no-knead artisan bread

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

If you’re interested in baking your own bread, this is a great recipe for beginners.

It’s a ‘no-knead’ loaf, which means you simply mix up the dough and let it rest overnight. No stand mixer, no bread machine, no kneading- just 2 minutes of prep time. The bread is baked in a dutch oven and the result is to die for; golden, crusty bread with a soft & chewy interior.

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

Buckle up people- this is a loooooong tutorial…

1.) Make the dough- Clear away all kitchen clutter and find yourself a nice workspace. In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix with water to combine. It will look something like this…

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

As it becomes difficult to stir, get in there with your hands and mush everything together. It will be wet and sticky, with a shaggy appearance…

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot 

2.) Let it rise- Transfer your dough to a lightly oiled container and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at room temperature (70 degrees) for 14 hours- overnight (Zzzz…Zzzz…)

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

Your dough is ready when it has puffed up in volume, about 1 1/2- 2 x the original size. You will also see lots of bubbles…

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot*Note: if your dough isn’t puffed and bubbly after the initial rise, place it in the microwave with the light on (keeping the door ajar). The warmth from the light will give the yeast a boost. My friend Celia gave me this tip and it works like a charm, especially in chilly kitchens!

3.) Shape the dough & let it rise again- Flour a sheet of parchment paper. Remove the dough from its container and place it on top. Fold it in half (like a book) and then fold it in half again. Don’t worry about the direction. You are doing this to release some air inside of the dough. Sorry, no photo for this one- my hands were too sticky!

When you are finished folding, add more flour to the parchment paper (be generous so that it doesn’t stick). Shape the dough into a ball by gently tucking the sides underneath itself. Place onto the paper (seam side down), like so…

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap…

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

And let it rest again until puffy. It will start to spread out slightly as it rises- this is ok. The 2nd rise will not take as long as the first, but expect to wait about 30 minutes- 2 hours depending how warm your kitchen is (Zzzz…Zzzz). If you’re impatient like me, now is a good time to use that microwave tip!

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

4.) Get ready to bake- About 1/2 hour before your dough is ready, preheat your oven to 500 F. Place a dutch oven (with lid) inside for 20 minutes to heat up. *Don’t have a dutch oven? See recipe below for additional bakeware options. When it’s nice and hot, carefully slide your hand underneath the parchment paper and invert the dough into the pot. The seam will now be facing up. It will look a little messy, but the top will be beautifully cracked after it’s baked. Take a look…

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrotno-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

Place your bread into the oven, and immediately reduce the temperature from 500 to 400 F. Bake with the lid on for 40 minutes (this will trap the steam inside making the bread moist). Remove the lid, and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the crust is a deep, golden brown.

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot*Note: To be sure that your bread is fully cooked, I highly recommend taking its temperature.  Flip the bread on its side, and insert a thermometer into the bottom. It should read between 200-205 F. If not, leave it in a little longer (extra time in bread baking is a good thing). If you’re worried that the top will get too brown, put the lid back on. Better safe than sorry!

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

5.) Let it cool- When your bread is done, remove it from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. It should feel light and sound hollow when you knock on the bottom. You’ll also notice a wonderful crackling sound as it cools. Let it rest for at least 1 hour. Cutting it too soon might ruin the texture of the bread, resulting in a gummy crumb! Trust me, I speak from experience…

And there you have it- fabulous, no-knead artisan bread!

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

Are you still with me? Good! I’m almost done…

10 loaves ago (and 1 battle wound later), I had absolutely no clue how to bake bread. With practice, I’ve found that the ‘no-knead’ approach is great for beginners and has given me the confidence to take on more challenging recipes. To me, it’s truly a rewarding experience. Bake 1 loaf in your lifetime and you’ll see what I mean. And with the rising cost of bread, it is a great skill to have. This loaf cost less than $1 to make!

4.9 from 9 reviews
no-knead artisan bread
 
Author:
Serves: 1½ pound loaf
Ingredients
  • 3 c. bread flour (not all-purpose) + more for dusting
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1½ c. water
  • 6 quart dutch oven
* I used King Arthur bread flour & SAF instant yeast.
* You can use any 6 quart dutch oven, cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic bakeware (with lid) that can heat up to 500 degrees F.
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add the water, and stir until combined; dough will be wet and sticky, with a shaggy appearance.
  2. Transfer to an oiled container and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let dough rest for 14 hours- overnight, at room temperature (about 70 degrees). Your dough is ready when it has puffed up in volume, about 1½ -2x its original size. The surface will be dotted with bubbles. *See note below.
  3. Lightly flour a sheet of parchment paper and place the dough on top. Fold dough in half (like a book) and then fold it again (like a book). The direction doesn't matter. You're doing this to release some of the air inside.
  4. Add more flour to the parchment paper (be generous so that it doesn't stick). Shape the dough into a ball by tucking the sides underneath itself, and place (seam side down) onto the paper. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let rest again until puffy in shape. This will take 30 minutes- 2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.
  5. At least a half-hour before the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 500 F. Put a (6 quart) dutch oven pot inside for 20 minutes. When the dough is ready, carefully remove pot from the oven. Slide your hand underneath the parchment paper and invert the dough into the pot. The seam will be facing up. It will look messy, but the top will be beautifully cracked when baked. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed.
  6. Place your bread into the oven, and immediately reduce the temperature from 500 to 400 F.Cover with the lid and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. To make sure that the bread is completely cooked through, take its temperature. Carefully tip the bread onto its side and insert a thermometer into the bottom. It should read 200-205 F. If not, place it back into the oven until it is ready (extra time in bread baking is a good thing). If you're worried about the top getting too brown, put the lid back on.
  8. When your bread is ready, transfer to a wire rack to cool. It should feel light and make a hollow sound when you give it a knock underneath. Let it cool for at least 1 hour. Cutting it too soon might ruin the texture resulting in a gummy crumb!
Notes
* If your dough isn't puffed and bubbly after the initial rise, place it in the microwave with the light on (keeping the door ajar). The warmth from the light will give the yeast a boost. My friend Celia gave me this tip and it works like a charm, especially in chilly kitchens!

Comments

  1. says

    Emilie, what a fabulous tutorial! When you sent me a photo of that loaf, I was astounded that it was both yeasted and no-knead – it looks better than most artisan loaves I’ve seen! Thank you for the linky, and may I offer a suggestion? Go to your local hardware store, and buy yourself a pair of leather welding gloves. They’re quite cheap here (under $20/pair), and they will save your hands and forearms from burns as you’re manoeuvring the hot pot around. I’ve written about them a bit in the past:
    http://figjamandlimecordial.com/2012/03/06/little-kitchen-things/

    PS. Has your starter arrived yet? Heidi got hers the other day! :)

    • Emilie says

      Hi Celia,
      Thanks! I was concerned that it was a bit too long, but I felt like I had to include every detail!
      Ooo, leather welding gloves? Sounds serious ;) I actually got my battle wound from grabbing the pot without gloves! It was one of those things- the kids were running around, it was noisy and I just grabbed the 500 F pot without thinking! It was painful, but it’s getting better now. I’m going to go check out your link.
      I didn’t get the starter yet- I’m waiting with bated breath! (Heidi got hers already? Wow! That was fast!) I’ll keep you posted :) xx

  2. says

    Emilie, your bread turned out so beautifully… just look at that loaf! A crusty gorgeous exterior and soft, tender interior. To be honest, I have never had the patience to make my own bread so this recipe is perfect for me. Your step-by-step instructions (and photos) are so helpful. I wonder if I could add a couple tablespoons of dried or fresh herbs to the mix, how that might go? I think the whole family would just love this recipe! Thank you.

    • Emilie says

      Hi Kelly,
      Thank you! I never thought that I would have the patience either, but after success with this recipe, I’m hooked! I’ve been making several loaves a week and just popping them into the freezer. It’s like my own personal bakery ;)
      As far as adding herbs to the recipe- I’d say go for it! I’ve never done it myself (dried or fresh) but it can’t hurt. Maybe add just a touch your first time around and see how that goes? I’m also working on a whole wheat version as well. I hope you enjoy the recipe! If you have any questions, I’m more than happy to help.

  3. says

    I can’t wait to try your method here. I have been addicted to artisan bread since I discovered the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day recipe. The recipe is very similar to yours but I love cooking it in a Dutch oven.

    • Emilie says

      Hi Karen,
      Yes! The recipe here is very similar to the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a day (but has less yeast and is a slightly wetter dough). The method of baking in a dutch oven is amazing! It traps the steam inside making the bread moist and delicious. When you remove the lid, the outside becomes all golden and crusty. I’ve made it several times with success! If you make it, let me know how it goes. Thanks for stopping by :)

  4. says

    Wow, your bread looks fabulous. I never bother to knead my dough any more as it works so well without, but have never cooked it in a dutch oven. If I use my cast iron pan, do I need to grease it first or can I just plop the dough in?

    • Emilie says

      Hi Anne,
      I love cooking bread in the dutch oven! The lid traps the steam inside, and then once it’s removed the bread becomes a deep, golden brown. It’s amazing.
      About your cast iron pot- The original recipe did not call for greasing the pot. I believe they recommended adding cornmeal to prevent sticking, but I didn’t do that (I’m not a fan of cornmeal texture on my bread). I read other versions of this recipe where they didn’t use anything at all, which is what I did.
      I just preheated my pot (un greased) for 20 minutes @ 500F. Then I added the dough, reduced the temp. to 400F, and let it bake away. I’ve never has a problem with sticking.
      If you’re a little unsure, you could always give your pan a little grease, or utilize the cornmeal method. Just make sure your pan is preheated. This might be good for the first time to test it out?
      Do you plan on covering the pan with a lid? Just curious…
      Hope this helps! xx E

  5. says

    This is just the most stunning loaf of bread, Emilie! What an accomplishment and your instructions are so helpful. I’m in a sourdough course later this month and can only hope my bread turns out so pretty!! xx

    • Emilie says

      Thank you Smidge! It was a lot of fun to make and I’m officially on the bread baking band wagon! I just received some of Celia’s sourdough starter in the mail. How wonderful that you’re taking a sourdough class. I hope you learn lots so you can teach me ;) xx

  6. sara says

    I am very excited. Just pulled the finished product out of the over and it looks exactly like the picture. Now I have to wait impatiently for an hour until it’s cool enough to eat. Aaah! That may be the longest hour ever. I am very excited though. My daughter looked at me and said in her very blasé 19 year old way: You’re excited because you baked bread?” to which I replied “YES!”. I am sure it will be delicious! Thanks so much. I can’t wait to bake my next bread!

    • Emilie says

      HOW WONDERFUL!!!!!! Don’t you just love when a recipe works out? Yes, I agree with you- the hardest part is waiting for the bread to cool! I’ve cut into it way sooner and the crumb turned out really gummy. I have no patience, but sure learned my lesson! And that’s funny about your daughter’s reaction…but trust me, I can relate to how you felt. Bread baking sure is an accomplishment! I haven’t bought bread from the store in weeks. I’m loving the fact that I can make my own now :)

      • sara says

        p.s. So we couldn’t wait the full hour…family got cranky just watching the gorgeous bread…and they lovesd it…so here I am, a week later, about to bake my next loaf. I am also going to bake the individual Irish soda breads this afternoon (don’t you just love baking and cooking?!)…I’ll let you know how they turn out, of course, but I have no doubt they will be smashing!

        • Emilie says

          Oh, I’m so glad that your first loaf turned out well! Quite motivating to bake more, isn’t it? I like to make a bunch of loaves and freeze them. This way I have my own little stash of fresh bread for sandwiches, soups, etc. I’m working on a honey whole-wheat version as well. I’ll share that with you as soon as I’m done tweaking the recipe!! :)

          • sara says

            Emilie,

            Since I have had such success with your recipe, any suggestions for making an easy and delicious, gorgeous challah? I have looked at lots of recipes but none of them have absolutely intrigued or inspired me.

          • Emilie says

            Hi Sara! You know, I’ve never made challah before. But now that you’ve put the idea in my head, I will be on the look out for a good recipe. I will keep you posted!
            PS- Great idea about covering your pot with foil instead of a lid. I’m glad it worked out!

    • Emilie says

      Hello Alison,
      Thank you!
      I use a 6 quart dutch oven that is about 10 inches wide. I think yours will work just fine! If you’re a bit unsure, you could always use something smaller (see recipe for additional options!) Just make sure that your bakeware is at least 4-5 inches deep, has a lid/cover, and can be heated up to 500 F. Good luck! :)

    • sara says

      Alison,

      I use a deep soup pot and cover it tightly with foil since it doesn’t have a lid…and still absolute perfection!

  7. Cynthia Larame says

    This is great! My husband loves bread and as soon as he saw the picture he wanted some! I can’twait to get all of my ingredients and start making this recipe!
    Thanks!

  8. Trixie says

    WOW!!! This bread is delicious! I added Herbs de Provence but that was the only change I made. It is perfect, and tastes just as good (maybe better) as the $7 artisan loaf sold up the street.

    Thank you for the very clear instructions! This is my new favourite bread!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Trixie!
      I’m so glad that you liked the bread! Isn’t it yummy? I haven’t bought a loaf of bread in months ever since I started baking my own. I got hooked!!! I usually make my dough after dinner, let it rise overnight, and then bake it off in the morning. It’s a great routine. Then I pack my freezer full of bread to use whenever I need it. I think I’ll try it out with herbs de provence next. Sounds fantastic! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I really appreciate the feedback! :)

    • linnyrae says

      What a great idea!!! I LOVE Herbs de Provence but never thought of putting it in the bread. I love to sprinkle it on my steaks before grilling. Having it in the bread would be a GREAT accompaniment! Thanks!

      • Emilie says

        Doesn’t that sound lovely? Maybe Herbs de Provence and roasted garlic… I think that will be a hit! ;)

  9. linnyrae says

    Thank you for such a great recipe and tutorial! I made the bread and fell in love! It is now my “occassion” recipe. Making 2 loaves tonight, 1 for new neighbors & 1 for a “Thank You”!!! Just wondering if anyone has tried to make a Roasted Garlic Loaf with this recipe. I have been contemplating mixing in a handful of garlic cloves when doing the folding step. Not sure if I should do anything to the garlic before incorporating into the dough. Any suggestions?

    • Emilie says

      You are so welcome Linnyrae! I am SO pleased that you had success with the recipe. Isn’t baking in a Dutch oven amazing? Who knew?!
      I’ve never attempted making bread with roasted garlic, but I’m sure there are several recipes out there on the internet that will help guide you. What a yummy idea.! If you end up making it this way, definitely let me know~ I’d love to try it out. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  10. pym says

    lovely recipe..i am hungry. i have a very, very old oven which will only go up to 400-425 degrees will my bread come out okay? thanks

    • Emilie says

      Hi there!
      Do you have an oven thermometer? I ask because the temperature in old ovens can be off sometimes, even though you might think it’s heated to the correct temp. So if you have one, definitely use it! That will help.
      Baking at 500 F helps to boost ‘oven spring’ or rise, so baking at a lower temperature may not give your bread that initial push it might need. However, I’ve baked bread at 425 F before and it came out just fine! It all depends! Go for it :)

  11. William Riedinger says

    The bread tastes great and easy to make. The only problem is that I end up with larger bubbles at the top. I noticed in the photo above that the bubbles are more evenly distributed. Any suggestions?

    • Emilie says

      Hi William,
      Just to be sure- which photo are you referring to? This way, I’ll have a better idea on how to advise. Thanks! :)

      • William Riedinger says

        The 2nd photo from the top.
        To analyze it further your bread has overall larger air “bubbles” mine tend to be finer towards the lower half of the loaf with the upper ones larger(1″ ea.) which makes the upper crust paper thin

        • Emilie says

          Hi William,

          There could be several reasons for experiencing an ‘uneven’ crumb.

          Based on my personal experience, possible factors include:

          1.) Dough was too cold- whenever I bake with dough straight out of the fridge, the crumb towards the bottom crust is always finer or more dense. The loaf of bread itself is also heavier. So now, whenever I fridge proof I like to do the second rise at room temperature for at least an hour, (sometimes 2) depending on how cold the kitchen is and how puffy the dough looks. As a result, the crumb and overall loaf is pretty even in texture, fluffy and light.

          2.) Are you using the Dutch oven to bake? Sometimes if you take the lid off too soon, the outside crust will harden before the bread has had a chance to fully rise. This will result in an open or big crumb towards the top crust. When then bread can no longer expand, the crumb towards the bottom crust becomes more dense. Does that make sense? Maybe keep the lid on longer to trap in more moisture which is essential to good oven spring and bread expansion.

          I hope this helps! Please let me know how it goes if you continue to experiment or if you have any other questions :) Best, E

          • William Riedinger says

            Thank you for taking time to offer suggestions. I reviewed your original instructions and noticed that you put the dough in the dutch oven upside down. I had tried doing that the first time I made this bread and had difficulty in the transfer (sticking to the parchment paper even floured) so I was letting it rise and baking it with the P paper. I tried flipping it again and that solved the bubble problem but Ive found that I need to use a lot of flour and the dough is spread way more then yours (over 12″)making transfer even harder also your bread doesn’t have that much flour on it after its baked, I don’t mind some but not to excess

  12. Peter G says

    I have a very similar recipe and find using a light beer for about 1/3 of the total liquid works very well.

    • Emilie says

      What a great substitution! I’ll have to give that one a try (it’s always good to have these tricks up your sleeve) The beer must add some good flavor too… :)

  13. susanne ellis says

    This bread is fantastic! Glorious! I am from Germany and that is the best bread I had (homemade or purchased) since coming to the US in 1997! It reminds me a lot of loafs of bread I had in France. Now if I could only find a great recipe for rye bread and I’d be in bread heaven!!!
    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. =)

    • Emilie says

      Oh my goodness! That is SO great to hear! It really is hard to find good bread these days, especially in the supermarkets. It makes me so happy that you had success with this particular loaf. Isn’t it yummy? I pretty much bake all of my bread from scratch these days, supplementing with store-bought here and there. I don’t have any recipes for rye bread, but if I come across one I will definitely post a recipe. Thanks for stopping by Susanne :)

  14. Diane Radford says

    I have been making this no knead recipe for a little while and I form the loaf on the parchment paper and when it’s time to bake the loaf, I just cut the parchment a couple of inches larger than the loaf and plop the whole thing down in the dutch oven.

    • Emilie says

      Hi Diane! That’s actually a great idea- so much easier to transfer. Thanks for the tip! :)

  15. Mary says

    Hi there,

    I’ve made this twice and while it tastes amazing – my loaves aren’t coming out as tall as yours. I follow along with each step and the dough looks like it’s tracking right along with the recipe. Any ideas why my loaves could be coming out a little flatter? Thanks for any help!

    Mary

    • Emilie says

      Hi Mary!

      I apologize for the late reply (somehow I missed this one!)-

      There are a couple of reasons why your bread could be coming out flatter than the pictured loaves.

      My guess is that it wasn’t shaped tightly enough before going into the pot (causes spreading), or the oven wasn’t hot enough to allow an adequate oven spring (rise).

      As a solution, make sure that when you’re shaping the dough into a ball, that you create a good seam underneath to keep it together. It needs to be tight. This definitely takes a little practice, as I struggled with this when I first started baking. In addition to shaping, instead of letting the dough rise on a sheet pan, place it in a cloth-lined, floured bowl (small) or brotform if you have. This will hold its shape so that it doesn’t spread out. Then, invert the dough into your Dutch oven right before baking. And finally, double check the temperature of your oven with a thermometer for accuracy. The hotter it is, the better the oven spring!

      I hope these suggestions help. Do let me know how it goes, and if you have any other questions I’m happy to help :)

  16. Abby Tonks says

    This bread is the best! I was a little hesitant over the long baking time and high temperature, but I have made it three times already, and it always comes out gorgeous. Really amazing and tasty. I always thought it would be impossible to make an artisan bread without a wood fired oven. I am a potter, and now I feel inspired to create some bake ware just for this bread. I can’t wait to try your other recipes!

    • Emilie says

      Thank you so much Abby! It’s wonderful to hear that you liked the recipe. Baking at a high temperature always is a little nerve-racking but it’s so important in bread baking in order to get a nice, high rise. isn’t it a good feeling knowing that you can replicate similar results at home? Bread baking is a beautiful art. I would love to see some of your artistry work. Homemade bakeware would be perfect for this :)

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