If you’ve read some of my early posts you’ve read about my friend Jean. She was Nanny Jean to my kids and not only a beloved friend but my mentor in so many ways. Jean was patient in her teaching as I was a very young wife and mom. I was really nervous when she told me she was going to have me make bread for the first time! But she taught me a really simple, really delicious way to make Jean’s No Knead Herb Bread and I still make it to this day!
Jean’s No Knead Herb Bread is so easy to make!
I love this bread not only because it’s so tasty but because on days when my hands can’t handle kneading I can still make great homemade bread. For our weekly dinner with Pete’s family I’m making Slow Cooker Pot Roast so I thought Jean’s No Knead Herb Bread would be perfect with it.
I start by measuring out two cups of all-purpose flour into a large mixing bowl. Then I add sugar, salt, and active dry yeast and stir them together. After those dry ingredients are mixed I add 1 1/4 cups of very warm water and mix it all up.
Using a wooden spoon I mix everything until the dough is nice and smooth. Then I add one more cup of flour to the dough and stir it until it’s all combined. I scrape the sides of the bowl and use the wooden spoon to move the dough to the center of the bowl.
I loosely cover the bowl with a plastic wrap the drape a couple of kitchen towels over the bowl.
The bowl goes in a warm, draft-free spot to rise. This takes between 30 and 40 minutes depending on the conditions in my kitchen on the day I’m baking.
While the dough is rising I grease a loaf pan and set it aside.
When the dough has doubled in size…
I stir it with my wooden spoon about 30 strokes. The dough will mostly pull away from the sides of the bowl. I pour it (it’s not a stiff dough) into the loaf pan and scrape down the bowl and add that to the pan as well. I don’t know if Jean always scraped every last bit of dough she could get because she was a child during the Depression but since I hate any waste I do it the way she did.
I flour my hands really well and pat and push the dough into the loaf pan.
Next I cover the loaf pan with the plastic wrap and towels and put it in the same warm spot so the dough rises again. This takes about 30 minutes. I preheat my oven after about 15 minutes so it’s ready to bake the bread.
When the dough has doubled in size in the loaf pan…
I pop it into the oven for 40 – 45 minutes. I want the top nicely browned and the loaf should sound hollow when I flick it (gently) with my finger.
I melt about 1 teaspoon of butter and brush it on the still hot loaf.
Then comes the hard part; waiting until the loaf has cooled!
I mean, just look at the herbs and the crust and the… I need to eat this!
Did I mention I love Jean’s No Knead Herb Bread? It’s just so darned delicious! I was supposed to take it to Pete’s but I decided I just had to taste test it.
Then Andi came over and she had to try it, too. Then Mr. Comfortable wanted to sample a piece. I ended up having to make a second loaf so there would be enough for dinner!
Jean’s No Knead Herb Bread
Savory and delicious Jean's No Knead Herb Bread is also easy to make! If you're new to baking bread this is the recipe for you!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cups very warm water (120 -130 degrees)
- 2 tablespoons lard (shortening will work as well)
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon butter
- Pour 2 cups of the flour in a large mixing bowl, and then add the sugar, salt, and yeast.
- Mix dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
- Add the warm water and mix the ingredients again.
- Add shortening, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
- Mix until smooth.
- Add remaining flour and stir until well combined.
- Scrape dough from the bowl and push the dough to the center of the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a loose layer of plastic wrap and a couple of towels.
- Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in size (30 – 45 minutes).
- Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
- When dough has doubled stir it with the wooden spoon for a minute (about 30 strokes), then pour dough into loaf pan being sure to scrape all the dough from bowl.
- Flour your hands really well and pat the dough so it fills the loaf pan.
- Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and towels as you did with the bowl.
- Allow the dough to rise in the loaf pan until it has doubled in size (25 – 30 minutes).*See Note
- While dough is rising in loaf pan preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Bake for 40 – 45 minutes. The bread should be golden brown and sound hollow when you flick it (gently!) with your finger.
- Melt the butter and brush it over the top of the hot loaf of bread.
- Allow bread to cool before slicing.
If dough rises too much in the loaf pan just gently punch it down and re-cover to rise again.