Easy No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread Recipe

This bread recipe is simple and foolproof, making it ideal for anyone. Whether you’re new to baking or an experienced baker, this recipe is perfect for consistently great bread.

Baked loaf of bread held up by two hands.

Want to make bread but not too confident in your kneading technique? No worries, there is an easy way to make bread that does not involve kneading. All you have to do is mix your ingredients and wait. And by wait, I mean 18 hours. By then, your dough will have risen perfectly and is ready to be baked! How is that for the perfect bread recipe?

How is that for easy?

The interior of the bread showing the crumb structure.

Why I Love This Recipe

  1. Mix the ingredients, let yeast and time do their magic, and voilà, you have perfect dough!
  2. All you need is a bowl, a spoon, a Dutch oven, and an oven.
  3. The slow rise creates a complex flavor and a perfect crusty exterior.

The Basic Ingredients

  • Flour: All-purpose is the perfect flour for this bread recipe. Bread flour is also a great choice!
  • Yeast: You only need one packet of dry active yeast
  • Salt: Enhances flavor. Trust me, you need a little salt in bread making!
  • Water: Warm water is needed to activate the yeast.

Four Easy Steps!

Adding water the the flour, salt and yeast.

Step One Mix Ingredients:

In a bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt, and water. Stir until a shaggy, sticky dough forms. Remember to add the salt and yeast on opposite sides initially. Direct contact can cause the salt to deactivate the yeast. However, they will integrate well when mixed with flour and water.

Dough that has risen overnight.

Step Two: Rest and Rise:

Cover the bowl and allow it to rest at room temperature for 16- 18 hours. Yes, it takes that long! This extended rise is essential for developing the flavor. The rising time may vary based on your home’s temperature.

Bread rustically shaped into a ball.

Step Three Shaping:

Gently form the dough into a ball on a floured surface. Be gentle so that you avoid knocking out the air. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes. During this time, preheat your oven to 450°F (225°C), placing the Dutch oven on the middle rack. The Dutch oven needs to be hot when you add the dough.

Dough in the dutch Oven

Step Four Bake:

Carefully transfer the dough into the preheated Dutch oven. Bake with the lid on for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown.

Pro Tips for Success

  • Use the Correct Water Temperature: Water at the right temperature is necessary to activate the yeast. If the water is too cold, the yeast won’t activate; if it’s too hot, it will kill the yeast. The ideal temperature range is between 95°F and 105°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, a simple trick is to run the water until it feels warm on your wrist – not too hot or cold. Remember, bakers have been doing this successfully long before the advent of thermometers; you got this!
  • Good Things Come to Those Who Wait: Trust me, allowing your dough to take its time and rise slowly is the secret ingredient to achieving that dreamy, perfect loaf.
  • Use Dutch Oven: A Dutch oven is necessary for perfectly crusty bread baked at home. The Dutch oven keeps the temperature and moisture inside. It mimics a commercial oven rather well.
  • The Tap Test for Bread Doneness: Once you think your bread is done, take it out of the oven wearing oven mitts. Then, gently tap the bottom of the loaf with your knuckles. If it sounds hollow, like a drum, congratulations – your bread is perfectly baked! If it sounds dense or damp, pop it back in the oven for a few more minutes.
Bread in a dutch oven

In The Market For a Dutch Oven?

I recommend buying a Dutch oven with a black interior for bread making. You can also use a bread-specific Dutch oven.

I have been making this bread for ages, but recently, I learned it was based on a recipe by Jim Lahey printed in the NYT in 2006.

Did you make this? Leave a comment below or on my social media, and let me know how it turned out.

Baked loaf of bread held up by two hands.

Easy Bread Recipe – No Knead Dutch Oven

This bread is so easy to make. All you need is flour, water, yeast, salt, and a dutch oven and you will be able to make this great-looking bread!
5 from 4 votes
Print Rate
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American, French
Servings: 6 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 1 hour

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven
  • Bowl
  • Wooden spoon or spatula

Ingredients

  • 3 and 1.2 cups (430g) All-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (1g) Active dry teast
  • 2 tsp (8g) Salt
  • 1.5 cups (345g) Water between 95 and 105 degrees

Instructions

Step 1: Making the Dough

  • In a bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt, and water. Stir until a shaggy, sticky dough forms. Always start with the yeast and salt on opposite sides.
  • Cover the bowl with a shower cap or plastic wrap and a damp towel.
  • Allow the dough to rest for 16-18 hours at room temperature.

Step 2: Preparing the Dough and Dutch Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F with the Dutch oven inside.
  • Gently shape the rested dough into a ball on a floured surface.
  • Place the dough ball on a large piece of parchment paper. You can trim the edges. This does not have to be perfect.

Step 3: Baking the Bread

  • Carefully remove the hot Dutch oven from the oven.
  • Place the parchment paper with the dough inside the Dutch oven and cover with the lid.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown.
  • Let the bread cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Notes

Pro Tips:
  • Check for doneness by tapping the bottom of the bread; a hollow sound indicates it’s ready.
  • Adjust baking time based on your oven and desired crust color.
 
Based on a recipe by Jim Lahey, which was printed in the NYT in 2006.

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 585mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 3mg
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Ruth holding a whisk to her chin.

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9 Comments

  1. I think I will stick to my recipe as although I do 3 rises overall it is quicker although I will use the parchment paper tip as that dutch oven is scarily hot and it means I can place my dough easier rather than just let it slide in… sigh and the shower cap is a brilliant idea.. 😀

    1. I totally understand. The hot dutch oven freaks me out. The thing I like about the parchment paper is the dough keeps it’s shape better than when I toss it directly into the pot. I do take the bread off of the parchment paper pretty quickly. I left it on the parchment paper over night once and it left a wood fire smoke taste to it. My husband really liked it. But I don’t even like the way the dough on wood fire pizza tastes so I always remove the bread very quickly.

  2. I bake mine in a Dutch oven but not with just one rise…I love the idea of using a shower cap this is why I love blogging as you come across some great little tips…Thank you for following CarolCooks2, Ruth..I have followed you back something I don’t often do straight away but I like your style …Be well and stay safe 🙂

    1. Thank you Carol! I like your style too. The shower cap is my favorite trick. I feel so much better about not being wasteful. I love the easy bread recipe. We make it all the time and works like a charm. I just needs about a day to rise.

    1. That’s what I thought when I first started making this. It seemed to easy, but it really is that easy and that good. It’s just about patience. But as I am learning bread and baking is all about patience.

    1. OMG it is and it’s so easy!!! Honestly takes less than five minutes. I have mixed feelings about the parchment paper. But it’s easy to spray the dutch oven with cooking spray. It’s just weird when you put dough on a sizzling hot pot. Either way it’s totally worth it. Let me know if you try it.

5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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