I’m unable to make bread because I lack a dough mixer? Kneading the dough takes a lot of time, so I don’t want to make bread?
Oh no, forget it and save Apronese‘s no-knead bread recipe instead.
You can make delicious bread yourself without spending much time or effort. Let’s get started.
Best Practices for No-Knead Bread
Our experience with this bread has led us to identify two techniques that really make a difference: a long fermentation and baking in a Dutch oven.
The dough may ferment or rise in as little as two hours, but we find that 12-18 hours yields a much better flavor and texture.
As you can see at the bottom of this post, you can bake this bread on a baking sheet, but a Dutch oven traps moisture as it bakes, creating an extra crispy crust.
We are writing the recipe using these two techniques below, but you can find tips at the bottom of the post to adjust it if you can’t use these exact methods.
Which Dutch oven do you use?
In the photo below, we used a Lodge Cast Iron 5-quart Dutch oven, which retails for about $35 (here’s another by Westinghouse that costs even less!). We think it’s well worth the $35 because it’s quite versatile.
Also, you can use enamel coated cast iron, such as this one made by Bruntmor. The key is that it must be something heavy and thick so that it is able to hold and radiate heat effectively, together with a lid. If you have a thick stoneware or glass dish, that may also work, but probably not as well as cast iron.
Is It Really Only 1/4 Tsp of Yeast?
Having the dough ferment for an extended period of time also allows you to use less yeast since it has plenty of time for reproduction and growth.
Last but not least, the long fermentation produces an incredible flavor. Its flavor is almost reminiscent of that of a sour dough. It is a truly amazing bread.
You should let your dough sit out at room temperature for at least 12 hours, preferably 18 hours, and if you cannot bake the bread at that time, place it in the fridge until you are able to do so.
Even though it still ferments in the fridge, it will do so at a slower pace, so you can bake it when you’re ready.
No-Knead Bread Recipe
You will learn how to make this extraordinary no-knead bread dough in just five minutes by measuring and mixing. To make the best bread you can ever have, follow these instructions.
Prep Time: 18 hrs / Cook Time: 45 mins / Total Time: 18 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 8 (one loaf)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour ($0.29)
- 1/4 tsp instant or bread machine yeast ($0.02)
- 1/2 Tbsp salt ($0.02)
- 1.5 to 1.75 cup water* ($0.00)
- You can prepare this recipe the day before baking by mixing the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add 1.5 to 1.75 cups room temperature water and stir until you have formed a shaggy, sticky dough and there are no dry grains left on your bowl. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic and let it rest for 12-18 hours at room temperature.
- When the dough is ready to be baked, sprinkle some flour over it, and scrape it out (the dough should be light, fluffy, and bubbly by this time). Using floured hands, shape the dough into a ball and place it on parchment paper. Wait 30-60 minutes for the dough to rise.
- While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, or the highest recommended temperature on the parchment paper packaging. The Dutch oven should be placed inside the oven as it heats and left in the oven for at least 15 minutes before baking.
- When the bread has risen and the Dutch oven is fully heated, carefully remove it from the oven (it will be extremely hot). Take the parchment with the dough and place it directly in the Dutch oven. Cover with the lid.
- Once the Dutch oven has been baked for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the crust is deep golden brown. After you have removed the bread from the Dutch oven, lift it out using the parchment paper and allow it to cool before cutting it open.
*Depending on the humidity and moisture content in the flour, the amount of water needed may vary. See the images below for an example of how it should look after stirring in the water.
Serving: 1 serving ・ Calories: 172 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 36 g ・ Protein: 5 g ・ Fat: 1 g ・ Sodium: 439 mg ・ Fiber: 1 g
The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer.
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Step-by-Step Photos of Making No-Knead Bread
To begin, make sure you have “instant yeast” or “bread machine yeast” instead of “active dry yeast”. This type of yeast is needed because it does not need to be re-started with warm water first. You can add it dry to a recipe and it will still activate. Our favorite jars are these little ones that we keep in the refrigerator because they are so economical (especially because you only use 1/4 tsp at a time).
On the day before baking, combine 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 tablespoon instant or bread machine yeast, and 1/2 tablespoon salt in a large bowl. You need to stir them really well together.
Add about 1.5 to 1.75 cups room temperature water, and stir until the dough forms a shaggy ball that is slightly sticky. Water amount will vary depending on ambient humidity and flour moisture content, so go by visuals here. Make sure the dough comes together in one ball and no dry flour remains on the bottom. If it’s a bit sticky, that’s okay.
Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it ferment for 12-18 hours at room temperature. Transfer it to the refrigerator if you need to let it sit longer. When the dough ferments, it becomes very light, fluffy, and bubbly.
Scrape the dough out of the bowl after adding a little flour (since it will be sticky). As you scrape it out, it will begin to deflate.
Shape the dough into a ball using floured hands, then place it on parchment paper. Wait 30-60 minutes for the dough to rise. The shorter the rise time, the denser the bread, and the longer the rise time, the larger the bubbles.
As the dough is rising, preheat the oven and Dutch oven. Make sure the oven is set to 425oF, or whatever the highest safe temperature is for your brand of parchment (it should be listed somewhere on the box). Place your Dutch oven inside the oven while it preheats, and then let it heat for another 15 minutes or so once the oven is up to temperature. By doing this, you ensure that the Dutch oven is nice and hot.
When the dough is fully risen and the Dutch oven is fully preheated, carefully remove it from the oven (it will be extremely hot!). Placing the risen dough in the Dutch oven, parchment and all, is as easy as lifting the dough by its parchment. Return the Dutch oven to the hot oven with the lid on.
Bake it for 30 minutes with the lid on, then carefully remove it…
To brown the crust, bake for 15 minutes more without a lid.
When the crust has browned nicely, carefully remove the Dutch Oven from the oven. Using the parchment, lift the no-knead bread out of the Dutch oven and let it cool.
Just prepare yourself for the BEST bread you’ve ever made. This no-knead bread has a seriously amazing crust.
Short Fermentation Instructions and No Dutch Oven
As I mentioned before, this bread can still be baked without a Dutch oven and with only a two-hour fermentation time. The photo below shows my no-knead bread you can bake on a baking sheet after just two hours of fermentation (plus another hour of rise).
It’s recommended that you use 2 teaspoons of yeast instead of 1/4 teaspoon if you only have about 2-3 hours to ferment the dough.
After 2 hours of fermenting in the bowl, shape the dough into a loaf, transfer it to parchment paper (and sprinkle with cornmeal, if desired) and let rise another hour. I like to cut slits in the top of the loaf after it has risen. You should be careful not to deflate the dough by using too much downward pressure or not having enough sharpness on the knife.
Brush the dough surface with water and bake it at 425°F for 30-40 minutes until the crust is nicely browned.
With these two methods, Apronese hopes you can save time and effort while still being able to create delicious batches of bread at home.