My Favorite No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

 

I’ll be forever indebted to Mark Bittman, NY Times food editor, for bringing light to the world when he published an article about Jim Lahey from the Sullivan Street Bakery, and his “minimalist bread making technique.” I don’t love this bread just because it requires no kneading. I love it because of the hard crispy crust and the soft spongy crumb. It’s remarkably close to many European style brick oven round loaves. One loaf in particular that comes to mind is the Spanish hogaza. After I made the first loaf following Jim’s method I went straight out and bought his book My Bread.

I’ve been baking bread for a long time: muffins and quick breads, challah, black bread, rye, white sandwich, French bread, bagels, sour-dough breads, whole grain, and whole wheat …you get the idea. After discovering Jim’s method I was satisfied that I’d found the perfect bread. It’s easy to make and absolutely soul satisfying to eat.

Jim has a recipe in his book for whole wheat, but it only has a small amount of whole wheat in proportion to the white flour, so I created a modified version, making a larger loaf that calls for 100% whole wheat.

Time is an important factor for this type of bread. I’ve found that the longer it sits, the better the flavor and tenderness of the crumb. I used to let the bread sit 12 hours before letting it rest a second time, but now I let it sit 18 to 20 hours. (WARNING-the dough will be wet and difficult to handle. This is normal.) For example, if I start at 5:00 pm and it will be done by 3:15 in the afternoon. Watch the videos. You may never buy bread again! In this video Jim Lahey shows Mark Bittman how to make his no-knead bread. And see this video where I make the bread.

 

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 15-20 hours

Yield: 2 pound loaf

 

Equipment needed:

A 5-quart Dutch oven (Le Creuset, cast iron, or ceramic Dutch oven)

Important Note – Remove the handle of your ceramic pot if it is not ceramic or cast iron, or the high temperature will melt it. Also, the oven may change the color of your Le Creuset pot. It happened to my brother’s.

Ingredients:

4 cups whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour)

2 cups water (Edited 5/10/13. Use a liquid measuring cup. You may need to add a couple extra teaspoons of water as you mix the water in to the flour.)

2 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon yeast  1/2 plus 1/4 

Procedure:

1) Mix all the ingredients in a bowl just until they are thoroughly mixed. Cover the bowl with plastic and set the bowl aside for 12 to 18 hours.

Mix the Ingredients

Mix the Ingredients

2) After the first rising, lightly flour the counter top and use a spatula to remove the dough from the bowl and put it on to the counter top. Fold the dough over on itself from left to right, turn the dough 90° and fold it again.

Fold the dough over itself two times

Fold the dough over itself two times

Lightly shape and dough into a ball and place it on a well-floured tea towel. Fold the towel flaps over the dough to cover, and let it rise for an hour and a half.

Place the dough on a well floured tea towel

Place the dough on a well floured tea towel

3) Allow the dough to continue rising on the counter top while you heat the oven. Turn the oven temperature on to 475° and put the covered pot on the middle rack in the oven. Let it the pot and the oven warm for 30 minutes.

4) Set out 2 cookie racks; one for the lid and one for the pot. Take the pot out of the oven and set it on the first cookie rack, remove the lid and place it on the second cookie rack. Slide the dough off the tea towel and into the pot. Cover the pot, place it back in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.

Drop the bread into the Dutch oven

Drop the bread into the Dutch oven

5) After the 30 minutes is up, remove the lid from the pot and place it on a cookie rack to cool. Set the timer for another 12 to 15 minutes and continue cooking the bread.

6) Take the pot out of the oven and use a large spatula to remove the bread. Let it cool on a cookie rack about 15 to 20 minutes before cutting into it. Waiting to taste it is the hardest step part, but if you cut into the bread too early it will not finish cooking properly.

Use a large spatula to remove the bread from the pot

Use a large spatula to remove the bread from the pot

 

*Note – Jim cooks the bread an extra 20 to 30 minutes, but I find that it gets too burned. The trick will be baking the right amount of additional time so the crust stays hard and crispy without burning the bottom and top of the bread too much.

Have fun with this bread and then experiment with different flavors or additions to the dough.

 

The following are sites where people have done Jim’s recipe or a variation of it:

http://kitchenconfidante.com/simple-sundays-no-knead-bread-recipe  original recipe
http://www.breadtopia.com/sourdough-no-knead-method/   A sourdough bread
http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2012/02/22/no-knead-cheese-bread/  A bread with added cheese
http://www.macheesmo.com/2009/10/olive-bread/ A version with added olives

You may also be interest in this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LaODcYSRXU  Bread revisited with Mark Bittman with Jim Lahey. Mark wants a faster no-knead bread.
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113 comments to My Favorite No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

  • I’ve heard so many good things about this bread…but STILL HAVEN’T MADE IT YET! What am I waiting for? It looks delicious!
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  • I have been so obsessed with no knead bread and can’t stop making it. Thanks so much for the link to my post, and I can’t wait to explore the other variations. I know there are so many variations to test!
    Liren recently posted..Simple Sundays | Roast Chicken with Morels and OnionsMy Profile

  • This is the bread I need to make for me and my hubby later this week. It looks amazing!

    Thanks for posting the recipe and I will look forward to making it!

    Grandma Kat
    XOXOXOXOXO

  • Love Bittman. Love Lahey. LOVE this bread! I’ve made several types of no-knead breads over the past couple of years. This one is next on my list. I hope you’ll link up and share it with BYOB-Bake Your Own Bread this month (http://www.girlichef.com/2012/03/byob-bake-your-own-bread-march-2012.html)!
    Heather @girlichef recently posted..Basic White BreadMy Profile

  • Ricky

    I will definitely try this healthier version. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Janet Miller

    This recipe was JUST what I was looking for. Thanks!

  • I’m glad you figured it out. I have to edit out the word “it”. Thanks for visiting.
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  • Ian

    Tried this twice and got two gummy loaves. What am I doing wrong?

  • Hi Ian,
    Your oven heat may be different from mine, but it sounds like it needs to be cooked longer. The trick is to find the right temp. and cooking time. If you let it go 20-30 minutes longer as Lahey suggests, it may get too burnt; so, I would recommend lowering the temp. to 400° and cooking about 25 mintutes.

    If you cut into it and it’s still gummy, stick it back in the oven to dry it more. If it’s getting too burnt, lower the temperature again. Making bread is a trial and error process, but when you get it right it will have been worth the effort.
    Mireya recently posted..Roast Potatoes with Chicken and RomescoMy Profile

  • Ian

    Hi Mireya,
    Thanks for the responding! Only 12 hours until my dough is ready to bake. My first loaf was very gummy but the second one I baked for longer. I actually got some positive comments about it today from a friend. So I think the next loaf I am going to try to bake for the full 30 minutes after I take the lid off of my dutch oven. I hope that I can perfect this recipe in a few more attempts.
    Thanks!

  • Ian

    I cooked my last loaf for the additional 30 minutes and it’s still fairly gummy. It’s sticky and when cut, leaves a sticky residue on the knife. When it was fresh out of the oven it had a nice crispy crust but was nowhere near burnt. I might try to increase the temperature a bit on the next loaf.

  • Just checking… Is your temperature is at 475° throughout the cooking process? Did you let the bread rest until it was cool before slicing into it?

    I don’t understand how you have it at 1/2 hour in the pot with the lid, and another 1/2 without the lid and it didn’t scorch your bread. Mine got large black scorch spots with 10 minutes. Are your sure your oven is calibrated properly?
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  • Sherrie Brandt

    Hi Mireya. I have a club aluminum dutch oven and was wondering if I could use it to make this bread? Unfortunatly I do not have a dutch oven with a porcelian interior. If I can’t use my club can you suggest something else. I really want to try this recipe! Every recipe I have tried so far for wheat bread the interior is so heavy and very moist. Thanks! Sherrie

  • Hi Sherrie,
    The bread is more moist than regular whole wheat breads, but it shouldn’t be as moist as Ian was talking about in the above comments. You could also try and use less water and need it with your hand a minute to make sure all the flour has been incorporated without leaving flour balls and dry spots.

    Le Creuset, cast iron, and ceramic Dutch ovens are heavy. Whether or not the aluminum dutch oven will work or not may depend on the weight and the thickness of the bottom and sides.
    Mireya recently posted..Carrot and Zucchini LatkesMy Profile

  • [...] Since the original recipe for No-Knead Bread used All Purpose Flour and being in the mood for adventure (or disaster), I was determined to find a 100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Bread Recipe. I found a few helpful websites here, here and here. [...]

  • Ian

    I’ve done 2 more loaves and they’re both gummy. I tried cooking it for 30 minutes after taking the lid off, and I tried cooking it at 490 degrees and the same result.

    Should I try less water?

  • Ian

    I just realized that I misread the recipe (twice). I haven’t been letting it rise long enough for the second rise. Does it need to be somewhere warm during this time?

  • Ian,
    I admire your determination! There is an expression in Spanish “El que lo sigue lo consigue,” which translates to “He that goes after it will get it.”

    I just leave it at room temp.
    As far as the water, you could try and use less water and knead it with your hand a minute to make sure all the flour has been incorporated without leaving flour balls and dry spots.
    Mireya recently posted..Baked Artichoke and Spinach DipMy Profile

  • Sherrie Brandt

    Hi Mireya, I’m getting closer to making this recipe. I just purchased a 6.5 qt. dutch oven. Cast iron, porclian interior. Now your recipe say’s a 5qt. Will my 6.5qt work or do I need to get a 5qt? Thank-you for all your help!!! Sherrie

  • Hi Sherri,
    Jim Lahey’s calls for a 4.5 to 5.5 pot. I’m under the assumption that 6.5 might be too big.
    Mireya recently posted..Roasted Bell Pepper Salad with Tuna and OrzoMy Profile

  • Nikoleta Karanovich

    Hi, I need to make 1 lbs bread. Should I simply divide the recipe in half or t more complicated then that?

    • The following recipe is Jim Lahey’s original recipe for wheat bread which makes 1-1/4 lb., but it is only 1/4 whole wheat. Keep in mind if you substitute in whole wheat flour for white, it weighs a little more and it will take a little more water too.

      bread flour 2-1/4 cups, or 300 grams
      Whole wheat flour 3/4 cup, or 100 grams
      table salt 1-1/4 teaspoons, or 8 grams
      instant or dry active yeast 1/2 teaspoon, or 2 grams
      cool water (55° to 65° degrees F.) 1-1/3 cup, or 300 grams

      If you must make just 1 pound, just cut down a little bit on each of the ingredients.
      I hope this helps.

  • Meghan

    Hi! If I don’t have a dutch oven at all and can’t go out and buy one at this point in time, is this recipe still possible? I’ve baked in both a cast-iron skillet and in a regular loaf pan before. Thanks!

    • Jann

      I have not yet tried this method with whole wheat dough, but for my no-knead bread using bread flour, I heat my pizza stone and an aluminum bowl in the oven, place the dough on the hot pizza stone and cover with the hot bowl. Cooking times are the same and my loaves turn out beautiful!

      I’ll return and report how my method works with the whole wheat recipe.

      • Hi Jann,
        What a great idea. I’ve had people ask me how they could make this bread if they don’t have a Dutch oven and I didn’t know of a good one.
        Using the stone creates a lot of heat and you’re trapping it with the bowl so it sounds like a good alternative to the Dutch oven.
        Yes, please let me know how it turns out.

    • Alan

      I am having good luck on this recipe good luck using a thick stainless steel stock pot.

  • Hi Meghan,
    I have not tried it without a dutch oven but I saw that someone else did at this website: http://recipes.malayali.me/veg-recipes/homemade-whole-wheat-bread

    However, the bread you bake without the dutch oven will not be the same. It will lack the hard crispy crust that is typical for the bread. You’ll still be able to bake the no-knead dough, but it will not be anywhere near close to Jim Lahey’s bread.
    Mireya recently posted..Roasted Bell Pepper Salad with Tuna and OrzoMy Profile

  • Theresa

    Can I ask where you got the cutting board shown in the picture?

  • Hi Theresa,

    I bought it on Amazon. You’ll probably also want to invest in a bottle of mineral oil to take care of it. Here’s the link:
    http://www.amazon.com/Totally-Bamboo-20-7601-Crumb-Board/dp/B000O5GVY0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1347483681&sr=8-3&keywords=bread+cutting+board
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  • Melissa

    This looks wonderful. I’ve just started no knead bread and have gotten very comfortable using white flour but want to make it healthier. I have a grain mill and can use freshly ground whole wheat flour. Are there any changes that need to be made using freshly ground flour?

    Also, I have an aluminum dutch oven which works perfectly for my white flour bread. Is it safe to assume it’ll work for the whole wheat bread as well. I bake the white bread at around 450C (I’m in the UK and am having to adapt to C on my oven so am not sure how exact it is) but my dutch oven is safe to 500 according to the directions.

    Thank you.

  • Melissa,
    How fabulous that you have a flour mill. Unfortunately, I don’t have one so I can’t tell you if there is a difference using fresh milled or store bought flour. As far as the aluminum dutch oven goes, if it works well for the white bread I’m sure it will be fine for the whole wheat bread too.
    450° C. is an extremely hot oven. The oven temperature in the above recipe is 475° F. which is 246° C.
    You can google “celsius to fahrenheit converter” and a converter will be displayed at the top of the page that works both ways.
    Let me know how it turns out.
    How long do you cook the bread in your hot oven?
    Mireya recently posted..Healthy Living: Eat Two Kiwis and Call Me in the MorningMy Profile

  • Melissa

    I actually cook it at 220C, which is not 450 but 428, (I checked the dial this morning) for about 25 minutes covered, and then uncovered for another 5 to brown it.

    I’ve never checked the actual oven temp with a thermometer to know if it truly runs hot, but I have learned to decrease the temp a bit and shorten cooking times on anything I bake in that oven.

    I have a temperature converter on my browser toolbars but I’m happy to say after 4 months, I’m starting to know the temps I use most!

    Thanks for your reply.

  • How did it turn out?
    Mireya recently posted..Blueberry SmoothieMy Profile

    • Melissa

      I’m still working on it. It was way too dense and the dough was pretty sticky. I am going to try it with store bought whole wheat flour and also try it with less water in the fresh ground flour. My family wasn’t too happy with it so I switched back to the white flour and adding in herbs and things but its time to try again….I did buy a smaller Dutch oven as well so want to play with that. It made a big difference with the white breads. I haven’t mastered it yet but I haven’t given up yet either.

      • Melissa,
        I can just imagine that using fresh flour would really throw things off. I’m glad you’re not giving up because good things are worth the effort. I started white no-knead white bread and the first couple of batches were too moist, so I adjusted with less water. I then moved on to whole wheat flour and again had to adjust the recipe, especially for the cooking time. If I had followed Lahey’s cooking time my bread would have been scorched. Play with it; you’ll get it!
        Mireya recently posted..Holiday Stuffed SquashMy Profile

        • Melissa

          Well I made a whole wheat loaf today with my King Arthurs white whole wheat flour. I realized I had not let it rise long enough on the second rising before so I adjusted that as well. It was the perfect texture and turned out beautifully…and tasted so awful that we threw it away. I followed the recipe exactly but it had such a bitter after taste that it was not worth keeping. We did each manage to get 1/2 slice down with our split pea and ham soup but that was it. :( Back to the drawing board. I will try with my fresh wheat again and decrease the liquid some and let it rise properly the 2nd time and see if that turns out.

          • I’ve never made bread using 100% white whole wheat from King Arthur. I have used it mixed half/half with regular whole wheat, but I prefer regular 100% regular whole wheat, or a mix of 50/50 dark whole wheat and regular white flour. I wonder if you just go a bad bag? Flukes like that can happen. I always buy the same coffee but once it was awful—way too toasted—and it was just a bad batch. I never had a problem since.
            Mireya recently posted..Tropical Papaya Chicken SaladMy Profile

  • Thank you for posting this recipe! I was looking for a whole wheat bread recipe and came accross this post. The crust turned out to be great but, my dough was pretty messy and sticky unlike the pictures above. The bread did not raise too much. Just a little bit. The crust is nice and crusty but the inside is spongy and moist. Is that supposed to be moist?

    Also, it was a little bit salty for my palate. Next time, I will cut down the salt a little bit. Hope, it will work.

  • I see that you’re writing from Turkey. I know from experience that you often have to make adjustments because the ingredients vary from one country to the next. Even here, one flour can be different from another. The oven also could be giving you different results. I’d try cutting down on the water. Do you have an 8 ounce measuring cup?
    Mireya recently posted..Pork Tenderloin with Pear ChutneyMy Profile

  • Hi Mireya,

    I do have the American measuring cups and spoons. You may be right about the ingredients. Next time I will use less water and slightly lower oven setting. Thank You!
    T’Pol recently posted..What’s in my cookie jar?My Profile

  • Stephen

    Hi,

    Do you slash the loaves before baking? The photo looks like the loaf is slashed, but it’s not mentioned in the recipe. Maybe it just cracks on its own?

    Thanks.

  • Hi Stephen,

    No, you don’t slash the bread. The crack develops on its own.

  • TeAnna

    Thank you for adjusting the water content! I made my first loaf on Wed-Thurs and, while delicious, the dough was impossible and took 35min with the lid off to finish (it was really rainy and humid here in NC, so that might have been a factor). But it all worked out in the end. I just put together another batch for tomorrow with pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds, can’t wait! Thanks for the fabulous tutorial, it’s a wonderful technique.

    • If you can mix just 4 cups of flour in with just a few stirs, then just go with that. I find that I need a few more tablespoons. You just want to make sure the flour is incorporated and you don’t have dry patchy clumps.

  • Linda

    I just made this bread with a NO wheat formula — I do not have a gluten intolerance, I just don’t eat wheat – white or whole grain. I made it with a blend of spelt flour as the main base. Spelt is a variety of wheat but is not GMO. I also included small amounts of flax meal, quinoa flour, oat flour and buckwheat flour and a quarter cup of 7 grain breakfast cereal for additional fiber. Because bread needs gluten to work properly, I added 1/4 c of vital wheat gluten (remember I have no intolerance) and I am happy to report that it has turned out perfectly. My first piece of bread in 3 months — YUM!!

  • TeAnna

    Thanks for that Linda!! I’m trying to cut out modern wheat too…

    Mireya, wheat isn’t what it used to be:)

    “Modern wheat is a “perfect, chronic poison,” according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who has published a book all about the world’s most popular grain.

    Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn’t the wheat your grandma had: “It’s an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the ’60s and ’70s,” he said on “CBS This Morning.” “This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there’s a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It’s not gluten. I’m not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I’m talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year.”

    Asked if the farming industry could change back to the grain it formerly produced, Davis said it could, but it would not be economically feasible because it yields less per acre. However, Davis said a movement has begun with people turning away from wheat – and dropping substantial weight.

    “If three people lost eight pounds, big deal,” he said. “But we’re seeing hundreds of thousands of people losing 30, 80, 150 pounds. Diabetics become no longer diabetic; people with arthritis having dramatic relief. People losing leg swelling, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and on and on every day.”

  • It sounds like it may be interesting to read what he says. One thing to keep in mind is that when people give up bread they usually give up the things they put on the bread and like the butter, marmelade, dips, condiments etc. etc. You have to look at the whole picture.
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  • [...] slightly adapted from My Healthy Eating Habits by Mireya Merritt [...]

  • deanna

    love your recipe and have put it into my ‘family’s favorites’ recipe file! Could you please say how you measured the flour….’lightly spoon-into-the-cup’ method or ‘dip-the-cup-into-the-flour bag and tap’. I’ve read that it can make quite a difference and would like to weigh it out to stabalize my recipe. Thank you!

  • deanna

    Have you tried using whole spelt flour?

  • Hi Deanna,
    I did try spelt flour one time but I didn’t like the flavor. What in particular interests you in spelt?
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  • Deanna

    Concerns about hybridization (Wheat Belly book). Have read elsewhere that spelt is considered an ‘Ancient’ grain and healthier. Will give it a try….read that I may need to lessen the water amount a little.

  • Mireya

    I’m going to check out the wheat belly book. I hadn’t heard of it. I don’t have a weight problem, but I want to see what all the talk is about.

  • thehellybelly

    Thanks for the recipe, I’ve been looking for a healthier version of the no knead bread. Your bread looks amazing. I followed your instructions but after the first rising I got my tea towel ready and floured my board but there was no way I could fold the dough. It was a very sticky wet mess. I use the same amount of water, could it be the flour? I’m in the UK so can’t get King Arthur flour. I’ve used a plain wholemeal flour not strong bread flour. Could this make a difference? I have folded the wet mess several times now with a spatular and poured it on to crease proof paper and left in a bowl covered. It is rising.

    • Hi,
      Thanks for checking our MyHealthyEatingHabits. Yes, the flour can make a tremendous difference. This whole wheat flour is dark and fairly coarse. I’ve I were to be using white flour, I’d use only 2 cups of water, but some white flours may call for even less. I would start by mixing in 1-3/4 cups of water. The idea is that you should be able to mix the water and flour with a wooden spoon and not have any tough flour balls in the dough, or remaining flour at the bottom of the bowl. If there is remaining flour at the bottom of the bowl, or there are patchy spots in the dough where the water and flour haven’t mix together well, that’s a sign you need more water. Add it slowly and mix unit it looks like the flour has been absorbed.

  • thehellybelly

    Thanks I will try less water next time. The bread turned out a little gummy when baked, this must be because it was too wet.

  • Made this bread this weekend and it turned out perfectly! I am excited to find a recipe with no added sugar! My family gobbled it right up!

  • Cori,
    The only ingredients necessary for making bread are flour, yeast and salt.
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  • Juli

    My “dough” was nearly liquid after 19 hours, I added flour enough to shape it but it never rose again :( Was it because there wasn’t enough flour?

    • Hi Juli,
      Yes, the dough will be very wet after 19 hours, and like you say, it will not rise again. Flour the tea towel very well and cover it with lots of oat bran so the dough won’t stick it. Fold the dough a couple of times, or even three times before the short rise.
      You may just want to let it rise 12 hours the next time you make it. Trust that the process is the way it should be. Take a look at the Jim Lahey video and you’ll see hoe wet his dough is.

  • deanna

    Love your recipe! Just wondering…why is a ‘cloth towel’ necessary? All bread makers seem to use one. I’m new to bread making and have been using a Corningware casserole dish (about 4″ deep)with a lid and its been working great….is there a technical reason for using a towel (lets the dough breath or keeps it warmer or something?)I like using the Corningware as it’s so easy to clean!

  • Hi Deanna,

    There is more humidity in an enclosed glass container, but as to whether or not that would have an effect on the dough–I don’t know. Corningware does sound good as far as cleanup goes, but does the dough come away from the dish easily, or does it stick?

  • Ing

    Can I use my regular bread pans with this recipe? Also, what about adding vital gluten as I have tried to bake with 100% whole wheat flour and it always comes out so dense and heavy. It is so heavy that I can almost use it to hit someone over the head and cause injury.

  • This recipe works because of the technique that Jim Lahey developed, and it will not be the same with regular baking pans. This bread does not turn out heavy like some homemade 100% whole wheat bread. Is it heavier than white bread? Of course, —but as far as whole wheat bread goes, it is light, tender, and flavorful!
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  • Royston

    Hi, thanks for this recipe, I will cook first loaf tomorrow, just trying to get back into home bread baking. But I have a couple of questions:
    1. I have a large dutch oven, probably too large. Can you give any directions for increasing the size of loaf?
    2. What kind of yeast are you using for this?

    Thanks again!

  • Mine at 6-1/2 quarts is also large, but it looks small in the photo. Regarding the yeast, I used Red Star dry acitve yeast. Use the regular type, not the quick rise. Since you’re just getting back into baking, I recommend letting the dough rise for the lessor amount of time, 8 to 10 hours; it’s easier to work with. Dough that’s been sitting for 20 hours is pretty wet and messy!
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  • […] However, if you'd rather use whole wheat, here is a version of that recipe with whole wheat flour, My Favorite No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread – My Healthy Eating Habits. This is not loaf shaped sandwich bread, it's made in a dutch oven. If you don't have one of […]

  • Jen

    Do you have any tips for high altitude? I’m at 7500 feet, and my breads are always too dense. This one didn’t seem to rise much on the second rise. It was tasty but the small loaf was pretty dense. I let it rise for about 18 hours the first time.

  • I’m sorry to hear that your bread didn’t rise too much at the high altitude. Sorry, but I don’ know anything about baking at high altitudes. Joy of Cooking is a good reference book. You can probably find out there.

  • Al

    I just had my first loaf, and it was a complete success! The dough didn’t level out, but that’s no big thing. Tastes great and much lighter than any other whole wheat bread I’ve ever made.

    https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/534019_10151691329252862_705798580_n.jpg

  • Al, congratulations! I don’t know what you mean by “the dough didn’t level out,” but I so glad it was a good experience. Be careful, making bread can be addicting!
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  • Linda

    So, I made this 100% whole wheat version with Einkorn flour. It’s the ‘old’ wheat, before they started messing with it. Tropical Traditions.com sells it…there may be others.(no, I don’t work for them). It doesn’t have the problems modern wheat does. The following is a quote from Dr. Sears’ book Wheat Belly and is from the following website: (just add the www.) wheatbellyblog.com/2012/04/wheat-is-an-opiate/

    “….gliadin, the protein in wheat that was inadvertently altered by geneticists in the 1970s during efforts to increase yield. Just a few shifts in amino acids and gliadin in modern high-yield, semi-dwarf wheat became a potent appetite stimulant.”

    The only thing I did differently is to add cold water…in the 55-65 degree range. It takes longer to rise that way, for those who are concerned that the longer soak gets rid of more antinutrients.

  • You forgot to mention your bread turndd out. Was it good?
    I checked out reviews of Dr. Sears Wheat Belly book and briefly skimmed through it, but I wasn’t sold.
    I enjoy wheat products, and do not have a weight problem or issue, in fact I’m close to the under weight side for my height and weight. I’m more concerned about added sugars to food.
    Mireya Merritt recently posted..Tex-Mex Stuffed SweetpotatoesMy Profile

  • C,

    Hello, just a note for those asking questions about the baking dish…I have made this bread in a glass Pyrex dish covered with aluminum and IT works fine. I have taken it the cover off for the last 15 minutes to let it get crispy – if it gets too crisp I wrap in the foil and a tea towel when it is done so it softens. I find no knead breads very forgiving.
    I have also used too little water and baked it with clumps of dry four on the bottom that I had neglected to mix (I realized my mistake too late and decided too cook it anyway) and it has all worked out great!

    I have let it rise for 12 hours, 18 hours and 20 – I have baked after the first rise with no problems…very forgiving and very tasty.

    Cheers,

    • I’m so glad all of your bread attempts turned out well. Thank you for sharing the results with me and the other bread lovers. I’m sure your information will be of help to those who don’t have a Dutch oven.

  • Melissa

    I am trying the whole wheat version for the first time. I have used the other version many times with great success. I have added a little honey for sweetness (something I have done with the other bread successfully). We’ll see how it turns out!

  • Melissa

    Also, I have made this bread in a deep cast iron pan (my FIL calls it a chicken fryer) with a a griddle flipped over on top for a lid. Your bread will have a little bit of a flat top, but it works great!

  • Kawire

    I was wondering if (and how) rising time affects baking time? I just put a loaf I have had risen for 20 hours into the oven, and took the lid of after 30 minutes, but it still seemed rather moist. Does baking time increase if you let the dough rise for a longer time?

    • Kawire

      Just read through the comments above more thoroughly and saw that I might indeed need to bake the bread longer. My bread does not get burnt when I leave the lid off for more than 15/20 minutes (but I have a gas oven which heats from below, so that might be an explanation?). Oh, and I use a pan with rather thin sides – do you think that influences how moist the bread stays?
      Anyway, still experimenting to make sure my bread is less gummy, but I’m already very happy with the result! I’ve never ate such an airy wholewheat bread (I make it with spelt and rye (as I’m intolerant to wheat)), so thanks!
      Oh yes, one more small question: you recommend a 12-hour rise for beginners, which I understand because my bread was unmanageable after a 20-hour rise. So I was wondering: how do you manage to fold the bread when you let it sit for so long? And what is the goal of the folding?

      • Hi Kawire,
        If your bread doesn’t get burnt after the initial 1/2 hour with the lid on and and another 15 to 20 minutes with the lid off, you could go ahead and cook it 10 to 15 minutes longer. Lahey’s recipe say’s 15 to 30 minutes without the lid.
        Regarding the thin sides of the pan, I would think that you’d have less stable heat and that the sides of the bread would dry out more leaving the inside less cooked, but I’m not really sure on that. The reason I recommend 12 hours for a beginner is because it will be easier to handle the dough. Once a person has been successful making it a couple of times, then he/she could try working with the wetter dough.
        I’m not afraid to work with the wet dough because I understand that is just how it it going to be. A beginner might think something was wrong with it. First I throw a bit of dough on the counter and then I get flour on my hands so the dough won’t stick as much. Next, I stretch the dough open and fold it over on itself, like closing a letter, and then I stretch it sideways in the same way and fold it like a letter. It is sticky, so as soon as I can get one hand free I catch a little flour into my and and then I do the same with my other hand––2 to 3 times. You fold the dough this way because it’s easier than trying to roll it into a ball. The purpose of folding is for a good crumb that hold together well. Congratulations! It sounds like you’re learning a lot with it.

  • Kawire

    Hi Mireya,
    Thanks for your reply. And yes, I am indeed learning a lot and enjoying it very much! Today I discovered that rye makes my dough so sticky. I used to make it with 1/2 rye and 1/2 spelt, and yesterday I tried a version with 1/4 rye and 3/4 spelt, and it was much less sticky. At least, the dough didn’t cling to my fingers as the other version did. So something in rye is different from wheat/spelt. Anyway, I’ll go and taste it now. Thanks again! :)

  • nic

    Kind of a silly question maybe, but why is the yeast divided? Do I just mix in 3/4 tsp yeast? Thanks!

    • Nic, it’s a good question. I debated whether I should write it as 1/2 plus 1/4 teaspoon, or as 3/4 teaspoon. I went with the first option because not everyone is good at knowing which spoons when adding fractions, and few people have a 3/4 teaspoon measure. The answer to your question is 3/4 teaspoon total.

  • […] also made bread yesterday! Another no-knead recipe, found here. I was skeptical of the call for 4 cups of whole wheat flour, so instead I did 3 cups whole wheat […]

  • […] recipe was slightly modified from My Favorite No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread. It is worth checking the site for a video link to the originator of Dutch oven […]

  • Bill B

    Hi–
    Well, I think I followed these directions carefully. Used all whole-wheat as shown..took a fairly good while for first rise, almost 24 hours. It formed nicely into the loaf, then rose fine for 2 hours. Looked beautiful out of the oven. But dense! Really, really heavy. Great flavor, but even though I’m a true whole-wheat fan, it was too heavy even for me. ..so I must be doing something wrong. Pyrex caserole dish, 500 then lowered to 425 for browning.

  • Bill B

    Sorry if this is a double-post but my question didn’t seem to get entered (I think)

    Anyway, baked the recipe in a pyrex casserole–Looks and smells amazing, but it’s so incredibly heavy! There are a few nice air holes..gave it a good long ferment and full 2 hour proofing. I’m a serious whole wheat fan, but a small piece of this is so filling..too much even for me..though I must say the flavor is excellent. Where might I have gone wrong?

    • Hi Bill,
      What I can tell you are 2 things that can be effecting the outcome of the dough. The first is that you’re letting it rise too long. I would suggest not letting the first rise go over 18 hours and the second rise over 2 hours. If this doesn’t improve the bread I would have to say that what is needed is a better container. The Crusset and Lodge Dutch oven are made of ceramic and they have an iron inner core. They produce a lot of heat and there is still a lot of extra space in the Dutch oven to trap the steam. I don’t see a Pyrex casserole dish as being the right source for creating the heat and trapping the steam.

  • Bill B

    Thanks Mireya–I’ll give those a try

  • 1/2 plus 1/4 teaspoon yeast
    Is this a typo or just 3/4 teaspoon yeast or am I missing something?

  • Andi

    This is a wonderful recipe! I added 1/4 c honey to the mix and my husband said it was the best bread I’ve made!

  • mandy

    Hi Mireya, I was wondering if there was some way to add honey to this recipe with out altering the rest of the ingredients? Do you have any suggestions?
    Thanks
    mandy

  • mandy

    Never mind, I see the person before me added 1/4 cup honey. yay

  • suzy

    First effort and pretty happy with it. I only left it for around 13 hours for the first rising and the crumb didn’t reach its full potential; will leave it longer next time. The flavour is wonderful and I’m happy to find a use for my old camping cast iron pot too…

  • Liz G

    I have just started making breads. I had success with the white flour version of Jim’s recipe but I am watching this one rise for the second time and my feeling is that it is not going to turn out. My bread does not appear to be rising as it should and the volume looks low. A couple of questions: I just learned in one of my classes that sifting is really important when measuring flour so for this recipe, I sifted the flour into a bowl and then scooped into a measuring cup to get the four cups. Do you do that or do you just scoop them out of the bag? Also, doesn’t yeast need warmer water in order to activate? Are you using just the temperature of your home to get the yeast to activate? You say to use room temperature water but my house is around 75 degrees and I don’t think this is warm enough to activate the yeast, right? Also, I am just using active dry yeast (3/4 tsp)….which doesn’t seem like enough but should I be using a different kind of yeast? Finally, for the water, I found that mine was at the right consistency with less than the two cups…..do you think this has to do with the fact that I sifted the flour?

    Thanks for posting the recipe and video……I will be trying again if this one fails.

    • Hi Liz,
      Sifting is important if you’re making cakes and certain baked items but not for making bread. I just scoop the flour and level off the cup measure with the back of a knife. The water can be room temp. It will get activated once the moisture works it’s way into it. For most bread recipes 3/4 teaspoons yeast is not enough, but in this recipe the dough sits for a very long time which allows for more yeast growth. Yes, dry active yeast is what you should be using. Yes, you probably got by with less water because you sifted the flour. Please note that this is 100% whole wheat and it will not rise the same as jim’s recipe using all white flour, but as far as whole wheat breads go, the texture and flavor of this bread surpasses the texture and flavor of most whole wheat breads. Let me know how it turned out.

  • Liz G

    Thanks for your prompt response! It actually did turn out great. The texture is incredible…dense and slightly chewy. The crust good….maybe just a tiny bit too hard though….would you suggest dialing down the temp just a tad or would it be better to cut down the baking time during when the lid is off? (I have noticed my oven is about 5 degrees off so I bake everything at +5 degrees). Flavor is wonderful….slightly nutty and sweet.

    BUT it is only about an inch and a half high. I was hoping I could make myself a giant sandwich out of the slices which won’t happen with this loaf. :)
    So, I will try it again and see if I keep it in a little warmer spot if I can get it to rise a little more.

  • Liz G

    Made it again today and cooked it 25 minutes with lid on and 10 minutes with lid off……PERFECT

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