Rx Recipes: No-Knead Bread

Freshly-baked homemade bread without the workout that comes from kneading

Recipe by Pia Tan | Published July 11, 2023

Side-by-side photos of a round loaf of bread and a headshot of Pia Tan

Our Rx Recipes series explores recipes provided by faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Pia Tan, PharmD candidate ’25, brings us the recipe that kicked off her love of baking bread – a no-knead Dutch oven recipe.

What you’ll need:
Dutch oven
Large bowl
Measuring cups

4 cups of flour
2 cups of warm water (adjust water content as-needed for proper dough consistency)
1 teaspoon of yeast
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of sugar or sugar alternative (such as maple syrup)
Olive oil
Cornmeal (optional)


  1. Combine dry ingredients (flour, yeast, salt, and sugar) into a large bowl and stir until combined.
  2. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add water (if using a liquid sugar source such as maple syrup, add at this time)
  3. Mix with a spatula to gently fold and incorporate all ingredients together until dough is thick and tacky. More water may be added to adjust consistency.
  4. Coat the bottom of the bowl with olive oil and turn the dough until thinly coated on all sides with a layer of oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store in a warm, dry place.
  5. Allow dough to rise for 8 – 12 hours or overnight.*
  6. After rising, scrape dough with a spatula onto parchment paper large enough to line the bottom of the Dutch oven. Dust the paper with flour. Shape, form, and tuck the ends of the dough until it becomes a round bolus. Optional: add cornmeal at the base of the dough for added flavor and texture.
  7. Dust the top of the dough with flour and slash the top with a serrated knife into the desired pattern. Allow to rest for 1 hour.
  8. Preheat over with the Dutch oven inside to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Transfer dough and parchment paper into the Dutch oven and cover with lid. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. After 30 minutes, remove the lid from the Dutch oven and bake bread uncovered for 20 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  11. Once finished baking, allow bread to cool completely (~2 hours) before cutting and enjoying.

*For best results, prepare the bread dough the night before and bake 8 – 12 hours after letting it rise. However, this can also be baked after rising for 1-2 hours.

Pia Tan, PharmD candidate ’25, sent us this recipe. The recipe stands out for her because it was her first true success at baking bread. “I’ve always wanted to learn how to bake bread, however I was too intimidated to learn all of the intricacies of letting it rise, the art of kneading it, and then baking in a way that creates a crispy golden crust and a fluffy interior,” she says. “My previous attempts usually ended in something akin to a pound cake – not the effect I was going for.”

The recipe was the breakthrough she was waiting for. Now she keeps her own sourdough starter and bakes a wide variety of bread recipes. Pia has always loved baking. Her grandma owned a baking business and taught her how to bake cake when she was younger.

Outside of baking and her studies and co-curricular work at the School, Pia enjoys reading, watching documentaries, world travel, and taking care of her plants and her parrot, Ari. She also loves art and practices digital painting, which she teaches to budding artists through her YouTube channel, Perseus Paints.

Thank you for the recipe, Pia!