No Knead Peasant Bread
on Mar 03, 2023, Updated Nov 04, 2023
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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:
- 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:
- No-Knead Gluten-Free Bread
- Cheesy Roasted Garlic Bread
- Grandma’s No-Knead Olive Bread
- No-Knead Foccacia
- No-Knead Cheddar Bread
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I use Caputo's gluten-free flour for this recipe, but have heard that this one is just as good.
Most Common Questions
I have a Corning Ware Dish in my Amazon storefront that is similar to the dish I used in this recipe.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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, typically at room temperature 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.
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
- 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
- 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.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.