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Hi Bold Bakers!
You all know by now I have a real passion for bread. There’s something truly magical about the process of making the dough, watching it rise and ferment, then shaping it into a lovely round loaf and watching it bake up to golden-brown perfection. There is something so satisfying about knowing how to take just water, flour, and yeast, and turn it into a full-blown gorgeous loaf of aromatic yeasty bread.
This no-knead Whole Wheat Bread Recipe is one of my absolute favorites. Having this crusty bakery-style whole wheat loaf in your repertoire is a must. Get ready to be seriously proud of yourself!
But first, I want you to check out my 7 Common Breadmaking Mistakes You’re Probably Making before making bread as it covers from beginning to baking essential tips for bread making at home.
Is a Whole Wheat Bread Recipe Actually Healthier Than Other Kinds of Bread?
The incredible thing about all bread it’s always made of the same ingredients: flour, water, and yeast. What makes each loaf unique is the way in which they are combined, and the amount of time they spend fermenting, proofing, and developing flavor.
This beginner bread recipe, instead of using just white flour, uses a combination of white and whole wheat. Whole wheat flour is a less-processed grain. This makes the flour have a more robust flavor, darker color, and higher fiber content than white flour. The whole wheat component of this bread is an added bonus for so many reasons. It adds flavor, texture, color as well as some added nutrition.
What Makes This Beginner Bread Recipe No-Knead?
I know it sounds impossible to make bread without kneading the dough, but this whole wheat bread recipe is here to show you how and why it works.
While normal bread dough needs to be kneaded to develop the gluten in the bread, this dough does it on its own. The secret ingredient to my no-knead bread is… time. About 24 hours is what allows this dough to develop without any of my help. Over that period the dough is fermenting, it’s no only developing flavor but it’s building its own gluten content and filling up with air that’s released in the process. The result is a light and fluffy interior filled with tiny air bubbles and a thick crunchy crust.
I know it sounds crazy, but just trust me: all you have to do with this bread is set it and forget it — no babysitting “kneaded” (get it 😉 ).
What is Dry Active Yeast?
My Whole Wheat Bread Recipe uses one of my favorite things to have on hand: dry active yeast.
Dry active yeast is the most commonly available form of yeast for home bakers and is available in ¼-oz packets at most local grocery stores. The yeast is dormant, needs to be “proofed” and re-hydrated.
It gets activated during the fermentation process by combining the water and honey. From there it creates a lovely almost beer-like flavor and smell. Dry yeast should be stored in a cool dry place. I keep mine in a container in the refrigerator.
Is Whole Wheat Bread OK for Diabetics?
Whole wheat and whole grain bread is a preferred option for diabetics. Whole wheat is a more complex carbohydrate and has the added fiber content I mentioned earlier, making it something that really everyone can enjoy both making and eating! So give this Whole Wheat Bread Recipe a go — but, as always, when it comes to health the best bet is to contact your doctor.
Can I bake this Whole Wheat Bread in a Dutch Oven?
Yes you absolutely can bake it in a dutch oven. That will give you a lovely texture and finish to your crust. I put it in at 450oF (225oC), then immediately turn it down to 400oF (200oF) and bake for 30 minutes with the lid on. Then remove lid and bake for the remaining time. Works beautifully every time.
Top Tips for Making No Knead Whole Wheat Bread
- Always cut whole wheat flour with some white flour. It will lighten your bread and give your better end results
- If using ‘instant yeast’ add it directly into the dry ingredients
- If using ‘active dried yeast’ then you have to sponge it in water first
- Ferment for a minimum of 18 hours for best flavor and texture
- After 24 hours if you don’t bake your dough then pop the dough in the fridge for up to 3 days
- Steam your bread for the first 20 minutes of baking to create a chewy crust
Big Fan Of Bread? Try Out These Recipes!
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Watch The Recipe Video!
No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread
- 2 cups (10oz/284g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 cup (5oz/142g) whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast or 1 teaspoon of Dry Active yeast *
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/4 cups (10 floz/282ml) water
- Make the dough: In a large bowl whisk the flour, whole wheat flour, yeast and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine the honey and water. Add the water mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir until you form a ball of dough and it cleans the bowl (see video above). If your dough seems very dry, add more water (do this 1 tablespoon at a time) until desired consistency is achieved.
- Cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 18-24 hours at room temperature (about 70 degrees). Your dough is ready when it has puffed up in volume, about double in size.
- Once the dough has proofed knock the air out with your hands.
- Shape the dough by transferring onto a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough in half and then fold it in half again. Shape the dough into a ball by tucking the sides underneath itself.
- Place the dough on a lined baking tray seam side down. Cover with cling wrap and a kitchen towel and proof for roughly 45 minutes -1 1/2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is. You will want it to have doubled in size. (Note: Watch the above video on how to proof in a bowl)
- Once the dough has risen a second time, score the top with a blade or sharp knife. Bake it off at 400oF (200oC) for roughly 50-60 minutes. ( Watch for baking bread tips https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/7-common-breadmaking-mistakes/)Want to bake this bread in a dutch oven? I put it in at 450oF (225oC), then immediately turn it down to 400oF (200oF) and bake for 30 minutes with the lid on. Then remove lid and bake for the remaining time.
- Once the bread has formed a crisp golden crust you can transfer it to a wire rack and allow to cool completely to room temperature before slicing. Another tip to tell if it is fully bake is if you tip the base of the bread and it makes a hollow sound.
- Cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. This bread also freezes really well.
- * Dry Active Yeast needs to be sponged before use. This means allowing the yeast to hydrate in the tepid liquid you are using in your bread. It will form a sponge which you stir through before adding to the flour, this will ensure success.