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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!


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)


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!


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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