Dutch Oven No-Knead Herb Bread

“Tap tap tap”, Luise leans forward and puts her ear closer to the bread crust. “Yep, this one is also good”. It’s her third bread today. All with different flours, but with the exact same baking technique. Earlier this week she found Mark Bittman’s 6-year old New York Post article on Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread. Although the recipe has been circulating for quite a while, we couldn’t resist making our own version of it, using more wholesome flours.

Baking isn’t normally our strongest area, so when we succeed with three breads in one day, it must be a fail-free technique. We love sourdough bread, but ever since our sourdough starter tragically past away, we gave up the thought of making our own again. This recipe has however the flavor and texture of a sourdough without the need of a starter. This is thanks to the long fermenting process. The fermenting also spares you from kneading it, time does all the work. One trick to succeed is to get the pot really hot. So when you add the wet dough, it’ll create a moist and steamy environment that gives the bread that perfect crust.

We ate several slices hot from the oven, with just a slab of butter on them. So damn good.

As it got closer to dinner time we started talking about the bag of chanterelles that we had lying around.

Chanterelles are very popular here in Sweden during August and September. Almost everyone I know has their own secret spot in the forest where they claim chanterelles grow like a yellow carpet. We don’t have any secret places like that. So when we can’t tag along some of our friends, we just go and buy a large bag of them at the market. One of the simplest yet most delicious way to eat chanterelles is stir-fried on a sandwich. So for dinner, we combined that Swedish chanterelle sandwich with a recipe for an Italian bean bruschetta that we sometimes make. The result was great. The beans added creaminess and tanginess and made it more into a dinner than just a sandwich. So, next time you feel like making a bruschetta, skip the tomatoes and try this bean and mushroom combo instead. We have included the recipes for both the bread and the bruschetta here. Happy weekend!

The spelt dough after 15 hours of fermentation.

Dutch Oven No-Knead Herb Bread
1 big bread 

We have played around with rye flour, spelt flour, kamut flour, whole wheat flour and it doesn’t seem to changes the amounts of flour much, so choose your favorite flour and give it a try.

2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 g fresh yeast (the size of a pea) or 1/4 tsp dried yeast
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp unpasteurized honey
1 handful fresh herbs or kale, very finely chopped
2 3/4 cups (400 g) whole spelt flour
2 cups (300 g) light spelt flour
extra flour for folding
1 oven proof dutch oven, cast iron or ceramic pot

Place water in a large mixing bowl. Solve the yeast into it by stirring with a spoon or your hand. Add salt, honey, herbs and kale and stir until well mixed. Sift the flours and add to the water mixture. Mix together until all is combined, yes it will look kind of loose and messy and not as pretty as a traditional bread dough, but that is normal. Cover with plastic wrap, set aside to ferment in room temperature for 12-15 hours.

When you unwrap the bowl, the dough is bubbly and sticky. Prepare your work surface, flour the kitchen counter and a kitchen towel (you’ll use that later). Pour the dough out on the flour covered surface and dust the dough with flour or it will be to sticky to handle. Then fold it 4 times. Take the first side and fold it onto the middle of the dough. Repeat this for the opposing side, then do the same thing to the top and bottom. Now place the folded dough on the flour dusted kitchen towel with the folded sides down. Fold the kitchen towel over the dough and let rise for 2-3 hours (in room temperature). When there is about 40 minutes left of the rising time, turn on the oven to 500F (250°C) and place the dutch oven (no greasing needed) with the lid on in the oven. When the oven is ready, the dutch oven is smokin’ hot and the dough is done rising. Carefully remove the dutch oven from the hot oven, using oven gloves. Unwrap the dough and place/drop it in the dutch oven. Slash the dough with a knife, then cover with the lid and place it back in the hot oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then lower the to 445F (230°C), remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven, let cool slightly, turn the dutch oven upside down and place the bread on an oven rack to cool.

Chanterelle & Black-Eyed Bean Bruschetta

1 cup cooked black-eyed beans, rinsed
1/4 cup pickled capers, drained
1 celery stalk and leafy top, really thinly sliced
10 fresh basil leaves
1/2 lemon, juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices of bread
200 g fresh chanterelle or wild mushroom of choice
2 cloves garlic, peeled

Combine beans, capers, celery, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a medium size bowl. Set aside to let the flavors infuse.

Cut 4 thick slices of bread. Set a chargrill pan on high heat (without oil) and grill the bread slices for a few minutes on each side until grill marks appear.

Heat a few tablespoons of ghee, olive oil or coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add chanterelles, salt and black pepper, and let stir-fry for 5-6 minutes tossing a few times.

Assembling: Rub each slice of grilled bread with a garlic clove. Spoon the bean mixture onto the slices and top with chanterelles and a fresh basil leaf. Add extra olive oil if needed. Serve warm.

84 Comments

  • Amy
    Hello Green Kitchen people, I made this bread recently and it was totally amazing, I couldn't believe how easy it was and how beautiful the crust was and the texture and flavour of the bread is so good. It was your gorgeous images on this post that inspired me to give it a go. I've since shared the link with many friends. I'm also wondering if anyone out there knows what size dutch oven is good for this particular recipe? When I made it at my friend's place, I used her very large one, about 9qt, but I'm wondering if it would also work in a smaller 4.5qt one, or if it would get squashed? Also, there was a comment about the dough sticking in the pot - I sprinkled a generous amount of semolina in the bottom of the pot before putting the dough in, and this worked a treat. Thank you!
  • Caitlyn
    Hi there, Beautiful bread and wonderful post. I wondered what size cast iron Dutch oven is best? Would a 5qt work? Not sure if that is a silly/lame question or not. Thank you. So many blessings.
  • Hello Green Kitchen! I believe I must sendyou a note about the virus you spread with this recipe. Since I found out about it in early september, we are baking brad regularly every weekend. From innocent white to all sorts of mixtures, the recipe works for is excellent and we are sending it around to our firends and family all the time. Everybody who tastes it, wants to know, how it can be done. Thank you very much! And yes we enjoy the other recepies as well! Allthe best, Maja
  • I tried your recipe a couple of days ago. But instead of leaving it on the bench top to get bubbly for 12hrs. I folded it a few times and then left the dough in the fridge for 3 days. (no time to bake- i live in hong kong - long hrs) Took it out and shaped it into a ball and put in a banneton to proof overnight. Baked it @ 6am next morning ---> success! Large crumbs and thin crunchy crust! Thank you so much for your awesome blog. I love it!!
  • I baked this in my oven, without a dutch oven, on my (preheated) pizza stone. It worked perfectly, although the crust came out perhaps softer than it would have in a dutch oven – still excellent. It would probably work using a cookie sheet, also, though I suspect it may stick some unless the sheet is preheated for a few minutes to make sure it’s hot.
  • Chico
    I had a go at your recipe. The bread turned out well possibly a little under proved but good taste and great crust. The dough was very wet and hard to handle at the folding stage. It actually wasn't possible to fold but I did my best to flop it around.Do you have any tips when this happens??
  • Raoul
    You mentioned Mark Bittman and New York Post but I believe you mean New York Times. I can not wait to try the recipe!
  • Jessica
    Hi again. I finally made this delicious bread. I checked with both of the Whole Foods markets in my area (Cleveland, OH) and neither carries light spelt flour. They would order it, but I wanted to make it right away so I substituted the light spelt with organic white flour. I also did not use any herbs in mine, but will try that next time. After the rise I had a difficult time getting all the dough out of the bowl. Very sticky. I dusted heavily and was able to fold it 4x. I dumped a lot of flour on the towel but still had sticking after letting it sit for 3 hrs. That was the only frustration I had. I wanted to get it in the oven quickly so I dumped as much as I could. Then I scraped what stuck to the towel and put it in a mini loaf pan so it wouldn't go to waste. In the end, the bread was perfectly baked. We used the little loaf as crackers for some goat cheese. We're enjoying the big loaf this morning with some olive oil, salt and better. The flavor of the spelt is complex and satisfying. I have baked other no-knead breads that were not as sticky with much the same end result. And that is why this method is amazing. It should be named the No Need to Worry Bread. I am going to order the light spelt flour and see how that loaf comes out. Thank you again.
    • Jane
      Mustard Seed Market and Earth Fare in Akron have Spelt flour. There is a Mustard Seed in Aurora but I do not go there and do not know what products they carry.
  • Philippine
    Dear good food lovers, I feel a bit stupid to ask (especially because I am Dutch) but what is meant by a Dutch oven? Is this the iron pan with lid you put in the oven? Can I use a Creuset pan for that purpose? Thanks again for sharing your passion with us!
    • Hi Philippine! No worries! You can use an oven proof dutch oven, cast iron or ceramic pot. You can also use a Le Creuset, but make sure it has a steel knob. Happy baking Luise
  • Oh sorrows! I was so excited to try this, especially since the demise of my own sourdough starter, but after 15 hours, I turned my dough onto the floured counter, and though bubbly and larger in size than before, it was just a big, wet plop. Waay too liquidy to even fold. For some reason, I forged on, and now it is a big wet plop in a floured tea towel, waiting to rise, but somehow I suspect it will not be salvaged. What could have gone wrong with this tried and true method?!
    • Fear not Erin, you describe our exact thought from when we first tried this bread. If you make sure to flour the dough generously you should be able to fold it, even though it seems very loose. And when it is done rising in the towel you just flop the dough into the hot pot. It still won't look like a perfect bread, but after some oven time it will. Best of luck, and let us know how it turned out. /Luise
  • Aleksandra Peyrer-Na
    My love affair with bread goes back a long way. I live in Austria where bread is fantastic but I have had my fair share of home-baked bread. I tried this method once as well and it came out very dense, so I didn't try it again. I am definately going to try this. I even tried getting a sour-dough starter going but I failed each time. I marked your recipe from the winter for sourdough bread and I am still looking forward to trying it some day. I always look forward to reading your post and have enjoyed many of your recipes(my kids included). The chanterelle bruschetta sounds amazing. Thank-you for so much inspiration!
  • shilpa
    This looks fabulous! Thank you!
  • I just discovered the joys of kamut flour myself. Made some fantastic bread the other day with kamut, semolina and linseed flour. Did you ever try using chestnut flour in your gluten-free baking experiments? It makes *fantastic* cakes! Love the look of this loaf - and hell, no-knead is always good. It's the bane of my life! I usually make enough dough for 9 loaves and freeze it so we have "instant" bread for the month, but damn it takes time to knead :D
  • Désirée
    Hey bloggers out there... i recently discovered your kitchenstories... and since then i check them at least once a day. everytime i log in i'm curious if you've already posted something new... it's like a little present when there is something new. this morning i even got up earlier to prepare the dough for this great-looking bread. i went to work and was curious the whole day what's going on with the dough in my kitchen. i love that feeling when you are looking forward for something the whole day. when i came home i opened the lid, it felt like beeing the little girl from earlier days, when my mum was baking. rightnow the dough is sleeping for the second time. hihi, kind of feels like christmas waiting for santa... just ignoring the fact that it is summer. Thank you David, Luise and Elsa for the backflash into my earlier childhood days... just by the means of your wonderful blog. Can't wait until my kitchen is filled with the lovely flavour of freshly baked bread.
  • My wild yeast sourdough starters have died twice already this summer and I don't think I can take anymore heartache! Definitely going with this recipe, thanks!
  • Bread and I go waaaaaay back -- it's an all love/love relationship, for sure. ;) And this loaf looks so incredibly gorgeous I can't take my eyes off it! Wow. Thank you for the recipes. I am so extremely excited to try them out!
  • Thanks for the great link and your bread looks awesome! I'm slowly but surely trying to get the hang of bread-baking and one of my conclusions are, just like it said in the article that you must let the dough rise sloooowly. It also seems like kneeding dough is a myth... Can't wait to give this recipe a try!
  • I have been making this bread forever as I think it is just the most successful way to make great bread at home. I have experimented with all kinds of flour and add-ins, and ate it in all forms --bruschetta, with ricotta and honey or jam for breakfast, panzanella etc. It also makes for a great pizza dough. I will surely try yours with 100% spelt, but I was wandering what is the difference between whole spelt and light spelt, and if they could be interchangeable in this recipe. Love your bruschetta, chanterelles here in London are pretty common too, so I bookmarked it for the good occasion.
    • Jessica
      The light spelt flour has had the bran and germ sifted out. It will create a lighter loaf than if you use all regular spelt. I will look for light spelt at Whole Foods today but if I cannot find it I will probably substitute organic unbleached white flour.
  • This looks so darned good. I love brushettea with tomatoes so I must try this version.

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