This No-Knead Bread recipe is the best and easiest way to make perfect bread at home! No kneading is needed! This recipe is super easy to follow and makes the best bread loaf at home.
Why This Recipe Works
This bread is exactly what your next sandwich or a steaming bowl of soup needs. A thick slice of home-baked bread. It's simply too easy not to try it. Just stir all of the ingredients in a bowl, cover, and let sit overnight. Next day, bake, slice, and enjoy!
Homemade bread is one of my very favorite things to bake. It's very gratifying and be used for sweet sandwiches (peanut butter and strawberry jelly come to mind) or loaded with cheese and meat, tomatoes, lettuce, and peppers OR dipped into thick tomato soup. By the way, this bread is amazing for grilled cheese sandwiches!
- Start by measuring out the flour by scooping it with a spoon into a measuring cup, then level off the top.
- Combine water, sugar, and yeast in a bowl. Add flour and stir in well.
- Cover the bowl and let the dough sit for 24 hours. It should double in size.
- Place dough onto parchment paper, shape into a ball and let sit while you preheat the oven.
- Place dough in Dutch oven and bake, covered, until the top is golden. Remove lid and bake for a few more minutes.
What to use if you don't have a Dutch oven?
If you don't have a cast iron Dutch oven with a lid, you can use a shallow cast iron skillet and a deep cast iron skillet. Use the deep skillet as a lid. The whole setup is heavy so be aware and have kitchen mittens on hand. You need to create a closed environment for the bread to bake with steam.
What size Dutch oven should I use to make this bread?
I've tested this recipe with different sizes of the Dutch oven over the years and anything between 3qt and 5 qt will give you great results. If you want to use a bigger pot, double the recipe. Keep in mind, that if baking the bread in a 3-quart Dutch oven, the bread will have more height, while bread baked in a 5-quart Dutch oven will spread out more.
Can I make this bread with a yeast starter?
The starter, also called levain, is a mixture made with naturally occurring yeast. To make it, you mix flour with water and let it sit letting the yeast and bacteria activate. You can use it in place of yeast in this recipe. Our readers used about ¼ cup of starter to make the no-knead bread and had fantastic results!
- sugar: There are a lot of no-knead bread recipes out there, most of them using only 3 ingredients: flour, yeast, and water. While these ingredients are indeed required, I do not think they will make the best-tasting bread. You need to add sugar to make the yeast happy and bubbling and salt to give the bread flavor. So it's 5 ingredients but the result is the best bread you will make at home.
- flour: Make sure you measure out flour the proper way. Do not dunk the measuring cup into the flour container, but use a spoon to scoop it out into the cup, then level off the top.
- slicing: Cool the bread completely before slicing or you will pull the crumb and the slices won't have the pretty air bubbles.
- garlic and herb: add minced garlic and fresh or dried herbs to the dough before rising.
- lemon and garlic: add citrus zest and minced or roasted garlic to the dough before rising.
- cranberries and nuts: add dried cranberries (or any fruit) and chopped nuts to the dough before rising. Orange zest would be great too!
Yes, honey or maple syrup can be used in place of sugar.
A dough made with active dry yeast rises slower, hence the overnight step. If you are using instant yeast, you can cut the rising time to even 2 hours. Watch the dough if it doubles in size. You will also need to use more of it, I suggest 1 teaspoon of instant yeast. The bread will taste the same, but the crumb won't have as many holes.
If the dough doesn't double in size after the rising time, it means the yeast is old and it didn't activate. Start over with a fresh batch of yeast. Also, make sure you measure out the flour properly.
Yes, bread flour or all-purpose flour can be used.
More easy bread recipes:
If you like this recipe and make it, let me know in the comments below! Don't forget to rate it if you enjoyed it!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 ½ cup warm water
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add water and stir just until incorporated. Do not overmix. The dough will be shaggy.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter, at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours. The dough will rise and have lots of air bubbles.
- The next day, lightly flour a piece of parchment paper. Place dough onto paper. With floured hands, shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap.
- Preheat oven to 450° F. Adjust rack to lower position. Place Dutch oven inside. Preheat for 30 minutes.
- When oven is ready, carefully place the parchment paper with dough inside the Dutch oven. Cover with Dutch oven lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake 7 to 10 minutes more or until the top is golden brown, has cracks.
- Carefully remove Dutch oven from oven. Remove parchment paper with bread and place on a wooden cutting board. Let cool completely.
- To measure out flour the proper way: do not dunk the measuring cup into the flour container, but use a spoon to scoop it out into the cup, then level off the top.
- If you are not sure if your yeast is still good, dissolve ¼ of a teaspoon of it in ½ cup of warm water. If it foams up, your yeast is still good!
- Cool the bread completely before slicing or you will pull the crumb and the slices won't have the pretty air bubbles.
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use calorie counter you are familiar with.
My dutch oven cover isn't oven proof,knob would melt.
Omg I have baked bread before but I don’t understand why this bread is so wet .. I couldn’t even handle it till I added almost a cup more of flour .. is this normal for this recipe…
Hi, Anna. What adjustments need to be made if I use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour? Thanks!
Hi Ed! Yep, you can use bread flour, the same amount as all-purpose. No adjustments are needed. The bread will have a more chewy texture. I hope this helps!
Have baked this bread 3 times and it comes out just like your picture. It is easy to bake, beautiful and delicious. Shared recipe with my two daughters and my brother . They also love it. Thank you for sharing it with us!
Lois Embry says
I love this bread and so do my grandchildren they even asked for the recipe!
I have made your no knead bread a few times. It always comes out good and crispy! It is a very easy recipe to follow!
I was wanting to know about refrigerating the dough. At what point would I put the dough in the refrigerator? The dough is currently sitting on the counter and rising. Do I let the dough sit on the counter for 18 to 24 hours and then put it in the refrigerator? Prior to the dough going into the refrigerator, what would I need to do to the dough...would I shape the dough into a ball and then
let it sit for another 24 hours or so (would this be considered the second rise?) Or do I just transfer the dough from countertop to refrigerator without doing anything to the dough.
When I am ready to bake the bread, what steps would be necessary for the refrigerator dough?
Thank you so much for your time!
Didn’t rise as much as I thought but it came out great and is delicious!
This will be a staple in my home. Extremely easy. I believe my stainless steel Dutch oven added to it.
I am so glad! Thank you so much, Lori!
Joe P. says
I like it. But I must admit that this is the first bread I've made outside of a bread machine. Most of the bread machine results received sympathy thumbs up. They often came out dense and with a texture that seemed lacking.
This recipe has had great results as far as flavor and an equaled desire to consume it. I've changed the recipe a couple times to see what would happen and the results again were good, but I will keep this recipe as a go-to since it's so simple. Thanks for supporting my novice interests.
That's fantastic! I am always happy to see how our readers experiment with the recipes. So glad you enjoyed the results! Thank you so much, Joe!
Sandy Stoffel says
I am Old School I like to Print My Recipes! I am New to making my Bread. I was able to Print the Recipe! But Was the Most Important I Couldn't PRINT the Helpful Hints, Variations.
I Want to Print the Helpful Hints and Vairations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Difference in Yeast this I dont Understand! How to Freeze is IMPORANT.
Being a 2 Person Family! I have a Dutch Oven!
I am 62 yrs old. I grew up with 13 brothers and sisters and my Husband had 18 brothers and sisters. We both grew up and butchered our Meat and Chickens but I Never learned how to Make Bread. LOL to many Kids, had to clean and make meals!
Sorry so windy But I Hate that things aren't easier for People Like Me that aren't good with Electronics My Work History is Building Mobile homes, Engine Valves and Combines, so I am Lost Doing This Kind of Stuff.
IF YOU COULD EMAIL ME HOW TO PRINT THE VARATIONS AND HELPFUL HITS I WOULD APPRICATE SO SO MUCH . MY NAME IS SANDY
Hi Sandy! I emailed you all the tips and variations. I hope it helps!
Erlene Johnson says
Everytime I make this bread it's burnt on the bottom real bad and always hard as a rock
Linda Zastawnik says
Can this be made in a 10" cast-iron skillet with a lid instead of Dutch oven?
My Dutch oven says not to preheat empty. What do you suggest?
Carol Reinhart says
I put several inches of water in the Dutch oven while preheating. Be careful pouring it out when ready to bake the bread as it will be boiling.
I made it with craisins and almond flavoring, then glazed with an almond glaze. Outstanding dessert bread!
Marcy h says
I don't have a dutch oven either. Would a high sided corning ware dish with a lid work?
Made this today and it was awesome. I’ve had rotor cuff surgery both arms and this is so much easier .
I am going to visit my Granddaughters for Christmas and going to teach them.
I like the comment about using starter instead of yeast . Thank you!
Best sensible No-Knead recipe I've tried and it's delicious. Thank you.
Excellent easy recipe. I’m amazed at the wonderful taste with so little effort.
I have made this 3 times. This last time my dough was very wet and sticky. Couldn’t get it to form a ball. Yeast I used was brand new, fresh date. I measured flour exactly. What could have happened?
All you need to do is add more flour, one tablespoon at a time until it is less wet and sticky. Even wet and sticky it will bake just fine but will be a bit more dense.
Jennifer Boyd says
This bread was incredibly easy and delicious. Will definitely bake it again!
Thank you so much, Jennifer!
How is the bread different when left to rise only 8 hours as opposed to overnight/for a day? I've only ever made it with a whole day rise, but my daughter just made it with an 8 hour rise. It looks the same - fantastic and she is giving it away so we won't know what it looks like inside or how it tastes. Hence, my question,
The longer you let it rise (up to 5 days in the fridge), the more it will taste like sourdough. The longer the rise deeper the flavor.
Linda Wilson says
It didn't rise at all. The yeast was new so it can't be that. I put it in the oven with the light on. Would that make it too hot to rise??
I have made regular bread before and have never had this issue.
I also put the plastic wrap on tight and then put a tea towel over that.
It happens that even with "new" yeast, the yeast is not good.
You can test your yeast very easily.
Get a glass measuring cup.
Fill it to 1/3 cup with nicely warm water. How warm? Use your hand as the water comes from the faucet. If it feels warm or quite warm, but NOT hot, then that's the warm we need.
Add 1 teaspoon of sugar, stir to dissolve.
Add 1 teaspoon active dry yeast. If you're using "cake"/fresh yeast, then use the equivalent to 1 tsp of active dry yeast.
Let the yeast dissolve for a around 15-20 seconds. Once all of the yeast gets hydrated, mixing it into the water will be easy. You can use a small whisk if needed.
Let the mixture sit.
Check it 10 minutes later.
If you see a nice foamy "head" with lots of bubbles, then your yeast is alive and well. Take a nice smell of it. Smelling bloomed/proofed yeast will let you know what wonderful aroma little yeast farts and belches give, and that adds wonderful flavor to bread and other baked goods using yeast.
If all you see is what it looked when you stirred in the yeast 10 minutes ago, then you need new yeast, cause that yeast is no longer alive and well.
Made this today and am in love with it. My question is can I use bread flour ? The center is dense which is fine but we like a lighter center. Thank you
I used bread flour and it came out perfectly.
Irene scott says
Without using a sourdough starter, why is this described as a dough bread recipe? I’m a newby to bread baking so I appreciate your clarification!
Hi Irene! You can certainly use a starter if you like. I like the simplicity of this recipe. That is the whole point.
I am trying to stay away from sugar. Would it still work if I replaced the sugar with honey or maple syrup?
I never tested it with honey or maple syrup so I can't guarantee the result but it should be fine. Let me know if you make it, Melissa!
Just as a general FYI: Honey and Maple Syrup ARE sugars. The idea is to feed the yeast. Doesn't take that much.
Are you suppose to stretch the plastic wrap tightly to seal contents so it can rise? It’s been 9 hours and I’m not seeing it doubled in size. I hadn’t covered tightly when I laid wrap on top of bowl overnight so I just now tightened it across the top to try and get dough to double.
Hi PJ! The dough should rise even if the bowl is not tightly wrapped. If it's not rising then it's probably the yeast. Did you use a new package or older one?
Hello! I was wondering if I could double the recipe for a larger loaf? Or perhaps that would negatively effect the bread? Thank you for your help! Really excited about this recipe!
I tried tripling the recipe and baking it in a large Dutch oven. Great results! That being said, I found that the taste developed quite a bit more when left to rise a second 24 hours or so in the refrigerator. It doesn’t have much taste when only allowed to rise once. That being said it is a fabulous bread both ways!
Thank you so much for letting me know, Kristiana! I am so glad it worked out!
Would this fit in a 4 quart Dutch? Or do you recommend I cut the ingredients in half?
maruquel rivera says
what size dutchoven should be used.
I recommend a 5-quart Dutch oven. Hope this helps!
I made this yesterday! Delicious!! First time ever making bread and this was soooo easy! This Recipe is a keeper!
Hi Toni! I am so happy to know you love this recipe! It's my favorite! Thank you!
I have made this with 1/4 cup of starter instead of yeast and it is marvelous. I usually make bread and pancakes or brownies since
I need to use one cup a week when I feed it.
Looking forward to making this - one query, what do you mean by 'shaggy'? (The dough will be shaggy)
Annie Miller says
I have made this bread in the past and last night, while preparing the mix, decided to add rosemary, thyme, and garlic. This morning, as it was baking, the aroma was amazing! couldn't wait for it to cool enough to eat that best-slice-end-of-the-loaf slathered with butter (don't judge me!). Fantastic! Would be great toasted with cheese, as garlic bread, or for a lovely sandwich!
This is the best, and my favorite site ever. Thanks, Anna!
Hi Annie!! I am so happy you made this bread! Isn't it just wonderful? I absolutely love your addition of rosemary, thyme and garlic. That sounds incredible! Thank you so much!! Have a beautiful week! -Anna
Definitely will try adding this!
Making bread is a memory that I share with Grandpa so I love this!
Awww, I love that! Thank you for sharing, Lauren!
Oh my goodness, this looks incredible! It's begging to be filled with soup!
Oooo! Yes! I love that idea. Thanks, Michelle!
This bread is a serious stunner! It looks crunchy on the outside, yet soft on the inside. Just how I like it!
Me too! So perfect! 😀 Thanks so much, Megan!
Sourdough is my absolute favorite bread -- I'm drooling just looking at these pictures!
Mine too! Thank you, Dee! 😀
I am TOTALLY making the starter for this bread tonight so I can bake it tomorrow. I am just LOVING this!
Woohoo! I love it! Let me know how you like it, Erin! 😀
Such a great recipe, and I am beyond excited to try it!
The crumb...the structure...the crust...that is one PERFECT loaf of bread!
This bread looks absolutely gorgeous! I love homemade bread!