No Knead Dutch Oven Bread is a decades old classic that needs to be re-visited from time to time because it is so EASY! If you have never made this, it is a great bread for not only seasoned bread bakers but beginners looking for a tried and true winner to build that self confidence.
Short History of No Knead Breads
Last week, I was on the phone talking to my mom about the fact that I was prepping No Knead Dutch Oven Bread for the blog and my mom spent 10 minutes flooded in memories of HER grandmother making No Knead Bread…so step away and realize that my mom is 77 and we know the recipe is OLD! Sorry, mom! I loved listening to her stories and hearing that she was taught how to make this bread when she was little.
After researching a bit more, I found out that No Knead Bread has been around since the early 1700’s in Eliza Smith’s book, The Compleat Housewife. Yes, the spelling of “Compleat” is correct for the title!
One of the things that is the best thing about this bread recipe is that it is almost foolproof. Now, you are dealing with yeast, but since you aren’t getting too technical or kneading the bread a certain amount of time, it is wicked easy. There is nothing intimidating here so let’s get started!
What is No Knead Bread
According to Wikipedia, No Knead Bread is categorized as a bread that uses the process of a long fermentation to make the gluten instead of kneading. Time is the best tool to work the bread into a super fluffy inside and a perfect crusty outside.
How to Make No Knead Dutch Oven Bread
One of the reasons I wanted to feature this bread on Savor and Savvy is that it is EASY! (es, all-caps EASY!) Our readers love easy-to-make, easy-to-get-done recipes. We are all a busy group, right? We want delicious homemade food, but we need it fast and without spending hours in the kitchen.
That is where this is going to come in! Make homemade bread without a breadmaker for your family and friends and learn a classic baking skill at the same time.
Combine the flour, water, yeast, salt and sugar into a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon. It comes together in no time and using a mixer is really not needed. This is another reason it is great for anyone starting out on their bread making journey.
When the dough has been fully mixed, form it into a ball and cover with Saran Wrap or Press n Seal. Keep it covered for 16-24 hours. I made it at the lower end and the higher end of the time listed and am happy with both. Frankly, I really couldn’t tell a difference between the two, so you do have some flexibility to make this work with your schedule.
When you are ready to bake, simply remove the dough from the bowl and gently form it into a ball again. Heat the dutch oven to 450 degrees. Preheating that is a critical step, so don’t skip it.
Optional: If you want to make two deep slits on top of the ball of dough, do this after you put it into the hot dutch oven, being careful to not burn your arms. (Trust me – be careful!) If you want to make the slits, spray the knife with non-stick spray to help it glide through the sticky dough.
Cover with the lid and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes to get that gorgeous golden brown crust.
The end result of this bread is a very soft and airy inside with a crusty outer layer that is perfect for dipping in oils/herbs or spreading on butter and jam.
Can you Meal Prep Dutch Oven Bread
I put this in almost every post so I feel like I have to still put it here even though this is pretty much 100% meal prep! You are prepping this the day or evening before and can pop it into the oven when you are ready the second day.
Variations to this Recipe
There are so many things you can do with this bread! A few of my favorite things to add:
- Rosemary and thyme to make a delicious Herb Bread
- Cinnamon and raisins and you have the Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- Craisins and orange zest for a great Cranberry Orange Bread
- Blueberries and lemon zest for a Lemon Blueberry Bread
Thanks for our awesome readers, I want to note that if you want to use herbs you will use 2-2 ½ TBSP FRESH herbs or 2-2 ¼ TSP DRY herbs. Also you will mix that in with all the ingredients at the beginning!
If you love the idea of making your own bread, make sure to check out these recipes where the bread will come in handy:
Slow Cooker Black Bean Pumpkin Chili – the perfectly thick slow cooker chili to go with this yummy bread! Since the bread is no knead, you will simply pull it from the bowl and put in the dutch oven to cook while you go about checking off your “to do” list for the day. The chili is cooking in the crockpot and this meal is simply hands off all the way around!
37 Homemade Bread Recipes – this is a great roundup to check out if you want to expand your bread making skills! There are so many to choose from for different levels of expertise.
Easy Homemade Breadsticks – this is another super easy beginner bread making recipe. Once you get started, it is a bit addicting.
Overnight Blueberry French Toast Bake – the No Knead Dutch Oven Bread could be used to make this recipe if you want to whip up two batches. There is no need to go to the store to buy bread when you can make it yourself!
Dutch Oven No Knead Bread
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 tbsp yeast
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon. The dough will come together in seconds and come off of the sides of the bowl.
- Allow the dough to stay in the bowl on the counter, covered with Saran Wrap or Press and Seal for 16-24 hours. I have done 24 hours with no problems.
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450 degrees with the dutch oven in the oven when heating up. This is essential. I have preheated it up to 45 minutes and haven't seen a drastic difference in the outcome of the bread, so I just heat up in the oven as the temperature comes up.
- While the oven is heating up, remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball. It may be a bit sticky which is fine. Don't work it, just form a big ball. Depending on the humidity in the air, I will add a teaspoon or so of flour to get it to work into a ball. Don't over do it though.
- When the oven is completely heated up, remove the dutch oven from the oven and place the ball of dough inside and cook for 45 minutes, covered. Remove the lid and cook an additional 10-15 minutes allowing the top to get a crusty brown color. Don't overcook as the outside will get too hard.