No Knead Peasant Bread

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. 

No knead peasant bread by the modern nonna no knead peasant bread

No knead peasant bread by the modern nonna no knead peasant bread

My Grandmas No Knead Peasant Bread

If you are capable of adding a few ingredients to a bowl, you are capable of making bread. This recipe is so easy and delicious. This bread is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. It has a more chewy interior which I absolutely love.
4.36 from 176 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Resting Time 5 hrs
Servings 1 Loaf


  • 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 Ingredients:

  • 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.


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.
I was taught to bake solely based on consistency “na oko” which means by eye. We never 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.
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. 
My oval corning ware dish is linked in both of my AMAZON stores. You can find them on a tab on my website. 
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.

103 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    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.

  2. 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?

  3. 5 stars
    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! 😀

    1. 4 stars
      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

      1. Hi Amy,
        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

  4. 5 stars
    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.

  5. Very easy recipe to make. Like the crustiness of the outside will most definitely make again. Also want to try using whole-wheat flour

  6. 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!

      1. 5 stars
        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.

    1. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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!!!

  9. 4 stars
    This came out awesome next time I am going to sprinkle the top with everything bagel seasoning before baking.

  10. 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?

    1. 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….

  11. 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!

  12. Hi Nonna.
    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.

    1. Hi Mandy,
      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

  13. 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.

  14. I started mixing the recipe around 2:30 in the afternoon. If I let it sit until the next morning, is that too long?

  15. 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?

  16. 5 stars
    Thanks so much! My kiddos loved this bread. Confidence booster too since it was pretty easy to make.

  17. 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?

    1. Hi Debbie,
      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

  18. 5 stars
    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!

  19. 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

  20. 5 stars
    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

  21. 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?

  22. 5 stars
    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?

  23. 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!

    1. 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.

  24. 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)

  25. 5 stars
    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.

  26. 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!

  27. 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!

  28. 5 stars
    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!

  29. 5 stars
    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.

  30. 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.

    1. Hi Sheryl,
      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.

  31. 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.

    1. 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

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