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How to Make No Knead Bread

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!

No knead Bread on a wooden cutting board with butter, jam and tea in the background

How to Make No Knead Bread. No baking skills required!

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.

Close up photo of a slice of bread with jam.

So good with your favourite jam!

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.

Freshly cut loaf using unbleached flour

Freshly cut loaf using unbleached flour

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.

The Best Homemade White Bread

The Best Homemade White Bread.

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!

Whole wheat no knead bread on a wooden cutting board

Whole wheat no knead 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.

No Knead bread sliced with butter and strawberry jam on it

No Knead Bread. A perfect start to the morning.

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.

Photo of a bottle of instant yeast

Instant Yeast

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.

3 1/2 quart dutch oven

3 1/2 quart dutch oven.

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.

7 quart dutch oven

7 quart dutch oven.

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.

Corelle covered casserole

Corelle covered casserole

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.
The bubbling dough after 12 hours

The bubbling dough after 12 hours.

Dough transferred from bowl to well floured surface

Dough transferred from bowl to well floured surface

Flour the top of the dough and pat it flat.

Flour the top of the dough and pat it flat.

Begin folding the dough into shape

Begin folding the dough into shape.

Continue folding the dough

Continue folding the dough.

Dough just before final shaping into a smooth ball

Dough just before final shaping into a smooth ball.

Dough formed into a well shaped ball.

Dough formed into a well shaped ball.

Dough Ball resting on a circle of parchment paper

Rest dough ball resting on a circle of parchment paper for 15 minutes.

Dough on parchment paper dropped into the hot dutch oven

Dough on parchment paper dropped into the hot dutch oven.

Remove the lid after 30 minutes and return to oven.

Remove the lid after 30 minutes and return to oven

No Knead bread fully baked and still in the dutch oven

Fully baked loaf.

Measuring flour correctly.

It is easy to over measure flour for any recipe by 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.

How to Measure Flour Correctly. Two photo collage showing the weight of a cup of flour measured two different ways.

How you measure flour is important. It can result in mis-measurement of up to 34%.

For more tried and true recipes, check out this collection of our 25 Most Popular Recipes since Rock Recipes began back in 2007.

Rock Recipes most popular posts of the last decade image with title text for Pinterest 

Like these No Knead Bread recipe?

For traditional and Newfoundland inspired recipes, check out in our Newfoundland section and even more great dishes in our Fish & Seafood Category

It’s easy to keep up with the latest home style cooking & baking ideas from Rock Recipes. Be sure to follow Rock Recipes Facebook Page and follow us on Instagram

Plus you’ll see daily recipe suggestions from decadent desserts to quick delicious weekday meals too. 

No Knead Bread photo collage with title text added for Pinterest

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No knead Bread on a wooden cutting board with butter, jam and tea in the background
Yield: 12 servings. One round loaf.

How to Make No Knead Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 13 hours

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!

Ingredients

  • 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.

Metric measurements

  • 490 grams plain flour or bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 360 ml water

Instructions

Getting started

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and yeast.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. 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.
  2. Sprinkle flour over the surface of the dough. Enough so that you can pat the dough without your hands sticking.
  3. Pat the dough flat into what ever shape it goes. The shape is not important.
  4. Begin folding the dough over on itself until a rough ball forms.
  5. 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.
  6. Cut a  circle of parchment paper about twice the size of the diameter of the dough ball and place the dough ball on it.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. When making a whole wheat version of this bread, I use half white flour and half whole wheat. It makes a great textured loaf.
  3. This dough is also absolutely fantastic for homemade pizza. One of the best I've ever tried anywhere.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 133Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 265mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 4g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Christine

Tuesday 2nd of February 2021

I love the tea cozy and owl mug!!

Carla

Monday 25th of January 2021

What size pizza crust does it make?

Lynda Cullain

Tuesday 4th of August 2020

Can you use gluten free flour?

Renee

Saturday 1st of August 2020

Would any changes be needed for higher altitudes? Also, would a stainless steel pot work for baking? It's rated for oven use. Would temps or times need to be changed? Thanks for your time!

Wanda Colbourne

Monday 27th of July 2020

This bread makes the BEST toast. Add to that a good ol cuppa tea and really good peanut butter ❤

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