Picture of 4-Hour No-Knead bread.
There are many good bread Instructables already, but when making bread, you can never have too many fail-safe techniques, and this recipe works almost every time.


This is a four-hour process; you need that much time to let the dough rise. I like to throw it together while snacking on lunch, and then when I get home after school it is ready to throw in the oven.

My recipe differs from most no-knead recipes in that you do not drop it it into a heated pan. I changed the recipe because I had too many burns from handling a bread pan at 400+ degrees, and one of my Pyrex dishes shattered on me when I accidentally set the edge of it on a wet washcloth.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial and the resulting mouthwatering delicious bread.

Step 1: Materials.

Picture of Materials.

To make good bread, you need good flour. Flour which is marked "bread flour" typically has 11-12% protein (gluten) which is higher than normal flour. This allows the loaf to have good structure and texture. You can cut cheaper white flour with bread flour if you don't have enough of either.

If you are in Germany, type 550 flour works well. Thanks t.rohner and stryke!

I use yeast from a Polish market. While you can buy Fleischmann's yeast from the supermarket, it is really expensive, especially in packets. If you have access to an Eastern European or Balkan market, often they sell 1lb bags of yeast for just a few dollars, a huge savings over the grocery store stuff. You need a small spoonful, the amount is not critical.

I use sea salt, but you can use any kind of salt. Salt adds flavor and slows the growth of yeast slightly. I like to put about half a spoonful in.

You need a bake-proof container with a lid (the lid saves you from having to use foil every time and results in a more consistent crust). I got my Pyrex baking dish (visible in Step 7) at a local thrift store for just a few dollars. It is really the perfect dish for this kind of thing

3 cups flour.
Some salt. (see picture 2)
Some yeast. (see picture 2)
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acrollet6 years ago
Just tried this for the first time - turned out delicious, crust was perfect! The crumb is perhaps a small bit denser than I would prefer, do you have any suggestions for making it rise a little more? I may have gotten a little too much water in the dough, perhaps that was the culprit... Used bread flour and one packet of quick-rise yeast. Thanks very much for the excellent tutorial!
jradi acrollet6 years ago
One of the best loaves I've ever made, and I've made a LOT of bread! The crust was amazing. I let the loaf rise for almost 12 hours (because I forgot about it) and it still came out wonderful.
acajjou jradi4 years ago
At what point can you let it go longer - during the "four hour rise"? Should you refrigerate at any point during a longer time period? And after the longer rise do you follow the directions the same way you would if you had only let it rise 4 hours?
(I'd like some bread for tomorrow's dinner, but it's way too late to do the entire process tonight!)

You can let the dough rise for 18 hours (see Jim Lahey's book on bread baking). He uses only 1/4 tsp of yeast.

jradi acajjou4 years ago
It's a very forgiving recipe. I let the initial rise go for 12 hours, then followed through with the rest of the recipe without changing anything. Actually, that's my new routine. I mix it up in the morning before work. I come home between 8-10 hours later and do the last few steps and bake it. Beautiful dinner.
acajjou jradi4 years ago
Thanks, jradi - I'll try that tomorrow morning. :)
daniel_reetz (author)  acajjou4 years ago
I've never tested such a long rise time, so I am super glad to see this great experience/advice coming from my friend jradi. :)

Also, great shot, acrollet.

You can actually go quite a while and it still tastes great. Here's pretty much the same recipe, with it rising for14-20 hours!

acajjou jradi4 years ago
It worked perfectly and tasted the same as when I've done it with just 4 hours. I think I have a new bread baking routine in the works!
daniel_reetz (author)  jradi6 years ago
w00t! Great news! And interesting, it seems from your comments and others that you can leave this stuff overnight and still get great results. Awesome.
Forgot to mention - I used a crockpot insert w/ pyrex lid, and it worked great. Used an oven thermometer to make sure I was baking at 450. (had to turn the dial a little over 475)
daniel_reetz (author)  acrollet6 years ago
Thanks! Actually, just today I tried calibrating my oven -- the knob is off by ten degrees. I don't have a good suggestion for getting the crumb to be less dense... have you had any luck since?
I have had some success actually - just last night I re-tried the recipe with these ingredients: 3 cups bread flour 1 tsp. yeast 1.5 tsp salt 1.5 cups water with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar mixed in I stirred a bit longer at the beginning to develop the gluten some more, but otherwise followed your recipe to the letter. I was very happy with the result, the crumb has the airier, springier texture that I really like. Added bonus: it's still fresh and good right now, 24 hrs after I took it out of the oven. Here's a pic:
daniel_reetz (author)  acrollet6 years ago
Very interesting! I'm going to try that right now. Thanks!
great!! I'll be really curious to hear how it turns out for you, be sure to post :)
daniel_reetz (author)  acrollet6 years ago
I screwed it up by forgetting it in the oven too long. :O I'll have to try it again. :)
drmike-s29 days ago

I've used Jim Lahey's technique for a long time, but it calls for an 18 hour rise + preheating a dutch oven. It's great that you can get such a beautiful loaf after a four hour rise with no preheating.

WoundedEgo made it!7 months ago

It came out light and fluffy on the inside with a delightfully crunchy turtle shell exterior. Perfect!

I made it in my Rompfertof cloche, pictured.


Dear WoundedEgo,

Can you share some other recipes for the Rompertof clay cookers? I have two of them and I never know what to use them for. The only thing I've done so far is a whole chicken.

I thought you had to slowly warm up the Roemertopf. You put it in the 450 degree oven and it survived? Did you soak it first?

I am tickled pink to see there is another Roemertopf fan out there.

wei.ting.9635 months ago
Hi, I've just done NYT dough n waiting for proofing n chance upon yours. May I know what is the difference difference between yours and NYT That shortened your proofing time to only 4hr? The smashing part? Thank you.
imdehaas6 months ago

This is amazing! I just finished it. Super simple, but don't let that fool you, the flavor is amazing.

WoundedEgo7 months ago

New or old doesn't matter. a drop of liquid on it at high temp and it breaks, whether it is glass or stone. Don't let juices overflow above glass or stone!

I have been making this bread about twice a week since our bread machine bit the dust. It's so good and so easy that I think I may just not bother buying a new machine. Great instructable, thank you.

Thank you for this. It looks good, I'll try it.
The bonus for me? Of all things, the picture with the old Presto timer, c. 1968???
I have one in excellent condition and I use it all the time. I love that thing!

First time making bread went ok I think
photo-2014-11-10, 4:56 PM.jpg
Poogle1 year ago

Just made this today with Five Roses all-purpose flour (Montreal pride!) to feed my band at practice.

Worked a charm. Very pleasant simple bread. I wanted to put salty things on it because it had a very clean plain taste to it- upon rereading I see that you recommended adding salt on top, and I think I'd do that next time.

as for this Instructable I love how free you are with the measurements of yeast, salt and water. It brought me into it.

mazmal1 year ago

Thank you. I made this today. My very first bread making experience.

anjchang1 year ago

This recipe is way easier than the easy New York Times No-Knead recipe. My dough was a little mushy so I added some oatmeal and more flour. It came out awesome. Thanks for figuring out how to avoid preheating the pot. ;)

Wow, It's been awhile for this post, but I just found it.  I'm waiting to put the dough in the oven.  My dough doesn't look as firm as yours but we'll see what comes out. 

Also,  clean browned pyrex with a baking soda paste.  I like to buy vintage pyrex  at flea markets and antique stores.  Does the trick.  Thanks for the recipe. 
Nice recipe =) I'm going to try it as soon as I can. Thanks for sharing.
nadialtbr2 years ago
I tried it today!!! tastes great. I had a hard time with the "shaggy" consistency, I wanted to knead it so bad :)

I'll def. try again. Thank you for posting.
Ladyflyer2 years ago
I love this simple bread. Change it up with herbs and olive oil, or honey, cinnamon. Great easy recipe.
narf72 years ago
WOW! What a generous instructable this is along with a wonderful free PDF. I can't begin to thank you enough for your wonderful generosity. I wish there were more people like you here :). Cheers for making my day
khombi3 years ago
Good recipe.made two loafs, 1 white 1 w,meal. White loaf was excelent w,meal was a disaster ,any susgestions, Chris
daniel_reetz (author)  khombi3 years ago
You'll probably need to use a smaller amount of meal and increase the rise time substantially (probably double it). It can be done but you need the gluten to develop more.
Thank you, was wondering how long can you store w/meal flour,does it go off after a period of time,i store mine in a large plastic tub with a lid, i have noticed that the last time i used it ,it had a strong sour smell and it did not rise very well at all. i have had this w/meal flour now for at least 6 mths in this container regards Chris.....
khombi3 years ago
excelent recipe.first loaf turned out as good as a store bought loaf. Tried out wholemeal, half white ,half w,meal but it was a disaster, would not rise .any one know why !.not the first time this has happened to me even when i use the normal method of two rises and using a proper bread tin.Help please .Chris
khombi3 years ago
Wonderful way to make your own bread, will definately try the water in the oven to help it rise.The first loaf turned out better than store bought bread, the wife loved it and so did i.We ate the lot in one meal.Chris
I tried your recipe today. I gave it a shot in my dutch oven. I think that I added too much water (still only about 1 1/3 c.) because the loaf kept wanting to spread out instead of rising up. I also misted a little bit of water on it before I baked it. The crust was really nice and had some nice little bubbles in it. It tasted alright. I didn't add enough salt though. I don't usually use salt when I'm cooking, so I only added a little bit. My housemates loved it, so it wasn't a complete failure. I think it'll take a little toying with, but I'm sure this has potential.

I forgot to take a picture of the first loaf, but I mixed up another batch of dough and threw it in the fridge for tomorrow. I made sure to leave it a little drier for the second go. I also added more salt. I'll post back when the second loaf comes out of the oven. Hopefully I can get a picture before my housemates polish it off. Thanks for the recipe!
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