I love kneading dough. There is something quite therapeutic about it. I feel a sense of achievement by getting the hands on experience of making bread dough.

However, if you do not like kneading dough, here is a recipe for a gorgeous crusty loaf that does not need to be kneaded! It does take a long time to rise, so I suggest you make this mix after dinner and let it rise overnight, so it is ready to be baked the morning after.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of high protein white flour
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups warm water
Method:

    1. Add all ingredients to a large deep bowl and stir them together with a spatula. At first the mix will seem too wet, then it will seem too dry, then all the ingredients will have combined together and at that point it has been stirred enough. You do not need to knead this dough.
    2. Cover the bowl with a lid or some clean dry tea towels not touching the mix. Let the dough rise for 18 hours at room temperature. (Seems like a long time but it is well worth it as the dough will be nice and airy). (Notice the elasticity of the gluten strands in the dough in our second photo. That is a perfectly risen dough.)
    3. On a lightly oiled baking sheet, sprinkle some semolina or polenta to prevent the bread sticking during baking. Punch down the dough lightly with a spatula and fold the dough on itself. Transfer and shape the dough on the baking sheet and then cover the dough with some oiled plastic wrap and let it rise again for 2 hours.
    4. Pre-heat the oven at 220 degrees Celcius. Add the dough to the oven and cook for about 35-45 minutes until golden brown.

You can use any flour you have in the cupboard but I love using the Lighthouse brand of flour as it is high in protein, meaning the gluten content is higher and the bread will turn out with beautiful air bubbles in it, crusty on the outside and soft in the middle. If you use a wholemeal flour the bread will be a little heavier due to the fibre content.