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January 12, 2008



I never heard of the no-knead stuff, let alone this later recipe. What a revelation! The picture is beautiful.

How in the world can you get any gluten going with all-purpose flour and no kneading? Well, I'll just have to try it and find out. Thank you for the recipe for a new vehicle for BUTTER.

Marty (older son) is suddenly interested in beans, so we're taking a leftover hambone and making bean soup tonight. I think we'll have to make some of this bread to go with it. Yum!

May I throw out my bread machine now?

Zoe Francois

Hi, Thank you so much for trying the bread. I'm glad you are enjoying it!!! It is great that you are spreading the word and sharing the recipe with your readers. I look forward to hearing about their experiences with the bread.

Please also note that we have an errata sheet on our websites www.zoebakes.com that will explain some of the mistakes we didn't catch while editing the book. Unfortunate but true!

Thanks again! Zoe Francois

Zoe Francois

...and to answer the question about gluten without kneading, it is from the additional water in the dough. When you add water to flour it automatically starts to develop the gluten without even touching it, so if the dough is wet it will do the work for you!

BTW your soup sounds great, enjoy! Zoe


I sort of goofed my 2nd loaf... it was the Loaf 3 (a week after first making and refrigerating the dough) that was so good. Much more open crumb, more complex flavor, just really good all the way around. I think I'll bake Loaf 4 tomorrow and then start over again! YUM!

Zoe Francois

Hi Karen,

Thanks for getting in touch, or trying at least! I've given you a new email until I can get the other one to behave.

I can't agree more about the dough improving as it ages. Not only the crumb but the flavor too.

You can also add the "old" dough to the fresh batch to keep that flavor going into the new dough.

Thanks! Zoe


I love having a new recipe to try; thanks for the tip.

Cooks Illustrated has their own variation which they say improves the flavor. I have to admit, the no-knead bread does lack something in the flavor department, though I've gotten perfect crust and crumb and decent flavor.

I'm sure an even longer ferment is an improvement. But CI says they use beer and vinegar and a little bit of kneading to produce the best of 70 attempts in their test kitchen. Sounds worth trying.

I'll post the details on my blog once I have a chance to try it. And I'll likely give this a shot as well!

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