The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Jim Lahey no-knead bread- is a more than twenty hour sitting session bad?

myepikorean's picture

Jim Lahey no-knead bread- is a more than twenty hour sitting session bad?

I am making Jim Lahey's no-knead bread for the first time, and I can either get to it at a twelve hour point or twenty-eight hour point for the folding before two hour sitting and cooking.  Is the bread going to have issues if I leave it sitting there longer than twenty hours?  Help please?

MichaelH's picture

The main problem with waiting to too long is that the yeast will exhaust the available food and start to die. The rate at which this might happen is a function mostly of room temperature. If your home is approximately 68-75 degrees F, 12 hours would be fine.


Mukoseev's picture

I've gone as long as twenty-two hours at about 68 degrees with good results.  You might try refrigerating the dough to retard it a bit.

cranbo's picture

agreed with MichaelH and Mukoseev. 

If you're gonna go 28 hours and you're not going to modify the recipe, refigeration is your best bet, otherwise at room temp your dough will have eaten itself and have no life left.

It will take longer to rise from the fridge though before baking. 

If you're willing to tweak the recipe and unwilling to refrigerate, try just using a pinch of yeast (1/8 tsp or less) dissolved in the water in the recipe, and leaving at room temp for the entire time. Less yeast should mean longer ability to rise at room temp. Using 1/2 the yeast called for might extend your rise time to 22hrs or more.