Simple no-knead wheat bread

Simple No-Knead Wheat Bread

Many of us are intimidated by the idea of making yeast breads. You have to count on all that chemistry, to trust that the yeast and heat will react as you want them to so that your bread will indeed rise. This simple loaf, however, is easier on the baker than most. There is no kneading involved—just a handful of vigorous turns with a sturdy spoon and one relatively brief rise. The dough is mostly whole wheat, with just enough rye to add an earthy tang that reminds me of sourdough. Serve it warm from the oven or sliced and toasted the next day. 

Keyword homemade bread, no-knead bread, whole-grain bread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 1 loaf
Author katiemorford


  • 2 cups hot water, 105 to 115 degrees (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons molasses or honey
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (a little more than 1 packet)
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour (not pastry flour), spooned and leveled
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 cup rye flour, spooned and leveled (substitute whole-wheat or white if you don’t have rye flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or hemp seeds (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. In a small bowl, stir together the water and molasses until the molasses dissolves.

  3. Sprinkle the yeast over the top, jiggle the bowl a bit so the water engulfs the yeast, and set in a warm place until the yeast liquefies and swells and tiny air bubbles appear, about 5 minutes.

  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, rye flour, and salt. Pour the yeast and water mixture over the flour and use a sturdy spoon to stir it very thoroughly and vigorously to blend the ingredients and distribute the yeast (unlike muffin and quick bread batter, you needn’t worry about overworking the dough). Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise (I set it on top of the stove).
  5. When the dough has nearly doubled in size (about 30 minutes), give it several vigorous strokes with a spoon to deflate the loaf and work out the air bubbles.
  6. Use a pastry brush to grease the inside of a 9 × 5-inch loaf pan with the melted butter, reserving just a bit for the top of the bread. Transfer the dough to the pan, brush the remaining butter on top, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

  7. Put the pan into the oven and bake until the bread is deeply brown and sounds hollow when you tap it firmly with your hand, about 1 hour.

  8. Remove the pan from the oven, run a knife around the edges, and turn it out from the pan. Set it upright and leave it to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. (It pays to be patient here.) Serve sliced, toasted, and spread with salted butter.

Recipe Notes

Use an instant read thermometer to test water temperature. If you don't have a thermometer, aim for water that feels like a very hot bath.