No Knead Bread

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My favorite no knead bread recipe is incredibly easy to make, perfectly crusty and golden on the outside, and soft and flavorful on the inside.  Two versions included — one with a traditional (overnight) rise, and one with a faster (1.5-hour) rise.

No Knead Bread Recipe

Interested in trying to make no knead bread? ♡

Well today, I thought I would share my two favorite no knead bread recipes with you — the traditional recipe that I like best (which requires the dough to rest 12-18 hours) or a faster method (which requires just a short 1.5-hour rise).

Both of these no knead bread recipes are incredibly forgiving and easy to make, with just 15 or so minutes of active hands-on prep time.  They both bake up magically in the oven to yield artisan-style loaves with the most gorgeous golden crusts and soft, flavorful interiors.  They call for just 4 basic ingredients, plus an extra teaspoon of honey or sugar for the faster version.  They are guaranteed to make your entire home smell like the yummiest, coziest French bakery as they cook.  And best of all, they both taste downright heavenly served warm and fresh outta of the oven.  (And — my breakfast-loving husband would add — fabulous toasted up the next morning too!)

So whether you are brand new to bread-baking, or just looking for some tried-and-tested recipes to add to your repertoire, I highly recommend bookmarking these recipes if you would like to give no knead artisan bread a try!  If you are planning ahead and have the time for an overnight rise, I would recommend going with the traditional version (my favorite) which gives the dough time to develop more of that yeasty, sourdough-like flavor and yields a more airy, porous crumb on the inside.  But if you’re pressed for time and just want a hot loaf of crusty homemade bread in a hurry, this faster version is a great option to try too.  Both versions can be made with any extra seasonings that you would like to add in, and baked up with however light or deeply golden of a crust you prefer.

Alright friends, let’s make some no knead bread together!

no-knead bread recipe | 1-minute video


Traditional and Faster No Knead Bread Recipes

Traditional overnight no knead bread (left) and faster 2-hour no knead bread (right).

No Knead Bread Ingredients:

The ingredients four base ingredients for these no knead bread recipes are the same — water, yeast, flour, salt — but be sure to note in the recipe below that the amounts differ slightly for each.  The faster version will also include a hint of sugar.

To make traditional (overnight) no knead bread, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Warm water: I recommend using a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature of the water, if you have one.  It should be between 105-110°F — which will feel quite warm but not hot to the touch.
  • Active dry yeast: You will need less than a packet (1/2 teaspoon) for the overnight version, and one full packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) for the faster version.  If you only have instant yeast on hand, see notes below for how to modify.
  • All-purpose flour: I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh your flour, if possible, so that the amount is accurate.  But if you do not have a scale, just be sure to spoon the flour into your measuring cups (instead of scooping the cups into the flour) to make the measurements more accurate.
  • Fine sea saltTo bring out all of those delicious flavors.

To make faster (2.5-hour) no knead bread, you will need the following ingredients:

  • All of the ingredients listed above: Warm water, active dry yeast, AP flour, fine sea salt, plus…
  • Sugar or honey: We add extra sugar to this version to help the yeast do its work a bit more quickly.

How To Make No Knead Bread

How To Make No Knead Bread:

Here are the basic steps for how to make overnight no knead bread (full instructions in the recipe below):

  1. Mix the dough. Whisk together the dry ingredients, add the warm water, then stir everything together until no flour streaks remain.  The dough will look quite loose and shaggy and won’t hold its shape well — which is ok.
  2. Let the dough rise.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or beeswrap, and let it rest at room temperature for about 12 to 18 hours.  The longer it rests, the more flavor and better texture it will have.
  3. Shape the dough.  Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface.  Form the dough into a round ball by folding the dough on top of itself.  (Just gently pull the outer edges up and press them into the center of the dough a few times until the dough feels a bit tighter and holds its shape.)  If the dough is sticky or feels too loose at any point, just keep sprinkling on extra flour as needed.  Lightly flour the top of the dough ball, and then carefully flip it upside-down onto a piece of parchment paper, so that the smooth side is on top.  Use your hands to shape the ball into an even circle.  Lightly flour the top of the dough ball, then loosely cover it with plastic wrap or beeswrap to rest while the oven heats.
  4. Heat the oven and Dutch oven.  Place the Dutch oven inside of your oven, then set oven to 450°F.  Wait for 20-30 minutes for the oven to heat, while the dough continues to rest.  (If the dough rises and spreads out more than you would like during this time, just use your hands to shape it into a tighter ball once more just before baking.)
  5. Bake. Very carefully, use oven mitts to remove the Dutch oven from the oven.  (It will be extremely hot – be careful!)  Lift the edges of the parchment to carefully transfer the dough ball (along with the parchment) to the Dutch oven.  Cover with the Dutch oven lid and bake for 30 minutes.  Then carefully remove the lid and bake for 10-20 more minutes, until the crust of the bread reaches your desired level of doneness (as light or as deeply golden brown and crispy as you prefer).
  6. Serve. Remove from the oven, uncover, and then carefully lift up the edges of the parchment to transfer the bread to a wire cooling rack.  Cool for at least 30 minutes, then slice, serve and enjoy!

Here are the basic steps for how to make no knead bread faster (the 2-hour version):

  1. Mix the dough.  Whisk together the dry ingredients, add the warm water, then stir everything together until no flour streaks remain.
  2. Let the dough rise.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or beeswrap, and let the dough rest at room temperature for 1 hour (not 12-18 hours).
  3. Continue on with steps 3-6. As directed above.

Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

Possible Variations:

Want to customize your no knead bread recipe?  Feel free to…

  • Add in garlic: Mince 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic and stir them into the dough during Step 1.
  • Add in herbs: Chopped fresh herbs (such as rosemary, tarragon or sage) or dried herbs (or herb blends such as Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence) would be lovely additions to this bread too.  Just stir them into the dough during Step 1.
  • Add everything bagel seasoning: One of my personal faves — stir 1 tablespoon everything bagel seasoning into the dough during Step 1.
  • Add freshly-cracked black pepper: Sounds simple, but tastes so good.  Just stir into the dough during Step 1.
  • Add in Parmesan: Stir 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese into the dough during Step 1.
  • Use less salt: If you are sensitive to salt, I recommend reducing the amount of fine sea salt in this recipe by half.  And as always, just a reminder that fine sea salt is very different than table salt!  (And to make things even more complicated, different brands of fine sea salt can taste more/less salty too.)  I like my bread quite salty, but feel free to experiment and use less salt if you prefer.
  • Top with flaky sea salt: We also love to sprinkle a few pinches of flaky sea salt on top of the bread just before baking.  (If you choose to do this, though, I recommend slightly lowering the amount of salt in the dough itself.)

Easy No Knead Bread

No Knead Bread FAQ:

What if I only have instant yeast at home? No prob, just reduce the amount of yeast by half to use instant yeast.  So for the traditional recipe, you would need 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast.  Or for the fast recipe, you would need about 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast.

Do I need to proof the yeast for this recipe? Nope, just mix the yeast right in with the flour, salt and warm water.

Can I make this recipe with ______ flour? I’ve only tested this recipe with standard all-purpose flour, so I can’t speak to any other variations.  But if you give the recipe a try with alternate flours, please report back in the comments!

Help, my dough feels too loose/wet/sticky!  No prob, just add in a bit of extra flour.  That said, when you very first mix the ingredients together in Step 1, know that the dough is supposed to look like a loose blob.  :)  But once you begin to shape it in Step 3, it should tighten up a bit and be able to hold a round shape.  If not, just sprinkle on some extra flour until it does.

How do I create pretty patterns on top?  If you would like to carve patterns into the top of your loaf, just use a knife to lightly score the top of the bread dough just before baking.

What if I don’t like a really crusty bread? No prob, you have 100% control over the doneness and color of your crust.  Bake it for 5-10 minutes after removing the lid…or leave it in there for up to 20-25 minutes if you would like a super-crispy dark golden crust.

What if a piece of the crust pokes up really high and starts to burn? This can sometimes happen with crusty bread!  If you notice that a piece of the crust is raised higher than the rest of the loaf, just carefully place balance a small piece of foil on top to cover that part of the crust, which will help it not to cook as quickly.

Is it safe to use parchment paper at such high heat? Most parchment brands have a heat limit of 425-450°F, so use parchment in this recipe at your own risk.  But I have never had a problem using parchment in high-heat baking, and as Cooks Illustrated verified with leading parchment brands, “using parchment at higher-than-recommended temperatures does not release noxious chemicals, and the paper will not burn.”

Why do you need a Dutch oven for this recipe? Basically, the Dutch oven allows us to create an enclosed environment for the bread dough so that it will steam while baking.

Any recommendations for a cheaper Dutch oven?  Definitely!  If you don’t want to splurge on a Le Creuset or Staub Dutch oven, there are many cheaper options available on Amazon that work just as well.  Since high heat baking can be hard on enameled cast iron, I would recommend this non-enameled Dutch oven from Lodge.  But if you’re in the market for an enameled Dutch oven, I love this one by AmazonBasics (which is available in a variety of colors) or this one from Lodge.  Just be sure to double-check that the knob on the lid can safely be heated up to 450°F.

Important tip for those with enameled Dutch ovens: If you own an enameled Dutch oven (as I do, pictured here), I highly recommend giving it a very good clean before baking.  Any grease or residue that was on the pot can tend to stain when baked at this high of a temperature.  If that happens, these are the tips that I follow for removing stains.

Homemade Crusty Bread Recipe

More Favorite Bread Recipes:

Looking for more easy bread recipes to try?  Here are a few of my faves!

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Homemade No Knead Bread Recipe

No Knead Bread (Overnight Version)

  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 18 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 18 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x

Description

My favorite no knead bread recipe is incredibly easy to make, perfectly crusty and golden on the outside, and soft and flavorful on the inside.  See notes below for an alternate faster (2-hour) version too.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups (425 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110°F)

Instructions

  1. Mix the dough. Stir together the flour, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl until combined.  Add in the warm water and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the dough is evenly mixed and no large flour streaks remain.  (The dough will look quite loose and shaggy, which is ok.)
  2. Let the dough rise.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or beeswrap, and let the dough rest at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours.
  3. Shape the dough.  Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface.  Fold the dough on top of itself — pulling the outer edges up and into the center a few times until the dough feels a bit tighter and holds its shape — to form a round dough ball.  (If the dough is sticky or feels too loose at any point, just keep sprinkling on extra flour as needed.)  Lightly flour the top of the dough ball, and then carefully flip it upside-down onto a piece of parchment paper, so that the smooth side is on top.  Use your hands to shape the ball into an even circle.  Lightly flour the top of the dough ball, then loosely cover it with plastic wrap or beeswrap to rest while the oven heats.
  4. Heat the oven and Dutch oven.  Place the Dutch oven inside of your oven*, then set oven to 450°F.  Wait for 20-30 minutes for the oven to heat, while the dough continues to rest.  (If the dough rises and spreads out more than you would like during this time, just use your hands to shape it into a tighter ball once more just before baking.)
  5. Bake. Very carefully, use oven mitts to remove the Dutch oven from the oven.  (It will be extremely hot!)  Lift the edges of the parchment to carefully transfer the dough ball (along with the parchment) to the Dutch oven.  Cover with the Dutch oven lid and bake for 30 minutes.  Then carefully remove the lid and bake for 10-20 more minutes, until the crust of the bread reaches your desired level of doneness (as light or as deeply golden brown and crispy as you prefer).
  6. Serve. Remove from the oven, uncover, and then carefully lift up the edges of the parchment to transfer the bread to a wire cooling rack.  Cool for at least 30 minutes, then slice, serve and enjoy!


Notes

Faster (2-Hour) No Knead Bread Ingredients:
3 1/4 cups (430 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon honey or granulated sugar
1 (7-gram) packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 1/3 cups warm water (about 110°F)

Faster (2-Hour) No Knead Bread Instructions:
1. Stir together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl until combined.  Add in the warm water and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the dough is evenly mixed and no large flour streaks remain.  (The dough will look quite loose and shaggy, which is ok.)
2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or beeswrap, and let the dough rest at room temperature for 1 hour.  (It should double in size during this time.)
3. Continue with steps 3-6 as directed above.

Dutch oven safety tips: If you own an enameled (vs non-enameled) Dutch oven, I recommend giving it a very thorough scrub-down before making this recipe, as any grease that happens to be on the pot can stain when baked at high heat.  Also, in order to avoid cracking the enamel in your Dutch oven, it is essential that it preheats along with the oven.  So add the Dutch oven to your oven before turning the oven on and let them heat up together.

Source: Big thanks to Jim Lahey who developed the famous no knead bread method that went viral years ago!  These recipes are slight adaptions of his original recipe.

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97 comments on “No Knead Bread”

  1. At the young age of 78 I have just made my first bread recipe. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG????

    LOVE IT!

    P.S. Your web cite and recipes are my “go-to”.

  2. I’ve made this bread 4x now. The first, as written.(Very salty) The second time I used less salt, one tsp.. It was better. The third time I added toasted sesame oil that I toasted raw sesame seeds which I added to the dough in #1. We love this bread!!!
    I don’t buy store bought bread anymore.
    Thanks
    P.S. I have used whole wheat flour, 1/4 c, with 3 c of all purpose flour. A bit more dense.

  3. Ok I only have active yeast and I may be new at this but I like to proof the yeast first with just yeast, and recipe recommended amount of water and add honey or a little sugar. After it proofs about 10 mins I add the flour and salt. Is that ok. Also I only have a small enameled dutch over so I have to separate dough into two balls, I do this after the first rise. Is that okay? At what point can I cut a design on top, in other words make slashes and with what kitchen tool would I use?

  4. So good! My favorite combos so far are 1) 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (local, organic) and 2) fresh Parmesan (1/2 cup) and cracked pepper (1 teaspoon). We will never buy bread again!

  5. My first bread ever. I used bread flour from Bob’s Red Mill brand. Followed the instructions (many similar recipes out there) from the website. It came out beautifully and delicious. As per the tip, I added “everything bagel” seasoning (from Trader Joe’s) into the dough and then sprinkled some on the top before popping in the oven which gave it really nice flavor. Also, I added two tablespoons of EVOO into the dough in Step 1, after mixing the dry ingredients, again for additional flour. Next time, I try fresh rosemary and sliced olives.
    My only key observation is that the flour rose faster than I expected (it seemed big) so after about 9 hours, I got nervous so started with the next step. The yeast was given to me so I don’t know if it was fast acting yeast or what. But, in retrospect, I think I could have given it a few more hours to rise even higher but still, no regrets. It was awesome. Thank you…it was incredibly easy and a game-changer. No more store-bought artisanal bread!

  6. I have tried making no knead bread a few times using the Jim Lahey recipe/instructions, and have gotten different results each time. Always edible bread, but wildly unpredictable.

    For whatever reason, this recipe, as well as the tips and instructions you’ve written up, just works a ton better for me. Well done, and thank you!

  7. I have a question! Can you leave this to ride for more than 18 hours?

  8. Ok, so I never comment on blogs. But… this one kneads (yes, I did that) it.

    I’ve baked several loaves of bread using the the slow-rise/no knead method using this recipe and similar ones. I really appreciate how you’ve provided flour in grams rather than just cups. I’ve had success with both AP and bread flour (and a mixture), as well as with parchment and without parchment (cornmeal on the bottom to help with sticking).

    Today I tried the quick rise for the first time. It works SO WELL.. I feel silly for thinking I always had to wait. (FWIW, my first rise closer to 90 minutes since it hadn’t yet doubled) Seriously, if you want that slow-rise taste and crust, but don’t have overnight to let it rise… GIVE THIS ONE A TRY.
    I used about half AP, half bread flour and Saf-Instant yeast (so 1.25 tsp – thank you for putting in that conversion!). It is delicious.

    Tip I’ve learned – spend a few minutes shaping your boule. Fold the sides in, flip, and kind of pull the boule towards you (King Arthur Flour has a great video that shows this technique). I think that has helped my past few loaves rise a little higher.

  9. 3rd time making this. My boyfriend said he feels like he is in a French restaurant eating this bread!

  10. This did not work well with home ground hard white whole wheat. It had hardly any gluten formation but morning so I added some “folds” like people use for sourdough until I had good structure. I should have let the final rest/rise go longer but thought I’d get good oven spring. It made a pretty dense loaf though pretty on the outside.

  11. Great recipe! Easy to make for first time bakers/bread makers. I have made it multiple times and it tastes great every time. I have made it with both AP and bread flour. No discernible difference. Thanks. Prayers to you and your husband.

  12. Would it matter if my pot was enameled?

  13. Hi,
    Has anyone ever tried no-knead bread in loaf pans? I prefer doing bread this way, but am wondering if it would work AND if it will also rise nicely!

    Regards,
    Belinda

  14. Tried the overnight version. I’m not a novice bread baker — I’ve been baking bread although hardly on a weekly basis since about 1973, so I think I know my way around a mixing bowl and a packet of yeast, but I am new to no-knead bread. This was the second recipe I tried. It tasted good but the bread was very dense and flat, didn’t really rise at all in the oven.

  15. I didn’t have a Dutch Oven or parchment paper. I made it work with tin foil and a cookie sheet.

    We really enjoyed this recipe and it was super easy!

  16. I’ve tried a few other no-knead recipes, but wasn’t happy with either the texture or flavor of any of them. This one is just right. Came out perfect! I used the 2 hour version and baked it in my small oval LC. The only change I might make is to cut the salt slightly to 1.5 teaspoons, just because we’re cutting down on salt in my house.

  17. I have just read thru this no-knead bread recipe for the 3rd time!! AND, I’ve decided to make it… One question, I have read and heard other cooks say to add the salt in last as it retards the action of the yeast? Does it matter? I am basically a novice when it comes to baking bread!
    What are your thoughts on the salt issue??

    Thanks,

    Nancy
    [email protected]

  18. Sorry, forgot to ask, what size Dutch Oven?? I have 3 all are different sizes??

    Thanks,

    Nancy

  19. Does the Dutch Oven have to be non-enameled?

  20. I made the overnight version with instant yeast and followed the recipe and suggestions exactly. It was delicious and just perfect! Loved it!

  21. I’ve been baking bread for more than 50 years. This recipe is easy, quick, tasty, and attractive. It’s a winner at our house! Now I’m looking for an easy pumpernickel recipe.

  22. Love the 2 hour version. I added cranberries and white cheese and it’s like a taste of autumn.

    Question, can I add plain greek yogurt to the 2 hour recipe? If so, what quantity?

    Thank you in advance

  23. I may have already commented on this recipe but I just love it so much I want to say: THIS is the best bread recipe out there for no-knead. I think you’ve adapted Jim Lahey’s excellent original and made it delicious and fuss-free. I now use this as my go-to after trying out a bunch of different no-knead recipes! I use the rapid rise recipe with instant yeast, but even if I don’t get the timings right (let it rise for too long, usually) it turns out great.

    I would say that another way to make this easier is that you can sprinkle your Dutch oven with flower on the bottom, put the loaf of uncooked bread in there, and stick it in the oven – and THEN turn it up to 450 degrees. It usually takes about an hour and a bit, from absolute cold oven to cooked bread. I eyeball it. I usually end up taking the lid off, turning off the heat, and letting the bread get a little bit browner in the residual heat. No need to mess about with taking the hot Dutch oven out, load it up with the bread, and stick it back in and risk burning yourself. I got this tip from the New York Times cooking section.

    Thank you for this great adaptation recipe!

  24. Hi! I made this recipe last night and had to add quite a bit more flour. It still turned out great! Thank you for the recipe. My question for you is on the flour and the cup vs. grams. I am using King Arthur all purpose flour and 3 1/4 cups would equal 390 g. In your recipe you say 425 g. I prefer to weight it out for accuracy but I’m confused. Which should I use – 390 or 425g? Why are our flours showing different weights? Thank you!

  25. I’ve baked a lot of overnight breads in the last few years and this one was, unfortunately, the most difficult. The dough was WAY too wet & sticky 12 hours later and never took shape even after I tried all my tricks on it. I don’t recommend this recipe!

  26. El mejor pan 🥖

  27. This bread is fantastic! My daughters (7 & 10) LOVE it and request that I make it nearly daily. Thank you so much for this easy and delicious recipe!

  28. so so good… never had so many compliments on my bread baking haha

  29. I just made the quick version and my family liked it more than the overnight one!! So now I can have home made bread in less than 2 hours! We LOVE how great it tasted, it was gone in one day! The second time I added black pepper, it was delicious I could not believe it, so easy to make and so good. Thanks for this amazing recipe.

  30. I made the quick version and just sliced into this loaf I pulled out and cooled. It was delightful! This is the first time I followed a recipe and it did everything like it said. Very pleased with the results.

  31. My husband followed this recipe exactly end the dough ended up being too wet to do anything with. He’s very careful with proportions in baking, so we can’t understand why this happened. Left it to rise overnight and the bubble formation was great – hence the two stars. We ended up having to throw it out. Any thoughts on how we ended up with a “bread” puddle?

  32. Well, it was my fault for not noticing your comment at the end saying that you like salty bread. Gack! Way too salty for me! But otherwise, a fine loaf. I would have given the recipe 5 stars if it had read “1-2 tsps salt, depending on your taste”

  33. Made this bread this afternoon, let to rise for 2 hours – rose very fast.
    Cooked in a cake tin not a dutch oven, it came out beautifully and taste great. Highly recommended.

  34. I am going to make this bread tomorrow..I just have to go to the store and purchase the yeast.
    It looks so good…I love round bread.

  35. Awesome recipe!!!! I’ve been wanting a boule like bread with a crusty outside and soft inside. This. Is. It. But if you’re like my family and store your cast iron greased up make sure to wipe it down at least before heating it up :-) otherwise you’ll have a smoky house! I started the dough early one evening so we would have fresh bread for breakfast. In my early morning rush I completely forgot the oil inside the cast iron. That mess aside the overnight version is honestly the best and easiest even for those that “don’t bake/don’t bake bread.”

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  36. Hi. Thanks for the wonderful recipe, it’s soooo good. I do have a question; the overnight version calls for 1 1/2 c water instead of the 1 1/3 c water that the quick recipe calls for. Is there a particular reason for that? I find that when I make the dough with 1 1/2 c water it’s really loose and bakes differently even when I add substantially more flour. Can I use the quick recipe dough for the overnight version? Thanks for your excellent, easy to follow recipes and videos!