I was late to the no knead bread party. Whilst the original rendition appeared in the 2006 New York Times I only discovered it recently via Cooking for Geeks but have become quickly addicted.

It’s the perfect bread for fitting in with the working day. Mix the ingredients just before bedtime; leave until you come home the next day; fold over a couple of times and ignore until after dinner; throw it in the oven for 45 minutes; then let it cool overnight.

The original recipe in the NY Times article (and you should go read that article and watch the video) uses “3 cups” of bread (about 375g. Am I allowed to loathe the habit of so many recipes to give quantities of a compactible substance by volume?) to 370ml of water, almost an one-to-one ratio. Cooking for Geeks uses 390g flour to 300g water. The original recipe is incredibly good but doesn’t quite feel right when you make it because the dough is so wet. I don’t know if this is a difference between the British and American flours and their natural gluten content but it doesn’t really fold when I try it, more splats. The Cooking for Geeks version is a more traditional dough but uses a bit more salt which doesn’t quite come out as well. As a result I’ve ended up with a compromise version:

  • 375 grams strong white flour.
  • 315 grams water (roughly).
  • 1 tsp salt.
  • ¼ tsp instant yeast.

Then proceed as in the other recipes. That is to say: mix all the dry ingredients; add the water and leave for 20 hours. Dump it out on a well floured surface and fold over a couple times. Cover with a tea towel and forget about for about 2 hours. Half an hour before that’s up turn the oven to 230°C and put a casserole dish in to heat up with the oven.