No-Knead Sandwich Bread

September 3, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

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

Ingredients

  • 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 tablespoons kosher salt (14 grams)
  • 3 cups water (709 grams)
In This Recipe

Directions

  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.

More Great Recipes:
Bread|Sandwich

Reviews (124) Questions (4)

124 Reviews

Lauri A. November 13, 2018
I’m in the middle of the making this and first time to recipes I always just make it straight out of the recipe and make adjustments from there. I thought the salt level was high, but just went with it. Now after reading the reviews apparently my bread is going to taste like a “salt lick.” Food 52 please make the adjustment in the recipe from tbs to tsp!!
 
Lisa L. July 4, 2018
I decided to try my luck a few days ago and make a half-recipe of this with half whole-wheat and half all purpose flour. The dough sat in the fridge for a few days, and when baking day came around, was not kneaded at all, just scraped onto a generously floured cutting board and gently pressed until all the air bubbles were coaxed out. The dough was folded in thirds, plopped in a greased/floured 9x5-in. loaf pan, and chilled overnight, then allowed to come to room temp for ~1 hr the following morning before baking. What a forgiving recipe with maximal results for minimal effort! The loaf that came out was a bit short for my liking (probably due to lack of bread flour), but reminded me of some fantastic cross between a crusty baguette and a mild sourdough - delicious! Next time, I'll try again with 0.6* original measurements to get it closer to the volume of a standard sandwich loaf.
 
Kate F. March 21, 2018
I made this a couple of weeks ago and am preparing to make it again today. I was shocked by how easy it was and how well the loaves turned out. I subbed in whole wheat flour for all purpose, and should have let the loaves rise more before baking (I think it needs several hours to proof in the pans with ww flour since it's more dense). I also undercooked it just slightly because I don't like crusty bread and prefer my carbs slightly mushy. Very impressed with this recipe! I think it may have replaced store bought bread for me.
 
Olive M. September 15, 2017
I've tried other recipes for the same kind of bread baked in a loaf pan. I'm excited to try this one next but the recipe does not say what size loaf pan to use. I made a mistake in the other breads I made by using too big (spread, no height) and too small ( dough rose way over the rim of the pan). Does this recipe call for 2 loaves of what size pan please? <br />
 
Änneken August 29, 2016
This makes an incredible loaf of bread. When it first came out of the oven I thought "oh wow....this could be from a bakery!". Very, very good!
 
paola May 20, 2016
This came out great! But I had to make some adjustments. After the 5 hour proof, the dough was way too wet to handle. I had to slowly add in more flour until it was easy enough to handle, in total about 1/2-3/4 cup all purpose flour. I replaced about 1/2-3/4 cup of all purpose flour with white whole wheat flour, just to use up the rest of my whole wheat flour. I used less than half the total amount of salt (it just seemed like way too much). I also halved everything to make only one loaf, and it all worked out. Hope this helped someone out there!
 
j W. February 22, 2016
the salt measurement is incorrect. 14g = 2.5 teaspoons, which is in line with the lahey recipe.
 
Jen January 4, 2016
Has anyone tried this recipe in a pullman loaf pan? Would you reduce the temp to 350?
 
stephanieRD November 22, 2015
Love this recipe. I now make it a few times every month and I no longer buy loaves at the store! I have tried using different proportions of wheat, bread, and all purpose flour and nothing has failed yet.
 
mboerner October 19, 2015
That is indeed a lot of salt. I make mine without any salt at all, in the Florentine manner, the salt being supplied by whatever you put on the bread.
 
jdm7 July 5, 2015
Emma, the only thing I can think of is that perhaps you need to add more flour? Mine wasn't sticky at all but then again, my house isn't warm. Maybe the dough is so warm that it's starting to proof before you can get it made? Good luck!
 
Emma G. July 5, 2015
I made this dough but it was extremely sticky and near impossible to work with. I followed the recipe exactly but I wondered if the dough was over proofed because my house is very warm. Any suggestions?
 
Joan May 31, 2015
Sounds almost exactly like the everyday-crusty-round-loaf recipe I use (though they've doubled it here and use 2 types of flour instead of just AP), except I bake mine in a covered enameled cast iron pot to create steam, which gives the bread a chewy-yet-crispy, beautifully golden, shiny crust. Just form the dough into a ball and omit the dusting of flour… plop it into the pot (you can use parchment, but a quick swipe of butter or oil will work too) and let it do it's final rise for 2 hours (I move my pot to top of stove when I turn on the oven to preheat). You can use any pot you like… glass, cast iron or whatever you have, as long as you use a heavy, oven-proof lid to contain the steam. Bake for 30 minutes covered, then remove lid and bake for another 10-20 minutes to create that golden crust. Turns out a gorgeous loaf that impresses friends and neighbors no end… but you don't have to tell them how unbelievably easy it is to make!
 
Adrianne B. April 27, 2015
I made half this recipe (1 loaf); it was spectacular.
 
rachiti February 16, 2015
Salt is excessive in this recipe. Even though I dialed it down by a teaspoon and a half before making it the first time, my husband (who ALWAYS adds salt to any home cooked food & we cook from basic ingredients 90% of the time) said it tasted like a "salt lick". <br /><br />I did let it ferment 24 hours so the flavors had time to develop but we couldn't taste anything other than an overpowering amount of salt. Since the ingredients are cheap compared to my usual bread recipe, the other half is going in the trash. If you usually eat at McDonalds then the salt level is fine, if, however, you usually cook from scratch & watch the salt then dial it down. Aside from this, I like the ease of this bread. My husband wants his bread in a loaf shape so I was looking for a no-knead recipe my arthritic hands could manage & this fits the bill perfectly. The texture was a bit gummy but I will consider that a reasonable trade-off for the ease of making this bread. The crust was beautifully crunchy. Using a serrated knife to cut it wasn't necessary - a good sharp & honed knife will work well. I now have a viable (after halving the salt) alternative to my bread machine.
 
Author Comment
Carey N. February 16, 2015
Did you use kosher salt or regular, fine grain salt? Just curious, as I have never found the bread to be anywhere near that salty.
 
rachiti February 16, 2015
Point taken. If I could remove my post I would. This is the first recipe I've tried on this site...I see now that I will have to alter all of them to accommodate my use of smaller grained salt.
 
burns W. February 16, 2015
Weigh your salt. Whatever kind you use. It needs to be 2% the weight of the flour. Baker's ratio.
 
rachiti February 18, 2015
Although I appreciate the advice to weigh my salt, I prefer to consider the health costs of heavy salt usage. Salt by weight at 2% is going to be more than I would prefer to use in recipes in general. My usual bread machine recipe has 14 oz of flour yet I find a mere 1/2 teaspoon of salt is perfect. I've substituted table salt for kosher in recipes on other sites without trouble in the past. I always use less than suggested (if the full amount will end up in the final product) without any trouble. I avoid weighing salt as a tiny bit too much can ruin a recipe (I add everything into the same bowl). The ONLY reason I stuck with close to the original amount was the recipe writer saying - if anything, increase the salt. That was my error.
 
rachiti March 2, 2015
Re-evaluation - Thanks to those who provided suggestions regarding salt in this recipe, I used significantly less salt the second time around (a mere 7 grams of table salt) to lovely results. After just 24 hours in the fridge (and a bit too much time rising before it went in there), it still tasted lovely with a crunchy crust and fluffy interior.
 
Jane March 31, 2015
I'm wondering if that salt measurement ought to say "tsp" instead of "tbs." I've never seen a bread recipe with that much salt to only seven cups flour.<br />
 
Terry D. January 16, 2017
This 2% looks like a great rule of thumb. Salts all have different weights, even among kosher salts, so pegging it to the flour makes sense.
 
Joanette December 9, 2014
Great recipe ...turned out great!
 
Franca November 3, 2014
I used 433gr of 6 grain flour and 433gr of AP. I made one loaf & one baguette. Delicious. Will be making this again and again.
 
em-i-lis October 30, 2014
This is such great, fool-proof bread. Thanks! Much better than the "sandwich" part of the name suggests.
 
alison B. October 22, 2014
This recipe. Is wonderful. Wow.<br />I am a fairly experienced bread baker, and am very impressed with the fermentation finesse built into this recipe! Thanks! I'll be using this VERY much, and will be switching out flours! Whew. Hope my husband will get some when he gets home, even though I made both loaves. Must. Exercise. Self. Control.
 
Tamara D. June 26, 2014
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?
 
Mike V. July 14, 2014
I assume you mean the second rise? Because the first rise should be at least 5 hours.<br />For the second, I would wait till the bread has doubled in the pan.<br />