No-Knead Bread

(faux-sourdough for dummies)

In 2006 Mark Bittman, food writer for the New York Times, revolutionized home-bread-baking by introducing No-Knead Bread. Actually he just shared the recipe invented by a New York baker, Jim Lahey. No-Knead bread was a fool-proof miraculous loaf that tasted and looked much better than any other home-baked bread, as well as many of the fancy stuff at your local bakery. Super easy to make, it needed no kneading and no attention whatsoever, only a few minutes of action plus some waiting.

One and a half years later, my favourite food blogger, Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats (at the time writer at Food Illustrated) perfected the recipe adding a faux-sourdough touch to it. He did it by substituting part of the water with some white vinegar and beer, you now, to give the bread that tang and complex yeasty flavour. Well it worked perfectly. I’ve done this recipe so many times, and it never fails. It is quite important to use a cast-iron pot (enameled or bare is the same) to achieve an optimal rise and a crunchy crust, but if you don’t have it, the bread will be still very good using the oven as usual.

Special Equipment

  • cast- iron pot
  • a flexible spatula
Created with Sketch. About 20 hours, 15 minutes active time Created with Sketch. One 500gr loaf


  • 430 grflour (both all- porpous or bread flour will work)
  • 1 grdry yeast (or 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 8 grsalt (or 1 full teaspoon)
  • for the regular version
  • 345 grwater
  • for the faux-sourdough
  • 85 grlager beer
  • 15 grwhite vinegar
  • 245 grwater


The process is quite long but easy: I usually mix the ingredients before I go to bed, and bake it the next day after work.  The dough is gonna be quite loose (85% hydration) and therefore a bit difficult to handle, but there’s not much handling involved really. Here we go:

  1. Mix flour (430 gr), yeast (1 gr) and salt (8gr) in a large bowl. Mix it well.
  2. Add the water (345 gr), or if you are doing the foux-sourdough: water (245gr.) + beer (85gr) + white vinegar (15 gr), and mix it with a spoon, just the time it takes for all the flour to be sucked in the liquids, about 20/25 seconds. Cover it tight with plastic foil and leave it to rest at room temperature for about 15/18 hours.
  3. After the time has passed (it’s probably gonna be the next day), the mix is going to be quite bubbly. With the help of a flexible spatula, pour it on a well floured working surface, sprinkle some extra flour on top, and possibly with the help of a scraper, fold the dough on itself a couple of times, 20 seconds in total. Put it back in a very well floured bowl, cover it again and let it rest for 2 more hours. We’re almost there.
  4. After one and a half hour set the oven to 230°, place the dutch-oven on the lower shelf of the oven, and let it heat up for 30 minutes: it needs to be HOT. If you don’t have a dutch-oven, jump to n. 7
  5. When the 2 hours have passed and the cast-iron is hot, take out the dutch-oven being very careful, place it on your stove-top, open it quickly, and with the help of the flexible spatula just pour the dough into the pot. You don’t have to worry about how it goes in, if it looks all smashed up or ugly: it’s gonna work! (Alternative, less messy method: place a sheet of baking-paper on the table, pour the dough onto said paper, and picking it by the four angles, gently lower it into the pot)
  6. 30 minutes at 230° with the dutch oven’s lid on. Another 15 minutes without the lid. Et voilà.
  7. For no dutch-oven baking: just heat up the oven tray on the lower rack instead of the cast-iron pot. When the 2 hours have passed, place a sheet of baking-paper on the table, pour the dough onto said paper, lift it by the four corners, and place it on the hot oven plate. Bake it for 45 minutes at 230°, covering the bread with some aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes to avoid to burn the top.


(never buy it again)

This recipe has a singular purpose: that not one person who reads it shall ever buy mayonnaise again.

A loft goal you might say, and maybe a bit aggressive? So what’s my beef with store-bought mayo? Let’s talk.

Mayo is not a thing I grew up with. I’m not really sure where my parents dislike of mayo came or comes from (some general aversion to its unhealthiness I’d guess) but we never had mayo at home. I remember eating smörgåstårta one time (which is like 50% mayo) and absolutely hating it. I immediately blamed mayo’s involvement. Of course I had mayo as part of some burger dressing and what not, but essentially: the first 15-20 years of my life was almost completely devoid of mayo.

I really didn’t know what mayo was or why it was considered (in our house) kinda gross. I certainly didn’t think about it as something you make.

The turning point was when I tried (and failed) to recreate some of my favorite sauces; Amigos kebab sauce, remoulade, some hamburger dressing, without considering that they might contain mayo. Turns out it’s a kinda important part of a lot of sauces. So I read up on how to make it. The general vibe seemed to be that it’s pretty hard and that you have to be very careful. So I was careful. Until I’d made it 50 times and realized that it’s super mega easy and that you don’t have to be really careful at all. This became the starting point of my war on store-bought mayo. So it’s not even about that the kind you buy in the store is bad. I mean, it probably isn’t very good but I really don’t know because why would I? It literally takes minutes to make yourself  and it’s wonderful.

Special Equipment

  • An immersion blender or electric mixer (or both)
Created with Sketch. 5 minutes Created with Sketch. 2-3 portions


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100 grapeseed oil
  • A dollop of mustard
  • Some vinegar
  • Some lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


So I’d like to make some general points right off the bat: You can use a good ol’ manual whisk, an immersion blender, an electric mixer or a combination. The thing is, the choice of tool does not only affect the process of making the mayo, but also the resulting consistency. If you only use a whisk or an electric mixer, the consistency becomes gooey and a bit wobbly. Putting an immersion blender to this makes the mayo much more dense and more pasty. The immersion blender mayo is very well suited for burger dressing and stuff like that, as you probably want it to stay in its place. My suggestion is to first use a whisk or mixer and then the blender as it can be hard to reach the bottom of the bowl with a blender.

Another thing: you can use the whole egg instead of only the yolk. This makes for a fluffier and whiter mayo less influenced by the taste of the egg yolk (obviously).

And a final note: I like mayo made with quite sweet mustard, but try different ones. Many recipes use dijon but I have a hard time with dijon in general. As for the vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper it’s completely personal so I’ve elected to not put any exact amounts in the recipe. Experiment! I like the acidity of vinegar but others (my brother for example) prefer lemon juice.

  1. Put a bowl on a damp dishcloth. This helps to keep it in place when whisking.
  2. Whisk together the yolk, mustard, vinegar/ lemon juice and a little bit of salt and pepper.
  3. Trickle the oil into the bowl while whisking/ mixing/ blending. As said: you really don’t have to be overly careful, but begin with a steady but thin stream. As the mayo sets you can increase the speed.
  4. Boom, you got mayo! Add salt, pepper and vinegar/lemon juice to taste.

Just to bring this “never buy mayonnaise again”- point home once and for all, I made a video!

Mayo in less than 1 minute:

Oh, one last thing on the recipe side of things: Instead of a hundred grams of oil, you can have two hundred grams of oil to one egg yolk. Or three hundred. Or fifty.

More oil means thicker consistency and less taste from the yolk (since it’s diluted the more oil you have). But one yolk can bind a heck of a lot of oil, so it’s basically just preference how much to use. This, I assume, is also why stor bought mayo is almost completely white: very high oil to yolk ratio (egg is expensive).

The best thing of all? When you’ve come this far, it’s so easy to make all these great things!

You like Aioli (come on, who doesn’t)? Mix in som garlic and there you go! Chili mayo? Add some fresh chili, a generous dollop of Sriracha and you’ll be amazed. Truffle mayo? You get the idea.

Welcome to the world of never buying mayo again, it’s a pretty great place!