Basic No-Knead Bread

YIELD: 1 loaf




  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Add water and , using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds.
  • Make sure it's really sticky to the touch; if its not, mix in another tablespoon or two of water.
  • Cover the bowl with a plate, tea towel or plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature (about 72F), out of direct sunlight, until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size.
  • This will take a minimum of 12 hours, and may take up to 18 hours. This slow rise - fermentation - is the key to flavour.
  • When the fermentation is complete, generously dust a work surface (a wooden or plastic cutting board is fine) with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough on the board in one piece.
  • When you begin to pull the dough away from the bowl it will cling in long, thin strands (this is the developed gluten), and it will be quite loose and sticky, but do not add more flour.
  • Use lightly floured hands, a bowl scraper or spatula to lift the edges of the dough toward the center. Nudge and tuck in the the edges of the dough to make it round.
  • Place on a piece of parchment paper, seam side down. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1-2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled in size.
  • Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475F, with lower rack in the lower third position and place a covered 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 quart heavy pot in the center of the rack.
  • Using pot holders, carefuly remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Gather up the dough by holding the four corners of the parchment paper and place the entire thing, paper and all, into the pot.
  • Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep chestnut color, but not burned, about 15 -30 minutes more.
  • Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly.
  • Don't slice or tear into it until it has cooled, which usually takes at least an hour.