The Duo That Put No-Knead Bread on the Map Answers Your Baking Questions

Everything you’re trying to figure out about bread and pizza

Heated Editors
Published in
21 min readMay 29, 2020


Photo: Romulo Yanes

Bread baking was transformed for the average home baker in 2006 when Mark Bittman wrote about Sullivan Street Bakery founder Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread in The New York Times after he learned about Lahey’s super-minimalist method.

“The method is surprisingly simple,” Lahey wrote in an email to Bittman. “I think a 4-year-old could master it — and the results are fantastic.”

People’s minds were blown. And the piece was a tipping point toward a renewed enthusiasm for baking bread at home. Before that, of course, there was Nancy Silverton’s La Brea. And Richard Bourdon’s Berkshire Mountain Bakery. And Peter Reinhardt’s works. And after it, bread-baking momentum took off, thanks to Bread Alone’s Daniel Leader and many others, along with Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread in 2013, which ushered in a new era of bread geekdom. Along the way, there’s been new scrutiny of grain, an explosion of really great bakeries, and some eyerolling over the tech-bro embrace of bread.

As for Bittman, he went all-in with How to Bake Everything, released in 2016; these days, he’s really into whole-grain baking. And Lahey, of course, has become one of the most recognizable names in American bread baking.

Which brings us to this moment: We’re stuck at home, and we’re either baking the same no-knead bread we’ve been sliding into the oven since 2006 or starting to bake bread for the first time. Internet searches for bread have skyrocketed, while that original no-knead article has been a breakout query since the pandemic began.

Now that we’re in the baking groove, Bittman and Lahey teamed up once again — to answer not just your no-knead questions, but baking questions in general.

We asked followers over Instagram what they’re having trouble with and answered them in the text below. Read on to see if we’ve addressed yours. And if we haven’t, let us know in the comments.