Easy No Knead Bread

This homemade no knead bread will wow everyone! It’s so easy to make and has the best flavor, crispy crust, and chewy interior. Great for beginners!

No knead bread

Want to bake easy homemade bread, but not sure where to start? Try this best no knead bread recipe! Your friends and family will sing your praises. Neighbors following the wafting smell will come flocking. You’ll get multiple marriage proposals. Yes, this bread is life changing! It’s got the best flavor: lightly tangy and robust. The exterior is the perfect crisp crust, and the interior has the perfect moist chewiness. Even better: it’s our easiest bread recipe yet. If you’re a bread baking beginner, this is the place to start.

Want an even quicker loaf bread? Try our Easy Homemade Bread or Easy Whole Wheat Bread, which are made with a loaf pan and take just 2.5 hours.

How to make no knead bread: an overview!

Here’s the basic outline of what you’re getting yourself into with no knead bread. The process takes 5 minutes the night before, and then about 2 hours the day of. Compared to our sourdough bread and even our artisan bread, it’s the quickest and easiest bread recipe we have. (But if you want to make a bread recipe in one day, the artisan bread is your best option.) Here’s an outline of what you’ll have to do:

Mix, Rest overnight5 minutes active, 12 to 18 hours hands off
Shape & Proof5 minutes active, 1 hour hands off
Bake40 minutes, hands off
Cool45 minutes, hands off
Easy no knead bread

Equipment list for no knead bread

Making no knead bread requires a few tools. It’s easiest to make with a Dutch oven, but you can also use a pizza stone. There are several optional tools as well that make things easier, but are not required. Here’s what you need!

Required tools for this artisan no knead bread recipe

  1. Large dutch oven OR pizza stone with steam (see below)
  2. Plastic bag for proofing (reuse it every time you make bread) or plastic wrap
  3. Parchment paper
  4. Lame OR sharp knife for scoring the bread
  5. Kitchen scale for measuring (optional)

The flours you’ll use

This best easy no knead bread recipe uses a mix of just two flours you’ll probably already have in your pantry. Unlike some of our other bread recipes, there’s no need for bread flour. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour (for texture
  • Whole wheat flour (for flavor)
How to bake bread

Think ahead! No knead bread rests overnight

This bread requires thinking ahead 1 day. You’ll need to rest the bread dough overnight. Why? Well, the answer has to do with proofing.

  • No knead bread requires only 1 proof. Proofing is simply letting the bread stand at room temperature while the leavener (yeast or sourdough) does its magic to help the bread rise. Usually a proof is about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Both our sourdough bread and artisan bread require folding and “proofing” the bread multiple times. So doing only 1 proof is almost unheard of!
  • The tradeoff? Resting overnight. Proofing is hands off, but it does require a lot of time to fold and proof multiple times. The tradeoff: you’ll need to rest the bread at room temperature overnight. To us, that’s a very worthy tradeoff! You save hours of bread making time the day of baking.

How to shape the boule

The main part of making no knead bread that requires technique is shaping the dough. You’ll shape it into a ball, called a boule. It’s easiest to learn how to shape the dough by watching. Here’s a video instruction for shaping the boule.

Homemade no knead bread

How to score the bread

See those beautiful lines on the top of the artisan bread? Those are called score lines. Scoring is slashing the top of the dough with a sharp knife to allow it to expand when baking. You can also make a decorative sort of pattern on the bread. Here are a few tips for scoring no knead bread:

  • Use your sharpest knife, or a lame. You’ll want the knife to be ultra sharp. We purchased a lame for this, since we make lots of bread recipes.
  • Make shallow cuts into the top of the dough. You want to cut just the surface — if it’s too deep it collapses, if it’s too shallow it bursts. Alex did this cross pattern for the bread scoring in this photo!

What’s a Dutch oven? Do I need it?

This easy no knead bread is best when baked in a Dutch oven. Why? Baking bread in a covered Dutch oven holds in the steam that the bread releases as it cooks. This makes an extra crispy crust & perfect rise. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can use a pizza stone (see below).

What is a Dutch oven? It’s a heavy cooking pot with a lid used for braising meat and making soups and stews. You can use it on the stovetop or in the oven. All Dutch ovens are made of cast iron; some have an enamel coating that makes them easier to clean.

Best no knead bread

Or, use a pizza stone to bake no knead bread!

You also can use a pizza stone to bake this no knead bread! The best way is with a Dutch oven, but if you don’t have one you can use a pizza stone. You’ll also have to make extra steam in your oven. To do that, you’ll use a baking sheet and pour boiling water onto it right when you add the bread. This creates steam, which makes that crispy crust.

Storing no knead bread

This no knead bread has no preservatives, so the storage recommendations are different from a bread you might buy from the store. Here’s what to do:

  • Room temperature storage (2 days): Once you’ve baked your homemade bread, it is best eaten within 48 hours. We store ours wrapped in cloth at room temperature. Use a clean dish towel or a bread bag.
  • Frozen (3 months): Or, you can freeze it! It’s easy to cut your bread in half and freeze half of it! Let it cool to room temperature, then cut it into slices and place it into a sealed bag or container.
Best easy no knead bread

This no knead bread recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy free.

Print
No knead bread

Easy No Knead Bread Recipe


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (20 votes, average: 4.35 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (including overnight)
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 to 14 slices 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This homemade no knead bread will wow everyone! It’s so easy to make and has the best flavor, crispy crust, and chewy interior. Great for beginners!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour (375 grams)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (62 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast
  • 9 grams 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water (314 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (15 grams)

Instructions

  1. Mix the dough & rest overnight: In medium bowl, stir together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, yeast and salt. Add the warm water and vinegar and stir with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until all flour is incorporated. Place the bowl in a proofing bag or cover with plastic wrap. Rest at room temperature overnight (12 to 18 hours). The resulting dough will be bubbly and very sticky.
  2. Shape the dough: When ready to bake, remove the dough from the bowl onto a clean, lightly-floured countertop. Gently spread the dough into a square and then fold up each side into a packet. Flip the dough over. Place your hands behind the dough and gently pull the dough towards you to increase the tension on the surface of the dough. Rotate and repeat until you have a boule shape. Follow this video tutorial for boule shaping technique.
  3. Proof the dough for 1 hour: Place the boule on a piece of parchment paper about twice the width of the boule. Cover the dough with an inverted large bowl and rest one hour.
  4. Preheat the oven: Preheat the Dutch oven (with lid) at 475°F for 30 minutes. (Or for the pizza stone method, place the pizza stone on middle rack of oven, off to one side. Place a cast iron pan or thickest baking sheet on the rack just below and off to the other side of oven. You’ll pour water into it later to create steam.)
  5. Score the bread: Use a sharp knife or lame to cut several shallow slits at angle across the top of the dough. The photographs show this cross pattern.
  6. Bake for 16 minutes: Working quickly and carefully with oven gloves or mitts, transfer the dough on the parchment paper to the preheated Dutch oven, then place the top on. Bake for 16 minutes. (Or for the pizza stone method, transfer the dough on the parchment paper to the preheated pizza stone. After the bread is on the the stone, make the steam: cover your hand with a towel and very carefully pour 1 cup of water onto the cast-iron pan or baking sheet, then immediately close the door.
  7. Reduce to 400°F and bake for 25 to 27 minutes: After the 16 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 400°F. Remove the Dutch oven, carefully take out the bread, and set the bread directly onto the oven rack. (Or for the pizza stone method, open the oven door a couple of times to fan out excess moist air.) Bake for an additional 25 to 27 minutes, until hollow when tapped or internal temperature is at 205 to 209 Fahrenheit. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool on a cooling rack for at least 45 minutes. After cooling, the bread is ready to eat. Store the bread wrapped in cloth or in a bread bag on the counter for up to 2 days, or freeze (sliced) wrapped in foil in a plastic bag for several months.

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Artisan

Keywords: No Knead Bread, No Knead Bread Recipe, Easy Bread, Easy Bread Recipe

Easy no knead bread
No knead bread
Subscribe for free weekly recipes & more!

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    April 11, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    Should I make the no knead bread or the artisan loaf? What’s the difference taste or texture wise?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      April 11, 2020 at 3:44 pm

      They both taste great! The no-knead is definitely easier, the artisan loaf has a little better flavor and chewier crust.

  • Reply
    Laureen Tattersall
    May 8, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    This is probably a dumb question, but does the parchment paper go in the Dutch oven with the dough for baking?
    None of your pictures show parchment paper, so I’m guessing no.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      May 8, 2020 at 7:22 pm

      Yes! You drop the parchment paper into the dutch oven.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    May 9, 2020 at 7:24 am

    Are there any alternatives to using parchment paper? None on hand and can’t get to the store. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      May 9, 2020 at 8:10 am

      You can just move the dough without parchment paper, just be careful not to misshape it too much.

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.