Taking one for the team: bread division

Yesterday, because I’m always the last one to try new things, I made the viral recipe from Alexandra’s Kitchen for her mother’s Best No-Knead Peasant Bread.

It is baked in Pyrex bowls and makes two loaves. You grease the bowls with a tablespoon of butter before adding the dough. Since we have a vegan here, I used regular salted butter for one bowl and Earth Balance sticks for the other. I followed the recipe exactly since I hadn’t made it before. (I’ve made bread before and have always been happy with the results.) The loaves slid from the bowls right out of the oven, and they were a smash success. Everyone loved them, even me, and ironically I’m not a big bread person.
So today I decided to make more (since yesterday’s batch was gone) and thought I’d try greasing the bowls with oil instead of butter. I used canola oil on one bowl and olive oil on the other. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Here’s where it would have been helpful if a voice had yelled “No, don’t do it”, but it didn’t, so I continued. The loaves were beautiful when I took them out of the oven, and I turned them over so that they could fall onto my cooling rack…

Let’s just say that a chisel would have been helpful. I finally got the loaves out of the bowls with the help of a long thin knife and a fish spatula. The bottom crust stuck to the bowls, and the loaves look terrible. They taste fine if you keep your eyes closed.
So I won’t make that mistake again. I should have wondered why I wasn’t able to find any versions of the recipe online that used oil instead of butter. I am a librarian and an expert researcher, but it’s always harder to believe a negative result.
I’m writing this to save any of you, tempted to make the same mistake, from the extreme frustration I’m feeling, along with two very unattractive loaves of bread. I do recommend making this bread the correct way - it’s very easy and very good .

In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt:
Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.


AK shared her single loaf version recently that was posted on this website. Even easier!

I agree w/you. I’ve been baking through her bread catalog and learning a lot along the way.


Thank you for sharing this! Quite fascinating. I wonder why the butter/oil difference?? Great topic!

1 Like

Thanks. I think I’ll try this version next.

1 Like

Sounds like a great day for bread pudding!

1 Like

This mornings loaf proofing, pre bake.


Looks great. I’m still recovering from my trauma, but I may make some tomorrow. Would love to see a photo of the finished loaf.

1 Like

Will do. Baking now.



Thanks. Looks great!



Looks just like what I made the first time. I think I’ll try your version tomorrow. Thanks for helping me get back on the no-knead bread horse!


My bread baking beginnings were brick doorstops. It’s amazing to be baking bread regularly with more confidence and curiosity. This loaf has 2 tsp of fresh ground B&B oregano added to the dry mix.

Finding a method I can exceed with was half the quest.


I started out making bread with a bread machine. I only use the dough cycle now, but things usually turn out fine. Also I like using SAF instant yeast seems to make the results better.

I just took my Cup of Jo loaf out of the oven. It looks and smells great, so we’ll see…I hope it works because I’d rather use a loaf pan. The glass bowls, especially with the butter, are kind of slippery!


High hydration is slippery! Yields a nice buttery crumb. Enjoy that tasty loaf! I have never tried a bread machine appliance but I like feeling the bread dough to better gauge the hydration.

1 Like

Thanks again for the loaf variation. It will be in regular rotation from now on!

That’s awesome!

1 Like


I will give it a try…I have to confess that I like making kneaded breads because I love the feel of how the dough transforms from a sticky wad of gluten into a silky ball of dough and then to a crusty warm loaf.

But time and energy are not always in abundance!


Next up,

Directions for one loaf or two are listed.


You can go first! I just requested her cookbook from the library and I’m looking forward to trying more of her recipes. Have you seen it?