utterly true

The way I see it, you’ve got almost two days to make some resolutions and so I’d like to gently bug you about one thing: have you made the no-knead bread yet? I suspect that you haven’t. I suspect that despite swarming hoards of eager testers praising its armor-like crust and skyscraper heights of flavor, you are still thinking “Its yeast. It must be scary.” Well, I think that resolutions of eating less and this time you really mean it, reading books which really do bore you and to say more nice things about your people you don’t like is truly overrated, and not that you asked, but I think we should all instead choose to treat ourselves better, that we should seek out richer, brighter and more satiating experiences. I hope you have an excellent new year.

On the wall was a dress that I had embroidered. It said “Ich habe genug.” Which is a Bach Cantata. Which I thought meant, “I’ve had it, I can’t take any more, give me a break.” But I was wrong. It means “I have enough.” And that is utterly true. I happen to be alive. End of discussion. But I will go out and buy a hat. — Maira Kalman, The Principles of Uncertainty

no knead, take two

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26 comments on utterly true

  1. MissV

    I’m intrigued by the no-knead bread but I only have a 2 quart LeCreuset french oven. And because I live in a two-person, mostly-vegetarian household, I simply cannot justify spending $200 for a 6 quart pot that I really don’t need for anything else. 2 quarts of chili, soup, or stew is more than enough for the pair of us and it’s not like I’ll ever be roasting a big hunk of meat or anything.

    Plus, I’ve heard that the knob on modern LeCreuset pots isn’t made to withstand the high temp required for that recipe. And I’m feeling rather protective of my knob.

    So, I guess I’ll just keep my eyes peeled for a big, cheap pot when I’m thrifting and rooting around on eBay.

  2. Phc

    Unfortunately, I have stumbled upon what I can only describe as the best bread I’ve ever had, that comes out of the oven at a local bakery at 5 p.m. every day and now I’m going to have a hard time going through the trouble of making it. When are you coming to San Francisco so you can try this bread, as well as the salted caramel ice cream that has recently debuted that makes you just want to eat an entire gallon?

  3. I will have to try it – I have yeast waiting to be used anyway. However, it will have to wait until after I make ice cream in my new Kitchenaid ice cream maker attachment. I am all kinds of excited about making ice cream. First up is Banoffee ice cream, which, if it is anything like the pie, is sure to be a favorite in this household.

    (As an aside, if you’ve never had banoffee pie, I heartily suggest you try it. Here’s a link to my favorite recipe for it:

  4. Mmmmm… that looks so perfect on a chilly morning like today, and the photo makes me want to scarf it all up. I’d like that(!), toasted with butter, and a cup of coffee on the side: simplicity. I’m a little weary of baking…but you’ve mentioned this recipe before and it really does look simple and delicious!

  5. I finally made The Bread just day before yesterday. It was simply perfect, with a rich turkey rice soup made from the carcass of the Christmas turkey. Outside there was a blizzard brewing, but inside was all warm scents – turkey, cumin, onion, and the yeasty breath of The Bread.
    It was FABULOUS. Seriously amazing. I’m surrounded by celebratory food – truffles and cookies and chocolate ornaments, but what I’m dreaming of is The Bread.

  6. I’ve made the no-knead bread twice already! It’s turned out perfectly every time. (I’ve never made bread before, so the recipe is definitely idiot-proof)

  7. lee

    I’m on board with the bread. I’m on loaf #6 and it just keeps getting better.

    Miss V- If you buy a non-enamel coated dutch oven they are significantly cheaper.

  8. I’ve seen so many posts and pictures of this bread, but I must say… your photo has been one of the most tempting. I make homemade bread all the time, but for some reason haven’t taken the plunge to make this popular recipe. I just might have to do it.

  9. RA

    I’m on the no-knead wagon, too, after two failed attempts that had me convinced that I was the fool against whom the recipe was supposed to be proof! My husband calls it “weekend bread” now because I mix it on Saturday, bake it on Sunday, and we nibble at it for the rest of the week. It’s just the right size for two people, I think.

    MissV, I use my mom’s old Corningware casserole that’s probably just over 2 quarts, maybe 3 at a stretch. It makes a taller loaf than Deb’s, but I didn’t go out and get anything special. I’ve also read that a 6-qt vessel allows the dough to spread a lot, but I think it’s a matter of taste.

  10. i’ve done 7 loaves so far. It’s addictive! I think that i have converted two of my friends into no-knead bread addicts as well! Love the addition of poppyseeds. Are they on the inside as well? So far I’ve tried cornmeal, wheat germ and the flour. I love the wheat germ (adds a nice crispy texture). Cornmeal is good but I prefer it only on the bottom of the loaf! Thanks for sharing. I actually found the recipe through your site a few months ago :) I found your website through a posting from Ugly Green Chair (re: tomato soup recipe). Your website is fantastic!

  11. Ho, ho. Isn’t it wild this is still happening. I just did it again twice for two big family dinners. It’s just such fun and so good to eat! I guess I’ve lost count now how many have come out of the oven!
    Happy New Year! I look forward to many goodies from you in 2007

  12. ann

    What kind of seed have you taken to using? We’ve been lacing ours with fennel seeds. I sprinkle them on just before folding so they create lovely anise-y veins in the finished loaf. Delicious!! Happy New Year Deb to you and yours!

  13. SteveC

    You don’t need a $200 Le Creuset. Go to a sporting goods store and get a cast iron dutch oven used for camping. Academy is the name of such a store where I live, and they had cast iron dutch ovens big enough for the purpose for TEN DOLLARS. 20 times less than Le screwset. TWENTY TIMES less. Buying a Le Creuset just for this bread would be nuts, for sure.

  14. (another) Kathryn

    You don’t need any kind of big pot. I make my no-knead bread in a dark nonstick 8-in square pan, like one you’d make brownies in. Works every time, although the baking time is reduced to about 35 minutes instead of an hour.

  15. I have a small two quart le creuset and I basically make two little loaves from one recipe. I did, however, bust the knob on the top. I didn’t know they were sensitive. FYI. They are.

  16. I am scared of yeast even though you are trying to reassure me not to be. Perhaps I will be brave enough to check out this recipe, but I am not holding my breath. I do however love the quote you shared. It is absolutely perfect for a new year. Thank you.

  17. susan

    have made this a zillion times — ALL have been incredible. works as well in a 6qt as a 4 qt. a question, pls, if i wanted to make 2 small loaves, when would i do the ‘halving’? after the 12-18 hr step? thx. LOVE your site. i find it vital that i limit myself….. too many mouth-watering goodie!

  18. Katie

    I absolutely adore Maira Kalman (ahh words cannot do my adoration justice!), and reread The Principles of Uncertainly frequently. Such a gorgeous, wise, poignant, joyous book. My favorite of hers has to be a children’s book, though: Hey Willie, See the Pyramids! My mother works in a book store and had Maira sign a copy for me when she got to meet her (!!!). She told Maira that one of her books had such a profound effect on me that I often credit it for shaping me into the woman I am today (at 28, and I know that is a little MUCH, but you know). She became very serious and asked which book it was – when she found out, she said she was thrilled as it was her favorite! All this to say that you have to get it for Jacob if you don’t have it already :)

  19. Jen K

    My husband has been making no knead bread for the past 12 years, ever since the New York Times released their now famous recipe and article. We improvised a bit and make rosemary sourdough bread and pumpernickel rye bread at least twice a week and it is fabulous. My children have never experienced store-bought bread, and think that daddy’s pizza is better than any they’ve ever had in a restaurant or from takeout. I may never lose those last 10 pounds, but the smell in our house when that bread is baking is the stuff of childhood, and for that matter, adult memories for decades to come.