No Knead & No Oven Bread – cooked in a thermal cooker.

Dave Knowles  has posted a great No Knead bread recipe for the thermal cooker on his thethermalcook blog. You should take a look!

No Knead & No Oven Bread – cooked in a thermal cooker.

This recipe is adapted from the now famous no knead bread recipe developed by Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery, Manhattan.

It was first published in the New York Times in November 2006 and has become one of the most talked about recipe on the Internet.


  • 1½ cups of bread flour.
  • 1 to 1½ tsp of salt (depending on your taste).
  • ⅛ tsp of instant dried yeast.
  • 1 cup of tepid water.

You also will need a tin to bake the bread in that will fit into the inner pot of the thermal cooker. A round cake tin will do fine. This tin needs to be greased.


  1. Mix all the dried ingredients together in a bowl before mixing in the water. You don’t need to beat.
  2. Cover the bowl with cling film. Leave it in a warm place for around 12 hours.
  3. Sprinkle a good layer of flour onto a piece of parchment paper and flour your hands well before scooping the dough out of the bowl and putting it onto the parchment paper.
  4. Spread the dough out a bit and simply fold the dough sides over each other. Then fold the bottom to the top.
  5. Turn the dough over and shape it gently so it fits in the tin before placing it on a trivet in the inner pot and putting the lid on.
  6. Put the inner pot into the outer pot. Shut the lid and leave for 2 hours to rise again.
  7. After two hours remove the inner pot.
  8. Remove the tin from the inner pot and make sure it has risen before covering it with either recycled aluminium foil (Eco care or similar) or baking parchment paper. Remember to make a handle to lift it out once cooked.
  9. Put it back into the inner pot and fill with hot water to come ¾ up the side of the pan before putting on a heat source and bringing it to the boil.
  10. Once boiling turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes.
    Put the lid on the inner pot and put the pot into the outer pot for 2 hours.
  11. When cooked remove and turn out onto a rack to cool.

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Comments on cooking bread and other things in a wonderbox cooker

Comments on cooking bread and other things in a wonderbox cooker:

Steamed bread in a wonderbox — turned out fabulous. We left it in the hot water to rise then boiled it for ten minutes and kept it in the wonderbox for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Here is some detail about the wonderbox bread…

I put the whole wheat bread dough in a oiled cereal bag (the waxed-
paper-like inner lining bag in boxes of cereal). Then I twisted up the
end and closed it with a twist tie. I then placed this bag inside a
Reynolds oven bag and twisted up the end of that bag. Rather than
putting the twist tie on at that point, I folded over the twisted end,
making a loop and then secured it with a twist tie, creating a double
reinforcement and less probability of water leaking in. I have heard
it being done in a Zip-loc bag as well, but I was pleased with the
cereal bag and oven bag. When picking a bag, you are concerned with
its ability to withstand the heat of boiling and ability to get a tight
seal when closing as water seeping into the bread will ruin it.

Then I put the dough in a pan of hot water to rise. After it had
risen, I boiled it for ten minutes and then placed the pan with the
dough in it and with the lid on in the Wonder Box. I left it there for
1 hour and 45 minutes. It was perfect. The bread comes out round and
is not browned, but very moist and light. You will not get overdone,
dry bread this way.

BREAD Recipe:

4 cups whole wheat, brown or white flour, or mixed as you wish

1tsp each yeast and sugar mixed, added to ¼ cup warm water

1 cup warm water with 1 tsp salt added

Mix and knead the dough (or add ¼ cup warm water and merely stir it well). Roll the dough in dry flour and place it in an ordinary (crisp, cereal) plastic bag which has had a little oil rubbed around inside.

To reduce time needed for this it can be left submerged in warm water in the wonder box.

When it has doubled its size, it should be brought to boil in the water and boiled for about 10 minutes. Transfer the bread in the pot of water to a wonder box for an hour to finish cooking when it should have a soft “crust”.

I have fielded numerous requests from readers who are making their own wonder boxes, and wanting to know what type of material would be best for the cushions.

Cushions have to be of a soft material that will squish firmly around the top, bottom and sides of your wonder box. Another idea is to use the inners of old, flat pillows.

Another example of making bread in a wonderbox

I have been baking bread in a wonderbox for awhile now. My recipe is for 2 loaves (whole wheat). I put one in the wonderbox and one in the oven. I raise the bread by putting it in a cereal bag that has been sprayed with cooking spray. I put a twistertie on that and then put that in an oven bag, twist it up and then double the twisted part over and put on the twister tie. That part looks like a loop. Anyway I put the bagged dough in a pot of warm water to rise. When it has doubled, I bring the whole thing to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Then put the whole thing in the wonderbox and go away. Once it was in there for over 8 hours and the bread was still warm. I think the least amount of time has been one hour.
The bread does not have a crust and is usually oval, but it is moist and delicious. In fact when I have people try a bit from the oven baked and the wonderbox, they prefer the wonderbox bread hands down.
So do I.
I have reused the cereal bag. I make my own cereal so I don’t have those kind regularly. I’ve tried ziploc bags for the outside and sometimes they pop open from the rising bread. If it gets under water, the bread is ruined.

Bean Soup
I made bean soup. I soaked the beans over night, then boiled them 20 minutes, and after a couple of hours in the wonderbox, I took them out to put some bean flour in to thicken it and reheated it for another 20 minutes before putting it back in. All together it was probably 6-7 hours in there, but no burning or sticking, and I left it that long because that was when I was using the soup…

BTW, I was using the ice box cooler for the thermal outer container which I placed the bean pot inside. I first wrapped the bean pot in a wool blanket and then put a pillow on top of the pot and blanket before closing the cooler lid. I have also been using a half of a mylar space blanket in the wonderbox and the ice box cooker both to retain heat, but also to keep the wonderbox clean and dry and to keep the wool blanket dry. I think that really helps.

Golden Syrup Scones –

Golden Syrup Scones

A favorite winter desert that is so easily made.

1 3/4 cups of self raising flour
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of castor sugar
1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of Golden Syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 of a cup of milk

Simmering time on the stove top: 15 to 20 minutes

Thermal cooking time: 30 minutes minimum

1. Grease a stainless steel cake tin or loaf tin that will fit into the Shuttle Chef inner saucepan
2. Sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter
3. Mix in the sugar and cinnamon
4. Add the syrup and sufficient milk to make a soft dough
5. Knead gently
6. Roll out to fit your container
7. With a knife, cut through the dough to make even sized scones (approximately eight scones)
8. Gently transfer these into the tin and cover with a suitable lid or a sheet of Alfoil
9. Place the tin on a suitable height trivet (if required) inside the inner saucepan
10. Pour in enough hot water to come 2/3 of the way up the sides of the tin
11. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 top 20 minutes
12. Place the inner saucepan into the outer vacuum insulated container and closed the lid
13. Leave for at least 30 minutes.

Wholemeal Bread or Scones –

Wholemeal Bread or Scones

A very simple “standard recipe” bread mix that produces excellent results.

1 x 12 gram sachet of dry yeast
1 1/2 cups of wholemeal plain flour
1 1/2 cups of plain flour
2 teaspoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of oil
1 1/4 cups of warm water
Sesame seeds

Simmering time on the stove top: 20 minutes

Thermal cooking time: 1 hour

1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl
2. Add the oil and water and mix well together to form a soft dough
3. Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic
4. Cover with a clean damp cloth and allow to rest for about 10 – 15 minutes
5. Shape the dough into a loaf and place into a large greased loaf tin or two smaller loaf tins
(for rolls, you can divide the dough into 10 even pieces and shape them into individual rolls or buns and place them into greased loaf or cake tins.)NOTE: if you are using the RPC 4500 that has only one single inner saucepan you will need to cook these one at a time.
6. Brush the loaf or rolls with warm milk or water and sprinkle with seame seeds if desired
7. Make a pleat down the middle of a piece or oiled Alfoil (the pleat allows the bread to rise) and cover the bread with the Alfoil
8. Place the loaf tin into the inner saucepan or saucepans and then place the inner saucepans into the vacuum insulated outer container for 40 – 45 minutes for Bread or 20 – 25 minutes for Rolls to allow the dough to rise until it is approximately double in size. NOTE if the weather is cold you can warm the inner saucepan first or pour approximately 2 cm of hot water around the loaf tin.
9.OPTIONAL: Secure the Alfoil around the lip with string or an elastic band to prevent moisture from getting in
10. If you are using the 3 litre inner saucepans place the loaf tin on the bottom and fill around the tin with hot water to 2/3 the height of the tin.
11. If you are using the 4.5 litre inner saucepan you can place a suitable trivet into the saucepan first and then place the loaf tin on this and fill with hot water to 2/3 the height of the tin
12. Bring the water to the boil and gently simmer4 for 20 minutes
13. Transfer the inner saucepan into the vacuum insulated outer container and closed the lid
14. Leave for a minimum of 1 hour
15. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack
NOTE: You can prepare your breads and rolls in the evening and leave them in the Shuttle Chef all night.

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