No-Knead Sandwich Bread

September 17, 2013

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Carey Nershi from Reclaiming Provincial shares a recipe for no-knead sandwich bread that takes minimal prep time and makes enough to keep extra dough on hand. Your lunch just got an upgrade.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread from Food52

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Learning how to make bread from scratch is an empowering thing. For me, the ability to transform a seemingly unimpressive list of ingredients into a real, honest-to-goodness loaf of something feels like a revelatory act. Especially since dough holds so many possibilities. The options are endless, and I am a big fan of endless options. 

I have learned that some of the best loaves are the simple, all-purpose ones. I resisted the no-knead revolution for a long time because, well, I liked kneading. But my curiosity eventually got the better of me, and I gave it a try. I was an instant convert. Not only is it easier, but the taste is fantastic.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread from Food52

As my days grew busier and busier, this recipe's minimal hands-on time became ideal. Mixing all my ingredients up in one bowl, letting them hang out and get friendly for an afternoon, then sticking the bowl in the fridge until I’m ready to bake something? Yeah, I’m into that. Saving time by making a double batch? Now we’re talking. If you’re in the habit of making lots of sandwiches (say, for hungry little ones heading off to school!), having a mound of dough at the ready in your fridge can be a lifesaver. 

More: Once you make your first loaf, pack up a PB&J with homemade Concord Grape Jelly.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread from Food52

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- to 18-hour proofing followed by a 2-hour 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 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 -- it’s that good.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread

Makes 2 loaves

3 1/4 cups bread flour (433 grams)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (433 grams)
2 teaspoons instant yeast (4 grams)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (14 grams)
3 cups of water

No-Knead Sandwich Bread on Food52

Combine flours, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add water and stir together with a wooden spoon to form a shaggy dough.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread on Food52

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.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread on Food52

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 to 4 times.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread on Food52

Shape dough into a rectangle, approximately 8 by 12 inches.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread on Food52  No-Knead Sandwich Bread on Food52

Fold a third of the dough into the center, followed by the other third.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread from Food52

Place dough seam side-down in a buttered loaf pan.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread from Food52

Cover and let rise for around 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. 

Preheat your oven to 450° F. Dust the top of the dough with a little flour and score with a serrated knife.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread from Food52

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top of the loaf has just begun to brown. Let cool for at least an hour before slicing.

No-Knead Sandwich Bread from Food52

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Carey Nershi.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Pete
  • Stacy Fletcher
    Stacy Fletcher
  • Donna
  • David
  • Dr.Khalsa
Lover of simple food and cocktails served with a single giant ice cube. Raised in the NY Schoharie Valley; currently residing in Burlington, VT. Blogger at


Pete November 30, 2018
Will the refrigeration storage process work with bread made from a sourdough starter. If so how long should the proof last before storage. I normally proof (rise) my no-Knead for 12 hours before slight kneading and placing it in a proofing Brotform in which I proof for one additional hour, then into a preheated container and oven.
Stacy F. May 12, 2017
Can I use a Pullman loaf pan the regular 9x5" size for this bead? And can I just put it in the fridge overnight and bake it 12 to 18 hrs later (or remove from fridge 12-18 hrs later)?
I wanted to do it before bed to bake in late morning?
Donna October 19, 2015
What size loaf pans are used? It doesn't say anywhere in the recipe, and it makes a difference!
David October 19, 2015
Hi there: My bags of flour says 1 cup of flour weighs 120 grams (both AP and bread flour). Your recipe has a cup of flour weighing a little over 133 grams. 6 1/2 cups of my flour would weigh 780 grams, 86 grams less than the stated weight in the recipe. That's a pretty big discrepancy. So I'm not sure whether to measure by volume or weight. And if I go by weight, which weight do I use? Thanks.
Dr.Khalsa October 19, 2015
When I went to your site initially I was expecting to find having to get expensive baking tools like a bread making machine or somethjng but was impressed with the Simplcity of your approach. Looking forward to using our humongous bags of chapatti flour to see if it might work. Am a real fan of chapattis, especially stuffed ones called prantha! Btw, FFT(food for thought), did u know that the flour from the Punjab in India is the most nutritious wheat in the world? So much so that the Russians back in the day, tried to conquer India just to get their wheat for Russian astronauts!
GregoryBPortland October 5, 2015
I wouldn't think so given the absolute necessity to bake these loaves in a Dutch oven with a lid.
Deb C. October 5, 2015
Hi just ran across your site. Do you know if the no knead sandwich bread recipe could be baked in a pullman pan?
Akiko August 26, 2014
Great recipe! I'm happy to have fresh toast bread in a weekday. We ate almost half for our breakfast going back to kitchen and slicing the bread again and again ... ;)
How's I. November 29, 2013
This is without a doubt the best white bread I've ever tried!
Kelsey November 6, 2013
I made this bread last night, and the crust is delectable! The bread itself tastes gummy; I don't know whether to attribute this to it not being cooked through or me not being used to eating white bread. I did cook it with a pan underneath the loaf pan and with a bowl of water in the oven. I would love advice on making it less gummy--even if that's just increasing baking time.
the T. November 6, 2013
No knead dough is wet enough as it is, just ditch the extra water. Let it rise in the pan (make sure it's made out of the heaviest gauge metal you can find) until it's at least doubled. Stick it in a pre-heated 500º oven and let oven spring do it's magic, take a peek at it after about 15 minutes, if it's looking good and growing a bit turn the heat down to 450º and let it go another half hour..
musicalnuke April 17, 2020
if you have a thermometer (like a thermapen), check the internal temp of the loaf to ensure it is done. ~190F for most breads, ~200F for enriched breads (with milk or eggs) and then let them cool. If you cut into a baked bread too soon, you can get that gummy consistency.
GregoryBPortland October 27, 2013
Keep making bread. It's one of the most satisfying things you can do in the kitchen.
tanvir October 27, 2013
Thank, this is an amazing recipe specially this is my first bread ever. I am so proud of it and smiling away since I made it two weeks ago.
GregoryBPortland October 25, 2013
Freeze the other loaf. I know this sounds silly, but the recipe was conceived for two loaves and cutting it in half didn't work. If properly frozen and then thawed when you need it, the loaf will be nearly as good and at the very least will make spectacular toast.
Alice G. October 25, 2013
I tried this recently. The only change I began with was to cut the recipe in half(I won't use 2 loaves in 2 weeks) and after the first rise it was WAAAY too wet and sticky. I couldn't get the dough to hold its shape. I wound up working in at least a cup of extra flour and letting it rest for a day. I formed it and baked it alright yesterday, and while it was still delicious, it is too dense for sandwich making. Any suggestions? I used AP flour and Pillsbury Bread flour.
TrishR October 16, 2013
I made this over the weekend and it came out truly perfect. So simple, and so delicious. I'm sharing the recipe right and left, because with something this easy and great, we should all have homemade bread during the week! Thank you!
jana.swenson.73 September 25, 2013
Is 1 1/2 TBS of salt correct? When I weigh it out, it weighs 29-30 gram, so do you mean 1 1/2 tsp?
Carey N. September 25, 2013
Hmmmmmm, it should definitely be 1 1/2 tablespoons, and now I've basically gone down an internet rabbit hole reading about the different weights of kosher salt (depending on how they're made and the resulting density). Apparently they can vary quite a bit! And the origin of the type I'm using is a mystery to me since I buy it from a bulk bin at the store. I looked around to see if I could turn up a kosher salt weight from other ABin5 no-knead posts, but didn't have any luck. In this case, I would suggest going with your 1 1/2 tbsp, even if it's pushing 30 grams. (One of the criticisms I've read of the no-knead bread recipes is that they could use more salt, so I don't think it will hurt.)
Rose L. September 24, 2013
bread just out of oven. looks perfect. is there a way of sending a photo?
Carey N. September 25, 2013
Oooo! If you're on instagram, you can find me @careynotcarrie. Otherwise you can email me a shot: [email protected]. I'd love to see! :)
LauriL September 24, 2013
Nice pics! For a moment I thought they were Eric Moran's who does some free-lancing on What To Eat Now column. See Bagel making!
Carey N. September 25, 2013
Thank you! I love Eric's style, so I take that as a big compliment. :)
Kim116 September 24, 2013
I read the comments about active dry vs instant yeast but does anyone have experience using fresh yeast for these long proofing recipes?
the T. September 24, 2013
I played a bit with it (my mom used to use it). A little goes a long way, according to the Red Star website, you should be able to get 4 loaves out of one cake. Just be aware that it is perishable- and when it goes off it really stinks.
Sini |. July 5, 2014
I almost always substitute dry yeast with fresh yeast as it's very easy to come by where I live and I think that it gives you the best rising results. You need more fresh yeast than dry one: if using fresh yeast, use three times the amount of dry yeast the recipe calls for.
Jill M. September 23, 2013
Can someone help me divide this dough to make a single loaf of bread? I'm using some rather expensive heritage AP flour ($10 for 2 lbs) and I don't want to waste it and have my bread turn our horrible. I tried a similar method/recipe by dividing a recipe in half because I didn't want to waste flour and that's exactly what I did. It didn't turn out like I wanted. I was still able to use the bread for toast, but it was pretty dense. I'm not a baker and assume that dividing the recipe isn't quite linear. Is it based on ratios? Also, can I just use AP flour and omit the bread flour? Any tips are appreciated.
Carey N. September 24, 2013
I usually split this recipe right down the middle to make a single loaf without issue. (So that would be: 433 grams of flour; 355 grams of water; 4 grams of instant yeast; 7 grams of salt.) Another reader noted that if you do want to use 100% AP flour, you will want to add a little less water or a little more flour, as the lower protein count of AP flour could make the dough a bit sticky as is. I hope this helps!