No-Knead Sandwich Bread

By • September 3, 2013 • 95 Comments



Author Notes: This recipe is a bit of a meeting-in-the-middle between the Artisan Bread in 5 and Jim Lahey techniques. The flavor of Lahey’s recipe is amazing, but a 12–18-hr proofing followed by a 2-hr rise might seem like a daunting amount of waiting time for some. The original Artisan Bread in 5 recipe calls for a fair amount of yeast, which gives the finished loaf a very distinct yeasty flavor. This recipe cuts the yeast in half and compensates by extending the proofing and rise times slightly, allowing more natural flavors to develop without adding a good deal of time to the process. Once the proofing is complete, stick the dough in the fridge for up to two weeks and use it as you need it. (Bonus: the flavor improves over time from the cold fermentation.) No-knead doughs are usually shaped into round, rustic loaves, but they can easily be turned into fantastic sandwich bread. (A technique I discovered via The Kitchn.) A teensy bit of kneading and shaping yields a tighter crumb that slices wonderfully, but still begs to be eaten with just a little butter and sea salt, because it’s that good.

Notes on flour: I've subbed regular all-purpose flour for bread flour in the past and it turned out quite nicely. I've also swapped out half the white flour for whole wheat flour and found it worked quite well too. (It will be a wee bit denser, but it will have that yummy whole wheat taste as a trade off.) I haven't experimented with flours like rye and spelt myself, but I've read about others successfully using them in no-knead recipes. (If you'd like to try those, I'd recommend starting with a smaller amount [i.e., 1 part alternative flour to 3 parts bread/AP flour] to see how it works, then upping it the next time if you think it could use more.) Overall, if you use whole wheat or any other flour besides bread/all-purpose, I suggest giving the dough a bit more time to develop at the proofing stage, and again at the rise.
Carey Nershi

Makes 2 loaves

  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour (433 grams) (see note above regarding alternative flours)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (433 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast (8 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt (14 grams)
  • 3 cups water (709 grams)
  1. Combine flours, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add water and stir together with a wooden spoon to form a shaggy dough. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let proof at room temperature for around 5 hours. At this point the dough can be used immediately, or covered with plastic wrap and kept in the fridge for up to two weeks.
  2. On baking day, remove half of the dough from the bowl and return the remainder to the fridge. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and lightly knead 3–4 times. Shape dough into a rectangle approximately 8 in. x 12 in. Fold one third of the dough into the center, followed by the other third.
  3. Place seam side-down in a buttered loaf pan. Cover and let rise for approximately 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Preheat your oven to 450°. Dust the top of the dough with a little flour and score with a serrated knife. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the top of the loaf has just begun to brown. Let cool for at least an hour before slicing.

Comments (95) Questions (1)

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28 days ago Tamara Dahling

I made this for the first time tonight. I used regular flour, a cup or so whole wheat. I let it rise for 1.5 hours at least. When I baked it, it didn't rise very much and looks kinda wimpy. Should I have let it rise a whole lot longer?

Stringio

10 days ago Mike Vella

I assume you mean the second rise? Because the first rise should be at least 5 hours.
For the second, I would wait till the bread has doubled in the pan.

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about 1 month ago Kathleen

LOVE this recipe! But though I wrapped my second dough securely in plastic wrap and put it in a large ziplock bag and put it in the fridge - when I took it out to bake it less than a week later - it had exploded out of the plastic wrap and now it won't rise before I put it in the oven.

Can anyone please tell me what I did wrong?

Thanks!

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3 months ago Horto

was worried that the amount of instant yeast would not be correct with the heavy rye and oats…we'll see, it's rising!

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3 months ago Horto

thanks antonisjames
i haven't used vital gluten, looked for it at WW, i ended up replacing 170 grams with a mix of ww, wheat germ, oats, rye…..was afraid to do this to half….the no knead is easy to make but boring, wanted it to be like the stuff i get at The Kneaded Loaf….lot's of texture, i'm kinda making this up!

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3 months ago Horto

half of the flours

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3 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You could half but you'd get a much denser loaf. It will be tastier though! And have a more interesting texture. I'd add a fair bit of vital gluten to give the wheat flour all the help I could. ;o)

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3 months ago Horto

i have made this many times
and again now, but i am going to replace by weight the flours with multigrain cereal and rye flour…..any thoughts?

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3 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Those ingredients won't have nearly the amount of gluten that wheat flour does, if they have any at all, so I'd start with a fairly small percentage -- no more than 5% by weight of the cereal and no more than 20% of rye (unless you don't mind a much denser bread) and use bread flour instead of AP flour. I just read yesterday in a 1994 cookbook by Carol Field that spelt has high gluten content, so I'd probably use some of that! I haven't actually adapted this recipe, so I'm speaking only from experience with similar kinds of dough. There are others here, no doubt, who've actually made substitutions of the kind you're contemplating; I hope they'll chime in. ;o)

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

5 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

How interesting that your flours weigh 144 grams per cup! The side of most bags of both AP and bread flours say that a cup = 120 or 125 grams, at most. Looking forward to trying this! ;o)

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5 months ago lisaf

This is so exciting to be able to make homemade bread that comes out this delicious, with a crispy crust and beautiful crumb so easily! I want to try swapping out some of the AP flour for oat or rye, and my question is when you are swapping flours, should you always have at least half bread flour?

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6 months ago Susan Nguyen

I measured my flour by weight and water by volume , but my dough was really shaggy and dry?! Same thing when it came time to bake... I'm getting ready to bake a loaf now. We'll see how it goes....

Stringio

6 months ago Sietske van Schaik

First try is in the oven! Can't wait to give it a try. Used whole wheat in place of the all-purpose, as we usually buy 100% whole wheat, so just white would probably be a bit too light for us. It smells amazing so far...

Stringio

6 months ago Sietske van Schaik

A very nice and above all simple bread. The kids both ate a slice with Nutella for dessert and I enjoyed two slices with a nice bowl of peasoup.. and one with Nutella for good measure.

Tomorrow we will see how it holds up for a sandwich. It's a nice sturdy bread, so I think it will work just fine.

Thank you.

Sugar.board

6 months ago thebreukelenlife

This is a great recipe! I'm a big fan of the no-knead and never thought to try it as a loaf. I used half whole wheat. I can't wait to try it with a bit of oat flour!

Alice

6 months ago Alice Gardner

I haven't bought a loaf of regular sandwich bread since I found this recipe. I feel so cool because I can make incredible homemade bread while I'm at work! I swap out the AP flour for Whole wheat with no problems. I have even used part oat flour and some flax meal instead of part WW flour. This makes AMAZING toast. I haven't had much luck with the second loaf after it's been refrigerated, even after letting it come up to room temp first. I just bake two and freeze the second loaf. Thank you, Carey!

Alice

6 months ago Alice Gardner

Just to update, the last batch with Oat flour instead of AP baked up rather dense and short (but still quite tasty) after a 2 hour rise. I'll have to get my hands on some Vital wheat gluten next time.

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7 months ago Unoma

I just had to share: On Friday afternoon I set up my dough using the same whole wheat flour and bread flour combination as I did previously. After Sabbath,I proofed one loaf and decided to try this dough to make dinner rolls. I set up a 9" by 13" pan with a dozen rolls and proofed them for 45 minutes. The rolls baked for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. I enjoyed some with a schmear of cream cheese and grape jelly for my brunch. I take the opportunity to thank Carey Nershi who shared this lovely recipe.

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7 months ago Horto

is vital wheat gluten easily found?
and were the cranberries fresh or dried?
love this bread
easy

Me_2009

7 months ago MrsPrincess07

Vital Wheat Gluten can usually be found in the baking isle. The only brand I've seen is Hodgson Mills. If it's not with the flours you can check in the Organic/Natural Foods department if your store has one.

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7 months ago Unoma

Two good brands of vital wheat gluten are Hodgson's Mills and Bob's Red Mill,and found in the bakery aisle and/or the organic/natural food department as it is also used to make a meat substitute known as "wheat meat" or seitan.

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7 months ago Unoma

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful bread! I made the suggested variation with bread flour and whole wheat flour and added 1/4 cup molasses to support the flavor profile. As a matter of habit, I add up to 1/2 cup of vital wheat gluten to my breads to support the structure. The first loaf was gone in an hour,so I'm glad that I have the the dough for another loaf in the fridge for tomorrow.There is absolutely no reason not to bake your own bread if you have access to a simple, good recipe like this.

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7 months ago Stephanie M

I made this bread yesterday and it's SO good! It tastes more like a ciabatta bread to me - chewy on the inside and crusty on the outside. I'm making another loaf today. Split the recipe in half and worked great. Thanks!!

Me_2009

7 months ago MrsPrincess07

If you make a full batch next time, keep the extra loaf in the fridge for up to 1 week. I have done this a few times now and it actually makes the bread's taste and texture better! Happy baking!

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7 months ago Stephanie M

I should have done that! I don't have two bread pans is the main reason I didn't and it was my first time using this recipe so I wanted to be sure I enjoyed it. Thanks for the reply!

Stringio

8 months ago David Hughes

Found the dough a bit awkward to handle but nowhere near as messy as other breads I've made. Baked up nicely. Waiting for tomorrow's lunch for the real proof of the pudding (in my children's eating!).

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8 months ago Loretta

Baked my first loaf, forgot to score, came out looking good, only baked 25 min.--because it was getting really brown, taste good, but was really moist--is that how it should be or was mine unbaked? thanks

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8 months ago jdm7

Thank you!

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8 months ago Lucia from Madison

I followed the instructions - "swapped out half the white flour for whole wheat flour." It is a little denser and did not rise as high as the original recipe but it is very tasty.