Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread: Delicious, Easy Artisan-Style Bread

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This artisan-style bread comes out of the oven looking perfect, smelling delicious, and tasting like you slaved over it for hours on end. It’s easy to make and will disappear as fast as you can serve it.

Serves: 1 Large Loaf    Time: 22 hrs    Cookbook: How to Bake Everything

Can you imagine artisan-quality bread at home, that you don’t even have to knead? Mark Bittman is here with just the right recipe. Introducing Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread! As the name suggests, most of the work for this bread baking session is hands-off, and the dough will just do its thing. If it seems too good to be true, I assure you that it isn’t. Delicious homemade bread is truly just a day away!

Master Baker Jim Lahey perfected the no-knead technique at his bakery in New York, and Mark Bittman made the recipe a little more approachable for home cooks. The result is an original recipe that’s been featured in the New York Times, it’s so good. Get ready to fill your home with the intoxicating aroma of fresh-baked bread that is just as good as an artisan bakery.

Jump Ahead:

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Easy: This recipe requires a bit of time thanks to all the resting and rising it does, but it’s not difficult to make. Even the most beginner baker can make this great recipe and turn out a loaf of bread that will wow anyone who enjoys a slice.

Artisan: We love that this recipe produces a very artisan-style loaf of bread. It looks like you labored for hours in the kitchen, threshed your own wheat, and ground it to powder before mixing it into your dough.

Delicious: The flavor of this bread is sooo good. Combined with the crusty exterior and soft warm interior, this loaf is one you’ll enjoy eating slice after slice.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread

  • All-Purpose Flour or Bread Flour: All-purpose flour or bread flour are perfect for this delicious bread. You can also use a 50/50 mix of whole wheat and white flour.
  • Instant Yeast: Since you’re mixing this directly into the dry ingredients, you want instant, not active dry yeast.
  • Salt: Kosher salt, sea salt, or table salt all work for this recipe.
  • Water: You’ll need 2 cups water. This should be warm room temperature water (around 70 degrees).

Equipment You’ll Need In the Kitchen

  • Dutch Oven: This pot is incredibly versatile and you can use it everywhere in the kitchen. We bake with it, make soups, stews, desserts, and everything in between. If you don’t have a dutch oven, you’ll want a 6- to 8-quart heavy oven-save pot with a lid.
  • Large Mixing Bowl: We can’t live without our clear mixing bowls. They’re perfect for visually checking to make sure all your ingredients got well mixed.
  • Pastry Mat: This handy tool is perfect for protecting your counters, helping you visualize how large to roll out pie crusts, and keeping your workstation clean and tidy.
  • Plastic Wrap or Kitchen Towel: Either work well for preventing your dough from drying out.

How to Make Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread

Mark Bittman's no-knead bread sliced on a cutting board

This delicious artisan-style bread is so easy to make, that you might never run out of bread again!

Make the dough

In a large bowl combine flour, salt, and yeast (all your dry ingredients). Next, pour in 2 cups of warm water (around 70° F). Stir until a shaggy, sticky dough appears.

Note: If the dough feels too dry, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to the dough and mix until the right consistency. If it’s too wet, add 1 tablespoon of flour and mix, instead.

Let the dough rest

Dough in bowl

Now, cover the bowl with a cotton towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for around 18 hours at room temperature. If your kitchen runs cold, put the bowl into the oven and turn the light on to keep it warm.

The next day, the dough will be double in size and the surface will appear bubbly.

Work the dough

Mark Bittman's no-knead bread dough worked into a ball

Sprinkle ¼ cup of flour over the surface you are going to work on and transfer the dough from the bowl to the well floured surface. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap for 15 minutes to let the dough rest, once again.

After 15 minutes, shape the dough into a round ball. Add enough flour to keep it from sticking to your hands.

Note: We love using a pastry mat for our work surface! It keeps our counter clean and tidy and provides handy measurements when we need them.

Rest the dough

Resting dough on a towel

Place a cotton towel (not terry cloth) on a flat surface and cover liberally with flour. You can also use wheat bran, cornmeal, or semolina here. Place the dough on the towel with the seam of the dough facing downward. Sprinkle the dough with additional flour and place a second cotton towel overtop. Let the dough rest and rise for another 2 hours. The dough will about double in size.

Ready your oven

Once the dough has rested for two hours, place an ovenproof pot in your oven with its lid on. We use an enameled cast iron pot (aka a dutch oven). Then, heat the oven to 450 degrees to let the pot get very, very hot.

Bake the dough

When your oven is ready, carefully pull the pot out of the oven with heat-proof gloves and place it on your stovetop or another heat-proof surface. Remove the lid and get ready to put the dough inside the pot.

Take the top towel off the dough and place your hand under the bottom towel. In one motion, lift the dough and let it slide into the hot pot so the dough seam faces up. Don’t worry if the dough goes in the pot in an uneven shape, the shape will correct itself while it bakes.

Cover the pot with its lid and place it into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake for another 20-30 minutes uncovered, until the bread is browned. The loaf will look naturally stunning since the top of the dough will have split to allow steam out, presenting a very artisan-looking loaf.

Let the loaf cool

Mark Bittman's No-Knead Bread cooling bread on a baking rack

Using tongs or a heat-proof spatula, remove the bread from the pot and place it on a cooling rack. Let the dough cool down for at least 30 minutes, then serve as desired.

No-Knead Bread Variations

Mark Bittman's No-Knead Bread sliced on a cutting board

Are you looking to step up your no-knead bread game? Try some of these scrumptious variations to create a customized mouthwatering bite. We suggest serving any of these fun variations alongside Jacques Pepin’s Blue Cheese Salad for a delicious lunch any day of the week.

Italian-Style: Add up to 3/4 cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 1-2 tablespoons oregano when first mixing the dough. When finished, serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. If you have your own garden-fresh herbs, you can easily dry herbs in an air fryer to use in recipes like this.

Fruit-Filled: Add up to 3/4 cup of chopped dried fruit like golden or purple raisins, currants, and apricots. Add these mix-ins when first mixing up your dough.

Cheesy Goodness: Add up to 1 cup of grated hard cheeses (parmesan), or up to a 1/2 cup of grated medium-hard cheese (cheddar, asiago, pepper jack), or up to 1/2 cup soft cheese (goat, blue, gorgonzola). Incorporate these mix-ins just before the second rising.

Garden-Fresh: Add up to a 1/4 cup of fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, mint, dill, or chives or 1 to 2 tablespoons of rosemary, oregano, or sage. Incorporate these mix-ins when first mixing up your dough.

Nice and Spicy: Add hot red pepper flakes, a tablespoon or two of cayenne, or chopped fresh chilies like jalapeno to taste. Incorporate when first mixing your dough.

Garlic Lover: Add up to 1/2 cup of slightly mashed or chopped up roasted garlic. Add when first mixing your dough.

Want even more bread recipe? Try your hand at cast iron skillet cornbread and serve it with Mark Bittman’s Deconstructed Chinese Chicken Soup.

Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread Tips, Tricks, and FAQs

Can I substitute whole wheat flour for white flour in this recipe?

Per Mark Bittman’s suggestion, you can swap up to half of the white flour for whole wheat flour.

Can I add any other whole grain flours?

You can! To make sure this still turns out right, swap out a third of the white flour with whole-grain flour by weight, not by volume.

Can I add any mix-ins to the bread dough?

Absolutely. You can make this bread your own by adding a variety of mix-ins such as spices, grated cheeses, and even dried fruit. Check out the no-knead bread variations, above, for more info on customizing your bread.

Print
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Mark Bittman's No-Knead Bread sliced on a cutting board

Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread: Delicious, Easy Artisan-Style Bread


Description

This artisan-style bread comes out of the oven looking perfect, smelling delicious, and tasting like you slaved over it for hours on end. If you have some time to wait for the dough to rest and rise, you’ll have delicious bread anytime you want.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 4 cups All-Purpose or Bread Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Instant Yeast
  • 2 tsp Salt

Instructions

  1. Add 4 cups of flour, ½ teaspoon of yeast, and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large mixing bowl. Next, pour in 2 cups of warm water (around 70° F.). Stir until a sticky, shaggy dough appears. 
  2. Cover the bowl with a cotton towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for around 18 hours at room temperature. If your kitchen runs cold, put the bowl into the oven and turn the light on to keep it warm. The next day, the dough will be double in size and the surface will appear bubbly.

  3. After 18 hours, sprinkle ¼ cup of flour over the surface you are going to work on and transfer the dough from the bowl to the floured work surface. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap for 15 minutes to let the dough rest again.

  4. After 15 minutes, shape the dough into a round ball. Add flour if needed to keep it from sticking to your hands.
  5. Place a cotton towel on a flat surface and cover liberally with flour. Place the dough on the towel with the seam of the dough facing the bottom. Sprinkle the dough with more flour and place a second cotton towel overtop. Let the dough rest and rise for another 2 hours. The dough will about double in size.
  6. Once the dough has rested for 2 hours, place an ovenproof pot in your oven with its lid on. We use an enameled cast iron pot (aka a dutch oven). Preheat the oven to 450 degrees to heat up the pot.
  7. When your oven is ready, carefully pull the pot out of the oven with heat-proof gloves and place it on your stovetop or another heat-proof surface. Remove the lid and get ready to put the dough inside the pot.
  8. Take the top towel off the dough and place your hand under the bottom towel. In one motion, lift the dough and let it slide into the hot pot, being careful not to touch the pot. Don’t worry if the dough goes in the pot in an uneven shape, the shape will correct itself while it bakes.

  9. Cover the pot with its lid and place it into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake for another 20-30 minutes uncovered, until the bread is browned.
  10. Using tongs or a heat-proof spatula, remove the bread from the pot and place it on a cooling rack. Let the dough cool down for at least 30 minutes, then serve as desired.
  • Prep Time: 21 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hours
  • Category: Baking and Pastry
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Mark Bittman, Bread, No-Knead Bread

Join the Conversation

  1. This bread is amazing! I didn’t even know you could skip the kneading process.






    1. Sherrie @ Cook Like a Master Author says:

      We love this recipe! Definitely requires some patience but so worth it without the kneading!

  2. This recipe looks so easy with the step-by-step pictures. Being motivated by the pictures I’ll start making one tomorrow. Love this bread looks!






    1. Glad the pictures help! Hope your loaf turns out great!

  3. I’ve struggled with bread recipes in the past but this one turned out so well! Thank you for sharing this recipe.






    1. Awesome!! I’m so glad this turned out great for you!

  4. I was so excited to put this loaf on the table with dinner! It is the best thing I have ever made. And that isn’t exaggerating as I am crap in the kitchen!!! But a friend told me the recipe was easy so I thought I would give it a go. (I had frozen dinner rolls in the freezer just in case) BUT WOW!!
    I am now a master bread baker!!! Well maybe not, but all the kids loved it! Thank you!!!






    1. That is awesome to hear!!! We love how easy this is! Hooray for the new master bread baker! 😀

  5. If there’s anything better than the smell of fresh bread baking at home, I don’t know what it is. Your recipe is terrific and as simple as promised. Thanks so much!






    1. Right? Nothing better than filling the house with the smell of freshly baked bread! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  6. This bread is so so good… and I love how easy it is to make. Next time, I’ll try the fruit-filled variation. Thanks for this recipe.






    1. We’re so glad you enjoyed it! Have fun with adding variations to the recipe!

  7. What if I do not have a Dutch oven? Any way to replace please?
    How long it can be stored if frozen since the portion is too big for 2?

    1. Great questions! If you don’t have a dutch oven, you can place the bread in a cast iron skillet to cook. In order to keep the bread moist so it rises properly, you’ll need to spray the inside of your oven with water to create steam.
      We’ve kept this bread frozen for up to three months and when we thawed it, it was still great.

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