This foolproof artisan no knead bread has become a staple in our house. Simply mix the ingredients together, let time do the heavy lifting, then bake and enjoy the easiest and best tasting bread you’ve ever baked!
Love the taste and texture of a freshly baked loaf of bread, but hate all the kneading and rising?
Want to turn out artisan style bread that impresses all your friends with next to no effort?
This easy no knead bread is your new best friend.
We’ve been making a loaf of this bread every other day now for the last month or so. It started with a lack of bread in the house while on full quarantine after travel. It’s continued because it is awesome and it’s become a bit of an obsession around here.
This bread is pretty much perfect and very low maintenance. It’s got a nice crisp exterior, a flavourful chewy interior, and it’s as close to mix and bake as your going to get with bread.
This recipe and method were shared by Jim Lahey to the New York Times in 2010 in the article ‘Better Bread with Less Kneading‘ and since then it has been a hit with food lovers and bloggers alike.
Why this works
- Long rise – the 18 hour rise is necessary both for letting the yeast do all the magic without kneading, and also to develop the most flavour.
- Wet dough – the dough has enough moisture to steam which gives it a nice crispy crust.
- Dutch oven method – starting with a hot Dutch oven creates a small closed environment for the dough to steam.
All purpose flour or bread flour
In the month or so that I have been making this bread I have tried it with both all purpose flour and bread flour. Both turn out an excellent loaf of bread with ease, but I have found that the bread flour gave a bit of a nicer texture and flavour to the bread – also to get the right consistency from the dough you may need to add 1/4 cup more of flour to it. One bread flour turned out just fine as the recipe is written, another one was too loose and I had to add more.
Dutch oven shape
I’ve made the bread in both an oval Dutch oven and a circular Dutch oven. The only difference is the shape. When baking in an oval Dutch oven I shaped the loaf into a fat stick instead of a circle but the cooking times remained the same. I prefer the round boule, but if you’ve only got an oval Dutch oven, you can definitely bake it in that with good results.
How to make no knead bread
Preparing the dough couldn’t be any simpler. You dump the flour, yeast, salt and water in a medium size bowl and mix with a spoon until the dough has just come together. Don’t over mix it! If you do it won’t *hurt* the bread, but this is no knead, remember? Don’t bother yourself with extra work.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place it somewhere kind of warm. I like to pop it into my microwave to keep it out of the way but if it’s particularly cold outside I will put it into my oven with the light on to create a warmer place for the magic to happen.
Leave the dough to rise for 18-24 hours. You can leave it for as little as 12 hours, but the bread with have the best flavour if you leave it for at least 18.
When you are ready to bake the dough will look totally floppy. Don’t worry!! This is okay, and how it should be.
Place your Dutch oven into the oven and heat it to 450℉.
Grab a piece of parchment paper and lightly dust the middle of it with flour to prepare the surface for the dough. To turn the dough out onto the parchment, I like to use a flour dipped spatula to gently pull push the dough off the sides of the bowl. The dough will be really sticky at this point so dipping the spatula in flour helps to keep the dough from sticking to it.
When you’ve turned your dough out on to the parchment, use the spatula to lift the sides of the dough up on to the middle of it to make it more of a ball shape then give the top of it a light dusting of flour.
When you are ready to bake, carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven then lift the parchment and place the bread inside of it.
Close the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Pull out the dutch oven and remove the lid. The bread should be looking pretty good by now, but pretty light on the exterior.
Place the open Dutch oven back into the oven and continue baking for another 15 minutes. At this point, the bread should be nice and golden on top and also fully baked and ready to cool. To double check for doneness, lift the loaf out and tap on the bottom of the bread. If it sounds hollow, it is fully baked. If not, pop it back in the oven and bake it for a few more minutes.
When the bread has cooked, pull it out of the oven and cool it on a rack until it is just warm to touch. Then pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for a job well done and dig right into the tasty loaf.
Freshly baked bread is the perfect addition to meals like lentil Chili, broccoli soup, or red lentil soup but if you’re looking to get snacky you could always try it with hummus, or spinach artichoke dip.
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Artisan No Knead Bread
- 5-6q Dutch oven
- 3 cups all purpose flour or bread flour
- 1 3⁄4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1⁄2 tsp dry active yeast
- 1 1⁄2 cups water room temperature
- Add the flour, yeast and salt to a large bowl taking care to not pour the salt directly on the yeast.
- Pour in the water then begin to gently mix the dough together until it has JUST mixed – do not over mix.
- Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a dark, warm area. I like to use my oven with the light on to keep warm.
- Let the dough sit for 18-24 hours.
- When ready to bake, heat your oven to 450℉.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on your counter with a bit of flour in the middle of it. Spread the flour out across the parchment in a circle about the size of your bread.
- Turn the dough out onto the floured parchment and gently form into a ball (or log) about the size of your Dutch oven then sprinkle the top of it with some flour.
- Lift the dough by the parchment paper and place into the Dutch oven taking care to make sure the dough is sitting flat on the bottom, and that the sides of the parchment are tucked along the walls of it.
- Place the lid on the Dutch oven and then place it in the heated oven. Bake the bread for 30 minutes with the lid on, then remove it and bake for another 15 minutes.