Grandmas No Knead Olive Bread

This no knead olive bread is crispy on the outside but warm soft and chewy on the inside. My grandma would call this “peasant bread “because it was so simple to make and no measurements were required. Back home everything we make is “to taste” or we look at the consistency. We were raised with using our coffee mugs as measuring spoons and life was so good that way. Every single person in the world can make bread with this recipe. If you are capable of adding 5 ingredients to a bowl and stirring it up, you are capable of making bread. It is so easy and delicious. This recipe makes 1 loaf but feel free to double it.

No knead olive bread

I was taught to bake solely based on consistency "na oko" which means by eye. We neve measured back home. My grandma would use coffee cups and adjust as needed so please add a little bit of water at a time until you have a very thick and sticky dough.  
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 5 hrs
Servings 1 Loaf


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 413 grams
  • 1 teaspoon salt 5 grams
  • ½ teaspoon active dry yeast 2 grams
  • 1 ¾ cups warm water 400ml
  • ½ cup chopped pitted olives 90 grams


  • Mix the dry ingredients + olives in a really big bowl. Add the water and mix with a spatula until you have a sticky dough. The water needs to be between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit (37 to 43 degrees Celsius). If the water is too hot or too cold the yeast will not activate.
  • Note: Make sure the yeast is NOT expired.
  • Cover it and let it rise at room temp for a minimum of 5 hours to overnight. Place the dough somewhere away from drafts like in the microwave, in a cupboard, or in a cold oven.
  • After the dough has tripled in size, uncover it and lightly flour the counter. Pour the dough out onto the counter and sprinkle the top with flour as well.
  • You don’t need to KNEAD it you can just move it around until you have a really nice and soft dough that is no longer sticky and in an oval loaf shape.
  • You can flour the loaf a little more if it still sticks to your hands. Place the loaf into ANY oven safe dish lined with parchment paper. Put a lid on, and place it in a cold oven (oven which is NOT preheated).
  • Turn the oven ON after the bread is inside and turn the temp to 450F (230C). Bake the bread COVERED for 30 minutes. 30 minimum later, UNCOVER it, and bake for another 25-30 minutes. The bake time will depend on your oven so keep an eye on it.
  • The bread is done once it’s light and golden on each side. Let it cool 5-10 minutes and dig in! Enjoy.
  • You can let it cool, wrap it up and store the bread on the counter. This bread is always best served warm the same day.


I was taught to bake solely based on consistency “na oko” which means by eye. We neve measured back home. My grandma would use coffee cups and adjust as needed so please add a little bit of water at a time until you have a very thick and sticky dough. 
Make sure the yeast is NOT expired. 
The water must be warm — not hot, not cold. The water needs to be between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit (37 to 43 degrees Celsius). If the water is too hot or too cold the yeast will not activate.
If you don’t want to add all of the ingredients to the bowl and you want to TEST the yeast first you can add it to a bowl with the warm water separately. If the yeast does not foam up and activate you have to start that step all over. If it foams up, it means it’s active and you can add it to the flour and salt. 
If the dough is too wet, you can always sprinkle in a little more flour and adjust. If it’s way too dry, you can add more warm water a touch at a time
You can use any oven-safe baking dish you have on hand. Mine is a corning ware dish I have had for 20+ years but any dish that can fit a loaf of bread will work
I have not tried making this bread with any other type of yeast as my favorite yeast is active-dry yeast. I like to activate it myself, so I do not waste any of my ingredients. 
Please always scoop the flour into the measuring cup and level off the flour with a knife discarding the excess before adding it to the bowl to have more precise measurements.
I have not tried baking it using foil instead of a lid but it should work. 
You can use whole-wheat flour as well but this bread is more delicious will all-purpose in my opinion. 
If you’re looking for a gluten-free bread recipe please click here No-Knead Gluten-Free Bread – The Modern Nonna
Let it REST for a minimum of 5 hours. I usually leave mine overnight and bake it the following morning. Let it rest at ROOM temp in a warm spot AWAY from drafts. I like to place mine in a cold oven (oven that’s not turned on). 
If you live in a really hot climate, the dough will rise a LOT faster so try to keep it in a cooler room or let it rise for a maximum of 2-3 hours. When it doubles/triples in size you can bake it right away. 
I have NOT baked this recipe in a higher altitude so you will have to experiment and adjust. Please add a little warm water at a time until you have sticky dough. It’s important to look at the consistency.
The dough shouldn’t be WATERY or DRY. It should be thick and sticky
You can use fresh yeast as well as we often did. We didn’t measure but a teaspoon of fresh yeast should be fine. If you use QUICK RISE, you will have to adjust the rest time. Active dry yeast is my favorite yeast to bake with. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
If you love one of my recipes, please leave a review. It would mean so much to me if you did. Thank you for being here and bringing me into your kitchen.

2 Responses

  1. Hello!

    Looking forward to trying..would you mind clarifying a step for me please. When you put in cold oven and heat oven to 450 …do I time it for 30 min from when oven comes up to temp or 30 min from cold


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