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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.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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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279 comments on “No Knead Bread”

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  1. Hello. I am new to bread making and thought this looked like an easy recipe to start with. I left my dough for a little over 24 hours (just the time I could get back to it) and it’s so wet I can’t even fold it over on itself it just sort of splodges out. Any insight as to what I did wrong?

  2. Just what I was looking for, low maintenance, wonderful homemade bread. Turned out great on the first try. Thank you!

  3. Looking forward to how this turns out, based on comments – I’m excited!

    Did use a 1:3 combo of WW: AP instead of bread flour. Was tempted to use bread flour but
    wanted to honor the recipe before tweaking.

    Question:
    Given that this dough is @83% hydration, could I knead in some flour to make it suitable to form into baguettes? This may be cheating?

    Thank you!

  4. How can I use fresh yeast in this recipe

  5. Hi Ali, thank you for this great recipe! My bread was delicious! The only problem I had was slicing it. The bottom was very hard and my knife would not go through it! My knife was very sharp too! Did I do something wrong that the bottom came out so hard? Thank you!

  6. Extremely wet dough. What i made vs what i saw in the picture was totally different. I was unable to shape the dough into a ball and wound up with an amorphous blob instead, even after covering the entire work surface in flour and adding a generous amount to try and shape it. It just falls into a puddle. Lost about half of the dough in the transferring process as well. I’m not sure what happened, but I know I followed the recipe to the letter. Gonna try to throw it into the oven regardless.

    • I too found the dough to be extremely wet, and I had to add a large (and I mean LARGE) amount of flour to make it usable. Even then, it didn’t really hold its shape.

      I measured the flour by weight. As an engineer, I am used to following instructions carefully and precisely, so I doubt that the extreme wetness was caused by user error. I am also not a novice baker.

      I think of this as “stealth-knead” rather than “no-knead” bread. Given the amount of folding required to incorporate the added flour, you might as well be kneading it.

    • I should add that I judged the wetness and the ability to hold shape against what I saw in the video.

      I’m curious. For those of you who were able to match the video without adding large amounts of flour, did you measure your flour by weight or by volume? I go by weight.

  7. First time baking bread. I used my cast iron (no enamel) dutch oven and stone ground hard red spring wheat flour from Michigan. It turned out great! A wonderful dense bread for doing into soup, stew or to mop up the juices on the plate.

  8. @Richard, did you use bread flour or all purpose (plain for us Brits!)? I tried it before with bread flour, I think a 50:50 white/wholemeal mix, and found the same. However, I’ve just made it with plain flour and if anything it’s a bit dry. I’m more confident about this time, last time it was edible but not great.

  9. Awesome bread! I’ve made it a couple times. I use instant yeast and put it in the fridge overnight. Punch it down in the morning, re-cover, then let it sit on the counter for a couple hours. I don’t have a Dutch oven, just use my baking stones, preheated in the oven. I sprayed loaf liberally with warm water, and bake it for 40 minutes. I’ve also subbed up to 1/3 of the flour with whole wheat bread flour – delicious! I tried it once with about 70% whole wheat bread flour, but it didn’t have the same *wow* factor. I recommend 1/3 whole wheat and 2/3 regular bread flour. Amazing and easy! Thank you for the recipe!!

  10. This is such a great recipe! I have made both versions several times. As a novice bread baker, I was very hesitant, but it really couldn’t be more simple. Practice makes perfect!
    (I now use the flour/water/salt/yeast ratio to make raisin bread, too. I just substitute plant-based oat milk for the water and add the raisins, cinnamon, and sugar amounts that are recommended in another recipe. Works!)

  11. I made one loaf according to directions turned out wonderful. I decided for my second attempt I would add a spoonful of roasted garlic as I thought I saw in the comments you or someone had recommended it. The lof rose overnight but fell before I could get it ready for baking. Not knowing it was the garlic which I found out by Google I started a second loaf with garlic in it. As it is rising I’m going to treat it like a short rise loaf. Hopefully I can bake it before it falls completely. I won’t do that again. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  12. This is AMAZING bread!I can’t believe I spent all those years kneading dough! The only thing I did differently from the recipe was to turn the oven down from 450 to 425 when I put the bread in. I did this mainly because my parchment paper says top temp is 425. I did heat it to 450 originally that way it gets the higher temp initially. I only bake it about 8 minutes once I take the lid from but that time has varied a bit with each loaf. I love the shape and that it cracks on top. Reminds me of sour dough but the taste is of course more like Italian bread. Delicious! So easy too! Thanks for a great recipe! I think if your dough is too wet as one poster said you may need to add a bit more flour or slightly less water next time!

  13. Just like grandma’s searching forever for this Thks

  14. Perfect every time. I always double the recipie, use half rye flour the other half a mix of white and whole wheat, add herbs and caraway seeds. This is now the only bread I make and I’ve been making my own bread for 40 yrs.!

  15. Excellent and so easy! Came here looking for a faster no knead recipe (I wanted bread asap), and this was perfect. Used 1/3 bread flour per many comments. Ended up with about a 3 hour rise (I took a nap). I’ll definitely do overnight when I plan ahead, to get a bit more tangy flavor and open texture.