No-knead bread became highly popular overnight when Jim Lahey’s recipe first appeared via Mark Bittman in the New York Times approximately 10 years ago. A delicious loaf of bread that requires no starter, no stand mixer, no kneading? Sign me up, right?
This recipe includes both the traditional, overnight version and a speedy bread-in-a-hurry version that only needs to rise for 1 1/2 hours. Something for everyone!
No-knead bread is practically foolproof since you toss all the ingredients into a bowl, mix everything up, and allow the yeast to do its thing. The overnight rise gives no-knead bread its sourdough-type flavour and soft, airy texture. The crust comes out crispy and delicious – hence its popularity. The faster version is still delicious and will give you a fabulous crunchy-on-the-outside loaf of bread quickly. Both versions allow you to add extra seasonings if you wish, and you can have the crust as crunchy or as light as you want, depending on the baking time.
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Your home will smell like a heavenly bakery as your bread cooks – and you may never want to make kneaded bread again!
Let’s get to the recipes. The ingredients and method differ slightly.
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What you need to make no-knead bread
To make this easy no-knead bread, you’ll need the following equipment:
Using a thermometer will help you with controlling proofing times. For accurate dough temperature readings try this thermometer from Gdealer
Traditional overnight no-knead bread
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast*
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour**
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water, between 105 to 110 degrees F (use a cooking thermometer if you have one. The water should feel very warm but not hot)
When you measure your flour, pour the flour into the measuring cups rather than scoop them into the flour for a more precise measurement. If you'd rather the measurements in grams see below.
Can I use instant yeast for this recipe?
If you only have instant yeast, use half the amount called for in the recipe. In other words, the overnight version requires 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast. The fast version requires 1 1/4 teaspoons of instant yeast. Simple!
Method for traditional overnight no-knead bread
1) Start the dough
Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add in the warm water with a spatula or wooden spoon, stirring till the dough is well combined. The dough will be quite loose, which is normal.
2) Bulk rise
With plastic wrap, cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 12 to 18 hours at room temperature.
3) Shape into a ball
Next, place the dough on top of a floured surface and fold it on top of itself a few times. The dough should start to tighten up and hold its shape. Form a round ball of dough, adding extra flour as needed if the dough feels sticky.
4) Prepare to rise!
Cut some parchment paper that’s slightly bigger than the base of your dutch oven. Add a pinch of flour on top of the dough ball, flip it onto the parchment paper. Sprinkle more flour on top, then cover again with the plastic wrap so that it can rest while you preheat the oven.
5) Preheat your Dutch Oven
Place an empty double Dutch Oven (I have been using mine from Uno Casa) inside your oven***, and then set the temperature to 450 degrees F (230C). Leave it in the oven while your dough continues to rest at room temperature.
Be sure to put the Dutch oven in the oven BEFORE turning on the heat to avoid cracking your Dutch oven. This recipe calls for a Dutch oven as it creates an even heat distribution that steams the bread while it bakes.
6) Time to bake
Using oven mitts, carefully take out the Dutch oven. Lift the edges of the parchment paper along with the ball of dough to gently transfer both to the Dutch oven.
7) Bake it!
Cover the ball of dough with the Dutch oven lid, and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake for 10 to 20 minutes more to allow the top crust to brown to your liking.
8) Remove and cool
Remove the bread from the oven, remove the cover, and lift the edges of the parchment paper so that you can transfer your bread to a wire rack to cool. Let the bread cool for at least 60 minutes before slicing, serving, and enjoying!
Nutritional information per loaf
Calories: 1300kcal | Carbohydrates: 285g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 0g | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 19mg
Ingredients in grams
I prefer using scales to measure my ingredients as it gives a more accurate amounts. If you’d like to use scales too, use: 2 grams of active dry yeast, 420 grams of all-purpose flour, 8 grams of sea salt and 340 grams of warm water.
Quick version of no-knead bread
To speed to the process we add some sugar to the recipe. This will help the yeast do its thing quicker. Change the ingredients to make the quick version to:
- 1 1/3 cups warm water, between 105 to 110 degrees F (measure with a cooking thermometer)
- One packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast*
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour**
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
As in the longer version, combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then add in the warm water. Stir to form an even dough, which will be loose.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and let it rest for at least an hour. Once it has doubled in size – you’ll know it’s ready. Bake as above.