On Feb 12, 2021 I decided to post my grandmas 3 ingredient no knead peasant bread. I hit the publish button on TikTok not realizing I would wake up to 15 million+ views. I couldn’t believe that a bread as simple as this would become a trend and everyone on the internet would start sharing it. Truth is, she was my best friend for 32 years of my life and someone who filled my heart with more love than anyone on this planet. Although I lost my best friend on Nov 13 2020, she is someone who has made a forever imprint in my heart. This bread was called “selski hliab” in my language which translates to “village or peasant bread”. My grandma was also one out of ten children who worked tirelessly to provide for her siblings, and when you come from a poor country, or don’t have as much, you know you can always rely on a few basic ingredients such as flour, salt, water, and yeast. If you had these few staples, your bellies were always full, happy, and you were able to feed a lot of people on a very modest income. Bulgaria was also under communism from 1946-1989 so many ingredients weren’t as available to us but a fresh loaf of baked bread was something that will forever be cherished in my family. This overnight peasant bread has been shared with so much laughter, tears, and holds some of the best memories of my life. Although there are many peasant bread variations, I hope this one brings you as much joy as it has to me.
My Grandmas No Knead Peasant Bread
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (413 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt (5 grams)
- ½ teaspoon active dry yeast (3 grams)
- 1 ¾ cups warm water (400 ml)
- additional flour for dusting the counter and top of the bread
- Mix the dry ingredients 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.
- 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 flour the counter. Pour the dough out onto the counter and generously 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 minutes later, UNCOVER it, and bake for another 25-30 minutes. The bake time will depend on your oven so keep an eye on it. Total bake time will be one hour from the moment you place the bread in the oven.
- 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.
Hi-so set the first timer for 30min when you turn the overnight on?
I have never made bread before until I found this recipe. I’ve always felt intimidated making anything that required yeast and flour. Not only was this recipe easy to follow with her spot on instructions but the results are so satisfying knowing you made it yourself from scratch. Crispy golden crust and warm delicious pillowy goodness inside. This has been my go to bread all thru out Covid.
Aw my heart ! Appreciate it more than you know
I bought a new Pioneer woman cast iron dutch oven. It says not to go over 400. Should I try for 450 or can I cook it at 400?
I would follow the instructions of the pan but just keep an eye on the bread and the baking time
I have always wanted to learn how to make bread. After some unsuccessful tryouts, I found The Modern Nonna in Tiktok and gave this recipe a try. This was A MA ZING. I have done this bread a lot of times and it always end up great and tasty. Then I followed her and now I am such a fan! 😀
So incredibly happy Nora, thank you for leaving feedback ♥️
I doubt the recipe do I have to bake it in two loaves or 1
This recipe is meant for one loaf.
This was my first time making bread. I followed the instructions exactly, bought new yeast and new flour and even took the temp off my water. I let it rise in a cold oven overnight but it didn’t seem to rise very much and looked like it had a crust on top, even though I covered it with a towel. I turned it out on flour and added a little on top so I could shape it but it still seemed a little loose. Followed all the cooking directions and it looked good when it came out but the top was very hard, not flaky like in the video and the bottom crust was even harder. And even though the top was nice and golden the bread doesn’t looked completely cooked in the middle. It tasted good but what did I do wrong to make the crusts so hard and how do you tell when it’s done all the way thru. Thanks
for a first time that’s amazing! I don’t want you to give up because with each time you WILL get better and better. I would recommend covering it with plastic wrap and then a towel on top because the dough most likely got dry and air came into it if it developed a crust before it was even baked. I think what went wrong was something during the rise process. Next time when you cover it please use a big bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap so that it seals and no additional air comes in. Please try and let me know
Wow wow wow, i am in LOVE witht his bread. I saw this on pinterest while laying in bed last night, and said “oh thats easy that’ll take me like 5 min to prep” woke up this morning, took 10 more minutes to set everything up, and an hour later, i had FRESH AWESOME BREAD. I’ve tried making bread before in the past, and failed miserably, like super bad. This turned out exactly how bread should turn out. I will forever use this.
OMG SOOOO HAPPY
Very easy recipe to make. Like the crustiness of the outside will most definitely make again. Also want to try using whole-wheat flour
Can I put this in a loaf pan?
It should work but I haven’t tried yet
This bread is so good and EASY! Thank you for giving me the confidence to jump into bread making!! Sharing this recipe with everyone I know!
Thank you Katie, so happy you loved it
Yeast doughs always scare me, but I had to give this bread a try. I used rapid raise yeast and it came out perfect. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
So glad you loved it Andrea
Forgot to rate!
Thanks Katie. No worries at all
This looks great. Would it work if you made into small rolls instead of a loaf?
Hi there 🙂 I haven’t tried but it should absolutely work if you bake it for less time. I am thinking 15 covered and 10-15 uncovered but I wouldn’t know until I try.
My oven took 15 minutes to preheat. So is that half the 30 minutes covered or do I start the timer once it’s fully preheated?
You don’t preheat the oven. NO pre-heating at ALL. Please read my notes and description.
Hello, If the dough triples in size in less than 5 hours, would it be ok to move on to the next step (baking) or should I wait for the 5 hour mark? My dough more than tripled in 1.5 hours. Thank you!!!
Hi Carrie, you absolutely can. Waiting longer does develop better flavor and crust though. I wonder if you used quick rise yeast?
Really only 1/2 teaspoon yeast? Doesn’t seem like enough.
Hi hun! Yep only 1/2 teaspoon. Trust the process 🙂
This came out awesome next time I am going to sprinkle the top with everything bagel seasoning before baking.
Or you can check out my no knead olive bread or no knead cheddar bread! It can be filled with so many different options too.
I tried 3 times with new active dry yeast and tried dissolving it in the 1 3/4 cup water but it’s still not working? Date on yeast says February 2024? Can someone help me?
Hi Kellie. Is the water too hot or too cold? Should be 100-110F. You can try adding a teaspoon of sugar to the water to help it out.
Yes I am in the same boat. Made sure water was in the range used new active dry yeast and it’s just a wet mess. I’ll try with sugar and see….
Hii. Can I use bread flour instead of all purpose?
Definitely can 🙂
Sounds delicious! When do you start timing the first 30 minutes – after you put the bread in the oven and turn it on or once it reaches 450F ? Thanks!
Bread goes in the oven, oven gets turned on and timer starts right away. 30 minutes covered and 30 uncovered. Total of one hour
My bread has come out super dense and heavy. What mistake could I have made pls advise? I want to get this right.
I let it proof for 3 hrs only as it tripled in size quite fast. I live in dubai so it’s quite warm here already.
I’ve used new packets of flour and instant yeast too.
Also your loaf had a very nice golden color, did you brush the top with something before baking?
In your video when mixing your flour you put two brownish color powders, what was that ?
Thanks so so much.
Please make the bread at night and let it rest overnight. Make sure you stir the ingredients into a big bowl so that it has room to rise. Please make it again and let me know. I didn’t brush the loaf with anything. All the ingredients are listed in the recipe above. Water, yeast, flour and salt. That’s it
The dough comes out too sticky after it rises for me I can’t shape it on the counter with flour it all gets stuck.I just throw it in the pan and The bread comes out good.
Hi love, generously flour the top and bottom, quickly shape it and put it in the pan. Try that next time 🙂
I started mixing the recipe around 2:30 in the afternoon. If I let it sit until the next morning, is that too long?
Should be okay to bake Gail BUT sometimes it can overproof or become sour. Let me know
Hey! I tried this and did the over night rise in the oven. It tripled in size everything was going good and it looks great but the inside is raw and gummy any ideas why?
Maybe it wasn’t baked enough. The inside should be super soft
I used wax paper instead of parchment and it stuck to the bread!! Otherwise it came out amazing!
yes wax paper is not meant for ovens it will melt. Definitely use parchment paper next time
Thanks so much! My kiddos loved this bread. Confidence booster too since it was pretty easy to make.
Aw yay Ingrid! Proud of you
Can you use bread flour? Does that change the recipient?
Should totally work the exact same way 🙂 update me when you make it
i’ve tried this bread twice. The first time it didn’t seem like it rises enough after 5 hours but I baked it anyway. It was heavy and gummy on the inside. The second time I bought new yeast and tried again. After overnight rise it still barely doubled in size. After baking again it was too heavy and gummy inside. What am I doing wrong? Is 1/2 tsp of yeast enough?
If it didn’t rise that means something is happening with the yeast. This is what you should try: try activating the yeast in the warm water with a teaspoon of sugar first. If it foams up, you can add it to the flour and salt. Just mix the WARM water + yeast + tsp sugar in a bowl and let it sit. If it foams up it means it’s activated and GOOD. If it doesn’t, you need to start this step all over as the bread won’t rise. Make sure you cover it well with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place away from drafts like the oven or a cupboard to rise. Please try this method and let me know
What size quart pan do you use?
So the size doesn’t matter as long as the loaf fits. I have used really big ones and some smaller ones as well.
Can you share the link of the baking dish you use?
Hi hun I have to find it but it should be linked in my Amazon store. It’s called a corning ware oval dish. Mine is over a decade old
I don’t see it in the Amazon store.
I will look and see if I can find it as mine is over a decade old.
Ok linked it for you! It’s there in both stores now
Do you line the whole pan and sides with parchment paper or just throw bottom?
Just the bottom 🙂
Here we go again!!!!
Another absolutely incredible recipe. The crisp of this bread is unreal, not to mention you cannot stop eating it once you have started when it’s fresh out of the oven.
One more perfection to add!
Thank you Taz 🙂
I baked this bread this morning. It’s a delicious bread. I already regret that I didn’t make 2 right away. From now on my favorite bread recipe
Sandra, from The Netherlands
I baked this bread this morning. It’s a delicious bread. I already regret that I didn’t make 2 right away. From now on my favorite bread recipe.
Sandra, the Netherlands
Hi – I made your bread from your tik til recipe (it makes two loaves). I will have to wait for my oven to cool before I bake the next one. What do I do with it while I’m waiting for the other load to cook?
Hi hun can you bake them at the same time?
Can I use a stand mixer to mix it ? With what attachment ?
I made this recipe this weekend, so good! I was scared because of how simplistic it is, but it was amazing. Question- what is the best way to store it?
Cover it really well once cooled and store on the counter.
This is by far the easiest, most delicious bread I’ve ever made. Thanks for sharing!
YAY thanks for the feedback Heather! You are always so sweet
Hi! your recipe looks great but
if I double the measurements does the cooking time change?
if you double it, you will have to split the dough in half and make TWO loaves. The time will remain the same.
Hi! When you say “very hot climate”, what temperature do you mean? My definition of “very hot” is different from someone else’s. I live in SEA. It averages about 29-34°C; is this considered very hot? Excited to try this recipe!
Hi beautiful yes it’s exactly what I meant but you can keep an eye on it and once the bowl is full or the dough has tripled, you can bake it. You may need to experiment with the rise times depending on the climate.
Hi, this is great bread recipe and I love the story behind it. When cooking in my younger years, I would ask my maman, how much. She would say “à peu près “ which means “roughly” so similar cooking measurements made for great food./Thank you very much for bringing this beautiful experience/ recipes to our homes (from Montréal, Québec, Canada)
HI my friend, oh my goodness that is SO SO SWEET! Thank you for sharing. Definitely warmed my heart
Hi. I made this bread last week with pizza yeast as that was all I had. Turned out very well. Made some tonight with the proper yeast. Turned out even better. Will try the cheese bread next. My husband was so happy with the bread.
Ruby so sweet of you to leave me such a nice rating and review. Thank you so much
Hey Nonna! I’ve made this bread now 3 times and the ride tripled in size yet when I bake, it comes out with a crust that’s hard as a rock! I’ve tried activating the yeast, have used a thermometer for the water to make sure of the temp, what am I doing wrong?! Still tastes amazing it just has a crust like a baguette and not like your video. Thanks for any advice!
Hi Bria, I wonder if it’s overbaked? I wish I could see 🙁
WOW, I’ve tried many different bread recipes, this one is my fav so far. Couldn’t stop eating!
Make it exactly as shown here…..trick is def not turning on oven until after you place in the oven. I was also so tempted to let it rise again, but didn’t, turned out perfect ….and made it twice now. Easiest bread recipe I know!
Hi Lori! Thank you for the kind words. So happy the bread was amazing
So delicious!! Its crunchy on the outside and so soft on the inside! I couldn’t help myself…. I had two pieces with butter while it was still warm. So easy to make and so tasty! I mixed it last night around 10pm and baked it at 9am this morning. Will definitely be making it again this Sunday for Easter with my family. I come from a Portuguese family full of bakers. My mom always made delicious bread… the old fashioned way…. kneading, kneading. I have two bad shoulders so it was difficult to make bread. Now I can!! Thank you!
such a kind review. Thanks love
Sorry if asked already, Can I halve the recipe?
Hi Sanjeeta, the recipe is right here on my website
My dear Nonna I am completely beside myself. For years, I have dreamed of making bread at home, but I was always intimidated by the process. I am late to your party, but luckily found this recipe you have shared with the world and I have made this bread 3 times in the last week! Your videos, blog and content are all on point to say the very least. Please know that you have changed our lives with your love of cooking. Thank you for sharing your recipes with all of us to enjoy. I wish I found your work sooner <3.
this made my eyes water and tugged at my heart! Your words mean so much to me, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Help! I tried to make this twice, but after proofing it and using some flour. It is still so sticky, it doesn’t shape up like in your video. That in the end it’s like a blob and I am afraid to keep adding flour as it may change consistency. What am I doing wrong or how much flour is too much just to get it to shape into an oval and smooth like your video? Thanks in advance.
for most accurate results please weigh the ingredients on a scale. The dough should be sticky, it should be dusted with flour and gently shaped and transferred right away into a baking dish.
My bread did not rise past 3”. It fluffed and there were bubbles and I’ve made sourdough breads with all sorts of flavors before. I baked it anyway and still, flat and hard. I had new yeast and good flour. Used a thermometer for temp and scale for dry ingredients. Not sure what went wrong. It proofed for 9hrs.
Hi Jen, it’s really hard for me to tell but sometimes the yeast is bad even if it’s new. please proof it if that’s the case before you add it in. I hope you try again
Is the parchment paper a necessity? I don’t have any.
It’s there so that it doesn’t stick. I haven’t tried making this bread without it
What would cause my bread to crack on top during the covered baking period?
I am using an Emile Henry loaf pan
Hi Anna, what was the end result like? Should be normal as it expands but it shouldn’t have altered the taste/texture