Introduction: Easy No Knead Bread

Picture of Easy No Knead Bread

In this instructable, I will show you how to make a no knead bread. This easy no knead bread recipe has very few ingredients and is baked in a dutch oven. The dutch oven style of baking creates a super nice hard crust on the outside and leaves a nice soft middle on the inside. Go out there and make your own! If I can do it, you can do it! :) Let's get baking!

If you have any questions or comments, put them down below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Follow the easy steps below or watch the video tutorial or do both!

Step 1: Ingredients/Tools

Picture of Ingredients/Tools


  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour (360g)
  • 1 1/2 cups of water (355ml)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of salt (8g)
  • 1/8 tsp. of sugar or a pinch (less then 1 g)
  • 1/2 tsp. of active dry yeast or instant yeast (1.5g)

Helpful Tools:

  • Dutch Oven
  • Whisk
  • Wooden
  • Spoon
  • Plastic wrap
  • Parchment Paper
  • Oven Mitts
  • Fork

Step 2: Proof the Yeast

Picture of Proof the Yeast

First let's proof the yeast. To do this, we take our water and heat it up in the microwave or on the stove and get it to 105 to 115 degrees F., about 40 seconds in the microwave. Then we add our sugar which will provide a bit of food for the yeast. Next add our yeast and stir a bit with a fork. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast gets foamy. If it doesn't get foamy, start over! It means the yeast is bad, or the water was not hot enough or too hot.

Step 3: Prepare the Dough

Picture of Prepare the Dough

Next we prepare the dough. Add our salt to the flour and whisk it well. Then add the yeast mixture to our flour. Next stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until it all comes together and forms a dough, you won't need to stir very long. The dough will be kinda sticky and look like a mess. That is perfect! Cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit on a counter somewhere at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours.

Step 4: Check Dough

Picture of Check Dough

After 12 to 18 hours you will see little tiny bubbles on the top of the dough, and it will have risen quite a bit. Remove the plastic wrap and then take a bit of flour and dust your counter or table.

Step 5: Shape Dough

Picture of Shape Dough

Now we pour the dough out of the bowl, you will probably need to use your fingers to get the dough out. Dust the top of the dough with some flour, then fold the dough over on itself once or twice, then shape it into a ball. Use your hand and fingers and kind of tuck the dough underneath itself while turning, this is a good method for shaping the dough. It is easier to see on the video.

Step 6: Let Dough Rise

Picture of Let Dough Rise

Now take a bowl and add a big piece of parchment paper to it, then dust the bottom of it with some flour. Next place the dough in the bowl and then re-cover it with plastic wrap and then let the dough rise for 2 hours.

Step 7: Preheat the Oven and Dutch Oven

Picture of Preheat the Oven and Dutch Oven

Now we need to preheat our oven to 450 degrees F. or 232 C. We also place our dutch oven in the oven and let it heat up along with the oven. We want our dutch oven hot before putting our dough in it. Dutch ovens are awesome and super versatile. I have the Le Creuset brand, which is a pretty high end and expensive brand, but there are other cheaper ones out there. The Lodge I hear is a decent one as well. If you wind up getting one, make sure the handle can withstand temps up to 500 degrees. It will say in the description if it can.

Step 8: First Baking Phase

Picture of First Baking Phase

Once our oven is preheated and our dutch oven is also hot, use oven mitts to grab the dutch oven and place it on top of your stove. Then take the lid off, be careful it is hot!! Then grab the parchment paper and carry the dough over and lower it into the dutch oven. Then place the lid back on top. Again, be careful the lid and dutch oven will be super hot! Now place it in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Step 9: Second Baking Phase

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After 30 minutes take the dutch oven out of the oven and remove the lid, then put it back in the oven and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until it gets nice an golden brown on the top.

Step 10: Remove and Cool

Picture of Remove and Cool

Now we remove our bread from the dutch oven by grabbing ahold of the parchment paper, then carrying it over to a rack to cool. The paper might break, so you may need to grab a little lower, again use oven mitts! Then let your bread cool until you are ready to eat it! Yummy! It will have a nice crispy outer crust with a nice soft middle.

Step 11: Video Tutorial

Picture of Video Tutorial

Now check out those steps in action and watch the video tutorial!


aquascapist (author)2017-04-01

I've made this twice now and both came out great! I'm using a Lodge and it's not as deep as a true Dutch oven but I'm pleased. I plan to do this at least once a week. Thanks!

So awesome!!!! :) Glad you made it and liked it! :) Great to know your Lodge works just fine too!

Joerg Engels (author)2017-03-29


Thank you so much!!!!! :) :)

KnittersSerendipity (author)2017-02-27

I've been experimenting with a no knead bread with gluten free flour. Adding extra xyanthum gum (I was using Pamela's Artisan Gluten Free Flour Mix for 2/3 the flour and a mixture of Almond, Sorguhm, Potato Starch, Flax meal for the other third)and extra yeast. I have a Kitchen Aide, so I was able to mix all the flour in with the mixer. I proofed the bread twice in the mixing bowl, then turned it out into a greased stoneware casserole dish. Unfortunately, the bread did not raise much again. It was still a very hearty tasty bread. So, my lesson learned, after punching down and kneading after the first proof, put bread in baking dish, cover with damp cloth,put in 100 degree oven to raise. When just about doubled,bake in 375 oven.

Have you tried using the liquid from a can of beans? sounds crazy but it works like egg whites in most recipes. they call it "aquafaba" (because that sounds better than "bean goo")
Might add the protein you need to get the bread to rise. you might want to whip it into a merengue and fold it into the dough.

Very interesting idea!

Thank you for your comment!! :) I don't have hardly any experience making gluten free dishes, well except for the common dishes that are naturally gluten free. I do have an instructable on gluten and dairy free flaxseed muffins that I made with two of my nieces who are gluten free. Thanks for your tips!

I am still learning. The best teacher has been failure. Lots of tips for flour substitutes and how much to use, proper proportions, replacements for gluten, on Pinterest. Amazing source of information that leads to bloggers who have lots of experience to share.

I look forward to trying out your recipe this weekend!

Yep the best teaching experience comes from enrolling in the "School of Hard Knocks" haha. Let me know how it goes when you try it out! :)

OldElvis (author)2017-03-23

I have an Oval Dutch oven, does the cooking time change if I use one?

I haven't used an old camping style dutch oven so I can't say for sure, but the main thing would be to put it in right when you turn on the heat for the oven and let it heat up with the oven. I would say try it with the same times and see where that gets you. I am guessing it will be about the same. :)

ClaudioP34 made it! (author)2017-03-09

This is my last attempt. Same quantities as Matt's recipe (usually a bake a recipe based on 500g flour).

Looks good!! How did it taste??

It tasted great! It is already finished.

But as I said before, it is not the first time I baked this kind of bread, and my recipe has the same proportion between the ingredients as yours, just I usually bake on the base of 500g flour instead of 360g.

Awesome!!! :)

fixergeek1 made it! (author)2017-03-07

The bread came out great. I used a cast iron Dutch oven that we normally use for cooking over a camp fire, and it worked fine in the oven. Thanks, Matt!

David T-W

Davis, California

awesome!!! Glad you made it!! That is great to know the camping cast iron dutch oven works fine too! Now next time you go camping make the bread while camping! That would be so cool!

Anthony. (author)2017-03-02

Nice demo just a question others showing their demo's omit the sugar in their recipes...why don't you? Also, you did not show making slits on top of the dough before baking, and yet it certainly looked like you did. LOL

Thank you Anthony! Adding a pinch of sugar for the yeast to feed on is not entirely necessary, but the yeast sure does like it. That little bit of sugar is a good jump start for the yeast, but again, you can omit it if you like in this recipe. Nope I didn't make slits on the top of that bread, you certainly can if you like. Thanks again! :)

FrenchDavid50. (author)2017-02-28

Is there an advantage to making bread sans-kneading?

I mean how does it taste compared to kneaded bread?

I like both ways, the taste is phenomenal with the no knead version. Of course I don't have a problem with kneaded bread either! It is just nice to know how to do both. haha :)

Darthorso (author)2017-02-28

Nicely done!

Thank you so much!!

OneBirdieMa (author)2017-02-23

Excellent! This is the best description of proving yeast I've come across, and the first "no knead" recipe that has seemed reasonable to me, if only because the ingredients are very close to what I use per loaf for a mega-huge batch of boules I turn out about once a month. The one thing I do differently is use between 1/8th and 1/4th whole wheat flour in place of the all purpose (white) flour. (The attached picture is of the loaves turned out one morning some time back.) I've scanned the most recent comments and want to make two points with respect to the sugar and salt components: The bread can be made with no sugar at all, BUT a pinch (or a little more) of sugar primes the proof, so to speak; this little amount is consumed by the yeast as it ramps up its business of leavening the bread. As for making it with NO salt, unless you have a special flour or liquid to use, use at least a small amount of salt because it is necessary for the process of the growth of the yeast. Thanks, Matt!

Wow those loafs look amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! Yeah even if a recipe doesn't call for adding a pinch of sugar for the yeast, I still do it, haha. Great idea to add some whole wheat flour as well! Did you score the top of those loafs? it looks like you may have, I don't always do it.

Sorry to be so slow in replying. Yes, I slash those loaves. They are baked at 490 degrees so the outside hardens fast -- and how else to allow the insides to continue to expand and cook! My husband gave me a very fancy lame a couple of Christmases ago but I'm afraid I just use a very sharp knife and have at it on each and every one! One day maybe I'll get to doing an 'ible on the making . . . . hah! Is there an 'ible about stretching time???? I am going to try your loaf when (not if, cause it always happens) I run out of the boules in my frozen stash. Thanks again.

No problem!! That would be nice to learn how to stretch time! hahaha

jimvandamme (author)2017-02-27

I use a corning ware pot with a glass lid. Works OK, and the bread doesn't stick.

Very nice!

charlesian2000 (author)2017-02-26

If you remove the yeast, and knead for 1-2 minutes you would have damper.

I am not familiar with damper, I had to google it just now. That is awesome! I will have to make some!

fixergeek1 (author)2017-02-23

The only dutch oven I have is a cast iron one designed for camping and using with hot coals in a camp fire. Is there any reason not to use it in the oven to bake this bread?

mikecz (author)fixergeek12017-02-24

Your old style dutch OVEN with legs on the bottom and a dished down cover to put more coals above whatever you're cooking will absolutely work for this and similar recipes! That was the whole idea of it - to provide an oven-like cooking environment under primitive conditions. Remember that, until the 1800's when wood and coal burning kitchen "ranges" became available with built in ovens, an oven was, almost world wide, a large brick or stone community built and maintained thing. The Dutch oven like yours gave pioneers, hunters, trappers, homesteaders, and cowboys (amoungst others) a way to boil, braise, stew, and BAKE foods. Still works!

Awesome!! :)

MediaMarc (author)fixergeek12017-02-23

None at all, works just as well!

Awesome thanks for replying!

I haven't tried it! I say try it! :) And next time you go camping try and make some bread while camping, using that dutch oven! Might be hard to keep the temperature constant, but I am sure it has been done before.

NarkR (author)2017-02-23

My question got deleted - This looks delicious!!! is there another way to bake this bread without a Dutch Oven?

Mike has some great ideas! I was thinking about this, I had the luxury of getting my dutch oven for free and didn't have to buy it, which is awesome because that one is like $299. The lodge brand has it for around $60. I wonder if a cast iron skillet, covered with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes, then uncovered for the remaining time would work. You really need it covered, because as the bread bakes it causes steam which helps bake the bread, and develop the awesome crust, then of course the final time uncovered polishes off that crust. Unfortunately this is all in theory, I have only used my dutch oven. :)

I did not tried by myself, but the friend that gave me the recipe says that everithing that can be covered works. He even uses a piece aluminium foil to cover a deep pan and says it works well.

Matt, your dutch oven is much more expensive than in Europe! Even in Italy, Le Creuset is an expensive brand but not SO expensive! But the quality is awesome (it will last for a lifetime).

I know mine was super expensive! Luckily I got it for free. haha :) I looked on amazon and here in the US, Lodge is a brand that is popular, especially for the camping dutch ovens, but they make an enameled cast iron one as well for the kitchen for only like $60, which is far cheaper then the Le Creuset one, again though I am super happy with mine, and yes it will last a lifetime, literally haha it came with a lifetime warranty! haha

mikecz (author)NarkR2017-02-23

A 5 qt. or larger cast iron chicken fryer works just as well as the Dutch oven. You could also use a baking stone or pizza stone or baking steel, but your loaf will be flatter. Cheapest way is to "pave" your oven rack with a 2 x 2 or 2 x 3 grid of 6" quarry tiles - those reddish brown tiles often seen in public restrooms and commercial kitchens, and use these as a makeshift baking stone.

Great ideas Mike!

bsorli (author)2017-02-23

Noticed not much sugar in this bread besides what's added to yeast during activation stage, what does the bread taste like or compare with?

I have always had the impression that sugar was necessary for flavor and maybe why I have many problems making bread using too much sugar. Would like some feedback and thanks for the tutorial!

ClaudioP34 (author)bsorli2017-02-23

I tried for two years now an identical recipe (even, I have the same Dutch oven!): the sugar is needed only to activate the yeast. The recipe is really as super-easy as Matt shows and the result is tasting great, like a white bread. I'm in Italy, this recipe compares well against some white-floor bakery breads.

If you like, you can even avoid salt, to have it tasting like the centre-Italy breads (that are without salt, for funny historical reasons).

spark master (author)ClaudioP342017-02-23

you do not need the sugar to start the yest if it is good yeast and dried. I freeze mine, for years. You might stir in a bit of flour and make the water very warm. Sugar is much faster though.

Now please tell me why central Italian breads have no salt!!! (email is fine) I have never heard of this. But most of my ancestry is from Rome south!


ClaudioP34 (author)spark master2017-02-24

Yes, breads from Umbria (the bread of Terni is a famous one), in the south part of Tuscany, and in general the central part of Italy that was under the Kingdom of the Church before the unification of Italy are without salt.

That is because there was a tax on the salt, and the salt was produced only in few saltworks near the sea (there are not salt mines in central Italy). So, since the salt was a very expensive good, in the towns far from the sea it was used only for cured ham and "salumi", and not, or just a pinch, for the bread. While in the city of Rome and in the area south of Rome (the Roman Castles, where the pope had the summer palace, and still have) the tax was not applied, so the bread baked in Rome and in the area of the Castles is traditionally with salt (there were two saltworks near Rome, under the direct control of the pope).

In Tuscany too, there were few saltworks and the salt was mainly imported, so it was even more expensive.

South of Rome, Naples and south of Italy were under the Kingdom of Sicily, and there was not such a tax, plus there were many saltworks, so the salt was much cheaper and the bread was made with more salt.

Very interesting! That is awesome such a cool History! Thanks for sharing Claudio!

About This Instructable




Bio: Hello and Welcome to In the Kitchen With Matt. I am your host Matt Taylor. My goal for the show is to teach you how ... More »
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