No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread

You did see the word cheesy, right?

(This post is in partnership with Harvesters! But we’ll get to that.)

No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread / Bev Cooks

You know my obsession with Bittman’s no-knead bread. I make it 87 times a day and blab about it 157 times a day. It’s an unstable mental condition and I won’t do a single thing about it.

But GUESS WHAT I DID TO IT. (the bread, not my mental condition.)

It’s been Bevified. (<–please don’t delete me from your life.)

I added spices to it. And CHEESE to it. (!) Little baby cubes of aged white cheddar that melt into surprise gooey pockets of holiday frickin’ cheer.

Wanna see?

No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread / Bev Cooks

Simple enough, right?

I know my Italian seasoning looks RED. When most Italian seasonings look more GREEN. Which coincidentally are both holiday colors so you’re automatically on the nice list. Either one works! My bread ended up having a teensy red hue, but yours might have more green in it. Doesn’t affect the chemical conspiculatory confoundment rebalanaculamitary makeup whatsoever.

Don’t quote me on that. ^

No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread / Bev Cooks

So just toss it all in a bowl and hire a tiny hand to help stir (read: destroy) the dry stuff.

No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread / Bev Cooks

After you add the (room temp!) water, mix it together. This is what it’ll be: sticky, messy, scraggly. Just like my soul.

Cover it with some plastic wrap and a tea towel, and let her rest for like, EIGHTEEN HOURS. At least 12. A long time. Overnight. Write your Christmas cards. REFILL YOUR ‘NOG.

No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread / Bev Cooks

Next day!

That yeast had a party, man. And no one called the cops.

It will have tripled in size (at least), grown veeeeery bubbly and extreeeeemely sticky. Not sure why mine has a kitten’s rear end in it. Yours will be better.

No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread / Bev Cooks

At this point, put a bunk ton of flour on your hand and scrap it out onto a floured work surface. THIS is where the no knead part comes in. You’ll simply fold it over itself three or four times and watch it become a silky ball of dough with knobbies of cheese peaking out to say hi. Hi!

Also, ignore my nails. Sometimes we can’t have it all in life.

Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest another 20 minutes. THEN flip it over itself again another three or four times, cover with a towel and let it rest for about two more hours. Seems crazy, but after you do it enough (remember the 87 times a day thing I said?) you’ll be able to do it asleep. But probably don’t try that.

No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread / Bev Cooks

OUT OF THE OVEN. Guuuuuh. Rustic, peaky, crusty, tiny cheesy craters of tongue euphoria.

Now 87 times a day make sense to you.

No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread / Bev Cooks

SEE THE POCKETS? SEE THE CHEESE? THE OOZE? Sorry to scream at you.

No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread / Bev Cooks

We recently went to a Fakesgiving dinner out on our friends’ farm, so we took a cheesy version, and then the plain version, which is JUST AS brilliant and will not get kicked out of your mouths.

This bread is my legit go-to when it comes to any party or gathering contribution. I make it for friends’ birthdays, holiday dinners, soup pot lucks, new neighbors – it seriously works for anything! My point is. Make this. Make this and give it away. Okay, make two. Keep one and give the other one. Because as we officially enter the SEASON OF GIVING (not screaming at you), I’m totally reminded of this: there are things we need, things we want, and things we love. FOOD is all three.

No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread / Bev Cooks

And I know the whole idea of “giving back” this season feels totally vague, overwhelming and a bit cliché. But it doesn’t have to feel like that. You can give back in YOUR STYLE. Whether it be donating your time at Harvesters, dropping off canned goods at the donation bins, helping out your local soup kitchen, or just finding a simple way to contribute communally. It’s all amazing and it’s all helpful.

No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread / Bev Cooks

You can even enlist tiny helpers to do your work for you while you sit around with red wine and Christmas movies. Ha!

Never mind.

No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread
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  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup tiny cubes of aged white cheddar cheese
  • 1 & 2/3 cup tepid water


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning and cheese cubes. Whisk together until combined. Add the water and stir, using a wooden spoon, until the mix is shaggy and sticky and weird but amazing. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel, set it and forget it for AT LEAST 12 hours.
  2. Next day: using a well-floured hand, pull the (very risen and bubbly!) dough from the bowl and onto a floured work surface. Keep flouring the dough as you fold it over itself a few times, forming a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit about 20 minutes. Then fold it over itself another few times (like, three to five times) and reshape the ball. Lightly flour the top and cover with a towel for another two hours.
  3. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 450. Place a large, lidded dutch oven in the oven while it preheats. Transfer the ball of dough to the pot, place the lid on it and slide it in for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and let the bread bake another 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  4. Remove the bread from the pot and let rest for about 20 minutes before you inhale.
  5. *there MAY BE a little cheese stickage in your pot. So it might take a crank or two to loosen the bread. But the bottom is ridiculously glorious, so it’s worth it.
  6. *original recipe is Mark Bittman’s, but I tweaked the flavors (WITH CHEESE) to make it my own. Ha-boom.

No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread / Bev Cooks

This bread is KILLER. If you get the chance to make it and share it with your friends or neighbors or community this season – awesome.

But just save me a piece or 80, ‘mkay?

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30 Responses to No-Knead Cheesy Rustic Bread

  1. Crystal November 30, 2017 at 11:13 am #
    I can't wait to make this! Might be a silly question but is the cheese ok left out for so many hours?
    • Christina November 30, 2017 at 11:23 am #
      I had the exact same question!!!!
      • Bev Weidner November 30, 2017 at 11:33 am #
        Absolutely! It's never really OUT out. It's inside the dough, and covered with plastic wrap and a towel. You're all good!
    • Bev Weidner November 30, 2017 at 11:32 am #
      Totally! It's never really out. It's in the dough, and covered with plastic wrap and a towel. It's perfect!
      • Cassie October 30, 2023 at 7:35 am #
        I've been making your recipe for the last few years and it turns out awesome every. Darn. Time. Occasionally, like today, I forget to make it the night before and it still turns out delicious. My kids love it too. We've really enjoyed adding everything bagel seasoning to flavor it, HIGHLY recommend it. Thanks for the keeper recipe!
  2. McKenzi November 30, 2017 at 1:43 pm #
    Cannot wait to make this! In Bittman's recipe it calls for Instant Yeast. Any reason you go with dry active?
    • Bev Weidner November 30, 2017 at 3:47 pm #
      I've used both and the result's always been the same!
  3. ilovehhg December 1, 2017 at 10:21 am #
    Yum!! This looks SO good! I can't wait to make it:) My family loves bread! :) Thanks for the recipe.
  4. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) December 1, 2017 at 7:28 pm #
  5. Leslie December 6, 2017 at 6:30 pm #
    I'm in my 4th hour out of 12 and I can't wait. I'm known to eat an entire loaf of bread so this could be dangerous. I love how adorable you packaged your bread up as a present. Would you mind sharing what type of bag you used? BTW, your children are the cutest! Thank you!
  6. Kellie December 12, 2017 at 4:51 pm #
    I’ve made this twice now and it’s a big hit! I also tried it with sliced sundried tomatoes instead of the cheddar cubes and it’s heavenly.
  7. Breanne December 13, 2017 at 4:07 pm #
    Holy dreamboat loaf! GIMB. My yeast is currently having a dance party... dance on while I stare at the clock! My add, Rose to the Mary;) Thanks for sharing!
  8. Kelsey R December 13, 2017 at 9:33 pm #
    Does it need to rest in the fridge or on the counter? Also why a wooden spoon? Also does it have to be a dutch oven or is a regular large pot work? I NEED HELP TO BECOME A DOMESTIC MOTHER! TAKE PITY ON ME! Thanks :)
    • Bev Weidner December 14, 2017 at 6:42 am #
      1) Just let it rest on the counter! No chilling needed. You'll keep the dough covered, so it won't dry out. 2) Wooden spoons just work best! 3) Any big pot with a lid! You'll uncover the bread the last 15 minutes of baking to get it good and brown on top. Enjoy!
      • Kelsey R December 19, 2017 at 11:08 am #
        Thank you so much! I am now making this bread for the third time and it has been such a hit with everyone i've served it to! Thanks for helping me seem like i have my crap together! :)
  9. Fatima December 27, 2017 at 12:21 pm #
    I just made this bread ! It didn't turn out as pretty as yours but that's fine :) I let it rise about 18 hours but for some reason the dough was still sticky eventhough I kept adding tons of flour... and theeen what happened is that I put my Le creuset Dutch oven in the oven and the lid MELTED hahaha (I read on their website that you shouldn't put it in the oven above 400... now I know.) Well, it was fun making this bread :) next time will be better !
  10. katherine January 31, 2018 at 4:16 pm #
    this bread turned out AMAZINGLY delicious. I added rosemary and used smoked cheddar cheese cubes and I'm ready to eat the whole thing now for dinner.
  11. Sascha February 18, 2018 at 8:01 am #
    Hi! I tired the recipe this weekend, it was a lot of fun! I was a little confused as to which quantity of water to use though: 1 AND 2/3 cups of just 2/3 cup? Bcause Bittman's recipe only required 5/8 cup of water (more or less equivalent to 2/3 cup)... I ended up just adding a little water untill my dough had the same apprearance as your's Bev :) (a little over a cup of water). The result: a beautyful loaf with crispy golden crust! The only downside: the bread is a little bland :/ Should I have used even less water after all? Or used more salt? What would your suggestion be for my bread to have some taste? Thank you for the recipe in any case, was super fun and makes me want to experiment more with bread making :D
    • Bev Weidner February 18, 2018 at 9:19 am #
      Hey, Sascha! You'd actually use 1 AND 2/3rd cup of water! Mark uses 1 AND 5/8 cup of water. So it will be wetter in the beginning, and absorb overnight. If you felt it was a little bland this time around, just up the seasonings for next time! More garlic powder? More salt? But yes, add more water for sure! xx - bev
  12. Nivedita April 26, 2018 at 7:31 pm #
    Hello Bev, it has been years since I baked a no-knead bread. Since then I got into sourdough baking and even though that is a giant production, I haven't gone back to Bittman-Lahey no-knead because there is no comparison between the two as far as flavor. However, this recipe with it's very yummy sounding additions inspired me to mix it up today. I can't wait to bake it tomorrow!
  13. Ashley March 26, 2020 at 9:34 am #
    I'm super excited to try this recipe, BUT I dont own a Dutch oven--gasp!!! What could I use as an alternative? Could you just plop it on a baking sheet or will it spread out too much and look absolutely ridiculous?
    • Bev Weidner March 26, 2020 at 9:42 am #
      Hey! If you have a deep, oven-safe pot with a lid, that will work perfectly!
  14. Alice April 21, 2020 at 2:45 pm #
    This bread made our kitchen smell incredible! It is so delicious. Made it with medium yellow cheddar.
  15. JT August 16, 2020 at 11:42 am #
    This was really excellent bread!! 5 star rating. The only change I made was only used 1/2 t of garlic and 1/2 of onion powder. Will be making again. Thank you for sharing
  16. Lauren Rodgers September 24, 2021 at 8:27 am #
    I already had a no Knead bread recipe but was looking for “mix in” ideas when I came across your recipe yesterday. I kept my original no knead recipe because it was almost the same just extra yeast, put the rest of the ingredients in it and then only let it rise for 3 hours then threw it in the oven. I don’t have the patience to wait 12 to 18 hours and can only imagine how delicious the flavour profile would be, but I can tell you that baking straight from the 3 hours on the bench it was still phenomenal!


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