Monday, January 3, 2011

Easy and Faster No Knead Bread Recipe in a Dutch Oven

Faster and super easy no-knead bread, made in a Dutch oven and simply delicious!
A faster no knead bread made in a Dutch oven, that's simply delicious!

Easy and Faster No Knead Bread Recipe in a Dutch Oven

No Knead Bread really doesn't take less time to make than good ole hand kneaded loaf bread - kneading bread is not that difficult and certainly a cinch with a Kitchen Aid. No knead bread just became sort of a novelty ever since the recipe from Jim Lahey, for his New York Sullivan Street Bakery, made an appearance on the circuits back in 2006. For awhile there, everybody was talking about it, and, making it.

His takes more than 18 hours to make. Mine doesn't.

And yes... I know that there is certainly something to be said about allowing yeast to ferment over a long time to produce a flavorful bread. This method is just a shorter way to get a wonderful loaf of no knead bread, faster. And trust me. Even if you don't consider yourself to be a bread maker, you can do this - and you don't have to have a fancy pot for it either. It's nice if you have one, but in truth, you can use a plain ole cast iron Dutch oven, or enameled cast iron Dutch oven, or one of those high dollar, fancy French ovens. Any one of those will work.  I used a vintage Corning Ware Visions Dutch oven my grandma gave me this time.

If you don't have a Dutch or French oven, you can keep the bread very rustic and dump it right on a parchment covered baking sheet for the second rising if you like. The main difference between the open baking and the covered baking is that the pot both conforms the bread to a specific shape, and it also acts as its own little oven that creates condensation inside. The results of this tightly closed environment is an ever so thin, crispy layer on the crust that you are gonna love. The pot is uncovered for the last 10 minutes or so, allowing the bread to brown beautifully.

Chef Lahey preheats the baking vessel and takes a few extra steps with the dough by transferring it to different bowls and folding it a bit. He also leaves the dough for that first rise for somewhere between 12 to 18 hours. I don't find all that necessary to be honest.

This is a much more simple recipe. You'll bloom the yeast, and warm the milk and water, and bring it all together in a big bowl until it's gooey. If you like, add in some herbs, or some cheese, or whatever ya like. That's it! Leave it right in that bowl, cover it, and let it rise in a warm spot. Use my trick and that'll only be about an hour.

Then you just deflate it. {Punching down just sounds so violent, don't you think?} I just stir it down from the outside to deflate it and loosen it from the bowl really.

Now you turn the dough out into the well lubricated vessel of your choice. I used non-stick spray and that Pyrex covered Dutch oven that I mentioned. Let that rise again, another 30 minutes or so.

Cover and bake in a preheated 475 degree oven for 30 minutes, then remove the cover.

Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until nicely browned.

Turn out onto a cooling rack and let rest. Enjoy!

They say Lahey's 18 hour bread is tasty and maybe one day when I have the time to spare maybe I'll give it a try. In the meantime, this quicker no knead bread is plenty tasty for me. It's nice and tender on the inside, and by cooking it in a closed vessel, has a wonderful thin and crispy outer crust. Just a fantastic and easy bread.

Tip: I buy yeast by the jar and store it in the freezer. When I'm ready to make rolls or bread, I remove whatever amount of yeast that I need and let it come to room temperature. Success with any kind of bread or yeast rolls is dependent on the yeast and the freezer keeps it fresh for a long time. Hasn't failed me yet!

For more of my favorite bread recipes, check out the collection on my Pinterest page!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!


Recipe: Easy No Knead Bread

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Inactive time: 1 hr 30 min
Cook time: 45 min
Total time: 3 hours 15 min

Yield: One round loaf

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups of bread flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons (1 package) rapid rise yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil

Turn the light on in your oven and preheat to the lowest setting.

Combine the milk and water and heat to almost boiling. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 2 teaspoons of the sugar and salt. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar to the yeast and stir in 1/4 cup of warm water (110 degrees F); let stand for 10 minutes until the yeast mixture is puffy and expanded. If it doesn't puff up, your yeast is dead and your bread will not rise.

Add the milk mixture, the yeast mixture, and the oil to the flour mixture. Include any add-ins you like here. Stir the mixture together well. It should be soft and somewhat gooey but use additional warm water if needed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean dishtowel. Turn off the oven and set the bowl inside the oven to rise, about 1 hour, leaving the light on. This oven procedure will help to speed up the rising process, without damaging the yeast.

Generously spray a 4.5 to 6 quart sized covered Dutch oven with non-stick spray. When dough has doubled in size, deflate it and turn it out into the prepared Dutch oven. Cover and keep warm to let rise a second time, until doubled, about 25-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Bake the bread in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, remove, uncover and bake another 10 to 12 minutes, or until top is nicely browned. Carefully turn the bread out onto a cooling rack.

Optional Add-ins: 1 tablespoon of crushed dried herbs (rosemary, basil, Italian seasoning, hard cheeses (cheddar, monterey jack, pepper jack, swiss etc.) about a cup, cut into very tiny cubes, or grated, using the large holes on your grater, cooked chopped bacon or pepperoni, 1/4 cup of pickled, chopped jalapenos, 1 small jar of pimentos, well drained, 1/4 cup of well drained and rough chopped olives - stuffed, green, black, Kalamata, whatever kind you like. Use your imagination.

Variations: To bake as a rustic loaf on an open baking sheet, after the second rise, turn dough out onto a parchment covered baking sheet and bake at reduced temperature of 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake another 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Loaf will be flatter than if baked in a container. Can also make into one or two oblong loafs.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on January 3, 2011
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  1. How can one NOT try this now? No excuses for me. I gotta do this. GREAT post!

  2. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to learn to make bread. I've bookmarked this one.

  3. Mary, your recipe says to add oil, but it's not listed in the ingredients. Since I'm in the middle of making this, I'm just going to guess, but you might want to add it to the recipe. Thanks. :)

  4. This looks so interesting! I've never heard of this bread before! My family would love it!

    Bookmarked! :)

  5. Thanks y'all - enjoy!

    Oh Annie, I apologize. It's 1 tablespoon. I fixed it - thanks for letting me know!!

  6. I store my yeast in the freezer too. I don't even bother letting it come to room temperature, still seems to work good!

  7. Mine just came out of the oven. Out of necessity, I used a 12" stainless steel 4" deep skillet with oven-safe lid. The lid was clear, so the bread browned beautifully as it cooked, and because the pan was so wide, the bread was only about 2/5" thick and didn't need the extra 10 minutes of browning time. I added crushed dried rosemary leaves.

    This bread is amazing! We all love it. The only problem was that it stuck to the pan a little; next time I will try brushing the pan with oil instead of spraying it. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. We're having this slice of heaven for dinner. Tonight is one of those nights when SM is at work so I'll put back some for his literal Midnight snack. Thanks darling girl, The Olde BAgg

  9. OK Mary, gonna give this a try soon. I am in love with my kitchen smelling like fresh bread, so i bake something ever 2-3 days.

    Excellent step by step photos and instructions. As always, you are my hero!

  10. wow this sounds fantastic and easy, i am always scared of yeast breads but i might be able to handle this one! anne

  11. Oh man who has 18 hours to mesh with bread right. This looks and sounds wonderful. That thin crusty layer reminds of what a bread machine produces. Kind of the same concept. covered and all. Thanks for posting this one Mary, I'm gonna try it over the weekend.

  12. I posted about this bread on my blog today and gave you a link back to the recipe. We just love it!

  13. Happy New Year Mary! I have banished beloved white bread from my diet until the holiday pounds get lost. This looks so good. And the photo with the melted butter, be still my heart!

    You've been tagged.
    Can't wait to see your answers!

  14. I've been wanting to try this. Thanks for posting the recipe!

  15. I like your quick recipe and I'm going to give it a shot, especially now that i'm going back to work. the 18 hour one does have it's place, though - that long slow fermentation results in great flavor. i've done it many times. I just start the dough the night before, let it ferment overnight and bake it off the next day.

  16. I hope that some day you do try the original recipe. Layhey also has a recipe that takes about 6 hours that produces the same quality loaf. The longer a dough ferments the more flavorful it becomes. The original no knead only has a very small amount of yeast and a bit more than usual water content. the final product is more of a artisan loaf with a beautiful crumb and a chewier crust. It is also amazing for a pizza dough.It's not common to find a loaf of bread made at home to have the quality of a no knead bread such as Layhey's. I'm not plugging for him. It's just that good.

    1. And I'm not being critical of his recipe at all! Of course long fermentation is going to make a difference, but I just wanted to show that you could get a pretty decent loaf of no knead bread in a little shorter time!

    2. Mary, the quicker method Lahey has posted on UTube produces about the same results. It uses hot water, about 1/4 tsp of yeast but also just a drop of vinegar to give that fermentation flavor. If it's put into an oven that was preheated for a few minutes and then shut off, it rises in only a couple of hours.
      I do use a traditional loaf recipe in the dutch oven type method also and find that it does help produce a better loaf. The steam from a lid is a great trick. It beats misting and breaking oven bolbs or cracking baking stones.

    3. I haven't seen that video - thanks, I'll check it out!

  17. Mine, with fresh rosemary and thyme incorporated, just came out of the oven and it smells spectacular! Just letting it cool (patiently) before I slice into it!

    1. You just can't beat that fragrance!! Thanks so much for stopping by and I sure hope that you enjoy the bread!


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