Here are some of my favorite No-Knead bread recipes. Each is distinctly different from the others, touching on some of what’s possible with this simple and hugely time saving bread baking method.

Menu of No Knead Videos:
Cranberry-Pecan Seeded Sour
Parmesan-Olive Steel Cut Oats


(Note: If you’re brand new to no knead bread baking, I strongly encourage you to give the basic no knead recipe a try first before moving into the variations.)

In each of the videos you will see I’m using sourdough starter as the leavening agent. The use of sourdough starter is usually my preference in baking but as the written instructions indicate, you can just as easily substitute instant yeast for the starter by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast in with the dry ingredients and leaving out the sourdough starter entirely. It’s that simple. I don’t want to see anyone deprived of the luxury of this bread experience if instant yeast is your preference for leavening.

As always, feel free to play with different flour mixes and ingredients to come up with your ultimate bread masterpiece.

Please leave your comments, questions and experiences at the bottom of the page.

Couldn’t resist adding this email from my new best friend ;). It includes some great no knead recipe variation tips…

“Hi Eric,

Ever since I found your website a couple years ago, we have not bought store bread (except for burger buns and pitas). Baking bread is a complete joy for me: making it is fun, seeing the results is amazing and the reactions I get from those I share it with are gratifying. Our “daily bread” is the regular sourdough (but I add 1 tsp.poppy seeds). The olive parmesan loaf is a special treat for when we have guests (my siblings love this one especially – we’re of Greek descent =)) – but I usually add a head of mashed roasted garlic to it.

I have even created my own sourdough KNM variation that I thought I’d share with you. Feel free to post it, if you’d like. It’s the basic NKM sourdough with 1/4c. chopped, pickled jalepenos and about 5 oz. shredded cheddar cheese mixed in. I was selling them to a neighbor for awhile, but then she started a weight-loss program that forbid bread (scary, huh?).

I currently take care of my elderly mother full-time, but all this bread-baking has led me to seriously consider baking as a career. I fondly imagine my own little bakery someday.

You have changed my life, Eric. Bet you don’t hear that everyday, but it’s true. Thank you.

– Elise Davies


Cranberry Pecan

Cranberry-Pecan Extraordinaire (makes 1 loaf)

1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz.) whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups (13 oz.) all purpose or bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1 1/2 cups purified water
1/4  cup sourdough starter or 1/4 tsp. instant yeast

  • Combine the flours and salt
  • Mix the starter into the water until mostly dissolved
  • Mix the water/starter solution into the dry ingredients
  • Mix in the pecans and craisins
  • Cover bowl with plastic at let sit at room temperature for 18 hours
  • After 18 hours turn dough onto well floured surface and gently flatten enough to fold dough back onto itself a couple times to form a roundish blob. Note: This folding stage can be accomplished within the bowl, speeding up the process even further and leaving less of a cleanup.
  • Cover blob with plastic and let rest 15 minutes. During this rest period, coat a proofing basket or towel lined bowl with bran flakes.
  • Gently and quickly shape blob into an approximate ball and place in proofing basket or bowl.
  • Cover with a towel and let rise for 1-2 hours depending on room temperature.
  • As gently as possible, flip the dough into a Dutch oven or ceramic (e.g. La Cloche) baker preheated to 500F degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes at 450 degrees. See Great No-Knead Baking Techniques for more tips.
  • Allow bread to cool completely before slicing and eating. Warning: this most difficult step requires superhuman discipline and restraint.

You may have to adjust the baking times and temperatures to adapt to the various weights and materials of different baking containers.

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Seeded Sour

Seeded Sour (makes 1 loaf)

This recipe holds a solid spot on my “all time favorites” list. It is adapted from the George’s Seeded Sour recipe in Nancy Silverton’s Breads from the La Brea Bakery book.

1/4 cup (1 oz) rye flour
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups (13 oz) all purpose or bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 tsp. quinoa
3 1/2 tsp. millet
2 Tbs. amaranth
1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds

1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sourdough starter or 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
2 Tbs. yogurt

Seed Topping Ingredients:

1 Tbs. amaranth
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 1/2 Tbs poppy seeds
2 Tbs. anise seeds
1 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds

Combine all the dry ingredients (except the topping ingredients) and then add to that the combined wet ingredients.
The rest of the baking steps are the same as those listed above for the Cranberry Pecan bread.

As shown in the video, I coat the proofing basket with the combined topping ingredients so they stick to the dough during the final rise.

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Parmesan Olive

Parmesan-Olive (makes 1 large loaf)

This recipe makes one amazing loaf of bread. It’s great for special occasions, and considering the price of ingredients, you may want to reserve it for special occasions. Use fresh parmesan cheese and it’s likely you will not find this loaf’s equivalent in any bakery. They would have to charge too much!

1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz.) whole wheat flour
2 2/3 cups (13 1/2 oz.) bread flour
1 tsp. salt
7 oz. grated fresh parmesan cheese
2/3 cup pitted kalamata olives (cut in half lengthwise)
1 3/4 cup purified water
1/4 cup sourdough starter or 1/4 tsp. instant yeast

Follow the same steps as those listed above for the Cranberry Pecan recipe. Combine the dry ingredients (including the cheese) then add to that the combined wet ingredients and then stir in the olives. The ingredient measurements are a little different than usual as the cheese is salty to start with and the dry mix takes more water than usual.

Here’s a video from Breadtopia visitor, Archer Yates… Nice!

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Steel Cut Oats

Steel Cut Oats (makes 1 loaf)

It’s amazing what the addition of a mere half cup of steel cut oats can do to enhance and vary the quality of a basic loaf of no knead bread. During the long fermentation period, the grains soften and swell to give the bread a wholesome and satisfying flavor and texture.

Simple enough to whip together in a heartbeat and interesting enough to become a regular in your no knead rotation.

3/4 cup (3 oz.) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (3 oz.) steel cut oats
2 1/4 cups (10 oz.) bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup firm sourdough starter or 1/4 tsp. instant yeast

Pictured here: Awesome steel cut oats no knead by Breadtopia reader Marianne Preston
Marianne's Steel Cut Oats NK
Another Breadtopia reader, Allan Castine, offered this…

In my last e-mail to you, I mentioned that I had made your steel cut oats bread recipe with mostly excellent results.  My only concern, as I told you, was that the bread was a bit bland for my particular taste.

I made the recipe again yesterday with a couple of alterations:

I added an extra 1/2 teaspoon of salt and, following a suggestion from a friend of mine, I lightly toasted the oats in a dry saucepan over medium heat before adding them to the flour mixture.

The results were great. The bread was very tasty, i.e., not bland.


And here’s a great rendition of this recipe from Eric Rochow who runs the website for DIY living. Check it out…

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No Knead Bread Variations

Comments from our Forum

Leave a comment ->
  1. melanieis says:

    The longer-ferment, 2 day in fridge, 2TBs of starter, makes an awesome loaf of sourdough. The bread of my dreams is that longer-ferment sourdough with cranberries and walnuts, but I thought probably I shouldn't leave cranberries and walnuts in a moist dough in the fridge for two days, so instead I covered the flattened oblong after the first long rise and then when I folded it together, the stuffs was folded in. I've done this three times now and it's extremely successful. The other day I tried to actually mix in the cranberries and nuts and see what happens to them in the fridge for two days - I think I'm not going to bake that. So now I want to bake that parmesan olive bread. I'm wondering if I should do the fold-in-after-rise method? Or can those things withstand two days in the fridge? I don't want to lose the cheese-everywhere splendor of the bread. Seems like a more expensive and annoying experiment to do it the wrong way.

  2. Eric says:

    I don't think anything would be worse off by sitting in the fridge that long. The only thing of note that I've found is that minimal handling of the dough after the olives are folded in keep them from getting too mashed up.

  3. GojiB says:

    I had the Seeded Sourdough and that was quite something... i did wonder as to how the yogurt fits into the recipe, i just blindly followed it and it was amazing, i am however not sure if this is something i should strictly only restrict to the seeded bread or i can try it for a regular sourdough.

  4. Eric says:

    Go for it. No reason not to try it in other recipes given your success with the seeded sourdough recipe.

Earlier Comments

572 thoughts on “No Knead Bread Variations

  1. Not that I’m aware of. But one of the great things about the basic no knead recipe is the ease with which you can experiment with adding just about any ingredient. So you might want to toss some in when initially mixing up the dough and hopefully enjoy the results.

  2. do you have any no knead recipe with sun dried tomatoes?

  3. Inspired by Donna and the need to use up some kefir, I made this loaf using only kefir for the liquid. It was indeed very flavorful. This might be a good bread to use “complex” to describe the flavor. Some of the tart, tangy kefir flavor came through.

    Kefir Bread

    Kefir Bread

    Unlike Donna, however, whose adventurous nature I greatly appreciate, I wimped out and also threw in my usual 1/4 cup of sourdough starter for leavening. Maybe next time I’ll rely solely on the kefir for leaving too.

    In case anyone is interested, this bread happens to be made up of 367 grams of kefir, 310 grams of whole kamut flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt, the starter and pretty much follows the usual no knead recipe instructions. Lacking kamut, try using any flour and shooting for the typical no knead consistency.

    Kamut is low in gluten, so to keep a nice shape to the bread I baked it in an oblong la cloche which kept the dough from doing what it would have otherwise done and that’s flatten out.

  4. Claire

    I have been lining my dutch oven with Release foil and have not had any problem with the bread sticking. I line the pot and put it in to preheat, then put the dough in. The foil is easily wiped clean and reused.

  5. Donna Wakefield

    I have an update on using kefir as the yeast for making knb. When I started using kefir, I substituted it 100% for fluid (i.e. 2 cups kefir instead of 2 cups water). The resulting loaf was very tasty, but a bit too moist, almost sticky, after being well cooked. So I slowly reduced the quantity of kefir. I now find that 50% kefir and 50% water works perfectly. It results in a lovely, light, moist loaf of bread with air holes evenly spaced throughout the entire loaf. I get a lighter loaf with kefir, using 100% whole wheat flour, than I ever did with either regular store bought yeast or sourdough starter. The bread has a very slight sour flavor to it, very mild, which is just how I like it. I find that it takes a full 24 hours for the dough to rise the first time, approximately 30-45 minutes for the second rise. When I used store bought yeast, it took 10 hours for the first rise, and about 1 hour the 2d. With sourdough starter, it took 10-12 hours for the first rise and about 1 hour for the 2d.

    The other day, for the first time, I used the kefir and made a wonderful cinnamon raisin loaf that was better than anything I’ve ever purchased.

    • Tanya

      I grind my own grain and make my own bread,etc. We also milk our own cow have recently started making our own kefir. I’ve never been able to keep sourdough starter going, etc., so I am intrigued by the use of kefir in place of yeast. Do you think it would work to substitute the kefir for the liquid (or .5o of the liquid) in any bread recipe? Or do you need to use a no knead recipe? Also, I usually throw my ingredients in a bread machine on a dough cycle for the first rise. Would that work in a kefir/yeast less recipe? Thanks!

  6. hungryhyena

    I tried a variation on Kendra’s recipe. I didn’t have steel cut oats on hand so I substituted ground flax seed in its place. It gave the bread a nice nutty flavor, but also kept it moist. I use Jim Lahey’s baking times/method because it’s been tried and true with my oven.

    Thanks for all the variations on recipes. Even though I have a bread maker I never use it, this is so much easier and I think it turns out better as well.

  7. Absolutely. Toss some in at the beginning when you’re mixing everything up. Should be great.

  8. I did the oatmeal one… SO GOOD. Do you think it’ll work with raisins?

  9. Just cut into one of the Cranberry Pecan loaves. Didn’t have pecans, so I used Walnuts.
    OMG!!!!!!!! SO GOOD!!!!!!!
    This is going to be a huge hit with the Guests at the Lodge this summer!!!!!!!!
    We are all loving it.
    It’s a darn good thing we have the exercise bike & elliptic trainer out. We are all doing extra km’s to try and counteract the effects of the delicious breads we are consuming at alarming rates.
    Next, Olive & Parmesan NKB … Mmmmm

  10. Rich Witt

    To Marc Lowen
    Re: Date/Nut Bread

    If you are looking to do a date/nut No-Knead bread, in this string of messages somewhere is a recipe for cranberry/pecan bread [which I intend to try soon]. You can substitute dates for cranberries and walnuts for pecans.

    That would be basically regular bread, with the fruit & nut ingredients disbursed in the dough mix.

    However, if you are looking for a “dessert” type of Date/Nut bread (the kind where you use quite a bit of sugar), I have a recipe that was given to me over 50 years ago by a lady who really made a good one.

    If you contact me at : [email protected] with your email address, I’d be glad to forward the recipe to you

    Rich Witt

  11. Donna

    I used 2 cups – in other words, whatever liquid is called for in the recipe I replaced with kefir. I found it was a little thick that way, so I thinned it with some whey from the cheese I was making. Presumably you could use water if you needed to or just try it thick and see what happens. Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

  12. Thanks for the report, Donna. Very interesting. I’m going to give a try with the kefir only option. How much kefir did you use?

  13. Donna

    Right, I have baked my breads with kefir and here is what I did.

    I put three loaves together. 1 loaf was 100% whole wheat flour and kefir, 1 loaf was 100% whole wheat flour, kefir and yeast and the 3d loaf was 6 oz unbleached white flour, 10 oz whole wheat flour, kefir and yeast. Needless to say, the loaves with yeast rose quite a bit faster than the one with kefir alone. By this morning (about 19 hours after I first mixed the ingredients), the kefir only loaf was as risen and bubbly as the other 2.

    I put each of the doughs in bread pans, lined with parchment paper on which I had marked which loaf was which. I let them rise in a warmed oven (I have no heat on right now and all the doors and windows are open, so this morning it was about 50 degrees in the house). They all rose exactly the same amount and were ready to bake 1 hour later.

    I placed all three pans into a large roasting pan. I made a tent out of aluminium foil to create the covered pan effect, and baked as normal. There was no appreciable difference in evenness of air holes, texture, crustiness or moistness between the 3 loaves, nor in rise height. Needless to say, the loaf with the white flour was a bit lighter than the 100% whole wheat and just a touch sweeter.

    Overall, however, I think I’ve found a great substitute for sourdough. The loaves have just a touch of tartness to them, without that overwhelming sourness that sourdough starter was giving to my loaves. Then only thing that I will have to do is give the dough a good 18 hours to rise (instead of the 8-10 I was doing with yeast) but I won’t have to use commercial yeast – yaaaay. Keep in mind that I am using home made kefir, not store bought. I suspect that the home made kefir has many more yeasts in it and is much more alive than the store bought kefir (although I don’t know that for sure). Anyway, if any of you have kefir, give it a shot and see what happens.

  14. baking mom

    I’ve been making no-knead with kefir, too, and am pleased to find someone else giving it a try. I’m on a mission to make more healthy, yet tasty, breads for my 3 little ones. In the past I’ve been a failure with sourdough starter so I fell into adding a little kefir in an attempt to make the ferment more effective. I really don’t know the chemistry behind it at all, but at the moment I have a loaf cooling!

  15. Donna

    Eric – you are so lucky to have raw milk readily available to you. I do have a dairy about 20 minutes away, but the milk is $8/gallon and since I’m using a gallon a day, it’s a little too pricey to feed my grains with. So I used pasteurized 2% milk most of the time, and try to feed the grains once a month with raw milk. So far, the only cheese I’ve eaten is the cream cheese, which is what you get when you hang the kefir for 24 hours. My first wheel of future cheddar was dry enough for it’s first pre-wax coating. I should be able to wax it in a couple of weeks. I’ve converted a wine cooler into a cheese cave. The first wheel weighs approximately 976 grams, the 2d wheel weighs 2.5 pounds, but that will reduce as the cheese dries. I’m looking forward to trying the cheese with knb in the future! My next wheel of cheese is going to be blue cheese and I’m really looking forward to smearing that on some just baked, warm bread – mmmmmmm. Of course, I’ll have to wait about 2 months, lol.

  16. Donna

    Eric – I used the kefir with commercial yeast. I plan on trying it without to see what happens. I never really thought about the yeast content of kefir as a substitute for sourdough starter, so it will be interesting to see what happens. I will keep you posted. I plan on making 2 loaves of bread, probably starting tonight and finishing tomorrow morning, one with kefir and no yeast, one with kefir and half the required yeast.

    April- Eric and I are talking about kefir. You can find a lot of information on kefir at, including how good it is for you. Suffice it to say, kefir is similar to a liquid yogurt in looks and in texture. I really like kefir and was buying commercially made stuff, but it is expensive that way and I started to read the ingredients and decided it had too much stuff in it for me. Then I did some research on line and found out that I could make kefir myself, more easily than yogurt even. So I purchased 4 tbsp of kefir grains in January and have been producing kefir myself since then. I now produce 1 gallon of kefir everyday (and it could go up, but I am controlling it at that much). There is no way my husband and I can drink that much, so I am finding other ways of using it. I use it in pancakes, bread, and have started making my own cheese! When I made bread with it, the loaf was really, really good – light, airy, not too moist or too dry. In fact, for the first time since I started making knb, my loaf rose higher than my pan.

    I realize this probably has only generated more questions than answers, so please feel free to ask them and I will do my best to answer them.

  17. April

    Eric, Donna…

    I’ll bite. What are you talking about? It sounds intriguing – care to share the recipe?

  18. Hi Donna,

    That’s great! I also keep my own kefir culture (and make kefir smoothies almost every day 🙂 ). Are you saying that you only use kefir as your leavening and don’t use yeast at all?

    • Diana

      Hi Donna,
      I am learning to make bread using the traditional baking method where you have to mix the flour with a sour liquid but I don’t have a recipe. Can you tell me how is your kefir recipe?
      Thank you.

  19. Donna

    I just wanted to mention that I gave up using my sourdough starter as it got too sour for me and I’ve never been a huge fan of sourdough anyway. But I started using kefir (which I make myself) – oh WOW! What a terrific loaf of bread, light, airy, moist but not overly so, and very flavorful without that sour taste that I dislike. I highly recommend it.

    • john currie

      hi donna,i feel the same as you about sourdough and i would like to try kefir, but i do not know what it is. help!
      kind regards, john currie ,greenock scotland.

  20. Carolyn T.

    I made the Parmesan-Olive loaf this weekend and it turned out great – very very moist bread! I didn’t have 7 full ounces of parmesan so I only use about 4 and it was pretty cheesy with just 4oz. I think it is less versatile than the seeded sour which I really liked because of all of the whole grains but it was still a very tasty loaf!

    Carolyn's Pamesian Olive Bread

    Carolyn's Pamesian Olive Bread

  21. marc lowen

    I want to make a real Dat/nut fruit bread any good suggestions

  22. Janet Kelly (of Auntie Crae’s) emailed this photo of her fantastic no knead variation.

    Janet says…

    “I made this bread with the standard white no knead recipe with a handful of raisins and a dollop of molasses added. Here in Newfoundland molasses raisin bread is the bread of choice with salt cod dishes. It is particularly popular at Christmas when salt cod is the traditional Christmas Eve supper.”

    Thanks Janet!

    Janet's Newfoundland Special

  23. Carolyn T.

    I was able to find Amaranth and Millet in the bulk section of whole foods so made a seeded sour this weekend! I didn’t have poppy seeds so substituted flax seeds and it turned out great! The ferment stage only took 12 hours vs 18 guess my house was warm on Saturday. Considering how dense some of the flours are my crumb turned out pretty good and it makes a great turkey sandwich!

    Carolyn's Seeded Sour

    Carolyn's Seeded Sour

  24. Hi April
    Thanks for the tip on the steel cut oats…..I have been finding the bread just comes out – not high enough —all crust—super hard crust and just not worth the work and ingreds.
    Have been making regular kneaded breads with the addition of sourdough starter, instant mashed potatoes for moistness and a mix of whole wheat & bread flours.
    Used my Danish wisk for the first time this morning and I LOVE it. What an energy and time saver. Helps blend everything so thoroughly. Fabulous !

  25. Hedy

    It’s not really kneading. It’s more of combing the very wet dough with more (not too much flour). I even let it rest for 10 minutes to see how much flour did get absorbed. I try to get the lumps out when mixing. I don’t spend a lot of time at this point. I’m just trying to make it a little smoother and determine how much more flour I need without making a stiff dough. The dough should feel more wet than tacky….and should not hold a shape at all. It is basically a KNB method that I have been using for years…and did not know the term until I stumbled upon My family prefers the focaccio because there is more crust and less middle. (I do substitute WW for White every once in a while).
    Hope that helps.

  26. mona

    I tried “cold oven” method as Marge above uses, only instead of “Pampered Chef” bakeware, I used 4-1/2 quart cast iron Dutch oven. (cold) It was the Sourdough recipe.
    The crust was not crackling nor very crunchy, the holes were large,…some too large. Also there was in some places a gap between the top of the crust and the crumb. My guess is that because it was a cold environment, the top layer rose up much more quickly than the crumb could follow, resulting in a gap. The pre-heated method results in a crunchier crispier, crackling crust. Still tastes great and will make great toast, but I prefer the other method. By the way, when forming the loaves, I first dipped my hands in water and then in the bag of flour. It was like wearing “flour gloves” and the wet dough DID NOT STICK AT ALL!! Great trick!~as well as dipping the plastic scraper in water…no stickie!

  27. April


    Do you really have to knead for 10 minutes? Otherwise the recipe is basically the same as NKB except for the forming (and the kneading). Please let me know, thanks!!

  28. Awsome ! Thank you Hedy and Toni for the great recipes !!!!

  29. Toni

    Hi Ken and Hedy,
    I like nutritious food so I use a mixture of whole flour can be rye, espelt or just whole wheat. It always turns out wonderful. I use this recipe for fougase and pizza too
    My foucaccia bread is
    250g whole wheat or espelt flour
    250g white flour
    1tbsp dried yeast
    2tbsp olive oil
    1 to 2 cups warm water
    1tsp salt
    rosemary and or thyme and roughly ground rock salt

    Mix dry ingredients together add water to obtain a nice elastic ball then add the oil knead till absorbed.
    Flatten out on a cookie sheet or something to about 1/4 to !/2 inch thick.
    heat the oven to 200F then turn it off and put the bread inside for 20 to 30 minutes. It will double. Then grind the spices in the coffe grinder a bit this brings out the taste better. Make indentions in the dough with your fingers sprinkle the herbs on,
    then some olive oil
    then the salt.
    Bake 450 for 15 to 20 minutes till brown at the top of the oven.

    For French Fougase
    Same recipe
    Flatten the dough into an oval then oil the top spread olives,(black or green or both)or cheese or grilled peppers or spices on the top cut into little pieces. Then fold one side to the middle and over lap it with the other side. Decorate the top with what’s inside, score it and put in the warmed oven like the foucacia for 20 to 30 minutes to raise
    It will double
    Bake at 450F for 25 to 30 minutes til brown in the middle of the oven.
    Put on rack to cool
    Enjoy! This is good as an appetizer with wine or vermouth!
    Let me know how it came out!

  30. Ken Krawford

    Hedy – Thanks so much for taking the time to post the receipe. I’ll give it a try.


  31. Hedy

    Georgina….Happy to share.

    3 C Better for Bread Flour (plus more when mixing)
    1 tsp. Kosher Salt
    1 tsp. yeast
    pinch of sugar
    1 3/4 C tap water (not warm)

    Toppings: olive oil, garlic, parsley, basil, sundried tomatoes, olives, onions
    Rectangular pan with parchment and cornmeal.

    Combine all of the above bread ingredients in a large bowl. If dough is very watery add 1/2 – 1 C more of flour to form a soft and almost sticky dough. Knead about 10 minutes. Dough should come together and be kind of sticky and lumpy. Move dough to the side of bowl and with olive oiled hands rub oil over dough and around sides of bowl. ( If you like washing dishes take a clean oiled bowl. I use the same bowl). Cover the dough tightly on the dough with a large piece of plastic wrap. Then cover the whole bowl with a large clean plastic bag. Leave on the counter overnight. Next day….either refrigerate dough or make focaccio.
    Sprinkle corn meal on parchmented cookie sheet. Stretch dough in the center of the pan to about 3/4″ high into rectagular or round or oblong shape. Cover with the oiled plastic wrap you used before. Let rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 400. Drizzle olive oil over risen dough…dimpling dough as you go. Top with chopped garlic and parsley, basil or chopped olives ( or whatever you like). Press into dimpled dough. Sprinkle some Kosher salt on top before putting in the lowest rack of the oven. Spritz into oven and on the dough with water bottle..close oven door fast. You will do this 3 more times…every five minutes. (This enables the inside of the dough to bake before the top burns- keeping the top wet). Bake until brown and crispy….about 35 minutes or more. Top of dough should be crispy and hard. and golden.
    (Some recipes say to put a pan of water in the oven to create steam…this has not worked for me). I get a beautiful crumb from this way…with big holes and air pockets and very chewy. Cutting is a little hard….have a good sharp knife).
    I also take small amounts of this dough for pizza on a pizza peel and then on a preheated pizza stone 500 degrees. Makes a great thin, crispy and chewy crust.
    Enjoy. Let me know how it turns out.

  32. Hi Hedy

    I would be very interested in your focaccia bread recipe if you dont mind? Many thanks !!!

  33. Hedy

    Ken, I have a great No Knead recipe for focaccia. I make it on a cookie sheet. Before I type out all the ingredients and instructions…I want to make sure you are you still interested?

  34. Dave the Novice


    See Jeff B’s post above for a good and inexpensive solution.

  35. marc lowen

    can I get a small spring form to place in my dutch oven to keep my bread from spreading?

  36. Ken

    Does anyone have a good receipe for focaccia bread?

  37. MissBB

    Hi Jeff,
    The cookie sheet is NOT double walled!(hate those) These are particular cookie sheets and work absolutely fantastic.
    I get the same crispy crust without preheating as i do with traditional dutch oven technique.
    I would worry about teflon coated cookware go up to high heat temps…think the aluminum foil, or plain old aluminum cookware from the supermarket would be just fine.

  38. Dave the Novice


    I use a dark iron pot, too. I didn’t notice any difference in the bottom crust when I went to the foil. My tests show more oven spring with preheated oven and pot than with cold pot and oven. Your approach, with a hot oven and cold pot, is somewhere in between, I guess.


    If the science-minded Alton Brown, who surrenders to the “food police” at every turn, isn’t worried about clay pots, I think you can rest easy.

  39. Jeff B.

    Gia, BTW, if you use a double wall cookie sheet as suggested by MissBB upthread, then the bottom of the loaf would be less crispy. You still need to preheat the cookie sheet.

  40. Jeff B.

    Gia, I suggest you try either Dave’s method of the foil, or my method of a small 8″ pan that acts as a loaf forming device. This makes it easy to allow the dough to rise, and then transfer it to the preheated dutch oven. You have to get the dutch oven preheated. That’s a key step. I spray some no-stick oil on my pans, spread around, and then dust them with cornmeal before I place the dough in. I find that this allows the loaf to release easily after baking. I also use non-stick coated pans, which helps too. I found the pans at a local dollar store. They are cheap and flimsy, but perfect as bread forms, I just took the handle off with a phillips screwdriver.

    I’m still working on trying to figure out the most effective way to get four dutch ovens in a typical oven, and at a reasonable cost. I was going to use flower pots, but then became worried about what might be in the clay of those pots. Probably not food safe. So I am searching for something that I can use as a bell like lid to go on top of a smooth stone or tile that will fill a shelf of my oven. It gets trickier when you try to do more loaves, but it’s nice to consolidate work in to one day every couple of weeks.

  41. Gia

    I can always go back to letting it rest on the cornmeal dusted towel and then transfer but I like taking a step out. I suppose since I use starter in these loaves and forgetting about them in the fridge really lets the starter do it’s thing. These loaves are coming out with more spring and the inside has a lighter crumb, others came out with much more dense crumb. Course I don’t know if this has to do with not preheating the pot though. I have a dark iron pot so it just may not need the preheating to get the bread I want. Guess I could line the pot with the no stick foil and rest there. Will the foil add more heat? The underside already comes out with a slighter more crispy bottom than I would like.

  42. Dave the Novice

    I haven’t tried it, but I suspect that if you tranferred it to the pot, dusted liberally with cornmeal, just before putting it in the oven, rather than letting it rest in the pot, you’d have better results. I think the wet dough is absorbing some of the cornmeal during the rest.

    I use Reynolds Release foil, instead of parchment. It has all the benefits of parchment, plus it is reusable many times.

    “These loaves come out much better.”

    In what ways do they come out better?

  43. Gia

    I have seen the parchment paper idea on here. I am trying to keep it simple so I don’t want to use something I have to throw away after every use. Could I oil the pan a bit before placing dough in? Oil then place dough in, rest and then bake?

  44. MissBB

    Hi Gia,
    Cut a parchment circle for the bottom, or put the dough on a larger piece of parchment making a parchment/sling pot, and drop the entire thing into your pot.
    Parchment works very nicely!

  45. Gia

    I would like to see a pic Jeff B. when you get all put together! I have been using a cast iron dutch oven type pot but would love to be able to make more than one loaf at a time. I have found that a forgotton loaf is an good loaf (I use starter). I mix it up and put it in the frig. In a couple of days when it is time for more bread get it out warm up and shape. I place it in the dutch oven to rest (no transfer) and then place in preheated oven. Though how can I keep it from sticking on bottom? Tried cornmeal, helped a little maybe I need more. Before when I rested it elsewhere and transfered dough to hot pot it didn’t stick. These loaves come out much better. And I don’t have to worry about timing either. Then I mix another one and put in frig for next time.

  46. MissBB

    Great suggestion! I won’t be able to get any flowerpots until spring here in Brooklyn! Also there are those long length terracotta planters that would work very well for baguette type loaves. Necessity is the mother of invention! (hope I got that quote right :)!) Try the baking sheets…I very rarely grease them, and for the bread I just toss some cornmeal on them!

  47. Jeff B.

    MissBB, you might want to try the technique I outline above. I like your concept of basically putting a bell lid over each loaf, and the cold dough probably holds its shape well. But you can skip the chilling steps if you use a small 8″ pan as a form to help shape the boule as I outline above. Ultimately, what I want to do is combine several of the techniques I see here. Your baking sheet, with my forming pan, with Bob Packer’s flower pot bell cover idea to get the cheapest, and most effective way to create multiple loaves at once. A dutch oven is basically just a lid. And so any lid will do.

    I envision four inverted flower pots, with an eyebolt, nut and washer through the drainage hole as a handle, on your baking sheets with four forming pans holding four loaves. I think if I select the right pots, I can fit four loaves in one standard oven all once.

  48. MissBB

    The website for the large baking sheets…sorry maybe the tiny url didn’t work
    14 x 20 inches
    These fit my oven though I would always check your oven size before ordering!

    Clarification-my pots do have handles! They just don’t interfere with making a good seal to the baking sheet so I can get get the steam effect just as I would in the traditional dutch oven method. I can use the handles to lift up the pots and cover the bread on the baking sheets easily! On the doughmaker sheets I can proof and cook two boules at a time! You could easily use the bottom of a springform with this method too.

  49. MissBB

    It’s really easy, and I love not having to disturb the dough at all by this method!
    You can find doughmakers choice sheets all over the web. They have a website too. Fantastic for general baking, you can get great results without parchment. My goal was to avoid having to dump in my nicely formed and slashed dough and this really works!

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