No Knead Bread with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Rosemary

If you are already a fan of No Knead Bread, here's a delicious way to make a savory version with tons of flavor to go alongside your next Italian dinner.

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Hands holding two halves of no knead bread, showing the crumb inside of the loaf.

What is No Knead Bread?

For those of you unfamiliar with no knead bread, it’s a way of making delicious artisanal loaves of bread without having to knead it at all. It was made famous by baker and owner of the Sullivan Street Bakery, Jim Lahey and it’s really taken hold of home bakers everywhere. Instead of kneading, you just have to let the dough rise and rest for a long time – 12 to 18 hours. That time is sufficient to develop the gluten necessary for bread. Then, you bake it in the oven in a cast iron pot, creating an oven within an oven, and you end up with a fantastic looking loaf, full of flavor. When you make sun-dried tomato no knead bread, however, you’ll get even more flavor and a true rustic bread to serve as a sandwich or just next to your delicious dinner. 

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Flour, yeast and salt in a stainless steel bowl with small bowls of olives, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh rosemary next to it.

Ingredients for Sun-Dried Tomato No Knead Bread

You don’t need much for this recipe (get it?) – bread flour, whole wheat flour, yeast, salt and water, and then your flavoring ingredients – sun-dried tomatoes (I prefer oil-packed), olives (I used Kalamata here, but you do you) and some chopped fresh rosemary (but oregano would be nice too). 

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No knead bread dough mixed together in a stainless steel bowl with a wooden spoon.

Mixing the Dough

Mixing the dough is just what it says – just mix the ingredients together until there are no more streaks of dry flour. You can use a spatula, a wooden spoon or just your hands, but mix it in a bowl that has room for the dough to rise and expand.

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No knead bread dough in a stainless steel bowl after rising for 18 hours.

Let it Rise… For a Long Time

The rising time is serious – twelve to eighteen hours – so it’s best made in the evening and left to rise overnight while you are sleeping. Cover it with a lid or some plastic wrap and let it do its thing. After it has risen, it will be bubbly and light. Turn it over with your hands and shape it into some sort of a circle. Place it on a piece of parchment paper that has been floured to rest for another hour.

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Slashing the Bread (if you want to)

While the dough is resting in its circle shape, pre-heat the oven with the cast iron pan inside for at least 30 minutes. I put the loaf on parchment and then onto a sheet pan that has no sides so I can slide it into the cast iron pot easily. Before putting it in the pot, however, you can slash the loaf if you like. Slashing the loaf ensures that the steam that escapes from the bread as it bakes will break the bread open where you want it to crack. You don’t have to slash the bread. If you don’t, the steam will just form a crack wherever it wants to and there’s no harm in that. This is not the sort of bread you’ll make designs on with a bread lame because there are too many chunky ingredients inside.

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No knead bread with sun-dried tomatoes and olives baked in a cast iron pan, sitting on a wooden table with a green kitchen towel.

Baking Time for No Knead Bread

Bake the bread, covered in the cast iron pot, in a hot (450˚F) oven for 30 minutes with the lid on. Then, remove the lid and let it continue to bake and brown for 15 to 20 minutes. Removing the lid is my favorite part because you’ll get your first glance at what is to come.

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Sun-dried tomato no knead bread, cut in half on a cutting board with a bread knife.

How to Serve Sun-Dried Tomato No Knead Bread

You can serve this bread all on its own – it’s that good. Or, you could serve it with some olive oil to dip into next to a perfect Italian pasta dinner. It could also go next to a cheese board or be made into a sandwich with some Italian meats and cheeses, but I’ll bet you’ll snack on it all by itself.

No Knead Bread with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Olives and Rosemary

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 41 m
  • Rising Time: 14 h
  • Total Time: 14 h 51 m
  • Servings:
    12

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour 420 g
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour 140 g
  • ¾ teaspoon active dry yeast 4 g
  • 2 teaspoons salt 10 g
  • ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes 75 g
  • ½ cup olives sliced (75 g)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary 2 g
  • 1½ to 1¾ cups water 405 g

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Stir to combine and add the sun-dried tomatoes, olives and rosemary. Stir to distribute all the ingredients well. Add the water and stir everything together. The dough should be shaggy and a little sticky. Just stir and turn the dough over until there are no traces of dry ingredients.
  2. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours. The longer you let it sit, the more flavor is developed. After 18 hours, the dough will have risen and may be a shade darker than it was when you started.
  3. Place a piece of parchment paper on the countertop and dust very generously with flour. Wet your hands and fold the dough over on itself a few times to release the air inside the dough. (Wetting your hands will help prevent the dough from sticking to you.) Shape the dough into a round and place it on the floured parchment paper, seam side down.
  4. Dust more flour on the top of the dough and cover the dough by inverting the mixing bowl over the top. (Alternately, you could use a clean kitchen towel to cover the dough, but I find this often sticks to the dough, ruining both the appearance of the bread and the towel.) Let the dough rest like this for up to 2 hours. After the dough has rested for 1 hour on the countertop, place a lidded cast iron Dutch oven into your oven and pre-heat the oven to 500ºF for 30 minutes.

  5. Then, working carefully, remove the Dutch oven from the oven and take off the lid. Slash the top of the bread using a baker’s lame or a serrated knife if you want to. Use the parchment paper to lift the shaped dough into the pot, paper and all, and cover with the lid. Return the pot to the oven, reduce the temperature to 450˚F and bake, covered for 30 minutes.

  6. After 30 minutes, remove the lid from the Dutch oven and let the bread continue to bake until it is nicely browned on top - about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven and let the bread sit in it for about 5 minutes. Then, transfer the beautiful loaf to a cooling rack to cool. Although it is tempting to dive right in, let the bread cool for 30 minutes before enjoying.
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Comments (6)Post a Reply

  1. Flour type under picture says bread flour. Recipe says all purpose flour.
    Which one is correct? Love all your recipes. Many are my go-tos.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Julie. The water doesn’t HAVE to be warm because this no knead bread is going to take so long to rise. You can use water up to 90˚F to activate the yeast a little faster, but over the course of 12 to 18 hours, the dough temperature will naturally be at the right temperature.

    1. Hi Helen. It really depends on the environment. If the environment is cold, then yes it can rise for longer than 18 hours. If the dough is rising in a warm environment, however, the dough will eventually collapse if you rise it too long.

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