This hardly is a recipe of my invention – I am not a baker at heart anyway, but it is a recipe I love and have made many times – the famous Jim Lahey no knead sourdough, adapted here by one of my favourite chefs, Mark Bittman.

Most of the times when I have baked this gorgeous bread, I have served it two my friends three ways always hot off the Dutch oven –

1. With just churned butter from the (famous for its lovely pies!) Mennonite farm in Honesdale, PA, sprinkled with my dad’s favourite condiment, the Dalmatian Coast’s wonder salt Vegeta.

2. With roast bone marrow.

3. Or homemade Macedonian ajvar, the way my grandmother Maria made it! – mashed up fire roasted peppers, tomatoes and a little carrots (my mother thinks the carrots add sweetness).


• 3⅓ cups/430 grams all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for dusting
• Generous ¼ teaspoon/1 gram instant yeast
• 2 teaspoons/8 grams sea salt
• Cornmeal or wheat bran, as needed


– In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt.
– Add 1½ cups/345 grams water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky.
– Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.
– Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice.
– Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

– Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball.
– Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal.
– Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours.
When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

– At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees.
– Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats.
– When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven.
– Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is OK.
– Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
– Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned.
– Cool on a rack.