Flour and yeast has been flying off the shelves during this pandemic, so if you are one of the lucky ones who happen to have some in your pantry, why not take a shot at making homemade, fluffy and airy, small batch no-knead bread with a perfect crusty exterior.
Ain't she a beauty? Small batch bread is the perfect size for a smaller household. This recipe makes a smaller loaf, measuring approximately 6 by 6-inches.
Is Making Bread Easy?
Yes! If you have never made bread before, or are hesitant to try it, no-knead bread is the perfect artisan bread for you to start with. Generally, the main reasons why some people shy away from making their own bread is because they don't want to spend half an hour kneading the bread, or maybe they think the whole process just takes too long.
Well, let me put your worries at ease.
- No-kneading required: The no-knead feature of this bread eliminates the first concern. Kneading normally creates a chewy structure and texture. However, the reason that this bread does not need to be kneaded is because we are allowing the yeast a longer time to ferment and thus develop that structure in the dough.
- Minimal prep time required: It takes 5 minutes of prep time to make this bread. 5 minutes. Sure, you have to wait around for a few hours to allow the dough rise, but you don't have to actively do anything.
What is in Homemade No-Knead Bread?
When you buy commercial bread in the store, chances are it's full of preservatives, dough conditioners and other toxic ingredients. When you make your own homemade bread, you eliminate all those fillers and use just 4 simple ingredients.
- all-purpose flour
- instant yeast
You also need a small or medium-sized pot to bake the bread in. A small dutch oven works well, but you can use any regular oven-safe pot.
How to Make No-Knead Bread
There are 5 main and simple steps in making this fresh, small batch of homemade artisan no-knead bread.
- Activate yeast: Dissolve instant yeast in lukewarm water in a cup, stir until mixed together.
- Prepare dough: Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Pour yeast liquid mixture in and whisk to combine.
- Allow dough to rise: Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit at room temperature for 3+ hours, to rise and approximately double in size.
- Shape the dough and allow second rising: Shape the dough into a ball and let the dough rest in a covered bowl for 30 minutes.
- Bake bread: Bake dough in a preheated, covered pot for 30 minutes, in a 450° F oven. Remove lid and bake for an extra 10-15 minutes.
Tips for the Baking the Perfect No-Knead Bread
Yeast is one of the most important ingredients in baking bread. So of course all the tips on getting that perfect loaf has to do with taking care of the yeast. There are some key things to keep in mind when working with instant yeast.
- store instant yeast in a cool, dark place - If yeast is stored in a warm place, the temperature could kill the yeast even before the expiration date.
- make sure the instant yeast is in an original, unopened package - I do not recommend using a portion of a package that has already been used and saved.
- check the expiration date - instant yeast has a relatively shorter shelf life, so check the date and make sure you are within the date.
- the yeast mixture should start to bubble - when mixing the yeast in lukewarm water, the mixture should start to bubble and develop a yeasty aroma.
You also want to let the dough rise at room temperature (as opposed to a warmer area). This will allow the dough to rise slowly and it will take longer (3+ hours). The slower rise at room temperature yields a light and chewy texture, and a more pleasant flavour. This is also why sourdough bread is so trendy and popular nowadays.
How to Serve Artisan Bread
This bread is so good just on it's own, dipped in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It also goes so well with soup, or used to make sandwiches. Some of my favourites to make with this are:
- Roasted butternut squash soup
- Thai red curry mussels
- Coconut curry lentil soup
- Creamless cream of asparagus soup
- Easy one pot chili
Since this is a small batch of bread, it is meant to be consumed within a few days. But if you have leftovers or plan to make some extra batches, you can easily store the bread in the freezer. Just slice it up first, and reheat in the toaster under the defrost setting.
More Homemade Bread Recipes
- Homemade No Knead French Baguettes
- Easy Small Batch Ciabatta Rolls
- Sunflower Seed Bread
- Quick and Easy Skillet Dinner Rolls
- Easy Homemade Everything Bagels
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.