EASY! Overnight, No Knead Yeast Bread

No-Knead Bread

I love having smart friends.

Smart friends who give me great, easy, healthy recipes are my favorite kind of friends.  As are my friends who give me chocolate.  Or jars.  Or hugs.  Or the friends who listen to my constant and sometimes nonsensical chatter.  And the ones who put up with my unreasonable freak-out moments of stress.  And the ones who pray with me.  And the ones who deal with me during soccer season when I can’t finish sentences.

Let me just pause and wipe a tear.  I really have the best friends ever…

Well now.  (stops to loudly blow nose and gain composure)  I really brought all that up to say that one of my great friends, Nikki, shared this recipe with me.  She’s one of my smart friends who I believe has done all of the above and then some (God bless her).

Once when I was at her house, she let me try some of the bread she had made that morning.  It was great!  And then she started telling me how she made it.  How you don’t have to knead it.  How you start it the night before and how it takes about three minutes to mix up.  I think I grabbed her neck, hugged her fiercely, and knocked her over when she handed me the recipe.  Not really.  I truly can control myself.  Usually.  But hey, there was a great recipe involved, so no guarantees.  See, I told you my friends are great to put up with me.

And now, the easiest bread recipe in the world…

No Knead Yeast Bread

3 cups flour (This recipe works a little better with unbleached white flour, but I prefer to use freshly ground hard white wheat so that it is healthier.)
1 ¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon active rise yeast
1 ½ cups water

Note:  You need a covered dish to bake this bread.  I found a deep-dish casserole dish with a lid that worked for me, similar to this one.  But if I can save up and splurge on this one, would that not be the coolest?

Stir ingredients together in the evening.  (No need to proof the yeast.)  Cover and allow dough to sit over-night on the countertop.  In the morning, dump the dough onto a well floured surface.  Shape it into a ball.  Let it sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450°, heating the baking dish in the oven at the same time.  Place the dough in the hot baking dish.  Cover and bake for 30-40 minutes.

When you mix it and cover it in the evening, it starts out looking like this:

In the morning it will look like this:

After you bake it, it will look like this:

And when you slice it it will look like this:

Once you serve it, it will look like this:

(There’s no picture.  The bread is gone.  Obviously.)

I highly recommend that you give this recipe a try, and that you consider serving it with this wonderful Calico Beans dish.  It’s a wonderful combo!

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Comments

  1. Sarah says

    Baked my first loaf this morning – it is AMAZING!!!!!!!!! This will be a new regular in our house!! Thanks, Laura!!!

    One question: I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to grease the dish before baking, so I went ahead and did it – but do I need to?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I don’t typically grease mine, but it won’t hurt if you do!

    [Reply]

    Kelly Reply:

    I greased mine.

    [Reply]

  2. Natalia says

    I made my first loaf today and I love how super easy it is! Question, when I take it out of the oven should I cool it on a rack? Also, when I put it on the floured surface this morning, before I baked it, I was afraid of overworking it trying to get it into a ball..I tried getting it into a ball shape and then it would just kinda spread out from there…hope that makes sense, so it didn’t stay in a ball shape. I’m wondering if I should have mixed it more the night before….?

    [Reply]

    Kelly Reply:

    When I took mine out of the oven I did put it on a cooling rack. I also rubbed butter on it to soften the crust. I did not work mine much. I split it in two, put it on the floured surface, rolled it a few times, then put them in their baking dishes. This way they were the perfect zsize for bread bowls for soup. If yours did not stay in the ball you needed to add more flour.

    [Reply]

    Natalia Reply:

    Thank you so much, I will try with more flour next time! It was a big hit here! The flavor is wonderful and with the process being so easy I could see myself making it a couple times a week! Thanks for sharing.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I don’t think you need to change anything about the mixing. It is just kinda funny to shape into a ball when it really just wants to flop around. :) Just work very lightly on the counter (about 20 seconds) then let it take on the shape of your baking pan. I don’t cool mine on a wire rack – I typically just put it on the stovetop, but you sure can put it on a wire rack if you want.

    [Reply]

  3. Kimberly says

    My first loaf is in the oven, but I’m a little concerned it won’t turn out… the 30 minute “Resting” on the counter didn’t make the dough rise at all. I’ve never had bread rise more in the oven and I’m thinking this is going to come out like a dense brick :( I’ll let you know, but is it supposed to do a full rise again after you shape it?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    No, it doesn’t rise much after you shape it, but I try not to over work it when I’m shaping it so it keeps some of its “puff”. Mine usually comes out more dense than a regular loaf of bread. Hope yours turned out okay!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    Well, it didn’t rise much, like you said, but it was still very nice! I have the sassafras oblong baker so it made a nice “french bread” looking loaf, although kind of short. The bread is nice and chewy, like a sourdough. Thanks so much for sharing this! With regular bread rising time I could never have fresh baked bread for breakfast, but with this method, I could have it every morning!

    [Reply]

  4. Patricia says

    I am sorry to ask this question that it may be obvious to everybody. But I am not sure if I am understanding this correctly. When you say to put the dough in the hot baking dish and cover. Do you mean the same baking dish used for he overnight? Or it could be any other baking container or sheet? Thank you in advance, for any imput.

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    You can use any baking dish as long as it has a lid!

    [Reply]

    Patricia Reply:

    Thanks you!

    [Reply]

  5. Patricia says

    Thanks for this great recipe! We tried this morning and everybody loved it, especially my husband and asked me to make it again. So simple, a few ingredients and even my kids can help. Thanks a lot Laura, you really inspire me!

    [Reply]

  6. Mandy says

    My own personal tastes….I don’t love the bread. It’s a bit too chewy for me and the crust is quite crisp. I like my bread a bit softer on the outside. I think this would be great for bread bowls or for sopping something or another, but not for just eating (for our fam anyway:)

    [Reply]

  7. Ginger says

    I was wondering how long this bread needs to sit before its baked? I am asking because I want to bake it and eat it hot for dinner. So, could I make it early morning so that I can bake it right before dinner? And if so, how early would I need to mix I t if we wanted to eat it at 6:00 pm? Thanks for the help?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, you can definitely do this in the morning and have it ready for dinner. If you start it around 8ish you’ll be good to go!

    [Reply]

    Ginger Reply:

    Thanks for replying. We are really enjoying this bread. Probably a little too much. ;)

    [Reply]

  8. Christina says

    What do you think if I let it rise even longer? Would it be too long? Like if I mix it at night for dinner the next day?

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    I have a similar recipe. It says you can leave it on the counter
    10-12 hours. After that you can put it in the fridge for up to 7 days.
    Remove from the fridge about 1 hour before you bake.

    [Reply]

    brownsugar Reply:

    I look forward to making this bread that can stay in the fridge for up to 7 days

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    I agree. I think leaving it to rise longer will be just fine.

    [Reply]

  9. says

    Has anyone tried this with instant yeast? It’s all I have right now. I’m going to give it a try and will post back with an update! Excited for fresh bread for breakfast! :)

    [Reply]

  10. Jessica says

    Do you have an easy recipe similar to this for a cinnimon raisin bread?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    No I don’t, but I bet you could adapt this one to make it into cinnamon raisin!

    [Reply]

  11. Rebekah says

    Has anyone broke any dishes making this? I did small loaf in spelt and 1 regular loaf in wheat and white. When I took the spelt loaf out and set the small casserole dish on top of the stove it shattered. Maybe my kitchen was too cool or maybe the glass wasn’t tempered enough. Anyways the bread was great :)

    [Reply]

    joanna n. Reply:

    sorry about your dish! i am curious if you adjusted the recipe at all w/ your spelt loaf; spelt is my flour of choice, although i haven’t used it a lot yet, but i know substituting it doesn’t always work really well.

    [Reply]

    Rebekah Reply:

    I may have added a little extra spelt flour but usually I just sub it 1 for 1. Also I have learned with spelt that its good to add the reccommended amount of flour and let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes to let the liquid absorb the flour.

    [Reply]

    joanna n. Reply:

    ok, thanks for the tip & info!

  12. Krista says

    Can you use regular loaf pans or do you have to use a baking dish that has a lid?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    This does require a lid – weird for a bread, huh?! :)

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    It’s because the lid captures the moisture and lets the bread steam and bake at the same time.
    It’s what gives it the nice texture. :)

    [Reply]

    Arouca Reply:

    I baked this in the normal aluminum pans and it turned out great. I added abt 1/2 tbsp of butter to the dough and it was very moist. Also, i didn’t use a cover while baking.

    [Reply]

  13. says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I gave it a try and improvised lid onto a dish. I had my doubts that it would turn out well but when it was done it looked beautiful and artisan and tasted lovely. Thank you for sharing.

    [Reply]

  14. Erin says

    My family loves this bread, and we, especially, like it with this infused olive oil that I thought I needed to share. It is a healthier alternative to butter.

    Infused Olive Oil

    1-2 cups (this depends on how spicy you like it) organic extra virgin olive oil
    1 tsp freshly ground pepper
    1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
    1 Tbsp of fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
    1/2 tsp real salt or sea salt
    1 pinch of crushed red pepper (or more to your liking)
    1 clove fresh garlic, minced
    (Optional: freshly grated Parmesan cheese)

    In quart-size mason jar mix all ingredients; shake well; allow it to “infuse” for about an hour before serving. Use as dipping sauce for bread. You will need to refrigerate if using cheese.

    [Reply]

    marie Reply:

    Homemade infused oils can allow development of botulism; garlic and herbs naturally have botulism on them. Use infused oil within a day or so of making. Refrigeration and/or salt do NOT retard the development of botulism. The FDA says only commercially made infused oils are to be trusted, because it is so difficult to everything right and ensure botulism does not develop. There’s a lot of easily available info. on the internet about this; for example, see http://theolivepress.com/news-blog/be-aware-of-the-risks-of-botulism-with-homemade-garlic-infused-oil

    Acids can retard botulism, but since acids & oil won’t easily mix together, that won’t help with homemade infused oils. (You add acid when canning tomatoes because today’s tomatoes are less acidic than in the past. “Doctoring” safe recipes for things like salsa can end up decreasing the required acid, and you end up risking development of botulism.

    [Reply]

  15. Erin says

    I totally forgot to put this bread in the oven this morning. I wonder what it’ll be like after sitting out for 24 hours!

    [Reply]

  16. Katie Long says

    I’ve been wanting to make this for months, but I don’t have a covered dish. Tonight I was determined I would find a way, and I am going to try it in a Pyrex mixing bowl (oven safe according to their website), improvising with a Pyrex pie dish for a lid. Wish me luck! :P

    [Reply]

    kelly g Reply:

    I have always made mine in a pyrex covered casserole dish. It works great!

    [Reply]

  17. Virginia says

    Have you cooked this in Cast Iron? I have done many sourdough loaves this way and they always turned out great. TIA

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I haven’t, but I would imagine that would work great. Thanks for the idea!

    [Reply]

    Virginia Reply:

    Wanted to tell you I ended up going for it the other day! It turned out beautiful in the Cast Iron. I used a deep one and a smaller one for a lid. Greased it in a little lard and sprinkled cornmeal on the bottom. I did take it out once and tap on the bottom and decided it was not done enough and put it back in for a few mins. but it turned out great!

    [Reply]

  18. Virginia says

    I am sorry one more question what is the temp. of the water need to be?I just noticed that.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    It needs to be warm, but not so hot that you can’t poke your finger in comfortably to test it. :)

    [Reply]

  19. Elixies says

    Hi, this looks great! I was wondering if I could add some dried herbs to the dough? Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I don’t see why that wouldn’t work!

    [Reply]

  20. Kristi says

    I had to add almost a cup more flour because it wasn’t holding a shape….I used fresh ground white wheat….any reason this may have happened? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Erin Reply:

    Mine never holds a shape either. It still works and makes a really tasty loaf.

    [Reply]

  21. raizy says

    I just came across your site and this recipe sounds divine! Since I dont own an ovenproof dish,do u think this would work in a disposable aluminum deep pan with a cover?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve never tried it that way so can’t say for sure. But I would imagine it would work. :)

    [Reply]

  22. Daryl says

    I made this bread and it was very dense in the middle. So I baked it for another 15 min. It didn’t improve on the texture. I did not warm the water before pouring it into the flour mixture, because it wasn’t stated in the recipe. I also used sprouted white wheat flour. Could that have been the reason my bread didn’t turn out? Thanks. Maybe I’ll try it again.

    [Reply]

  23. Susan says

    Perfect for the lazy mom! Thanks :)

    [Reply]

    Kayla Reply:

    I’m sure you meant to say busy mom…
    cause mom and lazy are two words that just don’t go together! :D

    [Reply]

    Kristy Reply:

    I don’t think ANY mom that provides a fresh loaf of bread on the table is lazy!!!!

    [Reply]

  24. joanna n. says

    this looks amazing! i can’t wait to make it! i currently am making our bread (6 loaves) & freeze the extra, which keeps us in bread for a few wks. however, during busier seasons w/ farming, sometimes i cave & buy bread (gasp!) due to lack of time. that’s not happening anytime soon now! =) thanks for making my day…literally!

    [Reply]

  25. Connie says

    I bake this in a loaf pan and cover loosely with foil. It creates the same effect as a lid and gives a better shape for sandwiches. I also store it wrapped in plastic wrap or in a baggie while it is still a little warm to help soften the crust just enough for easier slicing.

    You can also substitute the plain water with water you have boiled potatoes in for a potato bread. Tastes very good as well.

    [Reply]

  26. says

    Not sure what I did wrong but this came out super dense and heavy. Minimal handling, fresh, just opened yeast. After 50 minutes @ 450, it was still wet/shiny on the top. Another loaf bites the dust.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    All I can think of is that maybe your water was too hot and killed the yeast? Super bummer that it didn’t work!!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    I used a thermometer and the water was 104.3?

    I’ve been trying to make bread for years and they always come out like this! I can make your one hour rolls, though, apparently. That’s something at least! Lol

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Glad the rolls turn out well! 104 should be fine – not sure what’s going on!

  27. Danielle says

    Very nice! If my husband hadn’t taken it out when the timer went off at 30 minutes, the center would be as fluffy as the rest of it. The taste and texture are amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  28. Carmen says

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Made it last night at around 11:30PM
    Baked this this morning around 9
    Baked up perfectly.
    I used the kitchen aid mixer and my dough was pretty wet and airy. and put a tsp of olive oil in before dropping the dough. I was worried that it would stick. Just seemed counterintuitive to not grease the pan but I am sure it would likely have worked just as well without it.
    I used my LeCruset Dutch oven
    So I was worried but, it cooked up perfect!
    Kids ate with cream cheese and me with real butter!
    Thanks for sharing. Nothing like a good recipe that turns out just right the very first time!
    God bless.

    [Reply]

  29. marie says

    I just made it and it wasn’t bad. I probably worked it too much as it was somewhat dense. I want to mention that I have never made bread! I’m in the middle of reading Michael Pollan’s “Cooked” -chapter 3 (“Air”) talks all about bread, and the info. on commercial baking was enough to get me surfing the internet. I’m really interested in doing sour dough (which is a better approach if you want various nutrients to remain in the bread or become accessible).

    I don’t have a grain mill but thought I’d go in baby steps and when I came across this recipe, it seemed the place to start. I used Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat – it came out fine, although other kinds of wheat (especially if you have a grain mill) probably would be better. I’ll be trying again!

    I summarized the comments at the bottom of the document I made for this recipe (I overworked the dough because I hadn’t read the comment!). I thought I’d share:

    Water should be warm but not hot (don’t want to kill yeast)
    Covered dish size should be at least 2 quarts
    Can grease the baking dish but don’t have to
    Doesn’t rise much in the 30 min resting period
    Don’t overwork it when you’re shaping it – you want it to keep the air that it has in the dough. 20 sec of working.
    Can substitute spelt flour 1 to 1. With spelt, add the recommended amount of flour & let the mixture site for 15 min to let the liquid absorb the flour.
    Can use regular loaf pans (2); can tent loosely with aluminum foil (but others have reported success without cover)
    Good for pizza dough

    [Reply]

  30. marie says

    If possible, could you explain how you soak spelt flour for this recipe? Do you mix the (warm) water + spelt flour for the recipe together with 1.5 T acid (buttermilk/whey/plain (cultured) yogurt/lemon juice), and let it soak for 7-24 hours (and as I understand, longer (up to 24 hours) is better)? Then do you mix in the yeast & let it sit for another 24 hours, then shape it and let it sit another 30 minutes? I’ve never done this soaked grain thing, but wanted to try this with spelt flour, and in another comment, someone mentions soaking spelt flour makes for better results. Are there any adjustments necessary for this recipe? Thanks again! I’m still eating my first loaf made with Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat – as I said before, it was heavy but edible. Perhaps soaking that flour would have helped!

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    We can’t be too much help on that one as we haven’t used spelt flour with this recipe. Hope it works out well for you!

    [Reply]

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