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Recipe Category: Appetisers

No Knead Bread-In-A-Pot

This recipe comes from bread master Jim Lahey, who developed this ingenious method of producing a superb loaf of bread by cooking it within a pot, in a very hot oven. Made with very little yeast, it relies on long, slow fermentation and gentle handling to allow the yeast to do its work and create the delicate framework for the bread. I recommend googling Jim’s instructional video on this to see the step-by-step process. I follow his method with one exception, I double it to make a very large one, because we just can’t get enough of it when that magnificent loaf comes out of the oven!

Makes: 1 large round loaf
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
  • 6 cups bakers flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry instant yeast
  • 2 2/3 cups lukewarm water
  • semolina, cornmeal, bran or flour, for dusting

Step 1

Combine flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and quickly mix in water, using your hand or a scraper, to make a sticky dough. There is no need to knead. Cover and allow to stand for 12-18 hours until mixture doubles in size. (I usually do this the night before).

Step 2

Using a dough scraper, gently nudge out the dough onto a floured surface, taking care not to knock out the air, and gently shape it into a round, folding in from four sides. Carefully transfer the dough into the centre of a clean teatowel that has been dusted with semolina and sprinkle the top with semolina. Cover the dough with the ends of the teatowel and allow to stand for 2 hours, until doubled in size.

Step 3

Half an hour before the dough has finished proving, place an empty large cast iron pot with lid on (see note) into the oven at 230°C to preheat. Remove pot from oven once it is very hot, remove lid and holding it by the teatowel, invert the dough into the pot. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake a further 15-30 minutes until a golden brown colour. Remove onto a wire rack and allow to cool for at least an hour before cutting.


When you get into the swing of making this bread, you will find it only takes a few minutes of your time each day to take it to the next stage. It's a routine worth fitting into your day for such delicious home baked bread.

If you find that you need to pause the rising for a period of time until you are able to bake it, then refrigerate the dough for up to 24 hours, then bring back to room temperature and proceed to next stage.

Recipe based on the Basic No-Knead Bread Recipe from Jim Lahey's My Bread.

You can use any heavy cast iron pot or dutch oven with a lid for this bread. I have used both a 26cm and 34cm diameter Le Creuset pot - the shape varies slightly, you will get a higher loaf in a smaller pot and may need to adjust the cooking time, but either works well.

Author: Naomi Crisante
Date Created: 28/05/2019