Best. Bread. Ever.

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So I saw lots of people raving about how awesome no-knead bread is. Super easy and delicious.

“Yeah, right,” I thought. “You have to knead bread for ages to get a good crumb.” Boy, was I wrong.

Faced with having to knead bread by hand (horrors!) since we can’t afford a stand mixer just yet, I decided to give no-knead bread a try. After all, Hannah had made it and loved it. It had to be okay.

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It’s more than okay. WAY more than okay. The crust is crunchy and the inside is soft, light and flavorful. And it takes about 5 minutes to mix up. In all honesty, I would make bread much less often if it weren’t for this recipe. Downside? Well, there’s no more excuse for buying store-bought bread when you can make it so easily.

Think you can’t possibly tackle making bread at home? Give this recipe a try. You’ll be so happy you did.

Notes:

Not only is this bread so quick & easy to throw together (you literally just dump all the ingredients in a bowl & mix it a bit with a big spoon), but it’s also very versatile. I have made this with sour milk in place of water and whole wheat flour in place of some of the white with awesome results.

If you must, you can skip the steaming step. The last couple of times I made this bread I forgot that part with no ill effects. But I highly recommend steaming for the best crust.

I really like shaping the dough into a boule, but you can also shape it into logs or braids.

No Knead French Bread | Printable Page | Makes 2 large loaves

From Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day via Honey & Jam

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:

1) Place the water, yeast and salt in a very large mixing bowl. Dump in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until everything is nice and moist. And you’re done mixing!

2) Cover the bowl loosely and let sit until it has risen and deflated a little. Now your dough is ready to be baked or stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.

3) To bake the bread: (If the dough is coming from the refrigerator, let it come to room temp before continuing) Wet your hands with water to prevent your hands from sticking and grab a piece of dough (I usually make half a recipe and use all the dough for one loaf, but you can make smaller loaves if you wish). Form it into a boule by pulling the sides of the dough towards the underside of the dough ball and rotating the dough until you get a roundish shape with a smooth surface. You can also shape the dough into logs or braids.

4) Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper (recommended) or a cornmeal-dusted cutting board. Let the dough rest and rise for about 40 minutes.

5) About 20 minutes before you’re ready to bake the bread, put a cast iron skillet or pizza stone on the center rack of the oven and place a roasting pan (I use a 13×9-inch pan) on the bottom rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450Β° F.

6) Dust some flour over the top of your risen loaf and cut a few slashes into the top about 1/4-inch deep. Transfer dough onto the skillet or pizza stone, quickly pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler pan and shut the oven door to keep the steam inside. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is nice and brown. Cool completely before cutting. You may manage to wait that long…I never have.

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36 thoughts on “Best. Bread. Ever.

  1. I’ve been hearing about this bread for a while. I love homemade bread, but sometimes I’m not a good planner so I don’t have time. Would this make a good sandwich bread? I’d like something to feed my husband that can be thrown together quickly when I don’t have time for kneading.

    • Heather: I actually have used this bread for sandwiches which I put in my husband’s lunch. πŸ™‚ I would recommend shaping the bread into a log or a loaf for the best sandwich shape.

  2. Sheesh, this does look like the best bread ever! I’m not a big bread baker, so the simple no knead and/or no yeast recipes are my preference. Your loaf turned out beautifully…I may as well just say it – I’m jealous of your loaf πŸ˜‰ Phew, glad I got that off my chest.

  3. No knead bread is good, but if you are like me, and you like kneading, you’ll find the taste and the sattisfaction of a knead bread a lot better, higher. Nevertheless, this one is great too.

  4. +1 on Ruby’s comment. By using a dutch oven, you can skip adding the water to the broiler pan which only escapes anyways (or gives you a facial if you open the door and get your head down near the oven too soon). Also, a little less cleanup. Tartine Bread is another good book that uses a wet method and requires minimal kneading.

  5. Easy AND delicious. One thing you might want to mention, though, is using a METAL roasting pan – I completely forgot that cool water + preheated glass = no, and ended up shattering one of my glass roasting pans in the oven before I started baking the first loaf. Regardless of basic science goofs, though, the loaves turned out perfectly!

  6. I just made this bread, but tweaked a few things. I don’t have a proper oven so I made it in a toaster oven! Put a bit of olive oil in a pan, added the bread, browned the crust for a few minutes, then transferred to a different pan and baked as usual. Turned out awesome! Thanks for the recipe πŸ™‚ This is the first time I’ve ever been successful in baking bread!

  7. Also, I’ve stored my dough in the fridge for up to a week and a half, and, it’s worked fine as long as I’ve let it rise for two hours prior to baking.

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  11. Wow I never thought I could bake bread before but this was a hit! I’ve made this twice already since I read your post:) (My husband eats almost the whole loaf every time!) Thank you for such a delicious and easy bread recipe! πŸ™‚

  12. Kneading is therapy for me…working the arm and back muscles and sending up prayers for loved ones all the while πŸ™‚ however…this bread will be on our dinner table tonight. My husband of 31 years will love it! Breaking bread at Easter time certainly gives us another way to remember our Savior πŸ™‚ thank you for sharing!

  13. How long does step 2, rising and deflating take. Looks like a great recipe, almost as easy as beer bread with 3 ingredients so I’m gonna give it a shot.

    Thanks,

  14. I’m so glad you posted this recipe. My husband and I are staying in our travel trailer while we are working out of state and I really don’t have the room or kitchen equipment to make loaves of bread. This recipe is perfect for us–I made a batch to go with supper tonight and we have enough for another go round tomorrow (with some added garlic and oregano) to go with spaghetti. The bread was simple to make and tasted delicious! We’ll probably try some with brown sugar and cinnamon rolled in for a breakfast loaf this weekend.

    It’s so nice to be able to have fresh homemade bread without all the fuss. THANKS!

  15. Thank you for sharing this recipe, it turned out so good! I made in less than an hour, which is what I need for my family of 8!!

  16. Not sure what I did wrong, but mine was super sticky and didn’t really rise. It just flattened out and got really big.

    I’ve made it twice now with the same result.. any tips?

  17. I’m new to your blog and enjoying it immensely!
    Do you know if this dough would be okay for freezing? I have 1.5 batches rising right now and don’t want to bake all of it today. Any recommendations?

    Thanks!!!!!

    • Rachel: I’ve never frozen this particular bread recipe, but I have frozen other bread dough with great success. I don’t see why this wouldn’t work! Just make sure to let the dough come to room temperature before forming for the final rise. πŸ™‚

  18. I really want to try this, but I don’t have a cast iron skillet, or a pizza stone. Any viable alternatives? Perhaps in the form of a cookie shit and silicone baking mat?

    • Stacy: I think a cookie sheet should work fine, though it might warp if preheated in the oven. I have baked this bread in a loaf pan – it worked fine but the taste/texture wasn’t nearly as good.

  19. How long are you supposed to let it rise for? And how do you keep it from sticking to the parchment paper when you let it rise the second time? I tried waiting until it doubled in size for the first rise. My logs turned into blobs when I tried to get them off the parchment paper.

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