This no-knead bread recipe is my favorite when I’m looking for quick and easy artisan bread I can make with minimal effort. Flavorful, simple, and friendly for bakers of all levels, this quick and easy no-knead bread recipe delivers on all fronts.
Easiest No-Knead Bread Recipe
While you’ll find several no-knead artisan bread recipes on the internet, this is one recipe that I find myself coming back to over and over again.
It’s the kind of recipe I can share with anyone who has flour, water, salt, yeast, and an oven-friendly baking pan/sheet.
While other recipes, like a dutch oven no-knead bread recipe, may give you a beautiful crusty bread, the reality is that many people actually don’t own a dutch oven.
Baking bread in a dutch oven gives you that super crusty exterior, but I’m here to tell you that you can still achieve a crusty bread recipe without a dutch oven, thanks to this fuss-free, quick no-knead bread recipe.
Before we delve into why this is the easiest no-knead bread recipe or one of the best no-knead bread recipes, it’s important to explain what no-knead actually means.
Kneading bread dough is the act of massaging the dough, or working the dough as you’ll often hear bakers say, to develop the gluten content in the dough.
The gluten is what provides structure and texture in bread. In most bread recipes, it’s a crucial step for getting a really great bread dough.
With a no-knead bread recipe like this, you’re essentially skipping this step. This is why a no-knead bread dough will never quite have the same structure, texture, or flavor of a well-kneaded, developed bread dough.
But, does that mean you still can’t have a great piece of bread? Not in my opinion.
In fact, you kind of have to know what you’re doing when you’re kneading dough anyway. If you don’t knead it the right way, then you’re really not contributing anything valuable to the dough. In fact, you may even harm it by over-kneading it and developing too much gluten.
That’s why I love sharing this no-knead bread recipe when someone is a novice bread baker and looking to make a simple rustic bread recipe.
To make this quick crusty bread recipe, you’ll need some all-purpose flour and salt, and then a combination of yeast, water, and honey.
Honey isn’t always a standard bread ingredient. Sometimes in recipes where you need to activate yeast, you’ll find some granulated sugar or nothing other than the water itself.
Basically yeast feeds on sugar, as sugar activates its growth. For a quick no-knead bread recipe like this, we need all the help we can get to get things going so we can have a quick and yummy bread!
As the yeast feeds on the sugar and starches in bread dough, it will release carbon dioxide and cause the dough to expand and, consequently, give our bread a nice spongy, airy texture.
For this recipe, the yeast is activated in warm water (a classic step of bread-making) and the honey for the extra help.
To activate yeast, you typically want to use water that measures 105°F to 110°F. If you have a digital thermometer, this is the most accurate way to measure that your water is the perfect temperature.
If you don’t have a thermometer, then you’ll want to dip your finger into the water and test its warmth by touch. If you can comfortably hold your finger in the warm water for longer than 5 seconds, then it’s probably fine.
If the water feels too hot to do that, then you’ll need to way a little bit for it to cool down as the super hot water will kill your yeast. If the water feels too cool to the touch rather than warm, then you’ll have a hard time activating your yeast.
So, let’s say you’ve added your water and honey to the yeast, then let it rest five minutes to properly activate. How do you know it’s actually been activated and viable?
Well, you’ll want to look for a mixture that is frothy and bubbly in appearance. Remember, yeast feeds off sugar and gives off carbon dioxide. So there should be small bubbles.
If your mixture just looks murky rather than having any kind of froth or bubbles, then you’ll want to start over.
At the end of the day, the reason most people look for a no-knead bread recipe is because they’re looking for easy bread.
There are artisan bread makers who love to spend hours nurturing their bread dough, feeding it, loving it, and creating carb masterpieces. And then there are those who prefer to leave the bread making to their local bakeries.
Even though I love making a well-kneaded bread dough from scratch, that doesn’t mean I’m always in the mood to spend hours on my bread.
I totally understand why people don’t like making bread. It requires patience, a bit of exact precision, and most of all, if you don’t own a stand mixer or other special equipment, it can require a serious arm workout.
But have you ever had a fresh loaf of crusty bread from the oven? It’s just like stepping into a French boulangerie and ripping off a piece of warm baguette; you hear the tear of the crisp crust and then taste the airy texture of the fluffy interior.
It’s perfection, really. That being said, I still may not have convinced you it’s worth the wait and fuss of making a traditional baguette or loaf of bread, but I’m sure this next sentence will.
The no-knead bread recipe I’m sharing today will have you eating a fresh, homemade loaf of rustic bread within an hour and a half, including only 10 minutes of prep work, 1 hour of “rising” time for the bread (where you do nothing), and then 25 minutes for the bread to bake.
Oh, and did I mention there’s no kneading involved and it’s pretty much foolproof for any beginner baker?
This no-knead bread recipe yields one small loaf, making it the perfect accompaniment to a small dinner or lunch. It’s also really easy to add different flavorings, whether it’s olive oil and rosemary, or cinnamon and raisins.
Tips for Making No-Knead Bread:
- When you’re proofing bread dough, which is simply letting the bread dough rest and rise, you’ll want to create a warm environment for your dough. To do this, cover the bread bowl with a damp kitchen towel, turn on your oven’s warm setting for 30 seconds, then turn off the oven. Place the bread dough in this warm, draft-free environment to rise in.
- The bread dough will be incredibly sticky after it has risen. To keep from fussing with the sticky dough and ruining any nice air bubbles that have formed, flour your hands and your baking pan really well before handling the dough.
- Be very gentle when you shape your dough on your baking sheet. This is a quick and simple step of simply patting the sides of the dough in so that it either forms a round mound or a longer oval shape. Don’t fuss too much as you don’t want to burst any of the air bubbles that formed during proofing.
- 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 warm water , 105°F - 110°F (see note)
- 1 ½ tsp honey
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- To a large bowl, add the all-purpose flour and salt. Mix together to combine. Temporarily set aside.
- Fill a measuring cup with the warm water. The water should measure 105°F to 110°F - test with a digital thermometer or see note at the end of recipe card.
- Add the honey and stir to dissolve. Then add in the active dry yeast and give it one gentle stir. Let this mixture rest for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the mixture should look frothy (like a cappuccino) and bubbly. If it doesn't, this means your yeast is old or you didn't activate the yeast properly (water was too cold or too hot). Start over with new yeast and the correct temperature of water.
- Create a well in the center of your bowl of flour, then pour the yeast mixture into this well. Use a wooden spoon to stir everything together and create a sticky, lumpy dough.
- Cover the bowl of dough with a damp kitchen towel. Turn on the oven’s warm/hold setting for 30 seconds before turning the oven off. Place the dough in the oven and let it rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. This may take up to an hour and a half if you are in a relatively cool environment.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat on your baking sheet. If you have neither, give your sheet a light grease. Dust the sheet, paper or mat with some flour. Take the dough out of the oven, and preheat the oven to 430°F.
- Dust your hands with flour and gently transfer the risen dough to your prepared baking sheet. Be as careful as you can when you're scooping the dough out of the bowl and transferring it so that you don't disturb the wonderful air bubbles that have formed in the dough. Gently pat and shape the dough into more of an oval shape or round shape on the sheet. Don't fuss too much. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough for an artisan effect.
- Bake the loaf for 15 minutes at 430°F on an upper rack, then reduce the heat to 320°F and bake for another 10 minutes.
If you don't have a digital thermometer, you'll want to use your finger to help you gauge the temperature of the water. If you can comfortably hold your finger in the warm water for longer than 5 seconds, then it's probably the right temperature. If it doesn't feel warm, then it's probably too cool. If it feels hot, like you want to pull your finger out of the water after a couple of seconds, then you'll need to let the water slightly cool as it will kill your yeast if it's too hot.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 loaf
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1068