Prior to discovering Jim Lahey, my journey through the somewhat complex world of bread-baking was missing guidance from a flour-dusted Captain Kirk. I had attempted to make challah bread in my boiling hot Lower East Side tuna can last winter, but ended up with a knobbly, doughy log. It was missing a “real” crust–which is as essential to bread as iron gated windows are essential to houses in South Los Angeles. (Sorry, just keeping it real here.) I was pretty bummed, naturally. Months later, I happened upon beautiful stecca loaves resting on wooden cutting boards at my friend Kristy’s apartment. I sampled, and loved, and sampled and loved some more. Then she revealed her secret. “I used Jim Lahey’s ‘no knead’ stecca recipe,” she told me, after I indulged her with hyperbolic comparisons to a master French baker. What does “no knead” mean exactly? “I barely had to do anything. I just mixed the dough, let it rise, roll it out into four loaves, and baked them.” More after the jump.