Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Jim Lahey's No-Work Bread

This is my 99th entry (posted on 09/09/09 ... trippy!). I finally made my first bread using yeast. Since baking is not really my strength, I decided to try out Jim Lahey's No-Work Bread (from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything) because it doesn't require much kneading or fancy gadgets.

To make this bread, you have to be very patient and start early because it needs 18 to 24 hour for the dough to rest. After that, the steps are pretty simple and, as you can see from the picture below, the bread turned out with a beautiful crust and moist inside!

4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water at about 70F
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Add the water and stir until blended.
  • Put the olive oil in a second bowl, transfer the dough to that, turn to coat with oil, cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let the dough rest for 18 to 24 hours at about 70F.
  • The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.
  • Lightly flour a work surface, remove the dough and fold once or twice.
  • Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Using the just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball.
  • Generously coat a silicone baking mat with cornmeal, put the dough seam side down and dust with more cornmeal.
  • Cover with a plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours.
  • At least half hour before the dough is ready, heat the oven to 450F and put a 3- or 4-quart enamel pot with its cover in the oven as it heats.
  • When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up.
  • Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Then remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Remove the bread with a spatula or tongs to a cooling rack.
  • Cool for a least 30 minutes before slicing.
Now I need to start thinking about what to do for my 100th entry. Any suggestions?


  1. One more entry to go. Let's celebrate with CAKE!

  2. Such a beautiful looking bread! You give me just a bit more confident that I possibly could do this too....well, that's a big possibility!

    Your next entry should be making pizza crust! Just a thought!

  3. Made this several times. Try folding in some roasted garlic purée before final rise for a killer variation. Even without, it's a fantastic loaf.