No Knead Olive Oil Bread

No Knead Olive Oil Bread

No knead Olive oil bread was the first bread that I baked for our family. I had decided that I needed to learn how to bake bread. One main reason was, where we live, I could not find any good bakeries in the area, and I absolutely prefer bakery bread than supermarket ones. So, hands on! 

I asked my Uncle Jaime to help me out and if he could share one of his good recipes, knowing that he was already baking his own bread and making his own cheese. So, the adventure began, and I followed his recipe, which did not work very well for me, because I found the dough too wet to work with. He taught me to experiment, by adding more flour or less water. Kneading the dough is also an important factor. I had a lot to learn.  

Starting with a no kneading Olive Oli bread was great, especially when I was not comfortable at kneading and at getting the correct quantity of water and flour together. 

Three weeks had gone by, and I had baked many breads until I got to this one bread. Of course, to get there, I wrote all my experiences in a dairy, which I still write today. It is an amazing idea to register what we are doing and how we are doing it, so we can go back and be able to correct ourselves and to bake again the same product. 

My first bread is definitely, the No Knead Olive Oil Bread. It is amazingly simple to bake but it does have a few techniques. No Kneading necessary, but you do need a good strong arm to incorporate the ingredients together. 

front image of the olive oil bread sitting over a marble surface.

How to make this No Knead Olive Oil bread

When making a no knead Olive Oil Bread, the first thing to do is, in a large bowl, add the yeast to warm water. When the yeast has dissolved, add in the flour and salt. Mix all the ingredients with a good hardy wooden spoon. Remember, you will not be kneading the dough, so do your best with the wooden spoon. I find this dough too sticky to go hands on, and I do not want to add more flour to it. I like to be consistent with my recipes, so no kneading, nor adding additional flour or water to this recipe. 

When the dough is finally all incorporated, scoop out the dough and place it in another bowl. In it, the dough will rise for about an hour in olive oil. While rising, the bowl is wrapped in an airtight plastic bag. 

After 1 hour rise

After 1 hour rise, on a clean surface, not floured, pull out the dough from the bowl. I use a plastic dough scraper to help me out on this part. When the dough falls onto the surface, the remaining olive oil that has not soaked into the dough will appear sitting over it.  

Stretch the ends of the dough so that the olive oil does not drip on the sides onto the surface. In this step, try to save as much olive oil as you can. Remember to scrape whatever olive oil is still in the bowl and on the surface and add it to the center of the dough. 

In this next step, grab the ends of the dough, one at a time, and fold it to the center over the olive oil. The olive oil will be tucked away into the dough and again place the dough into the bowl and let it rise another hour or until it has doubled in size. 

After it has doubled in size

After it has doubled in size, pull the dough out of the bowl, and shape it gently, so that it does not rip open. We certainly do not want the olive oil to flow out of the dough.  

Reminder: Don’t flour the surface of your workspace, olive oil needs to incorporate into the dough, and flour does not help this process. 

4 shaped doughs proofing in baskets
1 floured empty basket

How to shape

With this particular bread, tuck the bottom edges to the center in a circular form or in an oval form, depending on the basket it will be proofing in. The tucking side will be the bottom of the bread. So, that is the side you will be looking at when putting it to proof.

Before placing the shaped dough into the proofing basket, sift a lot of flour into it. The flour allows the dough to easily drop out of the basket without a fuss.

Proofing

Proofing time is between 15 to 20 mins. It is the time my oven takes to Pre-heat. While proofing, the basket is in a plastic bag, it prevents it from drying and creating a thin crust.

When preheating the oven, I also preheat my Dutch Oven, which I recommend, without a doubt. High heat results really well with the initial rise of the bread.

Final step

Finally, your oven indicates that you are ready to place the bread into the preheated Dutch Oven, but before that, turn the bread onto a parchment paper.

Scoring

With a sharp knife or a sharp, clean razor blade, you now, should score into the bread. You may score with one line or two or a cross if you prefer. Scoring allows you to control how the bread will open while baking in the oven.

Olive oil bread wrapped in parchment paper and placed in an orange Dutch Oven sitting on a marble surface

Why the parchment paper?

Parchment paper will help you place the bread into the Dutch Oven without burning yourself and it even helps you place the dough carefully into the Dutch Oven without ruining it.

Baking Bread

Baking bread has a lot to say. If your temperature is too high, then you must think about how long you want it to bake. The Dutch Oven helps a lot in this process, because with the lid on, it creates steam for the bread to rise and to grow beautifully. Halfway through the baking, take the lid off, it will allow the bread to continue baking, giving it some colour and allowing it to create the perfect crust.

Cooling Rack

Placing the Bread on a cooling rack before slicing into it, is especially important. It allows the bread to continue to cook with the steam that is still sealed inside it. If you cut into it too soon, the bread will appear wet and not completely baked. When this happens, you can see it in the bread’s texture and the residue left on the bread’s knife. 

I hope that this post is helpful in creating the perfect bread, of some kind. The ingredients are simple. I use warm water, dry yeast, flour, and salt. What I found hard, was behind the scenes of all the process before putting the bread into the oven. So, if there are any questions, let me know and I hope I can help you on your journey. 

back image of the olive oil bread sitting on a marble surface

I will create videos on how all this comes together. But for now, I will share some photos.

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