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Crunchy, crispy, crackly whole wheat bread recipe!

Whole Wheat Bread Recipe (No-Knead)

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My crusty, bakery-style, aromatic and yeasty whole wheat bread recipe is must!


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 must. Get ready to be seriously proud of yourself!

Is a whole wheat bread recipe actually healthier than other varieties of bread?

The incredible thing about all breads is that they are all 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.

[ One dough not enough? Try my Crazy Dough! One dough, endless recipes! ]

This bread, 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 a 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 added nutrition.

What makes this bread no-knead?

I know it sounds impossible to make a 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 baby sitting “kneaded” (get it 😉 ).

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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 with 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 containers 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!

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4.24 from 13 votes
Crunchy, crispy, crackly whole wheat bread recipe!
No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

My crusty, bakery-style, aromatic and yeasty whole wheat bread recipe is must!

Course: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Calories: 122 kcal
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (100z/284g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 cup (50z/142g) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 floz/282ml) water
Instructions
  1. Make the dough: In a large bowl whisk the flour, whole wheat flour, yeast and salt.

  2. In a separate bowl, combine the honey and water. Add the water mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir until combined; dough will be wet and sticky. If your dough seems very dry, add more water (do this 1 tablespoon at a time) until desired consistency is achieved.

  3. 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. 

  4. Once the dough has proofed knock the air out with your hands. 

  5. 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.

  6. Place the dough on a lined baking tray seam side down. Score the top of the dough with a sharp knife in the shape of a square (this will create the ridged on top once the bread is baked). Cover with cling wrap and rest again until puffy in shape. This will take 1 1/2 - 2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.

  7. Once the dough has risen a second time bake it off at 400oF (200oC) for roughly 50-60 minutes.

  8. 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) 

  9. Cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. 


Recipe Notes

Bold Baking tips: When I bake bread I like to cover the dough with a large oven-safe bowl for the first 30 minutes. This will lock in the moisture around the bread and steam the inside. After 30 minutes remove the bowl or cover and continue to bake for another 30 minutes until golden brown all over. If you have an oven safe bowl I strongly suggest you try this method. 

Nutrition Facts
No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 122
% Daily Value*
Sodium 18mg 1%
Potassium 54mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 3g
Protein 3g 6%
Calcium 1%
Iron 8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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43 Comments

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  1. JulesK on September 14, 2018 at 6:14 am

    Hi Gemma. Can this dough be left in the fridge instead of at room temperature? Or if you make it in a stand mixer, can it be used after the usual few hours rise? I have a sensitive stomach and cant risk leaving it out for to long but would love to try this recipe. Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on September 15, 2018 at 3:30 am

      Hi Jules,
      Yes, to both. The gluten in whole wheat bread likes the longer proofing/fermenting. however, you can of course knead it in your mixer, proof for about 2 hours, knock back, proof for a further hour or so.
      During fermentation the dough becomes acidic, which helps to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria too. Baking it then destroys any bacteria, so should not be a problem for you. Box clever though, do what you are happier to do for you health, very important in this context.
      Thanks for this question Jules,
      Gemma 🙂

      • JulesK on September 15, 2018 at 4:56 am

        Thanks Gemma, that’s really interesting to know. Will give this a go and let you know how it comes out.

  2. Kim M on September 13, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Can’t wait to try – I have fibromyalgia so there’s no way I’d be able to knead the dough – love your recipes – thank you x

    • Gemma Stafford on September 14, 2018 at 2:54 am

      Hi Kim,
      Yes! take a look through the no knead dough here (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/?s=No+knead) to get a good understanding of the number of ways you can use this very old method of fermenting a dough. you will be an expert in no time at all.
      Thank you for being in touch, stay healthy above all,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Saeideh on September 13, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Hi Gemma, I tried and made a pizza. It was the best one I’ve already made😊😋 thanks so much.
    I’m excited to follow your cooking style
    You didn’t knead the dough in the video. Is it necessary for it, isn’t it?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 14, 2018 at 3:46 am

      Hi Saeideh,
      I am really happy to hear this, thank you for letting me know.
      Fermenting dough is the oldest method of bread making, the yeasts from the atmosphere were found to have entered the dough when left overnight and caused the dough to expand, depending on the type of grain used. This is how wheat was developed as the grain of choice for yeast baking, it works best with yeast.
      Kneading came later, when the process was better understood, and there was a need to speed up the development of the dough for commercial baking.
      Take a look at all of the no knead dough here (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/?s=No+knead) it will give you an idea of the variety of breads you can make with this method.
      Happy baking, thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Saeideh on September 13, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Hi Gemma, I tried and made a pizza. It was the best one I’ve already made😊😋 thanks so much.
    I’m passionate about following your cooking style

  5. Nancy Harter on September 12, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Love your recipes. I tried this and it turned out really good! Almost tastes like it is a sourdough bread which is my favorite! I used a glass loaf pan and the next time I will make sure I don’t forget to grease the pan lol!

    • Gemma Stafford on September 13, 2018 at 5:17 am

      Hi Nancy,
      Good! and the longer you ferment a bread the more sourdough it is, as it picks up natural yeasts from the atmosphere. I am happy you tried this recipe, and yes, a little butter will help in the pan! lol, a great way to learn 😉
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Dazzlingzion on September 12, 2018 at 6:33 am

    Hi gemma,
    Can i use bread flour instead of whole wheat flour?because i cant find it in the nearest store.
    Thanks!
    Cant wait to try this!

    • Gemma Stafford on September 13, 2018 at 5:24 am

      Hi there,
      Do you mean brown flour or white flour?
      You can make this bread with all plain white flour, strong bread flour will be perfect too. Try it, it really works very well,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Nancy on September 11, 2018 at 12:51 am

    Hi Gemma!

    Been following you for a few weeks now, and I’m already a huge fan of how you propagate no knead doughs!

    Wanted to ask, would this recipe work if I were to halve the amount of all purpose flour and double the quantity of the whole wheat flour? (That would be 1 cup of all purpose and 2 cups of whole wheat flour.)

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on September 11, 2018 at 4:46 am

      Hi Nancy,
      Whole wheat flour has gluten, but it is not as available as in white flour, because of the way it is milled. Many of the yeast recipes can also be used with whole wheat flour, and there are strong whole wheat flours developed for this purpose.
      A blend of white and wholemeal will work best and adding a little more yeast, and more sugar will also help with this flour. Use a strong white flour, about 13% protein, and a strong whole wheat flour too, and that will help.
      Try it! It will not be a fail, and then you can adjust it to suit your own taste,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Jen W. on September 10, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Gemma,
    Is there any way to make this with Gluten free flour?
    We aren’t “gluten sensitive” but choose to eat gluten free breads for my PCOS.
    If I can do this with that flour or mixture of AP and GFF, that would be great.
    Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on September 11, 2018 at 5:46 am

      Hi Jen,
      The trouble with a yeast bake is that it relies on gluten to give it structure and a good rise. Xanthan gum mimics this action in some flours, and some manufacturers of GF flour make a flour specifically for yeast baking too. That would be your best bet.
      A mix of GF flour, a strong wheat flour, and a strong whole wheat flour may work, but it will not be perfect! I think it will be a bit dense.
      Experiment a bit. divide down the recipe and run a few styles to get the best result for you, it is a bit of a challenge.
      A soda bread will be a surer option for you. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/irish-soda-bread/).
      Not much help I know!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Jen W. on September 11, 2018 at 9:14 am

        That was a great help. I really love that you took the time to explain all the flours and why they would or wouldnt work together. Thank you so much! See, this is why we love watching and learning from you!!!
        Hugs!
        Jen

        • Gemma Stafford on September 11, 2018 at 8:42 pm

          You are very welcome, Jen.

          Best,
          Gemma.

  9. D on September 10, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Thanx for all the nice recipes that you’re sharing.
    Will this recipe work well if I substitute wheat flour with oat flour?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 11, 2018 at 5:59 am

      Hi there,
      thank you for your kind words. I am not too sure! I have not tried it with oat flour, though I think it may work as long as you keep the proportion right. Oat flour has no gluten, wheat flour has, so there is the difference. Using a strong white flour about 13% protein content will help to balance it out. Try it, it is worth a shot,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Marianne08 on September 10, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Hi Gemma, I’m proofing my dough right now. I intend to bake it in a bread pan – in this case, would it still be necessary to score the dough?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 11, 2018 at 6:08 am

      Hi Marianne,
      Scoring a dough allows for a little expansion but it is never essential to a bake. You can proceed without it.
      I hope you like this bread, let us see the results,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Char on September 10, 2018 at 5:53 am

    looks great, i cant wait to try it once I get settled.

  12. Binu on September 10, 2018 at 5:39 am

    Hello, tried with whole wheat flour and sugar. Added a little more water. Kept out for 18 hrs n then baked.Turned out good!

    • Gemma Stafford on September 11, 2018 at 6:13 am

      Yea!
      Binu,
      Thank you so much for letting us know, delighted you had a good result.
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Surabhi Sinha on September 10, 2018 at 3:37 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Thanks for this wasy no-knead recipe 🤪
    What should be the quantity if i want to use o ly whole wheat flour? Can I bake it in a loaf pan?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 10, 2018 at 5:30 am

      Hi there,
      I did not suggest all wholewheat flour for this recipe, you will not get the same result.
      Brown flour/spelt flour will work well with yeast, especially if they have been formulated to do so. The Gluten in these flours is less available than in white flour, so they often have vital wheat added for best results. Adding extra sugar also helps with these flours.
      I suggest you try 1/2 and 1/2 at first, to test it, but it will be a different bread.
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Marine on September 10, 2018 at 2:38 am

    Hi Gemma, what can I substitute honey with in this recipe ?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 10, 2018 at 3:06 am

      Hi Marine,
      Sugar, brown sugar, or even a dark brown sugar, treacle or molasses.
      The sugar really will help in this recipe, but it does not matter so much which type of sugar.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Zaviya on September 10, 2018 at 12:34 am

    Hey Gemma! I don’t have instant yeast! Is it okay if use active dried yeast instead? Does both work same way?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 10, 2018 at 3:40 am

      Hi there,
      Yes it is. You should sponge the yeast first to be sure. This means activating the yeast, usually in the liquids to be used in the recipe. Normally you would bring the sponging liquids to blood temperature, that is when you put your finger into the liquid it should feel neither hot nor cold. A touch of sugar, or honey from the recipe will speed up the activation. This is really ‘proving’ to you that the yeast is good and active. A foam will form on top of the liquids after 5 mins or so, you stir this through before adding to the flour. Add ¾ in one go, then the remainder until the dough comes together in a clean ball. All will be well,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Therese on September 9, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Hi Gemma, you score the bread before the second proof? I’ve always done it after, but had unpredictable results.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 10, 2018 at 3:59 am

      Hi Theresa,
      Actually you can do this at any stage, and the more correct advice is after the second proof. If you have a scalpel then this is good advice, if you are using a kitchen knife the danger is that you will deflate the dough. I do mine before the second proofing, than I can forget about it! You can get a more defined cut with a scalpel after the second proof, but if it works it works! Scalpels are a dangerous thing to have in your home kitchen!
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Heather Elizabeth Porter on September 9, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Can you bake this in a loaf pan?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 10, 2018 at 4:20 am

      Hi Heather,
      Yes, you certainly can. A one pound loaf pan 9 x 5 inches will do this nicely for you.
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Chandana on September 9, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    I love your recipe
    But can I bake it with complete whole wheat flour? Whenever I try a complete whole wheat bread it comes out very rough and it is impossible to cut it into small slices. And I end up deciding that I will never bake a bread again🙁

    • Gemma Stafford on September 10, 2018 at 4:25 am

      Hi there,
      Whole wheat flour has gluten of course, but it is not as available as it is in white wheat flour. That is why I mixed it here, it is to take advantage of the gluten in the white flour. To add nutrition to this you could add milled linseed, or sunflower seeds, or whatever you wish to add. A whole wheat flour designed for bread is often formulated to work well, with added vital wheat, but you need to look for this in your store, a STRONG wholewheat flour.
      Try too my soda bread recipe (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/irish-soda-bread/) this is really delicious too.
      I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. NonnainAL on September 9, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    I haven’t tried your recipe yet but plan to next week. When you use the covered method do you use a higher oven temperature? I have a clay covered baker that I generally preheat in the oven then place the boule on the base after putting it on a piece of parchment.
    Thanks
    Nonna in AL

    • Gemma Stafford on September 9, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      Hi Nonna,

      Yes the temp I gave will work if you decide to cover your bread. Follow this recipe and you’ll have great success. I’m going to make it myself this week also.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  20. Annasarah on September 9, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Gemma! Love this recipe. How would I adjust to only use white flour and wheat germ instead of white flour and whole wheat flour?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 9, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Hi,

      I love this bread too. Glad you are making it. If you wanted to use wheat germ then use only 1/2 cup of wheat germ and 2 1/2 cups of white flour. Also you might need more or less liquid because you are changing the recipe so just go slowly with the liquid.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  21. Wanda Waybright on September 9, 2018 at 10:35 am

    I cant wait until it cools off to start baking. Thanks for another one of your awesome recipes. Have an awesome day!

    • Gemma Stafford on September 9, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Wanda please share a photo if you can. I’d love to see it 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

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