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4 Ingredient No-Knead Artisanal Bread Loaf: The Easiest Bread!

February 7, 2024

Bread baking can seem like an alchemy reserved for the few with a Dutch oven and endless hours to spare. But what if I told you that mouth-watering, crusty bread is just four ingredients and a baking sheet away? Yes, even without a Dutch oven, and yes, with a gluten-free option to boot. Let’s dive into a simple, yet utterly satisfying bread recipe that’ll have your kitchen smelling like a bakery in no time.

Simple Bread, Big Flavor

Our journey begins with a minimalist’s dream: a bread recipe requiring only flour, yeast, salt, and water. This combination, when treated with a little patience and warmth, transforms into a loaf that’s both tender on the inside and marvelously crisp on the outside.

The Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour (or a gluten-free alternative)
  • 2 Teaspoons Instant Yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 ½ Cups Warm Water

The Method:

  1. Mix It Up: Start by whisking together the all-purpose flour, instant yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Pour in the warm water, stirring until a shaggy, sticky dough forms. This is where the magic begins.
  2. Let It Rise: Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set it aside in a warm spot. Over the next two hours, the yeast goes to work, puffing up the dough into a light and airy mass.
  3. Shape Without Shaping: Once doubled in size, coax the dough onto a well-floured surface. Here’s the key: don’t knead it. Instead, gently shape it into a round loaf. This method keeps those precious air bubbles intact, promising a superbly light texture.

Baking Without a Dutch Oven

Now, for those without a Dutch oven, here’s how to achieve that coveted crusty exterior using a simple baking sheet:

  • Preheat your oven as hot as it will go, ideally around 475°F (245°C). Place a shallow pan on the bottom rack.
  • Prepare your dough on parchment paper for easy handling. Right before baking, slash the top a few times with a sharp knife to help it expand.
  • Slide the dough with the parchment paper onto a preheated baking sheet. Then, carefully pour some hot water into the shallow pan to create steam.
  • Bake until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Gluten-Free Adaptation

For those seeking a gluten-free version, swap out the all-purpose flour for your favorite gluten-free flour blend (look for one that’s designed for bread baking). You may need to adjust the water slightly, as gluten-free flours tend to absorb moisture differently.

Final Thoughts

This bread recipe breaks down barriers, proving that anyone can bake artisan-quality bread with minimal equipment and ingredients. Whether you’re gluten-free or just out of a Dutch oven, this recipe adapts to fit your needs, ensuring that the joy of fresh, homemade bread is accessible to all. So, preheat that oven, and let’s get baking!

4 Ingredient No Knead Artisanal Bread Loaf Recipe

Servings 1 Loaf
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 42 minutes
Rise Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 2 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tsp Instant Yeast
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 ½ Cups Warm Water

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl, combine all purpose flour, instant yeast, and salt.
  • Add in warm water, and mix well, until all the flour is combined and you’re left with a sticky dough. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.
  • Once your dough has risen, release it from the bowl and transfer to a floured surface. Very roughly shape it into a round loaf shape. Don’t knead or you’ll loose the air bubbles!
  • Preheat your oven with a Dutch oven or baking sheet inside it for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.
  • Place your loaf onto a piece of parchment paper, then transfer to your heated baking dish or Dutch oven.6. Bake for 30 minutes covered (or if using a baking sheet with a water bath; place a baking sheet filled with boiling water in the oven under the baking sheet with your bread) then 12 minutes uncovered. (If using a Dutch oven you can also add some ice cubes in there to create steam)
  • Let sit for 15 minutes, cut and enjoy!!!

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