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Homemade Bread: The Best and the Easiest

April 2, 2010

This is the easiest--and most impressive--yeast bread you can make.

Several years ago, my mother-in-law sent me a print-out of a newspaper article and recipe from Jim Lahey’s Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City. I tried the bread and it was so good. Then, when I picked up Mark Bittman’s Food Matters–a half non-fiction, half cookbook book that I use for my food class, he credited Jim Lahey for his version of this almost-famous (or maybe famous-already) bread recipe.

There are several versions readily available, so I’m not going to post the recipe here (I’ll provide some links at the end, though) but I’ll briefly explain the process.

1) Mix flour(s), water, and yeast.

2) Let it sit around awhile–12-24 hours, depending on the recipe.

3) Mix again and place it on a floured mat or tea towel to rise again.

4) Heat up the oven to somewhere between 400 and 475. You’ll also heat up the bowl. Lahey uses a giant cast iron pot; I learned with a Pyrex casserole dish.

5) Put the bread in the heated bowl and bake.

6) Viola! You’ve died and gone to Europe. Did I mention that this bread doesn’t need kneading? Well, it doesn’t.

If you want to explore this method further, I’d highly recommend Lahey’s book My Bread. He offers a myriad of variations to the original recipe, pizza dough recipes, and yummy sandwich recipes which I’ll probably try this summer if I’m not too tired.

Here are some online recipes you can try. If you like them, get the book.

  • New York Times recipe from 2006 (simple white bread)
3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2010 7:06 pm

    Can’t wait to try this. Which of the recipes (above) do you recommend for a first attempt? The whole grain or the white?

    • Joy permalink*
      April 15, 2010 7:39 pm

      Use whatever you think you’d like best; they’re equally simple.


  1. Some of my favorite things to bake… « Joy-Elizabeth Lawrence

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