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This super-simple no-knead bread is perfectly fluffy inside with a crunchy exterior. We love that this dough is ultra forgiving, which makes it perfect for anyone attempting their first rustic loaf. But, it’s so good you’ll keep making it no matter your skill level. If you’re looking for a bread that is almost impossible to mess up and you want it to be as fuss-free as a light and fluffy bread can be, then this is it!
3 Cups bread flour (or AP flour)
1 Cup 120°F Water
1/2 Cup 100-110°F Water
1/2 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- Pour 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast into 1/2 cup warm water at 100-110°F (or follow the temperature directions from the manufacturer of your yeast). Let bloom for 10 min.
Mix / 1 Hour Rest
- After 10 min, combine the bloomed yeast and water in a large mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients.
- Mix by hand or with a spatula until everything is incorporated. The dough will be shaggy.
- Cover with a larger bowl, towel, or plastic wrap (anything that isn’t airtight) and let rest for 1 hour.
Fold / 2 Hour Rest
- After an hour, perform 4-6 stretch and folds (see the above video for a demonstration).
- Cover and let rest for 2 hours.
Preheat / Shape / Proof
- After 2 hours, preheat your oven to 450° F with a dutch oven or with a pan that can withstand high temperatures already inside.
- Lightly flour both the top of your dough and a working surface.
- Dump your dough out onto your working surface, but do not completely deflate your dough. It will naturally deflate a little, but work gently as you shape your dough. You can shape however you prefer (it really is forgiving) or follow our video above to see the basic round we like.
- Transfer your shaped dough onto a piece of parchment, cover, and let your dough proof for 35-40 min. You can avoid the parchment paper and transfer your dough directly in your pan after the proof, but it is easier to transfer now vs later. Additionally, it will be easier to transfer using the parchment paper later.
Bake / Cool
- After 35-40 minutes, score the dough with a pair of scissors, a lame, or a knife. A large X in the center of the dough works well. But feel free to get fancy!
- Using your parchment paper, pick up your dough and place it with the parchment paper directly in your pan or dutch oven.
- If using a dutch oven, cover with lid and bake for 30 min. Remove lid after 30 min and bake for another 15 min or until you achieve your desired color preference.
- If using a pan, bake uncovered with a small baking dish containing a handful of ice cubes on the rack below to help create both a better color crust and a more crunchy crust. Bake 30-35 min.
- Remove and let rest for at least an hour, our until mostly cool. The crumb (inside) is still steaming and will be a little too gummy if you cut in too soon. I have to admit I often get antsy and only last 45 min. Every once in a while it’s still gummy at 45 min, but I like to live on the edge. And, toasters are a thing. 🙂
That’s it, super simple, with just a few minutes of actual work! Enjoy!