no knead bread

Effortless No-Knead Bread: Start to Finish in 21 Hours

no knead bread angle view

I was going to make Bon Appetit’s best bread, but after reading comments on the recipe changed my mind. People were saying it was too much work (takes 3 days) and that you should just make the Jim Lahey’s no knead bread which was published in the NY Times.

So I searched for the No Knead Bread they mentioned and it seemed promising. I liked how simple the recipe was – with just water, flour, salt and yeast and how it required minimal work to get it finished. The only pieces of equipment you need are a dutch oven and mixing bowl. Most of the time required to make it is passive time, which is one of my favorite parts of cooking and baking!

This is the dough just after adding the water and mixing.

dough for bread top view

This is the dough at 18 hours into the first rise. Looking closely you can see little bubbles in the dough. It also smells quite yeasty.

dough for bread resting top view

This is the first time I’ve made bread without kneading it. I usually use my bread machine or my standup mixer to help knead the dough, so wasn’t sure what to expect.

Since it had so many reviews I was pretty confident it would turn out really good. And, it did turn out really good!!!

This no knead bread tasted like something you would get at a good bakery. Also, I think there is a lot of room for experimentation, by adding other spices and ingredients such as olives. It seems to be a versatile recipe based on the comments. And nothing beats homemade bread! This no knead bread is definitely a winner recipe.

TIP– I used a 5.5 QT dutch oven. Next time I would use something smaller or double the batch, the bread came out a little shorter than I would have liked. In terms of flavor however, it was outstanding!!

cooked no knead bread top view

Here is a video showing the whole process-

In case you missed them, here are some of my other baking recipes!

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No Knead Bread in start to finish 21 hours

no knead bread

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  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 21 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: side
  • Cuisine: New American


  • 3 cups bread flour (more for dusting)
  • ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • wheat bran (as needed)
  • 1.5 cups water


  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Mix by hand to ensure dry ingredients are evenly distributed.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups water, and stir by hand until mixed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours.
  3. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself twice.
  4. Cover loosely with a damp towel and let rest another 2 hours.

    Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal.

    Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

  5. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees.
  6. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
  7. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.


I let the dough rest for 18 hours for the first rise. Second rise was 2 hours.

I watched the video and read the comments prior to making this. The original video and the original recipe as written are a bit different so be mindful of that.

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Konnichiwa! (Hello!) I'm Pat Tokuyama, a Japanese tofu cookbook author, who travels for music, food, and adventure. If you like Japanese tea, checkout some of the newestorganic japanese tea, matcha bowls and noren and more!

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