Lately, I’ve become more agile in the kitchen, since I’m not so quick to run out to the store for mid-week groceries anymore. I’m now prone to making do with the ingredients I have at home. So when I recently ran out of bread I instantly reflected on a recipe an old colleague had once shared. She loves to bake and often brought bread into the office for potlucks. Her oven-baked loaves were always crusty, dense and restaurant-quality—an absolute hit that everyone adored!
The recipe was conceived by Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City. His decade-old baking method remains one of the most globally acclaimed bread recipes for home bakers and is often celebrated by The New York Times. There are several recipe adaptations out there, but the one I’m sharing today is the version we love here at TSC. I figured why not bring a bite of the Big Apple to our kitchen? With no bread maker required and no need to knead—this is one loaf to love!
Dough not fear; even on the crumbiest of days this bread will leave your taste buds satiated. From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy!
- 3 cups flour (bread flour or regular flour)
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ cups water
Yield: 9″ loaf; approximately 12 to 16 servings
Step 1: Dough Prep
- Combine yeast, flour and salt in a glass bowl
- Add water and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until you roughly form a ball
- Cover the bowl loosely with cling wrap
- Let the dough sit for 12 to 18 hours to let the yeast work its bubbly magic (I prepped just before bedtime and left the dough on my kitchen counter overnight)
- Generously dust your hands and a kitchen towel with flour
- Gently shape the dough into a ball (it may look like a beastly creature, but don’t worry, it’s fine)
- Cover dough and let it sit for a further 2 hours
Step 2: Bake
- While the dough is resting, preheat a cast-iron Dutch oven at 450°F for 30 minutes (an iron skillet or any heavy pot with a lid also works)
- Put the dough on parchment paper (optional, but it makes for an easy in-and-out process)
- Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes
- Remove the lid and bake for 20 minutes
Step 3: Serve
Let cool, then slice!
Serve at dinner with balsamic vinaigrette and extra virgin olive oil for a Mediterranean twist, or level up and serve with olive tapenade or sun-dried tomatoes!
Serve at breakfast with your favourite butter, jams, jellies and spreads, or perhaps attempt French toast!
Tweak the Recipe
As a bit of an experiment, I tried a quick version of the recipe. I only let the dough rise for an hour and added rosemary. The result was a firmer texture somewhere in-between the consistency of ciabatta and a classic French boule. Although there was less volume, the taste was divine. The rosemary flavour also made the bread a perfect partner for some leftover tomato basil soup.
Try this recipe and you’ll wow the family. The yeast does all the work, and you’ll get all the credit. For bowls, pots and all baker-ly things, check out our full kitchen assortment today. Happy baking!