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!

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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50 comments on “No Knead Bread”

  1. “Cover with beeswax”. Please explain?!?!

  2. This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try! Do you have any nutritional information (e.g. Carb count) for this recipe?

  3. Hello Ali, I love your page and I have been following you for few years now. My name is May and I live in Dearborn Heights, MI. I really hope you & your hubby are doing good and staying healthy and safe.
    Ali, my question is how do I get those “mouse holes” in my loaf? I bake a loaf from scratch once a week. I am looking to maintain holes inside my loaf. Please advise.
    Thank you so much.

  4. Hi there!

    I don’t have a dutch oven. What’s the next best thing? Would a stockpot work?

    Thanks!

  5. Is parchment paper truly necessary? Can you bake this recipe without it, just putting the loaf directly in the dutch oven?

    • Hi Sara, I just asked the same question. I can’t get parchment paper. Did you ever get a reply to your question? I don’t see one so I asked too.

    • I made it without parchment paper and had no issue

    • I’ve made this several times without parchment – it doesn’t stick!

  6. Hello,

    I don’t have a dutch oven but I have a deep cast iron pan, could I use that instead?
    TIA

  7. Hi, question on salt. I only have table salt & kosher salt. What would you suggest for measurements using one of those? Thx!

  8. I have a question….Ali…I do not have a Dutch Oven … however, I have an Oval Crock Pot type liner…I think my large one is Hamilton Beach…Will this work? I have been thinking about making the No Knead recipes I have seen, recently,…however, being a senior…do not really want to invest in another pot at this stage of my life….Thanks for your reply..

  9. Can you use sourdough yeast instead?

  10. This is the recipe that I have been waiting for! I AM SO EXCITED to make it! Thank you!
    I have been following you for a few years now from when I lived in Kuwait, and now in Switzerland – you have seemed like a far away friend to me at times. I really enjoy getting the emails and any recipe that I have made of yours is an absolute winner. Thank you!
    Best regards,
    Tori

  11. Can any other type of flour be substituted for all-purpose?

  12. Hi Ali

    Tried this recipe and is very good. Usually I do not have time to bake but now with all the covid restrictions I found the time. With your great recipes I am getting good food and have found how to fill my time.

    Thank you and keep up the good work!

  13. I’m excited to try it all. Sounds great. I don’t have a Dutch oven but I will make one. Thanks

  14. I do not have parchment paper? What alternatives or changes to recipe might you suggest?

  15. Thank you for this recipe and especially to using grams! Made this yesterday and it was devoured in one day! To those going “I don’t have a dutch oven” here’s what I did; you don’t have to do the same, what’s important is understanding the principles so you can improvise:
    the reason we use a covered dutch oven is that you want steam to make the bread crisp and the cast iron of the dutch oven acts like a baking stone to make the oven heat higher and more evenly distributed. How you achieve those two things are up to you and what you have in your kitchen so be creative!
    I wanted a higher shaped loaf so wanted to use my bread loaf tin. Instead of shaping the dough into a circle when resting, I did a rough bread loaf shape then let it rest while preheating the oven with a cast iron skillet at the bottom of the oven and a dutch oven (without a lid because my husband made another loaf the other day and the handle disintegrated) in the middle. I put the dough into a greased bread loaf tin and put that in the dutch oven and poured no more than 3/4 cup of water into the skillet to create the steam. Then I baked it for 45 mins. It turned out great! The first time I put the water into a oven tray instead of a cast iron skillet and the middle of the loaf was a little dense so I had to toast the bread before eating but I think that was because I opened the oven a few times (spilled the water so had to refill the tray) so I think that and not using a cast iron pan in the bottom made the oven lose heat. I’ll keep experimenting and see what works best for me, so don’t be afraid to improvise with pans etc, that’s the exciting part! :D

  16. This is the best bread!! I’ve made six loaves now and I’m giving them away for Easter. Thank you for sharing!

  17. I’ve made several of these loaves before with similar recipes, but I tried this one today and it was awesome! I got great height on it and your tips were so useful. Thank you.

  18. I was able to bake it in my cast iron pan with an oven safe lid.
    We all LOVE this bread. I’ve made the quicker version twice and my family eats it in 1-2 days! Thank you so much!

  19. I mixed this up yesterday afternoon using my stand mixer and dough hook and then i let it sit covered overnight. We baked it about 18 hours after it sitting and it is truly divine!! I’ve got a bag and a half of ap flour left to make all the bread! Thankfully some of the restaurants here in Nashville are selling flour and yeast (instant so I appreciate the note on that). I cannot wait to try some with black pepper!

  20. I made this bread today. The fast version. It turned out so well, I couldn’t believe I made it! So crusty and beautiful! And it tastes great. My husband loves crusty bread, and now we can have it fresh at home! Thanks!

    I don’t have a fancy pot to bake it in, but I have an oval roasting pan, anodized, with a tight fitting lid. It worked perfectly.

  21. I’ve been trying to find the perfect crusty bread and this is it! I followed every direction just the way you said using instant yeast, the two hour method and leaving the top off for 15 mins after initial 30. I don’t have a Dutch oven so I used a Pyrex with a lid and removed it when told to. The results were spectacular, perfect crust and soft inside. Thank you so much for sharing!

  22. Finally a bread recipe that actually works! This recipe was easy to follow and tastes AMAZING. Will be making this all the time!

    Note- I didn’t have partridge paper so I just put the dough straight in the Dutch oven (lightly greased) and it cooked perfectly fine.

  23. I just made this and LOVE it! so easy! and I DO NOT bake… like ever.

    Any tips for storage? Its just me, so itll take a few days to devour. :)

  24. Just baked this today. I did the overnight recipe and it was ridiculously easy!! Bread was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. We paired it with soup for lunch today. Going to definitely make this again real soon.

  25. I love to bake but bread making is a special skill.
    I don’t know what I like more about this recipe… how easy it is or how delicious it is….. and the fact that it only takes 1/2 tsp of yeast…(which is hard to come by these days) is great… 1 pkg of yeast will yield you several loaves.. My daughter even commented on the lack of “yeasty taste” than other breads I have made. The directions in the recipe are very specific… I followed them exactly and my loaf came out perfectly. Definitely in the rotation😉

  26. Can you make this with whole wheat flour? IF so what alterations would you suggest if any? Thank you!

  27. Hi Ali,
    Do you think you could divide the loaf into 4-6 rolls instead, and still cook in dutch oven? I love your site!!

  28. Hi Ali,
    I am newly familiar with your site and LOVE it! I tried the (non-fast) version of this bread three nights ago and it turned out great! I let my dough rise for 18 hours. It is super sticky but becomes magic after baking it.
    My family of five LOVED it. We ended up eating this whole loaf as a late night snack in about 20 minutes. It has the perfect crusty outside and soft delicious inside. I am busy making it again tonight! Your readers will love it! :)

  29. Made this and it was wonderful. I use to make bread the really old fashioned way but this is so much easier and faster. Can I use everything bagel topping on the bread before I bake it and what would I put on top of the beard to hold it on if anything!

  30. Hi There-my first try at a no knead bread (and yes-it is this recipe-LOL!) is rising as I type…mixed it up last night complete with the everything bagel seasoning added….just re-read the directions to see how long before we want to eat it I need to put it in oven and saw something that confused me…the directions call for the last baking to be minus the cover but then it states to serve, remove from the oven and uncover. There is no need to recover once it is removed for the final 10-20 minutes of baking right? Sort of a stupid question so apologies :-).

  31. This bread was so easy ( I did the 2 hour rise), and delicious! Better than what we buy at the grocery!!
    Thank you Ali for all of your recipes, they are always delicious! Your instructions are clear and concise, and always spot on! Thank you for all you do!

  32. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I have made the shorter version twice and it is so easy and delicious! My loaves aren’t quite perfectly round or prize winning – yet! The second loaf looked better than the first one though. I look forward to making my third loaf on Monday. I truly hope you and Barclay are safe and healthy. P.S. I LOVE that I have another use for my (expensive) enameled dutch oven!

  33. This has changed the way I bake bread. I’m elated, and we’ve already baked two batches. I tossed a handful of walnuts and a little whole wheat flour to the latest one, and it’s a stunner. It makes the most wonderful avocado toast. I just got my hands on a sourdough starter and I can’t wait to start experimenting. Thank you!!!

  34. Excellent recipe! The bread was delicious and I will most definitely be using this recipe again.

  35. Hi, could you give an adjusted recipe using sour dough starter please.
    Thanks

  36. LOVE this recipe! Made the quick version twice now. One with Doves Farm white bread flour and the other with a combo of Doves Farm white bread flour, wholemeal flour and the flour to use up odds and ends of flour packets. Both turned out delicious with great texture.na little too much salt for my own personal taste, but this is obviously easy to adjust. I’ve been needing to add a bit more water, but that’s just one of those things in baking that depends on so many factors at the time of baking. Going to try the overnight version tonight so I can drop of a loaf with my mum tomorrow!

  37. Thank you for this recipe! I am not knowledgeable about making bread, and you have made it easy for me to make tasty bread! I found your recipe less than a week and a half ago and have already made four loaves! I have made it in my cast iron chicken frier both with and without the parchment paper. I tried adding about a teaspoon of garlic powder and about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar, and it turned out amazing! Thanks again!

  38. Thank you! This was easy to follow and fuss-free to make. I had some good, strong, bread flour on hand, added too much yeast and took it out to check and then popped it back in again, and, still, we got a lovely, crusty, yummy, homemade bread.

  39. I mixed my dough yesterday but cannot bake till tomorrow or the day after. Can I keep the dough for an extra day or two? Thanks

  40. Ali this recipe is amazing! My boyfriend and I made it tonight and I immediately had bread with raspberry jam and can’t wait to have it toasted tomorrow too! So so easy and it turned out beautifully! Thank you!

  41. I’ve had success with a similar recipe but without using the parchment paper. I look forward to trying that next time as there’s been a bit of grief trying to transfer a blob of dough to the hot dutch oven. I dust the top and bottom of the dough with a mixture of corn meal, seasoned Italian bread crumbs and an equal amount of ground-up Grape Nuts (yes, the crunchy cereal). There’s one more variation I’ve used and I’d appreciate any comments that would tell me if it makes a difference or not: when I remove the lid after 30 mins in the oven, I usually throw a few ice cubes onto the bottom of the oven for steam to rise up and affect the crust. I know that commercial bakeries use steam-injected ovens, so I was trying to replicate that part of the process. All I know about whether it works or not, is that the bread comes out so great that I don’t want to answer my own question by seeing what it’s like without the ice cubes!