No Knead Peasant Bread

4.73 from 416 votes

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Yes, there will be oohs and aahs once you take a bite of my Bapche’s No Knead Peasant Bread. I posted this recipe on TikTok on February 12, 2021, not expecting to wake up to 15 million views. Little did I know that this humble bread, rooted in a history of strength and resourcefulness, would become a 🌎 global sensation, carrying forward my Bapche’s legacy.

In the heart of Bulgaria, where a frugal lifestyle was a necessity, basic ingredients—flour, salt, water, and yeast—had our tummies fed and our pockets happy. My grandma was one of ten siblings so this rustic bread became a lifeline in a very challenging world. The legacy of this no knead bread, called “Selski Hliab” in Bulgarian, persevered through the harsh years of communism when ingredients were scarce but the warmth of freshly baked bread 🥖 was our lifeline.

Why You’ll Love No Knead Peasant Bread

This bread has been in my family for generations and represents more than just nourishment; it symbolizes the bond between my family and the strength my grandma passed down to us. Though I lost my grandma, who was my soulmate, on November 13, 2020, her memory lives on through our shared moments of laughter, tears, and the simple pleasure of enjoying this bread together. Every time I close my eyes, I can picture her so I hold on to that feeling.

How To Prepare No Knead Peasant Bread

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

🕐 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 the cold oven, turn the oven on, 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.

🌡️ 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 Bulgarian peasant bread.

Enjoy your rustic and delicious “Selski Hliab”!

Substitutions and Variations

This Bulgarian No Knead Peasant Bread,” known as “Selski Hliab,” has deep-rooted traditions. But with a dash of creativity, you can tweak it to suit your preferences, from dietary choices to exciting flavor twists.

🍞 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.

🧀 Cheese and Garlic: Fold in grated cheese and minced garlic for a cheesy garlic bread twist.

🍯 Sweet Variations: For a sweet twist, add honey, cinnamon, and raisins or dried fruit to the dough.

🌰 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 a minimum of 6 hours. 🥖

Best Served With

My No Knead 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

Most Common Questions

Where can I find the baking dish that you use?

I have a Corning Ware Dish in my Amazon storefront that is similar to the dish I used in this recipe.

Why is it essential for the water temperature to be between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit (37 to 43 degrees Celsius)?

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?

If 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 your 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 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, typically at room temperature 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.

What type of salt do you use?

I use Redmond Real Salt, please note that depending on the salt you use, your dish may be less or more salty. Salt is always to taste. Always taste and adjust as you cook.

No Knead Bread

In the heart of Bulgaria, where a frugal lifestyle was a necessity, basic ingredients—flour, salt, water, and yeast—formed the foundation of sustenance. With this recipe, you can experience the same joy, comfort, and cherished memories that have enriched my life for decades.
4.73 from 416 votes
Course: Bread
Cuisine: 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) plus more for dusting the counter and top of the bread
  • 1 teaspoon salt, (5 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon active dry yeast , (3 grams) check the expiration; see notes below
  • 1 ¾ cups warm water, (400 ml) between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit (37 to 43 degrees Celsius)
  • 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 

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and yeast. Mix with a whisk, wooden spoon, or with clean hands. Add the water and mix with a spatula until you have a sticky dough.
    Note: The water must 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 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 bake time will depend on your oven, so keep an eye on it. Total bake time will be about 1 hour from the moment you place the bread into the cold oven.
  • The bread is done once it’s light and golden all over. Let it cool for 5 to 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

Nutrition

Calories: 137kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 0.4g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 235mg, Potassium: 42mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.1g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 2mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Bread
Cuisine: Bulgarian
Love This Recipe?
Share your pictures or videos of you making my recipes by mentioning #themodernnonna on all socials ❤️

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

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313 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Easy and straightforward! I made it with %30 whole wheat and sprayed my Dutch over wing avocado oil just in case. I also left the dough to rise until gone next day and it turned out amazing, full of bubbles and so airy and soft yet a nice crunch on the outside! Thank you ☺️ this will be made on repeat from now on 😌

    1. Awesome!! Thank you, Pooya, I appreciate your feedback and changes. I love hearing when my recipes get added to the repeat list! Thank you! ❤️🥰

  2. 5 stars
    This was so easy and delicious. I have never had luck with bread making and my mom was from Italy !! This will be a staple and can’t wait to try your other no knead recipes

    1. This makes me so happy, Aurora! I’m so glad you were able to make bread with this recipe! ❤️🥰

  3. I used this recipe to make my first loaf of bread today (that wasn’t banana or blueberry). Pretty tasty! I will definitely make this again. Thank you for the easy to follow, delicious recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    This bread is so yummy! Because of a mix up in my schedule I ended up letting it rise for 24 hours and it still turned out great! A lovely crispy crust with a bit of a chew. My husband said it reminded him of pizza crust, in a good way!

    1. So glad the bread came out well, Shelby! Even better that you got to enjoy it with your husband. Thank you so much for you review! ❤️

  5. 5 stars
    Love the simplicity of the recipe. The bread came out nice and dense and chewy . Top perfectly lightly tan/brown and crispy but soft to the tooth. Added cranberries and raisins to the top just before placing in oven. Just perfect. The bottom, however, was soo hard a bread knife had trouble cutting through it? Not burned or dark brown at all, same tan coloring. I did use bread flour but can’t imagine that would create a hard bottom. Could it be because the “pot” I chose to try it in was a bread cloche?

    1. Hi Gigi! omg thank you for attaching a photo, your bread looks beautiful and you should be so proud! it’s hard for me to say because it might be the pot but maybe you can put the bread a touch higher if the lower burner is super strong. I would have to be there to see but please try experimenting with a different pot OR one level higher on the rack.

  6. 5 stars
    Life changing! I’ve been baking bread for over 50 years. This is so easy and delicious that I haven’t gone back to my old recipes. Thank you