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Boule - Free-form No-Knead Bread Recipe

This no-knead bread bakes up delightfully dense & chewy without being hard or dry.  Mix, rise, form and bake.  It doesn't get easier than that!

Author Texas Homesteader



  • 3 Cups lukewarm water (100 - 105 degrees F)
  • 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons instant or active dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar



  1. Proof the yeast by combining warmed water, sugar & yeast.  In the meantime measure & combine flour & salt in a large 5-7 quart bowl.

  2. When yeast begins to bubble, add it to the flour mixture.  Turn KitchenAid on speed 2 and mix just until combined - about 60 seconds.  This step can be accomplished with a sturdy wooden spoon instead if desired.  (note, the dough will be rough & sticky)

  3. Cover bowl & let dough rise at room temperature for about 2 hours. Then refrigerate the covered dough for up to 7 days (but at least 2 hours). The longer you keep the dough chilled, the more tangy it becomes.

    If you're using a cover on your bowl you'll want to keep one corner open to allow pressure to escape.

To Bake Bread

  1. To bake the bread, pull the covered bowl from the refrigerator.  Sprinkle a section of the dough with flour to make it easier to pull away.  Flour your countertop as well. Then bring out a baking sheet and grease it lightly.  Also grease your hands.

    Pull a section of dough from the bowl about the size of a softball and place it on your floured counter top.

  2. Shape the dough by stretching the top & tucking it beneath the dough ball. The ball will be rustically shaped, don't strive for perfection with this step.

  3. When the dough ball is round-ish, put it on the greased baking sheet and sift a light coating of flour over the surface of the dough. This will keep the dough from drying out during its rise time.

  4. Place the dough into a cold oven with the light turned on for gentle warming to allow it to rise

    After about 45 minutes, remove the dough from the oven.  Make sure one oven rack is in the center of the oven and one oven rack is at the bottom.  Place a shallow metal pan on the bottom rack and preheat the oven to 450°F

    NOTE: Use a metal pan not glass as the procedure to follow could crack glass or Pyrex pans

  5. When the final 15 minutes rise time is finished & the oven has preheated, slash the bread top 3 times.

  6. Place the bread onto the middle rack of the preheated oven.  Then pour 1 cup water into the shallow pan on the bottom rack  When the water hits that hot pan it'll sputter but that's what you want it to do.  Now just close the oven door & set your timer to check your bread in 25 minutes.

  7. Allow the bread to bake for about 25 minutes, or until it's golden brown.

  8. Remove the bread from the oven and place it on a baker's rack to cool.  Cover the cooling bread with a clean kitchen towel to help keep the crust softer.

Recipe Notes

Modified from the recipe on King Arthur Flour site: No-Knead Crusty White Bread Recipe