No-Fail, No-Knead Bread for Thanksgiving (or any occasion)

Crusty loaf ready to eat!

I was recruited to make the bread for the Thanksgiving celebration with my in-laws. I’ve made bread a few times – every single time using the no-knead bread recipe that is all over the internet. Since I haven’t yet made it (waiting for the last possible minute so that maybe I can bring the bread warm!), I don’t have any pictures (haven’t made it in such a long time since we have been eating mostly grain-free!).

The classic recipe was made popular by the New York Times, as adapted from Sullivan Street Bakery. Here are the ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 5/8 cups water
  • Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed (optional)

I like to make it a little more different to add some flavor. Here’s my version of the no-fail, no-knead bread:


  • 3 cups bread flour (can use a combination of wheat and white flour), more for dusting
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2-3 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • Olive oil to brush top of bread

You will also need:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Plastic wrap
  • Parchment paper or a flat counter
  • Kitchen towel (the non-terry cloth kind)
  • Dutch oven (some people have used Pirex dishes, but I have no experiences with them)


  • Mix in a large bowl all the dry ingredients
  • Add beer and warm water together into the dry ingredients
  • Stir until it’s a shaggy mess and any loose flour is mixed into the dough
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 12-20 hours in a warm, dry place (I put it on top of my refrigerator)
  • After it has slept, dough should be sticky and bubbly and look wet (the last time I made this bread it didn’t look very wet and bubbly, but it still turned out great)
  • Wet a fork, spatula, or just your hands and dump dough out onto floured counter or floured parchment paper
  • Wet hands and fold in half a few times until a less sticky, more ball-like dough forms
  • Generously dust a cotton towel with flour and place dough inside the folded towel, seam-side of dough up
  • Let nap for two hours
  • After 1 and 1/2 hours, put dutch oven (with lid) into the oven and preheat to 450 degrees
  • After oven and your cast-iron lidded pot has been heating for 30  minutes and your bread has napped for two hours, carefully remove pot from oven
  • Dump dough in pot, brush with oil, cover, and bake for 30 minutes (I like to place dough, seam side down, no a piece of parchment paper and lower the parchment paper, with dough in middle, into the pot. This prevents burning of bread, and your hands!)
  • After 30 minutes, uncover, brush with more oil if necessary, and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until golden and internal temperature has reached 210 degrees
  • Try and let cool before you cut into bread (lots of steam will be inside the bread if you don’t wait long enough)
  • Variations: add cheese, olives, garlic and other seasonings before the bread’s final nap!

Steamy Kitchen’s picture instructions (the bread is being made by her 4 year old) is also a great tool to use!

One thought on “No-Fail, No-Knead Bread for Thanksgiving (or any occasion)

  1. Pingback: Almost Thanksgiving! Plus last-minute side-dish ideas | thelifeoflulubelle

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