As the New Year dawns, we're excited to announce our 2016 Recipe of the Year:

No-Knead Crusty White Bread

There are all kinds of no-knead bread recipes out there – from white to rye, and pourable-batter breads to long-rise stir-together loaves.

But we all agree, this particular recipe – inspired by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, whose book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day re-creates the seminal New York City no-knead artisan bread that started it all over a decade ago – deserves its championship status.

Let's make some and find out why.

Note: I'm providing just the basic steps here; for more details, see the recipe, No-Knead Crusty White Bread; or its accompanying blog post, The Crunchiest-Crackliest-Chewiest-Lightest-EASIEST Bread You'll Ever Bake.

No Knead Crusty White Bread via @kingarthurflour

1. Start with the simplest of ingredients.

All-purpose flour, water, yeast, and salt. End of story.

No Knead Crusty White Bread via @kingarthurflour

2. Stir everything together.

Mix the ingredients together. Let the soft dough rise at room temperature (in a container with enough room for expansion), then refrigerate for up to 7 days. This time in the fridge develops the dough's gluten (which is why you don't have to knead it); and enhances its flavor, as well.

See? No special skills, tools, or knowledge required.

No Knead Crusty White Bread via @kingarthurflour

3. Shape the dough as you like.

Shape the dough into balls, or stretch it into longer loaves. Don't worry about making perfectly round loaves or ruler-straight baguettes; I never do.

Want to make skinny bread sticks, or pizza crust? Go for it.

Place on a pan. Cover and let rise until puffy (see the recipe for details). Spray with water and slash.

No Knead Crusty White Bread via @kingarthurflour

4. Bake until golden brown.

Twenty-five minutes in a 450°F oven is all it takes.

No Knead Crusty White Bread via @kingarthurflour

5. Enjoy crusty loaves with superior flavor and wonderful texture.

Crusty/crackly outside. Soft/chewy inside. Packed with flavor, thanks to the dough's substantial fridge-time. That's our 2016 Recipe of the Year.

No Knead Crusty White Bread via @kingarthurflour

Anyone can – and everyone should – make this bread.

Flavor, texture, and simplicity, all wrapped up in one enticing loaf, make this bread absolutely perfect for the first-time bread baker. Looking for success right out of the gate? You'll find it here: No-Knead Crusty White Bread (the recipe), and The Crunchiest-Crackliest-Chewiest-Lightest-EASIEST Bread You'll Ever Bake (the blog post).

Even those of us who've been baking bread for decades sometimes tire of intricately crafted sourdough boules and multiple-ingredient whole-grain loaves.

We crave a straightforward loaf, hot from the oven, a corner torn off and dipped in a robust, peppery olive oil. Bread that brings us home again – back to our baking roots, when we first learned to embrace the joy of yeast.

Perfect for bread beginners. Ideal for bread experts.

All-inclusive no-knead bread: it's bread for success.

No Knead Crusty White Bread via @kingarthurflour

And sandwiches, of course!

Since I know you'll ask: this is a cheddar, red onion, fried egg, roasted artichoke heart, and Frank's hot sauce sandwich – courtesy of my grown son, to whom I taught this no-knead concept back when he was a college kid.

He's carried the recipe with him ever since. We hope you will, too.

Read the bread recipe details: No-Knead Crusty White Bread.

PJ Hamel
The Author

About PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

View all posts by PJ Hamel