Basic No-knead Bread
Updated: Dec 24, 2020
This no-fuss, no-knead but insanely fluffy, chewy, bread is super simple to make. This bread requires no kneading, as the key ingredient here is time - at least an overnight proof. Simply, bring the ingredients together in a bowl then leave it to slowly ferment overnight. The next day you’ll be enamoured by the golden, chewy, and fluffy loaf!
2 cups of lukewarm water
1 heaped tablespoon of honey (or caster sugar)
2 teaspoons of dried instant yeast
4 cups strong bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons of salt (I use Maldon)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
optional: nuts, seeds or cornmeal to sprinkle over loaf
Fill a measuring jug with 2 cups of lukewarm water, add honey and yeast and set aside for 5 minutes for the yeast to bloom.
In a large bowl combine flour, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Add the cups of water, and stir with a knife until combined. Turn the dough out onto a chopping board or bench top and mix with your hands for 1 minute or until the dough comes together and is smooth.
Oil the sides of the original bowl then add the dough back to the bowl and cover with cling wrap or a clean tea towel. Let dough rest overnight at room temperature in a non-drafty spot, sometimes I leave mine for up to 24 hours but if you can’t do overnight do at least 12 hours.
Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured chopping board and fold it over on itself once or twice, shape it into a round ish shape (if you are using a Dutch oven) or rectangle if you are using a loaf pan. Cover the dough with a sprinkling of flour and tea towel then let it rest for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 210°C fan forced (or 230°C/ 450°F). Place your Dutch oven (including the lid) or loaf pan into the oven to heat while the dough proofs.
After an hour or so the dough should be almost doubled in size, if it hasn’t let it rest 20 minutes longer. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the Dutch oven or loaf pan (it will be very hot) from the oven. Quickly turn dough into the pot and give it a little shake to spread it out if need be. Sprinkle over nuts, cornmeal, or seeds if you are using.
Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, so that the bread becomes crusty and golden.
Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and enjoying with butter or more olive oil.