Why No-Knead Bread Is So Magical. (Hint: It’s Not Actually About Kneading.)

updated Jun 7, 2019
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(Image credit: Sara Kate Gillingham)

What makes no-knead bread so magical? Ever since Jim Lahey and Mark Bittman brought us this phenomenally popular recipe, slimming down the process of making bread at home and lopping off a lot of the angst and mystery, no-knead bread has been one of the most popular ways to turn out a loaf. But here’s the thing — no-knead isn’t about the kneading, or lack thereof.

Over at Slate, Benjamin Phelan tackles this bread star and explains what really makes it good. No-knead vs. traditional bread, he argues, is a false dichotomy. What really makes bread great (and easy!) is giving it lots and lots of time along the way. Don’t think of it as making no-knead (or kneaded) bread; think of it as “slow bread.”

If you’re an experienced bread baker none of this will be new to you, but if you’re newer to baking it’s a helpful primer to what really makes a good loaf.

Read more: Time Is on Your Side from by Benjamin Phelan at Slate