The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

No knead bread from Michael Smith

earth3rd's picture

No knead bread from Michael Smith

I just made this bread the other day after watching Michael Smith on Foodtv. He was going on about how good the crust comes out if you bake the bread in a covered pot. The recipe can be seen at:

I used the pot method. Also the recipe I used was the "city bread" recipe. Followed the recipe to the letter. The dough was very wet, exactley the same as a poolish for french bread, a little hard to handle but I was gentle.

There is only 1/4tsp. of yeast, 16 hours for the first rise, 2 hours on the second rise. The bread tasted pretty good to me, much more flavour than a plain white bread.

Here are a couple of pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Just out of the pot


The crumb


reyesron's picture

I'm pretty sure that's Jim Lahey's exact recipe.  I wonder who got there first... 

earth3rd's picture

I'm pretty sure you must be right. He did mention in the show he demonstrated the bread on, that it was all the rage a couple of years ago. I can forgive him though, as I wouldn't have seen this technique if it weren't for that show. I know I'm guilty of using others recipes... thats how I learned to cook everything I know how to cook. I'm not very original myself, good at copying what I see though.

LindyD's picture

My goodness, there's no guilt in using other's recipes.  That's why cookbooks were invented. 

Lahey's recipe brought thousands into the bread baking fold, which is a very good thing.

The next time you make it, substitute a small percentage of the bread flour with rye or whole wheat.  Brings more to the flavor table.  Add some seeds of your choice and you're creating your own, made to taste bread!

reyesron's picture

Recipes obviously should be shared, but there is protocol for taking credit for something you didn't create in the published word.  When you bake a loaf of bread, no matter what recipe you used, the loaf is yours.  Its your creation.  When you create and publish a recipe, you're entitled to attribution by someone who claims it as their own.  I own Jim Lahey's book, that recipe was printed verbatim and the guy hung his name on it.  Personally, I don't think thats right, I'm just saying.   

AnnaInMD's picture

the no-knead method for some time now. The bread comes out wonderful, surprisingly all by itself. I use a Roemertopf which I presoak. I plop the dough into this wet cold container, put the wet lid on, put into a cold oven and bake at 485 degrees F for about an hour (the large 4 to 5 cup of flour loaf). After an hour I remove the lid and if the crust is still too light I bake another 10 minutes, 

I also use a sourdough starter, and recently added 1/2 cup of Olive Tapenade which gives the bread visual appeal as well as wonderful taste.

You did good  :)



earth3rd's picture

Thanks for the idea's and the compliment.

margieluvschaz's picture

your bread looks great!  Try they have some really good bread recipes & variations.  I love no knead bread - easy & delicious!


Janice Boger's picture
Janice Boger



You commented about adding olive tapenade to your no knead bread.  You also used a sourdough starter.  How much starter?  1/4 cup?  I so prefer the sourdough flavor and would like to adapt this recipe. 

thanks for your help


Jan Boger


AnnaInMD's picture

1 part starter, 2 parts warm water, and 3 parts flour (85% bread or AP flour and 15% rye)  

 The loaf size we like normally works out to 200 gr starter 400 gr water 600 gr flour

10 gr salt

1/4 teaspoon active yeast


As other additions I use my old coffee grinder to make a German bread spice with caraway seeds, fennel and coriander. Use about 2 tablespoons for a large loaf.

Or 2 tablespoons of Asian spice Zaatar (get it in big bags online),

or Rehydrated onions along with gorganzola, cheddar or blue cheese

all the above with a touch of olive oil added


Happy baking :)




Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Mr Smith has had a cooking show on Canadian television, not food, in the past. I have no idea if he still does. One of shows included a no knead bread. I found the recipe using Google last August (2009) and it wasn't bad tasting. I have the recipe on a backup flash drive and as I recall, it was the same recipe as the one on the food page. It was my first and so far only attempt at no knead bread. I just haven't gotten back to that style of baking yet.

EvaB's picture

And great to have someone else try the no knead method,which is the only reason I am baking bread at all! I cannot subscibe to ours of making folds and stretches etc, just to have a loaf of bread. I am not a big bread eater myself, and mainly bake it for my husband and kid. My shoulders and arms simply won't let me bake with anysort of kneading, although I did try the slam it on the counter style, and got a nice couple of loaves. Can't remember the video but its great.

I am going to see if I can combine sour dough into the no knead method of bread making, and will be experimenting as soon as I get the starter going. But I will never ever spend three days making bread!




rhomp2002's picture

He has several sourdough no knead breads there with videos on how to make them.  Good website and good people to deal with all the wa round.  Very ethical.