No Knead Crusty Four Ingredient Bread Recipe
One of my most favorite things in life is crusty bread. Crusty Bread can take a lot of work to create but I would love to share with you my recipe for no knead, crusty, four ingredient bread. I hold a degree in baking and pastry arts so I know the work that goes into crafting a good piece of bread. But I also don’t have huge pockets of time anymore to devote to allowing bread to rise, be punched down, kneaded and then repeated.
So when I find a small sections of time in my week, I will take a few minutes for preparation and make this bread recipe.
The recipe is very forgiving and will make any novice baker look like they have been slaving over a wood burning oven for hours.
The crust on this bread is AMAZING. A great crack gives way to soft pillowy bread on the inside.
No knead crusty bread is perfect for dunking into a hot bowl of soup on a chilly fall day.
We love chicken noodle soup in our house. It is one of the few soups all five of us can agree upon. My family can also agree that the love Progresso Rich & Hearty Chicken & Homestyle Noodles soup. Just like the ingredients in this bread recipe, the ingredients in the Progresso soup are quality. As a parent who is very aware of what her family eats, I appreciate that the chicken in the Rich & Hearty Chicken & Homestyle Noodle soup has all white meat, antibiotic free chicken. The broth is so full of flavor! Perfect for soaking up with your crusty bread. Be sure to check your local Walmart for Progresso soup. I know my store is always well stocked.
No Knead Crusty Four Ingredient Bread Recipe
List of Ingredients:
3 Cups flour.
I used an all-purpose flour but feel free to do a 50/50 blend of all-purpose and bread flour.
1/2 teaspoon dry, active yeast.
2 teaspoon salt.
The salt will keep the yeast cultures for getting out of control. Don’t forget the salt.
Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together.
Add 1 1/2 cups warm water.
The water should be between 80 and 110 degrees. But DO NOT let the water reach 140. Yeast dies at 140 degrees. Dead yeast will not be helpful in bread.
Stir the four ingredients together until they come together into a loose batter. This will not be a traditional bread dough in the sense that the gluten strands in the dough will not be developed in a kneading dough recipe.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 12-24 hours. (see? I told you it was forgiving)
After 12-24 hours this is what your bread dough will look like.
It is airy, bubbly and ready to be turned into a crusty bread.
Turn the bread out onto a well floured surface.
Cover with additional flour and start to work it to form a ball.
Keep in mind the bread will be very sticky and you will want to cover your hands with extra flour.
Use your hands, a rubber scraper or a bench scraper to fold the bread dough over on itself to form a ball of dough.
This is not kneading dough. It is just adding enough flour to make a ball of dough. The gluten strands aren’t going to be formed and worked.
A few minutes later you have created a beautiful ball of dough.
Time To Bake
Here is the fun part!
Use a cast iron, enamel coated or heavy, oven safe pot with lid to bake your bread.
Place the pot in an oven and then heat the oven to 450 degrees.
The idea is that the pot will heat to the temperature of the oven. You are making an oven within an oven!
Once the oven has come to temperature CAREFULLY remove the pot from the oven and CAREFULLY place the dough ball in the pot. If your pot is not enamel or cast iron you might want to place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pot.
If you don’t use parchment paper you might hear the dough start to sear when you place it in the pot. This is exciting!! I love that sound. If you don’t hear it, it is not a big deal.
Cover your pot and place back in the 450 degree oven for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, remove the lid and allow the bread to brown to a golden color for about 15 minutes.
This final 15 minutes your house will start to fill with the heavenly aromas of freshly baked bread.
Crusty Bread Sings
One thing I learned while I was in culinary school was that crust bread sings to you. Not like you might imagine with words and rhythm but with crackles. I challenge you to turn off all music and television when your bread comes out of the oven and listen to it crackle and ‘sing’ to you. It is the breads way of thanking you for creating it.
Allow The Bread To Cool
I am a fan of tearing bread before you dunk it in soup. For me is just adds one more layer to the artisanal process. But if you are one for sliced bread, be sure to allow the bread to cool before slicing. If you slice bread too soon after taking it out of the oven the cell structure that you worked so hard for will be crushed.
It will be well worth the wait, I can assure you.
- 3 Cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon dry, active yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 warm water