Jim Lahey’s My Bread

by Maggie Battista on December 1, 2009

in All Recipes, Bread, Featured


I’m going to be a broken record for a moment. I’m going to say something that’s been said over and over again. Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread Recipe changed my life. Making bread on your own, with flour, water, salt and yeast, is so easy and has given me this feeling of invincibility. I feel like I could cook anything now.

Now, we all know that is not the case. It’s not part of my nature to be able to whip up complex, intensive dishes like the one Erin learned how to make at Per Se recently. I love that dish and could eat it a thousand times over, but I’m never going to actually make Oysters & Pearls. I’m more of a wabi-sabi sort of cook, finding art in the imperfect.

I am, however, going to make more bread and other things like bread. Hell, if I can make gnocchi and bread and rubs and my own cordials and the best beef short ribs ever, I’m pretty sure that homemade pasta and ravioli is just around the corner. Keep watching. Perhaps I’ll surprise myself with an early Christmas present, like, say 8 solid hours away from the world to figure out my pasta-making machine. Ahh… a girl can dream…

Maggie Battista

Founder at Eat Boutique
Maggie, is the founder of Eat Boutique. She started Eat Boutique as a blog in 2007, and sold out of her first gift box of small batch independent food in 2009. Maggie continues to offer unique and delicious handmade food in tasting subscriptions and seasonal gift boxes for food fans and home cooks. Maggie also hosts Eat Boutique Markets, where she spotlights cookbook authors and food makers. She’s written for Style Me Pretty, Food52, Time Out New York, Spencer Magazine, and writes a cocktail column for the popular wedding blog, Snippet & Ink. Maggie's also created retail experiences for the largest floral and event design company in New England. She regularly travels far distances to find the next great chef, farmer, food maker or host. You can follow her worldwide – and homemade – gastronomic adventures on Twitter at @mizmaggieb or @eatboutique. Maggie's first-ever cookbook Food Gift Love will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October 2015. You may pre-order now.

  • http://pickyeatings.com Lindsey@pickyeatings

    I love this recipe as well, it rocks my world. And I love the idea of adding cornmeal for a crust.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/mizmaggieb mizmaggieb

    Yes, it will totally work. It will just take a lot longer. Sometimes my kitchen goes down to 62 degrees at night. In those cases, I upped the resting time to 24 hrs – and I got a yummy bread in the end.

  • The Cooking Bride

    I just read about Jim Lahey in the latest issue of Fine Cooking magazine. His new book is now added to my wish list!

  • http://www.erikorganic.com/office/custom-desks.shtml custom desk

    The idea of adding cornmeal makes me feel so excited to try it for myself! Nice work!

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  • Elizabeth

    Here is almost the same recipe in half the time:
    I found it equally tasty and satisfying.

  • paul

    i have a question on the recipe. i just got the book and i'm curious on one thing. after the dough rises and you have the dough in the preheated pot, does that go back into the oven? or does the cooking happen solely in the covered pot outside of the oven?

    hope it's not too silly a question. i'm looking forward to making my 1st bread as i just got the book.

    • kiwiswiss


      I leave the hot pot in the oven and dump the dough into it, close the lid and close the oven again. It needs the intense heat, with the lid to create the steam, to create the wonderful crust.

      I started off using this exact recipe, but have realised rereading the no knead bread that it has gradually changed, so that it works for me. Everyone has a different situation, and therefore method, so don't be scared to change it – not radically, but gradually – until you get the effect that works best for you!

      Happy baking.

  • Penguin

    I tried to make the no-knead bread for the first time yesterday. After the first rising of 18 hours (inside my unheated oven overnight) my dough did not hold itself together and slid around. It was quite sticky. When I tired to fold it onto itself, it would not hold. What did I do wrong? I measured and weighed all the ingredients. Do I need to add more flour or less water? Has anyone had the same experience?

  • http://www.cupandtable.blogspot.com gretchen

    have had this filed away for a while but never got around to making. clearly i must give it a try and soon. thanks for posting.

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