Breaking Bread.... - Penny Lane Blog at - 299650

Penny Lane

Breaking Bread.... 
Mar. 22, 2013 11:34 am 
Updated: Apr. 21, 2013 10:47 pm

There few things more comforting than a freshly baked loaf of bread.  It brings people together, it comforts our appetites and our souls.


I have heard all about these No Knead dough recipes, yet I resisted.  How can a no knead dough be better than a dough I worked so hard to create?  I needed to knead.  

I heard Petey sing the praises of her no knead dough and she was obviously impressed with this method.  

I thought I should give it a whirl, what did I have to loose?  Flour, water, yeast and salt - that's it. 

You just measure 3 cups flour, 1 tsp yeast, 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 2/3 cups water into a bowl.   

Mix it all up.

Cover it with plastic wrap.

Set it aside on the counter for at least 12 hours but I have let mine sit for as long as 36 hours.  

The dough will be bubbly on top, very wet and very stretchy.  I use a silicone spatula to just scrape it onto a well floured silicone mat.  


Dust the top of the dough well with flour.  


Gently stretch the dough into a rectangle.  You don't want to completely de-gas the dough.  

Remember, no kneading.  


Fold the dough into thirds, like folding a letter. 

Then fold it into thirds again.


Using well floured hands, gently turn and shape the dough into a ball.  


It should look something like this. 


I then spray a piece of parchment with cooking spray so the dough doesn't stick while it rises.  

Cover the dough and set it aside to rise for 2 hours.

Pre-heat your oven and either a dutch oven or  heavy lidded oven safe pot to 450.



Now this is where it can get a little tricky.  Some people add the dough to the hot pan without removing the pan from the oven.  

Personally, I prefer to take it out, set it on a hot pad on a wooden cutting board.  


Replace the hot lid.



 Place back into 450 oven for 30 minutes.


After 30 minutes remove the lid.


Continue baking for another 20 minutes.


The internal temp should be at least 200 degrees.


Now for the hard part. 

You really should wait about 20 minutes for the bread to cool and complete baking as it cools.  


Yeah, right!  


No Knead Artisan Style Bread

Mar. 22, 2013 12:00 pm
Oh wow, you make it look so easy.I have always made mine the old way,kneading.Since I had surgery on my shoulder I have been using my kitchen aid,and letting it do that,but I must try this.Thanks for posting Baking Nana.
Mar. 22, 2013 12:05 pm
manella - I would use the Kitchen Aid and I have an Electrolux for heavy doughs. This is so darned easy to have on hand. Crunchy crust, moist the tender crumb. YUM.
Mar. 22, 2013 12:09 pm
Thank you for this. You saved me a drive down there for lessons. Now next time I drive down there we can just visit.
Mar. 22, 2013 12:12 pm
:) We can visit and we can make bread too it you want. Beware though, this stuff is so good it is dangerous!
Mar. 22, 2013 12:16 pm
After you raved about this recipe, I made it a couple of days ago. It is wonderful. One have to wait a long time to bake it and enjoy that wonderful crusty, chewy & yeasty goodness.
Mar. 22, 2013 12:18 pm
Thank you for the information. I have been using my Bread Maker on the dough setting for doing the bread. LOL build in poofer.
Mar. 22, 2013 12:20 pm
Mauigirl - the slow ferment of that first batch is a killer. Now as soon as I use a batch I make another to start the process again. I think that Petey keeps a whole bucket going. Smart woman!
Mar. 22, 2013 12:22 pm
Nadine - the dough setting is so good for many doughs, as is the Kitchen Aid. But this slow ferment leaves you with a wonderful flavor and the baking method can't be beat for that extra crispy crust and tender moist interior.
Mar. 22, 2013 12:23 pm
Hi BN, I loved this blog! Very informative with all the pictures. And now I want to make some!
Mar. 22, 2013 12:23 pm
Thanks for the tutorial. My husband loves bread and i'm sure he would love it if i'd make him some of this. This one doesn't look nearly as intimidating as other breads. And BTW - we all need to be "kneaded" sometimes! LOL!
Mar. 22, 2013 12:24 pm
Mix it up Jacolyn. You won't regret it! Let me know if you have any questions.
Mar. 22, 2013 12:28 pm
KGora - he will love you forever and ever and knead you even more! All you need is flour, yeast, salt, water and time. The time is the hard part. Mind you, once you have it going it is easy to throw together.
Mar. 22, 2013 12:44 pm
Oh Penny! Your step by step instructions make me think I can do this! I'm gonna give it a try. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Mar. 22, 2013 12:45 pm
You can do this, Paula! It is sooo easy not to mention delicious. Thanks for stopping in. Let me know if you have any questions.
Mar. 22, 2013 12:50 pm
I have been making this bread for years and we love it. I leave my dough on the parchment and lower it into the hot cast iron pan. The parchment is pretty browned after baking but it works great for me.
Mar. 22, 2013 12:57 pm
Hi Marie C - I thought about doing that but then Mauigirl tried it and the parchment got stuck in the bread! I don't think she sprayed the parchment though. I will have to give it a try - what do I have to loose? :) Thanks for the encouragement.
Mar. 22, 2013 1:12 pm
Similar to the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day recipe, which I keep a batch constantly in my frig in a 6qt Rubbermaid container. Makes 5 loaves, but I keep 1/5 of the dough to start the recipe over. I also bake mine on a heated stone, not in the dutch oven like your recipe. Love all of your step-by-step photos Penny! That last pic looks so delicious, makes me want warm bread right now!!! :)
Mar. 22, 2013 1:22 pm
Hey B'nana! Wow, that looks wonderful! Thanks for the picture-torial; even I could make it. I bought the Artisan Bread book and a digital kitchen scale (which I use way more than I ever thought I would), but haven't gone back through the book. This looks much easier, and I love the tip about keeping dough going in the fridge. Thank you!
Mar. 22, 2013 1:33 pm
Hi Kim - I am sure that this recipe is based on the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The New York Times also published one just like it. I just never tried this method. I am glad I did. It is so easy and I am happy to be able to recommend it to those who are fearful of yeast.
Mar. 22, 2013 1:35 pm
Hi Johanna - Get out that book! I am sure there are a lot of other good tips and recipes (formulas) in there. Let us know how it goes.
Mar. 22, 2013 1:37 pm
I had no idea that bread was baked like that. Wow! That makes one pretty loaf.
Mar. 22, 2013 2:05 pm
Seeker - this method gives you that really crunchy crust and tender insides. All holey and everything.
Mar. 22, 2013 2:15 pm
I once made a no knead bread that was awful! That was years ago, and I have not attempted it again. Your kind of bread looks easy and tasty. Maybe I should try again!
Mar. 22, 2013 2:51 pm
I have a recipe for the artisan bread, pretty much same as this though it doesn't require the 2 hr rise time in the pan..and instead of folding in thirds to get the ball shape, I just work it around with floured hands. you are right, Penny, this bread is awesome!! Great job with the tutorial, too, for those who've never made it before.
Mar. 22, 2013 3:39 pm
Holy buckets of gold, I can do this. Wonder if I can do it in my cast iron dutch oven? It is the only oven proof pan I can think of that has a heavy lid.
Mar. 22, 2013 4:24 pm
With these very clear instructions I might not kill the dough. Not taking any bets, though.
Mar. 22, 2013 5:15 pm
sueb - what do you have to loose? Try it again! Seriously good food!
Mar. 22, 2013 5:32 pm
Hi WaterlessCooker - I am sure there are many methods that work wonderfully, as this one. The stretch and folding is part of many Ciabatta too, which this dough reminds me of. Love those holey breads!
Mar. 22, 2013 5:33 pm
Sherri! YES you can! This is so doable and will make you look like a rock star to your friends and family. Shhhh - it is OUR secret!
Mar. 22, 2013 5:40 pm
Mike I have faith in you. You can do this, man!
Mar. 22, 2013 5:58 pm
It just struck me, you used the word gently a few times. Does that mean I shouldn't knead the dough with my cement mixer?
Mar. 22, 2013 6:14 pm
It would be best to avoid that Mike. This is a 'No Work' dough.
Mar. 22, 2013 6:37 pm
Two questions: Will this work with whole grain flour? Does my water have to be any special temperature? This looks great!
Mar. 22, 2013 8:03 pm
I have a similar recipe I have been making for years. I turn the risen dough out on a piece of oiled parchment which is already on a baking sheet and gently, with wet hands, encourage a roundish shape. I then cover the ball of dough with my biggest mixing bowl so it can rise again. I just remove the bowl and slide the baking sheet into the oven. No hot pot to worry about. I still get a crispy crust and a beautiful crumb. I have also used this dough for pizza, just taking about 1/4 of the full recipe and stretching it to fit my pizza pan. This only works if you like thin crust. What could be better than freshly baked bread?
Mar. 22, 2013 9:00 pm
Baking Nana, you may have seen my thank you already on the buzz. But I will do it here again. I just finished making this tonight and it is honestly the best bread I have ever eaten. For anyone else reading this, mine was MUCH wetter/soupier than Penny's photos. I almost tossed it. I think the climate, type of flour and the way you measure your flour makes a difference. But the fact that mine was very, VERY liquidy didn't seem to matter. Just go with it. Next time I will add a little more flour but honestly my soupy little bread slop made one heck of a loaf and I owe it all to you my lady. Thank you so much Penny! You know your stuff!!!!! :)
Mar. 22, 2013 9:51 pm
BN: That looks fantastic! Although the last thing I need in my life is scrumptious bread that's not too complicated to make. A couple clarifying questions...(1) During the last 2-hour rise, the dough sits on top of the sprayed parchment? What do you cover it with? Plastic wrap? And (2) It's not necessary to add any oil to the hot dutch oven?
Mar. 23, 2013 5:27 am
Hi Biker family. During the last 2 hour rise I just let the dough sit on the parchment and I usually cover it with sprayed plastic wrap. As BSM said though a large mixing bowl would work great. I think the original recipe calls for it to rise in a oiled bowl but getting it out of that oiled bowl and into the hot pan is tricky and I mangled a couple of loaves that way. As for the water - just tap water. It doesn't have to be warm although if you want to use slightly warm water you can. Don't oil the dutch oven, the bread doesn't stick. I know what you mean - having delicious bread available is dangerous!
Mar. 23, 2013 5:32 am
AZ93 You know, sometimes my dough is wetter than other times but it doesn't seem to matter. I guess I am not very good at accurately measuring the flour. I know that serious bread bakers weigh the flour for that very reason. I am glad that this worked so well for you. I bet the family was impressed!
Mar. 23, 2013 5:46 am
BSM - Thanks for stopping in. I like you have done methods similar to this but for foccacia. What I like about this is the shape of the bread is so perfect and there is no misting the oven with water. I am always afraid I am going to crack my oven window by spilling cool water onto the hot glass. Also, the holes in the crumb using this method seem to be more even than the free form loaves I do. I like the tip of using a large mixing bowl to cover the dough. I have to agree, there is nothing better than freshly made bread.
Mar. 23, 2013 5:50 am
Nell - I have not tried this method with whole grain flour. That said, I should experiment with it. A couple of things though. Whole grain flour absorbs more water than white flour and has less gluten so I think you would have to adjust the ratio of flour and water and also add some Vital Wheat gluten to the whole grain flour. Probably about 3 Tablespoons - I am guessing here but I will do a little research on that. I really like the Whole Wheat White flour and use it is many other bread recipes. I will give it a try and report back in a day or two. Nothing is 'fast' about this method but it is sure worth the wait.
Mar. 23, 2013 7:11 am
BN: Thanks for the additional clarification. Looks like we can have some sensational bread. The only requirement is that I am organized enough to be planning about 17 hours in advance.
Mar. 23, 2013 7:23 am
biker family, the first time I made this I didn't have the time or need to bake it so it sat for about 36 hours. The 2 hour rise time is also very flexible - you just don't want it to rise so much that it collapses. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Mar. 23, 2013 7:42 am
I have been doing this for a while. Have told family and friends about it. It is so easy and GOOD. I have been putting add ins to the flour - like 2 handfuls of bacon bits, 6 cloves of raw garlic and Asiago cheese---this is one of my favorites. I also do a whole wheat (1c whole wheat and 2c white). I have had to slow down tho, my gas bill went from $30 a month to $90, I was just loving to pass the bread around and trying the different flavors. I shape my loaf on parchment, pick up the corners of paper and drop dough into OLD cast iron dutch oven. The dutch oven sure did smoke the first time I used it. Smoke alarms went off. Glad to see this on AR, thanks BN
Mar. 23, 2013 8:17 am
Oh Andrea, I can just imagine the smoke alarms going off! YIKES! Good tips on all the potential add ins and the addition of the Whole Wheat flour. The possibilities are endless!
Mar. 23, 2013 8:35 am
Hi BN! Got your message on buzz. Thanks for your response. By the way, regarding your other post above, i made mine with 1 cup of organic whole wheat flour. It didn't get as round as some of the other photos, but it still tastes great. Sorry to hear about the bad pizza! Don't you just feel like nothing is as good as homemade?
Mar. 23, 2013 8:43 am
Hi AZ - good to know about the WW flour. I bet some Vital Wheat gluten would help. Thanks for stopping in and reporting back.
Mar. 23, 2013 9:29 am
Isn't it GREAT? I do keep a bucket going. It's good for up to 2 weeks in the fridge and you can grab a chunk anytime. I love it as pizza crust. I had to make bread to go with Boss' soup one day for 30 people. This was a LIFE SAVER!
Mar. 23, 2013 9:39 am
i have a lot of leftover bread and dont want to waste it. does anyone have any ideas on whaT TO DO WITH IT?
Mar. 23, 2013 10:11 am
Petey! I am so glad you saw this! Thanks for the inspiration! Question, when you 'grab a hunk' do you weigh or measure said 'hunk' or just grab what you think you will need. BTW - this is THE perfect bread for soups and stews. Well, it is just the perfect bread, period. Thank you.
Mar. 23, 2013 10:12 am
cbartelt - Freeze it. or croutons, bread pudding, breakfast casseroles. Bread crumbs. There are a lot of uses for bread.
Mar. 23, 2013 10:31 am
I grew up with my Mom making bread. Over the years I have had my ooopes with it. Forgot this or that but I have always loved my fresh bread. Mom always said she would prefer a fresh piece of bread with butter over a piece of angel food cake. Happens I agree with her :)
Mar. 23, 2013 11:25 am
I am with you and your mom, Cat. Fresh baked bread is my carb of choice. And you know what? Fresh, 'real' bread like this has spoiled me. I went to a high priced quasi "deli' - ordered an over priced sandwich and ended up leaving the bread and eating the middle with a knife and fork. Yep, I we are spoiled knowing what good bread tastes like.
Mar. 23, 2013 7:08 pm
Going to give this one a try. Thanks!
Mar. 23, 2013 8:33 pm
Magnolia Blossom, Go for it! You won't be sorry!
Mar. 24, 2013 8:58 am
I am SO going to make this. Thank you Penny for sharing this recipe... step-by-step. 2013 is my year to master bread making. This easy recipe will make me look like I have.
Mar. 24, 2013 9:11 am
Excellent Blog Baking Nana- you have a knack for making a recipe look so easy to do. I have learned so much from you about making yeast recipes. I think I could make this bread. At high altitude, I won't have to wait as long for the bread to rise. I hope you will consider writing a photo tutorial on how to make French bread.
Mar. 24, 2013 11:22 am
Oh Candice! Don't tell a soul how easy this is - you will look like the bread master!
Mar. 24, 2013 11:24 am
Hi Lela - The French Bread using the Kitchen Aid is another easy recipe. Next time I make it I will consider doing pictures. These step by step blogs are a bit of a pain to do. Thanks for stopping in. I hope you try this method.
Mar. 24, 2013 1:36 pm
This does indeed make great breads. I have the Whole Grain Artisan Breads in Five Minutes a Day, and I love it. Really tasty and easy recipes. Your step by step was great, Baking Nana. Hopefully, it will inspire many to try the recipe, and I think they'll be pleased when they do!
Mar. 24, 2013 1:43 pm
Hi wisweetp - I have never read that book, I must though! I was actually searching for faceless recipes when I ran into this one - obviously not faceless but it spurred me to try it. Glad I did.
Mar. 25, 2013 3:47 am
Hi, BN! You make this look so easy! Thanks for the pix.
Mar. 25, 2013 7:58 am
Hi Bibi, it is easy! Thanks for stopping in.
Mar. 25, 2013 12:06 pm
this recipe also works if using a pyrex type bowel. just add a pan of hot water for steam..same oven temp, same cooking time
Mar. 25, 2013 12:09 pm
b'nana, I just grab what i need. I got all my info from the same book that wisweetp mentioned. I also have their 'healthier' artisan breads using whole wheat, but haven't had much luck with those loaves for some reason. I have to use commercially milled flour with this
Mar. 25, 2013 12:11 pm
oh, yes...generously butter the bowel...
Mar. 25, 2013 12:14 pm
The method is a little different, even a little easier, in fact. Toss everything in a bucket ( the measurements are a little different as well) stir it, let it rise, fall, then into the fridge for a couple hours. It's easier to work with when chilled. Grab your chunk, stretch it into a ball (gives it a 'gluten cloak' per book) let it sit for about 30-45 min then toss in a hot oven. (tossing on a hot baking stone with a preheated pan underneat works great, that is what I put the water in). It's pretty fast
Mar. 26, 2013 3:45 am
I'm concerned about the bread sticking in my stonewear bowl that I would be cooking in. Do you need to spray pot with non-stick spray?
Mar. 26, 2013 5:14 am
Sue Bee, can your stoneware bowl withstand 450 for that long? My pan is enamel coated cast iron and it get smoking hot. I do not grease it. I am not sure about baking in the stone ware. Just above, tonyjcifelli said they grease a pyrex bowl.
Mar. 26, 2013 5:20 am
tonyjcifelli - Thanks for stopping in. In the past I have baked on a baking stone with a pan of water to create steam. I have also had two friends who have cracked their oven doors by splashing water on the hot glass so I am VERY careful doing that. Thanks for the tip on using a pyrex bowl.
Mar. 26, 2013 5:52 am
Thanks for the info Petey. I am going to get that book. I am thinking that the commercially milled flour has more gluten in it.
Mar. 26, 2013 5:53 am
campergramma - I like the sound of your flavor combinations. Yum.
Mar. 26, 2013 7:02 pm
Hey BNana, that sounds wonderful, and the way you spell it out, makes it look so easy! Is this by any chance one of your personal recipes??? Would love a link to it so I can print it! Thanks!
Mar. 27, 2013 5:10 am
Hi Lobster. No this isn't my recipe. The link to the recipe is at the bottom of the blog in blue. It is a published recipe here on AR - I just decreased the salt a bit. Give it a try, you won't be sorry.
Mar. 27, 2013 8:59 am
Mar. 27, 2013 9:00 am
There is a video that I thought was interesting. Baking bread in a Le Creuset pan.
Mar. 28, 2013 9:14 am
I have Got to try this BN!! Seems so easy.
Mar. 28, 2013 1:17 pm
Well, it interested me because I thought that it was about making no yeast types of bread. We see it is not. What about good recipes for those who need to avoid yeast, which are many around the world?
Mar. 28, 2013 1:19 pm
I meant to tell you long ago that my wife makes what she calls a "batter bread". Everything is done by the mixer then two rises and into the oven.
Mar. 28, 2013 5:19 pm
Give it a try Patty - you can do this, yes you can!
Mar. 28, 2013 5:21 pm
bungal - I am a yeast gal. Look at soda breads - I am not a fan but they might suit you very well.
Mar. 28, 2013 5:21 pm
Mike, is Batter Bread a yeast bread? Sounds interesting.
Mar. 30, 2013 7:33 pm
Just whipped up a batch of dough, and so excited to bake it tomorrow for dinner :) Thank you so much for the picture tutorial. I have looked at other no knead recipes and this one was so easy to understand!!
Mar. 31, 2013 6:05 pm
I wish I knew how to send you a picture my bread turned out so pretty!!
Apr. 21, 2013 10:47 pm
I have been making bread for over 30 years,mostly part rye or whole wheat with lots of other goodies such as flax,sunflower seeds,chia seeds,poppy seeds etc.Thought I would try a new recipe and added my usual mix of 1/3 rye and 2 Tbs of several seeds.Dough was a little too wet after the second rising so I kneaded in more flour and let it rise again then baked it.Wow!! what an awsome Bread,crunchy on the outside,moist inside and great tasting.My husband could not get enough.....Thank you so much,good job!
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Baking Nana

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive! Visit me at If you would like to contact me directly please use the 'Contact Me' on my site.
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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