3 Ingredient Italian No Knead Bread | The Easiest Way to Make Bread

3 Ingredient Italian No Knead Bread | The Easiest Way to Make Bread

Bread-making has been an integral part of culinary traditions across the globe. Among the vast array of bread recipes, the Italian No Knead Bread stands out for its simplicity and delightful taste. This recipe, which uses just three primary ingredients, is perfect for both novice bakers and seasoned chefs. The beauty of this bread lies in its minimalism—no need for fancy equipment or elaborate techniques. With a bit of patience and the right ingredients, you can create a loaf that’s crusty on the outside and perfectly airy on the inside.

  • 1¼ cups (300g) lukewarm water (between 80°F and 100°F or 27°C to 37°C)
  • 2 tsp (8g) kosher salt
  • 1 tsp (3.5g) dried yeast
  • 3 cups (420g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Step-by-Step Instructions
Preparing the Dough

Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix the lukewarm water, kosher salt, and dried yeast. Stir well to ensure the salt and yeast are evenly distributed. There’s no need to worry about the myth that salt kills yeast when mixed directly—this combination will work perfectly.

Incorporate the Flour: Add the all-purpose flour to the mixture. Using a large spoon or spatula, stir until all the flour is incorporated. The dough should be very sticky. Depending on your flour, you might need to add more water. Add extra water 2 tablespoons at a time until you achieve the desired stickiness.

Cover and Let Rise: Cover the bowl with a large plate or plastic wrap. Leave it on the counter to rise for at least 6 hours. This long fermentation period is crucial for developing the bread’s flavor and texture.

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 Preparing to Bake

Preheat the Oven and Dutch Oven: About 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). Place your empty Dutch oven inside to preheat for 10 to 15 minutes. This step ensures that the Dutch oven is hot enough to give the bread a good initial rise and a crisp crust.

3. Rescuing Over-Proofed Dough

Stretch and Fold Technique: After the dough has risen for at least 6 hours, it might look collapsed. This is known as over-proofing, but it can be easily fixed. Perform one round of four stretches and folds: gently pull the dough from one side and fold it over onto itself. Repeat on all four sides. This technique strengthens the dough and redistributes the yeast.

Baking the Bread

Prepare the Dutch Oven: Carefully remove the preheated Dutch oven from the oven using oven gloves. Dust the bottom with flour to prevent sticking.

Transfer the Dough: Gently pick up the dough and drop it into the hot Dutch oven. Make a small snip on the top of the dough using scissors to allow it to expand properly. Dust the top of the loaf with a little more flour.

Bake with Lid On: Place the lid on the Dutch oven and return it to the preheated oven. Bake at 450°F (230°C) for 30 to 35 minutes. This initial high-heat baking helps create a crispy crust.

Finish Baking with Lid Off: After 30 to 35 minutes, remove the lid and reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C). Continue baking for another 10 minutes or until the crust reaches your desired color and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

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5. Cooling the Bread

Remove and Cool: Using a wooden spoon or spatula, carefully remove the bread from the Dutch oven and place it on a wire rack to cool. Allow it to cool for at least 45 minutes before slicing. This cooling period is essential for the bread to set properly and for the moisture to redistribute evenly.

Tips for the Perfect No Knead Bread
  • Flour Varieties: Experiment with different types of flour such as bread flour or whole wheat flour to create unique variations.
  • Additional Ingredients: For added flavor, consider mixing in herbs, garlic, or cheese into the dough before the first rise.
  • Storage: Store the bread in a paper bag at room temperature for up to three days. For longer storage, freeze the bread and thaw at room temperature before serving.

Making bread at home has never been easier with this 3 Ingredient Italian No Knead Bread recipe. Its simplicity and rich flavor make it a staple in any household. Whether you’re new to baking or looking for a no-fuss recipe, this bread is sure to impress. Happy baking!