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The Best No Knead Crusty Bread from scratch

  • Author: The Kitchen Whisperer
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: bread
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: bread

Whether you’re a novice or experienced bread baker, No-Knead bread is the easiest and one of the tastiest bread you’ll ever make! Just dump in a bowl, mix and let it rest overnight and dump into a dutch oven the next day to bake!  Easy, peasy, delicious!

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1 1/23/4 cups water (room temp)
  • Lidded cast iron dutch oven or clay dutch oven/pot – see note if you do not have one of these!
  • Any add-ins you want (nuts, dried fruits, cheese, spices etc…)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl add in the flour, yeast and salt. You need to make sure the bowl is at least 2 times the size as this will easily double in volume. Whisk to combine. Add in the water and mix with a wooden spoon – do NOT use a stand mixer. Mix it until it’s combined and forms a ‘shaggy’ dough. Just make sure that all the flour is incorporated. It will not be a smooth dough – that’s how it’s supposed to be.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place overnight for at least 12 hours but no more than 24.
  3. When you’re ready to bake, put the rack in the middle and preheat to 450F. When the oven reaches temp, put your dutch oven pot (cast iron or heavy ceramic {check to see that your ceramic can handle 450F temp first!}) in the oven WITH THE LID on. Let it heat up for 30 minutes.
  4. While that’s heating up, use a dough scraper and scrape your dough onto a heavily floured surface (or you can flour parchment paper and put it on there). *See note
  5. If adding nuts, fruits, etc, add it now and gently knead in to disperse. Shape into a ball, tucking the sides under. It will be sticky but that’s good.
  6. Cover lightly with plastic until the 30 minutes is up.
  7. Remove the pot from the oven, place the ball dough on floured parchment paper and plop the ball down in the pot. You’re essentially placing the whole thing inside (try to remove the excess flour) the pot – parchment paper with the dough ball.
  8. Replace the lid and bake for 30 minutes. No peaking! Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and using tongs remove the bread and cool on cooling rack.

Notes

If you’re not comfortable with shaping the dough, when you remove the pot from the oven after 30 minutes you can carefully just pour the dough into the pot. It won’t be a perfectly round bread loaf but that’s okay – it’s just rustic. If you do pour it in, just jostle the pan around to kind of even out the dough before putting the lid on. But practice with shaping the dough. You can’t screw it up.

Don’t have a dutch oven or clay pot? Never fear! Grab your cast iron pan instead! If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you can use the following:

Clay pots with lids, Pizza stone with a bowl to cover the bread, insert from a crockpot, pyrex baking dish with a lid, stainless steel pot with a lid, baking dish covered with aluminum foil, old cast iron dutch oven. Essentially ANYTHING that can withstand the oven heat and time!
1. Take a 12″ round cast iron pan (with preferably a 2-3″ side wall) and place that into your 450F degree oven (just like the directions on the site). This pan will go on the middle rack.
2. WHILE you are heating that up, place a metal pan on the lowest shelf/rung in the oven at the same time. I just use an old cake pan that has seen better days.
3. When you remove the VERY HOT skillet from the oven and put your dough in it (have the dough resting on parchment paper so the bottom doesn’t get that ‘black’ color from the pan).
4. AND as soon as you put it in the oven put about 3 cups of ice cubes in the hot baking pan. DO THIS FAST as you want to trap the steam in the oven!
5. This will create steam (just like a dutch oven).
6. After 30-35 minutes check the bread. It should be done but if it’s not cook for 10-15 min more. If at 30 minutes it’s getting dark but not done (will sound hollow when tapped), just tent some foil over top for about 10 minutes.
7. Cool as normal.

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