No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

No-knead whole wheat bread. An easy bread recipe made with whole wheat flour! There’s no kneading involved, simply let the bread rise overnight. You also have the option to make it a sandwich loaf or a seeded loaf.

whole wheat bread cut in half
This recipe is an updated and improved version of the No-Knead Whole Wheat Seeded Bread originally posted in 2018.

What could be cozier than baking a fresh loaf of bread on a snowy or rainy day?

While everyone has been making sourdough bread, I’ve been busy perfecting my no-knead bread.

If you’re new to bread-making or if you’re looking for a quick and easy bread recipe, this one is for you. There’s no better way to start than with a no-knead bread.

This recipe is made with whole wheat flour and optional seeds. You also have the option to make it using white flour. The end result is very similar. The only difference? The whole wheat loaf will be just a bit more dense, which is to be expected with whole wheat bread. But trust me, it’s still a delicious loaf!

flour in a bowl
hand stirring flour in a bowl
ball of dough in a bowl
hands covering a bowl with a towel
baked bread in a dutch oven
How to Make No-Knead Bread

Start by whisking the flour, instant yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the water until a thick dough forms, making sure all the flour is incorporated. Cover with a reusable bowl cover or plastic wrap and let it rise for 12 hours or overnight at room temperature. The dough will look a bit weird, but this it normal!

The next morning, your dough should be significantly bigger and should have bubbles. It will be very humid, but that’s okay. With floured hands, scoop out the dough and form a ball.

With this recipe, you have the option to bake the bread into a round loaf or a sandwich loaf, both using the same ingredients.

  • Dutch oven round loaf: Here, you bake the bread in an enameled Dutch oven. The Dutch oven is placed in the oven while it preheats, the bread is then cooked for 30 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered.
  • Sandwich loaf: There’s no need to preheat the loaf pan. The bread is simply transferred to the pan and baked for 35 minutes, uncovered.

Both methods will result in a delicious loaf with a crispy exterior and a soft interior.

Notes on the Recipe:
  • You can make this recipe with all-purpose whole wheat flour or white flour (or a mix of both). Bread flour also works well.
  • You have the option of adding seeds. I like to use sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
  • Make sure to spoon and level the flour. Don’t scoop the flour directly with the measuring cup or you’ll end up using too much flour.

I hope this recipe convinces you to try homemade bread. Trust me, it’s so much easier than it looks!

Whole wheat bread cut in half
Hands holding whole wheat bread cut in half

Serve this bread with a cozy bowl of soup, such as my quick vegan cream of mushroom soup, vegan cheesy broccoli soup or a simple lentil soup.

no-knead whole wheat bread cut in half
Print Pin
5 from 4 votes

No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

Easy no-knead bread made with whole wheat flour. There's no kneading involved, all you need to do is to let the dough rise overnight. You have the option to make it as a sandwich loaf or a round loaf. Either way, this bread is hard and crusty on the outside and moist on the inside. It's the easiest healthy homemade bread you could ever make.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Rising time 12 hours
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (400g) All-purpose whole wheat flour, spoon and leveled (see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup water (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup seeds of choice, I like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (optional)

Instructions

Prepare the Dough

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, instant yeast and salt. Stir in the water until a thick dough forms, making sure all the flour is incorporated. Cover with a reusable bowl cover or plastic wrap and let it rise for 12 hours or overnight at room temperature.

The Next Day

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a large enameled dutch oven in the oven while it preheats.
  • Uncover the dough. At this point, it should be a lot bigger in size with some bubbles. Lightly flour a clean surface. With floured hands, scoop out the dough and place it on the floured surface. Form the dough into a ball, making sure the flour is incorporated (if using the seeds, incorporate them into the dough at this time). Place the formed dough on a piece of parchment paper. You can score the bread just before baking, but this is not necessary with this recipe.
  • Once the oven is preheated, remove the dish from the oven and transfer the bread to the dish with the parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered. 

Bread Pan Method

  • If making a sandwich loaf, prepare the dough in the same way and let it rise overnight, covered. The next day, preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a strip of parchment paper at the bottom of a bread pan and up the longer sides. You should be able to pick up both sides of the parchment paper to remove the bread later.
  • Lightly flour a clean surface. With floured hands, scoop out the dough and place it on the floured surface. Form the dough into roughly the shape of the bread pan (if using the seeds, incorporate them into the dough at this time) and place it in the parchment-lined pan. Cover (I use a towel here) and let it rise until the oven is preheated or let it rise a few more hours if you have the time. Once the oven the preheated, bake the bread uncovered for 35 minutes.

Notes

To avoid getting a soggy bread, let it cool on a cooling rack – This protects the bread from humidity that forms when left in the pan.
You can make this recipe using all-purpose white flour if preferred. You can also use 1 cup of white flour and 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Bread flour also works.
You can score the dough just before baking if desired, but this is not necessary. The result will be the same, but scoring the dough (making a few slashes in the dough) can make it look pretty. 
Do not measure the flour by scooping the measuring cup directly in the flour as you will end up using too much flour. Instead, use a spoon to scoop the flour, transfer it to the measuring cup, then level the flour using the back of a knife. You can also weigh the flour.

If you make this no-knead bread, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys. And of course, if you try this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!

26 Comments

    • Nourished by Caroline

      It may work, as long as you make two different loafs out of it. I’m not enough of a bread making expert to answer for sure though. Sorry! I only tried this version with success. I’ll update the recipe and let you know if I try though!

  • Amy

    My loaf is proving now! I only had hemp seeds so that’s what I threw in. I’ve made a lot of no-knead white bread lately and am thrilled to find a wheat recipe. Thank you!

    I want to use a loaf pan. What size did you use? I know different sized loaf pans require different cooking times.

    Looking forward to baking tomorrow!

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi Amy, I hope you’ll love it!! I used a 5.5″ wide, 9.5″ long and 2.5″ tall dish (I had to measure, hah!). I would suggest using a metal loaf pan as I’ve recently gotten feedback that a glass dish didn’t work well. I hope this helps and I hope you’ll love it! 🙂

  • Amy

    This bread is so delicious and the recipe is perfect as written. The texture is so good and the bread has depth of flavor. I ended up using the exact pan you recommended and it baked beautifully. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  • debby newpol

    I haven’t made the bread yet so I can’t rate it but I’m looking forward to trying it and the recipe looks very nice. One comment; why don’t you also include a weight measurement for the flour to get it exactly right if one has a scale.

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi Debby, I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe! I’m actually in the process of improving and updating this recipe. I will have the updated post up in November 2020. Thank you for the feedback, I will make sure to include the flour measurements in the updated recipe. I hope it will help!

  • Gisèle Savoie

    5 stars
    OMG
    le pain est excellent et tres simple et facile a faire.
    Cette recette sera parmis mes favoris
    Merci Caroline

  • rachel

    this recipe looks delicous. in the picture did you use 100% whole wheat flour? it looks so light and airy,,,,

    can i make it on a baking tray instead of a bread pan?
    thank you

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi Rachel, thank you so much! In the loaf pictured, I used 2 cups of whole wheat bread flour and 1 cup of white all-purpose flour. I haven’t tried baking it on a baking sheet. It will likely flatten and won’t be the same as a sandwich loaf, but it’s worth a try! For the best result, I would suggest a bread pan though. 🙂

  • Rodger Mathews

    I made this bread, with minor variation of using 300 grams whole wheat flour/100g unbleached “white” flour & putting it in oven with the light on (I keep my home a bit cool) instead of at room temperature.
    I baked it in a metal loaf pan.

    The dough didn’t rise as much as I hoped & was a bit dense. Could this be due to altitude (4800 ft)?

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi Rodger, The altitude could certainly be the cause! The bread has been tested at sea level and at an altitude of about 1300ft. I haven’t tried it in a higher altitude. I don’t have a specific suggestion as it would take some testing. Sometimes using less yeast or more or less flour can make a difference.

  • Deb Cherkaoui

    I’ve been searching for a completely whole grain bread with nuts and seeds that doesn’t contain animal products and isn’t complicated. This seems perfect and I can’t wait to make it.

    Since this is a no knead bread can you please explain how to incorporate the nuts and seeds after the dough has risen the first time? Do you just sprinkle and fold a few times?

    • Nourished by Caroline

      I really hope you’ll like it! And you add the nuts and seeds after the dough has risen the first time. I simply sprinkle them on top and fold the dough a few times like you said. You can also form a well in the dough and add the seeds there before folding it a few times. Make sure they’re well incorporated. 🙂

  • Nicole

    Hi! I would like to ask if after letting it rise for 12 hours and after shaping the dough, do I need to let it rise for the second time while the oven pre-heats?

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi! If you’re making the round loaf, you don’t need to do a second rise. If you’re making the sandwich loaf, you can do a second rise in the bread pan while the oven preheats or for up to 1h. This can help with the shape of the bread, but to be honest, I don’t always bother doing this and the bread turns out well. 🙂

  • Mar

    Love the bread! I made exactly as you explained and I am so proud of myself !!!
    Do you have any other recipe with rye flour ?

    Thank you!!!!

    • Nourished by Caroline

      I’m so happy you like it! Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback. And unfortunately I don’t have any recipes using rye flour. It’s not something I often use, but I will definitely keep that in mind for future recipes. Thank you!

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