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Healthy Recipe: No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

Weekend Well-Being: No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

So many breads these days are made with enriched flour, corn syrup, and other not-so-healthy ingredients. So if you can make your own, it's so much better for you. Baking your own bread from scratch can be really time-consuming though, since you have to mix the dough, knead it, and wait for it to rise. So I've been using this No-Knead recipe I found in the New York Times for a few years now, and I love it. It involves no kneading whatsoever. It doesn't take much prep time, but you have to let the dough rise for 14 to 20 hours. So I like to prepare the dough the night before, around 8 p.m., and then I can look forward to homemade bread the following day at dinnertime.

To see the recipe,


No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread


  1. 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  2. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
  3. 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  4. 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  5. 1 5/8 cups water
  6. Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed


  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18 to 20, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
  2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
  3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about two hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

  4. At least a 30 minutes before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is OK. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: one 1/2-pound loaf.

Join The Conversation
nancita nancita 8 years
I have a friend who makes this every time he has a dinner party, and sometimes he's nice enough to bring it my parties. It's got the best texture. I'm obsessed with this bread.
Beaner Beaner 8 years
Baking with all whole wheat flour makes the dough not rise as much because the flour is denser. It also makes the finished product much denser.
amvbob amvbob 8 years
To chariander: I tried this recipe today and did everything with wheat flour and it didn't seem to make a difference. My dough didn't seem to rise like I thought it would, though. BUT, it does drastically cut down the calories! To Spectra: I did mine in a loaf pan with foil and it seemed to work okay. I think maybe you don't need as much cooking time, though, my bread seemed pretty tough on the outside and I did it 30 with foil, 20 without. I haven't made this exactly to the recipe so I don't know how it's SUPPOSED to turn out, but I definitely ended up with bread so I can only assume those two changes I made were fine!
sandy82 sandy82 8 years
My favorite way to make bread! I remember when the NYTimes wrote about No Knead bread. Sooo many people blogged about it. I'm certain half of Manhattan baked bread the week the article came out because they had to write a follow up piece shortly after. I've never made bread with whole wheat flour. I'll have to try that.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I was 100% on board with this one until I got to the baking part...I don't have a 6-8 quart covered dish to bake it in! Would putting it in a loaf pan and covering it with foil work as well?
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
AndreaT AndreaT 8 years
kick ass. i'm going to go make this right now.
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
Looks good... I might try this sometime.
Niami Niami 8 years
I wish someone could figure out a gluten-free option of this recipe. Trying to figure out the right ratios of xantan gum and gluten-free flours is just too expensive for me to try!
chariander chariander 8 years
I've been interested in trying this recipe for a while now but I'm bothered by the white flour in it! Have you tried making it 100% whole wheat? Does it work? Thanks!
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