Easy Dutch Oven No Knead Bread

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Easy Dutch Oven No Knead Bread recipe is made with only 4 ingredients and takes 5 minutes of prep time! If you want to make delicious homemade bread that looks & tastes like it came from a fancy bakery but actually takes very little effort, this dutch oven bread recipe is for you!

overhead view of baked dutch oven bread in a blue dutch oven


I cannot think of a time when I would turn down a slice (or two) of warm homemade bread fresh from the oven (like this homemade french bread). However, I know that some people are intimidated by the idea of making bread from scratch.

Well, you’re in luck because this Easy No Knead Bread is the perfect recipe if you want to bake homemade bread but are working on your confidence in the kitchen! It’s a no knead dutch oven bread that tastes like you worked for hours – when you really only spent 5 minutes preparing it!

This dutch oven bread is incredibly moist and tastes like a less sour, sourdough bread! It is both dense and fluffy at the same time, and is the perfect companion to any meal (like this tortellini soup, vegetable soup, chicken noodle soup, etc.)! I make it all the time, because I love that it’s prepped the day before and just popped in the oven right before company comes over.

front view of a slice of no knead bread

No Knead Bread: Ingredients & Substituions

overhead photo of the ingredients in this Easy Dutch Oven No Knead Bread
  • All-purpose flour. You can replace up to 1 cup of the flour with white whole wheat flour, but I don’t recommend making any other changes. This dutch oven bread is best when made with all-purpose flour. 
  • Sea salt. I recommend pure, fine sea salt for the best outcome! 
  • Yeast. Active dry yeast is the best choice for this no knead bread recipe, however you can use rapid rise yeast but you will still need to let it rise overnight. 
  • Water. Make sure to use warm water (105 degrees). It should feel warm to the touch but not hot. 
  • Optional mix-ins. If you’d like to create fun varieties, try mixing in parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, roasted garlic, etc. 
front view fo a slice of no knead bread resting on a loaf

How to Make No Knead Bread

Like I said above, if you want to make bread from scratch, this is your recipe! It looks & tastes like a beautiful loaf of artisan bread from a high-end bakery, but takes minimal time, effort and ingredients.

Seriously, this No Knead Dutch Oven Bread couldn’t be any simpler. It’s made with 4 ingredients and takes only 5 minutes of active prep time! There is no kneading, no waiting for the perfect rise (twice), and no exhaustive list of instructions to follow.

Step 1. Mix together dry ingredients

The first step in making this no knead bread is to mix together the dry ingredients, flour, sea salt and yeast. 

overhead view of the dry ingredients in this no knead bread recipe

Step 2. Add Warm Water

Next, add warm water and stir. Be sure the water is around 105 degrees F, anything warmer could kill the yeast and prevent the dutch oven bread from rising. 

front view of water being added showing how to make no knead bread

Step 3. Stir

Stir the dough until a sticky ball forms. As you can see in the photo on the right, the dough should hold a ball shape but it will be stick to the touch, and not very smooth.

two overhead photos showing how to make no knead bread mixing dough

Step 4. Cover & Let Set overnight

First cover the bowl with greased plastic wrap and wrap the bowl tightly. Then place a damp tea towel over the plastic wrap. Set it in a secure, warm place in your kitchen to rest for at least 18 hours, preferably 24.  

two overhead photos showing how to make no knead bread covering dough and rising

Form Dough Ball

After 24 hours, the no knead bread should look like the left photo below. The dough will rise in the bowl and have holes in it. Flour your hands and press the dough down. Then use a little extra flour to make the dough into a ball, and cover it to let it rest. 

Important note: The dough ball will be loose and “floppy.” It will be a little difficult to transfer to the baking pan. That is how it should be as this is a very moist bread which is what makes it so irresistible. So you will not have a firm ball, it will look a little flat (as pictured below).

two overhead photos showing how to make no knead bread punching down dough & forming a ball

Preheat Dutch Oven & Bake

Right before you pull the dough out of the bowl, place the dutch oven into the oven and preheat it to 450 degrees F. Placing the artisan bread dough into the warm dutch oven results in a golden-brown crispy crust. When the oven is preheated, carefully remove the heated dutch oven from the oven, spray with cooking spray and put the dough inside. 

Use a Dish With a Lid (a Dutch Oven).

This Easy No Knead Bread needs to be baked for 30 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered, so a lidded baking dish is critical. I use this Le Creuset 2.75 qt. dutch oven to bake mine, but most round baking dishes with a lid will work. 

overhead photo showing how to make dutch oven bread dough before baking in dutch oven

Cool & Serve

Once the no knead bread is done baking, remove it from the dutch oven and place it on a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

Everyone who tastes this easy no knead dutch oven bread recipe loves it! My favorite ways to eat it is with a warm bowl of soup, dipped into this baked goat cheese dip, or in a swirl of balsamic vinegar and olive oil!

overhead view of baked dutch oven bread in a blue dutch oven

Store/Freeze

Store leftover bread in an airtight container (silicone or plastic bag) for up to 3 days at room temperature or 1 week in the refrigerator. Or, freeze it in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

front view of a loaf of no knead bread

Dutch Oven Bread Recipe FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about making this no knead bread recipe! 

What is the best size Dutch oven for baking bread?

I recommend using a 2 3/4 quart (2.4L) dutch oven to make this bread! 

How long can you let no knead bread rise?

Let it rise for up to 24 hours overnight at room temperature, or up to 3 days in the refrigerator. 

Can I use a large dutch oven (5-6 qts)

Yes, many readers (including myself) have had success baking this recipe in a larger dutch oven.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, you can double the ingredients and bake it in a 5-6 quart dutch oven according to the recipe.

Overhead view of a loaf of dutch oven bread with two slices cut

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Easy No Knead Bread (Dutch Oven Bread)

Laura
Easy Dutch Oven No Knead Bread recipe is made with only 4 ingredients and takes 5 minutes of prep time! If you want to make delicious homemade bread that looks & tastes like it came from a fancy bakery but actually takes very little effort, this dutch oven bread recipe is for you!
4.99 from 484 votes
Course bread, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf (10 people)
Calories 121
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Overnight Rising1 day
Total Time1 day 55 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  • Add the water and mix until the dough forms a ball.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (sprayed with cooking spray) and a damp tea towel.
  • Let dough sit covered at room temperature for 18-24 hours.
  • After 24 hours (or at least 1 hour before you want to serve) preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Place a 2 3/4 quart dutch oven (or a 2.4L baking dish) with a lid in the oven while it is preheating. (Note: Readers have used a 5 qt. dutch oven with success).
  • While oven is preheating, transfer the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface.
  • Form the dough into a ball, adding a few TBS more flour if needed. The dough should still be slightly loose. Then cover it with a floured towel while the oven is preheating. (Important note: The dough ball will be loose and "floppy." That is how it should be as this is a very moist bread which is what makes it so irresistible. You will not have a firm ball, it will look a little flat).
  • Carefully remove the hot baking dish from the oven. Remove the lid and spray the dish with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.
  • Gently put the dough ball into the baking dish so it’s evenly distributed.
  • Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown.
  • Remove the loaf from the baking dish and let it cool on a rack before slicing. To keep it warm, cover with a tea towel.

Video

Notes

Ingredient Notes/Substitutions
  • All-purpose flour. You can replace up to 1 cup of the flour with white whole wheat flour, but I don’t recommend making any other changes. This dutch oven bread is best when made with all-purpose flour. 
  • Sea salt. I recommend pure, fine sea salt for the best outcome! 
  • Yeast. Active dry yeast is the best choice for this no knead bread recipe, however you can use rapid rise yeast but you will still need to let it rise overnight. 
  • Water. Make sure to use warm water (105 degrees). It should feel warm to the touch but not hot. 
  • Optional mix-ins. If you’d like to create fun varieties, try mixing in parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, roasted garlic, etc. 
Dutch Oven Size
You can bake a single batch of this bread in a 5-6 quart dutch oven. 
Doubling this Recipe
You can double this recipe and bake it in a 6 quart dutch v. Bake an additional 5 minutes covered (so 35 minutes), then 15 minutes uncovered. Bread should reach an internal temperature of at least 185 degrees Fahrenheit in the center. 
Store/Freeze
Store leftover bread in an airtight container (silicone or plastic bag) for up to 3 days at room temperature or 1 week in the refrigerator. Or, freeze it in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3.8g | Sodium: 212mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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745 Comments

  1. I’m the process of making this now.
    I used my vitamix to mix the dough, however the consistency came out much thinner than pictured. Hope it still works.

  2. 5 stars
    Just took my first loaf out of the oven (Welcome, November!), and it looks beautiful! Can’t wait to taste it. My husband is already asking if I can put cheese, fresh jalapeños, olives, etc…… Would I add this in during the inital mixing?

  3. While you recommend all purpose flour, can a 1:1 gluten free flour be substituted for those of use with wheat sensitivities? Thank you I’m advance!

    1. I’ve had great results using a 3 quart Le Creuset round casserole with lid.
      Also, in about final 15 mins of baking I do a quick egg (white) wash then sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning. SO delicious!!!

  4. 5 stars
    I rarely leave a review on recipes but I absolutely had to for this bread. I have NEVER made homemade bread before and have been researching how to make a starter for sourdough when I found this recipe. Well forget the starter because this recipe is amazingly easy and beyond delicious!! 2 of us ate the whole loaf in one day (embarrassing). I’m going to try a stuffed loaf next!!

  5. 5 stars
    Just made this. A big hit. Will be making it again. The crust is very crunchy. I am afraid we may break a tooth. Next time I will brush with butter before baking.

    1. 5 stars
      bread flour works great too. so does kosher salt, 1 1/2 tsp to 2 tsp. a very soft floppy even slightly goopy dough. I used a 6 qt Dutch oven . Didn’t worry to much about it’s shape going in. used parchment paper, but not necessary. Awesome crusty bread. I looked at other recipes that are nearly identical. This is a fast great bread. Also , I just let it rise covered for 3 hrs. then baked it. 24 hrs might develop more flavor, 3 was enough.

  6. If I decide after 24 hours of the dough sitting out at room temp that I want to make the bread a day or two later, can I just transfer it straight to the fridge at that point? Thanks, I am excited to make this!