On this page, you will find both the short and long version videos of a basic no knead bread baking technique. See these variations of no knead recipe too.

Before we get started, I wanted to share an email I received from Leanna who says more for the benefits of the no knead method than I could ever convey. She says…

Love This Method

I’ve been baking bread for 40 years and this method has turned my bread baking upside down. I even had kneading down to an art. My dough had to feel just right. My ingredients had to be the best. Now I just throw these four items into a bowl and with no effort on my part, I end up with perfection. I take care of a lady with handicaps and bake it for her too. She has a gas oven and mine at home is electric. I have had no problems with this method. I used to have a sourdough starter but several moves ago, I discarded it. Now with your starter I am back in business. I can hardly wait for my first loaf of NK sourdough bread.

6 min. 40 sec.

12 min. long

Ingredients for basic yeasted No Knead Method:

3 cups bread flour (the above video used 1 cup (5 oz.) whole wheat flour and 2 cups (10 1/2 oz.) white bread flour
1/4 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups purified or spring water

  • Mix together the dry ingredients.
  • Mix in water until the water is incorporated.
  • Cover with plastic and let sit 12-18 hours.
  • Follow video instruction for folding.
  • Cover loosely with plastic and rest for 15 minutes.
  • Transfer to well floured towel or proofing basket. Cover with towel and let rise about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Bake in covered La Cloche or Dutch oven preheated to 500 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Remove cover; reduce heat to 450 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  • Let cool completely on rack.
  • Consume bread, be happy.

Note: Regarding the 15 minute rest after the long proofing period; it’s a habit of mine from working with “regular” dough where it helps to have the dough rest after folding in order to relax it so it’s easier to shape for the final rise. With the wet no knead dough recipes, I’ve been skipping it and haven’t noticed any difference in the results.

No Knead Revisited – A Three Year Check Up

The original New York Times no knead bread recipe was published in 2006, about the same time Breadtopia was born. By far the most common difficulty people write or call in about is with the dough being too wet to handle at the end of the long first proofing period and also when it’s time to place the dough into a covered vessel to bake at the end of the second rise.

When you run into this, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it other than attempt to follow through on the instructions and ultimately wrest the dough into your heated baker and into the oven. Your “mistake” may turn out better than you expected and if nothing else, you’ll learn from it. The next time around you can do one or a combination of a couple things differently.

  • Add more flour and/or use less water than you did the first time. Dough has a way of getting more slack as it sits for many hours so if you start off with the dough being a little stiffer than you think it should be, that’s fine and maybe it’ll be easier to handle later.
  • Consider reducing the long proofing time by several hours. Don’t get stuck on the idea of 18 hours. Depending on your room temperature and humidity, 18 hours may result in over proofing. When dough proofs too long, the gluten breaks down, the yeast looses some oomph and it can just get downright soupy. Most of the time, I find 12-14 hours to be about right (and sometimes even 9-10 hours during very warm weather). If you want or need to prolong the proofing time, but don’t want to risk over proofing, stick the dough in the fridge for several hours or overnight. That will slow things down a lot. Then resume proofing at room temp until it’s ready to bake.

The same principle holds true on the second rise. While 1-2 hours is the suggested range, I’m almost always at about 60 to 75 minutes.

Another concern we hear a lot is about the dough not rising much during that second short proofing period. I don’t see mine rise much then either and it doesn’t matter so long as you see a good rise during the first several minutes that the dough is in the oven. That’s called oven spring and it’s a very good thing. By keeping your proofing periods on the shorter side, you’re more likely to get good oven spring from the still vigorous yeast or sourdough starter.

Of course all of the above is assuming your yeast or sourdough starter is fresh and viable to start with.

In summary, most problems can be helped or solved by stiffening the dough a little and/or shortening the rising times.

If you’re new to bread baking, don’t think from reading this that it’s difficult or tricky to get great results. Most people find it a breeze and enjoy success right out of the blocks. Others may find it takes a few tries. It’s important to have fun with it and don’t worry about bombing. There’s no significant downside to bread baking but the upside can be fabulous. Enjoy!

This method of baking is quite forgiving if you alter the ingredients and proportions. One of the great things about a bread recipe that is so easy and involves just one loaf at a time is you don’t feel like you’re risking a lot if your experimenting goes awry.

Try using different flours and/or different proportions of flour and play around with the water measurement a little.

We’d would love to hear from anyone with their experiences using this technique, both successful and otherwise. Please share your experiences below.

Note: Here are some great dough handling tips from Breadtopia reader Mark Liptak. Also, check out these no knead baking techniques by Margaret Ball.

No Knead Bread Baking Method

1,701 thoughts on “No Knead Bread Baking Method

  1. Susan

    @ Vashti –

    Here is a conversion chart found on King Arthur flour, showing the cup to ounces measurements for all of their flours and other key ingredients. http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/master-weight-chart.html

    And since 1 Ounce = 28.3495231 Grams (round up to 28.35), it’s easy to take their ounces and convert to the grams you need. Enjoy!

  2. Vashti

    So for those of us that don’t use American measures… (Which is the rest of the world *grins*) is it possible to provide weights (preferably in grams) for the ingredients used..? I’ve found there to be drastic difference in one person’s version of 1C to another’s, but you can’t argue with a weight.

    • Good question. Yes, we need to do that. Just need to find the time or the help to get everything done that’s on our very long list of things to do. With all the newer recipes of ours and of course going forward, we’re using grams.

  3. Thanks for this post.

    I followed the recipe pretty closely — tho’ about half the salt and a quarter-cup of home-grown starter instead of yeast.
    After a 10-hour first rise, and a 45 minute second rise, the results were pretty tasty. Here’s the remaining half-loaf:

  4. Ann Wagner

    I needed more traditional shaped loaves but wanted the delicous rustc crumb on it. Using an old metal loaf pan to cover my clay bread pan, I was able to achieve similar results to the traditional dutch oven. I wanted an artisan loaf in traditional sandwich bread shape for loaves we are baking for the food bank food bag program. Smaller traditional shaped loaves are more practical for them.

    • Hi Ann,

      It sure looks like you did an excellent job achieving that objective. Nice going!

  5. Rodney

    Just have one question: how can you tell whether there is “oven spring” if the container in the oven is covered? I would think that opening the oven and then the container would be deleterious to the process, if not the results.

    Thanks.

    • That could be the case for cake, but for bread it won’t hurt to open the lid to take a peak.

  6. bernard terry

    I had followed the recipe closely and weigh the ingredients. More often than than not the mixture is very sticky to deal with even after dusting the counter top and my hands with lots of flower. This makes handling and transfer into the dutch oven difficult. I would appreciate any suggestions.
    thanks
    Bernard Terry

    • Chauqg

      Bernard, I too found it difficult to move bread out of its 2nd raise container into a hot iron Dutch oven. Next time (loaf below) I gently sprayed proofing container with oil. Then the problem is to gently pour the bread into the hot Dutch oven. It will come out perfectly and quickly. So, take care when beginning to move it. Gently roll the container over into the oven until dough is partially separated from the container wall then let it go. Aim a bit to one side of the oven base so the entire load ends up in the middle. The only negative I saw was the oil making a more thick crust so just use a very light spray. Not that this is the perfect solution..I’m far from that, but it worked for me. I have stopped using the Dutch oven for NKB because of these difficulties. I am baking in my ceramic Ermile Frank Tagine as we speak. Will post results of that experiment.

  7. Dece

    Hi There.. I am new to all of this. I have managed to get my starter to where I want it to be. My new improved dutch oven is on its way. Have watched the videos and scoured through all the comments etc, but I haven’t found anything about whether I can use convection for baking or should I stick to regular bake mode. Please advise. I’m looking foward to my first loaf.

    • You can use convection but you would likely have to reduce the temp and keep your eye on the time so you don’t over bake the crust. Of course if you’re baking in a covered baker (like a cloche or Dutch oven) as so many of the recipes on this site do, it won’t help to use convection.

  8. Chauqg

    WoW! I’m new to Breadtopia, as well as to NKB. This loaf my first effort and all I can say is it has wonderful: crumb ,crust, especially taste. The best bread I’ve made in 10+ years of baking my way. Well that is over since I have found Breadtopia.

    FYI….Basic recipe with KAF unbleached bread flour, locally ground organic (Frankferd Farms) wholewheat. Also added ⅓ cup of steel cut oats as directed. Was baked in 20th century Griswold 8″ cast iron Dutch oven, nothing added to ensure loaf would not stick. Just an unbelievable loaf of happiness.

    Thank You Eric

    • Great looking bread for sure! Nice going.

  9. I’ve tried other no knead baking and with disastrous results. I’ve been baking bread since I was fourteen so I had some serious doubts to possible senility. It’s been nearly black on the top, or black on the bottom, or stuck to the bottom, too moist, too dry and from a different recipe for my other breads, it seems to lack flavor (that maybe cause I’m used to what I use). I don’t have a problem with it rising – at all. Plenty of beautiful holes but just harder to make than my regular 7 ingredient bread, which never gives me a problem.

  10. Freddy

    Can this dough be used for baguettes? Is it too slack? Can it be shaped?

    • It’s too slack as is, but you can add flour to stiffen it up to where it’s easier to work with. I’ll be posting a baguette recipe/video (should be next week). If you’re on our newsletter email list, you’ll be notified when it’s up. If you’re not and want to be, here’s where to sign up: http://breadtopia.com/newsletter/

  11. Gary from Wisconsin

    Fifth loaf this week. First time trying with oatmeal added.

  12. Nancy

    I really enjoying making this no knead bread – almost every day! I sprout the winter wheat, dry it, grind it and use the flour for this bread. Love the taste! But sometimes after I left it rise, the top of the dough is discolored, almost a light black. Is that mold? Has anyone else experienced this? I tried playing around with some variables, but it just seems to happen randomly. Any ideas?

    • Atlas Westbrook

      If I was a gamblin man I’d say you’re seeing the black spots caused by the natural death and decay of your yeasty beasties. It’s a live organism after all, as it feeds on sugars yeast gives off carbon dioxide and other gasses like anything else.

      Without a picture of what you’re seeing it’s hard to say for certain.

  13. Pat Kleinberg

    Hi, Eric and Everyone, I have two questions I hope you can answer to help me improve my bread baking. 1. I have used a 3.5 qt enamel cast iron Dutch oven to make no knead breads. The last several times, baking the breads at 475 degrees (I use an oven thermometer to check for accuracy), the bottoms have burned even though the Dutch oven was on the middle rack in the oven . I keep the loaf covered for 20 minutes and then take the top off to let it bake for another 15 or so minutes until it looks nice and brown and is about 211 degrees internally. Thinking the Dutch oven needed replacing, I purchased a new Lodge combo cooker (seen in Tartine #1 cookbook), and was surprised to find that this loaf of bread burned on the bottom, too. Do you think I should lower the temperature in the oven? Would using parchment under the loaf make any difference. Any other suggestions? 2. I have an electric Whisper Mill grain mill that is some years old that I use to grind my whole grain flours. I am concerned that as I grind the flours, the temperature is too hot and the nutrition in the germ will be lost. I am sure this mill has metal and not stone discs. What is the temperature above which the germ nutrition is lost? Should I refrigerate the berries before milling in an effort to keep the berries cooler during the process? Any other recommendations? Thank you so much for any advice you may offer. Happy bread baking!!

    • Kenneth Tucker

      I keep my seeds in the freezer during the warmer months and in the garage during the winter. That seems to produce a fairly cool flour.

      I would try 450 for oven temp and take the bread out when it hits 200 degrees internally.

    • Ilene

      I put parchment paper into Dutch ovens after having several breads stick to the bottom. Doesn’t really help you with the burned bottom. Have you checked the temperature of your oven?

    • Hi Pat,

      Simply placing a cookie sheet on a rack immediately below your Dutch oven should help, if not completely solve, the burning problem.

      I don’t know about how nutrition levels are effected by heat during milling. But putting grains in the freezer before milling will greatly reduce the temperature that your flour comes out at.

  14. Lisa Egan

    Just had our first loaf of this was dinner. What a winner recipe and the instructions and videos were spot on and made the process a breeze. Went with a little less water than stated after reading update and other comments. Great job! And thank you!

  15. Treen

    I make this every 3 days…we love it. But after baking, it is usually a bit damper inside than one would expect.
    Using less water makes for a less effective initial rise. Am using unbleached white flour with 1/6 the volume of added bran.
    Maybe the crust is hardening too early to allow the steam to escape?
    Adjust the starting temperature down?

    • GregH

      I had the “wet in the middle” issue the first few loaves. Lengthening the uncovered bake time 5 to 10 minutes will help. If the loaf gets too dark, reduce the temperature a little to compensate. I also saw a suggestion, aimed at keeping the crust crisp, but which also seems to help with internal drying. When finished baking turn off the oven and leave the door cracked open for a few minutes. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and return it to the oven rack to cool. I’m still experimenting with this but it seems to be effective.

    • Ed

      Treen, I have the same problem. I’ve baked tons of no knead breads and they’re delicious but I find the same problem. No matter what I do, the interior crumb is ever so slightly more damp/moist than my Full knead breads. It’s a bit stretchy/damp, but still has good rise and hole structure. I bake to 200-203 degrees with a great dark crust so I know for sure the interior is fully cooked and should be a bit drier. Have you had any luck? I see you post was in Jan 2015.

  16. Jeannie

    This works for me every time. I live in 2 different climates, dry and humid…it works every time.

  17. Scott H

    I’ve made at least one loaf of this per week for about 5 weeks now and it’s perfect every time! I’ve never made bread other than in a bread machine and in never had a good crust and didn’t have that nice yeasty smell or taste. This bread is amazing

    WARNING: A dutch oven at 480 or 500 degrees is AMAZINGLY hot. On my first attempt I put the lid on the stove as I was getting ready to put the bread in. It’s so rare to put a pot lid in the oven (for me) that I completely forgot it was hot and grabbed the lid with no potholder. Man did that hurt. Be careful!

    Next, I really wanted a good caraway seed rye bread and my first attempt was to substitute half of the flour (1-1/2 cups) with rye flour. It tasted fine but was too dense. It doesn’t rise much so you don’t get good size slices for sandwiches. The next time I substituted only a 1/2 cup with rye flour and it was GREAT! I’m not sure what the flavor would be like with that little rye flour and no caraway seeds but with the seeds, it was fantastic!

  18. Stuart The Baker

    I nearly gave up on the no knead method after several attempts and alterations, but I stumbled on Eric’s recipe and this has exceeded my expectations. I used better quality stone ground local wheat (this has more protein in it and gives bigger bubbles) and left the dough overnight as suggested. I tried all different ways and them putting it the fridge as described by Jeff Hertzberg but I never got the big bubbles, lighter bread. This recipe worked out perfect!

    I added my pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds for the perfect loaf, it was nearly gone in the first sitting :)

  19. Dee

    I have been working on perfecting the no-knead recipe and processes for my kitchen. Every kitchen has its own set of conditions that make a difference in how the dough reacts: climate of the day (a big influence!), oven (temps can vary. convection makes a difference, etc.), ingredients (brands are slightly different); even utensils, tools, bowls, pots, and the baker’s own perceptions make a difference.

    You have to learn how to work your own set of conditions du jour to create your own individual, best processes for the moment (each day is different). Concisely said, you must learn how the dough “feels” and looks to make the best bread at any given time and tweak-adjust it as you go. The artistry of bread making is in the bread-maker’s own senses and savvy. Each day is different; learn to sense the differences and make appropriate adjustments.

    That said, here is a tip that I learned during my last few bread sessions — I have abandoned all dough-mixing tools: wooden spoons, dough whisks, mixer, etc. I just use my clean, bare hand. It has wonderful mechanical versatility, and I can “feel” what is happening with the dough. I get a thorough, even mix, and it is far easier than trying to stroke any other tool around in the stiffness of incorporating flour and water together. I know exactly when the gluten strands have formed, which is what is important.

    I don’t mind washing my gooey hand. You have wash any tool you use. And, . . . wasn’t making mud pies fun because you got your hands into it?

    Ultimately, bread-making is powerful magic, and fantastic, creative fun. Above all, HAVE FUN!

  20. Dan

    I learned to bake bread a few years ago by following a basic no-knead recipe. Over the years I have slightly modified it until it resembles the following:
    -7 cups of brown bread flour
    -10g instant yeast
    -2 tsp. table salt
    -750ml lukewarm water
    I mix the dry ingredients and the water with a big spoon and then pour it into a baking pan. I cover the baking pan with a plastic bag and let the dough rise in a warm place until it is almost double in size, or reaches the rim of the pan. I then bake it in a preheated electric oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 60 minutes. My bread won’t win any prizes, but its fairly quick to make and tastes better than the bread available at the local supermarket. I see that your recipe has a much, much longer proofing time and a higher oven temperature. This probably results in a better texture as well as taste. My bread loaf usually has a coarse texture.

  21. Kaleb

    Ok I’m am brand spanking new to this and I know I’m an idiot for asking this but when do I use the starter in the recipe?

  22. Gary from Wisconsin

    Friday baking.

  23. Antonella

    Hi! I have done this a few times and always with the same result: great taste, great crust (depending on whether I used a dutch oven or not) but the inside stayed a bit sticky, with small bubbles. What am I doing wrong? I am all for the keep trying approach, but there are a lot of variables and I would love some help on where to start adjusting first. Thanks!!
    Antonella

    • Stuart The Baker

      I had exactly the same problem until I used local, higher quality stone ground wheat, now I get perfect bubbles. Try fresh yeast as well for better quality rises :)

  24. Lori

    I was curious if you could make a regular dough in the bread machine and then continue to do the rise and bake technique used with the No Knead recipe? I know it won’t taste as good and I LOVE the No Knead recipe, however sometimes it’s just faster to use my machine. Just wondering if anyone has done this? Thanks!

    • Lori
      You posted a recipe several years ago which included white wine vinegar and old dough.
      My family absolutely loved it but I didn’t save the recipe. Could you post it to me please as I would love to make it again as it was so good.
      Many thanks
      Marian Hale

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