Bread Revolution

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jim Lahey, founder of New York’s Sullivan Street Bakery, discusses his no-knead technique for making bread. His new book My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method, he explains the science and technique behind his method. It includes recipes for his basic dough as well as recipes for homemade pizza, ciabatta, foccacia and rye, and more.


Jim Lahey

Comments [25]

Maria Traversa from 61 Maine Ave, Apt.E22, Rockville Centre, NY 11570

To Leonard Lopate, thank you for your show. I have been making bread for many years, but hearing Jim Lahey my mind went back when my parents made bread. They made bread for business by hand. This method has been used for century in Italy, and I quickly understood Jim Lahey on your talk show. I have tried his method, but not exactly the way he explained. I have not used the heavy pot; instead, I used a flat pot with holes. Also, I have tried many kinds of flours, but the best that I bought is in the wholesale place. The flour and temperature is the key of the good bread. Last Sunday I made it, and my sons have tasted the different in the bread, but was little dry, because of the water. I used Lahey dose of water, but some flours absorb more water then others. Today, I have made it again and it looks perfect, but I have not taste it yet. Thank you, Leonard Lopate and Jim Lahey to open my mind to the bread.

Feb. 19 2010 10:26 AM
Steve from NJ

re: #13 & #19

leonard's interruptions in this interview were nothing new, but particularly egregious. and this habit of his seems to be getting worse as he gets older. he seems to do it more when the subject being discussed is something he's versed in, and you get the feeling that he's trying to make a show of how knowledgeable he is. very annoying and unprofessional.

Feb. 10 2010 03:00 PM
Sylvester T. from New York, NY

I forgot: you need to cut into the dough before you put the bread in the oven (even a toaster oven works fine - but remember it will almost double in size), a straight line along the length or any design you whish...

Try it. It works... and you may need more time collecting and weighting the items then preparing the dough. No kneading, no waiting for the dough to rise, you can even bake it for breakfast if you get up early enough.

You don't even have to read a book to bake this bread and variations are as endless as your creativity in mixing flour with or without seeds.

Feb. 10 2010 02:06 PM
Leonid from North Jersey

I have a lot of experience making bread and pastry. Gluten-free baking requires no kneading. Utilizing rice,corn,millet,buckwheat,most oats,potato products,etc--can all be combined and have to be baked in pans. Kneading is necessary to the development of gluten/structure so as to create free standing bread products--pans serve the purpose in this case.

Feb. 10 2010 01:34 PM
Sylvester T. from New York, NY

bread or cake without kneading is nothing new.

If you are from Germany and do suffer from finding any eatable bread in the US you may at one point return to your roots and do what many people do in Germany: bake your own. It takes less then five minutes preparing:

500g whole wheat (you can also mix dark rye, spelt, or white flour in any combination)
50g sunflower seeds
50g flaxseeds
50g sesame seeds (or use any seeds you like or none at all)
450 ml hand-warm water
2 Tbl spoons apple vinegar
1 Tbl spoon salt
1/2 cube fresh yeast (20-25g)
dissolve yeast in water, add vinegar and salt, add seeds and flour. Just mix, don't knead.
Put in a baking dish rubbed with butter and in the oven then turn at approx. 400F.

It takes about an hour and you have delicious and healthy and EATABLE bread.

Feb. 10 2010 01:07 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

anne--spelt is wheat. wouldn't recommend it if you can't tolerate wheat.

Feb. 10 2010 01:07 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

thanks, stanley! lahey began to answer a question i had, and leonard moved him on to a completely different subject before he finished the thought. if i wanted that, i'd watch charlie rose. consider having fewer guests if you feel time doesn't allow thoughtful answers!

Feb. 10 2010 01:04 PM
Jay from Manhattan

Questions for Mr. Leahy

What kind of flour? Is King Arthur really better than Pilsbury? (It's more expensive.) Is "bread flour" much different from "all purpose"? Water - does temperature make a difference? Cold? Room temperature?

Feb. 10 2010 01:03 PM
Allen from minnesota

great contribution to baking. we make several loaves of differing ingredients each week. Grains, seeds and sourdough additions, etc.
using a similar recipe we have conquered pizza. pizza crust to die for.
(for pizza we put the final dough on parchment and bake it on a stone)

Feb. 10 2010 12:58 PM
Estelle from Austin

Is it possible to make a sourdough version?

Feb. 10 2010 12:57 PM
jane Ziegelman from Brooklyn

I've found the breads I really like--usually sour doughs-- have a kind of sheen to the dough, almost like a waxy quality. What is this and how do you achieve it?

Feb. 10 2010 12:56 PM

I use a bottle of guinness in my bread and don't have to even let it sit

Feb. 10 2010 12:56 PM
Stanley Dorn from W. Village

Leonard, at the very beginning of this fascinating bread discussion you twice talked right over your guest as he was trying to explain something. Can you please not do this. Thanks.

Feb. 10 2010 12:56 PM

Is pyrex ok?
I prefer glass to my baking.

Feb. 10 2010 12:55 PM
Melinda Burke

I use a recipe where I dont even have to let it sit by pouring a bottle of guinness and using that yeast

Feb. 10 2010 12:55 PM
Roy from Brooklyn, NY

I've been making this recipe for about 6 weeks. Often, the crust is great, but the inside is too wet, almost gooey. What am I doing wrong?

Feb. 10 2010 12:54 PM
jesse from bklyn

I just wanted to say that this recipe absolutely works. And it makes the most delicious, CRUSTY, prof.bakery bread. The first time my husband made it I actually did not believe that HE had done it. It's easy and delicious and a wonderful thing if you love crusty bread. (I'm talkin about the one using a dutch oven)..

Feb. 10 2010 12:53 PM
Rebecca from Manhattan

Your Striato baguette tastes different than it used to. Are you still using sour dough?

Feb. 10 2010 12:53 PM
Ashton from Chelsea, Manhattan

Is this bread white bread or whole wheat bread?

Feb. 10 2010 12:52 PM

I have the same question as Anne from NYC.. do you have some Gluten free recipes?

Feb. 10 2010 12:50 PM
Dennis Moyes from United States

Are there any differences in your method if one is using whole wheat flour and some flax seed meal?

Feb. 10 2010 12:49 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

echoing anne a bit, would you consider developing this (and your fab pizza crusts) for celiacs (no forms of wheat, rye, oats, or barley)? we live across the street from company, loved it when it first opened, then received the celiac diagnosis. help!

Feb. 10 2010 12:19 PM
Anne from NYC

For someone with wheat intolerance, would this method work using spelt flour, which still has gluten? Would it work with gluten-free flour?

Feb. 10 2010 12:05 PM
Yukari Sakamoto from NYC/Tokyo

Jim, have you ever thought of opening a bakery in Tokyo? Many famous bakeries have opened shop there: Maison Kayser, Fauchon, Peck, and much more. Your shop would be a huge hit.

Feb. 10 2010 11:38 AM
Dave from Brooklyn

i've been making the version of this recipe which appeared in the nytimes back in Nov '06 since that time. i've always had trouble transfering the sticky dough from the cotton towel to the heated pot. in the last year i've taken to putting the dough on a sheet of parchment paper rather than a towel. when it's time to place the dough in the pot, i lower the sheet with the dough on top into the pot. i get a dent or two on the bottom of the boule but i get a great loaf of bread.

Feb. 10 2010 11:06 AM

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