gluten-intolerant and most commercial breads are very cardboard-y, both in texture and taste.

    1. Barrie, we appreciate your interest in our recipe! You’re correct, both those factors will play considerable roles in your results. Have you read Susan G. Purdy’s book, Pie in the Sky? It’s our go-to for advice on the nuances of high-altitude backing. I highly encourage you to take a look at it. You can learn more at High Altitude Baking.

      As for the gluten-free issue, I, too, am gluten-free, and I know exactly what you mean about those cardboard-y loaves of “bread.” We always test recipes before we decide whether they’re sufficiently spectacular to share with others, and this recipe aced that test easily, but we only tested it using regular flour. I’d love to be of help here, as I understand the hankering for a proper loaf of bread, although there are so many factors to baking gluten-free bread I’m hesitant to make any particular recommendations I haven’t tried myself or that any of our testers have tried. So you’re welcome to try this with your favorite gluten-free flour blend and high-altitude modifications per Purdy’s book, although I just would like to issue the caveat that gluten-free is so tricky. I’m asking everyone I know for their favorite gluten-free bread recipe and will be back with you with results. And in the meantime, if you try this recipe, kindly let us know how you modified it and how things turned out. Many kind thanks!

  13. I have been slowly working my way through Lahey’s bread book and this recipe is what started me off. I am a novice when it comes to yeasted breads but am chuffed with this particular loaf—it always turns out and it always tastes incredible. I use Canadian flour and find I need less water than recommended but otherwise I followe the recipe exactly. This and the ciabatta on this site were definitely turning points in my bread-baking ability and confidence…and in the volume of carbs I can jam in my mouth in a single sitting.

      1. I do think that might be the case. I know that when I first tried baking bread years ago, a huge part of the problem was that I didn’t understand the difference. And, since so many of the recipes I tried were American, I gave up after baking quite a few terrible loaves. It took some basic research and a little trial and error but my bread has improved greatly!

          1. I first started by searching out recipes written in Canada, to get a feeling of what a proper dough should be, before moving on to other (American) recipes. I don’t use a true conversion, as such, but I do know that this recipe required an extra 1/4 cup of water for 468 grams/3 cups of flour (contrary to what I mistakenly said above – more water or less flour is what works). Generally, our harder wheat absorbs more water than what is called for and that can be a significant amount depending on the size of the recipe. I know that’s perhaps not as empirically helpful as it could be but just knowing that has changed the quality of my breads – so much so that I now bake bread weekly.

  14. I baked my loaf yesterday (using parchment paper/cast iron Dutch oven) and it’s wonderful. Do have a question though….the bottom crust came out very hard and, therefore very hard to cut. I have a good serrated bread knife but I felt like I was sawing wood! Thoughts about what I might do next time to prevent that? TY!

    1. Hi Ann, it sounds like your oven may be running too hot. You might try calibrating it to make sure. Also, is your heating element on the bottom of your oven? If so, try moving the bread to a higher rack.

  15. I always do the first rise on parchment paper and in a large/deep bowl. Then, when it’s time for the dough to go in the hot Dutch oven, I simply lower it in, parchment and all. Trim or carefully tuck excess paper into the pan. No flipping and the dough keeps its shape, no flat loaves! It’s just delicious!

  16. I now have my third loaf in the oven! I just love this bread! I do have one question, how should the bread be stored? The loaf from yesterday is not as crusty on the outside after storing it in a ziplock bag. Should it not be closed up tightly?

  17. So I made this today’s. Followed to the letter. The dough is showing all the bubbling and everts it’s supposed to do. Now it’s ready in the pot, it rose it’s crusty it looks perfect and now I can’t get it out of the pot. It’s stuck! I carefully drizzled a few drops of water at the edges and finally got most of it out but it’s not pretty. What did I do wrong?

      1. I thought I did as it rolled out of the towel into the pot without any difficulty. Maybe it needed more…. Eventhough it could have looked prettier it was sooooo delicious. I already have a seond one set up to bake tomorrow, I will use more flour , thanks!

        1. Nori, the recipe calls for cornmeal or wheat bran. The reason is flour is too easily absorbed into the very wet dough. The cornmeal and wheat bran won’t. Try them!

  18. Kirstie, each oven and each of us bakers are different. The bread does need uncovered bake time to get to final completion. By trying this several times, I’ve found MY oven’s ideal temperature is 455F for the entire 30 minute covered bake, then still at 455F, for 15 minutes uncovered. This gives me the my desired level of Awesomeness! Let us know how yours turns out and if you come up with any tips or techniques that work best for you!

    A loaf of Jim Lahey's no-knead bread on a cutting board with a slice removed; big air holes and a dusting of flour

  19. I’m new to bread making and tried this recipe for the first time. I’m having trouble knowing when to take it’s done, despite the suggestion of waiting for the deep chestnut color. Baking uncovered for 15-30 minutes makes me a bit nervous, as I’m afraid I’ll overbake. Any additional suggestions?

    1. Kirstie, have courage! I’ve made this many times, and it’s never overbaked. If you want another way of telling when the bread is done, many bakers look for a 200° to 200°F/93 to 99°C interior of the baked loaf. You’ll need an instant-read thermometer for that.

    2. Kirstie, I’ve made this bread a few times and I bake it covered for 30 minutes, then remove the cover and continue to bake for only about 10 minutes more. The first time I baked uncovered for 20 minutes, and the top was too dark for me. But 10 minutes results in a beautiful dark golden brown.

  20. This recipe calls for a 6-8-quart pot, but Ive read that some people prefer a 4-quart. I have 4, 5.75, and 7-quart dutch ovens. Which do you think would be best to use? Or does it matter? Thanks!

    1. Kirstie, I regularly make this in a 5-quart pot. The 4-quart is too small. The larger ones are best because they give you a lot of space for the bread to plop into.

      1. That’s helpful to know, thank you! My 5.75- dutch oven is oval in shape, but I think it will do. I may even try the 7 quart, as it’s round. Thanks again for the input!

          1. Just found this website! I’ve made close to 200 loaves of this marvelous bread (I have pictures of 124 stored on my phone—as you can imagine we eat it daily). I do the second rise on parchment paper with the bowl upside down over the dough, then I dump the whole thing in my pot. Thing is, my pot is a 3qt Cuisinart and the loaf comes out tall and round each time. I used to use a 6qt Le Creuset but the bread would spread and come out more flat. I prefer the domed one—so don’t be afraid of (very) small pots!

            1. I am just checking to see what Barul meant when he said he does the second rise on parchment paper with upside-down bowl to cover. When he says ” I dump the whole thing in my pot. ” does he mean he takes the bowl off, lifts the bread on the parchment paper and places the parchment paper in the heated pot with dough to bake? Or does he use the parchment paper instead of a towel and then ” Lift up the dough and quickly but gently turn it over into the pot, seam side up,” as instructed?

              1. Marna, while I can’t speak for him, it’s a common technique to use parchment paper as a sling to lower the loaf into the pot, avoiding the sometimes “deflating” experience of flipping the loaf.

  21. Hello, I made the bread today and was so excited as everything went fine until the second rise when it got stuck to the cotton cloth even though I had put flour on it. Perhaps I put too much water at the beginning? However, I got it into the pot with difficulty and when cooked it was lovely and crusty but not cooked enough inside. I will have to try again but don’t really know what went wrong. This loaf will go to the birds!!

    1. Sivry, the dough is indeed wet. I suggest really, really coating the towel with a lot of flour. I had that problem at first, too. As far as the bread not being baked enough, your oven could be running cool. I’d invest in an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature should be about 200°F.

  22. I’ve been making this bread twice a week for six months, and it never fails. The beauty of it is its flexibility. Depending on timing and need, sometimes I let it rise in the counter the 12 to 18 hours, sometimes in the fridge for up to 36 hours. That way I can go about my business and bake when I am ready. What’s the longest anyone out there has kept it in the fridge?

    1. Hi Sam, you can use an instant read thermometer to gauge doneness- it should be around 190 degrees. Visually the bread should be golden brown and give a nice hollow thunk when tapped.

  23. Miyoko Schinner has adapted her bread recipes to Jim’s techniques. I have her baguette recipe (using Jim’s techniques) which is wonderful! She however does not use instant yeast but instead active dry yeast which is stirred directly into the dry ingredients. I don’t have instant yeast so I did some research. I understand that instant yeast can be stirred directly into the dry ingredients, where as active dry yeast, apparently, needs water to dissolve in water. Miyoko’s recipe has us stirring active dry yeast directly into the dry ingredients and then adds the water, just like Jim. My question is, if I used active dry yeast in Jim’s recipe would it work? Also, if I let it activate in warm water first would it work? Just wondering.

    1. Marna, active dry yeast would work perfectly well with this recipe. There is so little yeast, and the rise time is so long, that it doesn’t need to be mixed with water first.

      1. Thank you for your reply. So I have another question, I see that this was updated on Oct 3 2018, was the recipe updated? If so what was the update? Also, I was wondering why the difference in oven temperature with the recipe and the recipe with Jim Lahey in the video. This recipe calls for a 450 degree oven but Jim says, even for us at home, “500 even 515”.

        1. Marna, an update can be a change anywhere in the recipe. For example, an ingredient or even a typo. In this case it didn’t deal with any of the ingredients or directions.

          As to the temperature difference, the temperature in the recipe is what he originally wrote in his cookbook. As he lived with it, he added suggestions. Many people’s ovens don’t go as high as 500°F unless they’re on a broil setting. If yours does go as high as 515°F, definitely use that. But watch the baking time, as it will be a bit shorter.

  24. Love this recipe. I have made it a million times. I also have given out this recipe to all my girlfriends

    Is there a similar version for sourdough ?

    1. Janet, there are a lot of recipes out there for no-knead–ish sourdough bread. The one I like is from Tartine Bakery. You can easily find it on the internet. Let me know what you think!

  25. OH MY GOD. This is absolutely delicious. And comes out eerily perfect, as if from a professional kitchen, the very first time. I don’t understand those reviewers who claim it’s tasteless—mine was absolutely redolent with the smell and taste of yeast. I did add some extra salt and I did the second bake for less than the suggested 15 minutes. It was truly astounding.

  26. Oh My! This recipe is amazing and so easy. I actually cheated and used my Instant Pot to proof the bread. Yogurt Setting with vent open for 6 hours and the controlled heat/humid environment was perfect for the first rise. The hardest part was waiting for it to cool before diving in. Divine. I will be making this often. Thank you so much!

  27. Can I use vital gluten with all purpose flour for this recipe? I don’t have bread flour so hoping that would be a nice alternative. I’ve used all-purpose before and it worked out nicely but curious if it would hinder or add to the crust and chew of the bread.


  28. I’ve been making this recipe for the past week and after some trial and error I’ve been getting some good results! The only issue is that slices aren’t very big and I’d like to make some sandwiches with it. Is there any issue if I double the recipe to make a taller loaf? Bake longer?

      1. Thanks for the suggestions!

        I found someone that doubled the recipe and seems to have done okay. Lowered the temp to 425 and cooked it for 40min. I’m going to try this out and report back. Will compare it to the standard recipe

          1. I doubled the recipe to make a mega loaf! 6 cups flour and everything else in proportion. Let it rest for 19 hours before I folded it over, and had a second rise of 3 hours. The oven was preheated to 475F along with the Dutch oven. After I baked it for 15 min I lowered the temp to 450F and had it continue baking for 25 min before I took the lid off and baked for another 20 min. So total bake time of 1 hour. Checked the internal temp with a meat thermometer to make sure and it was 200F, good enough for me.

            After letting it rest for 3 hours I had a bread that was at least as good as the standard recipe, if not better!

            One thing to note about this recipe is that it doesn’t seem to make a difference for me whether I slash the top or not.

            Two pictures of Jim Lahey's no-knead bread. A whole loaf on a grill, and the loaf sliced in half

    1. Increase the recipe (maybe not the yeast quantity quite as much) and use the same size pot. I regularly make it using 4.5 cups flour (ie 1.5 the original recipe). I did this because I found that my pot was too big and that the loaf, while delicious, was too flat in shape for my liking. In increased quantity it rose higher to become rounder.

      It’s an incredible recipe. It’s worked when I’ve made the dough quite dry (the first time I made it from an adapted version someone sent me) or really wet (I wasn’t weighing the flour).

  29. So I happened to be doing a recipe where I mixed about the same amount of flour, water, and salt and let it sit overnight.

    389g bread flour
    38g spelt
    19g dark rye
    304g water
    19g salt

    About 10 hours later, I added 100 grams of sourdough starter (100% hydration) and because I had to work, I left it again for another 12 hours. When I got home, I shaped it, let it sit for about an hour and then baked it in a cast-iron two-piece (The one from Chad Robertson’s Tartine book) 500° for 20 mins, 450° for 25 minutes.

    It turned out SOOO good. The flavor was really strong, and the sour taste really came through. I definitely want to try more of this no-knead bread making with sourdough starter.

    Here’s the original video I was watching, Trevor J. Wilson is a solid bread maker with excellent dough handling techniques

  30. I would avoid using this recipe unless you have a digital scale at home to measure the flour. The volumetric amounts listed in the recipe simply do not work; I have tried twice now using non-professional grade cookware and there is simply too much water in this recipe (compared to most no-knead recipes) to allow for any margin of deviation. It will fall, or be too wet to fold if you don’t measure using a digital scale.

    1. Peter, sorry you had a hard time with this. I can assure you the recipe works, as I’ve made it many times using volume measures and well as with weight for the flour when we tested it. Plus this is the original no-knead bread! Now, it is a very, very wet dough. I suspect you might be using too much of a light hand with the flour, as that can be the culprit rather than too much water. Just to be sure: you’re using just a little more than 1 1/2 cups of water?

  31. I made this last weekend and was a huge hit in my house. This is by far the easiest bread recipe I have ever made. This is now going to be my go-to recipe. I’ve been trying out a new recipe from this site weekly and every single recipe I have made has turned out beautifully and with rave reviews. The key is to read the recipe thoroughly first.

    1. Christina, it’s been nearly 45 years since a woman has made my heart do a jig–just ask The One!–and that was back in junior high. But you accomplished it when said the most important thing is to read the recipe well first. Be still my heart! So happy you enjoy the bread.

  32. Finally! I let it rise two hours, in parchment, in a covered stainless steel bowl. After reading a hundred notes and about as many options, I decided on the cold oven approach: I put the bowl, as it was, in a cold oven, covered it with a pizza tray, and set it for 450 degrees. After 30 minutes, it was golden brown, and 199 degrees; I decided to skip the charring time, so I pulled it out and dumped it on a wire rack, and easily peeled off the parchment. Ten minutes later–butter and honey! This shows again, how foolproof this recipe truly is; next time I’ll try 430g of flour and 345g of water, and hope to do a better job!

    A loaf of Jim Lahey's no-knead bread on a wire rack

  33. That is a great way to make bread. I have also added jalapenos and cheddar cheese. I also made one using Asiago cheese as well. They are a favorite now at my house and I don’t buy store bread anymore. Thank you.

      1. I am writing this ten minutes after setting the dough aside to rise for 12 to 18 hours, so I have no idea how it will turn out; but I do have a question. I started with 300g of water, added to exactly 400g of flour (incidentally, I scooped 3 cups of bread flour, leveled with a knife, and it weighed 401g); the dough was quite stiff. I went back to the original recipe, and it calls for 384ml of water. Well, a gram of water = 1 ml (at least at standard temp. and pressure–I was once a chemist!); so that’s 84g more water; which I have now added, and the dough is suitably–I hope–soupy.

        Tomorrow I’ll know the result.

        1. Lowrie, may I ask where you got the 300 grams from? The recipe calls for 1 5/8 cups or 384 grams of water. Also, I wouldn’t call the dough soupy. Wet and sticky, yup. Did you take a look at the video?

          1. OK, I let it rise for 26 hours; to make it out I declare took another 3/4 cup of flour! It was that soupy! Now I’m letting it rise the second time, on parchment. From what I’ve seen, 300ml of water is too little, 384ml too much. The “Goldilocks” amount might be the 320ml David Gaskill uses. I’ll be trying this again; hope I can cook (and eat!) whatever I’ve got here.

            1. Wow, Lowrie. We’ve had one or two other readers say they needed more flour/less water. But I have never, ever had a problem in all the years I’ve been making this. Do you think perhaps you might have mismeasured? Either way, you’re documenting what you’re doing, so it will help others Thanks!

          2. I am preparing to make this while traveling in Europe… we always us the volume measurements at home, but weight is the only option. The weight based recipe does give 300 grams as the water weight, not 384…with 400 g flour…. I think I will pick 320 or so to start and adjust by texture.

  34. This is a great recipe and is now the one I make all the time. This week however I was challenged with the loss of power in our house from a Nor’ Easter storm. The dough was bubbly and ready to go. I waited for hours and finally decided to bake it a different way. English Muffins in a cast iron pan. Delicious!

  35. I’ve been making this bread for years from a recipe by Michael Smith. It turns out well every time. You can add a bit of oats and molasses, or chopped olives and rosemary, or your favourite seeds – whatever suits your fancy. Nice to see the recipe here so even more people will attempt to make their own bread.

  36. I just made a loaf yesterday and it came out extremely well. I agree with Larry Noak though, 384 water to 400 flour is 96% hydration, that’s poolish territory. I used 320 for 80% and the oven spring and crumb were perfect for my taste. I remember when this recipe came out (2005-ish?) but I never tried it. Thanks for bringing it back. I’ll definitely be making it again.

  37. Enjoyed this recipe. Its been a while since i made bread. It stuck to my parchmwnt so i didnt flip it. Just lifted the whole thing into pot as is. Came out great

    1. Karen, so glad you liked it, even if it stuck. I’m trying something different as I write this: I have a loaf rising in an oiled bowl. I’ll post a picture when I’m done.

  38. The top of my loaf was hard after 18 hours – it was loosely covered. I just folded it in on itself and it seemed to come out fine, but it wasn’t nice and supple as shown in the video.

    Also, the crust is so tough that I can barely cut it with the knife.


    1. Julia, if you want to keep it up to 18 hours, consider covering the bowl with plastic wrap. That will definitely help with the hardness and lack of suppleness of the dough. It might help with the tough crust. But know that this is a thick-crust bread.

  39. So, I am about to make this bread for the first time. My first concern is home temp. We usually keep at 66 degrees or a bit less. Should I let rise to the 24 hour mark? Secondly, are there flavor variations as in rosemary, cheese, etc.?

    1. Donna, you can’t go wrong with this recipe. I would indeed go the full 24 hours. And as far as add-ins, anything works. Just don’t loaded down with too much fatty ingredients, as it can way down the dough.

  40. This bread is so simple and makes me feel like an ace in the kitchen, not many millennial moms are making bread for their children! I’ll fully admit to bragging about making bread, however I don’t brag about the ease of recipe! Best to keep some things left unsaid ;)

  41. Very good bread recipe. I tried it 3 years ago (two variations): 1. Using all-purpose flour and 2. Whole wheat flour 50%. Dough raised very, very well. Both were very tasty. Ideal recipe!

  42. I have made this recipe 5 times after a lot of screaming and cursing. I don’t know what kind of “towel” you are using but I have had a sticky mess on both the covering and base towels. It is impossible to get the dough off in anything that looks like a round loaf. I have tried using floured parchment paper which was just slightly better. There has to be another way to get the second rise without it sticking to everything. I hope someone has the answer.

    1. Ed, I hear you. I’ve had problems with the dough sticking, too. The tea towel I use is just a plain, tight-weave towel; one without the terry cloth looping. I suggest two things: 1.) Use wheat bran. That has been the most successful for me. But you need a ton of it (same with the flour). I mean at least several cups. Or 2.) Grease a bowl and let the dough rise in that. Let me know how it turns out (no pun intended).

    2. Ed, I “solved” the sticky second rise issue by putting the dough on a piece of parchment, seam-side up, and covering for the second rise. Then I just drop, parchment on the bottom, all of it into the hot pot and bake per directions. I learned this trick from America’s Test Kitchen. The bread releases from the parchment easily. Sometimes the loaf looks a little funny from the folds of the parchment but it’s still delicious.

  43. My family loved this crusty bread and ate the entire loaf in one sitting. I was wondering if anyone has tried doubling the recipe and baking it in a large 9.5 quart dutch oven? Thank you for your help.

    1. Sandra, what good news! None of us here has doubled the loaf. My two cents: Make two loaves and bake them one after another. That way you’re sure it will work.

  44. I have this rising now in 84F degree room. Is that too hot? Mine will be rising overnight and I’m wondering if I can put it in the fridge for half the remainder of the first rise?

  45. Hi. Was hoping for some advice on timing. If I leave the first rise for 18 hrs, is it possible to delay the 2nd rise for 10 hrs rather than 2? (I have to go to work!!) Would refrigeration work? Would it need to come back to room temperature before baking?
    Many thanks

  46. I’m not a novice bread maker, but far from a pro. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while after seeing Jim Lahey in a TV piece. I was amazed by the result, so was my family. I hadn’t ever tried a crusty bread like this. Most of mine come out of a loaf pan. This was everything it promised to be in ease of preparation to a fantastic product with a chewy crust and a soft, tasty interior and a wonderful open structure. Now I have to try it again and give it a few more hours in the first fermentation. The only problem is that my family may insist that I make this everyday for the next few weeks.

    1. Gary, this is magnificent to hear! All of it! I could not be happier for you—and I could not be more grateful to you for sharing this with us. Thank you! Looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next…

  47. I just tried this recipe and it seemed to go perfectly, they is until cutting it and tasting it. It looked, felt, smelled and sounded beautiful, but had no flavor and was quite sticky inside, uniformly sticky all the way out to right near the crust. This is despite the crust being very dark. It also came out a bit flatter in shape than I expected.

    So what could be wrong? I believe I used 1 5/8 cup water, so maybe just too much water? The dough seemed to conform perfectly to the description in the instructions.

    I didn’t have a Dutch oven, but used a pizza stone pre-heated for 1 hr. Then I tossed the dough on that and covered it with an upside-down mixing bowl for the first 30 minutes.

    Would lower temp and longer bake time help? It did not seem underbaked, but done, just uniformly sticky inside. Beautiful holes and everything.

    I want to try again, but any ideas to improve? Thanks.

    1. Hi Tim, I certainly admire your creativity but I wonder if your cooking method is causing the problem. As David mentions in one of the comments, this recipe does require the proper pot. I wonder if this bread might be easier for you to tackle as no special pot is required.

  48. This bread is stupendous. I’ve been making it for a long time, throwing in herbs, grated cheese, bits of cooked bacon–all sort of add ins. Never fails us!

  49. I’d like to make my no-knead bread in my Pullman Loaf pan so it is more serviceable for sandwiches and toast. Any tips on this, to save me some trial-and-error? Thanks!

    1. Patticake, while I love anyone who knows what a Pullman pan is, this recipe isn’t right for that. You need a really good sandwich-loaf recipe. One with a tight, light crumb. This bread had an open-hole texture and can be quite moist. To avoid disappointment, I’d suggest searching for a recipe designed for a Pullman pan.

  50. Jim’s recipe is wonderful–and versatile. I’ve used the Dutch oven technique on more conventional doughs, too. But in addition to this recipe, Jim’s book is a good read. His own story is compelling. Many other neat recipes for beer bread, stecca, unusual pizzas…

  51. I just bought a 4-qt lodge cast iron pot thinking it was the right size for lahey’s bread. You call for 6-8! Counsel please.

    1. Hi, Elle. The recipe is Jim’s, and he calls for a 6- to 8-quart pot, which I agree with. The loaf needs space, especially when you flip the dough into it.

      1. Hi, I have a 4qt cast iron pot. Can I make this recipe and split the dough into two batches? Is there any tweaking I need to incorporate? I would bake the second bread immediately after the first. Please advise! Thanks so much!

        1. Jennifer, I don ‘t see why not. Make sure to divide the dough right after mixing; you don’t want to deflate it when you divide. The loaves will be smaller with a lower interior-to-crust ratio. The loaves will also bake for a bit less time.

  52. I do not have a dutch oven pot, what else can be used? I have made bread in the past but would like trying this no knead bread. My b-i-l made a Ricardo recipe where he says to not use a pot with a glass lid and to preheat the cooking pot at 450 for 30 minutes. I think pre-heating a pot for 30 min. sounds like a bit much; would appreciate expert counsel…Thanks!

    1. Lina–fear not–I’ve used all sorts of lidded vessels, including small Corningware casseroles with glass lids. You can make a smaller batch if you only have a small vessel. (But I usually make a double or triple batch and divide it to fit various Dutch ovens and casseroles–if you’re going to heat up your oven and your kitchen, might as well make a loaf for a friend while you’re at it!)

  53. I’m trying this recipe today. A bit of guidance would be appreciated. Should the water be hot, warm, cold? Also what is the target internal temp? I’m guessing 180 on this one but just checking.

    1. Hi Michael, I would use lukewarm water and aim for a target temperature of around 185 degrees. Please let us know how it turns out.

    1. Ana, we don’t have that recipe from his book, sorry. If you want a recipe for ciabatta that is NOT no-knead, we can heartily recommend this ciabatta recipe, which is one of the most popular recipes on our website. Be sure to read the instructions carefully as it’s a very wet dough (as are most Italian breads) and requires a little special handling.

  54. My grandson loves this recipe but was just diagnosed with diabetes and would like me to try making with half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose flour. Will it work. Does anyone have an easy good sandwich whole-wheat flour bread recipe

    1. Leslie, Yes. I have made this with 50 percent toasted barley flour (Tibetan “tsampa”) in place of white flour. The only other adjustment is that I have to add more liquid, as tsampa soaks up moisture. (Himalayan people make an instant porridge by spooning some tsampa into butter tea.) Anytime we use a heavier flour—barley, rye, whole wheat—we make sure to let it sit for a good long time in the first proofing: 18-24 hours. I also save the whey from cheesemaking to replace the water. Delicious.

  55. Can this be doubled or tripled? I have lots of family coming and would like to make more than one loaf at a time

    1. Eileen, we’ve never tested it that way. Because each recipe makes just one loaf, I’d be concerned that you’d deflate the dough after the second rise by dividing.

      1. I have doubled the recipe, split the dough into two after the first rise, and then proofed and baked the two in separate pots at the same time. Both came out spot on. One thing I didn’t do was double up on the yeast, I only used 1/4 teaspoon plus half of that, so 3/8 teaspoon total. Hope this helps.

  56. I tried Jim Lahey’s recipe for calzone dough last week and it was better than any other yeasted dough I’ve ever made ( I have an unfortunate history with yeast– everything I make turns to heavy bricks) and it had a complex flavor, bubbly texture… It was a miracle. I am sooo going to try your recipe David!

    One question: I can’t find any mention of greasing the dutch oven before putting in the dough. Is this correct?

    1. Carolyn, so glad you’re liking the Lahey Method. It’s really simple. And, nope, no need to grease the Dutch oven. Just drop it in and bake. (But definitely make sure you spread a good layer of flour or wheat germ on the towel because this is a wet dough.)

  57. Fantastic! But you already know that. What I don’t understand is why do you do the second rising in a tea towel? Why not just return the dough back into the bowl? Perhaps add oil or flour/cornmeal to the bowl first.

    1. Piet, glad you liked it. The tea towel makes flipping the dough easier. Some people have greased the bowl and had success flipping. Adding flour or cornmeal to won’t sufficiently cover the surface of the dough and it will stick to the bowl. (I’ve even had problems with the dough, which is quite wet, sticking to the tea towel.) Hope this helps.

  58. I have to say after more or less “retiring” from bread baking I’m back in it full swing! It is true you get ” the bug”! Only one drawback is you want to eat the whole loaf! This is when it’s nice to give it away! I don’t buy bread anymore. Only flour and yeast!

  59. Just made my first no-knead bread with your recipe. Loved it! I added dried onion to it and very good. Thank you!

    1. My dear Mary, absolutely. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of well-drained chopped olives to the dough when you mix it. It should be perfectly fine. I’ve added cheese, bacon, sausage, rosemary–in short, all kinds of fold-ins. I’ve never had a problem. But…if you want to play it safe, use Jim’s olive bread recipe.

  60. This might be a silly question but I can’t get instant yeast where I am…can I use active dry yeast and just proof it first and then follow the steps as listed above? Thank you!

  61. Sorry for posting again: I realize that I gave the coarseness of flours according to French standards. Here’s a table and explanations, apparently in the UK and US, there is no such numbers. I’m pretty sure that because of these variations in flours, most readers will have to make adjustments in water.

  62. Hi, I wanted to add that I do this recipe with sourdough, and it works well. You might have to reduce a bit the water (didn’t measure). Anyway, the exact same recipe yields a great sourdough bread.


      1. Hi again,

        As I am not a native in English, please excuse me for any language errors– I don’t really know technical bakery terms!

        What failed in your recipe How was the bread afterwards? I’m really a lazy baker, so I do most things without weighing, but I did weigh today. Even when doing things without weighing, and even the time I put too much water in, this recipe always comes out very well (better than any other recipe I tried).

        I use the exact proportions with semi-whole flour (110g), but reduce to 300ml of water or less when using white (65g) flour, with variations depending a bit on my sourdough’s texture that day. Today I measured 200g of sourdough, it’s less than half the jar, but enough with such a long rise at room temp. For step 1, I mixed sourdough first, then water and salt, then only add flour. After that, I follow the recipe.

        If the dough ends up having too much water, it’s obvious as at step 3: the dough will keep expanding on whatever surface you put it, without much hope of shaping it at all (I still tried). If that happens, after a desperate attempt to shape it, just perform step 4 but put the towel in a big kitchen bowl (“cul de poule” – I have no idea what the English term is for that) so the bread won’t keep flowing. You’ll be able to pour back everything from the towel to the oven dish, and even if the crust will look messy, it’ll still be extremely good bread. This recipe is so forgiving ! Next time, just put a bit less water, to be able to follow the recipe as-is.


      2. David, I have successfully made a sourdough version of this recipe! Flour, salt remain the same. Next I add 1 cup of starter to dry mix. As the starter’s consistency varies with each feeding, the amount of water needed is different for each batch (Here’s where you need to know what your “shaggy dough” is supposed to look/feel like). Add water to achieve the shaggy dough consistency. I would recommend the longest rise you can. 18 hours is not too long. The rest of the recipe and baking instructions remain the same with an excellent outcome!! The tartness of the loaf is contingent on the starter. My current batch is spot on for my palate. Although I’m on the Texas coast, it’s the closest flavor profile to San Francisco’s that I’ve created since leaving NorCal. May have to add this starter to my will.

        1. Yes, what is your starter recipe? I have finally mastered the this recipe and wanted to see about a sourdough version. Do tell, please!

          1. Marna, as I stated above:

            King Arthur AP flour, water, naturally occurring bacteria, time, and a bit of luck!

            I used equal parts flour and water, stirred well then just let it sit on the counter allowing the natural local bacteria to join the party. This batch took about 3 to 4 days to begin to show signs of life (bubbles).

            At this point I stirred well, discarded half, then added 1/2 cup each of flour & water, stirred well. Placed in oven with light on for a bit of warmth.

            Repeat the discarding and feeding every 12 hours for another 2 weeks before making the initial batch of bread. Turned out OK, but with another month of maturity the awesome tartness appeared!!

            I hope that this helps, Marna.

      1. Anita, I haven’t been able to turn this into a sourdough recipe. But I’m the worst person to ask. I’ve killed every starter that has ever entered our home. But Xara seem to be proficient. I’d try her method.

  63. I make bread on a regular basis using Charles Van Over’s Best Bread Ever recipe and it’s delicious. I can’t wait to try this with the 24 hour fermentation! Also, I would love to have the rye bread recipe if you’re willing to share. :)

    1. Dana, We use Lahey’s recipe while substituting about 30 percent (2 out of 6 cups) of white flour with rye—or a mix of rye and whole wheat. We also thrown in a tablespoon of rubbed caraway seeds, since so many people associate that with rye. (Some think that’s the taste of rye!) Give it the full 18 hours fermentation—or, better, 24—for best results.

    1. China, I don’t, but I have heard and read that if you let this dough rise the first time and then refrigerate it for three to four days, you will have a more complex, sour taste. Not a sourdough, but closer.

    2. China, The very best sourdough is the one by Chad Robertson in his book Tartine Bread. In short, here’s the short and modified version recipe:

      Ingredients (Use a scale!)

      • 1 cup (5 oz.) whole wheat flour
      • 2 1/2 cups (11 oz.) white bread flour
      • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
      • 1 1/2 cups purified water
      • 1/4 cup starter

      Mix together the dry ingredients.

      Dissolve 1/4 cup starter into purified water.

      Add water / starter to dry ingredients and stir until the water is incorporated.

      Cover with plastic and let sit 12-18 hours.

      For the last 3 hours, fold the dough every 30 min – as though you were making a box (4 folds, long sides and 2 ends). As you do the folds, gently pull out each “side” to lengthen your pull before folding toward the center. This creates the long gluten strands that make those beautiful holes in the crumb.

      Cover loosely with plastic and rest for 15 minutes.

      Transfer to well floured towel, parchment paper or proofing basket. Cover with towel and let rise about 1 1/2 hours.

      Prehead the Dutch oven to 500 degrees (with lid).

      Bake in covered Dutch oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.

      Remove cover; reduce heat to 450 degrees and bake an additional 12-15 minutes till brown.

      Let cool completely on rack. LIsten to it crackle as it cools!

      Consume bread, be happy.

    3. China, to make really good sourdough you need a starter. It’s a flour, yeast, water mixture that needs to ferment for several days before it can be used. Look on line for sourdough starter recipes. The taste of the bread is worth the wait!

        1. I followed this recipe but used 10 grams of a rye based sour dough starter instead of yeast. Perfect results, tangy, chewy and gorgeous. Thank you.

      1. Bettye, real Sourdough is nothing more than flour and water (NO yeast), allowed to ferment over a week or until it doubles on feeding.

  64. THIS is my go-to bread recipe and my FAVORITE bread cookbook of the 20 or so that I own. The rye bread recipe is utter perfection!

    1. Crazy. The instructions say to follow the instructions. Exactly! Well I did. When I told my gal that I didn’t think it raised quite as much as I expected she said well did you use warm water? (Yes the quick yeast had NOT expired.) I said the very specific instructions didn’t say warm water. So … whose FAIL?

      1. Mako, we’ve made this bread many times with room temperature or cool water. True, most American bread dough recipes call for warm water, but because it’s a slow ferment at room temperature and there’s no rush, the water doesn’t need to be warm to jump start the process. The recipe mentions the ideal room temperature, I’m just curious if your kitchen was cooler than that? And sometimes yeast can fail to be viable even before its expiration date, so you may want to stir a little yeast into warm water just to see if it bubbles within a few minutes. Beyond that, I don’t know whose fail this is, as we and many, many others have made this without warm water and still had a rise.

        1. Yesterday I made two batches – one with tap water and the other with warm water. It is winter where I am (outback Australia) so the tap water was quite cool/bordering on cold. After sitting for 20 hours I would defy anyone to identify which is which. Thank you for this recipe, it is truly wonderful bread and the word “fail” has no place in any description of it. Ever.

      2. I have made this recipe a million times. I have added not enough or too much of each ingredient. I have made super wet and a little less than wet. I have waited as long as 26 hours (surface dries out) and as little as 8. This bread is truly idiot proof. If it didn’t raise for you, the yeast was probably old. Maybe not from when you bought it, but either how long it sat on the shelf or how old before being packaged. Don’t give up. Also make sure that when you look at it, that it is covered with a ton of bubbles. It should almost looks like tapioca. When you turn it out on the board, it should stick with long strands or “fingers.” If not, put it back in the bowl and let the yeast develop longer.

        1. ps I dump all ingredients in a bowl and add room temp/tap water. Never fails. Seriously no muss no fuss.

          1. Also I weigh my flour. If you just scoop and don’t spoon or weigh your weight could be too heavy for the amount of yeast to lift in the stated amount of time. look for the “eyes” or bubbles in the dough. That will tell you it is ready regardless of the amount of time that has passed.

              1. made the recipe again tonight…the dough was not wet, yet i measured the flour and water…i can’t figure out what i’m doing wrong…would the flour be too *dense* or?? i use “Wheat Montana” a-p flour and scoop it from the bag…it is amazingly wonderful, great, awesome, spectacular tasting bread…best loaf i’ve made yet…the holes are not as big as jim’s and mark’s — that has to do, i think, with the lack of wet dough…it first rise was about 16 hours — it turned dark but the top of the dough was not soft and bubbly; it was kinda hard, like dried out…

                i’m not giving up, maybe tomorrow, again, to make that best loaf …

                oh, btw, the bread came out great so no problem there, just dry-as-a-bone-dough….

                1. darlene, are you weighing the flour? If it wasn’t wet, it means there is either too much flour or too little water. Since you had to use a measuring cup for the water, I believe the flour (either amount or brand or both) is the culprit. Scooping can be very troublesome and gives very different results as far as the amount of flour. My suggestion (and, yes, I’m sounding like a broken record…!) is to purchase a scale. This is the one I use and it is a lifesaver.

          1. All I will say is that 3 cups of flour does not equal 400g, as mentioned in the recipe. For my first loaf I used 400g as I was following the instructions, and it was way too wet. You need around 500g of flour…

            1. Greg, I see from your email address that you’re in the UK. I can say with complete confidence that flours differ around the world. I was unable to successfully bake my recipes from my own Portuguese cookbook while living in Lisbon. I had to make significant adjustments because the flour was not the same. I also checked some other US versions of UK cookbook (ex. Edd Kimber’s Patisserie Made Simple), and 3 cups equal 400 grams of all-purpose flour. That being said, I absolutely believe you need more flour. When I use the 400 grams as stated in the recipe, I get a tacky, sticky dough. It works beautifully–for me. All that’s important is that we keep baking on our respective sides of the pond!

              1. Thanks for the reply, David. I’m actually in HK (South China) and it is very humid here at the moment so that may be a factor. I’ve ended up using 520g of flour and 320ml of water (salt and yeast no change) and it’s working out great, although the bread does come out quite flat, perhaps only a 2-3 inches tall. What are your thoughts about that? More yeast required?

                1. Greg, Hong Kong! That’s on my Bucket List.

                  So, now that I know that, we have several factors affecting the situation. Yes, humidity is a player. I was in Singapore, and if Hong Kong is that humid, you have to account for that. Second, the flour you have is most likely different from ours here in the States. When I was living in Lisbon, I was never really was able to make the baked goods from my cookbook (which worked perfectly at home). That’s when I first understood that flours are different in different parts of the world.

                  As to the flatness, that’s not uncommon. You may want to give the dough more time in the second rising. And, yes, you might want to try a bit more yeast, as the humidity and type of yeast might be affecting it. Try one-quarter more yeast and report back! And send pictures, too!

            2. I too live in a humid climate. I find that I need to use at least half bread flour. Try using a stronger flour, they are more thirsty than regular all purpose flour. The bread flour I use is King Arthur brand, you might look to see what the equivalent is where you live.

      3. I had the same thoughts when they said add water. What temperature of water? Anyone who makes bread knows you have to have warm water to make your yeast work sooo I will add warm water when I make my bread. I haven’t tried it yet but plan on making it tomorrow. My new cast iron covered pot arrived today in the mail so now I can get to baking! After reading other comments I see because of the long fermentation process I guess room temperature water would work but I am so old school I need to see that rise in my bread to make sure it’s working it’s magic. I’m sure it’s going to be out of this world delicious when I make it regardless of the water temperature! I can hardly wait to try it!

        1. Bettye, because the dough sits in a warm spot for up to 18 hours, the temperature of the water isn’t that important. In fact, you want a slow, loooooong rise, so cooler water works just fine. I’ve made the bread many times and never thought twice about the water temperature!

      4. Greg, there’s not a typo in the recipe. If you watch the video, you’ll see Jim use just about 1 1/2 cups of water. I’ve made this countless times, and I only have to add a bit more water in the winter, when the house and kitchen are particularly dry. Now, the 5-minute artisan bread calls for far more water and is a much wetter dough. But it doesn’t sit and rise as long as this. The long rise of Jim’s bread hydrates the dough and, of course, lends a better flavor. Sorry, the recipe as written didn’t work for you.

        1. I had to add more water, also, because it’s so dry and cold here and our home is very well-heated (i HATE cold!!). I found, though, that the dough was dry on top and did not create the bubbles spoken of. The bread, however, was and is (the tiny piece left) absolutely delicious–great texture, not large holes, but that’s ok. It was awesome. Next time, I’ll add the water as I feel necessary. I own a great scale and will measure the next loaf. This stuff is ADDICTIVE, and I could make and eat it daily. Well, tomorrow is another day and I’ll put another loaf on to raise and we’ll see. Measure, measure, measure…lol.

          Thanks, David.

          1. darlene, I do think the dryness in your home contributed to the dry top. Consider covering it with plastic wrap; that should hold in some moisture. I can’t want to see how it turns out when you measure!

      5. I have made this recipe weekly or more for years and never used warm water. Never had a failure. I’m going to guess your yeast was dead. Sometimes it just dies. Or maybe too much chlorine in your water? Try bottled water next.