I’ve made bread a handful of times, mostly made in my bread maker due its convenience and simplicity, however I have tried to make bread in the past from scratch with my hands, hard work and sweat, but found kneading was just too tiresome and the process really time consuming. While I love my bread maker and think the bread tastes great, it’s not always aesthetically pleasing. It also doesn’t produce the same crust and rustic appeal (and satisfaction) you get from making and baking your own. Then I found the no knead method, while it takes a good 12 to 18 hours to rise, the process is really simple. 5 minutes of prep, leave it to rise for 12 plus hours after which you shape the dough put it in the oven and in 1 hour of baking time you have perfect bread. Now time wise yes it is much longer, but effort needed is significantly reduced.
I like to make this the night before and cook it either in time for a late Sunday breakfast, or morning tea on weekdays to have with my kids or if I have people over (looks impressive if you put out bread you ahem just happened to bake). For Sunday breakfast I’ll serve bread with a selection of jams or with the usual big breakfast accompaniments. And for morning tea I make a quick icing glaze for the top and have it with tea. So it’s easy to make, versatile and fills your house and belly with goodness, what more do you want?
I’ve adapted this recipe from a basic no knead artisan bread, you can find a multitude of these recipes online, I can’t remember where I originally sourced this recipe from so unfortunately can’t give due credit. I’ve then added the flavourings, which with a little trial and error I think this could be a great base recipe for further experimentation on flavour combinations.
Note: You will need a dutch oven, cast iron pot with lid or equivalent to make this recipe, I use a heavy bottomed casserole pot I got passed down from my mum.
3 cups of plain all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
½ teaspoon of instant dried yeast
1 cup of raisins (alter to your preference)
1 ½ cups of water
- Place flour, sugar salt dried yeast and raisins in bowl (make sure the bowl is large enough to allow for the dough to rise). Stir until ingredients are combined evenly.
- Add water, and stir only until ingredients are combined. Be sure to not over work your dough. (note; dough will look a little dry and won’t have completely come together)
- Cover dough with either cling wrap or a damp cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for a minimum of 12 hours but no longer than 18 hours.
- Preheat oven to 235°C (450°F) for 20-30 minutes
- Whilst oven is heating up, remove dough from bowl on to a floured surface. Cover dough and hands with flour to allow for easier handling and shaping of the dough.
- Shape dough in to a round ball by folding the dough in on itself pulling the edges down towards the base.
- Place in dutch oven and sprinkle with a little extra dusting of flour and make a few slits in the top to allow the bread to rise as it is baking.
- Bake covered for 25 mins. Remove lid and bake for a further 15 minutes (this will brown the top)
- Allow bread to cool before slicing. (I don’t always do this, so see how you go) and you’re done.
Hope you enjoy!