No-knead barley bread

by Paula Casimiro
Homemade bread always reminds me of my paternal grandparents. Especially the aroma of bread baked in a wood-fired oven which remembers me of the heavy corn broas (a Portuguese type of artisan corn bread), which were the only kind of bread that was eaten at their home, a farm lost in the foothills of the Lousã mountain range. However, this bread I bring you today reminds me above all of my maternal grandparents, who were city-dwellers and who bought their bread at the street bakery, but who drank the so-called barley “coffee”, made from ground toasted barley. It hadn’t any coffee at all yet its aroma filling the air in the morning resembled that of coffee and paired beautifully with the smell of hot buttered toasts. I do prefer the real coffee but even today there is always a jar of this type of cereal “coffee” at my mother’s house.

These are the memories that I bring to today’s recipe, a no-knead barley bread with a soft interior and a crunchy crust that you can easily make in your oven at home. As it says in the title, this is a bread that does’t need to be kneaded but, like all good things, it will need time to grow, between 12 to 24 hours to be more precise. It is a technique that was popularized a few years ago and that always results well.

A small amount of roasted barley gave the bread this deep dark color and a scent reminiscent of coffee. It’s a bread of intense flavor, a bit bitter, and with roasted cereals notes. Let me tell you that this no-knead barley bread is the kind of bread you’ll want to have around to accompany a dish with an equally strong and juicy sauce.

I hope you like it and see you soon.
No-knead barley bread
No-knead barley bread
No-knead barley bread
No-knead barley bread

No-knead barley bread

Based on the no-knead bread recipe by Jim Lahey

makes a small loaf

Prep time:

Cook time:


  • 400g all-purpose flour + more to coat the work surface
  • 100g roasted ground barley
  • 5g baker’s dry yeast
  • 7,5g sea salt
  • 350g water at room temperature
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil



  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, barley, baking powder and salt. Make a hole in the middle and add the water. Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate all the ingredients but do not worry about a very homogeneous dough. Pour a little olive oil on top and roll the dough between your hands so it is evenly greased. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place. Let it rest at least 12 hours, but the ideal is 18 hours (can go up to 24 hours).
  2. By the end of this time the dough should have increased in volume and will look bubbly. Put parchment paper on the countertop or a board. Spread a little flour over the top, then place the dough, and finally sprinkle with a little more flour. Fold each of the four ends (right, left, up and down) toward the center, press lightly and repeat. Turn the dough upside down, give it a rounded shape, lightly sprinkle with flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap and then with a kitchen cloth. Let it rise for two more hours.
  3. Half an hour before the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 230ºC, placing an oven-safe pot inside. I use a Dutch oven but you can use another type of covered pot, including pyrex or ceramic, as long as it is suitable for oven.
  4. When ready to bake, carefully remove the pot from the oven and put the dough inside. Shake the pot gently to spread the dough evenly and make a cut on the surface with a sharp knife. Cover and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. At the end of this time, remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown to your liking. Let your no-knead barley bread cool on a rack.

Try also this pesto braided bread
Pesto braided bread



I would love to hear from you on this article, in particular, or on the blog, in general. You can use the comments box at the end of each post or send me an e-mail through the contact page. You can also follow the blog on Instagram and Pinterest and, if you would like to receive the new articles delivered directly to your inbox, you may subscribe the newsletter at the end of this page.

See you soon.

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies Accept Find out more

paula casimiro photography chocolate pie

Let’s keep in touch. Get an e-mail whenever there is a new article

No, thank you