No Knead Olive Bread
on Jun 25, 2021, Updated Oct 17, 2023
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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 water. Stir 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:
- Pastina Soup
- Greek Lemon Soup
- The Best Lentil Soup
- Hidden Veggie Orzo Soup
- Healthy Cream of Broccoli Soup
- Healthiest Cream of Hidden Veggie Soup
- Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
Try it With My Favorite Boards
- Viral Butter Board With Goat Cheese
- Holiday Butter Board
- Holiday Charcuterie Board
- Holiday Cheese Board
Other No-Knead Recipes
If you like this no knead bread, try some of my others:
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I use Caputo's gluten-free flour for this recipe, but have heard that this one is just as good.
A similar dish to the one I use in this recipe can be found in my Amazon Storefront and is linked HERE!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You certainly can. Although this recipe specifically calls for active dry yeast you can also try instant yeast as well.
This method ensures more precise measurements, helping you achieve the right consistency for the dough.
While I have not explicitly tested it, aluminum foil should work as a substitute for a dish lid.
Yes, you certainly can use whole-wheat flour.
Yes, you can use a 1-1 gluten-free flour for this recipe, or you can make my No-Knead Gluten-Free Bread.
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.
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.
The recipe hasn’t been tested at higher altitudes, so adjustments may be necessary.
The dough should not be watery or dry; it should have a thick and sticky consistency.
No Knead Olive Bread
- 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
- 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.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.