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Making bread at home has never been easier than with my recipe for the Easiest 2 Hour No Knead Bread. Only 4 ingredients and 2 hours to hot, delicious bread on your table.
I absolutely love making bread from scratch. But honestly, I don’t always have a time of time devote to a long extensive recipe.
There is just something about the making something so beautiful and delicious with my hands for my family that brings me joy. So, I’ve started making this easy 2 hour, no knead bread. It’s perfect for weeknights.
Throw everything together when the kids get home from school, help with homework, and then BAM! hot fresh bread to go with dinner. I promise, there is so little hands on time, it almost feels like cheating.
Ingredient notes and substitutions:
- All Purpose Flour
- SAF yeast (or Instant or RapidRise yeast), I prefer SAF yeast
- coarse Kosher salt
- hot water
- large bowl
- plastic wrap
- parchment paper
- 5 qt Dutch oven
- wooden spoon
No Knead Bread Troubleshooting:
Dough Didn’t Rise?
- The water may have been the wrong temperature. Hot tap water is usually around 125 to 130°F. Anything hotter than that and it will kill the yeast (definitely don’t use boiling water).
- This bread dough will not rise like regular yeast breads, it will only puffs up a little and gets bubbly. It will be a little bigger after the resting time, but it’s double or triple in size.
- The yeast may not be fresh and should not be used past the expiration date. Store yeast in the freezer for best results and to slightly extend the expiration time.
Dough Was Runny
- Don’t sift the flour before measuring, which would cause you to use less flour than required. Sift flour AFTER measuring, never before unless specified in the recipe.
- There was too much liquid or not enough flour. Use a measuring cup specific for measuring liquids, place it on a flat surface and view it at eye level to make sure the liquid is at the correct line.
Dough Was Dry
- You measured the flour incorrectly. To measure flour, use a flat-topped measuring cup, gently spoon the aerated flour into the cup until it’s slightly mounded above the rim. Use the back of a knife to level off the excess. Do not tap the cup or the container of flour.
- You did not aerate your flour before measuring. Flour always settles in the bag or container and must be aerated before measuring; otherwise, you will be using too much flour. To aerate flour, using the measuring cup, scoop up flour and pour it out several times, trying to move all the flour in the container to incorporate some air.
Bread Wasn’t Cooked on the Inside or Crust Was Too Hard
- Your oven (and pot) were not preheated long enough. Use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven has reached 450°F. It can take over half an hour.
- You sliced it too soon (it’s so hard to wait, I know). After bread is removed from the oven, it will continue to cook so let it cool completely before slicing.
- Your pot was too close to the heat. Try raising the oven rack so the bottom of the pot is not as close to the heat source.
- Your oven may be hotter than you think. Use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is the correct temperature.
- If your cast iron pot is black, try another one that is not black.
- Do not bake any longer than indicated.
- Bread should be golden brown and sound hollow when thumped.
No Dutch Oven?
Honestly, I only make this bread in an enameled cast iron Dutch oven (it’s totally worth it), but you can try some of these options. Let me know how they work if you try one:
- a glass pyrex or corningware dish with a lid
- a stainless steel pot with a lid
- a clay baker
- black cast iron pot with a lid (camping style)
- a roasting pan with a tightly sealed foil heavy duty top
- a heavy soup pot with a lid
- 1 tablespoon SAF yeast (or Instant or RapidRise yeast)
- 1 1/2 cups hot water (up to 130° F)
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour (***AERATE FLOUR BEFORE MEASURING***)
- 1 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- (plus about 2 tablespoons extra flour for shaping)
- parchment paper (NOT wax paper)
In a large bowl, combine yeast and warm water. Let sit for five minutes.
Add flour and salt to the yeast mixture and stir until it’s well combined (dough will be lumpy and won't look like your typical dough for rising).
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm area for 1 hour (I like to put it on my stove with the stove light on).
After the dough has been rising for 40 minutes, place a 3 to 6-quart Dutch oven with lid in a cold oven and preheat to 450° F. Continue letting the dough rise for 20 more minutes.
After the dough has risen for the full hour, turn dough out on a well-floured surface and sprinkle the top with a little additional flour. Using a bench scraper (or hands) fold dough over about 10 times to shape into a ball.
Place dough ball into a large bowl lined with parchment paper (NOT wax paper) and cover with a towel. Let dough rest on counter for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, carefully (using oven mitts) remove heated Dutch oven and place the lid on a safe surface, lift the parchment paper and dough from the bowl and place gently into the hot pot. (the parchment paper too). Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove lid and bake uncovered 10 additional minutes or until bread is a golden color and sounds hollow when thumped.
Remove Dutch oven carefully from the oven, with oven mitts, and take the bread out of the pot to cool. It's best to let bread cool completely.
***AERATE FLOUR BEFORE MEASURING, using a spoon to stir or a measuring cup to scoop up flour and pour it out several times, trying to move all the flour in the container to incorporate some air.***
Note: The first few times you make this recipe, don't change it. Master it. Then change it, if you desire.
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