This is by far the most popular bread recipe that I make, with a crispy beautiful crust on the outside and a soft moist crumb on the inside. It is also one of the easiest breads you can make. As the title suggests, no kneading is required. Just a little time, a few ingredients and a cast iron pot. Start this bread the night before you want to eat it.
No Knead Bread with Seeded Crust
- 470 grams strong white bread flour*
- 1/4 teaspoon yeast
- 10g fine sea salt
- 350 ml water (warm or cold, just not boiling hot)
- A bit of oil for coating a bowl
- mixed seeds (I use poppy and sesame)
- mixing bowl
- paper towels
- spoon (or your hands)
- cast iron pot with a lid
- Mix together the flour, yeast, salt and water in a mixing bowl using your hands or a spoon (it should look like a shaggy dough ball). Cover with cling film (or a plate) and let it rest for 12-24 hours. After 12-24 hours, the dough will have risen and filled the bowl.
- Flour a work surface and “pour” the dough out of the bowl onto the floured surface – I use a spatula to scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl.
- Gently stretch out the dough into a flat squarish shape. Fold the dough into thirds as you would a letter, then fold it again into thirds in the other direction. This should give you a little folded up parcel with a seam – rest the dough with the SEAM SIDE DOWN on the work surface for about 15 minutes.
- While the dough rests, clean and dry your bowl.
- Oil the inside of the boil and spread it around with a paper towel. Put your seeds in the bowl and tip the bowl around so that the seeds cover the inside of the bowl.
- Place the dough into the bowl with the SEAM SIDE DOWN.
- Let the dough rest for about an hour or so.
- About half an hour before you’re going to make the loaf, put your cast iron pot and lid into the oven and turn the oven up as high as it goes (mine maxes out at 220 C). Let the oven heat up for about 30 minutes so that it’s good and hot (and the pot too).
- When the oven is ready, remove the cast iron pot from the oven. Remove the lid.
- Take your bowl with the dough in it and rotate it around to loosen the dough from the seeds. Now be brave and quickly flip the dough out of the pot into the hot cast iron pan (ideally it will land with all of the seeds facing upwards but don’t despair if it catches on the side of the pot and looks a mess – this bread is very forgiving).
- Put the lid back on the pot (be careful, it’s hot!) then put the pot into the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the lid, turn the oven down to 200 C, and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the top is nicely golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, remove the bread from the pot, and let it cool (ideally for at least 40 minutes) before slicing. (Or rip into it straight away – it’s all good!)
* You can also use wholemeal flour here, or a mixture of white and wholemeal, but the rise might not be dramatic.