Saturday, September 4, 2010


This is the most fantastic bread ever,  it has the most crunchy, crusty crust I have ever tasted from a home oven.  The center is just what bread should be, brim full of flavour, with a texture like ciabatta, but slightly softer.  It is a very forgiving bread, it allows you to experiment to your hearts desire with different flours,  my favourite is to use one third wholemeal to two thirds strong white, but rye is really good in there too, and I plan to use some granary next time I make it.

I was first introduced to this bread by the very talented Coby, from the wonderful "The Claytons Blog", she in turn followed Jim Lahey's recipe - please try this if like me you lack in confidence on the yeast front (!!), actually if you haven't tried it before make it your weekend baking project (is my bossy nature showing????).

Just a word of warning ..... the directions sound much more complicated than they actually are, this one is easy peasy lemon squeezy!!!!

Coby's Bread

3   Cups     Flour (if white use strong or Italian 00 flour) but experiment to find what works best for you.
1/4 tsp       Yeast (not a typo that is all you use)
1 tsp          Salt
1 1/2 Cup+ 2 tbsp   water from the tap (ie. not warmed)

In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast and salt.
Add the water - the dough should be shaggy and sticky.
Cover the bowl with cling film and leave for 12 - 18 hours at warm room temperature.

The dough is ready when the surface is dotted with bubbles.
Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle with a little more flour and fold over on itself a couple of times.
Cover loosely with cling film and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to the work surface gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball.
Generously coat a cotton tea towel (not terry) with flour /bran/cornmeal (I think the cornmeal tastes best).
Put the ball of dough seam side down on the tea towel and sprinkle with more cornmeal/flour/bran.
Cover with another towel and leave for 2 hours. 
After 1 1/2 hours turn the oven on at 220 C, and put a heavy covered casserole type pot (dutch oven) in it to heat up.

The dough will have doubled in size when it is ready.
Remove the hot pot from the oven BE VERY CAREFUL.
Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot.
Shake the pan once or twice to distribute evenly.
Cover with the lid  and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and bake for 15 - 30 minutes uncovered. (It should be a lovely golden brown colour)
Cool on a wire rack.

Eat with lashings of good butter/olive oil.



Unknown said...

I LOVE no knead bread! This was how I was introduced to fearless (almost) bread baking :). It's so simple and tastes wonderful. Your loaf looks fantastic!

La Bella Cooks said...

I love the fact of the ultra crispy crust with the wonderful inside. I would love to give this a try. The first photo has me craving a slice.

Sommer said...

you're excitement is making me all excited. will try this soon!

freerangegirl said...

This looks lovely - I wanted to make some bread tomorrow before going back to work but didnt think id get time - now I can - thankyou:)

Anonymous said...

This bread looks amazing!!!!!!!

Patrice said...

I can't wait to try this! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That loaf looks like one of those artisan breads you buy in a posh bakery in Manhattan! I am impressed and wanting a piece with a pat of creamy butter. I will be trying this one out for sure!!!!

ruairi said...

"It is a very forgiving bread"

As bread should be!!! How many bread disasters have I many!!!Lol.

Your looks super good though, I love round oven loaves like this.

Anonymous said...

I love bread with a crispy, crunchy crust like this. And the fact that it requires no kneading is a definite double-win!

Coby said...

You're making me blush BG, thank you, I am undeserving!:) I am in complete agreement with you on the ease of this bread:) My problem with it is simply that I eat too much - lol and slather on too much butter as well;) Your combo is one I haven't tried, but my goodness it looks fab! It's fun bread isn't it?:):)

Anonymous said...

Your bread looks beautiful! I tried making the no-knead bread once from a youtube video and it didn't work for me. I'll have to try it again with your recipe and instructions. I'll let you know how it goes.

Jemima said...

I love home made bread, but Im not so keen on the kneading so this is perfect! thank you x

Choclette said...

It certainly looks a lovely loaf. I keep thinking I should experiment a bit rather than sticking to my trusty rye sourdough.

cocoa and coconut said...

No knead bread is so handy! This looks great.

Unknown said...

looks so lovely... e've been eating a HUGE amount of bread on our Californian trip... Soda bread being my favourite... it's everywhere. I need a good recipe for it and will make it on our return! said...

Yummmm... I have totally made this bread before. I think the recipe originated our of a Mother Earth Magazine as Easy No Need Crusty Bread. It is wonderful. I am not eating much gluten right now, I wish I were as it is delicious! (and easy)

Georgina Ingham | CulinaryTravels said...

I have just taken a loaf of this out of the oven. It's a firm favourite here ... I blogged about the ciabatta and Jim Lahey's book a while back

Catherine said...

This loaf looks amazing, just wondering where you can buy cornmeal? thanks!

Brownieville Girl said...

I get it in the health food shop Catherine, you can also use Polenta.

Spike said...

This look amazing. I love home made bread, I love the crust, the smell in the kitchen, ohhhh I have to try this one. Thank you for sharing. Great blog.