Have you always wanted to be able to bake bread, but have been intimidated or overwhelmed by the idea of giving it a try? Well, this Easy No Knead Homemade Bread is the recipe for you. This bread is very simple to prepare, makes several loaves, and tastes absolutely amazing. You can store the dough in your refrigerator for up to a week, and then just pull out what you need and bake it when you are ready to use it. I found this recipe at King Arthur Flour, which is a great resource for both the novice and seasoned baker.
Ready to get started? Please say yes, because it’s really fun to make, and even better to eat.
There are only four ingredients, so measuring them out is a snap. The flour can be weighed (scaled) or measured with a measuring cup. I prefer to weigh it on a scale because it is more accurate.
You can also just buy a 2 lb bag of flour and use the whole thing.
Pour all the ingredients into your mixing bowl. No specific order or scientific formula needed. Mix it at medium speed with a dough hook for about 2 minutes. You can also stir it together, mix it by hand, or even put it in a bread machine.
This is what it will look like. It’s really sticky and a little ragged. Make sure you spray your bowl with non-stick cooking spray.
It will rise and look like this after it has been at room temperature for about 2 hours. That’s why it’s important to use a large bowl.
Keep the dough in the refrigerator. When you are ready to bake a loaf, pull off the amount you want to use, and put the remaining dough back into the refrigerator.
Using floured hands, shape it into a boule, which is just French for ball. Allow to warm to room temperature for at least an hour before baking.
Slash across the top with a sharp knife.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool before slicing, if you can wait that long.
There are limitless variations to this recipe. I added about 1-1/2 Tbsp fresh dill and about 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese to this loaf. I just sprinkled it on and worked it through with my hands.
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 6 -1/2 cups or (32 oz) or (907 grams) unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1-1/2 tsp instant or active dry yeast
- Measure your flour by dipping your measuring cup into the flour and gently sweep off the excess, or weigh it on a scale. One easy way to get out of measuring is to just use an entire 2 lb bag of flour.
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. The approximate water temp is 105°, but you can just make sure it's warm to the touch without being ouchy hot.
- Mix all the ingredients together. The dough will be sticky. I mixed mine in my KitchenAid mixer with my dough hook attachment, but you can just use a large spoon. Or your hands. I've done that before and it's easy.
- Place the dough in a large greased bowl or food-safe plastic bucket. This will rise a lot, so make sure it's at least a 6 quart capacity. Cover with plastic wrap.
- Allow to rise at room temp for 2 hours. Then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The original recipe says that it can be kept up to 7 days, but I personally don't like the flavor it takes own after that long. I would recommend using it within 3-4 days.
- When you are ready to pull off some dough, sprinkle a little bit of flour on the top to make it easier. Pull off a 14-19 oz piece. Or just eyeball it if you don't want to measure it. KAF's recipe says it should be the size of a softball or large grapefruit.
- Place on a floured surface and shape it into a ball.
- Place on a piece of parchment or a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle a small amount of flour over the dough.
- Allow dough to warm to room temperature and rise, about an hour. It will expand more than rise up. Preheat oven to 450°. Place a shallow metal pan (not glass, Pyrex, or ceramic) on the lowest rack and have a cup of very hot water ready.
- Slash bread 2 or 3 time across the top with a very sharp knife. The cut should be about ½" deep. Don't worry if this makes the bread deflate a little bit. It will rise in the oven.
- Place bread in the oven. You can use a baking stone if you'd like. If not, place on the middle rack. Carefully add the VERY hot water to the shallow pan you've placed underneath. It will be steamy and bubbly. Close the door quickly.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until it's a deep, golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool on a rack.Store leftover bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.