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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


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.


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


Start the dough

  • 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. 
  • 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 and shape the dough

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

Bake the dough

  • 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.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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.

Cool the bread and enjoy!

  • 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