My mother is putting together a family cookbook, a compendium of family favourites from across the generations. Many recipes, from matzo ball soup to Grandma’s favourite cheese ball, have made the cut, and I’m proud to list my no knead bread among them.
Of course, this isn’t really my recipe – it was originally made popular by Mark Bittman’s 2006 New York Times article about baker Jim Lahey. I’ve been making versions of this loaf ever since with various combinations of flours and seeds. I love it so much I can’t seem to do without it, so on visits home, my family has become accustomed to me taking over their kitchen and their house with dough balls, flour and yummy bread smells.
No knead bread may not be as long-standing a family tradition as pumpkin pie or lazy pierogi, but I’m hoping it goes the distance for generations to come.
“What makes Mr. Lahey’s process revolutionary is the resulting combination of great crumb, lightness, incredible flavor — long fermentation gives you that — and an enviable, crackling crust, the feature of bread that most frequently separates the amateurs from the pros…The loaf is incredible, a fine-bakery quality, European-style boule that is produced more easily than by any other technique I’ve used, and will blow your mind.” – Mark Bittman, New York Times
Here is the recipe as I make it, along with a few variations I like.
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