There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh bread just out of the oven. In fact, the scent wakes up my wife sometimes when I am making it early in the morning. It is surprisingly SO EASY to make great crunchy bread that is just like you would buy at a fancy bakery. And you DO NOT need to use sourdough starter for this. Sure, you can go that route, but it is A LOT more work and a lot more of an investment (of time and money). I like this recipe because it is easy and it gets the job done.
There are a lot of crazy bread people out there that become obsessed with ratios and hydrations and autolyses and fermenting and gluten percentages and all kinds of other baking buzz words. Sure, there is a place for that, but you DO NOT need to know anything about that shit to make great bread! You need an oven, some basic ingredients, and hands. You can do it!
A lot of people make no knead bread in a Dutch oven…. which is great. But I like the shape of a loaf better because I almost always use the bread for sandwiches or toast. So I use 2 metal loaf pans instead. And the results are identical to using a cast iron Dutch oven. And as far as flour goes: I use the 00 pizza flour I already have in a 50lb bag lol. You can use all purpose or bread flour. It’ll all turn out basically the same. I used to just use all purpose and it was great… I maybe even prefer it to bread flour.
So check out this recipe video I made and the recipe is below.
Easy Crunchy No Knead Bread
- 2 Metal Loaf Pans
- Parchment Paper
- Add flour, yeast, and salt to a large mixing bowl
- Add water
- Start mixing everything together with a fork and then switch to your hands
- Mix until the wet and dry ingredients have combined
- Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm-ish place for 12-24 hours. You can also do less time but it tastes better the longer it rises. It should double in size before you start baking.
- Preheat oven to 450f. If you have a convection oven, even better: use convection.
- Transfer the dough onto a floured surface
- Begin by pulling the dough out on the bottom and then pull/fold that over the top. Then rotate the dough and do it again. This takes a bit of getting used to. You are basically just trying to make a nice smooth ball. You can also just dump it right into your pans, but it won't be as nicely formed. But it will still work!
- Once you have a decent ball (don't worry too much about the looks), transfer it smooth side up into your loaf pan that is lined with a piece of parchment paper.
- Rub some flour on top of the dough and make a cut on top however you want (I prefer one long cut)
- Cover with the other loaf pan and put it into the oven for 45 minutes
- After 45 minutes remove the loaf from the pans. Put the loaf back in the oven for 15 more minutes. If you like it softer you don't have to put it back in. You can also leave it in longer if you want it crustier or burnt.
- Put it on a wire rack or something where air can flow around (I use the top of the stove) and let it sit for an hour before cutting it.
Here’s some of the stuff I’ve made recently with the bread.