For anyone who does not have a Dutch oven but wants an easy way to make crusty homemade bread with no kneading and almost no work at all, look what I just made on a baking sheet! It was so easy and the loaf was crusty and delicious.
A Dutch oven with a lid creates steam inside the pot, which produces that crispy crust so I create steam inside the oven by placing a small 5 by 9-inch pan in the oven while it’s preheating. Then when I place the bread in to bake, I pour some boiling water into the little hot pan and whoosh – steam goes all over the place. I close the oven door right away to keep the steam inside and let it bake.
Anyone can make this easy no knead bread on a baking sheet. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
GOOD NEWS! There is an even faster way to make my 2-Hour No Knead Bread. Thanks to a comment by fellow baker, Terry, who simply forgot the 15-minute rest, it turns out you can do without it. So the 2-hour recipe now can be made in 1 3/4 hours! When I saw Terry’s comment I immediately tried it myself. And it worked. I just left out the 15-minute rest and took it straight from the mixing bowl after the one-hour rise, folded it over a few times on a floured surface, and placed in on a sheet of parchment paper. I lifted the parchment and dough, placed it in my preheated Dutch oven, and baked as usual. Look at how well it turned out!
Most bread connoisseurs will agree that the longer the dough rests, the better flavor the bread will develop. This is true but some days I want bread and don’t have much time and I thought this loaf tasted really good. I’m not sure if I should adjust the recipe so in the meantime, here is all you need to do: 1) Preheat your oven 15 minutes earlier. 2) Skip the 15-minute rest before baking.
In response to the many people who either do not have a Dutch oven or find it difficult to lift such a heavy pot, I decided to try making my no knead bread on a baking pan. Well guess what? It works. It makes a great loaf that’s soft inside with a beautiful golden crust. It’s not quite as crispy of a crust as the Dutch oven method but it’s close. It’s important to find a way to create steam in the oven because steam is what makes a crispy crust. But even without steam, it still bakes up nicely but with a softer crust.
For my ciabatta bread, which needs steam, I used a disposable foil 6-cup muffin pan, which you can place beside or just below the bread.
But I also found a small 9 by 5-inch baking pan for $3.50 and a restaurant supply store and it works well too. It’s what I used for this loaf.
It’s important to add the hot water right when you put in the bread and close the oven door right away. The steam is most effective right at the beginning. I use a metal measuring cup with a handle to pour the hot water. I hope my photos are helpful and that now, anyone without a Dutch oven can make this super easy, delicious, artisan bread. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Look what I made! It was just an experiment but it turned out to be amazing! Anyone can make no knead bread without a Dutch oven. It helps to create steam inside the oven just like it’s created inside a Dutch oven. Steam is what makes a crispy crust and it’s really easy. What you do is put a small pan in the oven before you preheat it and then when the oven is hot and you put in the bread to bake, you also pour some hot water into the small pan and it creates steam. Then you quickly close the oven door to keep the steam inside and after 30 minutes, you will have an fantastic loaf of ciabatta bread with a soft interior and a beautiful golden crispy crust.
You can use a variety of pans to create the steam (do a google search for ideas if you like) but that process is not easy on the pan. I have used a small flat pan as pictures as well as a small 6-cup disposable foil pan. But if it does not fit on the same rack as your baking pan, just place it on a rack below. You may have to remove a rack to make room but whether beside the bread or on a rack below, keep it off to the side and don’t put it directly under the bread. And be sure to keep it close to the front for easy access. Here is how I place mine and how you can place it below if your oven is smaller.
I pour about 3/4 cup of hot or boiling water into 3 or 4 of the muffin cups or into the small pan. It’s good to use an oven glove when you pour the hot water because it creates steam right away and be sure to close the oven door immediately so the steam can’t escape. You can re-use the muffin pan, although it will turn dark. So there it is. I hope my photos help and now everyone who does not have a Dutch oven will be able to make this fabulous no knead, easy, homemade ciabatta bread. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
No knead bread depends on the steam created inside a pot with a tight-filling lid. I use an enameled cast iron Dutch oven but other people have commented on my website that they had success using:
a glass pyrex dish with a lid
a stainless steel pot with a lid
a stainless steel pot with foil on top and the original pot lid over the the foil
a clay baker
a springform pan with an aluminum foil top
a pizza stone with a stainless steel bowl as a cover
several people posted that they used a black cast iron pot with a lid
a roasting pan with a tightly sealed foil heavy duty top
a heavy soup pot with a lid
a corning dish with a glass lid
a Romertopf clay pot
a crock pot bowl with a lid
two nonstick bread pans, no parchment paper – put the dough in one of the bread pans, flip the other pan upside down over the first pan and put binder clips on the two ends to hold the pans together.
an oven-safe stoneware insert (removed from a slow cooker) with a cookie sheet over it as a lid.
a cast iron skillet and foil as a lid
2 1/2 quart corning ware casserole.
Keep in mind that any lid must be tight fitting because you need to create steam inside the pot and the lid should have an oven-proof handle (not plastic). Your pot will need to hold at least 3 quarts but 5 to 6 quarts is most common. Or… You can make my No Knead Ciabatta Bread or No Dutch Oven Bread – they both bake on a pan, no Dutch oven needed. Click here for the recipes.