The Most DELICIOUS No-Knead Artisan Bread (White, Whole Wheat, or Gluten Free Flour)

Bread, glorious bread!  Why is it such a pain to make?  Pain no more...… No knead bread is a gamechanger.  And no knead bread baked in a dutch oven is the PERFECT combination of crunchy exterior and light, airy and chewy interior.  It's soooooo good.

This is probably the easiest recipe you'll ever make.  There is very little actual hands-on work, no kneading at all (hence the title), no special ingredients, bakes in under an hour, and is super easy to clean up.  A win-win-win!

The Flour
I've baked this as 4 different versions:

  • White Flour (I used this flour) - super crispy crust, light and airy interior with perfect air pockets
  • White Whole Wheat Flour (I used this flour) - super crispy crust, did not get as puffy as the other flours so when I baked it, it was a bit smaller than all the other loaves.  It did not have many air pockets resulting in a much denser bread, and was a tad bitter & wheaty as 100% whole wheat typically is.
  • 2 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour + 1 Cup White A/P Flour (I used the 2 flours listed above) - super crispy crust, rose about the same as the white flour loaf.  This version had less air pockets than the white flour loaf but more than the 100% whole wheat flour loaf resulting in a fairly dense loaf.  It was wheaty but I didn't find it bitter at all, it seemed a bit more rounded of a flavor.
  • Gluten Free Flour (I used this flour) - a nice crispy crust and light and fairly airy interior although did seem a bit gummy.  It seemed to rise the same as the white flour loaf and was approximately the same size loaf when baked.  The flavor wasn't quite the same as the white flour bread.

Regardless of which you select, it will be easy and delicious.

The Water
Often with bread recipes you use a warmer water which encourages a quicker rise.  In this case, because you want the dough to rise and develop slowly, allowing for more flavor and air pockets, it calls for room temp water.

The Plastic Wrap
You don't have to use plastic wrap to cover the bowl but if you have it, it helps with retaining the warmth in the bowl.  This dough won't rise too terribly much so as long as your bowl is slightly oversized there is no worry about the plastic coming in contact with the dough.

On to the recipe!

The Most DELICIOUS No-Knead Bread 
Makes: 1 loaf
Mixing time: 5 minutes or less
Rising time: 12-18 hours

3 cups all-purpose flour (*see above for flour info)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cups room temperature water

Mix the dough: 12-18 hours before you will be baking the bread, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and yeast until well blended.  Stir in the water until blended.  Dough will be scraggly.  (if you feel more water is needed, add a tablespoon or two more water and blend in).  Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature (ideally around 70 degrees) for 12-18 hours, or until surface starts to form small bubbles. (I would let the whole wheat version sit closer to 18 hours if you can)

Prep to bake: When you're about ready to bake, place an empty 6 or 8 quart covered dutch oven into the oven.  Turn oven on to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and set your timer for 30 minutes.  It will take a half hour to completely preheat both the oven and the dutch oven.

Pour dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold/shape dough into a ball.  (I folded it under itself)  Let sit, covered with the plastic wrap, until the oven and dutch oven are ready.  Cut off a piece of parchment paper a bit larger than the loaf.

Bake:  When the oven and dutch oven are ready, remove the plastic wrap from the dough and transfer the dough to the parchment paper.  With a sharp knife, cut a couple of slashes into the very top surface of the dough (should not penetrate the dough very deep).  With pot holders, remove the dutch oven from the oven VERY CAREFULLY IT IS INCREDIBLY HOT.  Remove the lid, and, grabbing a hold of the parchment paper, carefully lower the dough and parchment into the dutch oven, so the parchment is lining the dutch oven.  **Be careful not to touch the pan**.  Cover with the lid (using your pot holders) and place back in oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover pan and bake another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

*As difficult as it will be, allow to sit at room temperature to cool at least 45 minutes to an hour.  If you slice into it before it cools the interior will be gummy.*

Store leftovers (if you have any) at room temperature in a covered container or bag.  The crust may lose it's crispiness but it will still taste amazing.

To make rolls: pour dough onto a floured surface and cut in half.  If making hoagie-style rolls, cut each half in half giving you 4 rolls.  Roll into an elongated roll (remember they rise as they bake).  If making round rolls (dinner rolls, burger buns, etc.), cut each half into 3-4 pieces, depending on how large you would like the rolls to be.  Roll in your floured palms to create balls.

Allow to sit, covered with plastic wrap or a towel, while you heat the oven and dutch oven as noted in the recipe.  You may have to bake these in batches.  Follow recipe at the "bake" instructions, including placing the rolls on a piece of parchment, allowing for space to rise during baking.

Bake for 15 minutes covered and 7 minutes uncovered.

To make pizza: Follow above instructions through "mix the dough".  When you're ready to create the pizzas, preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare pizza sheets or baking sheets with a piece of parchment paper.  Using a well floured counter, pour dough out and cut in half.  If you would like larger pizzas, roll out each half to create the size of pizza crust you desire.  If you prefer smaller personal pizzas, cut each half in half, giving you 4 pizza crusts.  Roll out to desired size.  Transfer pizza crust to the prepared pan.  Add sauce, cheese, and/or other toppings as desired.  Bake 9-14 minutes, or until crust is golden.  If you would like, turn on broiler at the end of the baking time to brown and crisp the toppings.  Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board and slice into pieces.

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  1. Sounds and looks delicious! Thank you for offering a gf version as well!

  2. Your bread looks fabulous.....the no knead bread is great...and I agree those cast iron dutch ovens are so HOT.... you have to have your wits about you when putting the bread in that's for sure. Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  3. What was the gluten-free dough texture like? I have attempted to make bread like this with my GF flour (Bob's 1-1, same ingredients as the one you posted), and it ALWAYS turns into a heavy dough ball with texture similar to sugar cookie dough. I have wasted so much money trying to create GF artisan bread and would love to give this a whirl, but am saddened by how much it'll break my bank if it doesn't turn out :-(

    1. I'm trying the GF version now for a Christmas gift. It seems okay (haven't baked yet) but it doesn't seem to react very much to the yeast. I'm wondering if the Bob's 1-1 flour and perhaps gf flour in general, I should have added a tsp of sugar to help the yeast grow. I will likely try this next time I have the urge to bring my celiac's co-worker a treat.

    2. If you think of it, could you let me know if the sugar does in fact help with the gf version? Thanks so much!

    3. I add sugar xanthan gum sea salt olive oil it came good just a little bit dense because don’t have gluten

  4. Thank you Staci for the great bread recipe. I made it yesterday following your detailed instructions and my loaf turned out beautifully. I used a vintage Le creuset cast iron casserole dish that was my MIL’s and it was the perfect size. 👏😊

  5. Karen - I'm so happy you enjoyed it! And so much more special to use your MIL's dish. :)

    Unknown - the gluten free version I found to be a bit denser but not a cookie dough type texture. GF is definitely challenging....

  6. I followed the recipe for some reason after rising for 16 hours, it was very soft and couldn’t fold or take any shape. Is there something I’m doing wrong? Thanks!

  7. Hi Wen - that is exactly the correct consistency. It doesn't take a lot of shape. You can certainly dust it with flour and turn and fold it a few times if you are trying to get a specific shape but if you just want to put it on parchment and place it into the heated dutch oven it will be fine. I hope this helps!

  8. Hi, what about 100 whole wheat flour?.
    Thanks Debbie.

    1. Hi Debbie - I used King Arthur 100% white whole wheat flour and it was fine using the exact same amount as the recipe states. As noted in the flour overview, it was denser but worked out well. I hope this helps!

  9. What can I use instead of a dutch oven

    1. MommaG - while I have not used this specific recipe this way, I am sure it would work baking it on a parchment lined baking sheet or pizza stone. To get the crisp crust you will have to add steam with an empty pan/roaster on the bottom rack, preheated with the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and add 1 cup of water to it before you put the dough in the oven. You can follow my refrigerator no-knead bread recipe baking instructions (look for the oven baking directions not the crockpot baking) here: I hope this helps!

  10. Can you freeze the dough or bread after it is baked

    1. Hi there! I don't think the dough would freeze well only because it's such a long rise time, but the baked bread might. I've never tried either so I'm just not sure. If you do try either, I'd love for you to let me know how it goes!

  11. I'm so glad I stopped by your blog -- my housemate showed me how to make this bread a few years ago, but I guess she took the recipe with her when she left, and I've been wanting to try it again. Thanks to you, I will be baking one of these loaves very soon!


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