Easy No-Knead Artisan Bread

no knead artisan loaf
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 40 Mins Total Time: 50 Mins

No-Knead Artisan Bread: I’m A Believer

Why bake a no-knead artisan bread? When you make a loaf of bread, it is satisfying to see and taste the result. Fresh bread tastes incredible for pennies on the dollar. My husband found and shared with me a YouTube video for a remarkable and easy no-knead bread recipe. Initially, I was dubious. Now, I am a believer. Because this recipe is so easy and delicious, I make a loaf of no-knead bread weekly. Try this for toast, French toast, sandwiches, and homemade hostess gifts. Nothing beats a loaf of fresh artisan bread.

A No-Fear Recipe

If you have never baked a loaf of bread it might be because you are intimidated by the process, or you do not think you have the equipment. When I talk to people about baking bread, I hear two things: I don’t want to knead the dough, and “baking bread is hard.” Not only is this recipe not hard, but you also won’t get your hands sticky! There are very few ingredients, it is likely that each component is in your kitchen right now. With only a handful of easy steps, no-knead bread is an excellent way to start your adventure into bread making. This easy to make lean dough is hands-off.

Experiment

While there are many variations on this recipe that I cannot wait to share with you, this is the basic formula you need to know to get started. No-knead bread is a great dough for experimenting. Do not be afraid to add flavors, sweet or savory. Try allowing the dough to ferment for a longer period of time. Make no-knead bread with whole wheat flour or sourdough starter. Try this and try that. Take notes and discover your favorite recipe.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your dough tonight and have fresh bread tomorrow. Ask questions and tell us about your results in the comments.

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Ingredients

0/4 Ingredients
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Instructions

0/8 Instructions
    Starting Your No-Knead Dough
  • It is likely that your kitchen has all that you need to start your dough. Grab a large bowl, a wooden spoon, some measuring cups, and measuring spoons. I like to use a dough whisk, and I strongly urge you to invest in a scale.
  • Mix Your Ingredients
  • Combine flour, yeast, salt, and water into your mixing bowl. Stir with the handle end of your wooden spoon until all ingredients are combined and the dough achieves the "shaggy mass" consistency. Shaggy mass looks like it sounds. The dough is combined enough to create a messy consistency.
  • Bulk Fermentation
  • Leave your dough in the mixing bowl, cover the bowl with a lid or cling film, and place in a spot in your kitchen that isn't drafty. I leave my dough on the range top with the hood light on. This keeps the temperature consistent. Let your dough ferment for at least 10 hours, up to 18. Some recipes call for at least 18 and up to 24. The time it takes to rise is based on your kitchen, the weather, and other external factors. You can experiment with times. If you get waylayed and cannot bake your bread at the expected time, put the dough in the refrigerator. This slows down the fermentation. When you are ready to bake allow the dough to reach room temperature before moving on.
  • Fold The Dough
  • After your long wait, it is time to fold your dough. This process intimidates some people, don't worry, you've got this. Release the dough from your bowl onto a well-floured surface. Using a dough scraper really helps this process. If the dough is too wet and sticky, sprinkle some flour on the dough as you scrape to absorb the extra moisture. Once your dough is on the floured surface use your hands, dough scraper (or a bench scraper) and slide it under the dough halfway. Fold the dough on top of its self pulling the dough with small amounts of flour with your hand or scraper to keep the dough workable. Turn your folded dough 1/4 turn and repeat. You will do this four times, one complete rotation. On your last fold, make sure the dough is folded over completely and tuck the end under the loaf. Your dough should look almost like a loaf now.
  • Shape The Loaf
  • With a small sweeping motion, scoop under and rotate your dough until a smooth ball is formed.
  • Proof Your Loaf
  • Pat flour on the top of the loaf and place in a clean, lightly oiled bowl or banneton. If you are using a banneton make sure the basket is well floured. When you have used the basket several times it is "seasoned" and will require less flour. Allow your dough to proof for 60-90 minutes. You will see an increase in size, but do not be surprised if the rise is minimal. Near the end of your rise, place your Dutch Oven in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees (F), 230 degrees (C).
  • Bake
  • Remove your dough from the bowl and CAREFULLY place it into your Dutch Oven. It helps to place the loaf onto parchment paper to create "handles". Lower the parchment with dough directly into the Dutch Oven. Score the dough with a sharp knife, or a Dough Lame. This creates vents for your bread. Make sure the cuts are 1/4" to 1/2" deep. Try different designs from a single long slash to multiple slashes. Replace the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake an additional 10 minutes until the crust is browned. Optionally, you can use a spray bottle and spray 2-3 times before placing the lid. This helps form a lovely crust. Remove your Dutch Oven from the oven and carefully remove the bread. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing. As the bread cools the structure further develops.
  • When you are ready to slice the bread do so in the middle of the loaf. This keeps the bread from drying out.

Notes

This page contains suggested equipment. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

With only four ingredients, this bread is so easy to bake. Like the ingredients, you only need a few items.

Equipment

Dutch Oven:

Using a Dutch Oven will give you a beautiful, crusty, loaf of bread. I have two and love them both. A Dutch Oven can tolerate the high temperature needed to provide you with the best loaf of bread. You can use bare cast iron or an enameled cast iron Dutch Oven. There are some differences between these two versions of the same handy cooking vessels.

Bare Dutch Oven:

This pot is lighter, heats faster, and is most often less expensive. I have a Lodge Dutch Oven. It comes from the manufacturer already seasoned. You do not have to use it for bread alone, you can use your bare Dutch Oven on the grill, and to make chili or stew. Just be careful with your bare cast iron. You shouldn't make highly acidic foods, like marinara or other tomato-based foods. This pot is a real workhorse.

Enameled Dutch Oven:

Exactly what the name implies, a cast iron vessel that has been coated with enamel to make it easier to clean. The coating on this version of the Dutch Oven makes the pot considerably heavier and is slower to heat. You can find beautiful enameled Dutch Ovens in almost every color of the rainbow. These Dutch Ovens are typically more expensive. I buy Le Creuset enameled cookware, and it always serves me well. If you are looking for a less pricey version of this pot, check out the Amazon Basics version. I have not tried it but based on the ratings; this enameled cookware looks like a decent option.

Large Mixing Bowl:

You will need a large glass or plastic bowl to mix your dough. Your mixing bowl is the same bowl your dough will rise in so you need plenty of space. I suggest a 4-quart bowl with lid. I have a set of Pyrex bowls that never fail. There are many options when it comes to mixing bowls, but I find that a more shallow, wide bowl makes it easier to combine ingredients more completely.

Wooden Spoon or Dough Whisk:

The easiest way to stir your no-knead dough is with the handle end of a wooden spoon. The dough does not stick to the smaller surface of the handle. You can also use a Danish Dough Whisk. The circled wire stirs the mixture without sticking. This whisk is the best investment bread baking investment I have ever made.
Optionally, consider a dough scraper. A dough scraper is a piece of flexible plastic that aids in releasing the dough from the bowl and gives you a hands-off way to shape your dough.

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#bread  #no-knead  

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