My friend Doug shared this artisan bread recipe with me a few months ago, and told me how easy and completely foolproof it is. I tried it out, and it really is simple.
The original makes a ton of bread though (more than I have space for in my freezer), so I made some adjustments to downsize the recipe to make just one large loaf. I also substituted some of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour, and simplified the baking process by throwing it all into a preheated Dutch oven (the pot’s lid traps the steam, creating a nice crispy crust).
This is the third or fourth “no-knead” bread recipe I’ve made, and honestly I think it’s the best. No waiting 24 hours for your dough to rise. No kneading the dough later on after the recipe promised “no-knead” in its title. No dumping a formless mass of dough into a pan and hoping it works out for the best.
Instead, you get a dough that is ready to bake in under three hours, holds its shape, and bakes up into a crusty loaf that’s still soft enough to make a good sandwich. Bake up a batch…and then make avocado toast.
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp yeast
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- Combine the salt, yeast and flours in a large bowl and pour over the water. Stir just until it forms a dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rise 2 hours.
- Lay a clean kitchen towel on a pan or plate and dust it with cornmeal. Lightly flour a cutting board or work surface and turn out the risen dough. Flour your hands and gently shape the dough into a ball. Place it on the cornmeal-dusted towel. Pull up the ends or use another towel to cover the dough loosely. Let rise another 40 minutes.
- Place a Dutch oven with an oven-proof lid (or similar cooking vessel) inside the oven and preheat it to 450F. When the oven is hot, remove the Dutch oven with oven mitts and take off the lid. Uncover the dough and use the bottom towel to carefully lift the dough and transfer it into the Dutch oven. It's ok if it doesn't look perfect! Put the lid back on and bake 15 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake the bread uncovered another 10 minutes until golden brown. The loaf should sound hollow when you tap the crust. You can also check its temperature to make sure it's done--the center should register 210F on a thermometer.
- Use tongs or a spatula to remove the loaf from the pan and cool it on a cooling rack before slicing.
*You can also bake the bread on a preheated pizza stone or in a loaf pan. I prefer the results of the Dutch oven, however!