No-knead breads are the perfect solution for those who like homemade breads, but don’t have the time to put in to making some of the more involved artisan breads out there. The breads all have the same basic process: mix up the dough, give it a very long, slow rise, and bake it without ever having to pull out a “lightly floured surface” to work on. Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads is a book dedicated to this type of bread and includes all kinds of variations on the standard process.
This book is great for basic no-knead breads (or basic breads in general, really) and is very easy to work with. Author Nancy Baggett does a great job of giving a detailed explanation of every step of a recipe. Even better than that, each recipe is written so that it has plenty of options for different rise times. This takes just about all of the inconvenience out of baking yeasted breads, which sometimes have to be handled and deflated at specific intervals. These breads can be left to rise on the counter, in the fridge or in a combination of the two for a long, slow rise that will work around your schedule. Most of the breads are baked inside of a large dutch oven (or any large pot with a lid) that helps to shape the bread into a round loaf and provides a hot, moist environment that is perfect for producing a chewy loaf with a thick, crispy crust. Nancy Baggett has some notes on choosing a good pot for this type of bread here.
I recently tried a small variation on a recipe from the book with great results. It was definitely as easy as advertised and with a very satisfying result. I have to admit that I still like getting my hands into the dough to work it, but this is a great method to work with that is convenient and turns out a great loaf of bread.