CRAZY Easy No Knead Bread Recipe!

(This post has been updated from the original Febuary 2014 version to provide a better experience for you)

No knead bread is the easiest bread in the whole wide world to make. And with this recipe you don’t even have to weigh anything! You simply use a mug. I promise you, bread recipes don’t get any simpler than this one!

A sliced loaf of no knead bread on a chopping board

Just like everything in my simple store cupboard recipes post, there’s something so undeniably satisfying about heading to your store cupboard, grabbing basic ingredients and turning them into something beautiful like a homemade loaf of bread.

That being said, my biggest baking nemesis to date has got to be bread. Yes I’ve made ‘nice’ breads before but I’ve honestly never felt like I got it until creating this recipe.

There’s no measuring, no kneading & pretty much no faff whatsoever! Yet it’s hands down, the most beautiful bread I have ever created in my kitchen. 

A sliced loaf of no knead bread on a chopping board

How does no knead bread work?

Ok so here’s the science. (Well sort of, I’m clearly not a scientist haha!) So yeast feeds on sugar and starch, which there is obviously a lot of in bread dough. When it eats, it releases carbon dioxide as a result which is what makes your dough rise/gives it all those lovely air bubbles. 

When you knead bread it forms gluten. This is what traps the carbon dioxide bubbles inside the dough. If you don’t knead, the dough will still form gluten, it just take a lot longer. In essence, you’re taking out the kneading but adding in longer proving times.

A sliced loaf of no knead bread on a chopping board

Why is no knead bread so good?

No knead bread is good if you don’t have the arm muscles to do it by hand, don’t own an electric stand mixer or don’t have the hands on time available. With no knead bread there is very little hands on time but more waiting overall. It’s more of a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of bread. Which is great if you’re a super busy person!

A sliced loaf of no knead bread on a chopping board

Do I need any fancy tools?

The short answer is no. You don’t need lots of fancy or expensive tools to make no knead bread. There are tools that may help or give you a nicer shape (like a dough scraper or a bannetone basket. Affiliate links.) but you don’t need them to make it.

A sliced loaf of no knead bread on a chopping board

No knead bread recipe tips

  • Wetter is better. If you’re unsure about the state of your dough, just remember this and you’ll be fine. A wetter dough is always better than a dry one.
  • Don’t add the salt and yeast on top of each other. The salt can kill the yeast if they comes into direct contact with each other.
  • Wait until your bread is completely cooled before slicing. It will cut much neater.
  • Can’t tell if your dough has risen or not? Take a photo of it before proving, then you can easily compare.
  • Leaving it covered in the fridge overnight on the second prove (or for 8-12 hours) will yield a better flavour. This slows down the proving and, the slower the prove, the better the flavour.
  • Using a bannetone? Remember to very generously flour it before adding your dough. Otherwise it will stick.

 

A sliced loaf of no knead bread on a chopping board

No knead bread ingredients

Here’s everything you ‘knead’ to know about bread ingredients. See what I did there?!

  • Strong white bread flour – If you don’t have any strong bread flour, plain (all purpose) flour will actually work fine too! (Trust me, I’ve done it myself and it was delicious.)
  • Salt – Salt is super important for flavour. I guarantee your bread will taste awful without it! Doesn’t matter whether you use table salt or sea salt, just don’t leave it out.
  • Yeast – I always used dried yeast as it keeps for longer in the cupboard but, realistically, you could use any kind. Just don’t let it directly touch the salt, that could kill it.
  • Water – Some say warm water, others lukewarm, I say tepid. Meaning, if you put your finger in and can’t tell if it’s warm or cold – you’ve nailed it.

 

A sliced loaf of no knead bread on a chopping board

Easy No Knead Bread Recipe

Here is what you will need to make 1 loaf.

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

  • 2 + 1/4 Mugs of Strong White Bread Flour *
  • Enough Salt just to coat the bottom of the mug
  • 1 x 7g (2 + 1/4 tsp) Sachet of Fast-Action Yeast
  • 1 Full Mug of Tepid Water

 

Essential Equipment

  • Mug
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Bannetone Proving Basket (Optional)
  • Baking Stone or Large Baking Tray
  • Very Sharp Knife

 

*If you don’t have bread flour, plain (all purpose) flour will work fine too.

Fill your mug two and a quarter times with flour and tip it all into a large mixing bowl.

Flour in a mug

Then pour enough salt into the same mug until the bottom is just covered. Briefly rub this into the flour with your thumb & forefingers then add in the yeast (1 x 7g sachet | 2 + 1/4 tsp) and rub briefly again.

Fill the same mug with tepid water. By ‘tepid’ I mean when you put a finger in, if you can’t tell whether it’s hot or cold – it’s just right. Pour this into the centre of the bowl and bring the mixture together using a wooden spoon.

Flour, yeast, salt and luke warm water in a large mixing bowl

When it’s nearly come together, get your hands in and mix until you can’t see any more flour. It’s also worth noting, this should be quite a wet, sticky dough.

No knead bread dough in a large mixing bowl

Next, cover with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave to rest for about 40mins. (Or until noticeably more plump.) Yep, NO KNEADING!

Slightly plump no knead bread dough in a large mixing bowl after a first prove

When it’s rested, using wet hands (keep wetting if they start to stick) slide your fingers underneath the dough then fold it in half firmly. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the fold again. Continue to do this until there is no more air left in the dough and it’s a smooth ball.

No knead bread dough in a large mixing bowl after being folded in on itself

No knead bread dough in a large mixing bowl ready for a second prove

Now cover again and allow to prove for about 1 hour or until just doubled in size. Alternatively, you can put your dough in the fridge. This will slow down that 1 hour process to about 8-12 hours. Also, the slower the prove, the better the flavour!

Risen no knead bread dough in a large mixing bowl after it's second prove

How to Shape No Knead Bread

Tip your dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Moving the dough round, almost stroking it from the top to the bottom with your hands, smooth it into a round ball. The seam should be on the bottom.

A ball of no knead bread dough on a floured work surface

Then roll it into a kind of sausage shape. Keep it nice and even from one end to the other.

Loaf shaped no knead bread dough on a floured work surface

If you are using a bannetone basket, flour very generously and lay your shaped loaf into the base, bottom/seam side up.

Don’t have one? Line a baking sheet with baking paper and sprinkle generously with a coarse flour, like corn meal or semolina then lay your shaped bread on top. If you don’t have a coarse flour, just generously use normal flour.

Loaf shaped no knead bread in a generously floured bannetone

Either way, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove until doubled in size again. (Approx 1 hour.)

A risen loaf shaped no knead bread in a generously floured bannetone

At least half an hour before baking, preheat your oven to about 230/240°C – regardless of electric or fan ovens.

It’s also worth mentioning your baking surface at this point. Ever noticed when you bake bread at home that you end up with a line of dense stodge at the bottom? It’s because the surface that you baked it on wasn’t as hot as the air in your oven, resulting in an uneven bake. To stop this from happening, get a baking stone and place it in the oven before you preheat it.

If you don’t have a stone, turn a large baking sheet upside down instead and you will achieve a similar result.

A risen loaf shaped no knead bread in a generously floured bannetone

If you used a bannetone proving basket, cut a large sheet of baking paper and place over the basket. Carefully flip it over and place straight onto a baking sheet. Now gently remove the basket to reveal a beautiful ‘artisan’ looking pattern.

A fully proved and shaped no knead bread loaf on a sheet of baking paper ready for the oven

All that remains for you to do is to ‘slash’ the top with the sharpest knife you have. I made 3 diagonal incisions along the top of mine.

How to bake no knead bread

This is done in 5 simple steps.

  1. With the loaf still on the baking parchment, slide it off the baking tray and onto the preheated baking stone/upside down baking sheet.
  2. Throw half a mug of cold water on the bottom of the oven and quickly shut the door. (This creates steam which will help it rise.)
  3. Turn your oven down to 210°C.
  4. Cook for at least 40 minutes until you get a good, dark golden crust.
  5. Allow to cool completely before you slice it.

 

And there you have it! Beautiful homemade bread without any of the kneading. It’s stunning isn’t it?! And I bet your house smells incredible right now doesn’t it?

Store your bread in a paper bag / metal tin or bread bin and consume within 3 days. 

A sliced loaf of no knead bread on a chopping board

Have you made this recipe?

Will this CRAZY good no knead bread be making it’s way into your home? I’d love to know if it is! Send me your pics and comments on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or email me at emma@kitchenmason.com.

 

Like baking to be as simple as possible?

You need the right equipment! Check out my Products That Make Baking Easier!

 

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A sliced loaf of no knead bread on a chopping board

A sliced loaf of no knead bread on a chopping board

A sliced loaf of no knead bread on a chopping board

CRAZY Easy No Knead Bread Recipe!

Yield: 1 Loaf
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Proving Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes

No kneading, no weighing and no elbow grease! This super easy no knead bread recipe is the only bread recipe you will ever need...

Ingredients

  • 2 + 1/4 Mugs of Strong White Bread Flour *
  • Enough Salt just to coat the bottom of the mug
  • 1 x 7g (2 + 1/4 tsp) Sachet of Fast-Action Yeast
  • 1 Full Mug of Tepid Water

Essential Equipment

  • Mug
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Bannetone Proving Basket or Baking Tray
  • Baking Stone or Large Baking Tray
  • Sharp Knife

Instructions

How to Make the Dough

  1. Fill the mug 2 + 1/4 times with flour. Tip into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour salt into the mug until the base is just covered. Rub this into the flour briefly.
  3. Add the yeast and rub breifly into the flour.
  4. Fill the mug to the top with tepid water# and pour into the centre of the flour.
  5. Mix with a wooden spoon until it's almost come together then mix with your hands until you can't see any more flour. It should be wet/sticky.
  6. Cover with a damp cloth and rest for 40 minutes until plump.
  7. Using wet hands, slide your fingers under the dough and firmly fold in half. Rotate the bowl and continue until there are no air bubbles left in the dough and it's a smooth ball.
  8. Cover with a damp cloth again and rest for 1 hour until doubled in size. (You can also leave in the fridge overnight or for 8-12 hours.)

How to Shape Your Bread

  1. Tip your dough onto a lightly floured surface.
  2. Whilst moving the dough round and moving your hands from the top of the dough to the bottom, shape it into a smooth round ball.
  3. Then roll the ball out into an even sausage shape.
  4. If using a bannetone basket, very generously coat in flour then add your loaf - seam/bottom side up. If not, line a baking tray with baking paper and sprinkle with a coarse flour † (like semolina). Lay your loaf on it seam/bottom side down.
  5. Cover with a damp cloth and rest for 1 hour.

How to Bake Your Bread

  1. Regardless of oven type - at least 30 minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 230/240°C. Also Place a baking stone or large baking tray (upside down) into the oven to preheat too.
  2. If you used a bannetone basket, cut a large sheet of baking paper and lay over the top. Carefully flip it over and lay straight onto a baking tray. Gently remove the basket to reveal your loaf.
  3. Using the sharpest knife you have, make 3 slashes across the top.
  4. Slide your loaf (still on the baking paper) off the baking tray and onto the preheated baking stone/upside down baking tray.
  5. Quickly throw half a cup of cold water into the bottom of the oven to create steam and shut the door immediately.
  6. Bake for at least 40 minutes until it has a dark golden crust.
  7. Cool completely before slicing.


Notes

*If you don’t have bread flour, plain (all purpose) flour will work fine too.

#By tepid I mean when you put a finger in, if you can’t tell whether it’s hot or cold it’s just right.

† If you don't have any coarse flour, you can use regular flour instead.

Store your bread in a paper bag / metal tin or bread bin and consume within 3 days. 

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 18Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 273mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment on the blog or tag me on Instagram.

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As featured on Julia’s Simply Southern Meal Plan Monday #216

5 thoughts on “CRAZY Easy No Knead Bread Recipe!”

  1. wow this looks great ! im terrible at making bread because of the kneeding process. but this might do the trick !!

    1. Thank you! I was the same but this technique is so simple it’s fantastic! X

  2. kcinaz says:

    I had a hard time deciding on which of your links to pick first and decided on the Mug Bread. Glad I picked it! This looks great and not overly difficult. Next on to Mars Bars and Danish pastries unless something else you have done takes me another direction.

  3. This looks awesome!! I’m going to have to try this. I’ve attempted to make bread multiple times and only been mildly successful… all the while getting very frustrated at the mess it creates from kneading multiple times. I’m all about easy but delicious cooking solutions- thanks for sharing!

    1. No problem at all! Glad I could be of service 🙂 I was exactly the same, making mediocre breads with all the effort of kneading and it turns out – my doughs have always been too dry. It’s a great recipe to get to know what dough should really feel like. Once you’ve got that knowledge on your belt you can take on any bread! Let me know how you get on x

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Hi, I’m Emma. Let me help you impress with delicious dishes using my easy recipes, step by step pics, tips & videos.

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