No-Knead Sandwich Bread

May 11, 2021
15 Ratings
  • Makes 2 loaves
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

What You'll Need
  • 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)
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Nancy Henderson
    Nancy Henderson
  • neonkitty
  • Vera Moore
    Vera Moore
  • Heather Jennings
    Heather Jennings
  • rosenivory
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

146 Reviews

Elaine November 22, 2023
See this recipe does it use both flours so it's 433grams of both and can I use all plain flour
Nancy H. October 17, 2023
what a great recipe. Loving having that second loaf ready for (second) proof in the fridge. And the loaf size is perfect. thank you Carey Nershi.
Elaine November 22, 2023
Hi Nancy I'm new at making bread and I thought this recipe looked straight forward until I came to the ingredients see where it says 433 bread flour and 433 AL/F I'm just confused weather I've to use one or the other or both. Sorry to just poping in. Elaine
lostangelas January 29, 2023
This recipe worked really well for me, but I'm comfortable enough with breadmaking that I'm OK with loose guidance. For instance, I heated the water to lukewarm before combining with everything, which I think helps the yeast activate, but that wasn't mentioned in the recipe. I also didn't put this in a bread pan. I dusted it with extra flour, did a little extra kneading, and made a round loaf inside a Creuset baking dish (it didn't even touch the sides, though). I still let it rise for an hour, but I put it in my inactive oven to let the pilot light warm it. I did do the final splash of flour plus the scoring with serrated knife, and that looked so attractive. The loaf formed a rosy, golden crust and remained soft and springy on the inside. Good sandwich bread, indeed. I'm curious how it would taste with additions like oatmeal or rosemary.
Planetm January 4, 2023
I'm completely new at baking bread and came across this recipe and it's been a great base to help me become a great bread maker! I'm PERPLEXED though as my yeast and Kosher Salt do not weigh the same as noted here when I measure out by tsp/tbsp. I've still managed to get Edible bread but now I'm tweaking it to figure out what actual amounts I need to be consistent. Also, I wanted a recipe that worked with my lifestyle and babysitting dough was not my jam. Now ai generally proof 1st time room temp until about 50% higher then I throw in fridge where year round the Temps remain constant so no babysitting. Sometimes I skip the 1srv room temp proof altogether. The next day I pull out what I need, shape and put into bread pan to double. When it is getting closer to double, I preheat oven. I then slash the dough and add hemp, sesame and flax seeds to the top and maybe some melted butter. I put in hot air fryer oven and cook until it starts to get color on top. So fat the outer texture is divine and I'm working on tweaking inside but big win... All loaves have been gobbled up and now just working out how to perfect it.
Mariem January 2, 2022
This is a fantastic recipe for those who would like to make their own bread! It’s now our “ every day bread”. I’ve read the comments regarding to much salt but I use the fine salt flakes and weigh everything to the gram, it’s fine for our taste. I’ve now started adding/substituting 100g whole meal, 150g of spelt and 80g of mixed seeds from the all purpose flour component. I also add in any discard sourdough I have on hand; again subtracting the weight from the flour and water in the original recipe. Great for sandwiches and toasting, thanks for the recipe
neonkitty November 30, 2020
This bread is a thing of beauty and so easy to make. I am already eyeing the second loaf in the fridge.
Jrhiggins October 10, 2020
Because I usually bake a recipe as written the first time, I made it with the full amount of salt, even though I had doubts, and for us it was way too salty - even using kosher salt. The next time I weighed my 14 grams of salt and what a difference. If you use an online converter, 14 grams of kosher salt is 2 1/3 tsps. I’m sure 2 1/2 tsps would be fine. The recipe should be corrected because otherwise it is wonderful.
bob February 23, 2023
I do the same. I also have started using a bread making log to track what I’ve done and then any subsequent changes. You can get a template at the perfect
Vera M. July 12, 2020
Awesome! Loaf is still cooling and can't wait to see the crumb and eat. I took a little more than half for a 9"x 5" loaf pan; will probably do a small boule with the rest in a few days. I made the dough up yesterday morning and baked this morning. I did add sugar to my dough; maybe a tsp. or two. I used plain AP flour and rise was excellent! I didn't really knead before shaping, but used my bench scrapper to fold it up over itself a few times. I used my hands to pull from the edges to create a half-hazard rectangle before shaping. Proofed for about 1 hour in a 66F degree room to just about double.
jay April 21, 2020
After the first rise and before you put it in the fridge, do you punch it down to deflate the gases, do you knead it at all, or what?
Heather J. April 1, 2020
I'm going to try this recipe this morning. Quick question--450 degrees seems really hot for an oven for baking bread. Is this correct?
Oaklandpat April 1, 2020
Yes. I wondered about that also, but it is correct. The bake time is not very long. Be sure to let your dough sit overnight in the fridge for better flavor if you have time.
Heather J. April 1, 2020
Thank you!!
Oaklandpat March 31, 2020
Wow, I seem to have this recipe on speed dial. It makes a wonderful basic sandwich loaf which toasts up well. My go to blend of flours is 1/2 bread flour, 1/4 AP flour, 1/4 white whole wheat. As my supplies of flour dwindle during shelter in place, I will be testing it out with various other combinations. It could not be easier to throw together, and having a second batch in the fridge for a later bake is like having money in the bank!
rosenivory December 9, 2019
I've made this recipe about half a dozen times using all-purpose flour with extra rising/proofing time, and it's awesome! I love that I have the second loaf to look forward to - that will taste even better after being in the fridge! I read the other reviews, and just have to say it's KOSHER salt, people. Way less salty and therefore the right amount is listed in the recipe. My oven fluctuates in temperature so I often end up pulling the bread out a bit early, but I think that's just because of my oven.
Hilary December 31, 2018
This is the best/easiest bread recipe. I have made it multiple times with many different variation types (I throw in handfuls of uncooked quinoa, whole flax seeds and sesame seeds for a delicious texture). I've done the half whole-wheat route, and I've using this recipe with fine wheat semolina as well, all with beautiful results. My go-to recipe! I'm whipping up a batch this afternoon with dried cranberries and dark chocolate for a sweeter version.
Some commenters have remarked on the amount of salt- I've found 3 tsp to be a good amount for the two loaves. Hope this helps!
Hilary December 31, 2018
Should clarify- that is the equivalent to 1 tbsp, so just slightly less. I don't think there's anything wrong with how the recipe is written, simply a matter of personal preference!
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!!
jodi February 16, 2019
Oh man, I'm just about to start the recipe now and I'm so glad I scrolled down first beforehand. Thank you for leaving this comment! <3 I would have been so bummed when I baked it tomorrow.
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?
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!
spuriousgeorge August 22, 2021
My dough was also really wet - way too wet to handle. I'll try your technique - thanks!
j W. February 22, 2016
the salt measurement is incorrect. 14g = 2.5 teaspoons, which is in line with the lahey recipe.
Dashmore December 12, 2022
You have to specify which salt — regular table salt is twice as dense as Diamond Crystal Kosher salt and other kosher salts may be anywhere in between. The only reliable way to measure an unspecified type of salt is by weight (grams or ounces), not volume (teaspoons).