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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jim Lahey’s No Knead Baguette (Stecca)

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OPRAH I’m thrilled to share that I’m featured on Oprah’s Holiday 2009 website along with some other fantastic bloggers and good friends like Gluten Free Girl & The Chef, Kalyn’s Kitchen, Stephanie O’Dea, Jennifer Perillo and Fuji Mama!

Come check out all of our holiday recipes – we’ll be contributing all season long!

I’m a lazy lazy baker.

My oven gets to sweet action unless I’ve got someone else to help me along in the kitchen — my kids even are forced bake their own birthday cake. So much for winning Mom of the Year award, eh?

And this is exactly why I love No-Knead breads like the No Knead Sticky Pecan Caramel Cinnamon Rolls (beware…I just gained 2 pounds saying that out loud), No Knead Pizza Dough: Pear and Gorgonzola Flatbread with Baby Arugula, No Knead Nutella and Hazelnut Challah. A couple years ago, when Andrew was 4 years old, he even made the original No Knead Bread (if he can do it, you can do it)

First things first…you’ve gotta mix the dough the night before. Or at least 10 hours, up to 18 hours (though secretly I’ve let it go 24 hours…see I told you I’m a lazy lazy baker!)

Mix together bread flour, salt, sugar, yeast, water. This is the night before and the boys are making bread in their PJ’s. Nathan wanted me to send along a message, “please don’t make fun of my pajamas or my Mom will kick yer butt.”

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Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 10-18 hours. But wait. It’s winter. Your “room temperature” might be different that mine. If your house is cold, put the bowl in the warm spot. Or you could let the dough hang out for 24 hours to give the chilly yeast more time to do its magic.

And if your house is REALLY cold, put the dang bowl under your covers and cuddle with it ;-)

Once you’ve let it hang for 10-18 hours, scrape the dough out on your floured counter. Wet your hands and fold the dough over a couple of times to shape it into a flattened ball. Wet hands prevents the dough from sticking to your hands.

Set the dough ball seam side down, tuck the edges and seams under.

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Brush dough with olive oil, cover loosely and let rise for 1-2 hours. So hey, that red towel? Bad idea. Even though I dusted with flour, it still stuck.

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Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.

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The dough should be soft ‘n stretchy. Stretch each dough ball into a long, thin baguette.

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Place each baguette on a nicely oiled baking sheet and embed some goodies in each one.

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Brush with olive oil. Actually, it was more like drizzle and dab the olive oil.

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Sprinkle generously with salt. Go easy on the olive one – olives are salty already.

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My favorite one was the tomato, so I made 2 of those.

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Send ‘em to the oven to bake for 15-25 minutes 500F. If your oven doesn’t go that high, crank it up as high as you can and add a couple more minutes to baking time.

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Voila!

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Beautiful.

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Festive.

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Eat right away…the salt on the bread will make the bread soft once it cools down. If you’re not eating right away, you can pop ‘em back into the oven for a few minutes right before serving to crisp up again.

Of course, you can cheat and instead of making your own dough, just go to the store and get a fresh pizza dough ball at your supermarket (usually refrigerated in the bakery department) and stretch them out into thin baguettes. Now that’s way lazy. I like it.

No Knead Baguette (Stecca) Recipe

Recipe from my-bread-cookbookMy Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey. If you want to keep the baguettes plain, just skip the step of embedding the garlic, olives and cherry tomatoes.

3 cups (400 grams) bread flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups (350 grams) cool 55-65F water
additional flour for dusting
20 pieces of the any combination of following: whole garlic cloves, whole olives, halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, table salt, sugar and yeast. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 10 to 18 hours (24 hours if you have a cold cold home.)

2.  When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Fold the dough over itself to her three times and gently shape it into a somewhat flattened ball. Brush the surface of the dough with some of the olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the coarse salt (which will gradually dissolve on the surface).

3.  Grab a large bowl (large enough to hold the dough when it doubles in size. you could also use a large pot) and brush the insides of the bowl with olive oil. Gently place the dough, seam side down into the bowl. Cover bowl with a towel. Place in a warm draft free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.

4. Half an hour before the end of the second rise, pre-heat the oven to 500F, with a rack in the center. Oil a 13″ x 18″ x 1″ baking sheet.

5.  Cut the dough into quarters. Gently stretch each piece evenly into a long, thin, baguette shape approximately the length of the pan. Place on the pan, leaving about 1 inch between the loaves. Embed the garlic cloves, olives or cherry tomatoes into the loaves, about five pieces per loaf. Drizzle, tab or brush olive oil on each loaf. Sprinkle sea salt or kosher salt over each loaf, remember to go light on the olive loaf since the olives are salty.

6. Bake For 15 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Cool on a pan for five minutes, then use a spatula to transfer the baguette to a rack to cool thoroughly.

Note: The baguette may become a bit soggy in just a few hours because of the salt on the surface. If that happens, reheat the loaves in a hot oven until crisp.



127 Responses to “Jim Lahey’s No Knead Baguette (Stecca)”

  1. This looks incredible – I love it with the garlic!! Yum.

  2. Rachel — 12/9/09 @ 11:00 am

    This looks wonderful! You had me at “no knead.” I’d go for the olive.

  3. Kim M. — 12/9/09 @ 11:01 am

    YUM! These look amazing! I used to love to make (and fuss with) homemade bread, but I have gotten lazy lately. I will definately try this recipe! Thanks for sharing, Jaden! :-) P.S. As usual, the photos are gorgeous!

  4. Jane M — 12/9/09 @ 11:05 am

    I saw the book in the store, wrote down the recipe, went home baked the bread and it was great. So now after reading the NY TIMES over the weekend, they touted the book – so mine is arriving today from AMAZON! My bread stuck to my towel too. I’m going to experiment a bit more – that upset me since a lot of my dough was left on the towel as well. I wonder why I had to even use the towel to begin with? OH well. I love to bake bread! Too bad I eat too much of it as well!

  5. stranflow — 12/9/09 @ 11:40 am

    Gorgeous! These are going to be included on the charcuterie line up for my New Year’s dinner!

  6. Amanda — 12/9/09 @ 12:00 pm

    How COOl about Oprah, you are a rock star! :-D I love the way this bread looks, fabulous!!

  7. Amy — 12/9/09 @ 12:02 pm

    can you use a pizza stone for this recipe?

  8. They look so amazing and festive! I love the addition of the olives! Such a different idea!

  9. This bread looks amazing. I am trying it this weekend. I love to bake. Why use the towel? Especially if the dough is very sticky! Thanks so much for introducing the cookbook!

  10. Sorry another thought. Sometimes I cover bread with wax paper that has been oiled and then cover with towel to keep the warmth in. Maybe that would work better.

  11. Amy — 12/9/09 @ 11:59 am

    Those look delicious and GORGEOUS. I love to bake but it’s too crazy around here most days with 3 preschoolers. This could be my new go-to recipe. Thanks!

  12. This is awesome! I am such a lazy, unable-to-follow-directions baker so this recipe is perfect for people like me. And you can tell Nathan that I think his pajamas rocks :)

  13. Anne Boulley — 12/9/09 @ 1:21 pm

    I love this! I make mini baguettes using the no-knead technique already, but have never put anything on it like this. So pretty, I can’t wait!

  14. Kevin the BeeMan — 12/9/09 @ 1:53 pm

    Seriously, how much time did you save by not kneading?

    I’m okay with a shortcut here and there but, dang, go buy a dough hook for the KitchenAid! Or just go to the store and BUY a baguette…

  15. DebD — 12/9/09 @ 4:00 pm

    OMG, OMG-you’re recognized by OPRAH!!!! You’ve made it to the big time hon! And you thought all those national morning news shows demos were big? HAH! Watch the traffic to your blog go sky high now! You go girl!! I can say I knew you when! I’m really excited for you!

    The breads looks good too! But, damn, OPRAH!!!

  16. Anna — 12/9/09 @ 7:07 pm

    So – seriously, can you make this in a kitchenaid? The mixing would be easier with that than with a wooden spoon, right?

    • SteamyKitchen — 12/9/09 @ 7:18 pm

      awww you guys are no fun! trust me, it’s easier with a spoon. one spoon to wash vs. mixing bowl and attachment. there’s no hard work, it’s just mixing for 30 seconds.

  17. Impromptu Diva — 12/9/09 @ 8:04 pm

    You’ve made it Jaden! I mean being on Oprah List!!!! Congratulations once again!!!
    i’m also a lazy baker hahaha.. and this one is definitely for me!!!

  18. candice — 12/9/09 @ 8:06 pm

    Ohhh… that garlic baguette looks awesome. I totally wouldn’t mind the garlic breath.

  19. gorgeous! I love no knead bread too, and this looks like an easy way to jazz it up. I’m loving the look of the garlic one, but flavor-wise I thin I’m with you on the tomato

  20. Chris — 12/9/09 @ 8:43 pm

    You over estimate me, ma’am. You actually think I plan more than 12 hours in advance? ;)

    Amy brought up a good point. Pizza stone is good. Put your plate setter in “legs down”, top with a pizza stone, and crank your Big Green Egg to 500f. The ceramics make great bread.

  21. Lynn — 12/9/09 @ 9:55 pm

    Beautiful! I love the festive colors you went with for these. Lazy works really well for me. But the planning ahead part… I don’t know if I can pull that off. Congrats on making Oprah’s holiday list! It’s official now – you’re awesome.

  22. GCS — 12/9/09 @ 10:10 pm

    Great job for getting a mention on Oprah. I ordered your cookbook for my sister for Christmas. Oops hope she doesn’t read this. :)

  23. Dani — 12/9/09 @ 11:24 pm

    Just added yeast and bread flour to the grocery list. These all look soooo yummy!

  24. My Persian Kitchen — 12/10/09 @ 2:27 am

    Oh.My.God. Your bread looks so appetizing!! I am going to have to give this one a try!!!

  25. Kiran — 12/10/09 @ 5:55 am

    This is so simple! I am definitely trying this recipe. Good use of my lonely bread flour, tucked away in the pantry :D

  26. Kiran — 12/10/09 @ 5:56 am

    And yes, congrats on the Oprah feature. Great success :)

  27. Madame Sucre — 12/10/09 @ 6:02 am

    I’m soo making these!! they look amazing ! good for snacks!

  28. the domestic mama — 12/10/09 @ 7:41 am

    ooo… these are perfect for me…mmm olives….bread….no knead. YAY! Thank you Jaden!

  29. Lauren — 12/10/09 @ 10:57 am

    Oprah?!! Thats amazing! These baguettes look delicious as well =D.

  30. Marisa — 12/10/09 @ 11:27 am

    Can’t believe it’s so easy! I’m gonna be making me some baguettes.

  31. Fuji mama — 12/10/09 @ 12:09 pm

    I LOVE Jim Lahey’s recipes. So easy and always so good! I haven’t made this one yet–now I have too. Your pictures have given me no choice.

  32. Grifola frondosa — 12/10/09 @ 12:12 pm

    Oh sure, it’s easy when you have two experienced helpers to do the stirring and heavy lifting.

    I’m making some today maybe with one with grated romano cheese,one with kalamata olives, one with fresh chopped rosemary and another with freshly cracked black and some red pepper flakes or maybe one with some chopped cooked wild mushrooms.

    Great article Jaden.

  33. Nicole — 12/10/09 @ 1:40 pm

    That bread looks so divine and so easy! I love the idea of putting garlic, olives and tomatoes on top.

  34. Maryann — 12/10/09 @ 3:34 pm

    mmmm bread. Must try this soon. I am not only a lazy baker, but dough scares the hell outta me! I always seems to do its own thing. I will try as I am looking for a bread recipe that won’t sass me back.

  35. Dawn — 12/10/09 @ 7:41 pm

    Can’t get enough of the no-knead bread recipe. And, it holds a special place in my heart because my Google search for it nearly a year ago led me to the Steamy Kitchen blog for the very first time. :) Love the idea of making baguettes! xo, Dawn

  36. Cindy — 12/10/09 @ 9:30 pm

    I am on the no-knead bread kick. Martha had it on her tv show last month and I used your tutorial with your son for my version. I wanted to put olives and sun-dried tomatoes in the bread – but these thin strips are better for that. So thanks a mil! I am a lazy baker, too. Thanks to your tutorials, I now am a more accomplished lazy baker. I hope to graduate to lazy cookie and cake baker. Any help there????

  37. Ciaochowlinda — 12/13/09 @ 3:43 pm

    I’ve got that book on order and I can’t wait for it to arrive. Your breads look dynamite but your little ones are just too cute.

  38. Grifola frondosa — 12/13/09 @ 9:59 pm

    I made this right after I read the posting.

    It works ! As a matter of fact, I only have about a half a baguette left.

    I could tell after the first rise, that it was going to be excellent because of the yeasty smell and incredibly long gluten strands.

    I baked it on a pizza stone, so it did come out much browner, but the crust, and let’s face it, it’s all about the crust, and the texture, and taste really were delicious.

    I passed a link along to a couple of friends including a Frenchman, and you know how they simply can’t live without their fresh baguettes.

    I did see something similar on America’s Test Kitchen on PBS, but didn’t have time to take down the recipe – so thanks again for making it easy and available.

    Bravo Jaden !

  39. Cate O'Malley — 12/14/09 @ 1:07 am

    Jaden, you make me want to bake bread.

  40. I should not be looking at your blog when I am starving and waiting for my dinner to finishe cooking. It is cruel and unusual punishment!

  41. Murasaki Shikibu — 12/15/09 @ 5:54 am

    I’ve been baking like there’s no tomorrow this week and am up for another ‘experiment’. This looks very appetizing and appeals to my lazy, relaxed attitude toward baking. After I finish baking my levain bread today, I think I might do this so that I’ll have these cute little baguettes tomorrow. Love ya, Jaden. :)

  42. Idas — 12/15/09 @ 5:28 pm

    Could this small recipe be used for pizza dough? I made the posted no-knead flat bread pizza while it was very nice, it was too much for our family to consume and took up a lot of refrigerator space. This size is perfect and not a frigde hog.
    Also since this requires no refrigeration, could it be refrigerated in case it was made to far in advance of needing to bake it? I would guess refrigeration would occur before the second rising? Then a longer second rise??
    Thanks!!
    Idas in Toronto, a big Canadian fan

  43. Donna S. from Texas — 12/16/09 @ 8:47 am

    I made this the other day and it was fabulous. Very easy recipe! I had some leftover baguettes so after they cooled completely, I wrapped them individually in aluminum foil. The next day I put them (still wrapped in foil) in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Delicious the next night too!

  44. Shira — 12/17/09 @ 4:56 pm

    I had a couple of questions/problems.

    Dough was so sticky and elastic that dividing and stretching was difficult (it just kept shrinking back). Once in the oven it puffed up so much that the tomatoes popped right off.

    Any thoughts/suggestions?

  45. Punch — 12/17/09 @ 5:21 pm

    Wow – so easy. I had similar issue with dough shrinking back and popping topping, but this was really easy and delicious. I wonder what would happen if a few pieces of bacon, sausage or cheese were mixed into the dough during the stretching.

  46. SteamyKitchen — 12/18/09 @ 10:00 am

    Shira and Punch – you might want to try half all purpose flour, half bread flour.

  47. tc — 12/22/09 @ 8:37 pm

    I gave this a go tonight, using black garlic and roasted red peppers. Amazingly good, although I found it to be a tad on the salty side. Next time, I’ll omit the salt.

  48. WOW. So many epic posts in a row. On a roll there. I couldn’t be more pleased.

    I, too, am a lazy baker, but I feel like that is the way it has to be with bread.

    Baking bread + spacing out = nice and chewy loaves.

  49. Silvia — 1/21/10 @ 9:07 am

    Hi Jaden! Thanks you so much for this nice recipe. Just wanted to let you know that it’s the first my sister and me published in our brand new blog (sorry, it’s in Italian…).
    Love, Sil

  50. Pingback: No Knead Baguette « the geek cooks’ chronicles

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