This easy no-knead Dutch oven artisan bread is absolutely delicious! The inside is light, soft, and generally perfect, while the outside is crispy, crusty, and chewy - it's everything you could want in a good loaf!
Is there anything better than the smell of freshly baked bread? Contrary to what the industry tells us - it's easy to bake good bread at home.
Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in March 2015 and updated in August of 2020 with new photos and recipe tips.
📃 Why it Works
This no-knead recipe means that you don't have to get your hands all messy and sticky - it's the most hands-off dough ever! You make the dough, let it sit, and then bake it - easy as pie! Much simpler and faster to make than sourdough bread.
I believe that baking bread is something that everybody should try at least once, especially this no-knead recipe. Homemade food tastes so much better than store-bought!
And such fresh loaf, we can hardly hold back. The smell coming out of the oven, the crackling sound when you take it out - as if it were whispering to you: Eat me!
We are, of course, happy to comply with the request. Bread is best when still slightly lukewarm. A good piece of butter and mmmm.
The smell of freshly baked bread is the epitome of comfort for me. The crusty outside and soft insides of this artisan loaf remind me of the happy times from back home.
There is that familiarity when biting into it - almost like my teeth remembered the times they sank into the warm freshness on my way home from the small local bakery. You can see why this is my favorite bread recipe.
🛒 Ingredients and Notes
You don't need anything much to make this recipe (only four ingredients!) - it's cheap, cheerful, and delightfully simple!
- All-purpose flour - You could also use bread flour. It will yield a slightly different texture.
- Instant yeast - This yeast doesn't have to be activated ahead of time like some other yeast types. If you have to, activate by mixing it with a pinch of sugar and a few tablespoons of water before adding other ingredients.
- Room-temperature water - Meaning lukewarm.
You will also need a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with a lid.
WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE A DUTCH OVEN?
You can use a cast-iron skillet or heavy metal round cake pan. Because you can't cover it, the bread will come out a little darker.
The method here is remarkably simple but slightly different from most regular bread recipes so that you can avoid kneading the bread.
*Keep scrolling to get the full (printable) recipe, ingredient amounts, and more tips, or click on the "Skip to Recipe" button at the top of the page.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast.
- Add the water and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. The dough will be sticky.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Let it sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours.
- Turn the dough out onto a heavily floured surface and shape it into a ball. Cover and let rest - meanwhile, heat your Dutch oven with the lid in 450 F preheated oven for 30 min.
- Place the dough into the ungreased Dutch oven, cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake for 15 minutes longer.
👩🍳 Top Tips
- There are a few essential things to remember: for one, don't refrigerate the dough! It will be too cold for the yeast to work properly, which may lead to it not rising much if at all.
- Also, make sure you use a VERY large mixing bowl - size matters here! The dough will rise considerably, so if you don't take it into account, then you might just end up with dough all over your counter by the time it's finished!
- Lightly spray the plastic wrap with cooking oil spray, so that if your bread rises so high, it won't stick.
- Use heat-resistant (rubber) oven mitts to handle the piping hot pot.
- Remove the bread from the pot with the mitts, by using two spatulas, or by turning the pot upside-down. Alternatively, you could transfer the dough to the pot in a large piece of parchment paper and lift it to remove the bread when done baking.
Tips for storing bread:
Bread recipes or not, if stored incorrectly, it's a perishable food. You can follow these guidelines so that your bread always stays fresh and digestible:
- Loaves with high wheat content will keep for up to three days.
- You can freeze leftovers either whole or sliced.
- If not frozen, store all bread in a bread box.
- Discard crumbs from the box every few days.
- Every 1 to 2 weeks, wipe your container with vinegar.
- The more rye the bread contains, the longer it will stay fresh.
- Sourdough bread generally stays fresh longer.
🍽 How To Serve It
- Personally, I like mine spread with some good quality butter, but you can do plenty of other things with it!
- Make a crusty, posh grilled cheese or panini or toast and put your favorite sandwich fixings.
- Use leftovers (if by some miracle you have any) to make croutons, Panzanella (bread salad), or thicken soups.
- You can also make a delicious savory bread pudding or use it in a breakfast casserole.
- Make a bread bowl to hold soups or hot dips like nacho cheese sauce or cream of tomato soup!
- Cut it into sticks and dip it into your favorite dipping sauce.
- Serve it with soups, stews, or pasta to mop up the leftover sauce.
- And so much more! Anything store-bought bread can do, this bread can do better - trust me!
😋 Other Amazing Recipes to Try
Liked this recipe? Leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating and/or a review in the comments section. Your feedback is always appreciated! Stay in touch through Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook! Don't forget to sign up for my email list below too!
How to Make No-Knead Artisan Bread
- Large mixing bowl
- Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pan with a lid (3 Quart)
- Heat-resistant oven mitts
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose Flour
- ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 ½ cup water room temperature
- In a very large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add water and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. No need to overwork it, but try not to leave big lumps. The dough will be sticky.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with cooking oil spray. Let it sit on the counter for 12-18 hours.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place an ungreased Dutch oven with the lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.
- As soon as you put the pot in the oven, put the dough on a heavily floured surface and shape it into a ball. The dough is now stickier, so it won't be a perfect ball but that is ok. Do not overwork it as it will deflate the air bubbles. Cover with the plastic wrap that was over the bowl. Let it rest for 30 minutes while your pot is pre-heating.
- Carefully remove the pot from the oven using heat-resistant oven mitts. Flour your hands, pick up the dough and drop it carefully into the pot (that is very hot!). Put the lid back on and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and continue to bake for another 15 minutes. Carefully remove the bread from the pot and place it on a cooling rack until completely cooled. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.
- It's best to make the dough in the evening and let it rise on your counter overnight, then bake the next day.
- Let the dough rise in a very large bowl. The size matters in this instance - the dough will rise considerably, so if you don't take it into account, then you might just end up with dough all over your counter by the time it's finished!
- Don't refrigerate the dough! It will be too cold for the yeast to work properly, which may lead to it not rising much if at all.
- Make sure the Dutch oven lid has a metal cap, otherwise if it's plastic it will melt or even worse, blow-up in that hot oven.
- Use heat-resistant (rubber) oven mitts to handle the piping hot pot.
- See tips for serving and storing the bread in the post above.
Cook & Enjoy says
I happy to inform you that I have now concluded and released the compilation for the February Share and Inspire Feb 2017 - Bread Sweet and Savoury post.
As of now up to and inclusive of February 20th – Promote please proceed to do a post/reblog on your own blog, linking back to the original post.
Thank you again for your participation, and do not forget to keep an eye out for our new theme which will be released on 1st March. Please promote the Share and Inspire Others! Recipe Exchange and maybe your followers will also participate in the coming months.
Take care and Happy Blogging.
Thank you! Will reblog tomorrow 🙂
Parchment paper is your friend. At the point where you're shaping your dough into a ball onto a flour coated surface, put it on a sheet of parchment paper with a sprinkle of flour. (Your can brush off the flour before transferring the risen dough, using the paper as a sling, into your hot dutch oven. It won't deflate and you won't risk burning yourself on the hot pot. 🙂
See, I wasn't smart enough to think of that, lol. Thanks for the advice! Will definitely try it next time. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!
I got the idea from people with a lot more bread baking experience, esp. sourdough, than I had. I don't eat bread often but I really enjoy baking it. It's a very visceral experience. And it tastes good too. 🙂
If you're ever bored and want to check out my bread posts, the link is posted below.
In my home country bread is a staple. We eat it with everything and every day! Since I moved to the States I got rid of that habit, but surely enjoy a piece of homemade bread once in a while. I will definitely check out your bread recipes, although, I am never bored. Lol
I was born in the former Yugoslavia (we spoke Romanian at home) but moved to Canada when I was 7 yrs old. I was never a big bread eater though my parents could go through several loaves a week.
I was born in the former Yugoslavia too! That's why I saw cevapi on your blog and bread that looks like kifle 😀 I had no clue any parts of the country spoke Romanian. You must have lived very close to the border. Do you speak Serbian too? I'm from Bosnia and moved to Germany during our civil war, then to the States almost 20 years ago. Do you ever go back?
We lived close enough to the Romanian border that my dad would take his crops in a horse drawn wagon over the border into Romania to sell it on Saturday and then come back. I was starting to learn to speak Serbian at school but lost most of what I learned once we left Yugoslavia. We called the sausages mititei and crepes were scoverdze not clatite as they're known in Romania so there were some regional differences.
I've never been back after more than 50 yrs in Canada.
How interesting! So glad we "met". Gotta love technology, ha! Hope your week is wonderful!
I made this today and I added Rosemary and lemon zest and it was delicious! How do I get those marks that are on top of your bread? It looks like two lines crossing one another?
Hi Julia! I bet the fragrance of that bread was wonderful! The marks on my bread are always different - they're created by baking as the bread rises, but you can quickly run a serrated knife over the top of the dough before baking it. That way you make room for the dough to rise and are in control of the marks 🙂 Thanks for stopping in!
You are such a talented cook and baker, one of the best of many blogs that I have seen
Oh, Maria, thank you so much! You made my day 😀 That is the nicest thing anyone said to me. Wish I made money with all that talent, LOL! Hope your weekend is filled with blessings! XOXO
I found my Dutch oven at a yard sale and am grateful to have it. Thanks for sharing your lovely bread recipe!
Oh, I'm so happy for you. They're everything they claim to be 🙂 Thanks for stopping in!
Helen Fern says
This is great! What simple instructions too! - thanks for sharing on What's for Dinner!
Made it again yesterday and ate almost all of it with just butter. Soo good! Thanks for hosting and have a great week!
This bread looks so good! I do have a cast iron Dutch Oven so I can make this, pinning! Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend? I hope you will join us again this Monday!
I'm making it right now again and it will go into the oven tomorrow morning 🙂
Here from the Grand Social, pinned the post and now about to google "dutch oven equivalents". ; ) BB2U
Any oven safe dish (check the documentation on temperature just to be safe) would do - a skillet, pot or round casserole dish would do. If you don't have a lid, cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil. 🙂
Oh my goodness - this looks amazing! Its been too long since I've made bread from scratch; time to break out the dutch oven! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Talented Tuesdays!
It's so easy to make - all you need is time 🙂
Lou Lou Girls says
This looks so incredible! Loving it! Pinned and tweeted. Thanks for being a part of our party. I hope to see you tonight at 7. Lou Lou Girls
Hi! Stopping by from Funtastic Friday. I've seen recipes for dutch oven breads before, and have always wanted to try it but totally forgot about them because I don't have a dutch oven. Seeing your pictures makes me want to go buy one now! Pinning to try later when I get my dutch oven!
I think it's worth the money, of course, I can say that because I didn't buy mine, lol. But it has more uses than just baking a bread. Thanks for stopping by! XO
I will have to try this. Sounds amazing! Thank you for linking up to Party Time and we hope to see you again next week!
Yummy! I can practically smell how amazing I think that bread smells! Thank you for linking up with Waiting on...Wednesday @ While I'm Waiting! Have a great day!
Thanks Holly, the house smelled pretty amazing while baking it 🙂
Nothing smells so homely like homemade bread. Your artisan bread looks perfect.
Thanks Jasna, you are absolutely right 🙂