Paprika and Chilli no-knead loaf

I’ve been experimenting with this no-knead recipe for a while. The results are usually good, despite the fact that the “dough” is very wet and messy to work with. A recent all white loaf came out really well, this one is good but still needs some “tweeking”. The overall taste isn’t massively hot, but you do get an occasional chilli “hit”, which I quite like.

Using a lidded cast iron casserole pot is definitely worthwhile as it gives an excellent crust. You can make it “normally” without one, but if you don’t have such a vessel what some people do is put the dough on a baking tray and cover it with a large upturned metal or Pyrex dish to create the steamy enclosed space that a Dutch oven provides.

If you try any of this, I’d love to hear how you got on, so use the contact page to send me a message please.

Makes: One medium-large loaf (About 12 big slices)

Time: Day one mixing – 15 minutes.  Day two 15 – 20 minutes “hands-on” + lots of waiting then 40 – 45 minutes baking + cooling.

Level: Moderately easy provided you’re careful and patient.


  • 400 – 450g bread flour
  • 3 tsp paprika (more if you want a deep colour and stronger flavour)
  • 3g instant yeast (for overnight proving)
  • 12g salt
  • 375ml warm water
  • 2 – 3 green & red chilli peppers, chopped small – more if you want a bigger “hit” of heat.
  • Flour for dusting


  1. Mix flour, yeast, salt and paprika in a large bowl. (Keep salt & yeast apart)

2. Add warm water to dry ingredients and mix to form a sticky dough.

3. Cover with cling film or a damp tea towel or use an elasticated shower cap (see photos) and leave to rise for 12 hours or more. (I leave mine in the garage overnight.)

4. Next day, turn the dough out onto a large sheet of floured baking parchment.  Stretch (or scrape) it out and add in the chopped chilli peppers. Use a plastic scraper to fold over the sides, several times to mix in the chillies, then form a ball (or a gelatinous mess).

5. Use the baking parchment to lift the dough into a suitably shaped bowl. Cover as before.

6. Let it rise for a minimum of an hour, ideally longer – 2 hours or more.

7. During this second rise period, preheat the oven to 210C (fan oven), with the cast iron casserole dish inside, if using.

8. After several hours, or when the dough has risen, take the casserole dish out of the oven and use the baking parchment to lift the dough into it.

9. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes.

10. Remove the lid and continue baking for a further 10 – 15 minutes to finish baking and to colour the crust. Lift the loaf out using the paper and cool on a wire rack.

11. Eat and enjoy. I’d love to hear your views on this “experimental” recipe. Any polite and constructive comments to improve it would be gratefully received.