If you’re interested in baking your own bread, this is a great recipe for beginners.
It’s Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread, which follows an incredibly easy formula: Simply mix up the dough and let it rest overnight.
You don’t need a stand mixer, or a bread machine, and there’s no kneading involved! Just 2 minutes of prep time are required.
The bread is baked in a dutch oven and the result is absolutely to die for; golden, crusty bread with a soft & chewy interior.
Are you ready to learn how to do it?
No-Knead Artisan Bread
Step #1 Make the Dough
First things first: Clear away all kitchen clutter and find yourself a nice workspace. This includes all bills, kids’ toys, and random phone chargers.
Then, in a large bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix with water to combine.
It will look something like this…
As it becomes difficult to stir, get in there with your hands and mush everything together.
It will be wet and sticky, with a shaggy appearance…
Step #2 Let it Rise
Transfer your dough to a lightly oiled container and cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap.
Let the dough rest at room temperature (about 70 degrees F) for 14 hours- overnight.
Your dough is ready when it has puffed up in volume, about 1 1/2- 2 x the original size.
You will also see lots of bubbles…
*Note: if your dough isn’t puffed and bubbly after the initial rise, place it in the microwave with the light on (keeping the door ajar). The warmth from the light will give the yeast a boost. My friend Celia gave me this tip and it works like a charm, especially in chilly kitchens!
Step #3 Shape the Dough & Let it Rise Again
Flour a sheet of parchment paper. Remove the dough from its container and place it on top.
Fold it in half (like a book) and then fold it in half again. Sorry, no photo for this one- my hands were too sticky!
When you are finished folding, add more flour to the parchment paper (be generous so that it doesn’t stick).
Shape the dough into a ball by gently tucking the sides underneath itself.
Place onto the paper seam side down, like so…
Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap…
And let it rest again until puffy.
It will start to spread out slightly as it rises- this is ok.
The 2nd rise will not take as long as the first, but expect to wait about 30 minutes- 2 hours depending how warm your kitchen is.
If you’re impatient like me, now is a good time to use that microwave tip I mentioned earlier!
Step #4 Get Ready to Bake
About 1/2 hour before your dough is ready, preheat your oven to 500 F.
Place a dutch oven (with lid) inside for 20 minutes to heat up.
*Tip: don’t have a dutch oven? See recipe below for additional bakeware options.
When the pot is nice and hot, carefully slide your hand underneath the parchment paper and invert the dough into the baking vessel.
The seam will now be facing up. Take a look…
Step #5 Bake the Dough
Place your bread into the oven, and immediately reduce the temperature from 500 to 400 F.
Bake with the lid on for 40 minutes (this will trap the steam inside making the bread moist).
Then, remove the lid, and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the crust is a deep, golden brown.
*Note: To be sure that your bread is fully cooked, I highly recommend taking its temperature. Flip the bread on its side, and insert a thermometer into the bottom. It should read between 200-205 F. If not, leave it in a little longer (extra time in bread baking is a good thing).
If you’re worried that the top will get too brown, put the lid back on. Better safe than sorry!
Step #6 Let it Cool
When your bread is done, remove it from the oven and transfer to a wire rack.
It should feel light and sound hollow when you knock on the bottom.
You’ll also notice a wonderful crackling sound as it cools. Let it rest for at least 1 hour.
Cutting it too soon might ruin the texture of the bread, resulting in a gummy crumb! Trust me, I speak from experience…
And there you have it- fabulous, no-knead artisan bread! See?
Are you still with me? Good! One last thing…
For all you beginners out there, when I first started, I had absolutely no clue how to bake bread.
With practice, I’ve found that the ‘no-knead’ approach is a great starting point for anyone.
It will give you the confidence to take on more challenging recipes as you continue to develop your skills and intuition.
To me, baking bread at home is truly a rewarding experience. And this loaf cost less than $1 to make!
Happy baking, friends!Print
3 c. bread flour (not all-purpose) + more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 1/2 c. water
Note: I used King Arthur bread flour & SAF instant yeast. You can use any 6 quart dutch oven, cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic bakeware (with lid) that can heat up to 500 degrees F.
In a large bowl add the flour, yeast, salt and water. Stir until a rough dough forms.
Transfer to an oiled container and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise for 14 hours- overnight, at room temperature (about 70 degrees). Your dough is ready when it has puffed up in volume, about 1 1/2 -2x its original size. *See note below.
Lightly flour a sheet of parchment paper and place the dough on top. Fold dough in half and then fold it in half again.
Shape the dough into a ball by tucking the sides underneath itself, and place onto the paper, seam side down. Cover and rest again until puffy but not fully risen, about 30 minutes- 2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.
Preheat your oven to 500 F. Put a (6 quart) dutch oven pot inside for 20 minutes. When ready to bake, remove pot from the oven. Place your hand underneath the parchment paper and invert the dough into the pot. The seam will be facing up. Cover the pot with the lid.
Place your bread into the oven, and reduce the temperature from 500 to 400 F. Bake for 40 minutes, covered. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
To make sure that the bread is completely cooked through, take its temperature. Carefully tip the bread onto its side and insert a thermometer into the bottom. It should read 200-205 F. If not, place it back into the oven until it is ready (extra time in bread baking is a good thing). If you’re worried about the top getting too brown, put the lid back on.
When your bread is ready, transfer to a wire rack to cool. It should feel light and make a hollow sound when you give it a knock underneath. Let it cool for at least 1 hour. Cutting it too soon might ruin the texture resulting in a gummy crumb!
If your dough isn’t puffed and bubbly after the initial rise, place it in the microwave with the light on (keeping the door ajar). The warmth from the light will give the yeast a boost. My friend Celia gave me this tip and it works like a charm, especially in chilly kitchens!