In a rush? You can cut straight to the Dutch Oven No-Knead Overnight Bread Recipe at my Tumblr.
After trying the no-knead artisan-style sourdough bread, I realized that I needed a break.
A loaf that takes three days of timing, folding, and care is too much work for my average work day. I have a daughter to chase, a house to clean, and a dog to walk. I don’t have the energy to spend an entire weekend making bread, even if it does taste amazing.
I need a bread that pretty much makes itself.
And I think I found one.
This bread recipe comes together in a flash. Just stir the ingredients the night before and let the dough rise while you sleep. In the morning, you can bake and have hot fresh bread for breakfast. No kneading. No folding. No timing. No fuss. No stress.
Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes
Rise time: 8 to 18 hours
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: Approximately 9 to 19 Hours
This recipe is as basic as it comes:
- 3.5 Grams (1 Teaspoon) Dry Active Yeast
- 12 Grams (2 Teaspoons) Table Salt
- 360 Grams (3 Cups) All-Purpose Flour
- 375 Grams (1 1/2 Cups) Lukewarm Water
But just because it looks simple doesn’t mean it skimps on flavor. I love that this recipe is cheap, fast, and tasty.
This recipe is one of the easiest ones I’ve tried, right up there with my favorite peasant bread recipe. Although you don’t need a lot to make this bread, you do need the following:
- Small and Large Mixing Bowls
- Wooden Mixing Spoon
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Dutch Oven
- Bread Lame
- Cooling Rack
I’m assuming you probably have most of these items already in your kitchen. But remember that the Dutch oven is a key component to making this bread. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can try a casserole dish or stainless steel pot, so long as they are oven safe and have a lid to trap in the steam.
This recipe requires almost no effort on your part, seriously. To start, stir yeast, salt, and flour together in a large bowl.
Add water and stir until a thick, shaggy dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise over night, about 8 to 18 hours.
Turn your dough out onto a floured surface. Flour your hands and gently shape the dough into a ball. Don’t knead the dough or work it too much or you’ll lose some of the nice bubbles that make your bread light and fluffy. Let it rest for 1 hour.
After about 30 minutes of resting, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Put your Dutch oven (or oven-safe pot) into the oven and let it preheat for 30 minutes without the lid.
When the dough is done resting and the Dutch oven is done heating, flour your hands and carefully place the dough in the Dutch oven. If you wish, slash the top of the dough with a bread lame or sharp knife. Then, place the lid on the Dutch oven, and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid of the Dutch oven. By now your dough should have risen, and it will have a faint golden color. Bake without the lid for another 15 minutes or until the bread has a nice golden brown crust and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
Place the bread on a cooling rack and allow to cool before serving.
Secrets to Success
I love finding recipes that even beginners make without too much stress or fuss. If you want to start making bread, this recipe is a good one to practice. You don’t have to worry about kneading, though you can have a little fun shaping and scoring.
I made this recipe several times, and I found that it’s easiest to make if you use a lot of flour on your hands and on the table or counter. This dough is probably the stickiest dough I’ve worked with, and the extra flour keeps the dough from sticking to my fingers and pulling out of shape.
Because the dough is so sticky, I also think it might be easier to transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl before letting it rise overnight. Although this step isn’t entirely necessary and it adds to the pile of dishes you’ll need to clean, it could help you turn out the dough without losing the air bubbles that make the dough fluffy.
Also, keep in mind that the longer you let the dough rise, the stronger the flavor. I tried this recipe with both the minimum rise time and the maximum rise time. The minimum 8-hour rise had a mild flavor while the 18-hour rise time had a stronger, yeastier flavor that almost resembled sourdough.
Since this bread only uses flour, salt, water, and yeast, it’s a fairly calorie friendly recipe. Here’s what you’ll get with one slice of a loaf:
This nutrition label is based on an average of 10 slices per loaf. You might manage more or fewer slices when you make the bread. And because it is a round loaf, the nutrition information will vary as the slices get bigger or smaller.
Did You Try It?
I was thrilled to find such a relaxing and easy recipe. I am even more thrilled at the idea of my readers giving it a go for themselves!
If you tried this recipe, let me know how it went in the comments below! Feel free to share your pictures, questions, and suggestions, too.