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

4.73 from 416 votes (357 ratings without comment)

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311 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hello, I loveeee making this recipe, took me a first time wasn’t the best, but I’ve made it many times since.. it makes me happy especially when I’m having a hard time it relaxes me.. I notice you put we can shape into baguettes and rolls. My question is, do we still cook at the same time and temperature or is there a slight change?

    1. Hi Jess, omg so happy to hear that. The time will depend on the size, you will have to monitor and take them out when golden.

  2. Hello, I love all your recipes so I tried this one too even though dough terrifies me and I’m rarely successful, lol.
    As someone else said, my dough barely rose but decided to try it o bake it anyway. It’s not at all as airy as yours is in the video and it stuck to the bottom of my dutch oven. Can you offer some insight or tip to avoid that?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Leila, is your yeast expired? Please check on that and was the water warm? Make sure you leave it to rise in a warm spot away from drafts, your yeast could also be bad. I suggest trying again but this time add the yeast and warm water together and see if it foams up and activates and THEN add it into the flour

      1. 5 stars
        So easy and SO amazing!!

        I first made the no-knead olive bread and it was gone in a day! then I made a cheddar jalapeño loaf (2 cups cheddar cheese and 2 diced jalapeños) and a cranberry walnut loaf (if anyone has been to parc in philadelphia it tasted JUST like theirs!! it was a handful of 50% less-sugar crasins and a handful of walnuts). both were AMAZING.

        I finally just made the regular no-knead bread, and it is so so good. 8 loafs of bread later and this recipe is the first bread recipe I have ever used! I can’t recommend it enough. I have had no issues, the only issue is that I can’t stop making it!!

        Because of no preservatives, it did not last longer than about 3-4 days on the counter. would be interested to learn more about storage! (even though it’s usually eaten in less than 4 days 🙂 )

        Thank you!!! So excited to share with my family and make loafs for the holidays.

        1. HIIII omg this is the sweetest review ever. Thank you so much! I appreciate this feedback more than you know

  3. My dough seems to be coming out pretty nicely. I put in a glass bowl, covered it with plastic wrap but now the dough has almost risen to the top. Is it ok just to leave it? It doesn’t have anymore room to go higher. Will this affect it? Should I transfer to a bigger dish or just leave it. It’s only been 2 hours.

    1. Hi Denise, so sorry for the delay. Next time I would use a bigger dish and let it rise fully 🙂 Let me know how it turned out

  4. 5 stars
    I great recipe but first time I tried it with white stone-mill flour I had to use over a 700grams… Made the dough as per recipe and it was pure liquid… Topped it up to 500, seemed fine, left it overnight and in the morning it was just liquid, so had to use another 200… Previously I mad made it with whole grain and it was just right.
    Could it be because I sieved the flour? Or it is possible I used too much yeast somehow?

    1. hmmm, to be honest I am not quite sure as I am not there to see, I don’t think it’s the yeast though. Did you weigh everything in grams? It could be the type of flour you used

  5. 5 stars
    Great, easy to follow, hassle-free bread recipe! Always wanted to try making bread but do not want to invest in kneading mixer machine. Thanks to you, I got to try this and enjoy beautiful toasts for breakfast with my boyfriend who loves bread and ate half the loaf! Wondering if the whole wheat flour would work as well as AP flour?

  6. Cannot rate yet because I am still working on it! Is it better to use convection baking or regular oven baking? Thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      I just cooked my bread lastnight in a conventional oven and it came out great.. are usually use a regular oven but last night I had only access to a conventional and came out the same.

  7. Hi Snejana, your bread looks delicious, and the recipe sounds straightforward enough that even a raw novice (like me) might be able to pull it off.

    I plan to try it on my next day off, but can I please double-check the weight measurements with you? Don’t want to mess it up – would be so happy if I produce anything even half as nice as yours.

    Your recipe says 413gm of flour, but that does that include the amount used later for dusting the counter when shaping the dough? Or is it the amount that is mixed with the salt, yeast and water? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Nephe, great question! The 413 grams is only what’s in the bowl. You will need more for dusting. I don’t measure when I dust it I just grab a handful and make sure it’s not sticky on the outside. I dust and roll it in flour enough so that it doesn’t stick to my hands and I can transfer it. You can take a look at my video as well 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        Hi Snejana, thanks for getting back so fast! I made the bread yesterday and it was lovely – or it would have been if I hadn’t been interrupted the last 10 min haha. Ended up burning the top, but the bread was still delicious.

        I live in a very hot and humid area, and the room temp was 32C while the dough was resting, so it tripled in only 1 hour!

        It was also too soft to shape, so I left it in the bowl and sort of folded it onto itself a few times before pouring it into the pan. Then I immediately covered the pan, put it into the cold oven, set the dial to 230C and left it to bake. After 30 min, I removed the lid and let it bake for another 30 min – I think 20-25 min might have been enough.

        For those who asked about using a loaf pan, the recipe works fine. We wanted to use the bread for sandwiches, so we tried an 8.5 x 4.5″ Pullman pan (which comes with a lid). Fit perfectly and created a great crust.

        We didn’t even have to add parchment paper as this pan is nonstick and has corrugated sides, so the loaf popped right out.

        But the flavour probably wasn’t as good as yours, Snejana, cos it had only an hour of rising time. And the texture was a bit tight – not as soft and airy as yours.

        We couldn’t find active dry yeast, so we used instant yeast instead. I plan to try again tomorrow – do you think we could extend the rising time if we reduce the instant yeast to 2gm or even 1gm?

        Hopefully it would have more time to develop flavour and structure.

        1. Hi Nephe,
          wow thank you for the HELPFUL feedback, you will definitely help out so many with everything you stated here. I personally think you can keep the yeast the same and make sure the rise time is a minimum of 4-5 hours.

          1. Hi Snejana, thanks for once again for replying so promptly. It’s very encouraging that you clearly want your readers to succeed with their bread attempts.

            If you think we should keep the yeast weight at 3gm and just let the dough continue to rise for 4-5 hours, we’ll give that a try. But since it tripled in volume after just 1 hour, we’re a bit afraid it might collapse if we let it go too long. Is there something we can do to slow down the “ballooning”?

          2. Hi Nephe, it shouldn’t collapse, use a big bowl and keep it in a dry place at room temperature (not in a cold or hot place). If your environment is really hot it will definitely rise faster. I don’t think you should have issues as often times I keep my dough for 12 hours without issues 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Twice now, my dough is almost liquid and so sticky that there is no way to shape it even vaguely into any form. It does not triple in size, maybe doubles. Yeast is current, I weighed the ingredients and still it’s a mess. The outcome is still crusty and tastes good and chewy, but almost no rise. My problem is the AP flour, which is the store brand and probably a blend of some kind, though it works for other things. I give the recipe 5 stars, because god-forsaken Mid-west American flour seems to be the problem. I will continue to tweak this recipe because there are so many successes

  9. 5 stars
    I gave this five stars, though it was a fail due to my not measuring the flour correctly (grocery store brand AP flour and active dry yeast, water @ 107F) My result has that great crust, but the bread is too moist, dense and barely rose during baking. It still tastes great though chewy. The dough never tripled even after a day and remained more like batter which makes me think I mis-measured the flour. It did begin to ferment, however, which gave it good flavor. I will try again because the failure is still delicious.

  10. Hi! Quick question on your flour measurements.
    I typically weigh out my flour and I use King Arthur All Purpose Flour. You have written 3 cups, or 413 grams of flour. However, 1 cup of flour is 120 grams, so for 3 cups of flour shouldn’t it be 360 grams instead of 413? Not sure which measurement I should be going by.
    Thanks! Love your recipes by the way 🙂

    1. Hi Maria, thanks for your comments! The weight of the flour depends on the brand you use and how you measure your cups (scooping the ingredients and leveling them off versus spooning the ingredient into the cup). Since the weight of your flour is differing from mine, I would go with the cup measure. Hope it turns out great!