An Easy Italian No-Knead Bread recipe is something everyone should have in their back pocket. Using simple ingredients already in your kitchen, this loaf is one you will go back to again and again because it is just THAT easy and THAT good!
A good loaf of no-knead bread, while definitely simple and made with little effort, takes a good amount of rising time. Most no-knead doughs need to be refrigerated for 24 hours prior, but not this recipe which cuts down on wait time! Even still, as with any baking, it is worth the wait!
If you have never made an easy homemade no-knead bread recipe you are in for a real treat. There is such a difference between a store-bought loaf and a recipe you make at home. Not only do you have control over what ingredients you put in it, but you know there are no additives and preservatives in it.
When I think about a good crusty homemade no-knead bread I think about all that comes with it. Memories of wonderful sit-down family dinners, a delicious plate of pasta, and of course, a good glass of wine, also homemade!
Whether we use it as an appetizer such as bruschetta, as a vessel for delicious cheeses after dinner, plain drizzled in olive oil or even as a way to scoop up extra sauce, a meal really isn't complete without a loaf of good easy homemade bread.
So, let's get baking!
How to make Easy Everyday No-Knead Bread
In a large bowl whisk together flour, yeast, and sugar. Make a well in the middle, add the water and mix with a fork. When almost combined add the salt and continue to mix until fully combined. Sprinkle the top of the dough with remaining flour. Cover the bowl with plastic and let it rise in a warm area.
Place the dough on a floured flat surface and fold one end into the middle and the other end on top like an envelope. Flip the dough over and cut into two equal parts. Sprinkle some flour on your hands to avoid the dough sticking and move the dough loaves to a lightly floured parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
Sprinkle loaves with a little flour, cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm area until doubled in size.
Preheat your oven and place an empty pan inside on the bottom rack. Pour hot water into the pan and immediately place the cookie sheet with loaves inside the oven to bake. Once finished, remove immediately to a wire rack to cool.
What happens when you don't knead bread?
Kneading the bread helps the gluten form, which holds the gasses that the yeast produces which of course helps it rise. But with no-knead bread, the gluten forms in a different way and this recipe is proof of that. This easy bread recipe will produce a lovely loaf of crusty on the outside and tender and chewy on the inside bread without the traditional kneading of the dough. And it is awesome!
Why is my bread so dense?
There can be a number of reasons why your bread is dense. This recipe produces a sticky dough and sometimes it can be tempting to add more flour than the recipe states to prevent the sticking but be careful not to add too much as this will create a dense loaf. Long rise times, sticky doughs and a little yeast are key factors to a nice light bread.
Why do you add a well in the middle of the flour?
This is one of those recipe instructions that we've all followed many times but we probably don't know why! When you add water to the flour and mix to combine it usually ends up lumpy. When you do the reverse and add flour to water, you get a more smooth dough. By creating a well, you have control over how much flour gets added gradually to the water. Neat isn't it?!
What is a dutch oven used for when baking bread?
If you are a no-knead bread enthusiast you will have heard of a Mr. Jim Lahey who is known for recognizing that bread does not need to be kneaded to be awesome. He formed his bread using a dutch oven pot, which became very popular with bread bakers. Although my recipe does not at all require a dutch oven I did want to share that interesting bit of information!
This Easy Everyday No-Knead Bread is an example of seeing the beauty in the simple things. From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!
Easy Everyday Italian No-Knead Bread Recipe
- 2 cups +2 tablespoons all purpose flour (divided) (250 grams)
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water (100-105F / 40C) (200 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl whisk together 2 cups of flour, the yeast and sugar, make a well in the middle and add the water, mix with a fork, when almost combined add the salt and mix to combine. Sprinkle the top of the dough with 2 tablespoons of flour, cover the bowl with plastic and let rise in a warm draft free area for 3 hours.
- Place the dough on a floured flat surface and fold one end into the middle and the other end on top (like an envelope - see photos), flip the dough over and with floured hands and the help of a metal spatula place the loaf on a lightly floured parchment paper lined cookie sheet, sprinkle the loaf with a little flour, cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise 1 1/2 -2 hours in a warm draft free area until doubled in bulk.
- Place an empty oven safe pan in the oven and pre-heat the oven to 425F (220C).
- Pour one cup of boiling water in the pan and quickly add the loaf (be very careful), bake for approximately 15-20 minutes. Immediately move to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!