This recipe for 2 Hour No Knead Bread is the staple bread in our home. I must make this at least once a week. I have other bread recipes I love, but they take longer and I am often too busy to get it started before I leave home. I know I can throw this together, let it rise and pull it out of the oven by the time the salad is tossed and the meat is being pulled off the grill. Perfect!
2 Hour No Knead Bread is a crusty, rustic bread, made out of 4 basic ingredients in just 2 hours! It is a perfect addition to any meal!!
I have heard from many bread baking novices that there are a few areas of concern and fear regarding making bread at home. The first area of concern is working with this mysterious thing called yeast. This recipe does in fact require yeast and 3 other basic ingredients. Yeast is a single cell organism that needs warmth, food and moisture, such as; milk or water to grow and thrive. When yeast is given these things, it will begin to ferment and release a byproduct called carbon dioxide and alcohol. Carbon dioxide is the byproduct that creates bubbles and it is those bubbles that make the bread rise.
The only thing you can really do to mess up your yeast, is to use water that is far too warm. Water that is around 110 degrees is perfect. Water that is too hot, kills the yeast and then the bread doesn’t rise. Many new bakers or cooks don’t have a thermometer to check the temperature of the water. That is okay, and an easy fix. If you dip your finger into the water you have measured out and you almost can’t feel it, it is perfect. This means, it is close to body temperature of 98 degrees. So if it isn’t hot and it isnt cold, it’s lukewarm and for all intents and purposes, lukewarm water is just fine.
2 Hour No Knead Bread is perfect for a weeknight meal. It is delicious pulled straight from the oven and slathered in butter. This is sure to become a family favorite!
The next area of concern is with kneading the bread. The good news for those concerned about kneading is this recipe is for 2 Hour No Knead Bread. Did you catch that part? NO KNEAD! You don’t have to knead it. This is so easy!! However, for those who still want to know what kneading is, why we do it and what it looks like, I will give you a quick bit of info. The act of kneading dough is really just simply moving the dough around. Typically, the dough is folded over on itself, then is gently pushed away and refolded and pushed away in a stretching motion, turning the dough as you go. Sometimes we knead dough to help hydrate the flour with the liquid you are using. We also knead dough to create protein strands call gluten. These form a network of strands that trap the carbon dioxide gases which allows dough to rise. They also contribute to the breads chewy texture.
Now, let’s talk about this 2 Hour No Knead Bread. Hands down, this is probably going to be the easiest loaf of bread you have ever make. This requires 4 main ingredients. As you make this bread more often, you can experiment by putting different herbs and spices into the bread and changing the flavor. Let’s start at the beginning though.
In a medium sized bowl, place the flour and yeast. Mix this around a little, to evenly disperse the yeast. Then, add the salt and lukewarm water. Now it is time to stir these ingredients together. I find that using the back of of a wooden spoon is easiest, because there is less surface area to stick to. Stir this for about a minute or so, or until there is no obvious dry flour. Then put a piece of plastic wrap over it and set it in a warm, dry area for 1 hour.
After the hour has passed, you are going to turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and using a spatula or scraper, turn the dough onto itself 10-12 times, then shape into ball. Nothing fancy. Then place the dough into a bowl lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes . At this time, turn the oven to 450 degrees, to preheat. Place the empty Dutch Oven into the cold oven and let it preheat as well. After 30 minutes have passed, very carefully remove the Dutch Oven from the hot oven, remove the lid. Pick up the parchment paper with the dough ball on top and place it into the hot Dutch Oven., being careful not to touch the sides (it’s hot!). Then make sure to put the lid on top and carefully place the Dutch Oven back into the oven for 30 minutes to cook. After 30 minutes has passed, remove the lid and leave in for an extra 10 minutes, if you want to create a crunchier crust. Otherwise, remove the bread and place on a cooling rack.
If you want to make 2 Hour No Knead Bread but you do not have a Dutch Oven, that is okay too. Grease a baking pan and instead of shaping the dough into a ball, roll the dough into a log and place on the greased baking sheet. Cover it with a towel for 30 minutes while the oven preheats. Then place a baking dish with several cups of water in it, on the rack below the bread. This water will help create steam in the oven and a chewy crust while the bread bakes.
2 Hour No Knead Bread
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp Rapid Rise or Instant Yeast
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
- 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 3 tbsp flour to sprinkle on counter while shaping
- Place flour in bowl, add yeast and mix together. Then add salt and lukewarm water.
- Stir ingredients together for about 1 minute or until ingredients are well incorporated (no obvious dry flour). This will look shaggy and sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in warm, dry place for 1 hour.
- After an hour has passed, place an empty Dutch Oven into the cold oven and turn oven on to 450 degrees and let the oven and Dutch Oven come 450 degrees.
- Pour dough out onto a lightly floured surface and using a spatula or scraper, fold the dough over on itself 10-12 times, forming a ball. Place the dough into a bowl, lined with a sheet of parchment paper. Cover with a dishcloth for 30 minutes, as the oven comes to temperature.
- After the dough has rested in the bowl for 30 minutes, carefully pick up the parchment paper with the dough on top and very carefully put it into the hot, Dutch Oven (paper and dough), place the lid on top and cook for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the lid to the Dutch Oven and cook for another 10 minutes if you want a crispier, crunchier crust. Remove the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
This 2 Hour No Knead Bread has really become a family favorite. My other recipe for Dutch Oven No Knead Bread is almost identical in preparation, except it is left to rise overnight, so it is perfect when I am planning ahead. If you have a hankering for a bread with a little bite and big buttery flavor, you must try The Best Beer Bread. This is buttery and crunchy on the bottom and soft in the middle. It is another wonderful bread not requiring any kneading, nor rise time for that matter, but just tastes delicious!
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