No-Knead Onion Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
  • 3 large onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 500g (or 4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • ¼ teaspoon active-dry yeast
  • 360ml (or 1½ cups) water
  • all-purpose flour for dusting
  • semolina flour for dusting
  1. First, peel the onions and cut them into thin slices. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then add the onions. Stir to coat the onions with the oil, then sprinkle in the sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have turned a deep golden brown. This takes about 30 minutes. Transfer the onions to a heatproof bowl and leave to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cooled onions, flour, salt and yeast. Add the water and, using one hand, roughly mix most of the water into the dry ingredients. Add the remaining water to fully absorb the dry ingredients. The resulting dough should be very wet and sticky.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to sit on the countertop at room temperature for 18 to 24 hours. Once the dough has risen dramatically and the surface of the dough looks nice and bubbly, place a sheet of baking parchment on your countertop and dust it generously with all-purpose flour. 'Pour' the dough, which is very wet and glutenous, onto the floured surface, scraping the sides of the bowl with a wooden spoon. Dust the top of the dough with some more flour and gently, press, lift and fold the dough over onto itself a couple of times.
  4. Dust the bowl with some more flour and form the dough into a ball shape by tucking the sides of the dough underneath. Put the dough ball back into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap again, and leave to rise for another two hours.
  5. NOTE: don't leave it to rest longer than two hours, or the dough will become too wet to easily lift out of the bowl once you're ready to bake it. It will still taste delicious though, so don't worry about it if you've somehow didn't manage to get it in the oven in time!
  6. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 230°C or 450°F (standard oven setting). Place a lidded Dutch oven or heavy cast iron pot in the oven as it heats up to get it piping hot.
  7. Once the dough has risen and the oven and the pot are hot, take the pot out of the oven, take the lid off and sprinkle some semolina flour in the pot. This will prevent the dough from sticking. Dust your hands with some all-purpose flour and carefully place the dough into the pot. Put the lid back on and place the pot back in the oven.
  8. After 30 minutes of baking, remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes. Take the pot out of the oven, then take the bread out of the pot and leave to cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before cutting into it.
Recipe by The Tough Cookie at