A Bread Recipe for Those Who Don’t Know How To Boil Water
Only 4 ingredients are needed for this simple No Knead Bread recipe, which bakes up fluffy on the inside with a golden and bubbled crust.
Okay, so obviously you know how to boil water. But the point is, this recipe is absurdly easy. I know a woman whose 4 year old son made it. Yeah. So you can DEFINITELY make it too. There’s no starter or sponge, no kneading to the windowpane stage, none of that stuff. Just mix some flour, yeast, salt, and water before you go to bed, then in the morning form the dough into a ball, wrap it in a towel for 2 hours, then plop it in a pan and bake it. Pretty awesome. Make it for your friends and family, and impress them =)
Before you go to bed, mix together the dough. It will look like a shaggy mess:
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight on the countertop (and for up to 20 hours). When you wake up, the dough should look like this:
Bubbles on the surface, and very sticky and wet. Lay out a kitchen towel, then get your hands nice and wet (and re-wet as needed, to keep the dough from sticking to you). Pick up the dough mass, and form it (more or less) into a ball. Place it onto the towel:
Wrap it up, and let it rise for 2 hours.
After one more rise, it’s ready to bake! The key is to bake it in a pot, which traps in the moisture and give it a great crust.
No Knead Bread
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/4 tsp quick rise yeast
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 1.5 cups warm water
- cornmeal to sprinkle on the bottom of the pan
- Before you go to bed, mix all the ingredients in a big bowl until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight on the countertop (and for up to 20 hours).
- Lay out a kitchen towel, then get your hands nice and wet (and re-wet as needed, to keep the dough from sticking to you). Pick up the dough mass, and form it (more or less) into a ball. Place it onto the towel, wrap it up, and let it rise for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, and stick a dutch oven into the oven so it gets very hot. Once the oven is preheated, take the pot out and sprinkle cornmeal in the bottom so the bread doesn’t stick. Lift the towel up and dump your dough ball into the pot, and give it a shake so it sits flat on the bottom of the pan. Put the lid on, and bake the bread for 30 minutes. Then take the lid off, and bake for another 15 minutes, until the bread is golden brown. Take the bread out of the pot and cool on a wire rack.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
53 Comments on “A Bread Recipe for Those Who Don’t Know How To Boil Water”
Dumb question: when I preheat the Dutch oven, should I be preheating it with the lid on?
Yes, the lid too 🙂
Hey Joanne, thanks for the simple recipe. What if I left the dough 2 nights over in the frig, like say 36 hours. Would it work?
Help! I just made the dough and was about to go to bed but realized I don’t have any pots with lids that can withstand temperatures above 350° in my oven. They all have rubberized handles that are rated only up to 350 degrees. (Rachael Ray hard anodized set with orange handles). I DO have loaf pans and a baking sheet, but of course they wouldn’t be covered. Ideas ?
Hi Mika, I was without internet this weekend so sorry I couldn’t get to you earlier. Not sure what you ended up doing. I have baked on a sheet tray and thrown in ice cubes at the beginning for a similar effect.
Hi Joanne! So I ended up using a loaf pan and covering it with foil and a cookie sheet on top. It didn’t rise as much as I hoped, but it tasted delicious!
Wow! I can’t wait to try your no knead bread. Tonight’s the night. Fun Website, kiddo.
Thanks for the questions about ‘not having a Dutch Oven’ below! I bought one, but when I thought about how super, backbreaking heavy it is WITHOUT food in it!…. and adding a roast, potatoes, gravy, etc…or whatever I’m going to put in it…and that it was only safe to a certain amount & bread baking is higher than that…..and there are lots and lots of posts about people buying expensive Dutch Ovens only to have them craze and crack in a short amount of time… I took it back. SO happy you said I can replace the Dutch Oven with a soup pot! I’ve got that! A Curisnart with a matching lid. Thank you!! If anyone is interested – I bought the King Arthurs yeast that comes with a plastic jar with a gasket that seals & a ‘clamp’ so the lid stays shut completely – you leave it in the freezer and it gives you so much more time to use the yeast! Perfect for those of us with health problems where we never know from day to day how we will feel or if we will get anything we want to done! Merry Christmas and thank you for sharing this and all of your good information with us! (and the photos are great, too. It must take you so long to do each recipe – your hard work is not in vain! You are helping a lot of people!)
Do you bake it with the pot’s lid on or off
Would all-purpose flour work?
I like the technique because it is a Great start for adding to recipe and making new breads after 1st getting good at this recipe.
I have FINALLY found THE bread recipe for me! Apart from being super simple, and making one loaf at a time, this bread tastes fabulous! It is the perfect texture, with just the right amount of chewiness, just the right amount of yeastyness (is that a word?), and not too dense or too fluffy. Plus it’s pretty and makes the house smell wonderful as added bonuses! Thank you so much for posting this. My husband and I are in Bread Heaven!
Hi Laurel, awesome!!! So glad to hear you love this bread so much. Happy cooking!
Made this bread for Easter. The first test loaf was amazing but a tad salty. The loaves I made for Easter dinner I added 1 tsp salt instead of 1 1/2 tsp and added a teaspoon of sugar. It was perfection! Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic recipe!
Hi Julie, different salts can have different amounts of saltiness. I’m glad that you found an amount that’s perfect for you. Hope you had a nice meal!
When I cover the bowl with plastic wrap, i use a little extra.
When it’s time to take it out, I lay down a dish towel flat. On top
of it I spread out the same plastic wrap and sprinkle lightly with flour
(because their will probably be moisture droplets on it).
Plop the dough on the plastic, and loosely wrap it with the plastic.
Then loosely wrap with the towel.
2 hours later I open it and peel off the plastic (it sticks, but is easily
peeled from the dough). Then plop it in a pan, making an oblong shape.
No Corn Meal:
I use a light spray of cooking oil (on the metal dish), works great.
No Crock Pot:
I bake it in a metal rectangular baking dish with a tight domed
tin foil seal for 30 min. Then transfer it to a room temp. glass
rectangular baking dish for 15 more minutes of cooking time.
This makes a nice oblong shaped bread, not burned, and crusty-
will this recipe work using 100% white whole wheat flour?
Elaine, I don’t recommend it. It won’t have enough protein in it to develop the proper gluten needed for the bread.
I’ve tried this bread twice, and it is delicious! Crusty, the way I love bread! My question, though, is shouldn’t I moisten the towel before wrapping the dough? Both times the dough stuck badly to the towel, and I used a good quality lint-free cotton tea towel. Also, my dough blob kind of lays out in an oval. I let the bread rest in a 70 degree, draft-free room after mixing and while in the towel, and I know the yeast was active, because both breads had lots of air holes inside. Thanks!
Hi Elaine, the towel situation is tough, I have some that stick miserably and some that don’t stick at all. Moistening the towel is a very smart idea. I will try that with my “sticky towels” as an experiment and see if that fixes those sticky towels. Regarding the oval blob, it sounds like the “gluten web” holding the dough isn’t very developed/strong. If you kneaded it a bit that would make it a tighter loaf, but then it’s not no knead anymore lol.
Thank you, Joanne! I’ll try moistening the towel, and also knead the dough a bit [ 🙂 ]. I will not have to wait long to do so — as soon as the loaf was out of the oven, my husband began clamoring for me to make another loaf. I think I am going to have to teach him how to make this bread!!