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Even if you have no bread skills, you can make this easy no-knead peasant bread.
No-Knead Peasant Bread: No Skills Required
Ever see those beautiful round peasant loaves and think making them is out of your league?
Think again! This wonderfully simple bread requires no kneading and no shaping skills. If you can mix something with a spoon, then that’s the only skill you will need to make this gorgeous loaf of bread.
The only investment you make with this bread is time. It requires at least 12 hours to sit and ferment and yes, the hardest part of the entire thing is the wait.
Cast Iron Is Necessary
A cast iron dutch oven with a lid is necessary to make this lovely bread.
The reason is that cast iron holds heat very well and since you must pre-heat the pan itself, the dutch oven becomes an oven within an oven.
Size matters here too. The best size is a 4-quart/4 L size pan. With this size pan, you get a nice high rise because it won’t spread out much. You can also use a 5Q/5L or 6Q/6L dutch oven as well. Just keep in mind that your loaf will be wider and flatter. Use the size you have if it’s in that range. I would imagine that a high-quality ceramic casserole with a lid would work as well, but since I haven’t tried it in one of those, I cannot speak for the results. Theoretically, it should work just as well.
I used my Staub 4Q dutch oven.
Easy On The Budget
Just like my Amish White Bread, this boule is very easy on your budget.
It contains no hoity-toity ingredients that are hard to get. It’s simply flour, water, yeast and salt. And those are things most, if not all, of us have on hand.
And yes, you can use all-purpose flour if you don’t have bread flour. The texture will be less dense if you do, but that’s of little consequence.
No-Knead Peasant Boule Bread
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add only enough water to make a soft, yet stringy dough. The dough will be VERY sticky and look like a thick batter.
Cover the bowl and let it sit from 12-18 hours. This will develop the flavor.
Place a sheet of parchment (should be at least 14-inch/36 cm square) on the counter and dust heavily with flour.
While the dough is still in the bowl, turn it over on itself several times. Wet your hands; it makes it easier. Now turn the dough out on the floured parchment, seam (if any) side down. Dust the top with flour and cover with the bowl inverted. Let rest for about 1-1 1/2 hours.
While the dough is resting, place a 4-quart covered dutch oven with the cover on in the oven and pre-heat to 425F/220C.
Grabbing the parchment, carefully place the rested dough in the hot dutch oven letting the paper overhang. Replace the cover and place it back in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the cover after it has baked the 30 minutes and continue baking for 20 additional minutes or until the top is nicely browned.
Remove from oven and let the bread sit in the dutch oven for 15 minutes; remove to a rack to cool.