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.

A piece of Jim Lahey's no-knead bread with three pieces of butter and a sprinkling of salt on top.

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
  • (90)
  • 30 M
  • 3 H, 30 M
  • Makes 16 slices | 1 (1 1/2-pound) loaf
4.9/5 - 90 reviews
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Special Equipment: 6- to 8-quart heavy pot with lid



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.)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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    Commonly Asked Questions About No-Knead Bread

    • 1. Why didn’t my bread rise?
    • Because the recipe calls for so little yeast, it’s important to make sure the yeast is fresh. Also, if the room is too cool (the ideal temperature is 72°F/22°C), the dough will need longer to rise.

    • 2. I don’t have a Dutch oven. Can I still make the bread?
    • You certainly can. What’s most important is to have a tight-fitting cover. Some bakers have had success with:

      — a stainless steel pot with a lid
      — an oven-safe glass (Pyrex) dish with a cover
      — a clay pot with a lid
      — a pizza stone with an inverted stainless steel bowl as a cover

    • 3. Why are my bread loaves flat? They’re not big and round.
    • First, check your yeast. It could be old and expired. Keeping yeast in the freezer helps extend its life considerably. Another culprit is not letting the dough rest enough after shaping and before baking. Creating a tight skin on the surface of the dough allows it to rise to lofty heights in the oven–something called oven spring.

    Recipe Testers' Tips

    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.

    Yum! This no-knead bread recipe is perfect! I used bread flour and let it rise for 22 hours. I used a glass bowl so I could see many bubbles visible on top and throughout the dough along the sides. After the first rise, the dough is exactly as described—quite loose and sticky. I let it rise 2 hours after shaping the loaf and baked for the recommended time. The bread matched the picture color.

    I hopped into the shower and left the bread cooling and unguarded from bread lovers. When I came out, my husband had cut the bread only about 20 minutes into the recommended cooling time. There was no detriment to the bread. It retained a moist chew inside and a lovely, crunchy crust outside. I will definitely make this again.

    This no-knead bread recipe has been around for a few years and I've made it a few other times. When the recipe was initially published in the New York Times, it pretty much shocked the bread-baking world. But the long fermentation definitely eliminated any need to knead the dough. As long as you plan out the timing for the fermentation and baking, it's very easy and only takes about 10 minutes of actual hands-on time. The crust is a nice crunchy brown and the crumb is moist and airy.

    You do have to follow the directions precisely and be sure to look for the clues given in the recipe to determine when the dough is properly fermented. Best used the day it is baked.

    The aroma of the bread while it was cooking was extremely deep and rich. The taste of the bread from the fermentation is unbelievable. Adding cornmeal to the covering of the bread before the final rise is possibly the best decision to make. The cornmeal adds a textural element to the bread that enhances the overall experience of eating it.

    If you've been wanting to try making bread, this is a great way to get started. There aren't a lot of ingredients or equipment to acquire and the entire hands-on time commitment is under 10 minutes. For this, you are rewarded with a beautiful, crusty loaf of bread with an open and airy crumb. I have made bread in a machine and bread by hand/mixer before, but this is the first time I have tried no-knead bread and I am hooked.

    The picture closely resembles what I produced, except my air holes were larger and my crumb was more light and feathery.

    I let my dough rest for 19 hours on my gas stove top (a little warmer than the rest of the kitchen during the winter). The recipe is correct in assuring that even though the dough looks like a mess, everything is OK. My bread still came out great, if a little oblong instead of round. I would try using cornmeal or wheat bran in place of flour on the towel in the future to see if that works better.

    I allowed my dough to rise for 2 hours 10 minutes. It held an impression at this point, but it did not appear to have doubled in size. It seemed more important to continue with the recipe once your fingertip left an impression so I did not wait for the dough to double in size.I baked my bread for 45 minutes total—30 minutes with the lid and 15 minutes more without the lid. At this point, it was a lovely dark brown color.

    No need to worry when making this no-knead bread! I was pleasantly surprised at this rustic, crusty bread I made with little effort. Total time (because of almost a full day of rising) is about 26 hours. But that sounds crazy since you literally have about 10 minutes total of hands-on time. The rest of the time was rising (18 hours for my first rise; 2 hours 15 minutes for second) then baking and cooling.

    I chose to use half bread flour and half regular flour. For the coating on the cotton towel, I used cornmeal and so glad I did. The directions are very clear, but I was skeptical about "dropping" the risen dough into the hot pot without touching the sides and with no oil! But to my surprise, every step was so simple and the bread turned out amazing. It didn't stick at all!

    I let it cool for the complete hour as recommended. The bread didn't last long after that. We smothered it with delicious Kerry Gold butter and couldn't be happier with the results. The cornmeal added more texture to the crust and looked beautiful.

    This recipe is a no-brainer. Delicious and quite impressive!

    Gnarled, crunchy, bronzed crust, light and soft pillowy bread beneath—this is THE BEST BREAD I have ever made. I'm not usually very successful with bread—I'm impatient and have small weak hands, neither of which go to producing a good loaf of bread. This recipe, with no kneading at all, is just perfect then and very easy indeed. The recipe suggest leaving it to cool but I couldn't. I used a towel to hold onto the hot bread and sliced a piece off, smothered it in butter, and devoured it.

    I was very un-confident with the amount of yeast required. Just a 1/4 tsp is such a small amount to the volume of flour that I was sure this was incorrect. However, I stuck to the recipe and I'm glad I did. I would suggest a note to re-assure people that its an accurate amount.

    I was also not sure if the water should be cold or warm. Usually with bread its warm water but again I decided to go with the recipe deciding if it was warm it would have stated so.

    Using the 1 1/3 cups of water the dough was still dry with loose flour in the bowl. I ended up adding another 2/3 cup water to produce the consistency described in the recipe. The detail provided in the recipe was really useful to help me know things were going well—this is a very unusual bread recipe so I do think this amount of detail is required.

    I found the times for raising the dough were quite varied, my first rest was for 25 1/2 hours. It does advise it may take longer due to variances in temperature. This didn't really matter though the actual hands on time is so minimal the bread making fitted around everything else that was going on at the weekend.

    The second rest is only meant to take 2 hours but I left mine for 16 hours. Partly for convenience but also because after 2 hours it just didn't look as if it had changed at all. The finger test described in the recipe was an excellent tip to confidently decide if the dough was ready for baking.

    I didn't have the special pot with the lid but just used a Pyrex dish (1 litre) and covered it with a plaited foil lid.

    The baking time was perfect. My loaf took 30 minutes with foil lid on and then just another 20 minutes lid off to produce a fabulous dark golden crust.

    One of my favorite things about Leite's Culinaria is the surprise of learning a recipe's source after a test (yes, recipes are blind to the source— we get a recipe title, headnote, picture, and the recipe). This recipe was different—I instantly recognized the name Lahey as the developer of the no-knead bread that broke the internet, the bakery on Sullivan Street, and the only no-knead bread recipe I had not tried. Seriously, I swear I've tried them all, for better or worse. This loaf stood up to the hype. A perfectly written recipe, flawless timing, forgiving ingredients and detailed directions and exact cook time and oven temp, check-check-check. Flour: all purpose. Salt: Morton's kosher. Water temp: purposely ignored. A floured towel (this will never work!): NBD (that's no-biggie!). Pitfalls: none. MAKE THIS LOAF. Then, google it, tweak it, play with it, and MAKE IT AGAIN. I'll be right there with you.

    Flipping the dough into the pan sounded disastrous but even the loose flour that went along with it and the sticking to the towel, which was inevitable but way less terrifying than I'd always imagined, no biggie.

    I gave it the full bake time to get a beautiful dark golden brown, a few minutes south of a scorch on the bottom...just how I love it.

    I was happily restricting carbs in my diet until I made this bread...it's over now. This is by far the easiest bread I have ever made and the results are incredible. For about 25 cents worth of ingredients and several minutes of hands on time, you are rewarded with a house that smells like a bread bakery and a homemade bread worthy of praise.

    The most difficult part of this recipe is figuring out what time to get it going based on what time you would like to serve this freshly baked masterpiece.I allowed my bread to rest for 18 hours in the first rise and my dough definitely took on all of the characteristics described in the recipe. (I love when I feel like the recipe writer is standing in my kitchen telling me what to look for!)

    My second rise did not give me dough that had doubled in size-I let it go another 15 minutes. I probably could have let it go further. Oddly, my dough felt cool to the touch at that point and I wondered if my kitchen just was not warm enough for a proper rise.

    I used my 7-quart enameled cast iron Le Crueset pot for baking and my only concern was that I had once made this bread before and it had darkened the interior of my pot. The bread does not stick but the enamel has continued to appear a bit darker after this high heat baking. I baked the dough as directed for the first 30 minutes but left it in only 15 minutes for the uncovered portion of the baking. I started to smell burning flour and got concerned. In retrospect, I think the bread would have benefitted from a bit more time in the oven to keep that crust crunchy. It was a beautiful color when I took it out but I think it could have withstood a few more minutes to get it even darker.

    I waited the hour for the bread to cool, always following directions...but then I sliced it...and it was delicious. Then I got out some butter and it was great, too. Then I thought of all the wonderful things I could eat on it or next to it! I opted to eat a bit more for dinner and then slice and freeze what was left and it defrosted and toasted just beautifully over the weekend.

    My end product was a circle that was 9 inches wide and about 4 inches high in the middle. I can't wait to make it again. Admittedly, I am no longer carb-free-I had a job to do!

    My kids actually thought I performed magic this morning! What started as a thought for dinner last night ended up as avocado and poached egg toast this morning. Our kitchen isn't warm enough so the proofing actually took 24+ hours but it did finally get there!

    I wish the instructions would have given a temperature for the water in the ingredients. Often while making bread I've used room temperature or even water to help hasten the proofing. Because it wasn't instructed here, I used room temperature.

    My dough was NOT sticky at all. In fact, it was dry and I was nervous that it wouldn't come together. I kneaded for about 45 minutes with my hands to get it to come together. I covered it with a plate in the kitchen on a counter during a snowstorm so it never got too warm. And 26 hours later, I decided to keep going!

    Cooking time for me, at 5600 feet, was about 25 minutes after removing the lid. It was gorgeous! I did wish there was some advice as to how to know when it was done besides color—mine was hollow on the bottom and gave off a good knock but is there any way to help people who aren't used to making bread? We covered it with a towel at night after it was cool and left it on the counter to demolish for breakfast. I'll be making this again and again!

    This is a wonderfully delicious crusty loaf. With a little or maybe a lot of patience and only a few minutes effort, you get an amazing bakery-style loaf. All with less time and effort than going to the store. The crisp exterior yields to a soft tasty interior. Perfect on its own slathered with butter but would also be lovely with a saucy meal.

    I covered it with plastic wrap and let it rise for 20 hours. The dough was dotted with bubbles and doubled in size and came out of the bowl with long strands as described. I used a bowl scraper and followed directions to make dough into a round. Took 30 seconds. I covered it with a tea towel coated with flour. Let it rise for 2 hours. Baked for 30 minutes with lid on and then for another 15 without. Loaf was nicely browned.


    #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. I made this bread yesterday/today. It’s pretty darn good, and it’s the first loaf I’ve ever made in my 60 years. One question. I’ve seen a couple of recipes that included a bit of olive oil — anything from 1½ tsp to 2 Tbs — in the recipe, claiming it improved the taste of the bread. That seems right. How does that change the recipe? Proof time? Baking time?

      1. That’s a fine-looking loaf of bread, Steven! Nicely done. As for your question, yes, a lot of bread recipes do include a bit of olive oil. If you decide to add it, there shouldn’t be any difference in proofing or baking times though you may need to reduce the amount of water that you add to your dough.

      1. Anna, we haven’t tested it with gluten-free flour, so we can’t recommend it. The limited feedback that we’ve received on it suggests that it doesn’t work particularly well with gluten-free flour.

    2. Hello. Am about to start the recipe for serving tomorrow. Have made no-knead bread a couple of times, with moderate but not excellent results. Question: seems to me the 6-8 qt pot is rather large for this recipe. I would think somewhere around 3-4 qt would be ideal with the amount of flour called out. Will you clarify/explain?

      1. Mark, we’ve never tried making a doubled recipe, but there are readers who’ve done it successfully. They found that baking for 40 minutes with the lid on and then another 20 after removing the lid, for an hour total did the trick. Do let us know if it works for you.

    3. My bread turned out looking like most of the photos. However, the outside crust was so hard that it was really tough to cut. The inside was nice. I used an old time cast iron deep skillet with a lid, could this be the issue? It also did not rise after the 2 hours.

      1. Karla, with this bread, practice definitely makes perfect and it sounds like you’re on the right track. You could try experimenting with some different cooking vessels, like ceramic, to see if that reduces the hardness of the crust. Storing your bread in a plastic bag should help to soften it a bit too. It is meant to have a very firm crust, but it shouldn’t be impossible to get through. The lack of rise may have been due to overhandling of the dough. It doesn’t take much to deflate it, so you want to take as much care as possible to handle the dough as little as possible. Keep at it, as it will definitely improve with practice. I hope that helps!

    4. Can you make half the amount successfully? I don’t need more than a small amount of bread. What size pan would I use? Also, I live at high altitude and have to lower temps when I bake, to avoid burning the outside and having centers undone, and extend baking time. Would the lower temp affect this bread?

      1. Margaret, I believe others have been able to successfully bake a half recipe, using a 4-quart Dutch oven or similar vessel. You do want the temperature to be high enough to achieve that crispy crust, and if you are halving the recipe, I think that the bread should cook through fine. If you have an instant read thermometer, you’re aiming for 190 to 200°F for fully cooked bread.

      1. Jonathan, we’ve never tried making a double-sized loaf, though several of our readers have. We’d suggest if you want to make twice the amount that you double the ingredients, then divide the dough and make 2 regular sized loaves. However, if you want to make a very large loaf, you can expect both of your rise times to be longer, and your cook time may be 15 to 30 minutes longer as well. I’d suggest checking the bread with an instant-read thermometer to make sure it’s fully cooked. You’d be looking for an internal temperature of 190F.

    5. I’m loving this recipe. But my partner thinks the crumb is a little moist and a “funny texture” (her words). She says it’s not like the fresh bakers bread she likes.

      Do I need a new recipe or a new partner!

      P.S. only joking, but I would like to know if the crumb is meant to be as I’ve described, or should it be drier and more fluffy.

      1. Laughs! Steve, it is an artisan bread so the crumb is going to be a little more moist and springy than traditional breads. However, as I’m sure you’ve learned, bread baking is an art unto itself and this recipe in particular can stand up to a little tweaking if you want to try making it a little drier (use less liquid) and see if you (or rather your partner) like the results.

      1. Carol, it can have quite a sturdy crust, but the center crumb should be soft and tender.

    6. I have my first attempt rising as we speak, your recipe was shared by a friend. I am using Bob’s all purpose gluten free flour, and I REALLY hope it works!

      Assuming that it DOES work, would I be able to add nuts and seeds to this loaf?

      1. Cathy, we’d love to hear if this works for you! And yes, you absolutely can add seeds or nuts to the dough when you mix it.

    7. I have been making this for a year. My way is simpler (less fussy). I use Bob’s Red Meal Artisinal Bread Flour. After the first rise ~ 20 hours – transfer the dough to floured surface. Fold into quarters. Cover for 15 minutes – I use an inverted glass bowl not a cotton towel above and below. Transfer to a sheet of parchment baking paper. Dust with corn meal. Cover 2 hours – again an inverted glass bowl. When oven is hot – with a Corning or La Crueset dutch oven – transfer the sheet of parchment to the dutch oven. Cover. Rest is the same.

      1. Thanks, Gerald! We appreciate you sharing your tips and experience with us. It’s always helpful to hear about ways to make the process easier and more successful.

    8. I’ve seen this recipe before and would love to try it. However, I grind my own flour from non-GMO hard white, spelt, and kamut berries. Three cups of this flour takes a good deal more liquid. Not knowing how to proceed, I have not tried it. Do you have any recommendations? Thank you. Love your site!

      1. Carolyn, that’s amazing! We’d love for you try this recipe with your own flour, although it’s difficult to know how much flour and water you’ll need. The dough is very wet and sticky, so you’d need to go by feel and add enough water until you achieve a sticky, shaggy dough. Do let us know how it works for you!

    9. My first attempt at bread but it seems to have come out very flat. I found the dough very wet after the first proof and couldn’t really fold it plus it stuck to the tea towel when placing in the pot. Also my cast iron pot has a small hole in the lid. Could this have caused an issue?

      1. Jacqueline, the hole in your lid likely isn’t a big issue. This dough can be tricky to work with and you may have caused it to deflate a bit when trying to remove it from the tea towel and get it into the pot. If you find the dough too sticky to handle, you may want to try letting it rise on parchment paper and then you can just lift the parchment into your cooking pot without having to handle the dough.

    10. Ever since Mark and Jim made that historic video, I have been making this loaf many and have even tried adding wholemeal flour and rye plus seeds to the recipe to make a delicious multigrain version. I do not know if it’s high humidity where I live but after the overnight rise, the dough is sticky but so liquid that it is impossible to handle with dusted hands. So I use a spatula to make the folds and pour the mixture into another bowl for proofing (seam side down). Inevitably 2 hours later it sticks to the cotton towel no matter how much I have dusted. The end result is still delicious but I still feel the final loaf should be higher and the crumb more open like sourdough. Any thoughts Jim, please?

      1. It’s possible that the additional handling involved in separating it from the towel is causing it to deflate a bit, Nicolas. Some of our readers have had great success with not using a cotton cloth and doing the second rise in a parchment-lined bowl, and then they just use the parchment to lift up the dough and transfer directly to the baking pot. Perhaps, that might work for you?

    11. Has anyone tried splitting the recipe in two and making 2 loaves? Unfortunately I only have a 3 quart dutch oven (waaa). If anyone has, I’m curious about what the bake time was, along with any other helpful tips/tricks. Saw from other comments it’s best to divide the dough directly after mixing to keep the air bubbles. This is my first time making bread in a dutch oven!

      1. Julia, some of our readers have had great success with baking two smaller loaves. You definitely want to divide the dough after initially mixing it so it benefits from both rises without being deflated. As for timing, we can’t really say as we didn’t test it that way. You should be able to do the initial 30 minute covered bake and then closely watch it after removing the lid until it is a deep chestnut color. We’d love to hear how it turns out and what timing worked for you.

        1. I’ve been making 4 times the recipe, letting the dough do a slow rise for 24 hours, then dividing it into 4 or 5 loaves without any problem. Should I be dividing it first? I’ve had rave reviews from everyone I’ve given it to. Just curious- doesn’t it get deflated anyway once you turn out the dough to be formed? Also, I’ve baked different sized loafs all at once using pretty much the same cooking time. Just my experience…or inexperience!

          1. Thanks, Kim. That’s incredibly helpful information. I haven’t tried it with this recipe, but I also have had success cutting off pieces of dough from this no-knead 5-minute artisan bread recipe after the initial rise as needed for baking without any deflating issues. As long as you’re taking care to not over-handle it, you should be ok, and if you’re having success, then I say stick with it! Given how loose and sticky this dough can be, it may be easier for new bread bakers to divide initially.

    12. Hi, I tried many different no-knead bread recipes and I found that this recipe is the best one. I baked 6 breads so far all turned up very nice apart from the really hard crust specially the bottom crust. Obviously I make a mistake somewhere I’m not sure. Please help.
      Thank you.

      1. Jale, your loaf looks gorgeous! This type of bread is intended to have a very crispy crust and tender interior, but it shouldn’t be impossible to chew. Wrapping your cooled loaf in a plastic bag overnight will allow the crust to soften a bit. Also, what type of pot are you cooking the bread in? You could also try to experiment with different cooking vessels. Each type will retain heat a bit differently.

        1. Hi Angie, I bake it in an oblong cast iron Dutch oven at 220 C Fan and I don’t use grease proof paper. Never sticks in the pot. (Forgot to mention that the bottom of the bread not just hard, it’s quite thick as well.)
          Thank you

          1. Thanks, Jale. I’d suggest experimenting with different cooking vessels, such as ceramic or tempered glass (Pyrex). Since you’re using a convection oven, you may find that the lighter material helps the bread to cook more evenly and a little more quickly.

    13. Well, my 5 liter Corning worked just fine! A little operator error though. I like using the parchment sling method, but I slipped… Not sure who ate the little corner of paper baked in, LOL, and it was a bit deflated, but the best flavor so far! And the casserole wasn’t too hard to clean.

      1. Thanks for sharing this with us, Tina. Your loaf looks great! We’re so pleased to hear it worked well for you in the Corningware.

    14. Hi David,

      I wish there was a way to search the multitude of comments to find something I may have read earlier… But I’ll ask what is in the back of my mind rather than make myself crazy looking. I have a 5 liter CorningWare casserole with Pyrex glass lid; can that be used instead of a cast iron Dutch oven? I’m in a different abode, where I have different kitchen utensils, so this would be my first try on this recipe here. Thanks in advance!

      1. Tina, you can use a ceramic dish such as CorningWare. A 5-liter size is on the smaller side, so it’s possible you could run into a problem with the bread bumping up against the lid during the initial bake. I’d give it a try and keep an eye on the loaf during the first 30 minutes and remove the lid if it’s pushing against it. Let us know how it turns out!

    15. Thanks for the terrific recipe. I want to get more interesting artisan texture on top of my bread. Do you score it? Any suggestions? I usually lowered bread in with parchment paper. Will flipping it in so folds are on the top solve the problem or do I need to score it or do something else. Does it ever stick to the dutch oven if do not use parchment?

      1. Carol, we’re so glad you love this recipe as much as we do. You could score the bread if you’d like a specific pattern, however, the recipe does tell you to put the dough into the pot seam side up, which would naturally give you some cracks and ridges on top as the loaf cooks. It’s not necessary to use parchment, and it’s unlikely that it would stick to the pot or Dutch oven. The parchment does make it easier to lift out of the pot though!

    16. Hi
      What fun this is! And it’s wonderful bread, and makes great toast too.
      I want to double the quantity of dough and leave half in the fridge until the next day and then bake the second loaf. At what stage of the process should I do this? In fact, can I do this successfully? Also the rules for freezing? At the moment I am making 2 loaves successfully and giving one away but I would prefer to have the second loaf fresh for lunch sometimes. Getting the timing right can be tricky.

      1. Thanks Diana! We’re so glad you love this recipe as much as we do. For this particular recipe, refrigerating the dough may cause it to deflate, leaving you with disappointing results. We do have a great artisan no-knead bread recipe on the site that makes multiple loaves and the dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks, so you can bake off a fresh loaf whenever you’d like. That might be a better option for what you’d like to do here. Fresh bread is always best, but you can freeze your loaf for up to a month. Make sure it’s fully cooled to room temperature, wrap tightly in plastic, and stash in your freezer. Thaw overnight in the fridge or on the countertop.

    17. I find it safer to let that 2nd rise take place in a parchment lined bowl. When ready to bake, I pick it up by the parchment corners and gently place it in the preheated pot for baking. I’m afraid of burns at 450F!

      1. I can’t say I blame you, Elizabeth! 450°F is hot! We’re so glad that this method works for you and thanks for sharing it with us.

      2. Do you put the parchment in the Dutch oven, too? or do you use the parchment to carry the dough, and then scoot it off the parchment into the DO to bake?

        1. I think either way would work, Valerie, but we’d love to hear from you, Elizabeth as to what works best for you.

      1. William, I love your flower pot Dutch oven! What a fantastic idea. And your loaf is stunning!!

      2. Please post instructions on how you made & cooked in the flower pot!!! Love this idea! And, your loaf is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

        1. Happy to oblige. I use a10 inch planter saucer for the baking surface and a 10-inch planter pot for the lid. The handle is an eyebolt mounted in the pot’s drain hole, using 3 washers and two hex nuts. I am attaching a picture.

          This is not my original idea. I saw it somewhere on the web 2 years ago, and this is my interpretation. I use it just like a Dutch oven. Just keep in mind that the handle is very hot!!

    18. I’m having so much success making this recipe. Love the 18 hr rise. My nephew is gluten free and I would like to try this recipe the same way except for interchanging the gluten flour for gluten free. Can I do it with this recipe interchangeably?

      1. Hi Kevin, so happy that you found this recipe! I would caution about using a gluten-free flour mix interchangeably in this recipe. According to Melissa, a senior tester here at LC, the mix would need to contain psyllium which is not a common ingredient in most commercial mixes. Additionally, the water amount would vary from the original recipe.

      2. Thanks for the comment. I tried this recipe with gluten-free flour and it was a disinter. Hard and heavy!! Had to throw it out.

        1. Pam, am really sorry to hear that, but it’s so frequently the case when we try to substitute GF flour blends in baking recipes. Baking is such a precise science. Which is why we don’t offer a GF alternative to this recipe. In my experience, especially when it comes to yeast breads, best to stay with those recipes specifically designed for GF. S

    19. Would stretch and fold help or hurt this technique? I mean: stretch and fold every 30 minutes for the first 3 hours of the the bulk rise, about six times, and then let it continue for the extended period. And if I decide to do the bulk rise in the refrigerator, would stretch and fold help or hurt? Possibly it wouldn’t do either, so why bother? By the way, following this exchange is the best entertainment I’ve had since the lockdown! You are an amazing resource. Thank you!!

      1. Rosalind, so glad you liked the exchange thread here! No, this wouldn’t benefit from the stretch-and-fold technique. This is strictly a no-knead recipe. I’d suggest using the Tartine recipe if you want to use that technique. That’s my recipe of choice.

    20. Help? I don’t have any instant yeast, lots of active dry. can I sub in the same amount if I proof the yeast in the water? Really looking forward to trying it.

        1. Hi Tamara, I have the same problem. I used 1/2 tsp. of regular yeast this time and had a wonderful loaf! Gave it lots of fermenting and rising time. I might try 1/4 tsp. next time.

    21. This turned out amazing!!!! So easy to make! I was worried because I had one pot that could stay in the oven but the lid didn’t FULLY close. However, it still turned out perfect. I also didn’t have cornmeal (which I know isn’t completely necessary) so I used a combo of white flour and cassava flour. 10/10!

    22. Best loaf yet. Exactly as written (use that scale!) Second rise is on a floured silicone mat – so easy dropping it in to the pot. A little cornmeal in the (true) cast iron pot before it heats. We ran into the kitchen while it cooks because it does indeed crackle.

    23. Hi David, thank you so much for sharing this recipe — like so many others I’ve taken up bread baking for the first time during the quarantine, and I’ve had a lot of fun making this recipe just about every week for the last two months!

      As you can see in the pictures below, my first few loaves had a great airy crumb structure, but more recently the loaves have all been rather dense (though still delicious!). I’m pretty sure it has to do with my second rise, and would love some tips as I’m trying to figure out what variables are at play:

      1) At the beginning I was using a blend of 300g white bread flour and 100g whole wheat with 325g water, whereas now I’m using an “unbleached wheat bread flour” (that is part way between the two I think) — so maybe I need to adjust the water proportion?

      2) My kitchen runs warm, but especially now as the weather has gotten warmer it is generally near 80F. I think this may be causing overproofing in the first rise — I mixed up my last loaf at 3pm and noticed it had already doubled at 11pm. So I put it in the fridge overnight, then took it out for a 2-hour second rise before baking in the morning. It felt “ready” as I put it in the oven, but the crumb still ended up dense. I’m conflicted whether I should try a longer second rise to allow for more bubble formation, or a shorter one because of the temperature.

      Will try adjusting these parameters and see what works! But I’d love to hear if anyone has advice.

    24. Time consuming, yes. Hard to do, NO! Everything happened as predicted in the recipe. I forgot about it during the overnight first rise and it was sitting for nearly 24 hours. Dough was extremely stringy and sticky. I thought transferring it to the linen towel would be hard, nope. It was easy as was moving it to the hot cast iron pan after the 2nd rise. Baking times were spot on. The hard part? Waiting for it to cool. At exactly 45 minutes (15 minutes short), the tasting began and was completed only after 1/2 of the loaf had been impeccably examined and tasted. Another batch is already sitting in a warm, draft free place. This second loaf, I will allow more time for the second rise (I forgot to test poke my finger into the dough the first time) to get more craggley places for the butter to go. What a wonderful Covid distraction! Thank you for the recipe and all the instructions.

      OH, forgot, the house smells of baking bread, lovely.

      1. You’re so very welcome, Pamela! And I’m laughing at your description of the hard part…I understand completely. And yes, 1/2 loaf is critical for fully experiencing and pondering the worthiness of the loaf! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience. Love it and love that photo!

    25. What happens if I used too much flour?? I think I was distracted and put a little too much flour in.

    26. I don’t have quick rise yeast, only traditional. With the covid situation, there is no yeast around in the stores. Can I use traditional? If so, how much?

    27. The recipe says to bake in 6 to 8-quart pot. Mr. Lahey says, in his book, to use a 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 quart pot.

      1. Thanks, Melissa. He has changed it at different times. We call for the larger pot because it seems a bit easier for people to flip the dough into it. But feel free to use either sizes.

    28. Oh my goodness this is an amazing recipe! I’m on my second go round !! The taste is so good. So easy. I didn’t have the required size of pot so I used my Dutch oven and it was perfect. I also didn’t have instant yeast so used just a touch more of regular. Thanks for posting this.

    29. Hi, I’m attempting to make this recipe for the first time. I only have a chunk of fresh yeast. I put 1/4 teaspoon and dissolved it in warm water. Is that right? Also, the handle on my Le Creuset cannot go in the oven. It started to burn, so can I leave the cover off and put a tray of water underneath? Thank you!

      1. Hi, Donna. You would use 3/4 teaspoon of the fresh yeast. And what to do about your pot is to unscrew the handle And stuff the whole with foil. That’s what Jim does.

    30. Hi. Please let me know how to adjust the recipe to use active dry yeast (instead of instant yeast). Thank so much. I can’t wait to try making this bread!

      1. Hi KBLeit, generally speaking, if using active dry yeast in a recipe that calls for instant yeast, use 25% more.

        1. Use the same amount. It makes no difference. I’ve made the recipe a few hundred times and I just buy the cheapest yeast.

    31. I made this bread with half bread flour and half whole meal spelt flour but it was a very wet dough and spread out during the second proving. Any suggestions?

      Otherwise it’s a great recipe. Today’s load made with 100% bread flour. Photo below.

    32. Just made another. I’m an addict. I can’t think of anything other than this bread and its amazing aroma fresh from the oven. About to slather butter on this one!

    33. Love this recipe and works perfectly every time. I quite like the idea of increasing the quantities and keeping in the fridge for when I need to bake without all the planning ahead. Kind of in the spirit of the 5-minute Artisan Bread recipe. They’re similar but Jim Lahey’s is more hydrated, has less yeast and longer initial ferment. Any tips on this? Thanks.

      1. Patricia, so happy you liked this. I’m not sure exactly sure how to convert this. If you keep a big batch of this in the fridge, my concern is it’ll deflate when you shape it. Jim’s recipe calls for little to no shaping. You need to cloak the five-minute bread. My suggestion is why not try it? We’d love to know how it turns out.

    34. I love this bread. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Can you make it using whole meal flour or half/half?

        1. Hi there! I have now tried to make this three times. On the first try my yeast was bad but not sure what I’ve wrong on the second and third tries. This past time I weighed my ingredients and it seemed to look good on the first rise after 18 hours… perhaps a bit sticky. I folded, let it rest and put it on an a lightly oiled bowl and covered it but even after six hours it didn’t double in size, but got a bit bigger and more bubbly. Then when I poked it I got a sticky blob of dough on my finger. I gave up and threw it away but now I’m determined to make this properly. Any suggestions? Thx!

          1. Leah, sorry to hear you had problems. My most important rule is: never throw away the dough. Always bake it off. Read this essay, in which I was certain my dough (and, by extension, me) was a failure. I was quite surprised. Rule # 2: Don’t be married to the clock. Because of the unique constellation of elements in your kitchen, it may take twice as long for the dough to double. When making bread, it’s always best to rely upon your senses, not your watch. Now go out there and try another loaf and report back!

            1. Hi David,
              Success! I used room temp water and followed your advice to use my senses and LOOK at the dough while I added water until it resembled the dough in the photos. I weighed my flour but ended up using 1/4 cup less water than directed; the texture was right and all went smoothly from there. It didn’t really double in size on the last rise but again, the texture and response of the dough seemed right and I baked a beautiful bread that is truly delicious! Thanks so much for your great advice and encouraging words!

    35. Although, tastes delish hot! Good holes throughout.

      It took 24 hours before I baked. The dough was so very wet. I had trouble with first fold. It was all over the counter and couldn’t make a rough ball even with a dough scraper. It didn’t seem to rise like others. Tastes great.

          1. Gail, that’s odd. The proportion of water to flour wouldn’t cause it to flow like that. It’s wet and sticky and annoying, but nothing floured hands can’t work with. Are you planning to make it again?

            1. Absolutely, today! I think that I have identified a couple of errors on my side: It rose to the top of a clear glass container by 12 hours, but I continued to let it rise for a longer time “to develop the flavor.” Then the dough started to deflate by about 3 inches. Perhaps it was ready to work with on the earlier side. It jiggled just right, etc. The second is I baked it in a Le Creuset which was probably too large. It still tastes great! Opinion?

                1. Thank you for your swift response. On my way to the kitchen to make croutons, or whatever with batch #1 and to mix up batch #2! Have a wonderful day!

        1. David, easy peasy perfection! So delicious! Thanks so much for your help! Just dropped dinner off to my parents with this bread, homemade tomato soup, and homemade oatmeal raisin cookies! Ready for the next boule!

    36. The first time I made this, the dough seemed very wet, but the loaf turned out beautifully although not very high. I was using a reprint of the original recipe that had the water and flour both 400 grams. Still, it worked. This time, I used 400 to 300 and it seemed even wetter. In fact, while concentrating on gently scraping it out of the bowl, I failed to notice that it had oozed across the counter and was hanging over the edge! After 2 hours of second rising, it stuck to my finger for the poke test. There were large bubbles on the surface, so I went on. My baking pot is homemade. A big clay flower pot with a handle made of an eye bolt through the drain hole, two washers, and two nuts. The very wet dough stuck to the proofing basket’s cloth liner and had to be scraped onto the clay saucer where it continued to spread out. I popped the cover on and put the whole mess back into the oven.

      The bread turned out really good but kind of low in the middle. Good crumb, crust, and flavour. About 2 inches high, it resembled a dried brown “cowslip” as we used to call meadow muffins on our dairy farm.

      I’m not giving up. This was made with store-brand bleached bread flour, all that was available during the Coronavirus quarantine. I have since scored 5 lbs of King Arthur unbleached fresh bread flour. I am going to try 1 cup of water, about 275 grams.

      1. William, the loaf looks perfectly acceptable to me! And I admire your ingenuity to Macguyer a pot. But any kind of large pot will do. I’m concerned that some of the steam is escaping which isn’t helping the situation. I’m confused by your second try. Did you use more or less water?

          1. Gene, it’s unlikely. If you research it, there are tons of terracotta baking vessels–from Romertopf ovens to cloches to small flower pots people make cakes in. Lead is more likely found in the glazes used on pots.

            1. I did some reading and it appears you are correct. One article said even if there are trace amounts of lead it will not leach out after firing. One point was only citrus or acidic foods might leach out lead.

              1. Gene, yes. It’s similar to cast iron. While there’s no lead in cast iron, simmering an acidic ingredient, such as tomatoes, for a long time can leach out some of the iron molecules making your favorite tomato sauce taste a bit metallic.

              2. That is good to hear. I have some good veins of clay on my farm and have been planning to make a bake oven adjacent to our “party patio” I’ve been doing shrinkage tests, and will be sending a sample to Penn State for lead and arsenic testing.

        1. Very kind of you to say so!
          Steam does not escape to any degree, as the inverted pot is resting on the clay saucer that would normally hold water for your tomatoes. I did research the clay flower pots, and they are safe. I would like to have you blieve that this was original thinking on my part, but I saw a similar solution somewhere and adapted it. I will send a picture.

            1. This is my clay Dutch oven. Bear the Cat is checking it out. Ive also cooked a small chicken and even 4 quail in it.

                1. The eye bolt, washers and nuts on the inside and outside swerve the dual purpose of sealing the drain hole and providing a handle. Here is how it looks wih the cover on. The stove, by the way, is not for cooking. It heats our whole house. My wife and I live on a wee farm in Pennsylvania where we enjoy simple things. Two retired statisticians.😁

        2. Less. I now use 290 grams of water. I mix the yeast with the flour and salt and add it to the water. I find it easier.

          1. The 290 grams water dough holds the shape better and does not stick to the linen liner of my proofing basket. Makes a very tasty loaf
            “An t-aran glè blasta” in Gaelic

            1. Thank you, David.
              Here is today’s bake. I’ve learned so much from all the contributors to this thread!

    37. So what happens if I mix the dough, then put it in a Dutch Oven on some parchment paper to rise, then after it’s risen I pop it straight into the oven, skipping the step where I stretch and fold and form it into a round loaf? I’ll still cook it 450F for 30 min then take the top of the dutch oven off

      I’m new at bread. My last loaf was a knead type process. The loaf was good but the air holes were tiny, almost like commercial bread. So the no knead makes the holes bigger. Anyway curious how this will turn out.

      For this loaf, I put 120g of my marginal sourdough starter (it’s slow to rise, but the house is cool, 68F). I still used the 1/4 tsp yeast. I don’t know what type of yeast I have. During “social distancing” yeast is hard to find. I got 4 oz from a local restaurant but it came in an unmarked plastic baggie. It works but I don’t know if it is the “instant”. I put the Dutch oven with the dough ball on a heating pad on warm for the first 4 hours. That gets it up to the mid 80’s F. I plan to let it rise for 20 hours or so.

      So the single rise, then the bake. What effect do you think there’ll be without the step where I stretch and fold, and form the loaf?

      1. David, the bread needs the second shaping and rise. The more the bread rises, the more holes. While some people have said they put the pot in the oven cold–and it works–I’ve never tried it. My suggestion is to follow the recipe to a T the first time or two so that you get a sense of what it is supposed to be like, then improvise.

        1. Well, I have done exactly that and skipped the parchment paper. I used a small saucepot, let the dough rise to the top, and popped it in the hot oven. The result was the biggest holes ever made with this recipe.

          1. Gene, thanks for that. Some people are saying that they have done that, too. I haven’t persoanlly–I’m happy with my results–but I think I need to try to be better informed. Thanks for the nudge.

            1. I always felt the dough flopped during the second rise. And while the bread is good it tends to be flat. So I used a small 2 quart pot. The Idea was to keep the height with the dough being confined by the walls of the pot. Me thinking if the when the dough collapses in a large pot or dutch oven you are relying on just oven spring. I would next time reduce the heat to 400 and put some oil in the bottom of the pot before pouring the dough from the mixer. Well the rise went to the top edge of the pot in 3 hours. And it probably would have gone higher if left alone. So I immediately baked it off.

    38. Hi, looking forward to making your bread. Unfortunately, my Cast Iron pot says it’s safe to 400 degrees not 450 degrees. Can it still be made if the oven is only pre-heated to 400? I sure hope there’s a way.

      Thank you in advance.

      1. Cynthia, that is soooo odd. Cast iron is safe for any temperature the home oven can dole out. It starts to have problems above 700°F. The bread definitely won’t do as well at 400°F, but some people have done it. If it were me, I’d opt for the 450°F.

      2. I bought an enameled cast iron pot that said 425F (apparently for the top knob!) I went on Amazon and purchased a replacement knob from Le Creuset which is good to 500F and bingo, I was good to go. I have used this pot to 475F and no problem at all. I have had it for 15 years or longer. I am wondering if your lid had a knob or maybe some other type of handles that has a temperature top out. I put my cast iron on the outdoor grill and hub has used in campfires. It’s like 30 years old.

    39. I have made this bread three times, and each time the bread comes out insanely delicious. I hate asking this question, but I made two batches this time (both on their first rise as I speak) and realized my family can’t finish both loaves. Can I convert the same exact recipe into a pizza dough?

    40. Over the past few weeks, I’ve made several no knead breads in a cast iron dutch oven. While the breads have been great, awesome crust with a lot of crunch, the inside of all loaves have been pretty dense with very little air pockets.

      The process is simple, flour, yeast, salt and water. I’ve tried different all purpose flours and two different yeasts. I get good rise during the initial period so the yeast is viable.

      Perhaps a product of the ‘no knead method’, I would like to have a loftier, less dense, bread filled with air pockets. Is this possible without kneading?

      I follow the same process for every batch though I have change the brand of flour and yeast to see if the results change – they didn’t.

      It doesn’t look like there is too much water but after baking to 210F, it is still very moist inside.

      1. Ray, your bread temp is correct, so that’s good. Your yeast is active. The last element is your room temperature. Is it correct? Seventy-two degrees is ideal. If it’s less than that, add more rising time. Go up to 24 hours, and see if that makes a difference.

        1. Hi David, thanks for responding.

          For the first rise, I let it go for 18-24 hours or longer. I then pull it out of the bowl, flour it a little as I fold it a few times. From there, I put it back in the bowl for a few hours.

          Should it rise again? It doesn’t seem to after the first time when it doubles or triples in size. It of course deflates when pulled out of the bowl and folded.

          Following the recipe, 3 cups water + 1-1/2 cups of water. The dough doesn’t seem to be too wet. My bread, after baking for 50+ minutes @ 450 degrees is crusty and at an internal temperature of 210 F. It sits for hours to cool.

          Every batch seems to be too moist. Not doughy per-se, but it is too moist. Perhaps the doughiness is more of a correct description. If it were less doughy/moist, the crumb would be lighter.

          For your batches, what is the flour to water ratio?

          1. Ray, the dough is supposed to have a lightly moist interior crumb. That’s characteristic of this kind of bread. If you want them less moist, let them bake longer. If they start to darken too much for you, cover them with foil. I’ve used both the gram and cup measures with success. I think you’re not getting more holes might be due to overhandling the dough. It literally is just a quick up-and-over.

        2. David, I may have solved the mystery … I have not been inverting the bread after the 2nd rise. I’ve taken the dough out of the container and placed it into the dutch oven without inverting it. Therefore, the folds are on the bottom. Without scoring the top, steam can’t readily escape.

          Does this sound like a plausible cause for mine not springing as much and being doughier than expected. No folds or scores to release steam?

          1. Ray, absolutely. Bread will rise along weak spots, such as folds or scores. Without that escape, you’re constricting the expansion. Let me know if you try again!

            1. Gene, absolutely. Oven spring is a collaboration of several factors. It’s the yeast in the levain rapidly activating because of the heat and converting the sugars in the dough into carbon dioxide and alcohol. It’s also the water in the dough converting into steam and pushing its way out of the dough. And it’s steam in the oven keeping the outer skin moist to facilitates all this.

    41. This is iteration number 3. First one was an absolute dud, I used someone else’s “fast” recipe with hot water, plus flour that had been purchased sometime prior to 2013. Dense and tasted terrible. # 2 was fresh flour, and pretty good. I decided to let this one go a little longer in the oven uncovered, and we’ll see how it goes. I use parchment because the pot I have is a Dansk Kobenstyle 8qt stockpot, and tall, so it helps with safety from burning myself. Compared to other’s pics, mine seems a little flat, even though I can see lots of bubbles. The dough was still very sticky after the the 2nd rise of 2.5 hrs.I couldn’t indent it, it just stuck to my finger. And I know all this fermenting is going on, but when it is in the oven, it doesn’t smell like bread baking, it smells like hot vinegar. I’ll let you know on taste and texture when this is cool enough to cut…

            1. I have no clue, LOL. I actually think it tastes more sour than “bread-y”. I’m not a real sourdough fan. I think maybe it may need more salt. I only have pink salt on hand, not as fine as table salt, and I upped it to 1.5 tsp, but maybe a bit more. My husband, who is the real bread eater, seems to think it’s fine, so I guess that’s the real battle, yeah?

              1. Tina, if you’re not using weights, it’s hard to tell how much salt (or any ingredient) to use if it’s a substitution. Different salts have different crystal sizes, too. I think a bit more salt would be a good thing.

    42. I think baker percentages in grams is the only way to have consistences. for example here is a dough ball at 500 grams at 68% Flour (100%): 297.62 g | 10.5 oz | 0.66 lbs Water (68%): 202.38 g | 7.14 oz | 0.45 lbs then there is the same dough ball at 75 percent 285.71 g | 10.08 oz | 0.63 lbs
      Water (75%): 214.29 g | 7.56 oz | 0.47 lbs

      Notice the less flour used and the more water used for the 75 percent version to equal a 500 gram ball of dough. Now tell me how it is possible to use cups to see a difference of 12 grams of flour and 12 grams of water.

      1. Gene, yes, baker percentages is the best way for consistency. But we’re still struggling to get people to use scales, let alone percentages! When I had spoken to Jim, and pointed out the discrepancy in his recipe (volume to grams), he was laidback about it. It’s a forgiving dough, he said, and can hand a lot of abuse and still work. And as far as being able to use cups to see the difference in 12 grams of anything, you simply can’t.

    43. Im having a lot of trouble :( My dough is not wet and sticky… it was rather dry- I actually had to add a little more water so I could mix all the flour. I tried using Bread flour and I tried it again with king Arthur 13% whole wheat flour… same result… flat loaf. Im using SAF instant yeast… I set it aside for 18 hrs and 2nd proof of 2 hours… any suggestions (?) And yes I am using filtered water. And I live in LA where the inside temp is about 72F.

      1. Hey, Michelle. Well, it may be a bit flat, but it looks great. BTW, whole wheat will require more water. Was the bread flour white or whole wheat? Your yeast is fresh, yes? And your oven is properly calibrated? A less than proper temperature, won’t allow for oven spring. Was the pot in the oven for the specified time? What kind of pan are you using? And is the lid tight-fitting?

    44. Both recipe numbers work out to 68 % hydration for the cups and 75% hydration for the grams. For a good rise usually, the more hydration the more open is the crumb.

    45. The metric conversions don’t seem to add up. 3 cups of flour is 360g, but this recipe says it’s 400g. Likewise, 1 1/3 cups water is 315g, not 300g as this recipe converts it to. The metric conversion of this recipe results in a much less hydrated dough than the imperial version.

      1. Casey, I believe the recipe uses the original amounts that Jim provided. As far as the flour, you’re going by a cup of flour = 120g. That’s the King Arthur standard, but not everyone subscribes to that. Bob’s Red Mill says 1 cup of its flour weighs 136g. In this video, you’ll see Jim doesn’t weigh anything and compacts the flour by shaking the cup. Now…to the water. Jim has listed this as 1 1/3, 1 1/2, 1 5/8 cup in different places. I don’t know how to account for that! 1.27 cups of water = 300g. That’s a .06 ounce difference. I can say from experience, the 15 grams of water don’t seem to make a difference. The recipe is pretty forgiving, which is what Jim wanted. But add it if you wish, and let me know what you think.

    46. The recipe is a no brainer. I was worried because I had never put my copper pot into such a high temperature. But it worked very well. Take a look! We will have wonderful bread for Easter.
      Thank you so much.

    47. Sounds so good. I am planning to make this but in London, and not sure what a cupful is. I don’t see weight amounts? Good to have some help please.


    48. Has anyone tried adapting this recipe for use with gluten free flour? I love bread but gluten does not like me!

    49. I had no idea it was so easy to make bread. I’ve made it several times now this, my first, week. I gave a couple loaves away. My brother liked his so much, he went out today to get flour and yeast. If this keeps up, I am going to have to buy a bread slicer! As you can see, I have some fixings for the gulaschsuppe on the counter I intend to make tonight to enjoy with this wheat bread variation.

    50. By mistake I used regular dry yeast, forgetting it said “instant” yeast. Does this mean I let the first rise go longer..help!

    51. hi … this is the first time i’ve made the dough and it came out dry, dry, dry this morning … i used the right amount of water and i can’t understand what happened … if you can respond NOW, i’ll know what to do: do i add more water to the dough and mess with it a bit (move it around or knead it a little) or?? leave it like it is? i’m disappointed ….

      thanks for your early-morning-west coast help ….

      1. Darlene, did you weigh the ingredients? if not, the likely culprit is that you have what’s called a “heavy hand” with flour. Add 1/4 cup of water at a time until it is sticky. Don’t knead! Just stir and stir.

      2. Hi Darlene. Yes, add a little water. Since flour brands and humidity vary from place to place, making this dough isn’t an precise science. Add a little water, maybe a tablespoon and stir (or knead or whatever you need to do to incorporate it). You’re aiming for a slightly sticky, shaggy dough. The good news is that this dough tends to be quite forgiving.

        1. David … you’re right, it’s the flour … I had my husband fill the bread container with the last of our Wheat Montana flour, however, it was not the usual a-p flour, it was bread flour … I did not weigh it, although I have a wonderful scale. I scooped and scraped and put 3 cups into a bowl … I think the flour was dense-packed and when *measuring,* it was heavy … anyway … this morning there were really, really dry, hard patches in the dough .. I just let it be and started a new loaf with a-p flour and it turned out awesome … it was a little wet, but it was light with a great crumb … the first loaf was delish but the crumb was a bit dense … all I have are the completed loaves with some cut pieces … it was great and I’ll continue doing this recipe, but until I finish the bread flour, I’ll measure with the scale …

          thank you for your advice … I sure appreciate this … almost like a house-call … ;-)))


          1. Darlene, I’m so delighted to know it was the flour and is so easily fixed!! And we’re always here. It’s what I take great pride in: We support our home cooks every step of the way.

    52. Stunningly good bread. I was amazed. The crust in particular was epic, good enough to eat on its own with a glass of red wine. It does require some planning, and the bit with towels means a lot of laundry afterwards! I baked it in a Le Creuset, which did a brilliant job.
      I’d like to know if this recipe can be created with other bread flours – wholemeal, wholewheat, rye, for example?

        1. I’ve started using 3 parts strong white to 1 part spelt. A little more water is needed (no pun intended) but I find the bread stays moister for longer.

          I do love this recipe!

        2. David, I’ve done this recipe several times now. The finished result remains fantastic, but boy, it’s taking a heavy toll on tea towels. I’m finding that during the second rise, dough deposits get left on the towels, and these are almost impossible to move. And that’s in spite of using flour on the bread surface, as directed. What I’d like to know is that when it comes to the second rise, why not just put the dough back in the container used for the first rise? The towel method seems very fiddly and messy, unless, of course, it’s essential to obtaining that amazing finish.

          One further point. For the second rise, should this be done in the same warm space used for the first rise, or just left at room temperature. The recipe doesn’t make this clear. Thanks, Paul

          1. Paul, the reason for the towel is two-fold: 1.) It’s easier to maneuver than trying to flip, say, a bowl upside down. 2.) It protects your hands from getting burned. Now, for the second rise, you can do what a lot of folks do which is to use parchment paper. Then when it’s time to bake, uncover the pot and lower the bread and paper into the pot, and cover.

            1. Ah yes, that might work. Just so that I’ve understood, that’s parchment paper top and bottom? And you just throw all the parchment and dough into the pot… and it doesn’t stick?
              Also, does the second rise need to be done in a warm place. Or just at room temp? The recipe instructions don’t make this clear.

              1. Paul, you place the dough on the parchment and cover with a towel. The paper takes the place of the towel. And instead of flipping it in the pot, you lower it in, paper and all. The second rise is done at the same temp as the first, approximately 72°F.

    53. I’m running out of yeast for bread and I can’t find any in the shops or online (that will delver before June) so I’m starting a starter. Does anyone have some advice on how much starter to add to make this recipe? I was thinking of around 30g (2 tablespoons)?

      1. LC, you’ll probably need a more than 2 tablespoons. We’d suggest trying 1/2 cup of starter. Keep in mind that because your starter is composed of flour and water, you’ll need to adjust the amount of flour and water in the recipe accordingly.

    54. I was wondering, since I am in lock down and have no casserole dishes with lids….whether I could use the crockpot/slow cooker to bake this bread – will it get hot enough?

    55. How should I bake this if I don’t have an oven-proof pot/Pyrex dish and lid? Can I still bake it on a pan?

      1. Kirsty, do you have any sort of Dutch oven? That would work here. If you don’t have an ovenproof pot of any sort, we wouldn’t suggest baking it. The lid on the pot helps create a closed, steamy environment which the dough requires to rise. Am so sorry! But you may want to try our other no-knead bread recipe that everyone also loves…

    56. you kidding? i’m in florida, too, and it was 90° today. i have to bring the rising bread into the bedroom with me at night to take advantage of the ac! otherwise it will rise completely in well under 8hours and won’t develop any complexity at all. if all else fails, i refrigerate it.

    57. I thought I’d try this today. I’m in FL and have a small kitchen, so I’m concerned about the rise. The air conditioner blows quite vigorously when it is cycled on, so I was concerned about cold drafts. Would I be better off putting this in another room where I can keep it farther away from the A/C?

    58. I let the dough prove for 24 hours, small bubbles appeared, but it also developed a thickish/hard skin. Is this ok? Used German 1050 bread flour plus packet yeast, as per instructions.

      We will see.

      1. Anthony, what did you cover the dough with for those 24 hours. (Also, 24 hours might be a bit too long.) German 1050 bread flour is a heartier, denser flour that would require more water proportionally to reach the same hydration. So the combo of a longer proof and less water could definitely cause the hard skin.

      2. Thanks for the prompt reply.

        It came out brilliantly.

        However, I will do a little experimentation with a mixture of different flour types. Will let you know the outcome.

        Stay healthy.

    59. I’m reading about ‘proofing’ dough in the refrigerator…as it gives it a more flavorful sourdough taste. Do you recommend this? If so, when do I put it in the fridge? How long? Then do I let it sit on the counter for 2 more hours (or so) and then bake it? thank you–absolutely LOVE this bread!!

    60. Looks pretty good. Just came out of the oven and it’s singing to me now. Mine did stick to the towel but that’s my fault; I didn’t use enough flour. Next time I’m using parchment. Thanks for recipe.

        1. Hi David,

          I’d like to add a question onto Margaret’s: Can I add sugar (maybe 1/4 cup of sugar to make it into a sweeter bread) to the original recipe along with cinnamon and raisins in the first mix? Or will the addition of sugar wreck the chemistry? I’ve been successful with the no-knead recipe exactly as is and it’s fantastic.

          Thank you for your page and for your help!

            1. Hi David, Thanks for your reply and for your recipes, which look wonderful! A corollary question: As soon as I read your reply I started searching for no-knead brioche and found a few recipes; except it’s hard to trust them enough to use ingredients that may not work out. Have you experimented with any no-knead brioche recipe? Thanks!

        2. I roll the plain dough out thin as possible, the next morning (flour your board well!), sprinkle with chopped nuts, raisins, cinnamon, and turbinado sugar (white is ok). Roll up tightly, pinch all seams and ends, let raise for an hour covered with a towel, then bake in an OVAL cast iron Dutch oven.

      1. Followed the recipe as written. Turned out great, even at 5280 feet.

        Excellent for toast or garlic bread.

    61. Also on the general bread making point, are the salt and sugar levels adjustable? One of the points in making your own bread is it can be healthier, but many of the recipes have loads of salt and sugar. Salt in particular, is there a bare minimum you must have? Quite a few recipes suggest several teaspoons.

    62. I’m in England and having read some of the comments the general view seems to be not to bother with American recipes as the ingredients and measurements are so different, especially re bread? Also not if you don’t have the right sized pot. I only have a 1.5 litre pyrex casserole dish, although I noticed someone in the testers choice comments below the recipe says they have the same and it worked fine? I’d be interested if anyone in Europe has tried this method and its worked? Or if there’s an equivalent British recipe?

      On a more general point, what is the advantage of proving the dough in some towels, as opposed to the usual bowl covered in clingfilm which seems simpler?

      Also, if you made the dough at 7pm, and left it overnight when it’s obviously a lot cooler, would it be ready in the morning?

      1. KT, I’ll let our readers who live in Europe respond to your first point.

        Regarding timing, because it’s cooler at night, and also cooler at this time of year, you would need the full 18 hours of proofing. Then an additional two hours. So, no, the bread wouldn’t be ready to bake the next day if you started at 7 PM.

      2. I’m in England and have cooked this 4 or 5 times with the metric units and its worked perfectly! Also, I don’t have an oven-proof dish big enough so I just put it on a pre-heated oven tray in my oven on full (so 230°C). Then I sprinkle heavily with water and bake for 30mins then I take it out, sprinkle with quite a bit of water and bake for another 25-30mins.

    63. The bread came out perfectly. What a pleasure not to have to knead it. Should have made it rounder, but that’s my fault, not the recipe.

    64. I’ve been using this bread recipe for a few years now – a delicious and easy part of our lifestyle. I avoid white flour so try a variety of wholemeal flours and seeds, with good results. This loaf today is 21/2 cups organic spelt flour with 1/2 cup plain flour, and 4 tblsp mixed seeds. The spelt gives a much lighter loaf than I thought, and so tasty…….

      1. I’m a beginner bread maker (2 loaves, one good but dense, one wholemeal dough that I could pour, although it still turned out edible, just about…) In your experience can you add anything you like, as many seeds as you like etc? When do you add them, does it matter? Thanks.

    65. Try adding some sliced olives to the dough after the first rise…Pat olives dry of excess brine first. Delicious-

    66. Followed recipe exactly. Bread turned out great. One question? Is it possible to double the recipe and make one large or two small loaves?

        1. hi! can i use bob’s mill gluten-free flour for this recipe? will any of the other ingredients need to be changed? thanks.

          1. heidi, we didn’t test it that way, so I can’t say. There are adjustments that need to be made to the recipe. I’d suggest buying their book, which has plenty of gluten-free recipes!

    67. I think I am asking too many questions here, so feel free to tell me to stop. Anyway, I am at the end stage (developing color) of my 3rd consecutive successful loaf (Bread flour!) My question is regarding the split on top – I don’t get one, ever. This time I followed the directions by doing the second rise seam side down and inverting the dough into the pot (using parchment). Still no split or ears. Any ideas? Also, this time, I used wheat bran instead of corn meal, and the bottom of the loaf got scorched. Any ideas on that? Oven temp was 450°F. I did leave it in a bit longer since the crust color wasn’t as dark as previous loaves after 10 mins uncovered.

      1. David, you won’t get much of a split on the bread. And definitely no ears. It’s a bit of a tradeoff with this recipe. The artisan bread in 5 minutes a day recipe has you slash the bread, and you definitely get ears. Leaving the loaf in longer caused the scorching for sure. And wheat bran will scorch faster than cornmeal. If you want to use wheat bran really lay it on thick.

    68. I have made this twice with really good results.

      I’ve mage my dough too dry for a long time. I’ve just recently begun to appreciate the benefits of wet dough. So, I was surprised when the dough this first time was fairly dry. But the bread was a hit in our house. Everyone liked it; probably better than other breads that I have made.

      The second time, the dough was actually wet. But the bread came out well. This time, I made a double recipe and used half of it for a loaf and the rest to make two baguettes.

      The second time, I let it have a first rise of about 24 hours and then put it in the refrigerator overnight. I could tell the difference in taste. It was almost like sourdough.

      I liked the crust, but my wife thought that it was too hard. Personally, I like it crispy, but I probably need to learn how to get a softer crust for her.

      All in all, I consider this recipe to be a keeper. I am enclosing a picture of the loaf and the baguettes. I might later try it as a pizza dough or maybe as a camp bread.

    69. So this one, with the second rise done seam side up covered with an inverted bowl rather than a towel, came out looking even better than my last (and first successful) attempt. With that one, the paper I covered the top with stuck to the dough and it deflated a bit and got irregular looking when I unstuck it. This one, dare I say, is beautiful.

    70. Is there a particular reason for putting the seam side down for the second rise? Unless I’m misreading, some of the commenters seem to be saying that they don’t turn it over when putting the dough in the pot. Are they putting it in seam side up or down?

      1. David, the dough should go in the pot seam-side up. I think this is because there are natural weak spots that allow the dough to expand better since it’s not being slashed. Some people prefer to make a parchment sling and place the dough in the pot seam-side down because it’s easier. Either way works, but I think you get a bit more rise the first way.

        1. Thanks, David. I don’t think I asked my question as clearly as I intended. Is it OK to do the second rise with the seam side up? Can I put it on the parchment with seam side up, let it rise for 2 hours or until it passes the poke test then just lower it into the pot? Or is there some particular purpose to doing the second rise with the seam side down?

          1. Yes, David. You can let it rise seam-side up and lower it into the pot that way. I’ve done it before. It might be a bit funky looking rising seam-side up. When it rises seam-side down, the weight of the dough keeps the seam from splitting open.

            1. Can I use the parchment, let it rise, smooth side up, lower into pot and then score it with a scissors?

              1. Yes, you can, moondrop. Several of our readers have had success with this method.

    71. I have four 8.5-4.5-3.5-inch depth cast iron bread pans, could I divide the dough into two of the pans and invert the other two pans as the dome lids? Thank you, Catherine

    72. Hi tried this recipe for the first time today. Never made bread in my life! It has come out looking ok, but not tasting ok? It’s very doughy and chewy with not much taste? I think I made the dough too wet. I used all-purpose flour. But using your recipe quantities of water, the flour was still very dry, so I added another cup. Also, I’m in the Philipinnes where room temps can get quite warm. Would this affect the proving process and time? I left it for about 18 hours and it doubled in size. However, it didn’t increase much in size during the second proving process and the dough was difficult to handle because it was so wet? Anyway, here’s a pic. It won’t put me off and I’ll try again.

      1. Alan, the loaf looks terrific! All-purpose flour is fine. What kind of salt did you use? Salt is what will bring out the flavor. My concern is your having to add an extra cup of water. That suggests you had too much flour to begin with. My advice is to use the weights in the recipe. It’s the most precise measuring method. Do you have a scale?

        1. Hi David, thanks for the reply. I don’t have scales. I’ll get some. My cup is 240ml, and the recipe calls for 3 cups. My salt is very coarse salt, so I’ll get some finer salt. The 2nd attempt looks and tastes better than the first. So, just gotta keep at it!

          1. Alan, it sure does look great! Using a scale will make ALL the difference. Plus, when you measure course salt, you’ll get less in the spoon than regular table salt. So, you’re on your way!

    73. Thanks, David. I’m not sure if you remember, but you spent a lot of time with me nearly a year ago, both email and on the phone, trying to suss out what was going wrong, but we just couldn’t figure it out. I don’t know if the flour was the problem, but I’m not going to argue with success. Thanks for all of your help. And just so you don’t think that “beauty is only skin deep,” here is s photo of the crumb showing that it, also, is perfect.

      1. David, I do remember, and I’m very happy you persisted. My number-one goal is for every cook to have success. And if it takes emails, calls, and video chats, we’re up for it. Now…speaking of beauty not being skin deep, that is a truly gorgeous and envy-worthy crumb. The airholes are fantastic. My advice: keep at it, loaf after loaf. Some will suck, some will shine. You’ll become a pro soon enough.

    74. So, after 3 miserably failed attempts to bake this supposedly “can’t fail’ bread, and a 10 month swearing off of any form of brag baking, I have finally given this another try. This time, I used King Arthur bread floor rather than supermarket brand AP flour, and weighed everything out (although I did that at least one of the failed attempts) out seems I may finally have had success. The dough behaved as expected, finally, and the baked loaf looks gorgeous. I will know for sure after it cools and I can slice into it. Fingers crossed!

      1. David, I’m sorry for the three previous flops, but if you’re anything, you’re the personification of, “If at first you don’t succeed…” The loaf looks amazing!

    75. Fool proof and so very delicious, also incredibly forgiving. I have been making it for years and every time I make I think I should have taken a picture to share but I never remember UNTIL today, first of many in 2020. Here it is

    76. Thanks for posting this incredibly easy recipe. It’s just out of the oven, and I can’t wait to taste it. Thanks also for the metric quantities button ;-)

        1. I know you won’t be surprised by this but I wasn’t expecting it to turn out so sourdough like. I presume it’s due to the long fermentation(?). Easy, tasty bread. Thank you.

          P.S. I can’t upload a picture because we’ve eaten it :-)

    77. Thank you for posting this easy recipe and for all the review tips! I ended up adding about 1/3 cup more water to get that “sticky” consistency. Plus I added about 1 teaspoon sugar, and it worked great! I only had a 2 3/4-qt Le Crueset so I ended up making 3 small loaves while also using my Emile Henry loaf baker. Will def be making more and experimenting with herbs!

      1. You’re welcome, SZ! We’re delighted it worked so well for you. Your loaves look beautiful. We can’t wait to hear about your future bread baking experiences.

    78. What a great recipe + technique! I’ve made no-knead bread before. I made a double batch and placed in a 6-qt Rubbermaid plastic bucket with top and placed on my countertop. It rose quite well in the 24 hours. (Yes, I should have refrigerated after 18.) I followed the remaining instructions (and thanks to many reader comments, too!). I put my ridiculously heavily floured towel with the dough on a metal pan. I placed it on top of a heating pad on low. (A wondrously effective contraption). Time to bake. I preheated the oven with the 4-qt Rommertopf (top and bottom to avoid any sudden temp shocks). It worked perfectly fine with this doubled size loaf. I will experiment with SOAKING the Rommertopf first to see how this might work and affect the outcome.

      I was very pleased with the result. One really needs to be underway sooner than I started (4p.m. after taking out of bucket). The loaf definitely needed more cure time..I waited 45 minutes…not enough as directions state! I’m day 2 with bread down on cutting board, and still enjoying as toast.

      Thank you for this recipe and the great exposition of how to make it. I’m really glad that I experimented with my Romertopf (bought unused for $5 bucks at a thrift store!) for bread. It works beautifully.

      1. Wow, Leisa, what a glowing review- thank you! We love it when our readers have such a lovely experience with our recipes and especially when they share. And we LOVE that you scored such a bargain at the thrift store.

    79. The only way to get consistency is to weigh the ingredients.

      Here (80% hydration) is my recipe for 2 loaves (freeze or give away one).
      40 oz of flour (I use high hydration bread flour)
      32 oz of purified water (bottled)
      1/2 teaspoon any dry yeast
      1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

      Mix and let ferment, covered, 15 to 24 hours (refrigerate after 24 hours). Bake as above.

    80. A friend sent me the link, and I’m hooked! I haven’t made bread since middle school, and don’t remember it being this easy. My confidence builds with each batch. The picture is the result of a mistake. Didn’t have enough regular flour needed, so used a little almond flour. Wasn’t understanding why it wouldn’t fully rise. When it came out, both loaves looked like focaccia bread. Then realized almond flour is gluten free. Hello! Turned out awesome, regardless.

      Now, need to know bake time if I want to make smaller loafs (4 small from one batch). And, do I cut in to four balls at first rise, or just before second? Suggestions?


    81. Can this bread be made gluten-free? I live in the tropics it is 82-86 degrees daily. Does it still need to rise for so long?

      1. Deborah, we didn’t test a gluten-free variation. The loaf wouldn’t have to rise as long at room temperature, but the slow rise is what gives it a better flavor. Perhaps let it rise in a cooler?

          1. Deborah, because you live in a tropical zone, it would be hard to get normal room temperature. By a “cooler” I mean a plastic container you put soda or beer in to keep cool.

    82. Wonderful taste and chew. So easy to make. Followed directions and hesitated at the small amount yeast but it is perfection. Did not post this untill my first taste. Yum!

    83. Really only 1 g of flour?! Anyway, made it as per the recipe and here it is, just out of the oven… trying to be patient…

    84. 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.

    85. 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.

    86. 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.

    87. 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.

    88. 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!

    89. 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!

    90. 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.

    91. 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.

    92. 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.

    93. 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.

    94. 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…

    95. 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!

    96. 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.

    97. 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.

    98. 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!

    99. 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?

    100. 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!

    101. 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

    102. 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.

    103. 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.

    104. 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.

    105. 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.

    106. 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”.