“Almost No-Knead” Bread

I’ve jumped on the no-knead bread wagon! It seems like almost all of the blogs and cooking magazines that I read have at one point featured some version of no-knead bread.  I wasn’t sure if the blogosphere needed another no-knead bread recipe (or in this case, an “almost no-knead” bread recipe), but it’s really hard to beat homemade bread, so I thought I’d share…

We’d also like to share a new addition to our family who was delivered to us just this weekend—Apollo, our new Siberian Husky!  Ever since I met Graham he has wanted a dog, and now that we are finally living in a house where we can have animals, we decided to rescue one from a shelter.  While we are all still getting used to this new living arrangement, we are very happy to welcome this sweet, intelligent, and high-energy dog into our home!

“Almost No-Knead” Bread

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated 

I’ve been playing around with different kinds and amounts of whole grain flours for this bread, and the recipe below is the one that we like best so far.  The sliced bread that is pictured above was made with spelt flour, and while the flavor of this version was good, it was a quite a bit denser than the recipe below.  Making this bread also gave me a good excuse to have a beer—it is made with a little over ¼ of a cup, so to keep the rest from going to waste, I was forced to finish it. :)

  • 1½ cups bread flour
  • 1½ cups whole wheat bread flour
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons beer
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl to form a shaggy dough.  Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours (our house is on the colder side, so I’ve had good luck getting the bread to rise in a barely warm oven, 75 to 85 degrees— I either put it in the oven after it has cooled from cooking something else, or turn the oven on for just a few minutes to a very low setting).

After 8 to 18 hours, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead 10 -15 times.  Sprinkle with a little flour, if the dough to sticky to work with.  Shape the dough into a round ball by pulling the edges into the center.  Transfer the ball, seam side down, into a skillet or round pan lined with parchment paper.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise for about two hours or until the dough does not spring back when poked.

About 30 minutes before the dough is ready to bake, put a covered Dutch oven into the oven and heat the oven to 450°.   After 30 minutes, carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and remove the lid.  Pick up the dough using the parchment paper and place into the Dutch oven.  Cover the pot and let any excess parchment paper hang over the side.  Lower the temperature to 425°, and bake covered for 30 minutes.  Remove the lid and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown.  Carefully remove the bread from the pot and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Four Chefs (Delicious!)

It is hard to beat homemade bread with a nice soft inside and crispy crust.

Easy Rating


Three Easy Chairs (Average Difficulty)

There is very little hands-on time required to make this bread, but it does take a little bit of planning.  I stirred the ingredients together in the evening and then baked it the next afternoon.

Healthy Rating


Four Apples (Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise)

While it is not 100% whole grain, it is half whole grain.  I might try increasing the whole grain bread flour to 2 cups next time.

Green Rating


Four Leaves (Mother Earth Approved)

The flours are organic and came from the bulk bins at our grocery store (less waste!).
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13 comments to “Almost No-Knead” Bread

  • I love this! I’m a huge fan of no-knead bread and I’ve been experimenting adding whole grain flours to it. Love seeing your variation!

  • I’ve been wanting to try one of the no-knead recipes too. You’re right – there’s nothing like homemade bread in the kitchen!

  • I like the addition of the cider vinegar, I have never tried that before. Shaggy dough, how cute is that. I have to try putting the dough into a dutch oven with a lid. Interesting. I am really going for this. Thanks for sharing this, I am a bread lover and keep trying to make it, seems it is only good on the first day. Why is that do you think?

  • Marta

    Fresh baked bread and a gorgeous dog? What more does a girl knead? :)

  • What a beautiful dog!! The bread looks awesome :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  • I am telling you nothing can beat up the smell of bread as it bakes. This one looks very appetizing! And the dog, oh my God, those eyes are breathtaking!

  • Ooh, I like the idea of baking the bread in a pot!

  • There is nothing like the smell of bread baking in the oven. Love the idea that you baked it in your Dutch oven too.

    Apollo is beautiful! Congratulations on the newest addition to your family :)

  • Beautiful artisan bread.
    Apollo looks really handsome!

  • What a GORGEOUS dog! Those eyes…they’re piercing.

    I love bread but haven’t found a no-knead recipe that I really LOVE. Need to try this one!

  • I too like no knead bread, but yet have to try with beer :)
    Apollo is just so beautiful…thanks for sharing these lovely pictures.
    Hope you are having a fabulous week Sally :)

  • Bobby’s been working on this Cook’s recipe as well but at this point has only used unbleached flour. I’m going to have to share this post with him. Love your use of spelt flour and then the blend of white and whole wheat. Your loaf looks beautiful! Now for Apollo – what a beautiful dog! I’m sure y’all will find him a great addition to the family. I don’t know if we could live without a pet. We’ve started with a dog but then ended up taking in a stray cat about every 10 to 15 years. I guess now we’re cat people.

  • Congrats on Apollo! He is a beautiful dog. This a recipe worth trying, if only for another excuse to finish the beer. Fresh homemade bread is my idea of heaven.

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