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Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads

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The ultimate guide of super-simple no-knead bread recipes.

For years, home cooks have shied away from baking their own yeast bread because they were intimidated by the mess, expertise, and kneading required. Now in paperback, Nancy Baggett's revolutionary "Kneadlessly Simple" lets even complete novices bake bread quickly and easily in their own homes, with no kneading and no mess.

Using the author's simple and effective technique, these recipes call for minimal ingredients and can usually be mixed in one bowl using a single spoon--with amazingly good results. A wide variety of breads are provided, including Crusty Sourdough Boules, English Muffin Loaves, pizza dough (and companion sauce recipe), Caraway Beer Bread, and much more.Perfect for inexperienced bakers and busy home cooks who don't have the time for kneading and kitchen clean-up yeast breads usually require, as well as budget-conscious consumers who love homemade artisan bread flavor, but not artisan bakery pricesAuthor Nancy Baggett is the bestselling author of 13 cookbooksIncludes 73 foolproof bread recipes for comfy classics like Cinnamon-Raisin Bread to contemporary favorites like Rosemary Focaccia

Nothing beats a loaf of fresh, warm-from-the-oven bread. "Kneadlessly Simple" lets even novice cooks create fragrant, full-flavored loaves without "any" specialized equipment, mess, or kneading.

210 pages, Hardcover

First published February 3, 2009

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Nancy Baggett

30 books4 followers

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5 stars
189 (35%)
4 stars
158 (29%)
3 stars
128 (24%)
2 stars
35 (6%)
1 star
23 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 39 reviews
Profile Image for Jessica.
440 reviews
November 4, 2010
I just read another review of this book, and had to laugh because it's exactly how I felt: How is keeping dough in your refrigerator for days two to three days easier than kneading bread? Especially when you have a bread mixer? And I don't have a dutch oven that is rated oven safe up to 500 degrees, which is called for in many of the recipes. I also thought the instructions were needlessly complicated -- each recipe is two to three pages long. Going to try Lahey's "My Bread" and "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" next.
Profile Image for Joanna Vaught.
Author 2 books25 followers
July 21, 2010
i've made 4 different breads out of this book -- some of them multiple times -- and each one has been practically effortless and produced beautiful results. i put off baking my own bread for so long because it seemed so time- and labor-intensive and if any variable was off, the whole thing was a wash. nancy baggett's method delivers on the titular promise! highly recommend.
Profile Image for James.
3,430 reviews20 followers
May 3, 2016
Why does a baking book written five years ago still use volume measurements and not weights? No nutrition info either. For no-knead recipes I would go for the Lahey book instead.
Profile Image for Elaine Nelson.
285 reviews36 followers
December 23, 2011
I only got to make one recipe out of this book: the very first one. But it was amazing. I've made basic white bread twice now. The first time, I didn't let it rise quite long enough, so it was kinda dense, but still really tasty. The second time I was more patient (and maybe added more yeast? or it was warmer?) and it turned out just about perfect. I really want to get a copy and try more recipes. (Also need dutch oven.)

[Edit: got a copy for Christmas (2009 or 2010?) from my sister. Have made several recipes, am fond of oat bread, English muffin bread, and pizza dough.]
Profile Image for Barbara.
322 reviews1 follower
January 2, 2017
Unfortunately this style of baking does not fit my lifestyle. I don't have room in our refrigerator for the dough bowl, nor can I figure out a schedule,per her recipes, which will work for me.
I have had the book for a year and haven't actually made anything yet. I am sure that the results would be great if I made them. But this approach is not for me at this stage in my life.
75 reviews
April 21, 2014
This is the ONLY way I bake bread now! (Other than an occasional quick bread.) My husband and I can't get over how good all of the breads we've tried taste. I got rid of my bread machine, and with a little planning and very little work, you've got absolutely delicious bread.
Profile Image for Eleise Kinch.
68 reviews
May 30, 2018
This book is fantastic, especially if you're looking to make bread without a ton of work. Also, commercial bread is terrible for you because of the additives, preservatives, dough conditioners and other toxic ingredients.

In this book are a few photos of the breads. And, my favorite is a simple cinnamon raisin honey loaf that is just fantastic. Bread that is perfect for diabetic meals. Honestly, something for everyone.

Profile Image for Madeleine Langlois.
2 reviews2 followers
April 20, 2021
That was the book that made the difference between my little dense schizophrenic bricks of bread and beautiful bread effortlessly. Great selection, clear instructions. The construction of the book itself is less than sturdy (lots of loose pages) but it does show how much it has gotten. In the meanwhile I bought the Kindle version and still use it weekly to make yummy breads. I definitely recommend.
Profile Image for Cheriwinkle.
694 reviews2 followers
July 19, 2018
An excellent book for anyone desiring quality homemade bread but lacking the time for traditional bread methods.
Profile Image for Janet.
2,076 reviews19 followers
March 16, 2020
Hmm, seems I have the wrong kind of yeast for these recipes. But I will try the neoplitan-style pizza dough anyway. If it works, I'll attempt more.
Profile Image for Robert Beveridge.
2,402 reviews161 followers
November 9, 2010
Nancy Baggett, Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads (Wiley, 2009)

My second “simple bread!” book of the year (after Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, q.v.), and it has many of the same weaknesses as its predecessor (mainly that by combining the repeated instructions in each recipe into one area and referring people back to it each time, this book would have been a quarter of its length at most), but also shares a strength: this really is a simple, if rather time-consuming, method of bread-making. (Not time-consuming as in you have to stand there and work it, but time-consuming in that from first mix to final bake can take as long as three days.) But don't take my word for it; a quick google search will turn up the basic recipe. Give it a try yourself. If you like it, check the book out of the library to make sure that variations on ingredients (which is often all that varies from recipe to recipe; in a few cases, recipes do branch off into multiple variations, but not often) make it worth adding to your permanent shelf. Trying the basic recipe, though, is a must, even if you're not a baker by nature. *** ½
Profile Image for Tracey.
2,744 reviews
August 13, 2016
baking. Apparently this was orig. underwritten by Fleischmann's yeast; pp197-201 discusses how to adapt traditional yeast/kneading recipes to this non-kneading method--basically it involves adjusting the order in which ingredients are added, a wetter dough, more proofing time, and a longer baking time. I generally do not have great luck with yeast, Fleischmann's or no, so when I tried the gluten-free light sandwich bread it was no surprise that the dough rose even less than you would expect of a gluten-free dough. Still, after putting the day and a half* into making, proofing, and baking it (it doesn't have to be that long, but that's how long I gave it), I had a flat-ish, tasty moist bread that I probably wouldn't try to make again (though we'll see how future endeavors go--maybe I'll change my mind).

*update: after consulting several other cookbooks written by bakers who have spent a great deal of time experimenting with such things, I've found that the increased sitting times are necessary for all of the flavors of the eggs and milk and yeast, etc. to get absorbed into the GF flours (which just take longer than wheat flours to do so). All right then!
Profile Image for Juanita.
323 reviews3 followers
May 28, 2011
I tried the light wheat bread and the raisin cinnamon pinwheel bread. Both were delicious...but Nancy needs some different criteria besides "easy" and "fairly easy". It would be helpful to indicate the length of the recipe at the start as well.
My definition of "easy" is a recipe that takes leas than 20 minutes to prepare and then I put in the oven for X amount of minutes and voilà it's done!
Her definition of "easy" involves mixing, then refrigerating for 16 hours, and then adding more ingredients, and then getting your baking pan ready and waiting for a 2 hour rise, and then when you bake it there are 3 steps (put in oven, later put foil on, and later check for readiness and cook for 10 more minutes!).
So if you've got time on your hands - you will get something delicious. But expect to wait a day or more to eat what you've started.
Profile Image for Ruds.
72 reviews13 followers
January 22, 2011
My two attempts at baking pandesal were failures despite following the recipe to the letter. Perhaps understanding the chemistry of the ingredients first might be helpful before I embark on ambitious projects. From the first chapters, I've learned about sugar/ flour ratio which was completely way, way off on my last try. Dough turned out so sticky that I knew, on that stage, my pan de sal was doomed.

I am new at baking and finds it enjoyable and relaxing and I hope this book would help me along the way.

May the yeast be with you.
Profile Image for Lisa.
2,064 reviews20 followers
January 6, 2015
it was so BORING!!!!! i was expecting something more for someone who has never baked bread that it would be more user friendly. there were hardly any pictures that is big for me in a cook book i want a picture with every recipe if not that than at least one every other. another thing i want it simple this book was not the instructions were at least two to three pages long. it was like i needed a class on how to use the book it. it made me tired.... i would never take the time to make or eat anything from this book
Profile Image for Liz.
375 reviews
February 25, 2012
The breads in this book are tasty and satisfying, sure, but they require WAY too much forethought and planning, and have WAY too many steps separated by awkward intervals of time to merit the "simple" descriptor. No spur-of-the-moment bread-making here. I'd much rather make bread the old-fashioned way (kneading) than go this route. For genuinely simple, kneading-free bread, the Five Minutes a Day series is much preferable.
28 reviews
May 18, 2012
One of several "no knead" books I've read. Not my favorite, by far. I'm not a fan of sourdough bread-I'm sure some of you are gasping ;-)-so leaving the dough in the fridge for several days is not going to give me what I want. I also didn't like that there were not photos for each recipe, and that what photos there are got put together in the center of the book. I was able to get a few tips, though, and some of the non-bread recipes look interesting, so that's why I rated it 3 stars.
21 reviews
April 12, 2015
These recipes are my go-to when I remember at bedtime that I need a loaf of bread the next day. Baggett's recipes appear overly complicated, but once the reader understands the basic process, it does not change much from recipe to recipe. She has complicated gongs by trying to show just how flexible the recipes can be for timing and convenience.
Profile Image for Kara Thomas.
631 reviews17 followers
October 23, 2016
The recipes in this book sound inviting and delicious. The first half contains "beginner" breads that are quite easy to follow. The second half is more artisan breads that I am excited to try. The one thing about this book is that you have to have time. A lot of it. If you want one of these for a meal, you have to remember and start a couple days in advance.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
433 reviews
September 28, 2009
I just can't get my head around the idea that making bread over two to three days is easier than a bit of kneading. The recipes I tried were good, and many others sound tempting, but the pictures are not.
Profile Image for Marcella.
394 reviews49 followers
February 17, 2009
Another method of making bread from Scratch however I find it a bit time consuming to follow the steps I much prefer Artisan Bread in 5 Mintues a day
12 reviews
May 8, 2009
So far the breads taste good but look very funny and have a cake-like texture compared to regular bread.
Profile Image for Les.
102 reviews
May 9, 2010
Good recipes, but I still prefer the original NY Times recipe for ease, taste and texture.
Profile Image for Teresa.
14 reviews8 followers
November 10, 2010
Love this book and made bread jars to give away last year at Christmas out of this book. Tom made his and said it turned out great. My bread also turned out well! Yay made my first loaf of bread!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 39 reviews

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