No-Knead 5-Minute Artisan Bread

No-Knead Bread

Yield: 2 2-pound loaves

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups lukewarm water (100°F)
  • 1 tbs yeast (active dry, instant, quick rise, or bread machine is fine)
  • 1 tbs + 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (whole wheat + white flour = 2 lbs total, if using a scale)

Directions:

Make the Dough

  1. Mix everything together until well combined (I use my Kitchenaid mixer and it’s super easy). The dough will be quite sticky.
  2. Put the sticky dough into a large 5-6 quart bowl or dough bucket. Put the lid on, but don’t snap it shut (so the gases from the yeast can escape).
  3. Let the dough rise for 2 hours at room temperature (it should double in size).
  4. Cover the bowl or bucket lightly, and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 7 days. I usually snap the lid shut after a day or two in the fridge. The longer the dough chills, the more sourdough-like tang you’ll taste in your bread.

On Baking Day

  1. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour; this will make it easier to grab a hunk. Pull out half of the dough.
  2. Plop the sticky dough onto a floured work surface, and round it into a ball, or a longer log. Don’t fuss around trying to make it perfect; just do the best you can.
  3. Place the loaf on a piece of parchment. Sift a light coating of flour over the top; this will help keep the bread moist as it rests before baking.
  4. Let the loaf warm to room temperature and rise; this should take about 60 minutes (or longer, up to a couple of hours, if your house is cool). It won’t appear to rise upwards that much; rather, it’ll seem to settle and expand.

30 Minutes Before Baking

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Put a 5-quart covered pot — it may be cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic — in the oven as it heats.
  2. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and place the dough, with parchment paper, into the pot. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned; the bread’s internal temperature should be 200°F or more. (If at any point the dough starts to smell scorched, lower the heat a bit.)
  3. Remove the bread with a spatula or tongs and cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Variations & Notes:

  • Sourdough Shortcut:
    When your bucket is nearly empty, don’t wash it. Immediately mix another batch in the same container. The bits of aged dough that remain stuck to the sides of the container will give your new batch a head start on sourdough flavor.
  • Pâte Fermentée (pre-fermented dough):
    You can take it further by adding up to 2 cups of “old dough” to the new batch.  Just mix the old dough with water and let it stand until it becomes souply.  Then, add in the new dough ingredients and mix together.

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