This No-Knead Bread is my go-to bread recipe. I use it multiple times a week even on days when I’m at work! It takes very little hands on time and a minimal amount of ingredients. It’s the perfect start to any ones bread making adventures, and will make a tasty addition to your pantry, Enjoy!
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Making bread from scratch is something that most people run and hide from. Sure there are some bread recipes that take days to complete and years of practice to master the smells and feels of different doughs. And those recipes produce fantastic breads! But that’s not what the every day person has time for. Not to mention how intimidating a recipe that takes days to complete and has 4 separate dough stages can be to a novice! So this No-Knead Bread is the perfect solution.
I worked in a bakery that baked bread from scratch for years. Because we did most of the work by hand I’m proud to say that I know those kinds of techniques. (I do successfully keep a sourdough mother alive to use for fancy breads. More about that in a later post). But those years also taught me the simplicity of bread. If you push aside all the foufarrah (totally a word) of fancy doughs; (with millions of grains and preferments and soaking things and the rest) all you need for a delicious and satisfying loaf is Flour, Water, Yeast and Salt. (To the seasoned bread bakers reading this, be patient with those learning and don’t force the idea of not using store bought yeast. Because we want these friends to like us!)
The other thing I have heard people tell me is that they don’t want to knead the dough. Or that they are unsure what the finished consistency is meant to be.
So this recipe was designed as a No-Knead Bread. Meaning, you just skip that part.
Yup, just skip it.
When you’re kneading dough, you’re building strength in the dough. The gluten of bread dough is what makes the dough springy and stretchy. Therefore, the more you knead your dough the more tight knit the dough becomes as it gets stronger. This leads to a bread with very few large holes. The recipe I’m about to share with you is holey but hearty and chewy and requires very little effort. Because of this, I think it’s a fair trade off to have a few ‘artisanal’ looking holes. (You can also show off to others your fancy looking, but sneakily easy loaf)
This loaf does require being baked in a covered dish. I use a cast iron Dutch Oven (like This One )and it works beautifully. I also have a friend who has successfully baked this recipe one an oven safe skillet with a lid, as well as on a pizza stone covered with tin foil. Really as long as you can put it into the oven covered you will be fine. If you have or can get your hands onto a cast iron Dutch Oven, I highly recommend one mostly because they are wonderful to have in general.
On to the recipe!
The Easiest No-Knead Bread
- 3 cup White Bread Flour (All Purpose works fine as well)
- 1.5 tsp Salt
- 1.5 tbsp Dry Active Yeast
- ~2 cup Room Temperature Water
- Cornmeal, For sprinkling
- FIRST In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon to evenly distribute the yeast. Next, add in most of the water. Approx, 1 ¾ cups. Using the wooden spoon, stir the mix together. All the ingredients should be damp and sticky. Honestly the whole mess looks sticky and wet and stringy and not at all finished. Only add more water if its beginning to feel stiff. Sticky is fine, but dry and stiff is not what we want. You should only end up stirring it for about 1 minute. Seriously.
- SECOND Now cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it somewhere warm. If you don’t have a warmish spot don’t worry. Just leave it on your counter. I usually put mine on top of the fridge if the weather is colder. This is a great recipe to start in the morning before you head to work, then just leave it until you come home and throw it in the oven, and Bam! Fresh Bread! After about 6-8 hours the dough should look jiggly and bubbly. At this point you want to heat your oven to 425F. Put your baking dish into the oven so that it’s hot hot hot when you add the dough.
- NEXT, When the oven and baking dish are heated, remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle generously with cornmeal. (To prevent the dough sticking to the dish.) Using a spatula or dough scraper (like this one), scrape your dough out onto a floured counter and gently tuck the edges under into a ball. This technique takes a wee bit of practice but don’t be discouraged if your ball isn’t actually a round ball. The bread will still taste good even if the shape is bit funky.
- FINALLY, When you have your ball of dough, gently, quickly, and carefully scrape it up and place it into your hot baking dish. Cover the dish, either with its lid or with foil and pop it into your oven. After about 20 minutes, remove the lid and continue baking for about 25 more minutes or until the top of the loaf is crusty and golden brown. Then remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
That’s all there is to it!
Give this bread a try and let me know how it goes! And of course pass along questions and comments, Happy Baking!