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.

How to ensure magnificence from your loaf of no-knead bread

Baker Jim Lahey took great care, in his original recipe for this bread, to explain as many tricks as he possibly could to help ensure you have spectacularly satisfying results at home. I’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, I suspect, the barometric pressure, the phase of the moon, and maybe even your mood.

So some days, your bread baking may seem blessed, and on others, it may feel as if you lost your baking mojo. It happens to me all the time. But remember what Lahey always 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

Plan your bread-making schedule

As easy as this recipe is, Lahey cautions that it’s not exactly an impromptu sort of 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 better loaf, but you need the patience and the schedule to do it. 

After preheating the oven and the pot for half an hour, 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.”

Why our testers loved this

The testers have been making this bread on repeat for years for several reasons. The texture and flavor of the finished bread are the best they’ve tried, and they loved the easy, hands-off method used here. Larry Noak calls it “the PERFECT bread recipe.”

Cath Ramsden joined in with her comment, “Gnarled, crunchy, bronzed crust, light and soft pillowy bread beneath—this is THE BEST BREAD I have ever made.”

Notes on ingredients

Ingredients for Jim Lahey's no-knead bread -- flour, salt, yeast, cornmeal, and water.
  • Flour–You can use all-purpose flour or bread flour, or a combination of both.
  • Instant yeast–You only need 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast for this recipe. It seems like a very small amount, but the long fermentation time means that very little yeast is needed. To check the freshness of your yeast, mix a teaspoon of yeast with 1/3 cup of warm water and a big pinch of sugar. Alive yeast will develop bubbles or foam on top of the mixture. If there are no bubbles, your yeast needs to be replaced.
  • Cornmeal–The addition of a little cornmeal helps to prevent the dough from sticking and adds a little texture to the finished loaf. You can substitute wheat bran or more flour for the cornmeal.

How to make this recipe

Bread ingredients being mixed in a glass bowl, and water being added to the mixture.
  1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Pour in the water.
Bread dough being worked in glass bowl and a person scooping bread dough onto a floured cutting board.
  1. Mix until you have a rough, shaggy dough. Cover the dough and let it rest until the surface is dotted with bubbles, 12 to 18 hours.
  2. Dump the dough onto a floured work surface.
A person folding a round of bread dough.
  1. Gently lift the top of the dough and fold it over itself.
  2. Pull the bottom of the dough up and over the folded section.
  3. Grab the left side of the dough and fold it up and over.
  4. Fold the right side of the dough up and over.
A round of bread dough on a floured cutting board, and the bread dough on a towel in a proofing basket.
  1. Gently nudge the dough into a round shape. Don’t knead.
  2. Coat a cotton towel with cornmeal and place the dough, seam-side down, onto the towel in a bowl or proofing basket. Cover with a second towel and let it rise until doubled in size.
An unbaked and baked loaf of bread side by side in a red bread baker.
  1. Heat the oven to 450°F and place a heavy pot and lid in the oven to preheat. Transfer the dough to the pot, seam side up. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  2. Uncover the pot and continue to bake until the loaf is dark brown in color. Cool completely before slicing.

Recipe FAQs

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.

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 combo oven (seen above in steps 11 and 12)
— 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

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.

Helpful tips

  • The bread is best enjoyed the day that it’s made. Extra bread can be stored in a plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Two slices of toasted bread on a plate with a cut apple, a knife with butter, and a dollop of jam.

More great no-knead bread recipes

☞ If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread

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

Prep 30 mins
Cook 50 mins
Total 15 hrs 30 mins
16 slices
85 kcal
4.86 / 142 votes
Print RecipeBuy the My Bread cookbook

Want it? Click it.


  • 6- to 8-quart heavy pot with lid


  • 3 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour plus more for the work surface
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (it's a small amount but trust me, it's correct)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed


  • 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.
Print RecipeBuy the My Bread cookbook

Want it? Click it.


  1. Room temperature–If your room is cooler than 72°F (22°C), the bread will need longer to rise.
  2. Storage–The bread is best enjoyed the day that it’s made. Extra bread can be stored in a plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 85kcal (4%)Carbohydrates: 17g (6%)Protein: 3g (6%)Fat: 1g (2%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 32mg (1%)Potassium: 25mg (1%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 4mgIron: 1mg (6%)

#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.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

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

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

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

When Jim Lahey says this dough should be wet, trust him, it will be as wet as a ciabatta dough. VERY WET.

When folding the dough, it doesn’t have to be precise. I simply pull 4 edges up and toward the center. Then simply turn the dough, seam side down, on a floured cloth or linen. Do not scrimp on the flour for the tea towel. You will NEED a thick coating on the cloth or it will stick when you flip it into the 450°F Dutch oven. Trust me.

Don’t fret over how the dough looks when you put the lid on and just slide it back in the oven, set your timer for 30 minutes, and, like some crazy magic, when the lid comes off, it will always be perfect. The last 15 minutes is the hardest for me. I always want to take it out of the oven before it turns a lovely dark brown. DON’T DO IT! Let it bake without the lid for at least 12 minutes.

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

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 for 2 hours after shaping the loaf and baked for the recommended time. The bread matched the picture’s 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’ll definitely make this again.

This no-knead bread 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. The bread is best used the day it’s baked.

The aroma of the bread while it was baking was 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’re rewarded with a beautiful, crusty loaf of bread with an open and airy crumb.

I’ve made bread in a machine and bread by hand/mixer before, but this is the first time I’ve 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 and 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 didn’t wait for the dough to double. I baked it 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 and 15 minutes for the 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 suggests leaving it to cool, but I couldn’t. I used a towel to hold onto the hot bread and sliced off a piece, smothered it in butter, and devoured it.

I was very unsure about the amount of yeast required. A 1/4 teaspoon is such a small amount compared to the volume of flour. However, I stuck to the recipe, and I’m glad I did.

I was also not sure if the water should be cold or warm. Usually, with bread it’s 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 of water to produce the consistency described in the recipe. The detail 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 rising 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 was so minimal the bread-making fitted around everything else that was going on at the weekend.

The second rest is only meant to take two hours, but I left mine for 16 hours. Partly for convenience but also because after two 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 I did have a Pyrex dish (1 litre) and covered it with a plaited foil lid.

The baking time was perfect. My loaf took 30 minutes with the foil lid on and then just another 20 minutes lid with it 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 given to us blind—we get the recipe title, headnote, picture, and 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 it was the only no-knead bread recipe I hadn’t 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, detailed directions, 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!): No big deal!
Pitfalls: none. MAKE THIS LOAF. Then 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 the dough and anything sticking to the towel, which was inevitable but way less terrifying than I’d always imagined, was 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…that’s all over now. This is by far the easiest bread I’ve ever made, and the results are incredible. For about 25 cents worth of ingredients and several minutes of hands-on time, you’re rewarded with a house that smells like a bread bakery and homemade bread worthy of praise.

The most difficult part of this recipe is figuring out what time to get it going based on when you’d like to serve this freshly baked masterpiece.

I allowed my bread to rest for 18 hours for 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 didn’t give me dough that had doubled in size, so 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 Creuset 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 doesn’t 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 an 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 even better. 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 loaf 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!

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. It’s perfect on its own or slathered with butter, but it’d 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, doubled in size, and came out of the bowl with long strands as described. I used a bowl scraper and followed directions to make the dough into a round. Took all of 30 seconds. I covered it with a tea towel coated with flour and let it rise for two hours. I baked it for 30 minutes with the lid on and then for another 15 without. The 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. Sorry for posting again: I realize that I gave the coarseness of flours according to French standards. Here’s a table and explanations, apparently in the UK and US, there is no such numbers. I’m pretty sure that because of these variations in flours, most readers will have to make adjustments in water.

  2. 5 stars
    Hi, I wanted to add that I do this recipe with sourdough, and it works well. You might have to reduce a bit the water (didn’t measure). Anyway, the exact same recipe yields a great sourdough bread.


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

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

        1. 5 stars
          Yes, what is your starter recipe? I have finally mastered the this recipe and wanted to see about a sourdough version. Do tell, please!

          1. Marna, as I stated above:

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

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

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

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

            I hope that this helps, Marna.

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

      2. Hi again,

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

        1. 5 stars
          I followed this recipe but used 10 grams of a rye based sour dough starter instead of yeast. Perfect results, tangy, chewy and gorgeous. Thank you.

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

      Ingredients (Use a scale!)

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

      Mix together the dry ingredients.

      Dissolve 1/4 cup starter into purified water.

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

      Cover with plastic and let sit 12-18 hours.

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

      Cover loosely with plastic and rest for 15 minutes.

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

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

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

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

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

      Consume bread, be happy.

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

  4. 5 stars
    THIS is my go-to bread recipe and my FAVORITE bread cookbook of the 20 or so that I own. The rye bread recipe is utter perfection!

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

            Excellent for toast or garlic bread.

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

      1. Try instant yeast instead of quick rise. Quick rise uses hot water & isn’t as good as instant yeast for this recipe.

      2. 5 stars
        I have made this recipe weekly or more for years and never used warm water. Never had a failure. I’m going to guess your yeast was dead. Sometimes it just dies. Or maybe too much chlorine in your water? Try bottled water next.

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

        1. 5 stars
          I had to add more water, also, because it’s so dry and cold here and our home is very well-heated (i HATE cold!!). I found, though, that the dough was dry on top and did not create the bubbles spoken of. The bread, however, was and is (the tiny piece left) absolutely delicious–great texture, not large holes, but that’s ok. It was awesome. Next time, I’ll add the water as I feel necessary. I own a great scale and will measure the next loaf. This stuff is ADDICTIVE, and I could make and eat it daily. Well, tomorrow is another day and I’ll put another loaf on to raise and we’ll see. Measure, measure, measure…lol.

          Thanks, David.

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

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

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

      5. 5 stars
        I have made this recipe a million times. I have added not enough or too much of each ingredient. I have made super wet and a little less than wet. I have waited as long as 26 hours (surface dries out) and as little as 8. This bread is truly idiot proof. If it didn’t raise for you, the yeast was probably old. Maybe not from when you bought it, but either how long it sat on the shelf or how old before being packaged. Don’t give up. Also make sure that when you look at it, that it is covered with a ton of bubbles. It should almost looks like tapioca. When you turn it out on the board, it should stick with long strands or “fingers.” If not, put it back in the bowl and let the yeast develop longer.

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

          2. 4 stars
            I too live in a humid climate. I find that I need to use at least half bread flour. Try using a stronger flour, they are more thirsty than regular all purpose flour. The bread flour I use is King Arthur brand, you might look to see what the equivalent is where you live.

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

          4. Oh, I’m a bit worried now. Do you know if any other UK bakers have had a problem? I often use US recipes, now I know what to blame for them going wrong!

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

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

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

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

        1. 5 stars
          ps I dump all ingredients in a bowl and add room temp/tap water. Never fails. Seriously no muss no fuss.

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

          2. 4 stars
            made the recipe again tonight…the dough was not wet, yet i measured the flour and water…i can’t figure out what i’m doing wrong…would the flour be too *dense* or?? i use “Wheat Montana” a-p flour and scoop it from the bag…it is amazingly wonderful, great, awesome, spectacular tasting bread…best loaf i’ve made yet…the holes are not as big as jim’s and mark’s — that has to do, i think, with the lack of wet dough…it first rise was about 16 hours — it turned dark but the top of the dough was not soft and bubbly; it was kinda hard, like dried out…

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

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

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

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

        1. 5 stars
          Yesterday I made two batches – one with tap water and the other with warm water. It is winter where I am (outback Australia) so the tap water was quite cool/bordering on cold. After sitting for 20 hours I would defy anyone to identify which is which. Thank you for this recipe, it is truly wonderful bread and the word “fail” has no place in any description of it. Ever.

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