Baking bread from scratch can seem intimidating. But once you realise that a basic loaf requires only four ingredients, a few minutes of work, and almost no kneading, it opens up a whole new world of freshly baked homemade bread.
This No Knead Overnight Loaf is probably the easiest bread recipe ever. It literally only takes a few minutes of hands on time. No mixers or bread makers required, one bowl and four ingredients is all it takes.
If you have an oven safe casserole pot with a lid (Dutch Oven) it is well worth using it as it created the most amazing crust by trapping in the steam while baking. If not, fear not, it will be just as delicious baked on a baking sheet. I’ll include both instructions in the recipe.
I can’t emphasise enough how easy this is. Please do give it a try. Pop all the ingredients in a bowl before going to bed. Give it a mix, cover and let it rise overnight. In the morning all you have to do is shape it and preheat the oven and pot/baking sheet. That’s it. No arduous kneading or complicated folding. Four ingredients and four steps. Mix, rise, shape, bake and enjoy! The dough and the oven do all the work for you. And you can sit back and enjoy the praise from your family or friends.
No Knead Overnight Loaf
- 3¼ Cup White Bread Flour I use unbleached stoneground flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Instant dry yeast
- 1½ Cups Warm water Not Hot
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour to ensure there are no lumps. Add the salt and yeast to opposite sides of the bowl*. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm water. Mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until well combined and a sticky, rough/shaggy dough forms
- Cover the mixing bowl with a cloth or plastic wrap and let it rest overnight (around 12 hours or up to 18 hours) at room temperature (ensure it's in a draft-free area)
- In the morning, gently scrape the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface, knead a few times then fold the dough over itself to shape into a tighter, smooth ball (for a round loaf), then place on a lightly floured piece of baking paper
- Sift a light coating of flour over the top, to help keep the dough moist, then loosely cover and let rise again for another 30 – 40 minutes, while you preheat your oven and pot
- Place your oven safe casserole pot, with lid on, in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 230°C while the dough rests**
- When the oven and pot are hot and the dough has risen a little further, very carefully, as not to burn, remove the pot from the oven. Using the edges of baking paper to lift the dough, carefully transfer the loaf, Including the baking paper, to the pot and cover. Place the pot in the oven and bake for 30 minutes with the lid on. Then remove the lid and bake for a further 10 – 15 minutes until the crust is the colour you want. Use oven mitts to remove the pot from the oven (take care not to burn)
- ***If using a baking sheet or pizza stone instead of a pot, use the baking paper to carefully slide the loaf onto the stone. Add the water to the bottom sheet as mentioned in the notes and bake for 25 – 35 minutes, or until golden. Ensure that the bottom of the loaf is well baked then remove (Baking time is less for this method as the loaf is directly exposed to the heat)
- Transfer the loaf to a wire cooling rack and let cool for around 30 minutes before serving