This easy no-knead peasant bread is a game changer! Incredibly simple to make, it is soft, fluffy, and so delicious. We can’t stop making it!
I have been so excited to get this bread recipe in front of you. I’m not even exaggerating, not one little bit, when I say it has revolutionized homemade bread around here.
I’ve made it (easily) at least ten times in the last month. I’ve served it to company. Brought it to friends. Made it just because I wanted to eat homemade bread at 1:28 p.m. It is amazing.
No-Knead Bread is Not New
The no-knead bread trend is not new by any means. Wet, loose doughs formed into shaggy loaves and baked (most often) in a Dutch oven have been around a long time.
But this peasant bread is different and amazing enough to occupy its own spot here on the blog. For starters:
The crumb is soft and fluffy, and the crust is golden with just the perfect amount of bite and crustiness without cutting up the roof of your mouth.
How to Make Peasant Bread
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add the water, and stir until no dry streaks remain.
It’s going to form a shaggy mass, and it’s going to be sticky. That’s exactly how you want it! Resist the urge to add more flour.
Grabbing a pinch of dough will leave a fair amount of sticky dough residue on your fingers.
Keeping the dough on the wet side of things is what allows us to skip any kneading and still end up with soft, fluffy bread.
Leave the dough right there in the bowl, cover the bowl, and let rise until doubled.
Once it is super puffy, grab a rubber spatula and start scraping the risen dough away from the sides of the bowl to form a messy ball in the center of the bowl.
How to Shape Soft Sticky Dough
Now for the fun part.
It can be a bit messy trying to shape soft, sticky dough like this into a loaf shape. A few tips:
Here’s a quick video of how I shape this dough into a circle. I’m just lifting, rolling, and tucking a few times until it forms a pretty decent round shape.
Notice that my hands still end up with a bit of dough on them at the end. Feel free to use more cooking spray or oil, if needed. But don’t stress! It’s all part of the journey.
Best Pans to Use for Peasant Bread
The original peasant bread recipe calls for baking in oven-safe bowls (like Pyrex or others). Based on a traumatic experience in my past when my Pyrex bowls shattered coming out of the oven, I was determined to find a non-bowl solution for baking this bread.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t use a bowl for baking, I’m just letting you know I’ve come up with several fantastic alternatives that you probably already have in your kitchen.
After baking this bread in a Dutch oven, on a baking stone, in a round cake pan, and several other pan types, I’ve settled on the baking pan that works amazingly well and produces a loaf that is PERFECT.
The sides of the pie plate help stabilize the shape of the loaf as it rises and helps prevent the dough from spreading out and flattening.
The peasant bread bakes up beautifully in a 9-inch pie plate! It’s what I use 99% of the time when I bake this bread. And in case I haven’t made it abundantly clear: I have made this bread so.many.times. Like, you can really trust me on this one.
A metal pie plate works just fine, too. In fact, it actually gives a crustier exterior to the bread than a glass pie plate.
And, this bread bakes very well in a loaf pan, too. When shaping, go for more of a rectangle shape (but don’t over think it). Plop the loaf in a greased loaf pan, and get ready for some of the best bread of your life.
Best Bread Ever
I cannot overstate how amazing this easy, no knead peasant bread is. I want to beg, plead, bribe, force you to make it right this minute!
You’ll get all the rock star points for homemade bread with hardly any work. And you aren’t sacrificing anything in the name of it being an ultra-easy recipe. It is straight up some of the most delicious homemade bread ever.
I find myself turning to this bread recipe constantly now that I know it exists. It’s become our go-to bread for just about everything. Perfect for beginner and expert bread makers alike, please promise me you’ll make it soon!
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from a recipe, Katherine B., a longtime reader sent me (thanks, Kat!) – originally from this recipe at Food52 and adding a link to Alexandra Stafford’s blog with lots of variations (I adapted it to use a pie plate or loaf pan for baking, and increased the flour and yeast amounts slightly)