4-Ingredient No-Knead French Bread Recipe: Fresh Homemade Bread In 3 Hours by Jan Mostrom

Bread/Muffins Side Dishes
6 months ago

4-Ingredient No-Knead French Bread Recipe: Fresh Homemade Bread In 3 Hours

My family loves fresh homemade bread. During the coronavirus pandemic, I learned to bake sourdough complete with my own starter and we love it. For the days when there isn't enough time for that process I love this beautiful, four-ingredient, three-hour, no-knead bread recipe that my daughter found on TikTok. This French bread recipe is so simple you'll want to make it all the time.

You will need parchment paper and a 3-quart Dutch oven for this no-knead French bread recipe. The ingredient list is short: bread flour or all-purpose flour, water, yeast and salt. Yes, just four ingredients are all that's needed for this wonderful homemade bread recipe (and one of them is water). The ingredients are mixed together and allowed to rise for about two hours. The bread is baked in a Dutch oven for about 45 minutes or until it's golden brown.

For an amazing complete dinner add a bowl of soup. We enjoy a bowl of white bean vegetable soup with this hot, crusty bread.

Note: 30Seconds is a participant in the Amazon affiliate advertising program and this post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission or fees if you make a purchase via those links.

Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 2 hours to rise
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours and 55 minutes
Servings: 10 (makes 1 loaf)


  • 4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups warm filtered water (or good tap water)
  • 2 packets (.25 ounces each) instant yeast or quick-rise yeast
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) salt (I used 2 tablespoons, but some may find that too salty)

Helpful Products

Recipe Notes

  • In colder winter months I put the dough to rise on my kitchen counter away from drafts and close to the sun if possible.
  • You can add optional toppings to this easy bread recipe like coarse salt, seeds, sesame seeds, nuts, chia, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. Make it your own!

Here's how to make it: 

  1. In a ceramic or glass bowl combine yeast, warm water, flour and salt.
  2. Mix thoroughly. For softer bread I found adding ingredients in this order worked. For a bit more dense crusty bread I added dry ingredients and then the warm water.
  3. Place a towel over it and place in a warm location for 2 hours. When you are 1 hour and 45 minutes into the rise OR 15 minutes before you want to cook the loaf, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and place Dutch oven inside with the lid on.
  4. After 2 hours remove dough (wet hands makes this easier) and place gently on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper.
  5. If you like denser bread handle as little as possible, if you like a few air pockets GENTLY fold the dough over on itself two to three folds. Using a serrated knife cut an X into the top of the dough. If you would like a topping, gently tap the dough with wet hands and add topping of your choice (such as sea salt).
  6. Place dough in parchment into the preheated Dutch oven. (Make sure to pull back the parchment so that the dough can brown).
  7. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, pull gently back the parchment from edges where it may have become stuck and bake an additional 15 minutes for a beautiful brown finish.
  8. Remember to let it cool for a few minutes before you cut.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 186

Total Fat: 0.6g

Saturated Fat: 0.1g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Sodium: 699mg

Total Carbohydrate: 38.7g

Dietary Fiber: 1.6g

Total Sugars: 0.1g

Protein: 5.7g

Vitamin D: 0mcg

Calcium: 9mg

Iron: 3mg

Potassium: 82mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here's how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

Take 30 seconds and join the 30Seconds community, and follow us on Facebook to get recipes in your newsfeed daily.

Related Products on Amazon We Think You May Like:

30Second Mobile, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

6-Ingredient Skillet Rosemary Focaccia Bread Recipe: No Need to Knead This Fragrant Focaccia

Homemade Rustic Bread Recipe Is No Knead & No Fuss (3 Ingredients)

Bobbi Hargis
Hi, I love the simplicity of this bread recipe...can you sub in sourdough starter or sourdough starter discard??? If so, how would you incorporate?
Thanks, I look forward to your reply, because I really need bread today and I want to use your recipe!!!!! ;)
Jan Mostrom
Hi Bobbi Hargis My sourdough requires folding and a different process so I don't think it would work. But....I always like to try as 4 cups of flour is about all you'll lose! Also stay tuned for my sourdough bread recipe coming soon! It's my favorite! Let me know if you try the substitution!
Jan Mostrom
Hi Bobbi Hargis My sourdough requires folding and a different process so I don't think it would work. But....I always like to try as 4 cups of flour is about all you'll lose! Also stay tuned for my sourdough bread recipe coming soon! It's my favorite! Let me know if you try the substitution!
TWO TABLESPOONS of salt???? I should have realized it was a typo, but I was rushing to get it made in time for dinner. We couldn’t eat the bread. Such a waste…
Jan Mostrom
@ikhatfield I'm so sorry it was too salty for you! I use 2 Tbls in my loaf but clearly that was too much for you. I hope if you try it again you'll do one TBLS and we'll adjust the recipe to say 1-2 TBLS! Thanks for trying it and so sorry it didn't work out for you!
Am I correct that the bread is baked covered in the dutch oven for the first 30 minutes?
Jan Mostrom
JBeitz yes you are correct! Covered for first 30 then uncovered for the rest of the time! Hope you enjoy! I made it last night and it was fantastic warm out of the oven!
Do you need to keep the oven on for the 2 hours that the bread is rising?
Update - the bread was not wasted! I cubed it and dried it in the oven. Baked two pans of cornbread (without salt) and whipped up a huge batch of dressing. It was wonderful!
Jan Mostrom
@ikhatfield I'm so happy to hear that! Hope you share that as a tip!
Jan Mostrom
cvancourt Oh my goodness great catch! Absolutely my mistake. At about 1hour 45 mins into the rise turn the oven on with the dutch oven in it. Thanks for catching that and we'll fix it! Let us know how it turns out!
Donna John
The recipe has been edited to reflect these changes.
Jan Mostrom
Thanks to the amazing editor Donna John for making those changes for me!
Albert Fouerti
Thankyou for Sharing Yummy Recipe with us
The recipe was very easy to make. Unfortunately I decided to go with the 2 tablespoons of salt because in a different recipe I found the recommended salt to be too little and the bread was very bland. I was afraid that would happen here also. I was wrong. The bread came out way too salty. Other than the salt, everything else was great. Nice crust, springy inside.
I'm trying it again as I'm typing this. The dough has been mixed (with only 1 tablespoon of salt) and is put to the side to rise. I have a feeling it will turn out great!
Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Joan Alessi
mariap56 How did the remake turn out?
Hi!! It came out much, much better. Everyone enjoyed it and half of it was gone before it even cooled off.

I just used regular table salt. I used to use Diamond Crytal but a few years back they stopped making it. It was the only salt that had half the sodium the other brands did. Then I started using Morton's low sodium salt but I started noticing a chemical aftertaste and then I realized they added some things to it than only salt. So now I found Diamond Crystal in a larger container but it's not low sodium as it used to be. The crystals are much finer than some other brands so I like it more.

But, yeah, going back to the original question. I was pleased with the results with only 1 tablespoon.
Joan Alessi
What kind of salt did you use in this recipe? It should be listed in the recipe. Against my better judgement I used 2 tablespoons of table salt when making this bread and it was not edible. I may try it again, but only with 2 teaspoons.
Jan Mostrom
thanks @Julieros. I think I must like salty things so I'm sorry your first try didn't work! I hope if you try it again you love it as much as we do!

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

Crispy Southern Salmon Patties Recipe Is a 20-Minute Budget Dinner

3-Ingredient Better Than Feta Pasta Recipe (Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta)

Light & Lemony Shrimp Feta Pasta Recipe Is Ready In a Flash (20 Minutes)

Cheesy Southern Salmon Patties Recipe Is Ready In 10 Minutes