This easy homemade no-knead dutch oven bread recipe is soft and fluffy on the inside and has a perfectly crispy crust on the outside! It’s one of the easiest bread recipes you can easily make at home – The artisan bread tastes just like from the bakery! It requires only 4 ingredients, 5 minutes of work, a pot or dutch oven, and some rest time! Perfect for beginners who have never baked bread before.
This bread is magical – It turns out really crispy on the outside, super soft and fluffy on the inside – even though the dough requires no kneading! It’s super quick and really easy to bake because all you need to do is mix flour, yeast, salt, and water in a bowl, and then the bread rises overnight while you sleep!
The original no-knead recipe originates from the American baker Jim Lahey and first appeared in the “New York Times” in 2006. It is actually the most uncomplicated bread dough in the world because you can’t really do anything wrong.
I’ve tested it several times, varying the amounts and the rising times a bit at a time, and I’ve found out that it doesn’t matter if you use a little less water or a little more flour. You can also let the dough rise a little longer or shorter. Whether you let it rest in the kitchen, in the living room, or in the refrigerator, this doesn’t really matter.
So this recipe is the adapted version as I find it best.
Easy Dutch oven artisan bread
The no-knead bread is not baked on the tray, but in a closed pot, dutch oven, or casserole dish. This acts as a steam oven because it ensures that enough moisture is in the air around the bread. This will help the bread getting soft and fluffy on the inside, while the crust will get really nice and crispy.
For the best results, I recommend using a cast iron pot or dutch oven. However, you can also bake it in a simple stainless steel pot, casserole dish with a lid, or similar oven-safe dish.
Which flour can I use?
All-purpose or light wheat or spelt flour are the best choices for the bread dough, but you can also mix different types of flour. However, I do not recommend using more than 50% whole wheat flour, otherwise, the bread will be too dense. Rye flour is not such a good choice here, but 20% is ok. If you like, you can also mix some seeds or kernels into the dough or just sprinkle them on top as a topping.
How to make no-knead bread
As always, I recommend watching the recipe video and the step-by-step instruction first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with the exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Make the yeast dough
First, crumble the yeast into a large bowl. Then add lukewarm water and dissolve the yeast in it. Set aside for about 5-6 minutes until it starts to foam. Waiting for it to foam is optional, but that way you will know that the yeast is intact. If you don’t want to wait or if you use dry yeast, you can continue with the next step immediately.
Next, add flour and salt and mix until everything is incorporated. The no-knead bread dough will be pretty wet, sticky, and chewy, but that’s how it should be! The bread will be great anyway, so you can trust me! 😉
Step 2: Let the yeast dough rise
Now cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let the dough rise for a total of 12-20 hours. It doesn’t really matter how long and where you let the dough rise exactly. I leave it in the kitchen for about 2-3 hours first. Then I put it in the refrigerator overnight.
Step 3: Form the dough into a bread loaf
After resting, place the dough on a well-floured work surface and sprinkle with flour. Then fold the outer sides into the center, one side at a time, until a loaf is formed. Since the dough is very wet, this works best when using a dough scraper (see step-by-step pictures).
Then place the loaf, fold side down, on parchment paper in a proofing basket or bowl. Let it rise for another 30-40 minutes while the oven and pot heat up.
Step 4: preheat the oven & bake
Be sure to preheat the oven, including the dutch oven/pot, to 445°F (230°C) for at least 30 minutes to make sure the pot is hot, too! I used a 9-inch pot here but you can also use a 10-inch pot. If using a larger pot, the bread will be just a little flatter but it will still taste as delicious.
Before baking the artisan bread, you can dust the top of the loaf again with a little flour and then cut in slits with a sharp knife (but that’s just optional).
Once the oven and pot are hot, remove the hot pot from the oven, using oven gloves (be careful – it’s hot!). Now carefully plop the loaf, along with the parchment paper, into the pot. Cover the pot with the hot lid and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes until your homemade easy no-knead bread is golden brown and crusty on top.
Once done baking, let the no-knead bread cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
How can I store and serve the bread?
This no-knead artisan bread contains no fat which keeps it moist so it is best eaten within two days. The best way to keep it from drying out and getting hard is to store it airtight at room temperature. Then place leftover bread in a freezer bag and freeze it for longer-term storage. Once thawed and gently reheated, it will taste freshly baked again! I also like to toast the bread slices to make an avocado toast with garlic mushrooms or pan-fry them for vegan grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s also perfect for dipping in a creamy soup or making crisp oven bread or crostini.
This homemade no-knead bread recipe is:
- Naturally vegan
- Requires no kneading
- Soft and fluffy
- With crispy a crust
- Tastes like the bread from your favorite bakery!
If you try this easy no-knead dutch oven bread, please leave me a comment and a rating on how you liked the recipe! And if you take a picture of your artisan bread and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your creations! Happy baking!
*Note: Please be sure to watch the recipe video + step-by-step photos in the blog post above.
- Crumble the yeast into a large bowl. Add lukewarm water and dissolve the yeast in it. Then set aside for 5-6 minutes until it starts to foam. (The waiting time is optional, but that way you’ll know if the yeast is intact. If you don't want to wait, you can continue with the next step immediately).
- Add flour and salt to the bowl and mix until everything is incorporated. (The dough will be relatively wet, sticky, and tough, but that's how it should be).
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let it rise on the counter for about 2-3 hours. Then place in the refrigerator overnight (minimum 10 hours, maximum 20 hours*).
- Put the dough on a well(!) floured work surface and sprinkle with flour. Then fold the outer sides into the center, one side at a time, until a loaf is formed (since the dough is very wet, this works best when using a dough scraper as shown in the step-by-step pictures above).
- Place the loaf, fold side down, on parchment paper in a proofing basket or bowl, and let rise for another 30-40 minutes while the oven and pot heat up.
- Preheat the oven with a 9-inch (approx. 22cm) dutch oven/pot in it to 445°F (230°C) for at least 30 minutes (to make sure the pot is hot, too).
- Optionally, before baking, dust the top of the loaf again with a little flour and then cut slits with a sharp knife (but that’s not a must).
- Remove the hot pot from the oven using oven gloves (be careful - don't burn yourself!) and carefully plop the loaf along with the parchment paper into the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the bread is golden brown on top.
- Let cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving!
- I prefer using fresh yeast because I find it slightly better but dry yeast will work too.
- All-purpose or light wheat or spelt flour works best, but you can also mix different types of flour together. However, I recommend not to use more than 50% whole wheat flour, otherwise, the bread will be too compact. Rye flour doesn’t work very well, but using 20% is ok.
- If you like, you can also mix seeds or kernels into the dough or just sprinkle them on top as a topping.
- I recommend baking the bread in a dutch oven (cast iron pot) so it gets really crispy on the outside while being soft and fluffy on the inside! But you can also bake it in a simple stainless-steel pot, casserole dish with lid, or similar oven-safe dish.
- It doesn’t really matter how long and where you let the dough rise exactly. You can also put it in the refrigerator immediately or leave it at room temperature the whole time. Generally, you should let the dough rest for a total of 12-20 hours.
- The bread is best eaten within two days. Leftovers can be frozen for longer-term storage.
- Find more helpful tips and information regarding storage, serving suggestions, etc. in the blog post above!
- Nutrition information is calculated for 1 slice of 16.
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