No-knead bread

no-knead Crusty loaf

This recipe is my take on the method in Genius Recipes, but with more wholemeal goodness involved. It makes one loaf about 22cm in diameter, or about 570g.



Start with a big bowl, in which you put your flours, salt and yeast. Keep the yeast and salt across the bowl from each other – salt tends to kill yeast. Mix these all together and make a well in the middle. Into the well pour your water.

Mix with a wooden spoon – or better yet, your hands – until you get a sticky wet dough. This will take less than a minute.

Cover the bowl – I use a shower cap ‘acquired’ from a hotel stay (yes, I have a stash) – and leave somewhere that is room temperature and out of direct sunlight. You’re looking for the surface to be covered in bubbles. I leave mine overnight, usually so it gets at least 10 hours, if not more.

Once it’s doubled in size, dust a large chopping board with flour. Turn your bowl upside down over the floured board and gently tease the dough out of the bowl. It should stick a bit and be quite stretchy before it’ll come out – that’s good, it means the gluten is there.

You’ll be tempted to add more flour as it’s wet – don’t. It doesn’t need it.

Lightly flour your hands and start to fold the dough in from the sides. Do this by lifting the edges and push a little towards the centre. This will give you a nice circular shape and give you a seem on the top.

Take your bowl and turn it upside down over the dough on the board to seal it in. Let it sit for about 90 minutes.

Half an hour before the end of the second rise, get a large pot – I use my Le Fake-et casserole – and put it in the lower part of the oven. Preheat the oven to about 220ºC.

When the dough is ready, take the pot out of the oven and durst the inside with a little more flour to stop it sticking. Gently slide your dough off the board and into the pot. Put the lid back on and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes.

Take the lid off and bake for a further 10-15 minutes. It should be a beautiful golden brown on the top, if it’s not, leave it in for another five minutes.

Use a spatula or oven gloves to lift the bread out of the pot. Cool on a wire rack.

Try resist tearing off a chunk until it’s cold – the flavour is so much better then.