No-Knead bread recipe – my most requested recipe to date.
Before we start, have a read of my bread baking tips and tricks blog. This will answer some of your burning bread baking questions.
This is probably the easiest bread I have ever made. There are just four ingredients. But best of all, you do not need to knead, or to active yeast or to do anything fancy or time-consuming.
But this no-fuss, no-knead bread recipe has a twist, you cook it in a Dutch oven. Stop sniggering. A Dutch oven is what our American friends call a casserole dish or Le Creuset pot. Cooking this no-knead bread recipe in a Dutch oven creates steam around the dough which gives the bread a great rise and helps develop a beautiful, crackly crust.
Just listen to the sound of the crust as I cut into it in this video. Isn’t that something?
The no-knead Dutch oven bread is crusty on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside with a great flavour. This no-knead bread recipe is also super quick – from start to finish takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes. Not bad for such a tasty and good looking bread.
Right, on with the show. Here’s my quick and easy Dutch oven no-knead bread recipe
No-knead bread recipe ingredients
400 grams or 3 cups of flour – strong bread flour, plain flour or wholewheat flour (it doesn’t really make a difference)
1/4 teaspoon of fast-action dried yeast
1-2 teaspoons of salt
350ml or 1 1/2 cups of water (a bit hotter than lukewarm)
Wooden spoon or spatula or your hands
Clingfilm or a damp tea towel
Parchment paper or baking paper or greaseproof paper
Dutch oven, casserole dish or Le Creuset pot with an ovenproof handle
No-knead bread recipe method
Sieve the flour into a big bowl and mix through the salt. You need to use a minimum of one teaspoon of salt but I always use at least two teaspoons of salt to give the bread a great flavour.
Mix in the fast-action dried yeast.
Pour in the water (my water temperature was 55°C/131°F) and mix.
When you mix all the ingredients you’ll have a wet, sticky dough. This is exactly what you want. Don’t panic.
Then, cover the bowl with clingfilm or cellophane, whatever it is called in your country. You could also just put a damp teatowel over the bowl.
Leave the bowl with the dough to rest on your countertop for 3-5 hours. You do not need to put the bowl somewhere warm, but you would know that if you read my bread baking tips blog!
After 3, 4 or 5 hours of the dough resting, the dough will have expanded in size but will be wobbly and look like a blob in the bowl.
When ready to bake, dust some flour on your worktop – I use a couple of tablespoons.
Take the dough out and put it on the floured surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with a little bit of flour.
What you need to do now is to kind of fold the dough onto itself. Fold it one way and then another and basically shape it into a ball. It should take less than 30 seconds. You do not need to play around with it.
Then you take the same bowl and line it with parchment paper, or baking paper, or greaseproof paper, whatever you have that is ovenproof.
Place the dough on top of the paper in the bowl.
Place to one side.
Take your casserole dish, Le Creuset pot or Dutch oven (make sure whatever you use has an ovenproof handle) and put it into the oven.
Turn on your oven and set the temperature to 230°C fan assisted / 450°F / gas mark 8.
The bread needs to rest for at least 30 minutes, which is roughly how long it should take for the oven to heat up. My oven takes about 35 minutes and some might take longer but as long as the bread has a least 30 minutes rest, that is perfect.
When the oven is at 450°F (I use an oven thermometer, read my blog post all about that here), use oven gloves and take out the casserole dish, Le Creuset pot or Dutch oven. The dish will be scalding hot. Be careful.
Then you lift out the parchment paper with the dough out of the bowl and put the paper and dough in the casserole dish, Le Creuset pot or Dutch oven.
You can trim the edges of the paper if you want but you need to lift the bread out via the paper so don’t cut it too short. I like to leave a little paper hanging over the edge.
Put the lid on the pot and put it back in the hot oven.
Baking the no-knead Dutch oven bread
Set a timer for 30 minutes and after 30 minutes, take the pot out of the oven. Take the bread and the paper out of the pot. Take the paper off the bread.
Place the bread back in the pot and return to the oven without the lid. Set a timer for ten minutes. This is how we get a beautiful crispy and dark-coloured crust.
After ten minutes my no-knead Dutch oven bread was perfect but you might need to leave yours in for a few minutes or even ten minutes more to get the desired crust. All ovens are different. Don’t stress it if your crust isn’t as done as mine in the photos. Just leave it in for a few more minutes with the lid off. But keep checking as it can burn quite quickly.
When the crust is as perfect as you like it, take the pot out of the oven and take the bread out of the pot and leave it to cool on a wire rack. You want to leave it on a wire rack to cool so the air will get underneath. If you leave it on a chopping board to cool, the bread will go soft underneath.
To slice the bread properly, you need to let it cool. Of course, I couldn’t wait and cut into it straight away. If you are going to do this, then I suggest you slice the bread from the end and work inwards so the bread is easier to cut.
And there you have it, easy peasy Dutch oven no-knead bread.
Now that you have mastered that bread, why not try your hand at some of my other bread recipes? Honestly, they are all very easy to bake.
Here are my other bread recipes
So, what do you think of my no-knead bread recipe?
Did you like it? Did you try it out? What improvements would you make? Share a photo of your attempt at this recipe or leave any feedback and comments below, I’d love to hear from you.
If you liked this Dutch oven no-knead recipe you might also like my spice cake recipe.
Or you might enjoy making my ginger nut biscuits recipe.
You might also like the recipe for crunchy coconut cookies.
And be sure to check out my recipe for Shrewsbury biscuits.
If you like this Dutch oven no-knead bread recipe, please share with others.