No Knead Olive Bread

4.80 from 10 votes

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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 required no measurements. Back home in Bulgaria, we made everything “to taste” or looked at the consistency.

My grandma was one of ten children who worked tirelessly to provide for her siblings. When you come from a poor country or don’t have much, you can always rely on a few basic ingredients such as flour, salt, water, and yeast. With these few staples, your bellies were always full, and you were able to feed a lot of people on a very modest income.

We were raised measuring ingredients using coffee mugs, and life was incredibly simple. Anyone can make bread with this recipe. If you are capable of adding a few simple ingredients to a bowl and stirring it up, you are capable of making bread – it is just that easy!

Why You’ll Love No Knead Olive Bread

🍞 Easy Homemade Bread: Enjoy baking your own bread without the hassle of kneading. This recipe is so beginner-friendly that you can’t mess it up!

🤤 Crispy & Chewy: This bread has a perfectly crispy crust and is warm, soft, and chewy on the inside.

👪 Family-Friendly: Loved by all generations, this bread is a hit with kids and adults.

🌿 Mediterranean Flavor: Chopped olives add a wonderful Mediterranean twist with saltiness and extra flavor.

How To Prepare No Knead Olive Bread

✨ Mix Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour and salt. Add the active dry yeast and warm waterStir until the dough comes together.

🫒 Fold in the Olives: Add in the olives and fold them (or mix) into the dough.

🕐 Cover and Rest: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for a minimum of 5 hours at room temperature. During this time, the dough will rise and develop flavor.

🥖 Shape the Dough: Shape the dough (don’t knead it!) into a round loaf on a floured surface.

🍽️ Bake: Carefully place the dough into an oven-safe dish lined with parchment paper. Cover it with the lid, place it in a ❄️ cold oven, turn the oven on to 450°F (230°C), and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes until the bread is golden brown. The timing will depend on the oven so be sure to keep an eye on it.

🌡️ Cool and Enjoy: Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack (or dig into it hot). Once it’s cooled, slice and savor your homemade olive bread.

Nonna’s Bread Tip

Make sure the yeast is not expired. You can always add the yeast to warm water and let it foam up. When it foams up, it’s active and ready to be used. If it doesn’t foam up, start this step again.

Substitutions and Variations

This Bulgarian-inspired No Knead Olive Bread has deep-rooted traditions. With a bit of creativity, you can make it your own.

  • Flour: You can use whole wheat flour or a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flour for a heartier loaf.
  • Add Herbs and Spices: Enhance the flavor by adding herbs 🌿 like rosemary, thyme, or spices such as garlic powder or onion powder to the dough.
  • Try some seeds and Nuts: Sprinkle sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or chopped nuts (like walnuts or sunflower seeds) on top of the bread before baking for added texture and flavor.
  • Shape Variations: Experiment with different shapes – make rolls, 🥖 baguettes, or even stuffed bread with your favorite fillings.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Use a gluten-free flour 🌾 blend and ensure your yeast is gluten-free if you’re following a gluten-free diet.
  • Use Sourdough Starter: Use one cup of sourdough starter in place of the yeast. Be sure to let it rest and ferment for at least 6 hours.

Best Served With

My No Knead Olive Bread pairs wonderfully with a variety of dishes, including soups and stews, cheese and butter boards, and more. Some of my favorite soups to enjoy with this bread:

Try it With My Favorite Boards

Other No-Knead Recipes

If you like this no knead bread, try some of my others:

Product Image Product Name / Primary Rating / Price Primary Button Description
My Measuring Set
  • Description:

    This is my favorite set. I have had mine for 10 years and need a new one. Highly recommend!

Bread Knife
  • Description:

    A great bread knife is essential. It's perfect for my Focaccia or my No-Knead recipes!

Top Kitchen Item
  • Description:

    I use these bowls for everything in my kitchen. I use them to prep my ingredients, to mix batter or dough in them and so much more!

My Favorite Parchment Paper
  • Description:

    This is the parchment paper that I use for all my recipes!

Nonna's Bread Dish
  • Description:

    This is the exact dish that I use to bake all of my no-knead bread recipes in. Feel free to use a Dutch oven as well if you have one.

Top Gluten-Free Flour Brand
  • Description:

    I use Caputo's gluten-free flour for this recipe, but have heard that this one is just as good.

Favorite Salt
  • Description:

    This is the salt that I have used for years in all my cooking!

My Measuring Set
4.9
$27.99
Description:

This is my favorite set. I have had mine for 10 years and need a new one. Highly recommend!

Bread Knife
4.7
$179.95
Description:

A great bread knife is essential. It's perfect for my Focaccia or my No-Knead recipes!

Top Kitchen Item
4.8
$32.99
Description:

I use these bowls for everything in my kitchen. I use them to prep my ingredients, to mix batter or dough in them and so much more!

My Favorite Parchment Paper
4.8
$10.23$5.49
Description:

This is the parchment paper that I use for all my recipes!

Nonna's Bread Dish
4.9
$64.99$45.99
Description:

This is the exact dish that I use to bake all of my no-knead bread recipes in. Feel free to use a Dutch oven as well if you have one.

Top Gluten-Free Flour Brand
5.0
$16.99 ($16.99 / Count)
Description:

I use Caputo's gluten-free flour for this recipe, but have heard that this one is just as good.

Favorite Salt
5.0
$20.99 ($0.40 / Ounce)
Description:

This is the salt that I have used for years in all my cooking!

03/19/2024 04:26 pm GMT

Common Questions

WHERE CAN I FIND THE BAKING DISH THAT YOU USE?

A similar dish to the one I use in this recipe can be found in my Amazon Storefront and is linked HERE!

WHY IS IT ESSENTIAL FOR THE WATER TEMPERATURE TO BE BETWEEN 100 AND 110 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT?

Maintaining this water temperature range is crucial because it ensures that the yeast activates properly. Water that’s too hot or too cold can hinder yeast activation.

HOW CAN I MEASURE THE CONSISTENCY OF THE DOUGH WHEN TRADITIONAL MEASUREMENTS AREN’T USED?

In this traditional recipe, I encourage you to add water gradually until you achieve a very thick and sticky dough, following the “na oko” or “by eye” method.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M UNSURE WHETHER MY YEAST IS STILL ACTIVE?

To test the yeast’s activity, add it to warm water. If it doesn’t foam up, you’ll need to start with new yeast. Foaming indicates that the yeast is active and is ready to be added to the flour and salt.

WHAT DO I DO IF THE DOUGH TURNS OUT TOO WET OR TOO DRY?

f the dough is too wet, you can sprinkle in a bit more flour to adjust. Conversely, if it’s too dry, add warm water a little at a time until you have a tacky dough.

CAN I USE ANY BAKING DISH FOR THIS BREAD?

Yes, any oven-safe baking dish that can accommodate a loaf of bread will work. For example, a Corning-Ware Dish or something similar will do the job.

HOW DO I USE A DUTCH OVEN TO BAKE THE BREAD?

Preheat the Dutch oven in a 450°F (230°C) oven with its lid on, shape the dough, place it inside, bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

CAN I USE A DIFFERENT TYPE OF YEAST OTHER THAN ACTIVE DRY YEAST?

You certainly can. Although this recipe specifically calls for active dry yeast you can also try instant yeast as well.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SCOOP AND LEVEL OFF THE FLOUR BEFORE ADDING IT TO THE BOWL?

This method ensures more precise measurements, helping you achieve the right consistency for the dough.

CAN I USE ALUMINUM FOIL INSTEAD OF A DISH LID FOR BAKING?

While I have not explicitly tested it, aluminum foil should work as a substitute for a dish lid.

CAN I USE WHOLE-WHEAT FLOUR INSTEAD OF ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR?

Yes, you certainly can use whole-wheat flour.

CAN I MAKE A GLUTEN-FREE VERSION OF THIS RECIPE?

Yes, you can use a 1-1 gluten-free flour for this recipe, or you can make my No-Knead Gluten-Free Bread.

HOW LONG SHOULD THE DOUGH REST?

The dough should rest for a minimum of 5 hours, but it’s common to leave it overnight and bake it the following morning. The dough should rest at room temperature and away from drafts.

HOW DOES TEMPERATURE AFFECT THE DOUGH’S RISING TIME?

In hotter climates, the dough may rise much faster, so I would advise placing it in a cooler room or limiting the rise to a maximum of 2 to 3 hours to prevent over-expansion. Once it doubles or triples in size, it should be baked immediately.

CAN I USE THIS RECIPE IN HIGHER ALTITUDES?

The recipe hasn’t been tested at higher altitudes, so adjustments may be necessary.

WHAT SHOULD THE CONSISTENCY OF THE DOUGH BE LIKE?

The dough should not be watery or dry; it should have a thick and sticky consistency.

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 required no measurements. Back home in Bulgaria, we made everything "to taste” or looked at the consistency.
4.80 from 10 votes
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American, Bulgarian
Servings: 10 Slices
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Resting Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, (413 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, (5 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon active dry yeast, (2 grams)
  • 1 ¾ cups warm water, (400 ml)
  • ½ cup chopped pitted olives, (90 grams)
  • additional flour for dusting the counter plus the top of the bread , no kneading, dust the top and bottom well, gently shape and transfer

Instructions 

  • 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 the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let rest at room temperature for at least 5 hours or overnight. Place the bowl of dough away from drafty areas, such as in the microwave, 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.
  • You do NOT need to knead the dough. You can simply move it around until you have a really nice and soft dough that is no longer sticky and is oval in shape. If the loaf sticks to your hands or the counter, sprinkle on a little more flour.
  • Place the loaf into any oven-safe dish lined with parchment paper. Place a lid on the dish, and place the dish in a cold oven (an oven that is NOT preheated).
  • Turn the oven on to 450F (230C) once the bread is inside. Bake the bread with the lid on the dish for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, carefully remove the hot lid from the dish and bake the bread for another 25 to 30 minutes.
  • The bread is done once it’s light and golden on each side. Let it cool 5-10 minutes and dig in! Enjoy.
  • To store leftover bread, let the bread cool completely, wrap it up in plastic wrap, beeswax wrap, or a clean kitchen towel, and store the bread on the counter. This bread is always best served warm the same day.

Video

Notes

 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 147kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 341mg, Potassium: 44mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.1g, Vitamin A: 27IU, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Bread
Cuisine: American, Bulgarian
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

4.80 from 10 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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24 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! I doubled the amount of kalamata olives (I have olive monsters at home) it came out sooo appetizing! Thank you 😊

  2. Help. I followed the measurements but the dough did not triple in size during the 5 hour proof. When I turned the dough out onto the floured surface, it was very wet. I added more flour but it didn’t seem to help. I used both hands to scoop the runny dough into the parchment lined dish and put it in the oven with a prayer. Any idea what I did wrong?

    1. Hi Elaine, did you weigh and measure everything properly? I would try again making sure you weigh the ingredients on a food scale for best results. Remember, no kneading, the dough should be wet and you only need to flour the top and bottom just so it doesn’t stick to your hands and you transfer it.

  3. Hi Sneha ! I tried the No Knead Olive Bread today and it was delicious and perfect. The crunch, crust, softness, taste and awesome. I made it in the Dutch oven. Tooo good 500/50

  4. Hello !
    Please i would Like to know if the place where I live IS very hot, 30 degres, must i leave the dough outside for 5 hours also or less ?
    Thank you

  5. I just need a clarification on baking the bread in a ceramic dutch oven. You said to preheat the Dutch oven at 450. My question is do you put the Dutch oven in and then turn the oven on and when it beeps that the temperature is 450, you are ready to put the bread in OR do you put the Dutch oven in when the temperature is already 450 for a certain amount of time? Thanks

    1. Hi Dina,
      so if you are using a DUTCH oven, place it in the oven turn the oven on and heat it up well. Take it out, place the bread in, put it back into the oven covered and start the timer. Hope that makes sense.

  6. Hello, thank you for this gorgeous recipe. is it 450 degrees in a convection oven, or in a gas oven? I have a convection, and this sounds so high, like it would burn, i’m feeling scared.

    1. Hi Mattie, my oven is very weak, if I were you I would try to reduce to 400F. I cannot give you much feedback here as I don’t have a convection oven here.

      1. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I will try it at 400 and report back. so excited, this looks heaven and so easy – set the dough up before work, and fill the whole house with the smell of baked bread by the time hubby gets home

      2. I’m confused. The recipe says to put in cold oven, but this reply says to heat the Dutch oven first. Which is it? Thanks.

        1. Hi Irene, I have given instructions for anyone that has a DUTCH oven too. My instructions for the dish I use are in a COLD oven. Dutch oven instructions are different

    1. Hi Rose, the prices are correct but they are in USD so if you are anywhere else (like Canada) it’s sowing you the CAD rate. Unfortunately it’s a lot more expensive for us here with the exchange rate.

    1. Hi! Please use any kind of olive you love. A mixture of green and black pitted olives would work nicely.

  7. 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

    Thanks

    1. Hi MJ, bread goes in a cold oven THEN you turn it on, timer starts right away. 30 min covered and then uncovered for another 30