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Sunday, 28 February 2010

Fresh from the Oven - No Knead Bread

The January challenge at Fresh from the Oven was to make this No Knead Bread in a cast iron casserole! It sounded quite easy and didn't involve too much work so I had a go. Here is the recipe supplied by Claire:

No Knead Bread

The Mix

  • 15oz Strong White bread flour - it works best with all white I think
  • ¼ tsp instant easibake yeast (out of a sachet)
  • 1 tsp table salt

Stir together well then add 10.5 fl oz of lukewarm water (a mugful)

Slosh it round into a gooey lump of dough with a fork

Leave in a big bowl and cover with cling film or put the bowl in a bin bag
Leave it in kitchen for 16-18 hours – or more if you forget.

The 16hr Sloosh

Use a dough scraper/cutter or your fingers, to scrape the wet porridgy dough away from the sides, using plenty of flour to stop it sticking, and shuffle it back into a nice round shape. Don't be tempted to knead it.

Cover with a tea towel and leave for 2 more hours.

The Bake

Preheat oven to 200-220 and put in a lightly oiled Le Creuset or other large cast iron casserole with a lid on until the oven and the pan are super hot.

Again use the scraper and a good sprinkle of flour to detach the dough from the bowl without puncturing it’s airy goodness. Then quick as you can, without losing the heat from the oven and pan, tip the dough onto one hand then flop it into the hot pan the right way up again and put the lid back on and get it back in the oven immediately.

  • Bake for 30 minutes lid-on
  • Then cook for 10-12 minutes more, lid-off until golden brown

If it’s not hollow sounding on the bottom put it back in, without it's tin for an extra 5 minutes. Tip out and cool well before trying to slice


  • I find this works best for me if I make the dough around the school run (3.30pm) then do the first dough slooshing when I get up, then bake it mid morning. As you can see, the times can be very approximate! Another option might be to mix the dough on a Friday when you get in from work, sloosh it mid morning on Saturday and bake it at lunch time ready for Saturday evening. It seems like a long process but it really is no effort when you get your head round it.
  • If you haven’t got one yet it’s worth getting a dough cutter/scraper to save on sticky fingers. My plastic one was only 90p from a local cook shop.
  • My new Le Creuset (25cm) is a little bit too big for this recipe so I sit my lightly oiled 20cm mermaid pie tin in the bottom to help shape the loaf to be a bit taller and rounder. I also sometimes scatter a bit of semolina in the base for an extra crunchy bottom. You can use oil instead of flour to de-stick the dough from the mixing bowl, but it makes for a wetter and slighty denser outcome like the one shown at the end of this post. It is one of those loaves that comes out a little bit different every time anyway due to the extended prove.
The picture above is the gloopy, fermenting mixture of flour, yeast, water and salt.

and here is the cooked bread in it's Le Creuset casserole, it came out remarkably easily, I was a bit concerned that it would stick.

The loaf is remarkably like a Ciabatta, it has the same open texture and chewiness, it also kept very well. I would definitely recommend this loaf and I know that other bakers who didn't have a Le Creuset casserole used other kinds of pots with lids (it's the steam that is important), so why not check out their blogs via the Fresh from the Oven blog and have a go yourself.

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At 28 February 2010 at 07:40 , Blogger Marie Rayner said...

Oh my Janice, this bread looks fabulous. I am not very good at making bread. I may have to give this a try. I'll let you know how it works for me! xxoo

At 28 February 2010 at 08:21 , Blogger Chele said...

Looks great Janice. Such an easy bread to make but it tasted soooo good too. Glad you had the chance to take part this month.

At 28 February 2010 at 11:08 , Anonymous Maria said...

Looks lovely - the bread colours beautifully in the Le Creuset.

At 28 February 2010 at 13:36 , Anonymous MaryMoh said...

Looks so fresh and delicious! Sounds so easy I must try. Thanks for sharing.

At 28 February 2010 at 14:12 , Blogger Angelnorth said...

Ah - fresh bread with minimal effort, can't beat it, can you?!

At 28 February 2010 at 16:31 , Blogger Choclette said...

Janice, this looks really good. Intrigues by the steaming method. I wonder how it would turn out if you just baked it in an open oven.

At 28 February 2010 at 17:10 , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for adding me on UKFBA. This is a great recipe, I love making bread its so satisfying :). That being said I've only made it a couple of times :D. When fresh bread comes out of the oven i think it smells more delicious than any perfume in the world!
Hope you are having a great weekend.
*kisses* HH

At 28 February 2010 at 18:27 , Blogger Claire said...

Your bread looks delicious

At 28 February 2010 at 18:40 , Blogger Jo (Jo's Kitchen) said...

Your bread looks lovely. I really want to make it again

At 28 February 2010 at 19:18 , Anonymous Catherine said...

That looks really nice Janice, I keep putting myself off making bread cos of the length of time between stages, but I'll take a leaf out of your book and start thinking ahead :)

At 28 February 2010 at 20:20 , Blogger Sarah said...

It did turn out beautifully--I am so happy with the results. I've made with part whole wheat flour once and part rye flour once; both were great successes.

At 28 February 2010 at 21:42 , Blogger things we make said...

A great looking loaf, Janice. So glad you took part and that you enjoyed the recipe. Claire (things we make)

At 28 February 2010 at 22:05 , Blogger tracy said...

that looks lovely janice :)

love your new header too :)

At 1 March 2010 at 09:37 , Anonymous Wendy said...

I make this at least twice a week now and it truly is the most wonderful bread! I told you it was easy, didn't I? Good on you!

At 1 March 2010 at 11:21 , Blogger Helen McGinn said...

My friend Pauline makes a version of this; I had it when I visited her in Canada last year and it was delicious. They baked it for lunch a lot. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. Your photo of it cooked looks lovely.xx

At 19 March 2010 at 00:54 , Anonymous Rashmi said...

Lovely!! Golden,delish! Making my own bread is one of those things that seem sooo complicated - thanks for sharing this one, 'no knead' sounds great!!

At 30 March 2010 at 06:13 , Blogger Bo said...

I am so going to try baking bread in my pot! Very cool!


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I love to read your comments and try to reply when I can. I have had to enable comment moderation due to high levels of spam, so it may take a little time before your comment is visible. Please let me know if you make one of my recipes or if you have any questions I will try to answer them. Janice

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