No Knead Whole Wheat Bread

A boule of No Knead Whole Wheat Bread marked with WW scoring pattern on a wooden cutting board.

Mix up this 5 minute No Knead Whole Wheat Bread, then go about your day (or get a good night’s sleep) before you shape and bake it. This recipe produces a golden baked crusty boule of bread with a toothy, yet tender crumb.

Disclosure: This post is part of a partnership with Life’s Simple Ingredient. All opinions and experiences are my own.

Baking breads is one of life’s true pleasures. You can use a sourdough starter to bake a loaf over several days, or commercial yeast to whip up a tasty Dill Pickle Loaf in less than a day. The aroma and satisfaction of baking your own bread is second to none.

A boule of No Knead Whole Wheat Bread marked with WW scoring pattern in a stone bowl with baked parchment paper.

No Knead Whole Wheat Bread

A no knead bread bake lies somewhere in between the timing of a multi day sourdough bake and a simple afternoon sandwich loaf bake. However, this style of baking bread is much less effort than either of those bread baking styles.

The long fermentation time results in a tasty grain forward round loaf (or boule) with a toothy crumb. This loaf is 50 per cent whole wheat flour, allowing for whole grain goodness while enjoying a lighter texture than a 100 per cent whole grain loaf.

A touch of sweet honey and the addition of sea salt work together to round out the flavour, creating a toothsome bread that is delicious with jam, cheese, soups, or stews.

A boule of No Knead Whole Wheat Bread marked with WW scoring pattern in a bed of parchment paper in a black Dutch oven.

What is No Knead Bread?

No knead bread is a (mostly) hands off method of bread baking that requires very little commercial yeast and a lengthy fermentation time.

The lengthy fermentation is essential to the biochemical formation of gluten strands and subsequent robust bread structure. It is unlike the traditional yeasted bread baking technique, where the gluten strands form because of the physical action of kneading.

NOTE: If a recipe contains the same yeast amount a loaf of sandwich bread contains (over 2 teaspoons!), doesn’t have a long fermentation period, and simply omits the kneading stage, it is NOT traditional no knead bread.

Flour yeast, honey, water and salt measured out as needed to make Whole Wheat no knead bread.

Simple Bread Ingredients

This no knead whole wheat bread recipe contains a mixture of all purpose and whole wheat flours in an equal ratio. This ratio produces a lighter loaf that still retains the whole wheat grain flavour.

  • All Purpose Flour
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Yeast
  • Honey
  • Salt
  • Water

The whole wheat flour in this loaf is a locally sourced whole grain organic flour that is freshly ground. It has a coarser texture and is higher in protein than all purpose flour. Please note that whole wheat flour from a grocery store will have a finer grind.

Though there is very little yeast in this recipe, it plays an important role in converting flour proteins into strands of gluten. Use instant dry yeast (not active dry yeast) in this recipe.

A boule of No Knead Whole Wheat Bread marked with WW scoring pattern on a wooden cutting board.

Instant yeast is 100 per cent active, and its behavior is consistent over time. Due to its small grain size, instant yeast will readily dissolve in the ambient moisture of a dough, eliminating the need for rehydration.

Honey is not necessary for this recipe, so you can leave it out if you need to. However, it helps to feed the yeast and keeps them happy. Happy yeast makes delicious bread!

Though instant dry yeast is tolerant of temperatures up to 130°F (54°C), I suggest you use room temperature water (or slightly warmer) when mixing up the dough.

Whole Wheat vs All Purpose Flour

In general, flour is the powdery food substance that remains after grinding hard and/or soft wheat varieties. The wheat kernels of each variety are comprised of three components: the endosperm, bran, and germ.

A boule of No Knead Whole Wheat Bread marked with WW scoring pattern on a wooden cutting board.

White, or all-purpose flour is essentially the ground endosperm, after the bran and germ have been removed. It is a combination of hard and soft wheat varieties, giving it an average protein level. White flour may be bleached or unbleached; the latter is preferable for baking that requires more structure such as yeasted breads.

Whole wheat flour is whole grain flour, meaning it contains all three grain components and is entirely ground from hard wheat. This high fibre flour produces heavier, denser baked goods, which is why it is often combined with all purpose flour in baking.

How to Make No Knead Whole Wheat Bread

To mix the dough, measure and place all recipe ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix them on low speed until they come together, stopping to remove the ball of sticky dough once or twice (this helps the dry flour at the bottom to become incorporated). Do not overmix.

A boule of sliced Bread on a wooden cutting board showing the crumb texture.

Tidy the dough into a ball, place in a large bowl and cover the bowl with beeswax wrap or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise 12 hours or until it more than doubles in size (and bubbles can be seen on the dough surface).

Carefully remove dough from the bowl and place onto a clean countertop. Grab the side of the dough farthest away from you, stretch up (until you feel a slight resistance) then fold over the dough. Repeat on the right side of the dough, the side closest to you, and finally the left side, a total of four folds.

To pre-shape the boule, flip over the dough ball so that the smooth side is on top. Cup your hands around the ball and slide it slightly forward on the countertop. Rotate, and repeat until the dough is a neat ball. Let rest ten minutes then shape a second time.

Carefully slide a bench scraper under the dough ball then lift and flip it into in a well floured banneton (seam side up, smooth side down). Alternatively, line a medium bowl with a well floured tea towel and place the dough ball in there. Cover with beeswax wrap or a damp tea towel.

Cover and allow to double in size, approximately 1-2 hours.

A boule of sliced Bread on a wooden cutting board showing the crumb texture.

How to Bake No Knead Bread

Preheat the oven (with the Dutch oven inside) until it reaches 450 F. When the oven reaches 450 F, cut a circle of parchment paper approximately the size of the bottom of your Dutch oven. Place it over the bread in the basket (or bowl).

To remove bread from basket/bowl, place a cutting board over the parchment paper, grab the basket/bowl with your thumbs and flip the whole thing over using a quick motion. Score the bread in your desired pattern with a sharp knife or bread lame.

Remove hot Dutch oven from your oven and carefully lower the boule into the pot (by holding onto the parchment paper). Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 25 minutes. Baking time may vary from oven to oven.

Remove the golden-brown crusty bread from the Dutch oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Allow to cool completely before slicing for best results.

A boule of sliced No Knead Whole Wheat Bread on a wooden cutting board showing the crumb texture.

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Pinterest image of a boule of No Knead Whole Wheat Bread marked with WW scoring pattern in a bed of parchment paper in a black Dutch oven.

If you make this No Knead Whole Wheat Bread, recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Yield: 1 loaf

No Knead Whole Wheat Bread

A boule of No Knead Whole Wheat Bread marked with WW scoring pattern in a stone bowl with baked parchment paper.

Mix up this 5 minute No Knead Whole Wheat Bread, then go about your day (or get a good night's sleep) before you shape and bake it. This recipe produces a golden brown crusty bread with a toothy, yet tender crumb.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 15 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 15 hours 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups water; room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon liquid honey

Instructions

  1. Measure flours, water, salt, yeast, and honey into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or a large mixing bowl). Mix together until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  2. Tidy dough into a ball and cover. Let rise 12 hours or until the dough has more than doubled and bubbles can be seen on the dough surface.
  3. Carefully remove dough from the bowl and place onto a clean counter top.
  4. Grab the side of the dough farthest away from you, stretch up (until you feel a slight resistance) then fold over the dough. Repeat on the right side of the dough, the side closest to you, and finally the left side, a total of four folds.
  5. To pre-shape the boule, flip over the dough ball so that the smooth side is on top. Cup your hands around the ball and slide it slightly forward on the counter top. Rotate, and repeat until the dough is a neat ball. Let rest ten minutes then shape a second time.
  6. Carefully slide a bench scraper under the dough ball then lift and flip it into in a well floured banneton (seam side up, smooth side down). Alternatively, line a medium bowl with a well floured tea towel and place the dough ball in there.
  7. Cover and let rise until doubled, approximately 1-2 hours.
  8. Preheat the oven (with the Dutch oven inside) until it reaches 450 F.
  9. Cut a circle of parchment paper the size of the bottom of your Dutch oven. Place it over the basket (or bowl).
  10. To remove bread from basket/bowl, place a cutting board over the parchment paper, grab the basket/bowl with your thumbs and flip the whole thing over using a quick motion.
  11. Score the bread in your desired pattern with a sharp knife or bread lame.
  12. Remove hot Dutch oven from your oven and carefully lower the boule into the pot (by holding onto the parchment paper).
  13. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 25 minutes. Baking time may vary from oven to oven.
  14. Remove bread from Dutch oven and place on rack to cool.

Notes

Note: You can also use a bowl, a wooden spoon, and some old fashioned elbow grease to mix the dough if you don't have a mixer.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 170Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 399mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 5g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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18 comments

  1. Elizabeth

    This bread looks absolutely delicious. I really like that the honey is optional too!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It is optional, however I do love the balance of flavour it brings to the loaf.

      Reply

  2. Linda

    Finally! I’ve made no-knead bread with nothing but white flour a time or two, but I really do prefer the nutty flavor of a whole grain bread. This looks absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to give it a try!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Excellent, happy baking Linda!

      Reply

  3. Ramona

    This no-knead whole wheat bread looks really good and I cant wait to make this since I love making bread! Thank you for sharing this recipe, I cant wait to try this out!

    Reply

  4. nancy

    you had me at no knead!!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yup! Super easy and very satisfying. Happy baking Nancy!

      Reply

  5. Pam Blacker

    Beautiful pictures and looks like a great recipe. Looking forward to trying it!

    Reply

  6. Kayla DiMaggio

    This whole wheat bread is so delicious! I love how easy it is!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      That is music to my ears. Food can be delicious and easy to make!

      Reply

  7. Andrea White

    so good! the kitchen smells absolutely amazing!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Right?! It’s so hard to wait until the end for a taste.

      Reply

  8. Jeannie

    Love the scoring of your bread, cant wait to try another bread recipe!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Once you start baking bread, it’s so hard to stop!

      Reply

  9. Sean

    Fantastic loaf! I’ve been looking for a better whole wheat bread, as I’ve found a lot of my previous efforts to be a little blah. The honey and the long fermentation time are fantastic touches. And hey, gotta say that I love the WW scoring! Haha.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thanks Sean! So funny how the scoring turned out. I was going for ‘W’hole ‘W’heat but it looks more like WoW with the basket design in there. Still works!

      Reply

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