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
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.