A Quick No Knead Crusty Rye Bread

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a quick no knead crusty rye bread

Using a Dutch oven as your ‘oven’ – This quick no knead crusty rye bread recipe yields a beautiful crusty, dense, loaf of bread – with delicious rich rye flavor, in about 4 hours time. Perfect for a Reuben sandwich, grilled patty melt, or just to toast up and eat with a pat of butter

A Quick No Knead Crusty Rye Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups flour (for the rye bread I used 2 cups all-purpose and 1 1/2 cups rye, you could also use whole wheat and white, or all white, up to you)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm (about 100 degrees) water, or more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons or more caraway seeds (optional)

Method

Step 1

In a large bowl stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Add the caraway seeds, if using. Make a well in the center then add the water into the well. Mix, incorporating the water into the flour until you have a very sticky shaggy dough (if the dough seems to dry, add a little more water). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in a warm place for 3 hours.

Step 2

Heat the oven to 450º F. Place your enamel Dutch oven and its cover (I used the oval oven, as long as it’s enamel, the bread will NOT stick) in the oven and heat for 30 minutes.

Step 3

While the “oven” is heating in the oven; scrape the very sticky dough out onto a well floured counter with your very well floured fingers (did I mention the dough is sticky?, well it is). Fold over a few times then form into a ball, sealing the bottom into a seam as best you can. Cover with plastic while you wait for the pot to get hot. Once the pot AND its cover have been in for 30 minutes, CAREFULLY remove, open and drop your ball of dough into the center; cover and return to the oven. Cook for 30 minutes; uncover and cook 10 – 15 minutes more, or until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees when read with an instant read thermometer. Or you can use the old knock on the crust and see if it sounds hollow, not exactly the most scientific way, but works most of the time.

Step 4

Again, carefully remove the bread from the hot hot pot, and transfer to a cooling rack to cool

LindySez: If you don’t have an enameled Dutch oven, a well seasoned cast iron Dutch oven will work as well.  Don’t use any pot that does not have thick sides as it will hold the heat well.



{The making of A Quick No Knead Crusty Rye Bread}

I love myself a good Reuben sandwich.  It’s after St. Patrick’s day, and I have some left-over corned beef  but once again find myself unable to find a decent rye bread.  Rye bread, corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese along with some Thousand Island dressing, grilled to crusty perfection…that’s what you need to make a Reuben.  So if you don’t have the rye, you don’t have the Reuben.

Not being able to find good rye bread is the norm here.  No delis.  So I thought I would just make some.  First thought was the bread machine, but that wasn’t going to give me the crunchy crust I wanted, or the texture.  So to the internet I went.  I found one that promised an artisan crust by being made in a Le Creuset Dutch oven  (about $249.00) that had been heated before cooking.

Hmmmm…good idea.  I made it, and it turned out good, a little flat, not quite the “rise” I wanted AND it took 18 hours of sitting time.  I don’t have 18 hours to wait, or I don’t have 18 hours to plan ahead…so I kept looking.  I found more recipes, using varying techniques and finally combined them to come up with this, perfectly lovely, crusty, artisan loaf of rye bread.

if you don’t have the rye, you don’t have the Reuben

 

 

The Ingredients List

Not much to the ingredients list. Flour(s), salt, yeast, caraway seeds and warm water.

 

 

Water: 

You want it warm, not hot. About 100º which is only slightly warmer then your body temperature. So you could use a thermometer, or just put your finger in the water. If it feels slightly warm to you, it’s good to go.

Yeast:

To insure your yeast is good, you should always proof it. I like to use jarred yeast, which I keep in the refrigerator. But even with the date on it, one cannot be sure if it is alive or not. While this recipe uses no sugar in it, the best way to proof yeast is to mix a small amount of yeast along with a pinch of sugar in some warm water. Within a few minutes you should see some vigorous bubble action.  If you don’t, your yeast is dead and must be replaced.

If alive, proceed.

If dead, buy new.

Flour(s):

As I state in the recipe, you can use any type of flour you wish to, just know that each type will react differently and absorb the water differently. The key to the dough is to have a loose, shaggy dough. Shaggy dough means a “wet” dough.

My preferred flour for this recipe is bread flour mixed with the rye. Bread flour is softer, and has more protein, which gives a more chewy texture. All-purpose white and whole-wheat flours also work well. Whole wheat, of course, would give the bread an even firmer texture, and a denser loaf then all-purpose white does, and requires more water. So watch the dough and add water if it seems dry.

Remember, a wet, shaggy dough.

 

 

Once your dough is ready, cover it with plastic wrap, put a towel over the top, and place it in a warm, draft free location to rise for about 3 hours.

Your rise time may vary depending on the temperature. The ideal temperature to rise dough is around 85º F. Since most of us don’t keep our kitchens that warm, you may need to place the bowl under a light, near a furnace register, or, as I do, use the proofing setting on your oven. A cooler room temperature will only cause the dough to rise slower, so if that’s the case, just let it sit for another hour or so until it has doubled in volume.

 

 

After the dough has risen 3 hours, (or as needed) it should have doubled in size. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and make certain you get lots of flour on your fingers. Turn the dough a few times, and then form into a ball, sealing the bottom as best you can. Cover with plastic wrap, throw the towel over, and let the dough rest on the counter while your “oven” heats up in the oven.

 

 

When making this Quick No Knead Crusty Rye Bread, I used my Mario Batali enameled Dutch oven (about $99.00). This pot does all the work as Le Cruset, but at half the cost. That’s just smart shopping.

And cooking.

After all, my bread doesn’t care if it’s being cooked in a ‘name brand’ pot.

But do remember after 30 minutes in a 450º oven that pan is HOT! Use extreme caution when removing the pot from the oven, removing the top AND dropping the dough into the pot.

Try to drop the dough as close to the center of the pot as you can, but if you don’t make it exactly in the center, don’t panic. It will be o.k. I’ve even had drops that were more side drops then center drops, and the loaf turned out fine.

Do not try to move the dough once you have dropped it. Not only is it too hot for you to be putting your hands inside that pot, but the dough will stick. So just leave it where it falls. Cover and stick in the oven to cook for 30 minutes, then remove the cover, again, very carefully, and bake for about 10 minutes more, or until a thermometer registers 200º, or, use the old fashioned knock on the bread method. If it sounds hollow, it’s done.

Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!

 



LindySez:  Heating your enameled Dutch oven empty in a hot oven will, over time, discolor the inside enamel coating. While unsightly, it will not affect the pot’s performance.

 


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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Judy Miranda on February 15, 2013

    Your crusty bread recipe looks yummy. But, any chance your can use a darker font on your site? The gray is hard to read. Maybe a shade darker. Thanks.

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on February 15, 2013

      Hi Judy, I’ll check with my designer.

        Reply
    • posted by LindySez on February 15, 2013

      Judy…done…hope it helps…

        Reply
  2. posted by Jon on August 10, 2013

    Yep! A winner loaf I made…Last Saturday. This is only my third attempt ever at making a rye bread (or any bread) The 1st 2 attempts using other recipes/methods was a bust. First loaf was more of a cannonball, Second loaf was more like pita. And then this loaf? Voila! It worked ! and it did not make it thru last Sunday’s breakfast. So guess what I am doing right now?

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on August 10, 2013

      Thanks for the comment Jon and so glad it worked out. Yep, fresh warm bread from the oven is just heavenly! Cheers ~ Lindy

        Reply
  3. posted by Emily on January 26, 2014

    I have made this three times now as rye bread. It’s simple, foolproof, largely hands-off, and tastes great. Will try in the future as white bread!

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on January 26, 2014

      Thanks for stopping by Emily. I know, huh? And with what they charge in the grocery stores for good crusty bread, it’s a bargain to boot! Cheers ~ Lindy

        Reply
  4. posted by Joanne on February 2, 2014

    What would be the alternative if you don’t have an enameled Dutch Oven?

    Thank you,
    Joanne

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on February 2, 2014

      Hi Joanne, If you don’t have an enameled Dutch oven, I think a well seasoned cast iron Dutch oven would work. It needs to be very thick to hold the heat so no thin sided pot would work unfortunately. ~ Cheers

        Reply
    • posted by Donna on March 18, 2016

      Hi, just made it with an old smaller version crockpot insert. It is only 6″ diameter on the bottom and just the right size for a loaf of bread. If I can I will post a pix of it. Came out great on my first attempt. Followed the instructions with no deviations.

        Reply
      • posted by LindySez on March 18, 2016

        Wow! Just the insert with a glass lid? That is so cool, and goes to show, unless one thinks out of the box, one will never know if it works or not. thanks so much for sharing. Cheers ~ Lindy

          Reply
  5. posted by Cher on February 4, 2014

    I love bread and am always looking for a great bread recipe! Thank you so much for sharing, Linda!

      Reply
  6. posted by Jessica on February 4, 2014

    Looks yummy! Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  7. posted by Elle on February 6, 2014

    Is there anything you can’t do Linda? You impress the heck out of me.

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on February 6, 2014

      I don’t make homemade pasta…yet…

        Reply
  8. posted by Ed on March 16, 2014

    I tried the rye and it came out very dense. I prefer a rye with a chewy crust and very light inside. Any ideas?

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on March 16, 2014

      Hi Ed, I’m sorry your’s didn’t turn out so well, mine was very crusty and light, not dense at all. All I can think is the pot wasn’t hot enough before you put the dough in, or the dough wasn’t shaggy enough, maybe added a bit too much flour trying to make it look like regular bread dough? It’s a fairly loose dough. Other than that, I’m not sure. I hope you try it again. If you do, let me know how it works out for you. Cheers ~ Lindy

        Reply
  9. posted by Mary Ann on September 13, 2014

    Hi Lindy,

    Do you have to slash the top of the loaf before your put it in the oven?

    Mary Ann

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on September 13, 2014

      Nope, just plop and drop. It does the rest on its own. Cheers ~ Lindy

        Reply
  10. posted by Scott on October 29, 2014

    I’ve heard that in order to get a “crusty” bread, the secret is to pour a small amount of water in the bottom of the oven at some point to create steam. Is this what the covered pot does?

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on October 30, 2014

      Hi Scott…I’ve read that too. I think that with the dough being a little more ‘wet’ to start and the hot environment from the hot heavy pot, which probably creates steam, it works the same. All I can really say is, it works and this bread makes a nice crusty top.

        Reply
  11. posted by Dina on November 23, 2014

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I will try. Do you think subsituting room temperature kefir for some of the water would result in an acceptable loaf. thank you

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on November 23, 2014

      Dina, to be honest, I’m not sure. Not sure why you would want to do that either…but if you do do it, please report back on how it turned out. I’m very curious to find out. Cheers ~ Lindy

        Reply
  12. posted by Scott on November 24, 2014

    Made my first loaf today. It was pretty good but a bit dense. Maybe I didn’t heat the pot enough? Without sugar, what activates the yeast? Mine didn’t rise much but I let it sit in a giant bowl and it just sort of spread out.

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on November 27, 2014

      Hi Scott. Sorry your first effort wasn’t exactly right. I think heating the pot properly is a key element to making the dough rise, it’s pretty wet, so I think the “steam” it creates in the pot is what gives it that lift. And you are right, normally you would put yeast and sugar together but in this recipe, that I researched well, it doesn’t have any. I hope you try again! Cheers

        Reply
      • posted by Katherine on April 22, 2015

        Lindy,
        I think some of your readers may be having trouble with this bread because I noticed you listed active dry yeast as opposed to instant yeast, which is what is typically used in no-knead doughs because instant yeast doesn’t require that sugar starter. Also, the hot water may actually be killing the yeast.
        Hope that helps.

          Reply
        • posted by LindySez on April 22, 2015

          Hi Katherine, Well, I do use an active dry yeast in the bread dough, Fleishmann’s Active Dry Yeast to be specific and their recommendation is for the water to be at between 100 and 110º F… I did review other no knead recipes for other types of breads and found that they did not use sugar either. I think that flour, humidity, elevation, may be more of the influence for the failures…or they might just be adding too much flour to compensate for the shaggy wet dough. It’s hard to tell when one is not in the kitchen with them right? Thanks for your interest and comments.

            Reply
  13. posted by Corene on February 15, 2015

    I’ve attempted this recipe twice now and followed it down to the letter, including measuring the temperature of the water. My dough never really rises and the loaves, while tasty, are very very dense. I am not sure what I am doing wrong. What constitutes “shaggy” dough? Also, you say the dough is sticky, but mine really isn’t. It’s actually kind of dry. But, if I add more water, it is not “shaggy.” Could you perhaps post a photo of what the dough is suppose to look like before and after it proofs? Thanks!

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on February 16, 2015

      Hi Corene, I’m so sorry your bread isn’t working for you. I don’t know exactly what the problem might be, but it could be the flour. I use King Arthur flour which is very soft, a harder flour might absorb more of the water? My dough was very wet, shaggy meaning that it looked almost not dough like at all, but more like drop biscuit dough (I guess it’s hard to explain in words). I’ve been meaning to make a video of this recipe, so I guess it’s high time I get it done.

        Reply
  14. posted by Katherine on April 23, 2015

    Fascinating! I’ve never been able to get a bread to rise with ADY and no sugar. I stumbled upon your recipe because I was checking to see if one needs to make any other adjustments to the basic no-knead recipe for rye bread (I’ve been making it with red fife wheat so far). I used instant yeast just let mine ferment overnight and it rose beautifully, but noticed that it really didn’t rise the second proof. I’ts in the oven now so I’m now REALLY curious to see how it turns out!

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on April 23, 2015

      Let me know how it turns out! I made it a several times, and find variances but nothing dramatic. Fermenting overnight will give it a bit more sour flavor from what I’ve read, but it should still be good. Cheers!

        Reply
  15. posted by Katherine on April 23, 2015

    Hmmm… results were interesting!
    Didn’t rise much in the oven, and it took an extra 15 min to bake. The result was surprisingly light though. I’m tempted to try your 3 hr proof method right now so I can do a side-by-side comparison.

      Reply
  16. posted by Galen on May 18, 2015

    Let me start off by saying that I do not have a heavy cast iron enameled Dutch oven to cook in but rather a thin walled steel enameled pot so I was up against the odds. However what I did have was a pizza stone that was fairly thick so I pre-heated the thin walled pot resting on top of the pizza stone. In the end it came out fabulous. The pizza stone (just a large unglazed tile from the local landscaping supply store) radiated the heat and kept the temp high. Using the recipe as directed, it came out fairly great. Nice crust and the texture was less chewy which is better with a ‘wetter than usual’ dough. This may be due to the 3 hr rise time rather than the 12 – 18 hr no kneed recipes where gluten has more time to develop but you will not miss it. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Here in Spain cast iron is not easy nor cheap to come by. On a side note, I plopped my dough into the pot very clumsily and it fell awkwardly lop sided, not at all like I wanted it to. Still came out beautiful and rustic. If people complain about a dense or tough loaf, you may wish to replace your yeast as when some of it dies, it impedes the ability to create CO2 if not enough survived to keep going.

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on May 18, 2015

      I’m so glad it worked, and yes, even if you don’t get the dough in exactly right, which is hard when the pot is so hot, it does work itself out. I know how difficult and expensive pots can be, especially in Spain and Italy. I love some of the cookware you have that is hard to come by here in the states. Thanks for writing. Cheers ~ Lindy

        Reply
  17. posted by Moxi on July 11, 2015

    Great recipe – This is basically the same recipe I’ve been using for years. My German Hubby loves his rye bread! I use regular old Fleischmann’s ADY, and a 10″ Lodge cast iron dutch oven (no feet, for conventional ovens). One quick tip that I haven’t seen mentioned, is that after kneading into a ball, I place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper and set it in a large Pyrexmixing bowl (9″ dia) for the second rise. I just trim off any overhanging paper (corners) and cover the bowl. The bowl helps keep the round shape, and the parchment makes it easier and safer to transfer the loaf to and from the hot Dutch oven. Just be sure the brand of parchment can stand the higher oven temps.

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on July 13, 2015

      Thanks for stopping by Moxi…I like the parchment paper idea, it’s always kind of intimidating dropping the ball of dough into the hot pot, so I will try it next time I make this recipe. Cheers ~ Lindy

        Reply
  18. posted by Nicole on November 15, 2015

    This is great! Tried it today. Super crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. Next time I’ll add more caraway.

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on November 16, 2015

      So glad you stopped by Nicole. I like extra caraway sometimes too. It’s so easy to add your own personal touches. Cheers – Lindy

        Reply
  19. posted by angela clark on December 4, 2015

    What size Dutch oven you have to use?

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on December 4, 2015

      Angela – The one I usually use is 10 inches across the top, but I’ve used a larger one and slightly smaller one as well. I also have used an oblong pot. As long as the bread does not touch the sides once you place it inside the pot, I think you would be good to go. Cheers ~ Lindy

        Reply
  20. posted by vodik on December 6, 2015

    Thank you for the recipe. Made rye bread, everybody loved it.
    Have tow questions.
    1. I wonder what is approximate diameter of your fully cooked loaf.
    Mine was about 6.5 inches.
    2. Did you ever try to increase proportionally amount of ingredients.

    Thanks.

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on December 7, 2015

      Hi Vodik, funny, I never measured my loaf, but I would say that is about right, somewhere around 7 inches is what I think.I’ll pay more attention next time 🙂 I have never increased the ingredients to make a bigger loaf. Since there is always room in the Dutch oven I don’t think (that’s a think) space would be a problem, but cooking time would have to be adjusted. Let me know if you try it, and how it turns out. Cheers ~ Lindy

        Reply
  21. posted by Sharon on January 5, 2016

    You use only part rye flour? how would it turn out if you used all rye flour? Might the flavor be too intense?

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on January 5, 2016

      Hi Sharon, and thanks for the question…I think it’s a good ratio of rye flavor, but I suppose if you wanted it more so you could increase the amount of rye flour. My rye and all-purpose have about the same texture, but I’m not sure if the loaf would be denser using more of the rye flour. If you do this, let me know how it turns out! Cheers ~ Lindy

        Reply
      • posted by JL on January 14, 2017

        Cooking is chemistry, whether one realizes it or not. One has to understand what is going on.
        Rye flour has NO gluten to make it rise. It is my understanding that if you want a brick instead of a loaf of bread, you’d only use rye flour.
        I use King Arthur Flour Bread flour–has a higher protein content as my secondary flour to supply the gluten. The quality of the flour product depends upon the quality of the seed, where it’s grown, etc. Used quality flours affects how the bread rises, as well as tastes.
        These are informative books my kitchen has:
        1) The Baking Book–by Lloyd Moxon; Culinary Arts Institute
        2) Cookwise–by Shirley O. Corriher
        30 How Cooking Works–by Sylvia Rosenthal and Fran Shinagel
        4) The Bread Bible–by Rose Levy Beranbaum
        Hope the above gets everyone on the path to enlightenment.

          Reply
        • posted by LindySez on January 17, 2017

          I agree about the flour, I did some experiments with the flour(s) and found some rather surprising results, bread flour does make the bread a bit softer, but it’s still a dense bread, so if one is looking for “light and fluffy” this is not it. But Rye flour does contain gluten (Rye is one of the three gluten grains. It contains a protein called secalin, which is a form of gluten.) Cheers

            Reply
  22. posted by Gramma Di on January 10, 2016

    My daughter has been experimenting with lots of different breads and passed this recipe on to me……….SO glad she did. We love, love, love this bread. I am making my second one as I write and can’t wait to eat some. This time I doubled the caraway seeds because I love them so much. Hope it wasn’t a mistake. Thank you!

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on January 10, 2016

      Thank you so much for stopping by and letting me know you loved the bread…I say caraway away to your own taste and delish…sometimes I add more too.

      Cheers

        Reply
  23. posted by Poryb on January 14, 2016

    I am waiting on the pot to heat in the oven, but I timed it so I could put the dough directly in after shaping it past the first rise. Am I supposed to let it rise a second time for 30 minutes?

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on January 14, 2016

      Hi Poryb, I happen to be on-line so I can answer you right away…the pot needs about 30 minutes to fully heat, the dough should be ready at about the same time, so I think you are good to go. Once the pot has heated, toss the ball in and close it up…it should finish in the pot…cheers – Lindy

        Reply
      • posted by Poryb on January 14, 2016

        Wow! Such service! I think I wasn’t clear, though. The first rise is 3 hours. After 2.5 hours I put the empty pot in the oven. Because I thought I could put the dough directly in the pot after shaping. But, it seems from your comment and the original recipe that the dough is meant to rise 30 minutes after shaping. Is this correct? As it is, I’ve decided to let it rise 30 minutes, just in case. But, I still want to hear your thoughts. Thanks, Lindy!

          Reply
        • posted by LindySez on February 2, 2016

          Yes, you were right. You want to wait until the dough has been shaped, then stick the pot in the oven, so I guess in saying that, it would have a “second” rise. Just not as long as the first rise. OK? Is that as clear as mud?…how did it turn out since it seems you did it the right way…

            Reply
  24. posted by Virginia Burgess on April 3, 2016

    What a fabulous recipe!! Have made many times… feel like a pro (but it is sooo easy!) Thank you so much for this.
    Wholemeal flour used… loved the taste! Used a pottery dish with aluminium foil as a lid… worked perfectly! 🙂

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on April 3, 2016

      Virginia, thank you so much for taking the time to not only comment, but share how you cooked the bread. It’s nice for everyone to know there are options if they don’t have the exact right equipment. I’m so glad it worked! Cheers ~ Lindy

        Reply
  25. posted by Gramma Di on June 28, 2016

    I love this recipe VERY much and made it often but I would like to be able to print it but it doesn’t seem possible. Any way that could be an option? Sometimes our interest connection is out and I can’t access the recipe. Hope you can help.
    Thanks in advance

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on June 28, 2016

      Hey Gramma Di, thanks for the kind words. You should be able to print the recipe by hitting the print icon at the bottom of the recipe post, or now also at the top. It’s an icon that is light green and looks like it has a raindrop on it? Hope that helps. Cheers and enjoy the bread. ~ Lindy

        Reply
  26. posted by Mary P. Brown on August 7, 2016

    Unfortunately two fails – one a cannonball the other flat – though the flat one was tasty 🙂 I don’t know what went wrong. I have been making NK sourdough bread for years. This was my first time using rye flour…… I don’t know, but I will give it another go. 🙂

      Reply
    • posted by LindySez on August 7, 2016

      I am so sorry to hear this…rye flour shouldn’t make that much difference, except for in flavor…I’m thinking perhaps your yeast was dead? Did you proof it? Anyway…I do hope you try again as there have been many successes including my own when making this recipe. Let me know if you get the result you want. Cheers ~ Lindy

        Reply
      • posted by Mary Lou on August 22, 2016

        Some of the comments are overlapping and cannot be read. Please check. I have made this style of bread with great success. I am now trying the rye version!

          Reply
        • posted by LindySez on August 22, 2016

          Hi Mary Lou, thanks for writing. I know this, it happened when we converted to responsive design and while I can cook, I can’t figure out how to fix this issue. Hope the bread turned out well! Cheers ~ Lindy

            Reply

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