June 15, 2024


Food & Travel Enthusiast

4-Ingredient No-Knead French Bread Recipe: Fresh Crusty Homemade Bread in 3 Hours | Bread/Muffins

My family loves fresh homemade bread. During the coronavirus pandemic, I learned to bake sourdough complete with my own starter and we love it. For the days when there isn’t enough time for that process I love this beautiful, four-ingredient, three-hour, no-knead bread recipe that my daughter found on TikTok. This French bread recipe is so simple you’ll want to make it all the time.

You will need parchment paper and a 3-quart Dutch oven for this no-knead French bread recipe. The ingredient list is short: bread flour or all-purpose flour, water, yeast and salt. Yes, just four ingredients are all that’s needed for this wonderful homemade bread recipe (and one of them is water). The ingredients are mixed together and allowed to rise for about two hours. The bread is baked in a Dutch oven for about 45 minutes or until it’s golden brown.

You can add optional toppings to this easy bread recipe like coarse salt, seeds, sesame seeds, nuts, chia, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. Make it your own! For an amazing complete
dinner add a bowl of soup. We enjoy a bowl of white bean vegetable soup with this hot, crusty bread.

Cuisine: French

Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 2 hours to rise

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours and 55 minutes

Servings: Makes 1 loaf


  • 4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups warm filtered water (or good tap water)
  • 2 packets (.25 ounces each) instant yeast or quick-rise yeast
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) salt (I used 2 tablespoons, but some may find that too salty)

Here’s how to make it: 

  1. In a ceramic or glass bowl combine yeast, warm water, flour and salt.

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  2. Mix thoroughly. For softer bread I found adding ingredients in this order worked. For a bit more dense crusty bread I added dry ingredients and then the warm water.

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  3. Place a towel over it and place in a warm location for 2 hours. (In colder winter months I put it on my kitchen counter away from drafts and close to the sun if possible). When you are 1 hour and 45 minutes into the rise OR 15 minutes before you want to cook the loaf, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and place Dutch oven inside with the lid on.

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  4. After 2 hours remove dough (wet hands makes this easier) and place gently on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper.

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  5. If you like denser bread handle as little as possible, if you like a few air pockets GENTLY fold the dough over on itself two to three folds. Using a serrated knife cut an X into the top of the dough. If you would like a topping, gently tap the dough with wet hands and add topping of your choice (such as sea salt).

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  6. Place dough in parchment into the preheated Dutch oven. (Make sure to pull back the parchment so that the dough can brown).

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  7. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, pull gently back the parchment from edges where it may have become stuck and bake an additional 15 minutes for a beautiful brown finish.

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  8. Remember to let it cool for a few minutes before you cut.

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Recipe cooking times and servings are approximate. Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here’s how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

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