No-Knead Peasant Bread

Of all the things you can make in your kitchen, a loaf of homemade bread has to be the most satisfying. Tending to it, watching it rise, and then finally biting into a crunchy crust and pillowy crumb… there’s just nothing else like it! But homemade bread can mean a lot of work and a lot of trial and error to get to a successful loaf. But this method makes it so easy! No-Knead Peasant Bread is as simple as it gets and it turns out an excellent loaf, every time.

Part of the brilliance of this method is that you rise and bake the bread in the same glass bowl; the other part is that you don’t have to knead anything. It’s a wet dough, and all you have to do is mix together some flour, water, sugar, salt, and yeast and let it rest for about an hour in a warm area. If your kitchen is cold, you can leave it in the oven with the light turned on (and the temperature off). It provides just enough heat to help your bread along.

Once an hour has passed, you’ll grease an oven-safe bowl – a 1 or 1.5 qt size works well – with butter and place the dough in it. The second rise is shorter, just twenty to thirty minutes, and this time you want to avoid using the oven-with-the-light-on trick.

It’s a quick bake, just thirty minutes. The bowl helps that wet dough keep its shape and it turns out a loaf with a gentle crust and a lovely moist crumb that’s chewy and light. You can use it for sandwiches or just slather a slice with butter, but just know that even if you’re not a baker you can turn out some great bread anytime you need it with this method!

No-Knead Peasant Bread

30 minutes active, 1+ hour inactive to prepare yield 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

Preparation

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Add the water and mix until combined.
  2. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm area to rise, at least 1 hour. (If your kitchen is cold, you can set in the oven with the light on but temperature off.)
  3. Preheat to 425°F and grease two 1-qt or 1.5-qt oven safe bowls all over with the room temperature butter.
  4. Using two forks, punch down dough, scraping it from the sides of the bowl as you go. Turn dough onto itself as you scrape. Using forks, divide into two equal portions by pulling dough apart in the center and working your way out.
  5. Place each half into prepared bowls using greased or wet hands. Leave dough to rise, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. (Do not rise in oven this time.)
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F and bake for 15-17 minutes more. Turn loaves out onto wire racks to cool. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Recipe by Alexandra Cooks.

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