No-Knead French Bread

Bread loaves

Maciej Frolow / Stockbyte / Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Rising Time: 13 hrs 30 mins
Total: 14 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 10 servings

If you've never tried a no-knead bread recipe before, this is a great one to start with. It does have to rise overnight, but the crusty French-style bread is so good, it's worth the wait! You'll be surprised how simple this bread recipe really is.


  • 1 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water (tepid)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal (or more or less, as needed)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add the water, yeast, salt, and flour into a mixing bowl. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir well to form a wet, very sticky dough. Do not try to knead with your hands, as it is too sticky to handle.

  3. Once mixed, cover the bowl with a towel, and leave out at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours.

  4. Flour a work surface well; using a spatula scrape the bubbly dough on to the flour.

  5. Flour your hands and pat down into a square shape.

  6. Fold each corner to the center, and flip the dough over so the folds are facing down.

  7. Shape into a round loaf.

  8. Generously sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet about twice the size of the loaf. The dough may stick unless you put a good amount on the pan.

  9. Transfer loaf to the pan, folds facing down. Sprinkle the top with flour.

  10. Place a clean, dry, floured towel over the loaf, and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours in a warm spot.

  11. Place a pie pan half-filled with water at the bottom of the oven and preheat to 425 F.

  12. Remove the towel, and make a 1/2-inch deep incision across the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.

  13. Bake on the middle rack for 50 to 55 minutes.

  14. Allow to cool on a rack before slicing.