So when I first started this journey there were 2 common fears everyone had when it came to cooking – making bread from scratch and making pie crusts. I’ve tackled both numerous times on here. By far my Artisan Crusty No Knead breads, Chocolate No Knead Crusty Bread and Cheddar Ale No Knead Crusty Buns have pretty much taken over as numero uno for bread recipes. They are super, SUPER easy and require no special equipment. A dutch oven is best HOWEVER I show you how to make it without one.
Well those breads are awesome but sometimes you just want plain old fashioned white sandwich bread. Now I love, LOVE white bread as for me that immediately takes me to my childhood and Mom making it every Sunday. I’d sit up on the kitchen table, covered in flour from head to toe playing with a piece of dough for hours while I’d try to mimic her. It’s because of her that I fell in love with baking and not having a fear of making breads. Someone challenged me a while ago to make a No Knead White bread that didn’t require all the steps of a regular white bread but was equally as awesome! I’ll be honest, this one took me for a loop. I kept over thinking it. I forgot the basics and ended up with something so complex in steps and furthermore not that good tasting. So I sat and compared my basic No Knead recipes and my white bread recipes and pretty much took pieces and parts of them both.
As you can see I nailed it! This bread was crusty on the outside but so soft and billowy on the inside. It was just beyond tender and lip smacking good!
Adding those layers of butter in the folds made this bread FanFriggenTastic! Literally it needed no jelly, jam or butter on it! It took everything I had to not rip into it straight out of the oven but bread is one thing that MUST be allowed to cool before cutting.
Do you know why? I mean other than having your Mom smack your hand or getting yelled at (trust me, I learned that lesson years ago!) LOL
Cutting bread while it is still warm can cause the bread to have a gummy texture, and the loaf can collapse. It tears and it’s a big ol mess. It is because of the way starch retrogrades. It needs that cooling time to re-stabilize itself.
But yeah, waiting for this to cool was torture. I mean the SMELL was intoxicating. There is NOTHING that compares to the scent of fresh baked breads. It’s just pure heaven.
This was so good I literally had to slice a piece and leave the room otherwise I truly think I would have sat there and ate the entire thing! LOL
It’s funny as I brought my piece back into the office to try I could hear “sniff sniff sniff” coming from behind me. Now we don’t have a dog but I could hear a ‘puppy whimper’. I turn around and there is Mr. Fantabulous giving me the most pathetic puppy dog eyes I’ve ever seen! I could see his little nose twitching and his eyes fixated on my bread. I’d tear off a small piece and put it in my mouth to which I’d hear a ‘grumble’ like our old dog used to do. I immediately started to chuckle and ask if he wanted to try it. He goes “Like WTH? You used to always say ‘Honey try this’ whether I was hungry or not. Now you don’t even offer??? You made at me?” LOL
Ah my baby.. God love him! So I gave him half and waited for a reaction. Now what’s funny is when we first met this man didn’t care about food or the flavor. As long as it wasn’t spoiled he ate it. Food to him was just a requirement that his body needed. It wasn’t for pleasure or for taste.
Now some 16 years later he will analyze every bite like he’s perform some complex analysis on it. Literally, he’s become me. That’s EXACTLY what I do with a new dish and I really like it. I can pick apart each ingredient in the recipe.
Anyway, after he’s done eating his he gives me a look and begins to provide his analysis like Joe Bastianich of Master Chef. So love that show by the way! Normally he has a wise crack and will question me on why I did something making me think it sucks or I missed a step just to mess with me. However this time all he could say was, “I taste butter but don’t see any? How’d you do that? This is so awesome honey. Literally some of the best bread you’ve ever made! I LOVE how the crust is so crusty but the real bread (yes he call the inside ‘real bread’) is so soft!” WOO HOO! Home Run! I just smiled and said “Magic baby, I perform magic in the kitchen!”
Now I know what you’re thinking “just how hard is this? I don’t have a mixer or dutch oven.”
It’s not hard and you don’t need either of those things! Literally you need the ingredients (duh), a big bowl, a wooden spoon, a bread loaf pan and an oven. I’ve made this bread at least 10 times since I finally perfected it. This will be your go-to white bread recipe for no knead breads.
What’s even more awesome is with this bread, any leftovers (if that’s even possible) the leftovers make AWESOME croutons!
I mean seriously, can’t you just smell that warmth and awesomeness? Look at those pockets and flaky layers! Yeah… I bet you’re wishin’ they had Smell-o-Internet now, huh? LOL God wouldn’t that be awesome?!
*Update to apparently my recipe is VERY similar to the one Food 52 has (like just a few ingredients are changed). While I love F52, I don’t ever recall seeing it. I went with my white bread recipe and my first no knead recipe and kind of did a mashup. However since they were to the pass first and ours are so very similar I have to give them credit. I could have seen it but honestly I don’t remember it. Sorry F52, I didn’t know you had one posted a month before mine*Print
- 3 1/4 cups Bread Flour
- 3 1/4 cups All Purpose flour
- 1 Tbl instant or active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 Tbl salt
- 3 cups water, warmed
- 6 Tbl unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg with 1 Tbl water
- Whisk together flours, yeast, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add water and stir together with a wooden spoon to form a shaggy dough. It’ll take about 2-3 minutes to come together.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let proof at room temperature for around 5-6 hours. The dough will double in size and may start to fall. This is OK. It just has to double initially.
- When you’re ready to bake, turn the dough out on a floured surface and lightly knead 3–4 times. The dough will be slightly sticky but resist from putting too much flour on it. A Bench Scraper works PERFECTLY here! Cut the dough in 2 equal sized pieces. Shape the dough into a rectangle approximately 8×12″. Place 1 1/2 tbl butter across the middle.
- Fold one third of the dough into the center, place 1 1/2 tbl butter on top of the fold followed by the other third. Place seam side-down in a buttered 9×5″ Bread Loaf Pan.
- Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise for approximately 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. The dough will not rise above the pan; you just want it to double in the pan.
- Preheat your oven to 450F with the rack in the middle. In a bowl beat the egg and water until well combined. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the bread with the egg wash. (See note if you do not want to use the egg). Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the top of the loaf has just begun to brown. Remove from the oven and turn out on to cooling racks.
- Let cool for at least an hour before slicing.
The only special piece of equipment you need is a
9×5″ Bread Loaf Pan. These truly are the BEST pans out there!
Another item I highly recommend is a Bench Scraper. This will make your life SO MUCH easier when it comes to working with doughs!
If you do not want to use the egg wash, before you preheat your oven place a metal pan on the bottom rack. Let the oven come to temperature. Right before putting the bread in the oven, lightly mist the top with water. Place the pan on the rack and immediately (WORK FAST!) pour 1 cup of hot water into the baking pan on the bottom. Close the oven door and do NOT open it until the bread is done!