No knead Wholemeal Bread recipe

No knead Wholemeal Bread recipe |

At the start of the year I made a resolution, I wanted to learn how to make delicious bread at home, and after months of trialling recipes I’ve finally found the wholemeal bread recipe I’d been looking for.

While I like crusty bread as much as the next person, particularly with a steaming hot soup in winter, I don’t want crusty bread first thing in the morning because when crusty bread is toasted I almost feel like I am at risk of breaking a tooth when enjoying my morning toast. So, I set out in search of a wholemeal bread recipe that would produce a bread with a soft crust.

When I made my resolution to make delicious bread at home I downloaded Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day to the Kindle App on my iPad and promptly forgot about it. What a mistake, because inside this book was the recipe to the best bread I’ve ever made. I won’t say it’s the best whole wheat bread recipe ever, because bread, like everything in life, is subjective and everyone likes different things. But to me, and my fiancé, this is the best bread we’ve tasted. In fact, it’s so good that the first day I made the bread my fiancé asked if we could just have the loaf of bread for dinner, he was so enamoured with it!

The beauty of this whole wheat bread recipe is that it’s no knead! You don’t need to spend 10 minutes kneading the dough until it’s smooth, however there are a few little steps involved, each requiring no more than a minute. After which time you have enough dough for 2 small loaves of bread or 1 large, which you can refrigerate and bake over the next 4 days.

I have made a couple of minor changes to the original recipe, firstly I replaced the instant yeast with fresh yeast. While instant yeast is perfectly fine, and I have made this bread with instant yeast, I think the taste is slightly better with fresh yeast. Secondly, the original recipe called for the use of sugar or honey as the sweetener. In place of these I have used Brown Rice Syrup (available from the health food section of your supermarket), however if you don’t have Brown Rice Syrup simply use honey. You could also use sugar too, but I think the honey works well with the whole wheat flour in terms of flavour.

I now make this wholemeal bread twice a week, we love it that much, and I hope you will too.  In fact, I can happily say we no longer buy bread.

So tell me ,what do you look for in a perfect loaf of bread? Is it crusty, soft or somewhere in between?

No knead Wholemeal Bread recipe |

4.9 from 7 reviews
Wholemeal Bread recipe
Cook time
Total time
Recipe adapted slightly from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day.
  • 680g of whole wheat (wholemeal) flour
  • 14g of salt
  • 12g of fresh yeast (4g of dry instant yeast if using)
  • 2½ tablespoons of Brown Rice Syrup
  • 539g of room temperature water
  • 43g of olive oil
  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, as well as the dry instant yeast, if using, and stir to combine.
  2. If using fresh yeast, crumble into a small bowl and remove 2 tablespoons of the water and mix with the yeast until dissolved. Pour the yeast mixture back into the remaining water and combine with the olive oil and brown rice syrup. Mix to combine before pouring into the flour.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, or an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the dough for 1 minute, until well combined. Then leave to rest for 5 minutes to allow the flour to fully hydrate.
  4. Mix the dough again, for another minute. You will find the dough will still be very sticky, but should be a little less sticky than before. Grab a large bowl and lightly grease with olive oil and place the dough into the bowl. Cover with cling film and leave for 10 minutes.
  5. Wet your hands thoroughly, or cover in a light film of oil (I prefer to wet my hands as it's easier to clean up) and reach into the bowl and grab the middle of the underside of the dough. Pull the dough and stretch it out with your hands and fold the dough on to the top of the dough. Repeat with the opposite side, by spinning the bowl around, and each side, stretching and folding the dough a total of 4 times in total, once on each side. Repeat this process every 10 minutes for the next 30 minutes.
  6. After the final stretch and fold of the dough, cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 4 days.
  7. The next day you will notice the dough has risen substantially. To bake your first loaf, cut the dough in half, being careful not to remove all of the gas. On a lightly floured bench flatten the dough into a 5 inch by 8 inch rectangle, and working from the shorter side, roll up the length of the dough. Pinch the final seam together with your fingertips and gently rock the dough to even it out. Place the loaf in a greased pan, seam side down. Cover and leave for 3 hours, by which time the dough should have doubled in size.
  8. An hour before baking, prepare your oven. Adjust the shelves so that 1 shelf is on the bottom and adjust the second shelf to the next rung above the bottom shelf. If possible, set your oven so that the heat comes from the bottom element only, and preheat your oven by turning it up as high as it will go (my oven only reaches a maximum of 250 celsius so the baking time is for this temperature). Place a baking tray on the bottom shelf that is capable of holding 1 cup of water.
  9. When you're getting ready to bake, boil the kettle and when it's boiled place the bread in the oven, on the second bottom shelf, and pour 1 cup of boiling water into the tray below. Close the oven door and bake for 12 minutes. If you were unable to set your oven to cook from the bottom element you may need to cover the top of the bread with foil to prevent it from browning too much. Turn the loaf and bake for another 15 minutes before removing and cooling on a wire wrack. Don't cut the loaf until it's completely cooled as this will allow the crumb to set properly.
The remaining dough can be baked any time over the next 4 days.

Roasted Apricot, Vanilla & Quinoa Cakes
Yoghurt Cake with Sangria Poached Pears

Get the latest recipes delivered to your inbox

Leave a comment


  1. Sneh | Cook Republic March 11, 2012  4:51 pm Reply

    This looks beautiful. I love baking from Peter's cookbook. Love the shape of your loaf :-)

  2. Kulsum at JourneyKitchen March 11, 2012  4:53 pm Reply

    J, I can't wait to try this recipe. I'm certainly making it this week. I made a loaf ages ago and was not impressed. Need to change that.

  3. Amanda March 11, 2012  6:13 pm Reply

    Looking forward to trying this! Haven't tried sourcing fresh yeast though, any suggestions?

    • delicieux March 12, 2012  4:25 pm Reply

      Hi Amanda,

      If you can't get your hands on fresh yeast instant dried yeast is perfectly fine. In that case you need 4g of yeast. As for the fresh yeast, I suggest trying your local gourmet grocer, or even asking at your local bakery.

  4. Sanjeeta kk March 11, 2012  6:42 pm Reply

    Just the look of that healthy loaf there makes me dirty my hands with flour again! What is that brown rice for, Ledeliieux..any substitute?

    • delicieux March 12, 2012  2:53 pm Reply

      Hi Sanjeeta,

      You could substitute honey, sugar or agave for the brown rice syrup. :)

  5. Rosa March 11, 2012  8:10 pm Reply

    A lovely loaf of bread! Nice texture. I'd love some of it now for breakfast.



  6. JJ @ 84thand3rd March 11, 2012  9:06 pm Reply

    I'm always looking for a good bread recipe - will definitely be trying this! Think it may be high time for me to finally get that book. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 12, 2012  3:36 am Reply

    It's one of my new years resolution to make bread at home too :) I never thought it was possible to make whole wheat bread at home without kneading it! I'm definitely going to give this a go! Thanks for sharing!

    • delicieux March 12, 2012  4:26 pm Reply

      You're welcome Daisy. Let me know what you think of it :D

  8. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed March 12, 2012  6:43 am Reply

    fabulous!!! Yep, my perfect loaf is crusty on the outside, soft in the middle.but not too soft! mmm.
    Heidi xo

    • delicieux March 12, 2012  4:32 pm Reply

      How funny! Must have been something in the air :)

  9. Anna@ The Littlest Anchovy March 12, 2012  9:48 am Reply

    Yeah, Yeah! I too have been looking for a good all purpose bread recipe. I need not look any further now :)

    • delicieux March 12, 2012  10:28 am Reply

      I hope you enjoy it as much as we have Anna :D

  10. Kiri W. March 12, 2012  10:08 am Reply

    Look delicious! I love whole wheat bread, and that looks like a nice, fluffy slice :)

  11. Lizzy (Good Things) March 12, 2012  10:37 am Reply

    Jen, your bread looks divine. I have to go easy on eating bread these days, but love a bread that has texture, crunchy crust and flavour.

  12. jen @ giftboxology March 12, 2012  11:26 am Reply

    oh i am going to have to give this a go. i want to bake some bread for us to eat but i usually end up eating it myself whilst the rest of the family eats the bakery stuff!
    i could substitute agave syrup? rather than honey or brown rice syrup?

    • delicieux March 12, 2012  2:52 pm Reply

      Hi Jen,

      Yes, agave syrup is fine, in fact it's one of the suggestions in the book, along with honey. I have tried all 3 and prefer the brown rice syrup. :D Let me know what you think. I've got another batch in progress now :D

  13. Claire @ Claire K Creations March 12, 2012  12:10 pm Reply

    I love making bread at home. There's something so satisfying about taking it out of the oven and biting into a piece of fresh bread. This looks like a great simple recipe. I think a lot of people think bread-making must be hard. If only they knew!

    • delicieux March 12, 2012  4:34 pm Reply

      You're right, if only people knew how easy making your own bread is. It's so satisfying and delicious, and so much better than store bought bread. :D

  14. kankana March 12, 2012  12:44 pm Reply

    I have the same resolution and may be this recipe will help me tick that check off ! I suck at baking bread.
    This looks so perfect and whole wheat!

    • delicieux March 12, 2012  4:37 pm Reply

      Hi Kankana,

      This is a great recipe to start with because it's really so easy. :) If you try it I'd love to hear what you thought.

  15. Amanda March 12, 2012  3:15 pm Reply

    Well done, Jennifer, that's a lovely looking loaf.
    I'm a big fan of home baked bread too and love that book - it really makes home made bread accessible to everyone.

    • delicieux March 12, 2012  4:46 pm Reply

      Thanks Amanda :D It really does make bread accessible to everyone. I've bookmarked so many recipes I want to try, but for the moment I can't stop making the wholemeal bread. It's so good. Do you have a favourite recipe from the book?

  16. Baker Street March 12, 2012  3:41 pm Reply

    What a gorgeous loaf Jen! Looks absolutely perfect.

  17. Anna @ the shady pine March 12, 2012  7:34 pm Reply

    Great job on a fab looking loaf! It's so satisfying to make your own bread.

  18. shez March 12, 2012  7:49 pm Reply

    I love freshly baked bread - it's one of life's simple and delicious pleasures. Totally agree with the risk-of-breaking-a-tooth-in-the-morning-on-crust sentiment. I used to eat the middles of my bread and leave the crusts well alone for that very reason.

    • delicieux March 14, 2012  10:57 am Reply

      Thanks Shez, glad to see I'm not alone on the crusty bread first thing in the morning issue :D

  19. Martyna @ WholesomeCook March 12, 2012  9:04 pm Reply

    Great minds! I just made no knead bread too! I like mine crusty, but moist and a little dense in the middle. But you are right that when it comes to toast, non-crusty bread is much better - I always ask for my sourdough fresh rather than toasted. Having said that your bread would be great for that.

  20. thelittleloaf March 12, 2012  11:26 pm Reply

    I love making my own bread and would almost always choose wholemeal over white. This looks absolutely delicious, and so simple to make. Definitely one to try, although at the moment I'm obsessed with experimenting with my sourdough starter! :-)

    • delicieux March 14, 2012  11:08 am Reply

      I want to try a sourdough starter soon as my fiance absolutely loves sourdough. I think I have a new addiction with bread baking :D

  21. Laura (Tutti Dolci) March 13, 2012  9:15 am Reply

    Gorgeous! I too, could easily dine on bread alone for dinner - I always refer to myself as a "bread girl"!

    • delicieux March 14, 2012  11:09 am Reply

      My fiance could easily be a bread boy. I keep catching him slicing bread and cheese to snack on :D

  22. Russell at Chasing Delicious March 13, 2012  1:43 pm Reply

    Mmm. I suddenly have a craving for a nice big loaf of homemade bread. I'm going to have to make a loaf of this for my sandwiches this week.

  23. Nami | Just One Cookbook March 13, 2012  4:52 pm Reply

    Making bread at home has been always my dream, but I haven't really had the chance to work on it yet - perhaps I better start baking more as cooking has been more comfortable for me than baking. Your whole wheat bread looks very moist and delicious! Making this bread twice a week is very impressive! I wish someone will bake homemade bread for me... =) I'm new here so I'm going to take a tour to check your other recipes. Very beautiful and comfortable space here. :-)

    • delicieux March 14, 2012  11:17 am Reply

      Hi Nami,

      This is a great recipe to try if you are getting started with your own bread baking as it really is so simple, and you are rewarded with delicious bread that fills your home with that freshly baked bread aroma, which I love. :D Thanks for your kind words too :)

  24. Sandra's Easy Cooking March 13, 2012  11:48 pm Reply

    Bread is like my favorite food:)) and yours came out perfect! Great photos and recipe!!!!

    • delicieux March 14, 2012  11:18 am Reply

      Thank you so much Sandra :D

  25. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts March 13, 2012  11:49 pm Reply

    Peter Reinhart knows what he is doing with bread! Great recipe! I have his Bread Baker's Apprentice book, and highly recommend it. I love making fresh bread!

    • delicieux March 14, 2012  11:19 am Reply

      I'll keep his bread bakers apprentice book in mind, thanks Erin :D

  26. Patty March 14, 2012  2:10 am Reply

    Nothing like homemade bread and I especially like the flavor of whole wheat! Your bread looks perfectly baked and fresh out of the oven;-)

  27. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking March 14, 2012  4:48 am Reply

    Wow, this is beautiful! You make it twice a week? Before you know it, you'll know this recipe like the back of your hand!

  28. Priscilla @ShesCookin March 14, 2012  8:39 am Reply

    I've not had very good luck with the recipes I've been trying lately, so I'm ready to move on to a new recipe! Great texture - my favorite bread is medium dense with a crunchy crust :)

  29. Nancy/SpicieFoodie March 15, 2012  12:27 am Reply

    Wow, I really want to try this recipe. Every time I've tried a whole wheat bread it is usually dense and not airy like my ap flour ones. I also recently downloaded a bread book to my kindle so like you I could have fresh bread often. Thanks for sharing. Oh and I like both the crusty and soft breads, they each have a purpose :)

    • delicieux March 15, 2012  7:27 am Reply

      I found all of the other whole wheat bread recipes I tried were dense too, but this one is the complete opposite, it's deliciously soft and light. :D

  30. Deb March 15, 2012  1:51 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing such a easy recipe for making such a delectable loaf of whole grain goodness!
    I often make Dutch oven bread, which is a very easy recipe and would like to add an easy whole grain loaf into my weekly baking. Ths is the perfect recipe for me to try!

  31. happibarri May 8, 2012  11:34 pm Reply


    Thank you for the wonderful recipe!! I attempted to make it, but for some reason, my bread was quite dense and didn't seem to cook through... But I did get good reviews from people who ate it!

    I was wondering what the purpose of the "pulling underside of dough and stretching and putting it on top". Is it possible to use a dough hook on electric mixer instead?

    • delicieux May 11, 2012  9:03 pm Reply

      Hi Happibarri,

      The purpose of pulling the dough, or the "stretch and fold" is similar to kneading. If your bread didn't quite cook through, perhaps the cooking time needs to be adjusted for your oven. My oven reaches a maximum temperature of 250 degrees celsius and the bread bakes in half an hour. You may need to play with timings for your ovens. Also, did you bake 2 loaves out of the dough or one large loaf? If you bake one large loaf the timing might need to be adjusted. Sorry I can't be more direct as to what went wrong. If you let me know a little more I might be able to help.

  32. Elizabeth June 24, 2012  6:54 pm Reply

    Hi there, just wondering, did you use bread flour or ordinary flour?

    • Paul Borowiak July 15, 2012  2:33 pm Reply

      When you say turn the loaf in the final paragraph what do you mean by turn? Turn the whole loaf upside down in the tin or move it around in the oven.

      • Jennifer July 16, 2012  2:23 pm

        Hi Paul,

        I mean to turn the loaf around in the oven so it browns evenly (ie move the front to the back). :D

      • Paul Borowiak July 17, 2012  10:54 am

        That's what my wife ended up doing. The bread tastes beautiful,thanks for the reply.

  33. Veronica August 7, 2012  6:15 pm Reply

    Wow, this is the shortest time to make bread!! I've starting making my own bread lately and it took me at least 2.5 hours before I could smell the aroma of the bread. I find it so time consuming. Thanks for sharing your recipe and I think I will give it a try.

  34. Ernest Taylor August 15, 2012  8:08 pm Reply

    Sounds like a great recipe

  35. Christine December 1, 2012  4:34 am Reply

    thank you for the post.. now I am tracking down a conversion chart :-)

    • Jennifer December 2, 2012  5:44 pm Reply

      Hi Christine,

      I have a conversion chart here I hope that helps :D

      • Christine December 2, 2012  10:30 pm

        Wow!! thank you Jennifer!

  36. Elizabeth December 13, 2012  2:56 pm Reply

    I finally tracked down some fresh yeast, time to make this loaf! Just wondering, did you use ordinary wholemeal flour or wholemeal bread flour? Thanks!

    • Jennifer December 13, 2012  4:38 pm Reply

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I just used ordinary wholemeal flour as it's what I had on hand and I think it's perfectly fine with that. You can also make the bread with dried year. Just divide the year quantity by 4.

  37. Carrie February 9, 2013  1:13 am Reply

    This looks delicious! I've been trying different whole wheat bread recipes and always end up with a very heavy, dense, bread :( From your picture, your's look light and airy. Is there any tips to getting that kind of texture? Most of my recipes are almost identical to what you have here. Thanks in advance :)

    • Jennifer February 9, 2013  9:51 am Reply

      Hi Carrie,

      I think the key for this recipe is the amount of water, which makes for a light loaf. The dough will look very sticky, but it's exactly as it should be. I don't have any particular tips, if you follow the recipe and the rising time you should end up with a light loaf too. Let me know how it turns out :D

  38. Carrie March 17, 2013  6:06 am Reply

    Thanks for the info! My bread turned out great!! I made sure to add enough water like you said, and it definitely did the trick. No more dense heavy loaf but now I have a nice airy light loaf. Something I never thought I would achieve in a whole wheat bread :)

    • Jennifer March 17, 2013  11:27 am Reply

      I'm so glad you enjoyed the bread Carrie. It really is such a great recipe, and so easy too. :)


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

Rate this recipe: