How to Make No Knead Bread. No baking skills required! Time, a bowl and a dutch oven are all that’s needed. Mix it in one minute. Leave it overnight. Bake it. Super easy!
Home baked bread is making a big resurgence. Many people are discovering for the first time the sense of satisfaction from baking a perfect loaf.
There is nothing quite like the smell of home baked bread fresh from the oven. I call it the smell of home, because, for me, it is not only a beautiful scent, but a memory.
As in many Newfoundland families, growing up in the 70’s and into the 80’s, home baked bread was a mainstay of daily life. Practically every Mom, Nan and Auntie I knew back then were excellent bread bakers.
An early baker.
I learned early how to make homemade bread, starting even before my teens. I always loved baking bread and often made 8 or more loaves at once. We were a family of eight after all.
The same recipe I used way back then, has since come to be an incredibly popular one here on Rock Recipes since I first posted it over 12 years ago. Find our Best Homemade White Bread recipe here.
Making No Knead Bread fits easily into almost any schedule.
With changing times and busy schedules, in recent years I have also been making this No Knead Bread version. It is a delicious, crusty loaf with a good open crumb and it could not be easier to make.
It is as easy as mixing flour, water, yeast and salt for 1 minute to form a loose dough, then leave it covered overnight. The next day, form it into a loaf and bake it in a preheated dutch oven for about 45 minutes total and voila! Fresh bread!
There’s even a 4 hour rising, quicker version when you need it, just by varying the amount of yeast. (More in the recipe below about that.)
What makes this bread particularly delicious, is the slow rising time. The loaf uses only 1/4 of a teaspoon of yeast!
Most professional bakers, and especially sour dough bread bakers, know that a long rising (fermentation) time yields a more flavourful bread.
A little yeast can do a lot.
In any bread recipe, the amount of yeast is not as critical as some think. Time is far more important.
A single grain of yeast can multiple enough in time to raise a whole batch of bread. That’s why this recipe works so well.
You are actually slowing down the rising process on purpose. That gives the time for gluten to naturally form and for the dough to develop great flavour.
This recipe is the best way to make homemade bread with the absolute minimum of effort. And very good bread at that.
Yes you can make this with whole wheat flour or with a mix of white and whole wheat flours to suit your taste. I like to use half of each type for a great textured loaf.
A word about the covered dutch oven or covered casserole.
The size of the dutch oven I use for a singe loaf is 3 1/2 quarts/litres and measures 8 inches across the top diameter.
I also have a 7 quart/litre orange dutch oven which measures about 11 inches across. That is what I use to make double sized loaves when doubling the recipe.
Any oven-safe covered casserole is also good to use. I have made a single loaf of this bread in a white Corelle covered casserole as well. Just make sure your covered dish is rated for up to 450 degrees but you can get away with using 425 as well.
When using a casserole, form the dough into a log shape, a little shorter than the length of the covered dish.
Step by step photos for making No Knead Bread.
Measuring flour correctly.
It is easy to over measure flour for any recipe bu as much as 30% or more as you can see in the photo below. Both are one cup of flour but one weighs much more. Read more on how to avoid this common baking pitfall in our post on How to Measure Flour Correctly.
For more tried and true recipes, check out this collection of our 25 Most Popular Recipes since Rock Recipes began back in 2007.
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How to Make No Knead Bread. No baking skills required! Time, a bowl and a dutch oven are all that's needed. Mix it in one minute. Leave it overnight. Bake it. Super easy!
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 tsp of instant yeast (the kind you just add to flour, not the kind that needs to be proofed in warm water first)
- 1 1/2 cups water at room temperature or a little cooler. It should not be warm.
- 490 grams plain flour or bread flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp yeast
- 360 ml water
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and yeast.
- Add the water and stir with a wooden spoon until everything combines together into a soft dough. It really does take less than a minute.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave overnight. I have left it rising for 12- 15 hours many times. The time here is quite forgiving. Somewhere in that time window or even an hour or so before is fine.
Preheat the pot
- When ready to bake your bread, put a cast iron or enamelled cast iron dutch oven (including the lid) in the oven at 450 degrees F, for at least a half hour. The size of the dutch oven I use for a singe loaf is 3 1/2 quarts/litres and measures 8 inches across the top diameter. I also have a 7 quart/litre orange dutch oven which measures about 11 inches across. That one is what I use to make double sized loaves when doubling the recipe.
- Any oven-safe covered casserole is also good to use. I have made a single loaf of this bread in a white Corelle covered casserole as well. Just make sure your covered dish is rated for up to 450 degrees but you can get away with using 425 as well. When using a casserole, form the dough into a log shape, a little shorter than the length of the covered dish.
Forming the dough
- To form the dough into a ball, turn it out onto a well floured surface. The dough will be VERY sticky at this stage, so don't be afraid of using lots of flour on the board. Flouring your hands often also helps.
- Sprinkle flour over the surface of the dough. Enough so that you can pat the dough without your hands sticking.
- Pat the dough flat into what ever shape it goes. The shape is not important.
- Begin folding the dough over on itself until a rough ball forms.
- Using well floured hands, begin tucking the loose ends under the dough to form a smooth ball. Don't worry too much about this. Your loaf may look a bit more rustic but it will still be fine.
- Cut a circle of parchment paper about twice the size of the diameter of the dough ball and place the dough ball on it.
- Lightly dust the top of the ball with flour and cover with a clean tea towel or napkin for 15- 20 minutes. This allows the dough to relax and get more elastic when baking, resulting in a higher loaf.
- After the resting time, you can score a cross in the top of the loaf using a razor blade or very sharp paring knife. A new clean box cutter is also good for scoring dough. You don't want to cut deeply at all. A quarter inch deep cut is fine.
Baking the bread
- Lift the dough ball using the parchment paper and drop it directly into the hot dutch oven. An optional step at this point (but one I always do) is to spritz plain water all over the top of the dough before putting on the lid. I do about a dozen pumps from my kitchen water spritzer. The purpose is to provide steam and prevent the top crust from forming too fast, therefore getting better "oven Spring" or lift when baking, for the highest loaf.
- Put the dutch oven back in the oven for 1/2 an hour with the lid on. Then remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 -25 minutes depending on how dark you want to take the top crust.
- Cool the fully baked loaf on a wire rack for at least 45 minutes before cutting. Cutting prematurely, releases the steam from inside the loaf, leaving it drier and not so long lasting.
- I do freeze these loaves often. When I defrost a loaf, I put it back in a preheated 350 degree F oven, directly on the oven rack for 7-10 minutes. This refreshed the crust quite nicely.
There is a quicker version of this recipe which only takes 4 hours rising time. Simply increase the yeast from 1/4 tsp to 1 tsp.
This dough is also absolutely fantastic for homemade pizza. One of the best I've ever tried anywhere.
Amount Per Serving Calories 133Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 265mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 4g