Irresistible 3-Ingredient Artisan No-Knead Bread Recipe: You'll Be Obsessed by Kristan Wager
There is something so elemental about home-baked bread. The scent fills the air, the crusty loaf sitting on the cooling rack just begs for an Instagram post, and the taste. Well, that is the kicker. The taste of freshly baked bread is so much better than store-bought bread.
I poo-pooed the no-knead bread idea as ridiculous because I had this image of bread baking taking hours of careful kneading, timing, proofing and talent. Then my friend baked a loaf at my home. Even without the correct pot, it was terrific. However, a Dutch oven is essential for the real deal.
Thus began my obsession with rustic, no-knead artisan bread. I have literally baked a dozen loaves in the last three weeks. At about 70 cents a loaf. In these inflationary times, you do the math: Artisan bread is $7 at our local store!
Try this easy three-ingredient (not counting the water) artisan no-knead homemade bread recipe – you will love it. The sense of satisfaction that this simple act of bread baking gives is indescribable. Theoretically, the bread lasts for a few days in a plastic bag. We make a loaf daily for our family of five. Bon Appetit!
Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours
Cook Time: 40 to 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 1/2 hours (approximately)
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour (in a pinch, I use all-purpose flour, but it is not our favorite)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 2/3 cups water (100 degrees F)
Here's how to make it:
Quick Rise (3 1/2 hours)
- Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon or Dutch dough whisk, blend warm water into the dry ingredients. This dough will be wet and shaggy, also very forgiving. Mix until no dry flour is seen. Cover with plastic wrap and put a towel on top to proof for 2 hours.
- At the 2-hour mark, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F with the covered Dutch oven inside.
- Dust a large square of parchment paper with flour and turn out the dough carefully. (It will be sticky but try to preserve the proof.) Dust the top with flour and, using a dough scraper, gently fold the dough over and create a round boule. Use the sharp edge of the scraper to score lines in the dough. Cover with the plastic wrap and let rest until pot and oven are up to temperature.
- Remove the pot from the oven. Place the parchment paper and dough into the Dutch oven and replace lid. Bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Then, anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes uncovered (this is a personal taste issue about the crispness of the crust). Let the bread rest 30 minutes. It will be hard to wait, but you will wreck the loaf by cutting into it immediately.
Overnight Version (Creates a Yeastier Loaf)
- Use 1 teaspoon instant yeast instead of 2 teaspoons in quick-rise method.
- Proof the bread on the counter for 8 to 10 hours or in the refrigerator for several days.
- To bake, take the dough out and place on parchment before heating the oven so it gets to room temperature.
- This rustic bread recipe can be doubled or tripled successfully if you have a large enough bowl. Check out a dough proofing box for multiple loaves.
- A ball the size of a large grapefruit is the correct size.
- The longer it rises in the fridge, the more like sourdough it tastes. My family loves a couple of day cold rise the best. However, it is so delicious we eat any and all loaves.
- I have discovered that for us, organic bread flour and 2 teaspoons salt make the best loaves. In a pinch I use all-purpose flour, but it is not our favorite.
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Quick rise is tighter and slightly moist. Especially if you use AP flour. With bread flour, definitely give it a 2 hour rise minimum and you will get more action - holes in your dough. Some people add a 1/4 tsp. of sugar to the recipe to get the yeast working.
Cold rise or overnight rise - looser crumb, more lightness in texture.
Bread flour and AP flour totally behave differently and we prefer bread flour.
That being said, we have only made 1 loaf that we did not love - and that only had 1/2 tsp. of salt. Too bland and the crumb was very dense.
To get a higher rise - you need to do the overnight or several day rise. However, by being super gentle and shaping it into a round you should get a good rise in the quick rise.
Be aware - all flours behave differently. I sometimes decrease the flour by 1/4 to 1/2 cup once I understand how the flour is behaving.
Hope this helps.
King Arthur flour has a great resource with conversions, weights, how each flour performs etc. It is my go-to with questions.
My husband is a bit worried because I just ordered 50 pounds of Italian bread flour. He is of the "if it works why change it?" school, but I think that it will be the perfect balance of all the things we love: looser crumb, yeastiness, crisp crust. We shall see!
Try basting the warm loaf with garlic butter and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt!
Let me know!!
I also just wanted to commend you for your polite reply to the “experienced baker” who did not like the recipe -she was very harsh and that was unnecessary to say the least. If you don’t like a recipe there is no need to blather venom. As for myself, an “inexperienced baker” I love it and so do many others as indicated here. Peace to you and please keep sharing!
And thank you for your kind words. 'A gentle word turns away wrath.'