We’ve been making No-Knead Bread Bakers at the Clay Coyote for more than a decade. I looked back, the first mention was back in 2010. The thing about this technique is that there are many, many variations. It’s also a super forgiving recipe, which is good for a baker of my caliber.
We have a friend that refers to herself as the Anxious Baker, if I were to give myself a moniker it would be the Unconventional Baker. Following directions has never really been my thing. Measuring, meh. Where cooking is an art, and all my wild ways are heralded; baking is a science and requires a little more restraint.
That said, No-Knead Bread Baking is right up my alley. Three ingredients, four if you count water, and a little bit of patience. Ok, fine, patience is not really up my alley, but I’ve been practicing it a lot lately and I’m coming around.
I will share that baking your own bread is very satisfactory. It’s very primitive and historic in its own way. According to wikipedia, the first known bread was baked in Eastern Europe around 9,100 years ago, I’d say that’s historic.
No-Knead Bread Baking Process:
- Combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 ⅔ cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky.
- Cover bowl, let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18 hours, at warm room temperature. Use a heating pad in cooler months.
- The dough will be sticky and bubbly.
- Add about ¼ cup flour, folding in gently.
- Let rest for another 15 minutes.
- Flour a surface, and using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to the work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball.
- Cover and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, the dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
- Set dough aside on a floured surface, we use a breadboard or towel.
- Clean and dry bread baker.
- Set the bread baker with the lid on in a cold oven and turn on heat to 400F.
- Allow the bread baker to preheat for about 20-30 minutes.
- Using hot pads, pull the bread baker out of the oven, carefully roll the dough ball into the hot base.
- Cover and return to the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 30 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned.
- Cool on a rack.
- 384 grams (about 3 cups, sifted) flour
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ⅔ cups water
- Additional cup of flour for mixing and dusting.
Yields one 1 ½ pound loaf of bread
Now, let’s get creative: Try some other combinations! Depending on the mix-in combos you’ll add them at different times. In an effort to make it easier we’ll call the 12-18 hour part the 1st rise, then the 15 minutes the 2nd rise, then the 2 hours right before it goes in the oven the 3rd rise. It’s not 100% technical, but it will help when thinking about your flavor combos.
- Wild Rice and Cranberry: Add ¼ cup cranberries (if dried, soak in a little warm water to plump up), ½ cup cooked wild rice, a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, and a tablespoon of orange zest into the 1st rise.
- Everything but the Bagel: Add 1 tablespoon of everything but the bagel mix to the 3rd rise. After baking, brush on a little butter and sprinkle more mix on top.
- Jalapeños and Cheddar: Add ½ cup shredded cheddar and ½ cup sliced jalapeños to the 1st rise. You may want to strategically place a few on the top of the loaf before you pop it in the oven for presentation. And you can use fresh or jarred jalapeños, but you may want to pat them dry a little if the jar ones are super wet.
- Olive: Add ½ cup fresh chopped Kalamata olives and ¼ cup of a fresh herb like rosemary, sage, thyme, or basil to the 1st rise.
- Bake like Prince and Let’s Go Crazy: Think about your favorite possible combos and give it a try …
Gluten Free Thoughts:
- We have used Cup4Cup flour as our best substitute, but we also highly recommend the gluten free recipe options in Nancy Baggett’s Kneadlessly Simple Cookbook (which is out of print but you can find it at the library and used book resellers).
- The general rule of thumb seems to be that you can swap out the flour, but you’ll need to make sure the substitute has xanthan gum or that you add some in.
We have a couple cookbooks that have no-knead recipes in them. Check out New World Sourdough if you’re looking for sourdough options.
And if you’re more of a Quick Bread kinda person (me) then we recommend our Square Baking Dish, it’s wider and lower than a loaf pan, but the same volume. Our trusty Banana Bread recipe is a crowd pleaser.
As always, if you have any questions we’re here to help. While we’re not professional bakers or chefs, we are professional potters and we’re constantly experimenting and learning new ways to put our pots into action.
Morgan & The Coyotes