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.
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.
Starting Your No-Knead Dough
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With only four ingredients, this bread is so easy to bake. Like the ingredients, you only need a few items.
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.