Here are some of my favorite No-Knead bread recipes. Each is distinctly different from the others, touching on some of what’s possible with this simple and hugely time saving bread baking method.

Menu of No Knead Videos:
Cranberry-Pecan Seeded Sour
Parmesan-Olive Steel Cut Oats

 

(Note: If you’re brand new to no knead bread baking, I strongly encourage you to give the basic no knead recipe a try first before moving into the variations.)

In each of the videos you will see I’m using sourdough starter as the leavening agent. The use of sourdough starter is usually my preference in baking but as the written instructions indicate, you can just as easily substitute instant yeast for the starter by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast in with the dry ingredients and leaving out the sourdough starter entirely. It’s that simple. I don’t want to see anyone deprived of the luxury of this bread experience if instant yeast is your preference for leavening.

As always, feel free to play with different flour mixes and ingredients to come up with your ultimate bread masterpiece.

Please leave your comments, questions and experiences at the bottom of the page.

Couldn’t resist adding this email from my new best friend ;). It includes some great no knead recipe variation tips…

“Hi Eric,

Ever since I found your website a couple years ago, we have not bought store bread (except for burger buns and pitas). Baking bread is a complete joy for me: making it is fun, seeing the results is amazing and the reactions I get from those I share it with are gratifying. Our “daily bread” is the regular sourdough (but I add 1 tsp.poppy seeds). The olive parmesan loaf is a special treat for when we have guests (my siblings love this one especially – we’re of Greek descent =)) – but I usually add a head of mashed roasted garlic to it.

I have even created my own sourdough KNM variation that I thought I’d share with you. Feel free to post it, if you’d like. It’s the basic NKM sourdough with 1/4c. chopped, pickled jalepenos and about 5 oz. shredded cheddar cheese mixed in. I was selling them to a neighbor for awhile, but then she started a weight-loss program that forbid bread (scary, huh?).

I currently take care of my elderly mother full-time, but all this bread-baking has led me to seriously consider baking as a career. I fondly imagine my own little bakery someday.

You have changed my life, Eric. Bet you don’t hear that everyday, but it’s true. Thank you.

– Elise Davies


 

Cranberry Pecan

Cranberry-Pecan Extraordinaire (makes 1 loaf)

1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz.) whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups (13 oz.) all purpose or bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1 1/2 cups purified water
1/4  cup sourdough starter or 1/4 tsp. instant yeast

(Read paragraph near top of page for instant yeast version of this recipe)

  • Combine the flours and salt
  • Mix the starter into the water until mostly dissolved
  • Mix the water/starter solution into the dry ingredients
  • Mix in the pecans and craisins
  • Cover bowl with plastic at let sit at room temperature for 18 hours
  • After 18 hours turn dough onto well floured surface and gently flatten enough to fold dough back onto itself a couple times to form a roundish blob. Note: This folding stage can be accomplished within the bowl, speeding up the process even further and leaving less of a cleanup.
  • Cover blob with plastic and let rest 15 minutes. During this rest period, coat a proofing basket or towel lined bowl with bran flakes.
  • Gently and quickly shape blob into an approximate ball and place in proofing basket or bowl.
  • Cover with a towel and let rise for 1-2 hours depending on room temperature.
  • As gently as possible, flip the dough into a Dutch oven or ceramic (e.g. La Cloche) baker preheated to 500F degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes at 450 degrees. See Great No-Knead Baking Techniques for more tips.
  • Allow bread to cool completely before slicing and eating. Warning: this most difficult step requires superhuman discipline and restraint.

You may have to adjust the baking times and temperatures to adapt to the various weights and materials of different baking containers.

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Seeded Sour

Seeded Sour (makes 1 loaf)

This recipe holds a solid spot on my “all time favorites” list. It is adapted from the George’s Seeded Sour recipe in Nancy Silverton’s Breads from the La Brea Bakery book.

1/4 cup (1 oz) rye flour
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups (13 oz) all purpose or bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 tsp. quinoa
3 1/2 tsp. millet
2 Tbs. amaranth
1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds

1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sourdough starter or 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
2 Tbs. yogurt

Seed Topping Ingredients:

1 Tbs. amaranth
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 1/2 Tbs poppy seeds
2 Tbs. anise seeds
1 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds

Combine all the dry ingredients (except the topping ingredients) and then add to that the combined wet ingredients.
The rest of the baking steps are the same as those listed above for the Cranberry Pecan bread.

As shown in the video, I coat the proofing basket with the combined topping ingredients so they stick to the dough during the final rise.

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Parmesan Olive

Parmesan-Olive (makes 1 large loaf)

This recipe makes one amazing loaf of bread. It’s great for special occasions, and considering the price of ingredients, you may want to reserve it for special occasions. Use fresh parmesan cheese and it’s likely you will not find this loaf’s equivalent in any bakery. They would have to charge too much!

1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz.) whole wheat flour
2 2/3 cups (13 1/2 oz.) bread flour
1 tsp. salt
7 oz. grated fresh parmesan cheese
2/3 cup pitted kalamata olives (cut in half lengthwise)
1 3/4 cup purified water
1/4 cup sourdough starter or 1/4 tsp. instant yeast

Follow the same steps as those listed above for the Cranberry Pecan recipe. Combine the dry ingredients (including the cheese) then add to that the combined wet ingredients and then stir in the olives. The ingredient measurements are a little different than usual as the cheese is salty to start with and the dry mix takes more water than usual.

Here’s a video from Breadtopia visitor, Archer Yates… Nice!

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Steel Cut Oats

Steel Cut Oats (makes 1 loaf)

It’s amazing what the addition of a mere half cup of steel cut oats can do to enhance and vary the quality of a basic loaf of no knead bread. During the long fermentation period, the grains soften and swell to give the bread a wholesome and satisfying flavor and texture.

Simple enough to whip together in a heartbeat and interesting enough to become a regular in your no knead rotation.

3/4 cup (3 oz.) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (3 oz.) steel cut oats
2 1/4 cups (10 oz.) bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup firm sourdough starter or 1/4 tsp. instant yeast

Pictured here: Awesome steel cut oats no knead by Breadtopia reader Marianne Preston
Marianne's Steel Cut Oats NK
Another Breadtopia reader, Allan Castine, offered this…

In my last e-mail to you, I mentioned that I had made your steel cut oats bread recipe with mostly excellent results.  My only concern, as I told you, was that the bread was a bit bland for my particular taste.

I made the recipe again yesterday with a couple of alterations:

I added an extra 1/2 teaspoon of salt and, following a suggestion from a friend of mine, I lightly toasted the oats in a dry saucepan over medium heat before adding them to the flour mixture.

The results were great. The bread was very tasty, i.e., not bland.

 

And here’s a great rendition of this recipe from Eric Rochow who runs the GardenFork.tv website for DIY living. Check it out…


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No Knead Bread Variations

570 thoughts on “No Knead Bread Variations

  1. Thomas DeChillo

    Why do all of the no-knead variations call for 1-1/2 cups of water except for the Parmesan Olive which calls for 1-3/4 cups?

    • This recipe has been on the site for so long, I can’t even remember why the difference. It could be that between the olives and the parmesan, it’s so salty that it takes more water.

  2. Scott

    Great recipe. I love olives, but I the loaf was to be shared with someone who doesn’t, so I omitted them and instead sprinkled cracked black pepper on the loaf before baking.

    • That sounds like a great variation.

      • Scott

        Just to note: I used a mortar and pestle to make the cracked pepper, not a pepper mill.

  3. David Meiri

    My third attempt at sourdough bread was also a success. I never imagined it to be that easy! I made the parmesan-olive bread, with a few changes. In spite of Eric pleading us to put the full obscene amount of 7 oz of parmesan cheese, I felt too guilty and stopped after 4 oz. It was plenty – I bet the full amount is even cheesier but there was no lack of flavor with my bread. The no-knead mixture came out very watery and sticky; I added some flour, and even then it was too runny to be shaped into a ball. So I just threw it on my pizza stone, covered in a metal pot, baked according to the instructions, and suspected the worse. It came out heavenly :-) One more change: I didn’t have bran flakes; turns out that coarse corn flour works just as well.

    • Gorgeous bread!

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