Anyone can can be an amazing baker with this Fast and Easy No Knead Bread recipe! Using only 4 ingredients, learn how to make this delicious loaf that’s soft inside and crusty on the outside.
Since I first started making No Knead Bread a few years ago, I’ve been making them a lot. I’ve also been experimenting with different techniques and baking processes.
The original No Knead Bread uses active dry yeast and takes about 12 to 18 hours for the dough to rise, while this dough takes a lot less time because I’m using instant yeast. This no knead bread can be on your dinner table in about 2 1/2 hours which is an impressive improvement over the original.
WHAT IS NO KNEAD BREAD?
No Knead Bread was first published in the New York Times about 10 years ago. It’s a bread you make that, obviously, requires no kneading which is why it’s become so popular. You basically throw everything in a bowl, mix it up, let it sit around for a few hours and let the yeast do its work, then bake it.
The slow rise is what gives the bread that great flavor, and the baking method is what gives it that incredible crispy crust. This version, is a little bit different. Here we’re using instant yeast which saves us from waiting 12 to 18 hours for the dough to slowly rise.
Not only do I use instant yeast, but I use a lot more of it. I also do 2 rises, first rise for one hour, second rise for 30 minutes. The other change made to this recipe is that I doubled the recipe. Many of you have asked me if you can double the recipe and bake it in a bigger Dutch Oven. So I wanted to show you here that yes, it’s possible.
HOW TO MAKE FAST AND EASY NO KNEAD BREAD
With only four ingredients, you can’t go wrong with this recipe! In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the water and the yeast. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt well. If you plan on adding any herbs, spices, fruit, nuts, cheese, etc. do it now! You’ll want your fillings to be nicely coated in flour to make sure they don’t clump together.
Dump the flour mixture into the yeast mixture. Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, combine the ingredients until you have a well mixed dough ball. It will look messy and it will look like it’s not thoroughly mixed. That’s ok!
Cover the bowl with a dry clean kitchen towel and set the dough aside to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size, in a draft free warm environment. This is where your gluten formation is going to happen! You want a nice big rise so that your bread is soft inside after it bakes.
After your dough has risen, use a spatula to loosen the dough from the edges of the bowl. Flour your hands really well and also sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough. With your floured hands gently remove the dough from the bowl and roughly shape it into a ball. Place the dough onto a large sheet of parchment paper and cover with a dry kitchen towel to rise for another 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 450F and place your Dutch oven with its lid inside to heat up during the preheat. We want the pot to be nice and hot to help form that beautiful crust on your loaf. Take the pot out of the oven, and remove the lid. Pick up the dough by grabbing all four corners of the parchment paper, and carefully place the dough inside the pot. Be nice and slow, don’t burn your fingers on the hot pot!
Place the lid back onto the pot, and return it to the oven. Bake for 35 minutes with the lid on, and 20-25 minutes with the lid off, or until the bread is golden brown. Remove the bread from the pot and allow it to cool completely before slicing.
MY DOUGH IS SO STICKY!
This dough is meant to be pretty sticky! If you check out the video, you can see the consistency of my dough. If you feel that yours is too sticky, you can add a little bit more flour. Every environment is different. If you live somewhere with a lot of humidity, you might need to add a bit more flour to get the perfect dough.
DO YOU LOVE THIS NO KNEAD BREAD RECIPE? TRY THESE!
- Dutch Oven No Knead Bread
- No Knead Skillet Bread
- Whole Wheat No Knead Bread
- No Knead One Hour Cinnamon Rolls
- No Knead Hot Cross Buns
Fast and Easy No Knead Bread
- 3 cups water lukewarm
- 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast (2 packets)
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp salt
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the water and the yeast. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt well. Dump the flour mixture into the yeast mixture. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix the dough until it is well combined.
- Cover the bowl with a dry kitchen towel and set the dough aside to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- After your dough has risen, use a spatula to loosen the dough from the edges of the bowl. Flour your hands really well and also sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough. With your floured hands gently remove the dough from the bowl and roughly shape it into a ball. Place the dough onto a large sheet of parchment paper and cover with a dry kitchen towel to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 450 F degrees and place your Dutch oven with its lid on inside to heat up during the preheat.
- Take the pot out of the oven, and remove the lid. Pick up the dough by grabbing all four corners of the parchment paper, and carefully place the dough inside the pot.
- Place the lid back onto the pot, and return it to the oven. Bake for 35 minutes with the lid on, and 20-25 minutes with the lid off, or until the bread is golden brown.
- Remove the bread from the pot and allow it to cool completely before slicing.
- I used a large 6 qt Dutch oven. A large Dutch oven is better here because this recipe is meant to make a big loaf. You can cut the recipe in half if you'd like to use a smaller Dutch oven.
- If the dough mixture is too dry, add a bit more water, the dough should be sticky and messy, as seen in the video.
- To add other ingredients to the bread such as dried fruit, seeds, herbs or cheeses, add them in step 1 when mixing everything together.
- Always check the expiration date on your yeast and make sure it hasn't expired. All your yeast products whether it’s in a jar or a package should be stamped with a “Best if Used by” date. Always make sure you check this date, even when you purchase the yeast, who knows it could have been on the shelf past its expiry date.
- To keep your yeast fresh and longer lasting, unopened yeast packages or jars should be stored in a cool or dry place such as your cupboard. However, you can also store your yeast in the fridge or freezer. If you do store it in the freezer and need to use yeast for your baking, make sure you take out the amount you need and let it sit at room temperature for at least half hour before using.
- Once your yeast package or jar has been opened, you must refrigerate the yeast or freeze it in an airtight container.
- One thing to remember about your yeast, is that it is a living organism and over time it will lose activity, even if you’ve never opened the jar or package. So if you don’t bake often, buy the smaller yeast packages rather than a big jar of yeast.
- Why is my bread chewy: Usually your bread will be chewy when there isn't enough gluten formation or you're using a low-protein flour. Make sure your dough at least doubles in size for its first rise.
- Why is my bread dense: Usually bread will be too dense when there is too much flour. Keep in mind this dough will be pretty sticky, do not add more flour than specified. Other factors that come into play are humidity and age of flour.
- I don't have a Dutch oven, what can I use instead: If you don't have a Dutch Oven, a covered metal pot would work as well, just make sure it can stand up to 450 F heat. A 6 quart Calphalon soup pot with lid would work as well. If your pot doesn't have a lid, you can cover the pot with heavy-duty aluminum foil, just make sure you seal the pot well.
- How do I know when my bread is done baking: Tap the bottom! Take the bread out of the Dutch oven, turn it upside down and give the bottom a firm thump with your thumb, or a knock and if it sounds hollow it's done. If using an instant thermometer, the internal temperature should be around 200 F degrees.
- Nutrition: Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.