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Easy No-Knead Bread | Recipe and Video for Artisan Bread

Updated on January 14, 2016
Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy writes about cooking, hobbies, and many other topics. She has published hundreds of articles online and in newspapers and magazines.

Delicious Bread Recipe You Don't Have to Knead

You don't have to spend hours kneading bread.
You don't have to spend hours kneading bread.

You Won't Believe How Easy it is to Bake Bread!

A few years ago, I stumbled on this incredibly easy and delicious bread recipe. It is foolproof; once you get the right balance of ingredients, it bakes perfect loaves, every single time.

Unlike many bread recipes, you don't need powdered milk, sugar, oil or other extras. The basic ingredients are flour, salt, rapid-rise yeast (a must!) and water.

And the best part of all - it doesn't require kneading!

Why I like this recipe:

I know some people like to knead bread, and I have to admit, it might be therapeutic to punch down the dough and slam it around for a while. But I inherited my bread-making genes from my mother, who baked a loaf or two once or twice, and then said never again.

About a decade ago, I bought a bread maker, and I fell in love with the smell of fresh bread filling the house, and the sense of domesticity it gave me. But I confess I have never cared for the shape of the loaves and the hole in the bottom where the paddle stirs the dough. The machine takes up space (it's now relegated to my garage), and it just isn't the same as a real loaf baking in the oven.

I continued to struggle with a complete sense of inadequacy in the bread-making department. And then I discovered the absolute best homemade bread recipe in the world. I love it, and you will, too. I promise!

VIdeo Instructions for No-Knead Bread

Tips for Making No-Knead Bread

One secret to No-Knead Bread is the preheated casserole dish you bake it in.
One secret to No-Knead Bread is the preheated casserole dish you bake it in.
You will get crusty artisan loaves from this recipe for No-Knead Bread.
You will get crusty artisan loaves from this recipe for No-Knead Bread.

Ingredients & Instructions for No-Knead Bread

This recipe takes at least 16 hours from start to finish, so plan accordingly. The majority of the time is spent waiting for the dough to rise. It's well worth the wait, though!

Ingredients:

Here's what you'll need for the basic loaf:

3 cups flour (I use King Arthur)

Scant 1 Tablespoon salt

1/4 teaspoon rapid rise yeast (must be rapid rise!)

1-5/8 cups tepid water (1 cup, plus 1/2 cup, + 1/2 of 1/4 cup)

Cornmeal for sprinkling the surface where you form loaves

Butter - to swab baked loaf (optional)

Instructions:

Mix together the first three ingredients in a large bowl, then stir water into the mixture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside (room temperature) for 12 to 18 hours. Yes, really - the long rising time is the reason you don't have to knead the dough. After the 12-18 hours of rising, the bread will be inflated and bubbly - quite airy.

Fold the dough into itself, letting it collapse together just a few times. There is no need to do this too many times, or very aggresively. The dough will be sticky at this point.

Dust counter or bread board with cornmeal and turn the dough onto the surface. Dust the dough with a bit more of the cornmeal and cover it lightly with the plastic wrap. Then loosely lay a cloth dishtowel over the entire thing and let the dough 'rest' for another 2-3 hours. It will double in size during that time.

Baking time and temperature:

About 30 minutes before the dough has doubled, set the oven to 450 degrees and put a 2-3 quart covered baking dish into the oven to preheat it. (I use my round and oval Corning Ware casserole dishes, which are perfect for artisan-shaped loaves.) Some people prefer a cast iron dutch oven, so use whatever works best for you.

When the dough has doubled and the oven is hot, spill the dough into the pre-heated baking dish, cover the dish and bake for 25-30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, to allow the crust to brown (it will look beautiful!).

Turn the loaf onto a rack or cooling surface. If desired, lightly glaze the surface with a stick of butter.

Slice it and enjoy a piece while it's still warm!

Note:

This recipe is very flexible - you can substitute up to 1/3 - 1/2 of wheat or rye flour if you wish. You can also add raisens, fruits, nuts, cheese and other ingredients to personalize the flavor. Experiment with your choice of flour and add other touches as you find what pleases your tastebuds.

I've made the plain white loaf, a part wheat version, and a part rye version (I added caraway seeds to the rye, and it was heavenly). By varying the shape of the baking dish, you can get a different look to the loaf (round or oval).

Bread - I'd like to make it with you

Bread and Cheese - a Filling Meal

Slather a fresh-baked slab with butter, or pair it with a pungent cheese for a hearty but simple meal or snack.
Slather a fresh-baked slab with butter, or pair it with a pungent cheese for a hearty but simple meal or snack.

Memory of Good Times, Good Bread and Good Friends

Several of my 'BFFs' and I, who have known each other since our high school years, take trips together now and then. A few years ago, four of us met at a spa in New Mexico and spent a long weekend there at a house on the spa grounds.

On a whim, I made two loaves of bread, one white and one rye, to take with me. I froze it ahead of time and put the frozen loaves in my suitcase, along with a huge wedge of local, homemade cheese.

We feasted on the fresh bread and pungent cheese the entire time we were there. When we wanted a quick meal, we sliced some bread and added a slab of the cheese. We toasted it for breakfast, and munched on it for snacks.

In addition to our fun memories of dipping in the mineral pools at the spa, we remember the midnight snacks and hearty breakfast toast we enjoyed all weekend.

Survey on Bread Baking

Have you ever made homemade bread?

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  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Yay! Can't wait to hear the results! I found my technique with it improved after acbatch or two; it sometimes takes practice to get a feel for the humidity in your area. Good luck!

  • seanorjohn profile image

    seanorjohn 4 years ago

    I'm going to make it tonight Marcy. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, SeñorJohn - I hope you get a chance to try the recipe; it's heavenly - and super easy. Let me know how you like it!

  • seanorjohn profile image

    seanorjohn 4 years ago

    This looks like the type of bread I would enjoy making and eating. I make Irish soda bread without yeast and you don't have to kneed it. So voted up and useful.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Chris - thanks for reading and commenting here! It sounds like you're an expert bread maker. I will look for your hub!

  • profile image

    Chris Hugh 5 years ago

    I love the pain a l'ancienne technique you're using here. It brings out the flavor in the wheat. Just think, for so many years people were having to knead bread and now we don't have to!

    Have you read the book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day"? Somewhat similar to your technique but they keep the dough in the fridge for up to two weeks and it develops a sourdough tang. I wrote a Hub on my variation of that technique.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    I think you will live this recipe, Joaniebaby! I have no talent for making bread the normal way, and I can make beautiful loaves with this recipe. I think I had to tweak it a bit after the first time, and that was all I needed. A friend of mine adds fruit, nuts and other goodies. You can let it rise longer than the 12 hours at first, by the way. But you need at least 12, and the rapid rise yeast is essential.

    Thanks for reading and commenting, and let me know how it comes out!

  • joaniebaby profile image

    joaniebaby 5 years ago

    Am anxious to try this recipe. If it turns out like you say, my husband will be forever grateful to you. He loves homemade bread and I don't make it anymore. I just might now. Thanks so much.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, amberid! I thought that might be a fun touch! I appreciate your comments; thanks for stopping by!

  • amberld profile image

    Amber Dahnke 5 years ago from New Glarus, WI

    Totally love that you included the Bread video from Midnight Special. Thanks for another great hub!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Wow - that's an interesting thing to know! You're right - the cross figure is often found on bread. Hot cross buns? Wonder if that's the heritage there, too?

    Please do give this one a try! I think it took me about one batch to get it perfected (and it was a good batch, too!). You cab freeze it, too. I love this recipe!

  • Ardie profile image

    Sondra 5 years ago from Neverland

    Mmm Marcy this looks so good and easy. I love your opening line...if you can make it anyone can. Well I would be the person to put that to the test heheh I cannot bake to save my life.

    Interesting tidbit I just learned this weekend - the cross on the bread comes from ancient times. People made the cross so the devil couldn't sit on the loaf while it baked and that saved the family from bad luck. As times progressed the x stayed because it does indeed help the bread bake evenly.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    I absolutely know what you mean about eating it as soon as it comes out of the oven! It's irresistible! I try to make it only when there are others around to eat it; otherwise, I will gain a lot of weight! Thanks, teaches!

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

    We didn't have favorites but we usually made the simple egg bread recipe. We would experiment by adding ingredients such as cheese, herbs and bacon. And, as soon as it came out of the oven, it was eaten. The bread photos do present a beautiful artisan look to them. It makes you want to tear off a piece and devour it with a little butter.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    I've heard that, too, teaches. If I ever try to make the type you knead but I want an artisan look, I may try doing it half in the bread maker and half by hand. Did you have any favorite recipes from back then?

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

    We used to bake bread when we were first married and it was so wonderful. The smell fills the home and it goes well with jam. I hear breadmakers are a great aid in making the dough. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Oh, please do try it, Pamela! It's so easy - I think it took me maybe one batch to get the knack of it. After avoiding bread making for my entire life, I was thrilled!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    I use to make bread and yeast rolls but have stopped. I am going to try this recipe however, as it looks delicious and simple to make. Thanks.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, rsusan! Yes, this is incredibly easy! I hope you get a chance to try it; you will love the way it tastes. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Oh, that sounds so good! You should publish a hub about your recipe - I think people would like your ideas about types of things to add. Thanks for your comments, Ghaelach!

  • rsusan profile image

    Rika Susan 5 years ago from South Africa

    Never thought baking bread could be so easy, Marcy! Thanks for the recipe! Good one to keep handy.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, Nare! So glad you liked it!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Debbie - let me know how you like it! I will never go back to the bread machine now that I've learned to make it this way. I appreciate your comments!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, alocsin - I hadn't heard of it either, and I was skeptical that it could be done. It really works, though! And it's some of the best bread I've tasted. Hope you give it a try! Thanks for your comments!

  • profile image

    Ghaelach 5 years ago

    Hi Marcy.

    This is funny, but I don't mean your hub. The funny thing is that I have all ingredients on the kitchen table ready to make my bread. I'm making a "Pumpkin seed Bread" which is one of our favorites.

    I cheat a little as I buy a 500 gram packet of already mix bread flour that I mix with slightly warm water, let it sit and then bake for 45 - 60 minutes, finished.

    I make the small loaf which lasts us (two people) about 4 days, not allowing it to go hard or go off. While there is very little work involved, it's so easy and we always have fresh bread.

    Your bread looks and sounds interesting and I will have to give it a try.

    I'll be posting a hub with pictures on my hopefully successful bread in the next few days if time allows.

    Take care and enjoy your bread.

    LOL Ghaelach

  • Nare Anthony profile image

    Nare Gevorgyan 5 years ago

    Great.Looks so delicious! :)

  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    Oh Marcy.. MMMMM I am book marking this.. I love to make bread awesome

    voted up

    Debbie

  • alocsin profile image

    alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

    I've never heard of bread that you don't have to knead, though obviously your recipe is one example. Sounds delicious. Voting this Up and Useful.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    LOL! Me, too, albertsj - writing about it made me crave it! I may have to make a loaf later this week.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, livingpah - I hope you like it when you try it!

  • albertsj profile image

    jacy albertson 5 years ago from Lake Mary, Fl

    OMG; I'm salivating! I'm printing this out and making it at some point. Voting up, and "yummy". ; )

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Gloshel! Let me know how you like it - it's one of my favorite recipes.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    I'm glad you asked the question, Vicki! You will love this recipe - it is super easy, and so good.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, urmilashukla! I hope you get a chance to try it soon!

  • livingpah2004 profile image

    Milli 5 years ago from USA

    Thanks for sharing. Bookmarked and voted up!

  • Gloshei profile image

    Gloria 5 years ago from France

    Hi Marcy you must have read my mind, I have been wondering whether to try making somr bread. never done it before but this looks Mmmmm fairly easy so I have bookmarked it and going to give it a try.

    Thanks you wrote this at the right time 'for me anyway'

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    Hey, Marcy, thanks for answering my question! I love homemade bread but not the hassle. This looks easy. Just have to wait for it to rise. Definitely bookmarking. Thanks!

  • urmilashukla23 profile image

    Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

    Looks so delicious. Voted up!

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