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5 from 2 votes

No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread

This No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread - with its soft, chewy interior and wonderfully crispy crust - is quite possibly the easiest, most delicious homemade bread you will ever bake!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Dough Rise Time20 hrs
Total Time20 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 1 Loaf (about 8 slices)
Calories: 151kcal
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for shaping the dough
  • teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon active dry yeast, quick/rapid rise/bread machine yeast can also be used
  • cups cool water

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, yeast, and water. The dough should be sticky and somewhat loose. If it is too dry, add more water, a little bit at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency. Unless it is really soupy, don't add more flour.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit at room temperature for 18 hours. Because of the long rise time, room temperature is what you want here (not a warmer place like with other bread dough, which could make is rise too much). After the 18 hours, the dough will have risen and spread out in the bowl and will have bubbles on the top. It will still be very sticky and loose.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper on your work surface and sprinkle it with flour.
  • Sprinkle the dough in the bowl with a tablespoon of flour. Lightly flour your hands and go around the bowl once or twice, pulling the edges of the dough away from the bowl and in towards the center, folding the dough in on itself and gently making a ball shape. Remember, this is a no-knead dough, so do this quickly and don't work the dough too much. Also, the dough is going to still be sticky and pretty loose at this point, so it's not really going to hold a ball shape all that well, but that is totally okay. Don't add more flour.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on the parchment paper. Then place the parchment paper and the dough into another large bowl (or you can wash out the bowl you used for the dough and just put it back in there if you don't want to dirty another bowl).
  • Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 2 hours.
  • After 1½ hours, when you have about 30 minutes left in your rise time, place a Dutch oven with the lid on in the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. I use a 3½-quart Dutch oven (see notes below).
  • Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and remove the lid. I recommend putting an oven mitt or pot holder on top of the lid to remind you that it is hot.
  • Lift the parchment paper and dough out of the bowl and place it into the hot pot. Put the lid back on the pot and return the pot to the oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then carefully remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes with the lid off or until the bread is golden brown and crisp.
  • Remove the bread from the pot. Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Recipe Notes

  • I use a 3½-quart Dutch oven for this recipe. To get a more round-shaped loaf, I suggest using a pot in the 3½ to 6-quart range. The larger the diameter of your pot, the more wide and flat your loaf will be.  
  • This bread and its wonderfully crispy crust is at its absolute best right after and up to a few hours after baking, so I recommend enjoying it as soon as possible. The crust will get softer as it sits, especially once wrapped.
  • Due to the lack of preservatives, freshly baked bread doesn't last very long. Store leftover bread wrapped in plastic wrap or in a plastic bag for 2 to 3 days at room temperature. To preserve the fresh-from-the-oven flavor and texture even better, I recommend freezing any uneaten bread as soon as possible rather than letting it sit at room temperature.
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