Easiest ever no-knead crusty Provençal country loaf


No-knead Provençal pot bread with olives

This no-knead French style pot bread was an absolute revelation. Hands down easiest and best bread I have ever made. Soft in the inside and beautifully crusty on the outside.

I'm sure lots of bakers have been doing this for years, but I just got the idea and recipe for this ridiculously easy no-knead bread from my sister. She knows the husband of a food blogger who had blogged this recipe- here is the original post – it is a very nice blog written in English by a French lady who now lives in Helsinki. So my sister has made this and recommended it. She is much more of a baker than I am, but I do love bread and get bored with the shop bought stuff so wanted to give this a go.

This recipe is fantastic not only because it’s so easy but also because it is so versatile. You can change the flour, add seeds, fresh or dry herbs, olives, onion, anything. And no kneading or messy table tops. Just mix in a bowl, leave overnight to rise, pop in a pre-heated pot and bake.

I added a sprinkling of Chia seeds because I just happened to see the pack as was buying some Goji berries in H&B. We visited some friends for their son’s birthday last weekend and I mentioned how healthy and blooming the host looked. Or I might not have used the word blooming, but he actually was all glowing like pregnant women sometimes are before they inevitably turn all grumpy and bloated.

I don't blame them.

Apparently it is all because of goji berries, the blossoming. A teaspoon a day will transform you, your face, your intestines, give you better behaved children, less points on your license and improved mathematical skills. More than a teaspoon will give you diarrhoea.

But even the diarrhoea is not bad, announced the newly enlightened hippy happily, it’s just the body getting rid of toxins.

So whilst searching the shelves for the Goji berries which I can’t believe we have survived without all this time, I noticed all these other essential nuts and seeds like Chia which will save husband from heart disease and me from osteoporosis. Although I have quite strong and big bones, you can ask my mother. My shoulders are like barn doors apparently. Luckily I am not traumatised by this at all.

Plus we’ll be slim and uncreased as we tuck into our bouillabaisse and provençal olive bread. So yes the other things I added was some provençal herbs and green olives and served it with my bouillabaisse.

And today I already baked a second loaf for breakfast. This time I used half whole wheat seeded bread flour and half white, again with some Chia seeds and fresh rosemary.
Bouillabaisse and home made crusty bread

Versatile French style no-knead pot bread

3 cups of bread flour 
1 tsp salt
½ -1 tsp dry yeast
1 ½ cups of water
Optional additions:
2 tsp provencal herb mix
Handful of green olives, pitted and slices
Handful of Chia seeds

Mix everything apart from the water in a bowl and then add the lukewarm water mixing with a wooden spoon until mixed but don't knead. Leave in room temperatire to rise for 12 to 24 hours. 

When ready to bake heat the oven to 230 C and place a dutch oven or other lidded oven pot in the oven to heat. Take the pot out and oil very lightly (the bread apparently doesn't stick even if you leave out this step) and pour the dough into the pot. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes.

Seeded no-knead crusty pot bread

No-knead pot loaf

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