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Rather Be Cooking: No need to knead this bread doughFree Access

This no-knead bread is such a delicious treat. Lisa Boykin Batts | Times
Lisa Boykin Batts

I love baking yeast bread, and I’m always looking for new recipes or new processes. In the last week, I’ve experimented with no-knead yeast breads.

First I made a plain loaf of no-knead bread that I baked in my Dutch oven. A few nights later, I made the same Fleishmann’s Yeast recipe for no-knead white bread, but I added Asiago cheese and baked the bread in a loaf pan. It was all very good, but my favorite of these two was the plain bread. 

There are so many ways to enjoy it. There’s something so appealing about a warm slice of yeast bread, whether it’s fresh from the oven or cooked in the toaster the next day. You can add some soft butter and strawberry jam to that warm bread and have an incredible treat.

With the plain white bread version, I made cinnamon toast a few times. I’m a big fan of cinnamon toast, but I’m picky with which kinds of breads I’ll use for the toast. This one is a good one. I plan to make croutons with the leftover Asiago bread.

But back to the recipe. This is a super simple recipe. If you have good electric mixer (I used my stand mixer), you shouldn’t have any trouble making it. 

You basically stir part of the dry ingredients by hand in the mixer bowl, add the warmed wet ingredients and combine with the mixer as you gradually add the rest of the flour. Let the dough rest, stir for 30 seconds with a spoon, pour the dough into the bread pan you choose, let it rise and bake. In 2 hours, you will be eating your warm bread.

I liked the wide bread I made in my Dutch oven. I recommend this method if you have a Dutch oven and some parchment paper to line it with. If you choose the loaf pan option, I recommend using two. My single loaf was way big and overflowing even though I had used my larger pan.

I must mention, the bread dough was very different with my two loafs. The first bread dough was very loose. I wondered the whole time if I had messed up when I was adding flour and added too little. The dough the second time was much more like a normal bread dough. I did use different brands for the two loaves, so I’m not sure if that was the issue or if I counted wrong when adding cups of flour. Bottom line, both baked up just fine, demonstrating just how forgiving this bread recipe must be. 

I encourage you to give it a try if you enjoy homemade bread as much as I do.

Lisa Boykin Batts has been writing a weekly food column since 2001. Her column includes recipes she and her family enjoy.

Homemade No-Knead White Bread

If you’d like to try your hand at baking yeast bread, this is a good place to start. This delicious bread is easy to make.

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 (2 1/4 teaspoons) packet rapid rise or instant yeast  (I used rapid rise)

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup water

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter or margarine (I used butter)

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, dry yeast, sugar and salt in a large mixer bowl and stir until blended. Combine water, milk and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 15-second increments until very warm but not hot to the touch (120° to 130°F, butter does not need to melt). Add to flour mixture.

Beat on medium speed of electric mixer until well mixed. Gradually add remaining 2 3/4 cups flour, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.

Cover with towel and let dough rest in bowl for 10 minutes. Stir batter down with spoon. Beat vigorously with a spoon for about 30 seconds. Pour dough into a greased 9X5-inch loaf pan. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. (In the last 5 minutes of baking time, I remove the bread from the oven and add some butter.) Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Fleishman’s Yeast

* I’ve made an Asiago cheese version of this recipe. I mixed in 1/2 cup of shredded Asiago cheese to the bread dough in the 2 minutes of mixing time. In the last 5 minutes of baking time, I sprinkled on a little bit of shredded Asiago cheese. 

I have baked this recipe in a Dutch oven, lining it with two overlapping sheets of parchment paper. I’ve also baked it in one large loaf pan. If I made it in a loaf pan again, I’d divide the dough into two smaller loaf pans.