No-Knead Bread Recipe with Dried Fruit & Nuts (2024)

When was the last time someone served you homemade bread? Yeah, I can’t remember either. That’s probably because making traditional bread is a multi-step process that requires a lot of time and patience, which conflicts with busy, modern lives. So, when the February issue of Bon Appetit magazine arrived in my mailbox with the glorious photo of beautiful bread gracing the cover, and the accompanying feature story devoted to making artisan bread at home, I was delighted. A no-knead bread recipeseems to be just what the doctor ordered.

I, too, recently jumped on the artisan bandwagon. Although I’m late to the party, the trend of baking your own bread has been around now for a few years and is credited withthe story and recipe shared by Mark Bittman in the New York Times. This no-knead bread recipe was developed by Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery, a SoHo institution whose bread graces the tables of some of the finest restaurants in New York. Besides the AMAZING fact that there is NO-KNEADING – the loaves are baked in your kitchen using a preheated Dutch oven. It effectively transfers heat and moisture allowing the loaf to develop a crisp golden crust, paired with an airy, tender crumb (crumb is what the texture of the bread is called).

The Mysterious Food Allergy

This idea intrigued me because there is nothing better than fresh bread. I also just happened to be up to my elbows in flour, attempting to solve a food allergy mystery. As I mentioned in my post for Healthy Banana Muffins, it was only through a process of elimination that we determined my husband appeared to be having an allergic reaction to wheat. Some bread, pasta, and yes, even beer, created reactions severe enough to require almost daily doses of Benadryl. If you’ve ever taken Benadryl, you know it pretty much knocks you out – not a good option for highly functioning adults. As an aside, I’ll also share a bit of Benadryl trivia to file away in the “I didn’t know that” category. The allergist told us you could be charged with a DUI if you are driving under the influence of Benadryl!!!! Say-What!! — that’s a fact we found extremely sobering.

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The allergy series ruled out gluten as the culprit, which everyone suspected. Gluten has gotten a really bad rap lately, but in this case, it is not the villain. What we learned through this process is that the hybridization of modern wheat (to create better products — better yields, pest resistance, etc.) changes the genetic structure of the wheat proteins. It was suggested that we try using sprouted grains to see if this might solve a piece of the puzzle. Several months in, I am happy to report success, and sprouted wheat is back on the table!!! Sprouted grains are assimilated differently by the body. Because the grains are sprouted first, they are easier to digest. In my husband’s case, they eliminated the allergic response. I am using One Degree sprouted organic wheat (link) and sprouted organic spelt as my grains. Each person’s physiology is different, and I am only speaking based on my own experience. If you don’t have an issue, regular all-purpose flour works great in this recipe, too.

Let’s Bake no-Knead Bread!

The recipe couldn’t be easier. You stir a few ingredients together, let them sit overnight, and the next day, you bake a loaf of bread. SIMPLE – DONE – GLORIOUS! This is ano-knead bread recipe that produces bakery-quality artisan loaves with outstanding taste! Ready to begin?

Step 1:

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In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and yeast until well mixed. Pour in warm water (about 110 degrees F, slightly warmer than lukewarm) and use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until it forms a wet, sticky and shaggy dough. No kneading – just cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for at least 12 hours (no more than 24 hours). The dough will be more than doubled in size, bubbly and flattened on top. Now it’s ready for baking.

Step 2:

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Heat your oven to 450 degrees F. When the oven is at temperature, place a covered Dutch oven on the center rack, and heat for at least an additional 30 minutes. Meanwhile, using floured hands (the dough will be sticky) transfer dough to a well-floured sheet of parchment paper. The parchment goes into the Dutch oven along with the bread, and you will use it to transport the bread in and out of the pan, so make sure it is long enough to fit down each side and across the bottom. Shape the dough into a ball and sprinkle the top lightly with more flour. Cover the dough with a sheet of plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes. Before baking begins, score the top of the loaf several times (cut with a sharp knife). In addition to allowing the dough to expand much faster in the oven, it also provides a nice decorative effect.

Step 3:

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Remove the Dutch oven (be careful, it will be insanely hot!) and remove the lid. Pick up the sides of the parchment paper with the dough on it, and transfer the dough to the pan. Replace the lid and return to the oven. Bake for 35 minutes covered. Remove the lid and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the top of the bread is a beautiful golden brown. YOU BAKED THAT. And it was amazingly simple!

Step 4:

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Let the bread cool for just a few minutes, and then use the parchment paper to lift it out of the pot and onto a cooling rack. Be patient and cool completely! It will be hard to wait, but it is best when you allow the crust to set and cool before you begin to slice. YOU BAKED THAT, and it was amazingly simple.

Make It Your Own

Once you get the basic recipe down you can begin to experiment on your own by adding your own creative ingredients. I’ve made olive bread, dried blueberry and pecan bread, and cranberry walnut varieties, too! The results are so yummy you won’t have any trouble finding people to help eat it!

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Once you make your first loaf of no-knead bread you may get bitten by the bread bug just like me! The basic recipe is so easy and it allows for all sorts of variations. Don’t be afraid to try mixing grains, adding your own personal favorites mix-ins like roasted garlic, olives, dried fruitand nuts, or anything else you like. Most important don’t be afraid to play,amazing things happen in the kitchen when you do!

If you make this recipe, please share the results with me by leaving a comment below, or post a picture to Instagram and tag it #seasonalmusebread.

Bon Appetite!

Book Recommendation

I love this book! The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day was recommended to me as the definitive no-knead bread baking resource guide. This is the second edition and includes over 400 pages of photos and recipes including gluten-free recipe options. It’s a book to consider adding to your cook’s library if you want more inspiration and want to take your bread baking to the next level.

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No-Knead Bread Recipe with Dried Fruit & Nuts (2024)
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