There seems to be a bit of a movement around this "No-Knead Bread" business. It was started by an article in the New York Times, and spread rapidly through the blogs. So I decided to bake one. It sure turned out nice.
Way I see it, what makes bread bready is gluten. Which can be formed by kneading the dough, or by hydrating the flour and letting it sit. Which explains the 18 hour rise time.
Our yeast isn't very good, so I think it should have turned out more leavened than it did. It only calls for quarter teaspoon.