Incredibly easy, crusty loaf of artisan no-knead bread packed with bits of smoky bacon, fresh parmesan cheese, and scallions.Jump to Recipe Print Recipe
What is No-Knead Bread Dough?
No-knead bread has probably been around forever, but it became mainstream in the mid-2000s. Mark Bittman first popularized it when he shared Jim Lahey’s recipe in the his column in the New York Times in 2006. In 2007, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François published their version in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The main difference between the recipes is that Lahey’s uses less yeast, and therefore requires a longer rise time. This recipe is adapted from the 5 Minutes a Day recipe because of the shorter rise time, but the same ingredients could be added to Lahey’s as well.
It’s very simple. The only mandatory ingredients are unbleached all-purpose flour, instant yeast, salt, and water. Mix, cover, let it sit on the counter for a few to several hours, shape your loaf, and bake. Anyone can do it, with wonderful and consistent results! The basic recipe can be modified to add flavor or tweak the flour – I often substitute 1 cup whole wheat flour or 1/2 cup of oat or wheat bran for a portion of the all-purpose in my loaves.
Make the Dough for Artisan No-Knead Bacon Bread with Parmesan and Scallions
For this bread, I chose to keep all of the flour all-purpose. I haven’t tried a healthier version yet, but am happy to update when I do. I use a stand mixer now that I have one, but I’ve mixed it by hand as well with no trouble at all. My recipe makes two loaves, and one of the nice things about this type of dough is it keeps. You can make both loaves at once, or save the dough in the fridge for up to two weeks.
In the mixer bowl (or a large bowl) add 3 cups lukewarm water. The water needs to be under about 110F (43C), which isn’t much warmer than body temperature. I checked it with my instant read the first few times until I had a feel for it, but no longer bother. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons each of kosher salt and instant yeast. Then add 6 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour. Mix on low with the paddle attachment or a large spoon.
Switch to the dough hook. Crumble 8 strips of cooked bacon (homemade is wonderful!) into the bowl of the mixer (how to cook bacon). Add 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan or Romano cheese, and 3 diced scallions. Start on low, then increase speed to medium. Let machine mix dough for about 4 minutes, or mix well by hand with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are incorporated.
Allow Dough to Rise
Scrape dough into a large container, more than twice the size of the dough. I use 6 qt containers with lids by Cambro, available from amazon. Cover and set on your counter for a couple of hours (at least two, I haven’t had any issues when I’ve left it for 4-6). It should at least double in size. At this point, the dough can be refrigerated for later use, or you can proceed immediately.
Bake Artisan No-Knead Bacon Bread
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450. Place a large dutch oven (cast iron or enameled) with the lid on into the oven as it preheats. While the oven preheats, divide the dough in half. I usually only bake one loaf the first day, so save the remainder in the rising container in the refrigerator.
Flour your hands and a clean surface (I use a cutting board). With your hands, form the dough into a round loaf by stretching it and pulling the sides underneath until the top appears smooth. Dust a sprinkling of flour on top and cover with a clean towel. If the dough was just made, let rise again for 20 minutes. If the dough came out of the refrigerator, allow 40 minutes for it to come to room temperature. After time has elapsed, score an “x” in the top of the dough ball with a serrated bread knife.
Remove the hot dutch oven from the oven, and take off the lid. Immediately place dough into the pot and recover. Place back into 450 oven. After 25 minutes, remove the lid. Bake an additional 20 minutes with the lid off. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack if possible for at least 30 minutes (this is the hard part – not immediately slicing off a piece!). Enjoy!
Uses for Artisan No-Knead Bacon Bread
My kids love it, so it doesn’t last long around here. It goes great with eggs for breakfast, or with a smear of fresh avocado topped with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Try it in my bacon grilled cheese if you’re having a serious bacon craving. It’s the perfect complement to a warm bowl of soup, such as tomato, clam chowder, or chicken and dumpling. Please pin and share this post, and rate and comment if you’ve tried it!
Artisan No-Knead Bacon Bread
- 8 slices bacon cooked to crispy, crumbled
- 3 scallions chopped
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 3 cups water lukewarm (100-110F)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast
- 1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 6 cups flour unbleached all-purpose
- In the bowl of stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) add lukewarm water. Add yeast and salt, mix to combine. Add flour. Mix with paddle (or wooden spoon) on low until combined.
- Switch to dough hook. Add crumbled bacon, scallions, and parmesan cheese. Mix on medium speed (or by hand) for 5 minutes.
- Scrape dough into large (4-6 qt) container with lid. Cover and let sit in warm area on counter for at least 2 hours, or until doubled in size. At this point dough may be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450F. Divide dough in half by hand. Flour a clean surface and your hands. Form a boule by shaping the dough into a ball and repeatedly stretching the edges down and underneath. Sprinkle the dough with flour if needed to prevent sticking. This may be repeated if baking both loaves at once, or the other half may be saved for up to 2 weeks.
- Once shaped into a ball, dust with flour and allow it to rest, covered with a dish towel, for 45 minutes (or 20 minutes if starting with room temperature rather than refrigerated dough)
- While dough is resting, place an empty, covered cast iron Dutch oven into the preheated oven. Allow it to heat for 20 min prior to baking bread.
- Score top of bread boule with a serrated knife to form an “x”. Place into preheated cast iron pot, and place the pot back into the 450 oven, covered.
- Bake 25 min covered. Remove lid and bake an additional 20 min uncovered. Let bread cool on baking rack for a minimum of 30 min before slicing.