Is there anything better than fresh-baked bread? No? How about homemade, freshly baked bread that doesn’t require any kneading!? This Easy No-Knead Bread is truly a gift to all of us who have lives that exist outside of the kitchen.
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Easy No-Knead Bread Ingredients
Making bread doesn’t have to be difficult. With only household staples making up the ingredients and little to no equipment necessary, even a garden nome could pull this off. The following ingredients are all it takes for this No-Knead Bread to come together.
- All Purpose Flour: Easy access and cheapness are what this particular type of flour have going for it. Paired with lower protein and gluten content, all purpose flour allows for a lighter, airy and more chewy loaf.
- Sea Salt: Salt is incredibly important in yeast-risen bread. It aids in strengthening the gluten strands and enables the dough to retain carbon dioxide and rise in the oven.
- Water: The water in this bread recipe is lukewarm. Not cold, room temperature or hot. Lukewarm. Lukewarm water activates yeast which then has a much easier time producing gas (and rise) in a warm environment.
- Active Dry Yeast: Active Dry Yeast is the most common variety of yeast sold in stores. You can find it in small jars or packets in the baking aisle. Unlike its Instant counterpart, active dry yeast needs to be rehydrated prior to being added into dry ingredients. Yeast absorbs sugars and starches in order to release carbon dioxide gas to produce a rise in baked goods.
- Sugar: Sugar provides food for your active dry yeast! It also serves to enhance the flavor of your bread. Sugar can intensify the golden color of your finished product and aid in retaining moisture improving crumb texture.
Steps for Making Easy No-Knead Bread (with pictures!)
- Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine all purpose flour and salt. Whisk together thoroughly, taking care to spread the salt evenly throughout the flour.
- Activate the Yeast: In a small measuring cup, combine lukewarm water, sugar and active dry yeast. Allow this mixture to sit for about 10 minutes. It should puff up slightly and become frothy as shown in the image below. If it does not, your yeast is dead and you must begin again.
- Make the Dough: Pour frothy yeast mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir together with a wooden spoon until dough comes together and all dry ingredients are wet. Do not over-mix.
Fermentation and Baking
- Allow the Dough to Rise: Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set in a warm area in your kitchen. I prefer to use the oven to protect the bowl from drafts. Put a note on the oven to remind yourself that you have dough rising in it. You don’t want to accidentally turn it on during this time.
- 8-12 Hours: The dough should take about 8-12 hours to properly rise. It is best to do this overnight. The dough will double in size and form small pockets of gas throughout.
- Cover in Flour: Scoop the flour out of the bowl and onto a sheet of parchment paper covered in all purpose flour. Gently roll the dough around on the parchment paper to coat it in the flour. Remember, no kneading is necessary!
- Bake: Place a lidded dutch oven onto the center rack of your oven and close the door. Turn on your oven and preheat to 450 F. Dutch oven will get nice and warm along with the oven. Once oven is preheated remove the dutch oven. Place the parchment paper holding the dough into the pot. Cover with the lid. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Enjoy: Allow bread to cool in dutch oven (without lid) for 10-15 minutes before removing using the edges of the parchment paper. Remove paper and set bread load on a cutting board to slice and serve as desired.
Tips for Making No-Knead Bread
Making homemade no-knead bread can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to help you achieve a delicious loaf:
- Use high-quality ingredients: Start with good-quality flour and yeast. If possible, opt for bread flour or all-purpose flour with a higher protein content for better gluten development.
- Measure accurately: Use a kitchen scale to measure your ingredients by weight rather than volume for more consistent results.
- Adjust water content: Depending on factors like humidity and flour type, you may need to adjust the water content slightly. If your dough is too wet, add a little more flour. If it’s too dry, add a bit more water.
- Long fermentation: No-knead bread relies on long fermentation to develop flavor and texture. Allow the dough to ferment for at least 12 to 18 hours at room temperature (around 70°F/21°C). You can also refrigerate the dough for a longer, slower fermentation for up to 24-48 hours.
- Use a Dutch oven or covered pot: Preheat your Dutch oven or a heavy covered pot in the oven before baking. The covered pot creates a steamy environment that helps the bread rise and develop a crispy crust.
- Preheat the oven: Make sure your oven is properly preheated to the recommended temperature before putting the bread in.
- Score the dough: Before baking, make a shallow slash or two on the top of the dough to control its expansion during baking.
- Cool properly: Let the bread cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Cutting into the bread while it’s still warm can result in a gummy texture.
Remember, no-knead bread baking can be a bit of an experiment, so don’t be afraid to make adjustments and tailor the process to your preference. Happy baking!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is no-knead bread?
No-knead bread is a type of bread that requires minimal to no kneading of the dough. It relies on a long fermentation process to develop gluten and flavor, resulting in a crusty exterior and a soft, airy interior.
Can I use instant yeast instead of active dry?
Yes, you can use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast when making no-knead bread. When substituting instant yeast for active dry yeast in a recipe, you can generally use the same amount. For example, as this recipe calls for 3/4 tsp of active dry yeast, you can use 3/4 tsp of instant yeast instead. Keep in mind that the fermentation time might vary slightly when using instant yeast, as it tends to work a bit faster than active dry yeast. So, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the dough during the bulk fermentation and adjust the time if needed.
What if I don’t have a Dutch oven?
If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can use a baking stone or a baking sheet with an inverted metal bowl as a cover to create a steamy environment.
Can I add mix-ins to the dough, like seeds or dried fruits?
Yes, you can add mix-ins to the dough before the initial mixing stage to incorporate them evenly.
Why did my bread turn out dense and flat?
Several factors can lead to dense and flat bread, such as expired yeast, insufficient fermentation time, or improper shaping. Make sure to check the freshness of your ingredients and follow the recipe closely.
How do I get a crispier crust?
Preheating the Dutch oven or pot and using steam during baking will help create a crispier crust. You can also remove the lid during the last 10 minutes of baking to allow the crust to further brown.
Storing Easy No-Knead Bread
Storing no-knead bread properly is essential to maintain its freshness and texture. Here are some tips on how to store it:
- Cool Completely: Allow the bread to cool completely at room temperature before storing it. Cutting into warm bread can lead to moisture loss and a gummy texture.
- Wrap in Paper or Cloth: Once the bread has cooled, wrap it loosely in a clean kitchen towel or paper bag. Avoid using a plastic bag as it can trap moisture and make the crust soggy.
- Store in a Bread Bin or Airtight Container: If you don’t have a bread box, you can use a bread bin or an airtight container. Keep the lid slightly ajar to allow some air circulation, which will help prevent the crust from becoming overly soft.
- Room Temperature Storage: No-knead bread is best consumed within the first couple of days. If properly stored, it should stay fresh for up to 3-4 days at room temperature.
- Freezing Option: If you want to store the bread for a more extended period, you can freeze it. Slice the bread, wrap each slice or the entire loaf tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and place it in a freezer-safe bag. Frozen no-knead bread can last for up to a month.
Remember that no-knead bread has fewer preservatives than store-bought bread, so it is best enjoyed fresh or within a few days of baking. Proper storage will help retain its quality and taste for as long as possible.
Please remember if you make this recipe to snap a pic and share with @censoredbaker on instagram!Print
Easy No-Knead Bread
If you are looking for a homemade bread recipe that requires minimal effort, this is your girl. With household staple ingredients, no crazy equipment and no advanced baking techniques, this No-Knead Bread recipe will be your new best friend.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 12 hours
- Yield: 1 Large Loaf 1x
- Category: Bread
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
3 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 c lukewarm water
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
- Prepare the Dough: In a large bowl, mix together flour and sea salt. In a small bowl or 2-cup measuring cup, mix together water, yeast and sugar. Allow this mixture to sit for 10 minutes. If it does not appear slightly frothy/foamy by the end of this window, your yeast is dead or expired and you should start again with fresh. Stir wet into dry with wooden spoon until dough comes together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm, dry place to rise for 8-12 hours or overnight. Dough should double to triple in size.
- Coat the Dough in Flour: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 C) and place a large dutch oven with lid inside to warm up with the oven. While oven and dutch oven are preheating, spread a piece of parchment paper across a clean, dry surface and sprinkle with all purpose flour. Scoop dough onto parchment paper and roll around in the flour so that all sides are slightly coated. No kneading necessary!
- Bake: Once oven is preheated, remove dutch oven. Uncover the dish and place dough along with the parchment paper it is resting on inside. Recover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow bread to cool slightly before slicing.
*Always check to make sure your yeast is FRESH! Keeping close tabs on your yeast expiration dates is paramount if you wish to avoid dense, sad baked goods.
*Bread will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month.
Keywords: easy bread, homemade bread, no knead bread, white bread