This weekend has been the weekend of a hundred of miracle no knead bread recipes. Well okay, maybe not 100. Maybe more like..5. But still! It has been a lot of trial and error but the no knead bread recipe you’ll find in this post is one that for me, worked a treat.
I have actually won a tenner on this recipe as well. My wife Eleanor usually boasts herself as the baker in the family refused to accept that you could make a perfectly good crusty loaf without kneading the dough. Well, the proof was in the pudding wasn’t it! Well no it was in the loaf but what the hey!
No knead bread has been something I’ve wanted to try for years. Since buying my cast iron casserole actually! I’d seen it years a go on Pinterest but never really took the leap. Well we’re in the middle of lockdown right now in the UK and everyone has been incredibly creative. We managed to (finally!) get hold of yeast which became massively scarce and this was top of my list.
How to make miracle no knead bread
I’ve tried several recipes this weekend. Some involving proofing for 6 hours in a fridge (yeah I was sceptical too) and others involving 12 hours in same said fridge. This recipe along with others however can be done in just a couple of hours. For my first real attempt at making bread, this recipe set a real benchmark for effort and flavour.
This miracle no knead bread recipe is minimal effort with maximum results. Plain flour and salt are mixed together in a large bowl and a beautifully bubbly mixture of activated yeast, sugar and olive oil are added to form a wet sticky dough. A word of warning here, it is VERY sticky!
Letting it prove for an hour lets in nearly triple in size. As this is a no knead bread recipe you don’t actually have to knead it at this point. Turning it out on to a floured board, shaping it and returning it to a very heavily floured bowl or proofing basket for a second rise. That’s the dough done! Easy as pie.
The secret to the perfect crust on this load is baking it in a cast iron casserole. Baking it in a casserole with the lid on traps the steam from the dough in the casserole and it’s that that creates the crust. Baking with the lid on for half an hour and then for 20 minutes without the lid gives you a bread that is golden and artisanal with the most gorgeous hollow thud when you tap the bottom out. I will definitely be making this one again. I wonder how easy it would be to flavour them?
So here it is, the recipe. Go on and have a go! You’ll be as surprised as my Eleanor was.
Miracle No Knead Bread
- 300 ml Warm Water
- 360 g Plain flour
- 2 tsp Active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1.5 tsp salt
- In a large bowl combine your plain flour and your salt. Mix it around to give the salt an even covering.
- in a jug add your sugar and olive oil to warm water. You don't want it too hot as it will kill the yeast and too cold won't revive it enough either!
- Add the yeast, give it a good mix and watch it lovingly for 5 minutes as it starts to bubble in the jug. Take a moment to smell it too. It maybe weird but I love that smell!
- After 5 minutes add the yeast mix to the flour and combine well making sure you get all the bits of flour round the edges. You'll end up with a very wet and sticky dough.
- When combined cover with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave for an hour. It will nearly treble in size
- Add flour to a board and turn out your dough. If you need to use your hands to do this, add flour to the bowl or the areas you'll touch. Try not to knock out too much air from the dough at this point.
- Fold the edges of the dough into the middle, and then turn upside down. Form a ball by turning the dough and shaping it with your hands.
- Turn your oven on to 200°C, Gas mark 6 – Put your casserole in with its lid to warm up.
- Add more flour to a bowl (if you have a proofing basket then great, use that). Add more flour to the dough covering it fully and add it to the bowl. You want to make sure that it's not going to stick to whatever its in. Leave it to prove for another half hour.
- Take some baking paper, enough to line the inside of the casserole and scrunch it into a bowl. Flatten it out and dust with flour.
- Pour your dough from the bowl on to the centre of the baking paper
- Remove your casserole from the oven (remember it will be very hot!) and taking the corners of the baking paper lift the dough into the casserole. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the lid. It will have grown and will be a light golden colour. Bake for a further 20 minutes without the lid.
- When a beautiful golden crust has formed, remove from the casserole and place onto a cooling rack. Tapping the bottom of the bread will give the most beautiful hollow thud sound.
- When it's cool, slice it up, slather it with butter and consume!