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

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 hearty 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:

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making homemade no-knead bread.

  1. Combine the Ingredients

    Start by combining 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.

  2. Overnight Rise

    Cover the bowl 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!

  3. Form the Dough

    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.

  4. Bake

    With this recipe, you have the option to bake the bread into a round loaf or a sandwich loaf, both using the same ingredients. The two methods will result in a delicious loaf with a crispy exterior and a soft interior.

    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.

Tips to Make the Best No-Knead Bread:

  • 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. And make sure not to shake the cup to fit in more flour.
  • You have the option of adding seeds. I like to use sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. The seeds are added just before baking. If you add them the night before, while the dough rises, it will result in soggy seeds.
  • For the best results, make sure to let the dough rise at room temperature. If your room temperature is on the colder side, consider placing the bowl in the oven with the light turned on.
Whole wheat bread cut in half

No-Knead Bread FAQ:

Can I Make White Bread With This Recipe?

Yes! This recipe works with all-purpose white flour, as well as all-purpose whole wheat flour. It also works with bread flour if that’s what you have on hand. You can make the recipe entirely with white flour, or you can use a combination of white and whole wheat flour. My go-to is a half and half loaf. Using white flour will make the loaf lighter, while whole wheat flour will result in a hearty (but still delicious) whole wheat loaf.

Can I Make This Recipe Gluten-Free?

I haven’t tried making a gluten-free loaf, so I can’t guarantee the same results. However, if you want to try it, I would recommend using a 1:1 gluten-free flour mix.

Why Didn’t My Bread Rise?

That could be caused by a few things. First, make sure to use fresh instant yeast. If your yeast is old or expired, you won’t get the same results. Also, make sure to measure the flour correctly, using the spoon and level method, as instructed above (or weigh the flour).

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

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.

Hands holding whole wheat bread cut in half

No-Knead Whole Wheat Seeded Bread Video:

Still not convinced? Watch how easy this bread recipe really is.

no-knead whole wheat bread cut in half
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4.58 from 7 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.

Video

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. Once the bread has cooled completely and has been sliced, store it covered, at room temperature.
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. White flour will make this bread softer and more fluffy as expected.
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 the dough is too sticky the next morning after letting it rise, add a sprinkle of flour and knead the dough for a few minutes to incorporate the added flour. Repeat until you can form the dough into a ball, but avoid adding too much extra flour. It’s normal for the dough to be a bit sticky. I’ve never found this to be necessary, but changes in measurement, room temperature and elevation might affect the texture of the dough.
I haven’t tested a gluten-free option. If you want to try it, I recommend using a 1:1 gluten-free flour mix.

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!

This post contains affiliate links. I only share products that I trust and recommend. Choosing to use these links helps to support me and this blog. Thank you! 

54 Comments

  • 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!

      • Prue

        Every time I have made this bread, I the dough never rises..? I know the recipe calls for the dough to rise for 12 hours and it should form bubbles. Mine literally rises maybe 1 inch, and then nothing? I have tried this 8 times now, and have never had any luck. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong? Is the yeast that I bought, bad?

        • Nourished by Caroline

          Hi Prue, I’m so sorry to hear that you didn’t have any luck with this recipe. Bread is definitely tricky to make and can easily be affected by small changes.

          A few things that come to mind: Your yeast might be bad like you said. It would be worth trying with a different batch, making sure you’re using instant yeast/quick rise yeast (not active dry yeast). Active dry yeast needs a longer rising time and should be dissolved in liquid until it foams before adding the dry ingredients (you would usually add sugar to the liquid as well). This recipe was tested with instant yeast only. Other things to consider: Are you in high elevation or at sea level? High elevation might affect the results. And is your room temperature cold? The bread will rise faster in a warmer environment. If your room temperature is colder, the dough might need longer to rise. And if you’re using white flour or a mix of whole wheat and white, the dough will rise more. 100% whole wheat bread will not rise as much and will be a bit more dense, which is completely normal. Finally, make sure to spoon and level the flour. If you scoop the flour directly with the measuring cup and/or shake the cup, you will end up with too much flour.

          I hope this is helpful! Let me know if you have more questions. Best of luck and thank you for your feedback!

  • 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!

  • Meno

    I am brand new to baking homemade bread, and I’d love to give this recipe a try. I have a 2qt Dutch oven, but will the small size of the oven impact how the bread will rise in the oven?

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Using a smaller Dutch oven shouldn’t impact the baking time, as long as the bread fits. 2qt is on the small side (I use a 5qt), but it could fit. It might just take the shape of the Dutch oven. It’s worth a try! Sorry that I don’t have a specific answer as I haven’t tested it in that smaller size.

  • Anika Boon

    5 stars
    For such a simple recipe, this bread turned out great!! Definitely a quick-fix option for warm, homemade breakfast bread. I look forward to trying it in a dutch oven (I don’t have one yet), but it was still good in a loaf pan. Thanks for sharing!

  • Cristina

    I’m trying out this recipe for the first time. It’s in the oven now, but my dough was very wet and would not form a ball. I know I measured everything as directed. I can’t figure out what is causing such wet sticky dough. I just said her the parchment paper into the Dutch oven, hoping for an edible bread.
    Any suggestions on how to form a dough ball greatly appreciated!

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi Cristina, I’m sorry that the dough turned out too wet. I’m not sure what could have happened, but I would recommend next time to knead the dough with more flour until it forms a ball. The dough shouldn’t be dry and it will be a little wet, but it should be able to form a ball. Also, you could try adding a small amount of extra flour to the dough before rising next time. I hope this helps!

  • Amber

    4 stars
    Giving 4 starts only because I haven’t tried it myself it’ll be my first time making bread at all and I’m super excited and judging on the comments I can’t wait..my question is..could cinnamon and honey be added to this recipe to make it a sweet bread possibly?

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi Amber, thank you for the review. I can’t say for sure that these additions would work. As honey is a liquid sweetener, I would be hesitant to add it as it might affect the texture of the recipe. Instead, my recommendation would be to carefully follow the recipe, then serve the bread with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I think that would be delicious!

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi Sam, yes, the whole wheat flour does make the bread rise nicely in this recipe. That being said, it will rise even more with white flour or a mix of white and whole wheat, which I love doing. The 100% whole wheat loaf is still great though, just a little more dense as you would expect. 🙂

  • Amy

    I have made this bread a number of times. I follow the recipe and have never had a problem with the rise.

    • Nourished by Caroline

      The oats might make the bread a little more dry as it will absorb some of the liquid, unlike the seeds. I would recommend simply skipping the sunflower seeds and/or just adding a sprinkle of oats on top of the bread before baking (not mixing it in the dough). I hope this helps!

  • Don

    My wife and I have been making no knead bread with bread flour for a few months now and, as you stated, it important to spoon out the flour. However we found a little twist that helps make the bread a bit lighter. Before you spoon the flour out, as I called it, aerate it. We did this by fluffing it with the larger spoon just before spooning into the measuring cup. It made a pretty big difference…much lighter and softer inside.
    Have fun. Bon Appétit!

  • Andreescu

    3 stars
    The receipe works. The bread is good!
    However, I tried this receipe a couple of times by following the the exact steps and measures and it seems that the batter, after the 12 hour interval, is too sticky and too gooey to make it into a ball. I ended up adding a lot more flour and I also had to knead it. Any idea what the issue might have been?

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Thank you for the feedback, I’m happy that you like the bread! It’s normal for the dough to be a bit sticky after rising and I typically sprinkle a bit of flour on top and on my hands before forming it into a ball – I will add this extra note in the recipe. That being said, I don’t usually need to add more flour than that. It might be a difference in room temperature and/or elevation? Also, if you used the cup measurement, you could try weighing the flour instead to see if it makes a difference. A slightly different method of scooping the flour can make a difference. And if this doesn’t help, I would recommend adding a small amount of extra flour when mixing the ingredients, then adding flour to your hands to help shape the bread (and sprinkling a bit of flour on top of the dough if needed). I hope this helps a little!

  • Tam

    Hi Caroline,
    I’ve tried the recipe about six times, with different combinations of whole wheat and bread flour, and also just all-purpose. My dough is always wet and sticky, and I couldn’t form a ball either. I’ve tried reducing the amount of water, just a little, but it was still the same. The bread in your video looks so soft on the inside, and mine is rather heavy. I live in Dallas. If there’s anything I can do differently, please let me know. Thank you.

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi Tam, I’m sorry that the recipe hasn’t been working for you. It looks like Dallas is at a lower altitude than where I live (131m vs 600m). However, I have made this at a lower altitude with no problem. It’s normal for the dough to be a bit sticky, but it should form a ball – It’s okay if it doesn’t hold perfectly, as long as the bread rises a bit and has the texture that you want. A few things that you can try (if you haven’t already): Add a sprinkle of flour to the dough the next morning and use floured hands. You can knead the dough with the extra flour a few minutes (I know this is a no-knead recipe, but it might help in your situation). Continue to add more flour and knead until you can just form a ball. Just add as little as you need to avoid having a denser loaf. Also, make sure that you’re measuring the ingredients correctly and that you’re not using expired or old yeast as this can affect the results.

      Also, in the video and photos, I used half all-purpose white flour and half all-purpose whole wheat flour. If you use 100% whole wheat flour, it’s normal for the bread to be a bit denser and heavier, as most whole wheat loafs are. I hope that this helps a little!

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WELCOME!

Nourished by Caroline

I’m Caroline, a registered dietitian located in Kelowna, British Columbia. I focus on plant-based nutrition and intuitive eating. I believe in living a balanced life, while eating the food you love. Learn more about my practice here or book an appointment today!

 

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