No Knead Crusty Bread + GF Option

Want to make bread, but intimidated by it? Don't know where to start? I got you. This bread recipe is your basic white bread. I included a gluten free option also! Rock out a beautiful loaf of bread and feel super accomplished. Add some homemade butter, make a big ol' sandwich, serve in along side a beautiful home cooked meal. 

Yes, 2020 brought out the bread fiend in everyone. But, some people can't even wrap their head around making sourdough bread. This cheater-version No Knead Bread has the ability to taste similar to sourdough if you let it. It will take a couple of days.. but, if you are impatient and want to make this white bread ASAP, this is it. You could also add in fresh herbs, garlic, olives, etc. to this bread to get a little extra on us. You know I love being a little extra! 

There is nothing like the smell of fresh bread throughout your home.. Mmmm! All you do is add water, salt, flour, honey and yeast to a bowl, give it a mix, set it aside to rise. The mixing part takes maybe 10 minutes? The rest of the time goes into rising and baking. The biggest trick to any bread recipe is using a dutch oven or a deep enough cast iron with a lid that will allow the bread to expand. The lid is important because the steam inside will create a crusty exterior and soft interior to your bread. We want that crusty crust! 

**Check notes at the bottom for gluten free option**

Alriiiight grab your cast iron and mixer, let's make bread!

No Knead Crusty Bread

1 1/2 cups warm water + more if needed

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast 

2 tablespoons honey or sugar 

3 cups all purpose flour or bread flour

1/2 tablespoon salt 

*additional ingredients needed for gluten free, see notes at bottom of page

1. In a stand mixer or bowl, combine water, yeast and sugar. If using dry active yeast, allow to sit for 10 minutes until activated. If using instant or rapid yeast, activating is not necessary. If using a stand mixer, use a dough hook. If mixing by hand, use wooden spoon or dough whisk. Slowly add in flour, one cup at a time, and salt and mix until it forms a sticky dough. All of the flour should be incorporated. If dough seems dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time until dough comes together. This should only take about a minute on a stand mixer at medium speed. 

Ting's Tip: If you want to add any herbs, garlic, olives, etc. add it here and mix!

2. Cover the bowl with beeswax paper, plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and leave aside for at least 2 hours at room temperature. The dough should double in size.

Ting's Tip: If you have the time, after the first 2 hours, place the dough in the fridge for another 2 hours, overnight or up to 5 days to get a more "sourdough" taste. The longer in the fridge, the tangier it will taste!

3. When you are ready to make your bread, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and form into a ball. Don't stress, this doesn't have to be perfect. The easiest technique: turn the dough out onto floured surface, take your left hand and grab left "corner" of dough and pull to the center, grab the right side with the right hand and fold it over the left, continue with the other two sides until it's all gathered together in the middle. Flip it over so the seam side is down and put the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and set aside to rest while you preheat the oven. Place your dutch oven with the lid on in the oven while it preheats. Preheat to 450F degrees.

4. Option to score the top of your bread with a sharp knife. When the oven is ready, with oven mitts, carefully (remember, it's hot!) remove the dutch oven from the oven. Place the parchment and bread into the dutch oven. WITH MITTS, put the lid back on. Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown. Remove the lid after 25-35 minutes and bake for another 25-35 minutes to get that extra crusty exterior.

5. Allow bread to cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. The steam continues to cook the inside of the bread while cooling. After a couple hours, slice it up and join the bread fiend club! WOO! 


**For Gluten Free option:

*Add one egg OR 2 Tablespoons flaxseed + 6 Tablespoons hot water (steep to thicken for 10 minutes) to the wet ingredients

*Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the wet ingredients - this helps out the yeast

Brush the top of the dough with oil or egg wash for browning 

Substitute flour with Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. Check the ingredients on your flour, if the flour already has Xantham Gum in it, then you can use just this. Flour that already has Xantham gum in it is usually called “Cup4Cup” or “1-to-1” Gluten Free Flour. If there is no Xantham Gum in the gluten free flour ingredients you'll need to buy it separately and add 1 to 11/2 teaspoons per 1 cup of flour for bread. Xantham gum helps with elasticity and stickiness to the dough. 

Ting’s Tips: Trust me, the first couple of times I tried making gluten free bread, it was a fail. I’ve tried and tried again. I have some tips that worked for me.. For gluten free bread, mix by hand instead of a mixer. Use a wooden spoon or spatula. Follow the same directions as the regular bread recipe with wet ingredients, yeast, *adding egg and vinegar, followed by one cup at a time of flour then salt. The consistency of the bread is something I struggled with at first, and I ended up having to add more water (only about 1/4 cup more). The dough should be thick and sticky, almost like a very thick zucchini bread dough (I’ll put pictures below). Although not necessary, another trick is to use a sparkling water, gluten free beer, ginger ale, club soda, etc. instead of water because bubbles add air to the bread. Using instant or rapid rise yeast would be easiest with this, as you wouldn’t have to activate it. If there are any more tips or tricks that I find work, I will update and add here :)