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Thanksgiving dinner is all about family. But, let’s be honest, it’s also all about the food. Thanksgiving is one of the few meals where we really focus on home cooking, rather than pre-made or purchased food items. But along with your home-cooked turkey, gravy, potatoes, and pie, will you be serving boring, store-bought bread? Even if you think you don’t have time to add one more item to your Thanksgiving to-do list, you can make this easy homemade bread recipe. It involves absolutely no kneading and just about zero effort.
Make Your Own No-Knead Bread with Just 3 Ingredients
No-knead bread recipes took the Internet by storm way back in 2006, when The New York Times published a recipe adapted from one created by Jim Lahey at Sullivan Street Bakery. I first discovered the concept shortly before Christmas a couple of years ago, when I was looking for bread maker reviews. Someone had posted a comment on a review saying that there was no need for a bread maker if you use the no-knead bread recipe, since the process of making it takes virtually the same amount of work as using a machine. I had to check it out. The result? A beautiful, round, rustic-looking loaf with a crispy crust and soft inside. Delicious! And it’s made with only three ingredients! Here’s how to make it yourself.
Rustic 3-Ingredient No-Knead Bread Recipe
- 3 cups Flour (see Tips below)
- ¼ tsp Instant Yeast (aka quick-rise or bread machine yeast)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1½ cups Water (very warm)
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon just until everything is combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 12 to 20 hours.
- After 12 to 20 hours, your dough will smell like beer and appear bubbly. Using wet hands, place dough on a lightly floured surface. Fold the edges of the dough toward the middle and use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. Place the ball fold-side down on a floured tea towel. Sprinkle a little more flour on top of the dough ball and cover with another tea towel, or by folding the first tea towel in half. Let the dough sit for two hours.
- Half an hour before the second rise is finished, get ready by setting your oven to 450 degrees and putting your empty covered pot inside to heat up. See notes below on choosing a pot.
- Remove hot pot from the oven. Depending on the material of your pot, you may need to grease it with butter. This will make it easier when removing the finish bread. Pick up the towel holding the dough and dump the dough into the pot. Give the pot a gentle shake to even out the dough. It’s ok if it looks messy; it will even out once it’s baked. Place the covered pot back into the over for 30 minutes. Then, take the lid off the pot and cook uncovered for another 15 minutes.
- Remove bread from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Special Tips For Making This No-Knead Bread
I’ve been making this recipe regularly for a couple of years now, and have tried several modifications.
- My main variation has been experimenting with the flour. While white bread flour will give you the fluffiest loaf, you can get very good results with up to 2/3 whole wheat flour. When I use whole wheat, I add a bit of lemon juice to make the dough softer.
- If you’ve been making your own cheese and have leftover whey, you can use it in place of the water in this recipe. It gives the bread a hearty taste and adds some protein.
- If you want a taller loaf, you can place the dough inside a tall, narrow bowl or pot for the second rise.
- Equipment Needed for this recipe
- Large mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Tea towel
- Plastic wrap or reusable alternative like Abeego Flats
- Large cast iron, ceramic, Pyrex, or enamel pot with lid that can go in a 450 degree oven (no plastic parts)
The Bottom Line
Nothing smells better than a loaf of homemade bread. With this recipe, you only need to put in 15 minutes or so of actual work to create a delicious loaf you can tailor to your own tastes and nutritional preferences. If you want to be really ambitious, serve it with homemade butter for an irresistible treat.
Christina Newberry is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in national and local magazines and newspapers. With a Bachelor’s degree in English and Anthropology from the University of Victoria and a Journalism Certificate from Langara College, Christina brings keen curiosity and the love of a good story to her work with HealthCastle.com.
Christina is a passionate traveler and urban gardener with an interest in vegetarian eating and making good, tasty food from scratch. Sharing lessons learned from her own experiences, Christina writes about lifestyle topics for HealthCastle, with a focus on eating well at home and on the road.
25 thoughts on “Easy Homemade No-Knead Bread Recipe With Just 3 Ingredients”
This is definitely super simply and it turned out WAY better than I could have predicted. Thank you! So delicious!
hi! can’t wait to try this for my very first attempt at bread :) is there a way to add ingredients like cheese, jalapeños or a sausage? Thank you!!
You are welcome! And you asked a great question. If you do try adding any extra ingredients, please do share your results! I am sure others would like to know too.
Enjoy your first homemade bread!
Can use gluten free flour with this recipe?
Personally, I have never tried it with gluten free flour but I have heard of others doing it with success. If you do get a chance to try it, let us know how it goes! Good luck!
Would this still work with almond meal?
The wonderful part of home cooking is you just try it out. If you do get a chance to use almond meal, let us know how it turns out!
I have a Corning ware dish 1 1/2 L.
is that large enough
The “Large” mixing bowl is meant for mixing and combining 3 cups of flour and 1.5 cups of water. I think 1.5 L may not be large enough. I would say something larger like the size of a large salad bowl may be easier to work with.
Made this delicious no-knead bread and it was awesome!!!
Will be making it many times so thank-you so much!!!
That is fantastic Vanessa! Thank you for sharing your results. Enjoy more loaves to come!
Awesome Bread Recipe!!!
Thank you for the 5-star rating Vanessa! We love this recipe too!
The time for the first rising is at least 12 hours—plus a second rising—plus baking time—so total time for making this bread is at least 15 hours. For me, it would be much easier to use my bread machine and have fresh bread in much less time.
I often use the dough setting on my bread machine to mix the dough and use it to make buns.
Made it. Super easy, very delicious using 1 cup bread flour, 2 of all-purpose. Nice chew, excellent crust. Today I will try subbing in one cup of whole wheat pastry flour. Since I have a pot whose handle melts with temps higher than 375F, I preheated my pot to that temperature. After a half hour, I removed the lid and cranked the oven up to 450F for 20 minutes. Bread’s internal temperature was 190F- just right.
It is an easy recipe I agree! Glad your first attempt got great results. Please do post back once you have had the chance to try the whole wheat flour substitute. Would love to know how it worked out.
The bread turned out great! I baked mine in a cake pan because that was all I had. It is a lovely bread, and worth the overnight rise. I had 2 pieces with apricot jam just now, and will eat more tomorrow.
I’m not sure why Ms. Bread Machine left her negative comment, even though she never tried the recipe. People are so mean these days, on the internet at least.
Hi Wisdom Evergreen,
So glad to hear everything went well when you tried this recipe! Do enjoy the rest of the loaf and let us know if you make more!
Do you think it will work with gluten free flour?
Personally, I have never tried with gluten free flour but I have seen others do it with success. Let us know how it goes if you get a chance to try it! Good luck!
I would like to try this bread, but I need to use a bread machine. Is that possible? Any suggestions you could give me?
Jack the Baker
I have same questions can it be made with Gf flour and can I use my bread machine?
Normally, a bread machine recipe is a little different as this recipe is a no-knead recipe. The bread machine is used for kneading. Hope that helps.
Bread tastes & looks great! However, the two times I’ve made it, I lost more dough that I thought reasonable to the tea towel. I’ve rubbed flour into it and dusted it with a physical barrier of flour only to have the dough imbedded into the fabric. Suggestions?
First of all, congrats on making some good bread! Glad this recipe tasted great!
Now, it’s interesting that you lost an unreasonable amount of flour on your tea towel. Since you dusted it, I wonder if it’s the material that the tea towel was made from or the type of knot on it? Perhaps try a different one that is more tightly knit as we did not run into this issue.
Please let us know how that goes!