No Knead Bread Recipe. (and Cooking it in a Wood Fired Oven.)

You’re gonna bake bread.  Old fashioned, full of gluten, honest to goodness WHITE bread.  You rebel.

And in fact today I’m going to make more bread in it.  Partly because the bread is really good and partly because it’s just fun.  Also I’m out of bread, and like any good mini-Martha instead of going to the store to buy bread, well of course I’m going to bake some myself in the cob oven I built.

I’m not sure when this happened to me but I have a hunch it’s only going to get worse, culminating with me growing my own heart valve when I’m 80.

Baking Bread in a Cob oven

Baking bread in a cob oven is FUN.

This was just a basic, white bread recipe that you can use in any oven, not just a cob oven.

It’s originally from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. I don’t own the book yet but it’s only a matter of time because if this recipe is a representation of how good this book is … I need it. Actually … hold on a second while I go order it.

I’m back. Book has been ordered.

update:  I’ve since ordered the book and use it every week.  Always.  I am never not making bread.

It’s a no knead bread, but not the kind that’s been making the rounds on the Internet over the past few years.  That no knead bread is a very, very wet dough that has to be baked in some sort of pot or crock.  I love that bread by the way and make a lot of it … this just isn’t that sort of no knead recipe. It’s a wet dough, but manageable unlike the other no knead recipes.



No Knead White Bread

Basic White Bread

Makes 3  loaves
4.2 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Baking
Cuisine: Yummy
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 3 loafs
Calories: 998kcal
Author: Bread in 5 Minutes a Day


  • 3 cups water luke warm
  • 1 tbsp yeast 1 packet
  • 1.5 tbsp coarse kosher salt
  • 6.5 cups white flour unbleached, all-purpose white flour
  • Cornmeal for pizza peel


  • Add 1 Tbsp. yeast to bowl along with 1-2 Tbsps kosher salt..  Add  3 cups warm water.  Stir.
  • Gradually add 6 1⁄2 cups flour.
  • Stir the mixture until it's thickened and well combined.  I use this Danish Whisk which is GREAT.  Cover bowl with tea towel.  Allow to rise for 2 hours.
  • Once the dough has risen divide it into 3.  Form each section into a ball and pull the 4 sides of the dough to the underneath.   This is stretching out the gluten and aligning it.  It gives you a nice tight top to the bread.
  • Preheat oven to 450 f. You want it to heat for an hour prior to baking your bread.
  • Leave the dough for its final proof on a very well floured proofing cloth (the floured, linen mat you see in my video) or tea towel for 45 minutes. 
  • After it's proofed, gently transfer to your peel or baking tray/stone.  Cut several slashes across the top.  This allows the bread to move upwards as opposed to sideways when it bakes.
  • Bake until the interior temperature of the bread is 210 f.  (around 25 minutes).


*  if you want a crispier crust, when you're heating your oven add a deep pan.  Right after you put your bread in the oven, throw a cup of water into the empty hot pan.  This will create steam which is GREAT for baking bread.
*You can also just use 1/3rd of the dough, and put the remaining dough in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
*For an extra nice crust, bake the bread in a preheated dutch oven. Leave the lid on for the first 15 minutes of the bake and then remove it.
*Try removing 1 cup of the white flour and replacing it with Red Fife, Rye or another flour for a different flavour.


Serving: 1loaf | Calories: 998kcal | Carbohydrates: 208g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 3508mg | Potassium: 327mg | Fiber: 8g | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 12.7mg

Consider this next fact a warning.  If you make 3 loaves of bread, you will eat 3 loaves of bread.  I did.  No joke. I ate 3 loaves of bread in 3 days.  By myself.  I now have back fat.  This is a serious warning and not even a joke.  YOU WILL GET FAT if you make homemade bread.  There’s  no way around it.

If you can deal with that, then bake away.  If you can’t you’d best stick to other baking.  Like baked broccoli.   Which taste especially good with a nice cheese sauce and a big … slice … of bread.

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  1. J.J. says:

    May I please ask what kind of yeast you use. Is is active or Instant?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. Ruth Hirsch says:

    OK, a few years late.

    The question of origins of no-knead was………. raised. While apparently it’s been around in some form forever, in this incarnation it was developed by Jim Lahey and popularized by Mark Bittman (NY Times.)
    in 2006.

    I refer to Lahey as St Jim, as he put it out and others have picked it up and run with it, mostly not giving Lahey credit. Guess he doesn’t mind.

    I bake it and bring it to potlucks– we have many, many, many— I could not possibly keep it in the house. I often include a cup of raisins.
    sometimes make it into foccia, including some cheese in the dough, some atop.
    Oh that crust!!

  3. Darcie says:

    I made this yesterday-baked the first loaf using the Dutch oven method-incredible! Today I baked the second loaf (my family demolished the first loaf in seconds) on my pizza stone with the water bath. Crust was perfect but I made a rookie mistake and put the dough in the oven cold so the middle didn’t bake. Still delicious and the family still demolished it.

    • Karen says:

      I usually only make bread in the fall and winter (that’s bread baking season, lol). I’ll have to get a batch going! ~ karen

  4. Marion Menheneott says:

    Hey I have the dough whisk and that book, now I know what to do with both…

  5. NanaMadeline says:

    Hi Karen:
    Grammar guru here. 1 loaf of bread times 3 equals 3 loaves of bread. It tastes great, but …

  6. Jen says:

    I tried your basic white bread loaf. I cooked the first two loaves after the second rising and they turned out great! I refrigerated the third loaf for three days. I wrapped it in plastic wrap while in the fridge. It still formed a bit of a crust. I folded the dough over a few times before forming it into a round loaf and slashed the top after rising again. I cooked as usual at 400F for about 30 minutes. It looked like a volleyball! What is the proper way to store the dough in the fridge and what do you think happened to my third loaf?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jen! I store my extra dough either in a large bowl with plastic wrap across the top or more recently I’ve been using a tupperware type of container that’s meant for storing dry goods. It works really great. It has a snap on lid and the bread is always in good condition even after a couple of weeks! ~ karen

  7. Hi,

    I love Rough Linen and now because of you I have to buy some proving cloths even though I’ve never been successful the few times I’ve attempted to make bread. I’m also going to try your recipe as it looks soooooo good in your photos.

    P.S. I’ll be checking out more of your site-you had me at bread, back fat, and that you’re holding a chicken in your photo :-)

    • Karen says:

      Try the bread book I recommend Carol! It’s really great. Try my recipe first (which is theirs) then get it. You’re bread ruining days will be over! ~ karen

  8. Zoe Francois says:

    Hi Karen,

    My husband and I were watching your videos on building a cob oven, which are terrific, and I recognized your gorgeous loaf of bread. I was thrilled to see that you are using the recipe from ABin5.

    I will be building an oven to bake bread and pizza, thanks for the inspiration.

    Cheers, Zoë (co-author Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)

    • Karen says:

      Did … Did I not notice this comment before??!! I can’t believe I somehow missed this comment! I recommend your book every minute of every day, lol. At least it feels like it. If you run through my posts you’d be hard pressed to find one on bread that doesn’t link to your book! I’m so excited you posted here! In fact, so excited that I appear to be using only exclamation marks as punctuation. Honestly. Great book. As a matter of fact I just baked two loaves in my cob oven tonight after I made some pizza. Which leads me to my question for you … did you make the oven? ~ karen!

  9. Delphine says:

    Discovered your blog 3 days ago, been reading almost every single post and very much enjoyed it! Love your humor!! Did not only read but made your bread recipe tonight, it looks beautiful! 3 loves… Now I’ll be fat by tomorrow but that’s totally worthed!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Delphine. STOP. STOPSTOPSTOPSTOPSTOP. Stop making bread immediately, lol. Seriously. I’ve gained 5 lbs since I built my pizza oven. It has all congregated to my back. Two lumps. ~ karen!

      • Delphine says:

        Bread lumps are ok… or pizza lumps, as long as it’s from deliciousness! Now excuse me, i need to get the bread out of the freezer that i put in there last night to save for later!

  10. Dana says:

    Artisan Bread in Five is probably my most-used book! There’s a new edition out called The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. It’s cheaper and has quite a bit more info than the original book, so I recommend getting that instead if it’s not too late.

    The authors of the book also run a great website ( with extra recipes and advice. It’s very useful, even if you don’t have the book yet.

    In addition to baguettes, I’ve made pita bread, pizza, naan, and cinnamon rolls with their recipes! I can’t recommend them enough!

    They have a book for healthy bread, too. I haven’t tried it, but it might be good for those who grind their own wheat.

  11. karen l says:

    lovely~ but Karen, how do you store your bread? Do you use those bags from Rough Linen or plastic?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen! If I make a lot of loaves, I freeze all but one loaf in freezer bags. Then if I know I’m going to go through the loaf in a day or two I keep them in the Rough Linen bags so the crust stays nice. If I think it’s going to be around for more than a couple of days I put it in a plastic bag (but don’t close it) and then put that bag in the Rough Linen bag, and close *that* bag. Lol. Now that I think of it, I have quite a bread storage system. :) ~ karen

  12. SuzyMcQ says:

    I gained five pounds by simply watching your video….and, slathering it with a ton of whipped artisan creamery butter!

  13. Leslie says:

    I’d eat those three loaves in one day. With lots and lots of butter. Easy.

  14. Missey D says:

    I found your extraordinary site when I tore a fingernail — and spent a most enjoyable few weeks starting with the first post and “caching up.” Thanks for all the great information and the FUN! I’ve been a lurker, but just had to come out to say — you really don’t have to make all three loaves at once! You leave the rest in the fridge (with saran wrap right on top) for up to two weeks and bake as needed. The longer it sits, the more flavorful the bread. Here is a link from the wonderful folks at King Arthur Flour. If you aren’t aware of these folks, you are in for a treat — they even have a Baker’s Hotline (which is on my speed-dial.)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Missey D! Thanks for coming out of hiding. :) The reason I make 3 loaves at once is because firing up the bread oven is a bit of a thing and you don’t want to do it for just one loaf of bread. :) Plus how can I eat 3 loaves all at once and then complain about it if I don’t bake them, lol?

  15. OMG. Delish. That is all.

    Wait. Did I mention that I’m drooling?

  16. Natika says:

    You do have a way of reading your readers minds, don’t you? I was just thinking yesterday that I should occasionally start making my own bread, but the kneading part sort of put me off. I don’t have a cob oven, but I’m ridiculously excited to just have an oven at all again after years of not, (ovens are rare in Japan), so it will have to do!

  17. Nancy R. says:

    I just finished baking 3 loaves. DELICIOUS! An even easier recipe than the one I found on Pinterest. Thanks SO much for sending it. My husband and kids say a big thank you as well.

    Please keep sending amazing food recipes.

  18. Feral Turtle says:

    I love this recipe! We eat this bread probably a little too often and we never seem to get tired of it!

  19. Shauna says:

    p.s., love the music!

  20. Shauna says:

    Homemade bread, cheese and wine – best dinner ever! Broccoli – not so much. Funny story about broccoli – a friend’s kid loves broccoli, so one day at his first soccer practice, the kids aren’t doing their sprints so the coach threatens them with having to eat broccoli. My friend’s kid jumps up and yells, “yay broccoli!!!!!” It was at that moment when all the other kids were staring at him like he had 3 heads that he realized it wasn’t that cool to love broccoli:)

  21. Laura Bee says:

    Thanks for the warning. And now I want to polish off the rest of the olive loaf I picked up the other day. The butter is sitting right there on the counter. Sigh…

  22. Olga says:

    I’m convinced! I must make cob oven just for bread making alone.

  23. Amy in StL says:

    I had a breadmaker and almost ate myself right into a new pants size. I can’t imagine the damage that I could do with three loaves fresh from the oven…. especially in summer which is the time of loose dresses and sandals.

  24. JeannieB says:

    You bread looks wonderful. There’s nothing like a fresh from the oven, hot loaf of fresh bread, served with soft, creamy butter. I used to make a brioche in my breadmaker until I realized I was eating too much bread. Sigh…. I think that your “back fat” Karen, could be caused by eating too much bread at one sitting. Either that, or, you’re starting to grow ” wings”. It sonetimes happens to gals who spend a lot of time communing with chickens. lol

  25. caymanali says:

    THIS IS SO COOL and I am so jealous. I would literally make pizza all the time as well as bread. If only I had the room for one. Can you make a cast iron skillet breakfast in there?

  26. Patty Popoff-Serwotki says:

    We Doukhobors in the Saskatoon, Sk area have been delighting the exhibition go-ers with our brick oven baked bread for decades! Our Doukhobor bread is famous. People line up for loaves or just a slice slathered in butter and strawberry jam. It’s a great fundraiser for our Prayer Home. You just can’t get the same kind of bread in the oven! I’ve enjoyed reading about your adventures building. I’d love to build one as well, using the plans my Uncle used on the old homeplace.

  27. Kori F says:

    All I have to say is… you are amazing!

  28. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Yes..I do believe that you ate 3 loaves of that bread in 3 days..I also believe that I could do that..warm..with lots of butter..yum..I think I will make some bread this weekend..

  29. Bernard says:

    “Mini-Martha” !!!!!!

    Gasp!!!! Ack!!!!

    a) You’re genuine;
    b) You have exceptional wit and humour;
    c) You’re much easier on the eyes;
    d) Repeat as needed in the order warranted by occasion.

    I would there fore submit You are “Maxi-Martha” except it sounds too, too much like a feminine hygiene product.

    How ’bout “Uber-Marta” … a bit Germanic, but hey, that’s pretty much where many of us can trace our roots.


  30. Laura says:

    I love this bread – it’s the base recipe from the book Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day. I too can eat 3 loaves at one time, but you can also put any amount of dough in a loosely covered bowl in the fridge and it will keep up to 2 weeks. You just grab some, pull it for a minute or two to form the ball/loaf and let it rise on the counter for a few minutes and then bake. Yum. Now I need to eat some bread!

    • Karen says:

      It is, lol?! I can’t remember where I found it (somewhere on the big Internet a while ago). Do they have a website too? I’ll credit them. I’ll go Google it now. ~ karen!

  31. Ev Wilcox says:

    I have been making the wet no-knead artisan bread all summer. My family and friends think it is the best thing since sliced bread, (sorry, couldn’t stop myself!). I think it is OK, but not as flavorful as other knead breads I’ve made. But they eat it like it’s magical, and I will soon have to make two loaves at a time just to keep up! Will be trying your recipe this weekend-thanks for inspiring us Karen! Your oven is a thing of beauty!

  32. Tigersmom says:

    I appreciate the caveat because I looooooove bread and would eat way too much of it.

    Last night I made tortillas that I bought pre-made but uncooked at the grocery store. Its easy to trick yourself into thinking it’s no big deal because they cook in one minute (30 seconds per side) in a dry non-stick skillet over med to med-high heat. Which wasn’t so bad except for the fact that I ate the first three fresh from the skillet each with a lovely slather of butter. : /

  33. Ruth says:

    Hubby and I have been researching outdoor pizza ovens ever since your ‘pizza parade’ got rained on… We’re trying to figure out a portable version since we’re renters right now.

    Last time, I forgot to ask…. can regular aluminum bread pans and Pyrex dishes be used in one of these? Far too many insects in the tropics, so our loaves have to fit in a normal 10×20 bread bag. I’m taking no chances with bread baskets.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ruth – Sure, you can use a regular Pyrex or aluminum bread pan in the oven. I wouldn’t put the Pyrex in while the oven is 900 degrees, but when it’s 450 or 500 for baking bread it would be fine. I’ve used Pyrex dishes in my oven a few times! Also if you haven’t ordered the book I suggested yet, he has something in there about making a portable oven. It’s not as easy as you think because even a small pizza oven weighs around 800 lbs! I think they made it in sections that fit together and came apart like a jigsaw puzzle or something? ~ karen

      • Ruth says:

        I guarantee you… if it can be conquered at all, I have just the man for the job. Not sure about ‘straw acquisition’ over here so we’re examining other options in the interim.

        I haven’t bought the book yet, because I intend to do that closer to the time when I have someone travelling in from the US. That’s how I get stuff from Amazon… purchase, send to a friend’s address, await their next flight, rejoice… :-)

        This will have to be a 2015 project because the book will get here right on the cusp of the rainy season. (Side Note: I am sooo ready to say goodbye to this stupid drought and 98F heat… I have never experienced anything higher than 82 in my almost 41 years. This is madness, I tell you!)

  34. Teresa says:

    I mill my own flour, so I often have difficulty replicating recipes that use store-bought flour because my flour is not as ‘fine-ground’. Do you have any suggestions on how to use whole-wheat, home-milled flour in this recipe or have you ever used that method? The bread looks amazing!

    • Karen says:

      Sorry Teresa, I have no idea. :( But I know a lot of bakers AND home flour millers read this site, so they may have an answer for you! ~ karen

  35. Suanne says:

    Planning on getting our cob oven started next week! My Sweetie and I have a week off work at the same time and this will be our vacation project. We have watched your cob oven posts over and over and over, (plus the ones you suggested on the internet) have our book, with pages marked, have our site picked out and will be scoping out a couple places we can dig our clay. Question… you mentuioned having to let the lime plaster sit for a few weeks. Is there any way to expidite that process? I don’t want to run into frosty weather….. And do you add the sand to the plaster/water mixture right before you apply it or while its slaking? How does it feel to be such an inspiration to so many people???? :) If it wasn’t for you, we would NEVER have tried this on our own. You ROCK, Karen.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Suanne – Good luck with your oven! You’ll love it! I’m afraid you’re really supposed to let the lime sit for a few weeks minimum. The reason for this is that’s how long it takes to actually hydrate. The longer you leave it, but better the consistency and the less chance of having problems like cracking, flaking, chipping, etc. Plus the texture is easier to work with the longer it slakes (sits and hydrates). However, if you don’t get it coated with the lime plaster this year, you can always just put a tarp over it for the winter and do the plaster in the spring. You can still use the oven, you just have to be careful about it getting rained on. You add your sand to the lime, just before you apply it to the oven. Have fun and keep me updated! ~ karen

  36. Su says:

    I can smell the bread too! Hot baked bread and butter – YUM!

    And a heart valve at 80 would probably be a good thing (says Martha)…. :)

  37. Danni says:

    I can’t wait to make pita bread in my oven, which by the way I took a vacation day and will hopefully FINISH making today!
    Hint to those of you too lazy, like me, to go hunting and shoveling clay… Bags of clay kitty litter. Wish I could say that was my idea, but doing research and watching hours of YouTube gleaned that gem. Of course the grocery checkout person now thinks I’m an insane cat lady….

  38. mimiindublin says:

    Hahaha! I LOVE the warning, you with back fat! No way!

  39. jainegayer says:

    I’m drooling!

  40. Grammy says:

    I can smell the bread in your video. It’s that good.

    That’s my secret trick for enjoying fresh-baked bread without getting back fat: watch bread being baked in a cob oven on a video on the Internet and convince yourself you had some of it. I’m going to have sweet dreams now. Thank you.

  41. Debbie ruiz says:

    Wow, looks wonderful. You make it look easy!

  42. Pat says:

    My husband just learned a new technique from you for his same bread…the slashes. He does his in a cast iron dutch oven. When I read to him how the slashes will make the bread grow up rather than sideways, he was thrilled. Yes, you made his day. And we thoroughly relate to the bake and eat thing. We can easily polish off a loaf with friends as part of an appy, if we put the whole loaf out. We are learning not to do that as then we don’t have room for our supper or have some left for breakfast toast! If he makes 2, yes, then we eat 2 rather quickly.

  43. Jamieson says:

    Bread is my favourite food (and stuffing is my favourite dish). Back in high school I used to bring back a loaf of crusty bread from Main Street after lunch time and eat the entire thing in class. This did not pass without comment. And frankly sometimes it did not pass at all, at least for a couple of days.

  44. Amber says:

    Good Punk! Punk is best for baking, I’ve always found.

  45. caryl hodgdon says:

    I like that big holey bread-plain-slathered with butter-covered with honey-homemade jam-homemade peanut butter-garden veggies etc. I just need to knead it before I need it!!

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