The Easiest Ever No-knead Crusty Loaf Bread

crusty bread

If the thought of making bread from scratch intimidates you, you are not alone. I stayed away from anything involving rising and kneading for a long time because the process seemed so daunting and time consuming. But I am here to tell you that making bread is actually a very simple process. It only takes a few ingredients and a few basic pieces of cooking equipment. The following recipe for the easiest ever no-knead crusty loaf bread is very forgiving and produces instagram worthy artisan loaves every time. I have found that the secret to getting a nice crackly crust is baking the bread in a dutch oven. I personally use this Lodge combo cooker and I cannot recommend it enough! Now let’s get baking!

The Easiest Ever No-knead Crusty Loaf Bread

Yield: 2 Round Loaves

Time: ~15 hours

Here is everything you will need:

1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast

2 1/2 tsp Salt

6 Cups All Purpose Flour 

3 Cups Lukewarm water (~100°f)

Dutch oven*

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together until completely incorporated. The dough will be very tacky, don’t worry it’s supposed to be that way. Cover the bowl with a damp dishtowel or plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight for at least 12 hours.
  2. The next morning, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and shape into 2 balls with a rounded tops. Dust tops with flour or cornmeal and cover with a dishtowel. Let sit for 2 hours at room temperature.
  3. When you have ~20 minutes left on your rise, place your dutch oven on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 450°F
  4. Once oven is preheated and the 2 hour rise is complete, take the dutch oven out of the preheated oven and set aside. Now you can score the tops of your loaves with a razor blade or sharp knife. I like to do 4 lines that make up a square but you can keep it really simple and do three parallel lines. You can also not score at all and just let the tops of the bread break naturally. It still looks cool!
  5. Place a loaf inside the dutch oven (use oven mitts for this because it will be hot). Place the cover on the dutch oven.
  6. Return dutch oven to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to bake for another 15 minutes, until the top is nice and browned.
  7. Remove bread from dutch oven, let cool on cooling rack before slicing.
  8. Repeat baking process with the second loaf.
*If you do not have a dutch oven, you can bake this bread in a loaf pan. Just stretch the dough into an oval and place in a greased loaf pan. Let the dough rest in the pan for 45 minutes, then bake on the middle oven rack at 450°F.