Jim Lahey’s Famous No-Knead Bread

by Min Merrell

Thanks Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC. You changed lives forever with your No-Knead Bread Recipe. I mean look at that crust!

Bread machines went to the Goodwill and sales of big le Creuset Dutch ovens skyrocketed. It’s the closed hot chamber of the pot that gives the bread an unbelievably beautiful crust. So much so that  Les Creuset now offers signature stainless steel knobs to replace the less high-heat-resistant original ones. Goes to show you how a recipe can cause a shift in the economy.

The recipe caught everyone’s attention because, literally, any level of home baker can master it with jaw-dropping results. All it takes is TIME, no kneading, no special ingredients. The wet dough and slow ferment develop the gluten, not the usual kneading, to produce a big round crusty loaf.

Here’s Jim’s recipe published in the New York Times by Mark Bittman that first caused the huge ripple in bread baking back in 2006.  It’s listed as a Times classic and has almost 15,000 five-star ratings.  Unbelievable.  Then came the pizza dough made the same way that’s equally excellent.  Here’s our pizza dough certainly influenced by Jim.  We thank you for that, too.

We’ve been making Jim’s bread ever since with a few tweaks along the way. First of all, we double the recipe because why not? We also substitute 1/3 whole grain flour and use a whole packet of yeast just because I don’t like having open packets lying around and I don’t usually keep a jar of yeast. You can use less. After baking, and cramming warm slices slathered with butter into your gob hole, cut the loaf into slices and freeze. Now, pull out a slice anytime and make the most fabulous toast.

Here’s more about Jim Lahey.


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