Europeans know how to make a tasty fresh loaf of bread. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find low sodium whole wheat bread, in America or in Europe. I was inspired by the infamous New York Times No-Knead Bread recipe to create my own no knead wheat bread.
I’ve blogged about sourdough bread in the past. And while this bread isn’t sourdough and doesn’t offer a sour flavor profile in the bread, you get some of the health benefits associated with sourdough by giving the bread such a long rise time. You’ll note that while the recipe is quite simple, the bread takes quite a long time to make.
That is because it has such little yeast in the dough, ¼ teaspoon.
So despite the length of the fermenting process, I like this no knead overnight whole wheat bread recipe because it’s simple and tasty. Overnight whole wheat bread tastier than quick breads because the long fermentation process allows the flavors in the bread to develop. In general, the longer bread dough has to proof, the more complex and depth the flavors have.
When I first tried this recipe, I was put off by the long rising process. Even so, this is an easy thing to mix together on a Friday or Saturday night after dinner. When you wake up, the bread is ready to be ‘knocked back’, rise for a short 2-hours and then bake.
A touch of salt
When I used to try my hand at sourdough bread, I didn’t use any salt. And as a result, my breads were wild and unruly. I was never able to create the wonderful sourdough bread that other bakers create, even after years of working with sourdough.
I conceded to salt. But I toned down the amount of salt to an amount that I felt comfortable with but also an amount that controlled the breads’ rising. If you compare my recipe with the New York Times recipe, you’ll note that mine has a slightly shorter first fermentation period. This is likely largely due to the decreased salt content in my bread.
You won’t be able to make my no-knead wheat bread recipe without salt, but you could try to use ½ teaspoon instead of the ¾ teaspoon I use.
The gluten vs fiber war
Gluten is a baker’s best friend. Gluten captures air bubbles and makes the bread rise to create the fluffy texture that you’re looking for. Without gluten and air, you end up with crumbly and/or dense bread. Not what we’re looking for here!
You’ll notice that I have the optional addition of 20 grams of flour. One reason whole wheat bread tends not to be as fluffy as refined wheat bread is because the fiber tears the strands of gluten. When the strands of gluten tear, they’re ability to hold air is lessened. For this reason, you can add the additional gluten and flour to make the dough even stretchier, which results in an even fluffier loaf.
Final crumbs before the recipe
I’m excited to share this whole wheat bread recipe with you. This compliments my previous recipe, Caldo Verde, to create a healthy and homey winter meal. You could also try my Ready Freddy Vegetable Soup or Sweet Potato Lentil Soup.
A few last notes before we get to the recipe
- The dutch oven (with lid) is important to capture steam. This makes a good crust.
- Preheating the oven and baking dish for 30 minutes is essential! Don’t forget to do this.
This simple whole wheat homemade bread is…
Easy to make
Onto the recipe!
Hate kneading bread but also hate refined grains? Then this recipe is for you! Enjoy fresh bread in less than 24 hours with my no knead wheat bread recipe. Yes, whole wheat and whole grain no knead bread that yields a fluffy loaf perfect for sandwiches and dipping in soup. Caldo Verde anybody?
You’ll love this recipe because it’s: wholesome, vegan, low sodium, simple, less than 10 ingredients, no kneading
Vegan and free of added sugar, oil, soy, nuts and seeds
Yields 1 standard bread loaf
Adapted from the New York Times No Knead Bread
- 3 cups (360 g) whole wheat flour, more for dusting
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp yeast
- 1 ½ c water (360 grams)
- 20 g vital wheat gluten + 10 ml water *optional
- In a medium-large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. You can’t overmix the dough, as you want to develop the most gluten as possible. The dough will be wet and shaggy.
- Cover the dough with plastic. Allow the dough to ferment overnight… between 12-16 hours. The top should be bubbly when you start the next step.
- Knock back and ‘knead’ the dough with a spatula. To do so, scrape down the side of the bowl and bring the dough to the top with the spatula. Go around the bowl few times until the dough has sunk and stiffened. (Imagine folding beaten egg whites into a batter.) Set aside.
- Prepare a large clean bowl with baking paper. Sprinkle with a bit of flour. Transfer the dough to the lined bowl. Allow to rise for another 2 hours.
Optionally, you can rub a teaspoon of oil on the baking paper before coating the paper in flour.
- During the last 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven and medium dutch oven to 450 F (230 C).
- After rising and preheating, remove the dutch oven from the oven. Close the oven door to retain heat. Carefully and quickly, transfer the parchment paper with dough to the dutch oven. Cover and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
- After the initial 30 minutes, remove cover and turn down to 400 F (200 C). Bake for another 15-20 minutes to brown the top.
- When the bread is done, remove from oven. If you wish, you can tap the bread. If it sounds hollow, it’s done. You may also lift the bread out of the dutch oven to cool using the baking paper.
- Allow the bread to cool fully before you enjoy. Then grab a slice of your freshly homemade no knead wheat bread!