No Knead Bread

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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!

Print
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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

151 comments on “No Knead Bread”

  1. Would it be okay to make this recipe using a stainless steel dutch oven?

  2. Does anyone have any advice for high altitude baking (7,000 ft). I followed the instructions to a “t” but the bread didn’t rise well and is too dense.

    • Probable that your loaf collapsed.

      Drop temp to 425. Drop bake time to 25 min while covered. Add 3 tbsp extra flour. Add additional 1/2 cup water.

      That should get you pretty close foe high altitude adjusted. Also check to make sure your yeast is good.

    • I add a 1/2 teaspoon of malt barley powder. It help in the rising .

  3. Delicious!!! I’ve made this two times now, and both times, it’s been great. The first time, I made it with no add-ins, and the second time, I made it with garlic, Italian seasoning, and kalamata olives. Fantastic!

  4. How much flour do you add after the overnight rise? My dough was a shaggy mess.
    I added some flour but was unsure how much to add. I didn’t want to put in too much flour.
    Going into the pot my dough was still shaggy and sloppy and the bread did not rise very well. It definitely did not look like the dough in your images
    The bread tasted good but was messy to make.
    Any suggestions on the amount of flour You add?
    Thanks

    • Might be that your yeast is no good. I made the same mistake so I threw out the old yeast and bought some fresh one, and it worked great.

    • Oh and I added 3 tbs of sugar to proof my yeast, it also gave it great flavor and I threw in a few cubes of ice in the enamel Dutch oven. It gave the bread a slightly chewy interior and crusty exterior. It was awesome.

  5. This bread is delicious with a crunchy crust. However… the “500 degree safe” knob on my Le Creuset Dutch oven broke and popped off inside the oven. The temp was the recommended 450 degrees. I kept hearing a cracking inside the oven as it was preheating so I was concerned but since it had been cooked this way by other people I kept going.

    Fortunately Amazon carries a stainless steel knob at a reasonable cost to replace it with.

    After the knob broke I removed the Dutch oven and placed the bread on a cookie sheet and baked it the remaining 20 minutes. It turned out pretty dense.

    I may invest in a non-enamel Dutch oven as well. 😉

    • I have only made 3 loaves of this so far in my Dutch oven, but have loved it so far. I got my Dutch oven off Amazon.

  6. I will be making both the fast and long version. Looks wonderful and the adds sound delish :)

  7. If I ould give this recipe 10 stars or 100 stars, I would because it is hands down THE best bread I’ve ever made! Super texture and so much flavor and could not have been easier to make with ingredients I always have on hand. My 5.5Q Tramontina Dutch Oven worked like a champ and was the perfect size and shape for this bread. Can’t wait to try some of the variations!

  8. Very easy recipe. Wish I could send you a picture.
    Tried a garlic and herb loaf for Christmas dinner.
    Well liked by everyone. Also makes an excellent toast.

  9. Tried it with King Arthur brand gluten free blend, it did not rise after proofing. Back to the drawing board

  10. Quite simply, the best no knead recipe out there. I’ve tried a bunch over lockdown, but this yields the most consistent results.
    I’ve learned a few things – the higher the oven rack, the less tough the bottom crust is.
    I’ve also started substituting 100-120 grams of ancient grains flour for all purpose. This yields a denser loaf in the quick rise version, but is absolutely gorgeous in the long-rise version!

  11. My bread was doughy inside. Beautiful crust.
    I let it rise. Like 15 hrs got to late night before.
    Why doughy? Lisa

  12. I’ve been really loving this recipe to make easy and delicious overnight loafs, however I have made some changes…
    I found that the dough pretty wet right after mixing, it was rising overnight and collapsing by the time I had let the 12 hours pass (even in a very cold kitchen) and I was getting pretty dense loafs. So I changed the flour to Strong White Bread flour (just cheap stuff from Lidl) used 450g of flour with the 350ml of water as the recipe recommends. I also added in a set of stretch and folds a couple hours after mixing up the ingredients.
    With these little changes I’m getting really delicious loaves without fail that are light and airy too!

  13. This was amazing!! Made it today after letting it rise for 24 hours. Cooked in the oven in a lined loaf tin for 40 mins or just over.

  14. This turned out perfectly. I didn’t realize baking bread could be so simple! I went with the overnight rise. The dough looked a bit flat after I shaped it, so I let it rest for a couple of hours before baking..

  15. Can I use instant sourdough with this recipe?

  16. I have been making this bread for about a year now, using several different spices and nuts.
    Today I tried it with King Arthur Sone Ground whole wheat white flour. It turned out pretty good – not as airy as the white flour version, but healthier. Much darker also. I left it in the oven with cover on about 10 mins longer. Then took it out.
    I want to leave a picture, but I’m not sure how to do that.

  17. This bread was quick and easy to make. It came out amazingly with a lovely crusty crust. I have now made it a couple of times with normal flour. Will try Krackly Wheat soon. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe.

  18. I forgot the 2nd rise and it was not as high but it was great!!!!!

  19. The quantities for ingredients is way wrong. I don’t understand why add a recipe without trying g it first. I’ve added the ingredient in the quantities in the instructions and I didn’t get a dow, just a runny liquid batter, like I’d use for pancakes

    • Are you measuring by weight, or by volume? I’ve made this bread many, MANY times over the course of 14 months using the weights, and the resulting product has been consistently good.

  20. Loving thr “Best No Knead Bread” recipe. Can I use ‘strong white bread flour’ istead of ‘all-purpose flour’ and is there an optimum temperature for the 12-18 hour resting time? Are there any max/min temps?

  21. I never bake. Ever.
    You changed that.
    And that’s awesome. Even if the only thing I will ever bake is this bread. Thank you.

  22. On vacation and the only pot available is only rated for 400 and the lid for 350. Can I adjust for that?

  23. I’ve made this bread a lot. Like, A LOT a lot. Use the weights! Baking is chemistry, and using the weight measurements will result in consistent excellence.

    I’ve been using King Arthur bread flour the entire time, in the original specified 425 grams. Overnight rise time at least 18 hours, but not more than 19. Letter fold and 90° rotation on the floured surface until dough tightens up (3 to 4 turns in my kitchen). I’ve also been baking in a Pyrex loaf pan, instead of a Dutch oven. Pick up the parchment with the floured dough on it and deposit the whole works in the Pyrex; cover with aluminum and allow to rest/proof 30 minutes while the oven preheats to 450°F with an aluminum 9×13 cake pan filled halfway with water on the bottom rack. 30 minutes with the aluminum foil on, 30 off. Results in beautiful (and beautifully CONSISTENT) golden crisp-chewy crust, with open, chewy interior.

  24. I tried with all purpose four, and bread flour. The bread flour has a great texture, and the flavor is excellent.
    Thank you for having the quick/ speedy recipe. I let it set for 2 hours, and it came out beautiful.

  25. I’ve made this bread, both the overnight, and the shorter version. It works every time. Even my 25 year old son makes it well! This time I substituted half the white all-purpose flour with all-purpose whole wheat flour (¾ of the amount according to one source.). I also roasted some sunflower, sesame and flax seeds which I put in at the loaf-shaping stage. Looks good and tastes delicious!!

  26. Help! The parchment sticks and bakes into the bread. Any advice??

  27. Have you used this dough to make loafs of bread on a baking sheet?