Daily Bread

February 13, 2012

For the longest time, Jim Lahey's No-Knead Bread was the go-to bread recipe for our family. It was so easy to prepare, and the taste was unbelievable. Like so many others who have tried this recipe at home, I couldn't believe I could pull that kind of bread out of my oven.

Then one day I started experimenting with sourdough, which eventually monopolized all of my bread baking efforts until the recipe for no-knead bread was pushed far back into the irretrievable crevices of my mind. Every now and then I'd see someone feature a No-Knead recipe, (or a slight variation upon) and I'd think I really miss that stuff! But then I'd get distracted and forget all about it for another six months. Until now...

I was browsing for recipes inspiration recently, and came across a whole wheat version of my old favorite No-Knead recipe, and I had to try it. And because I just happened to have pen and piece of paper in front of me to write myself a reminder this time, the dough was made and the bread was baked. It was delicious! I like it even better than the basic version made with white flour, which is saying a lot.

Whole Wheat No-Knead Bread
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant or active dry yeast
1 1/3 cup water
Additional flour for dusting

Stir together the flours, salt and yeast in a bowl until well combined. Add the water and stir with a wooden spoon or your hands until all the dough is wet and sticky. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours, or until the dough is bubbly and has doubled in size.

Dust your work surface with flour. Scrape all of the dough onto the surface in one piece. Lift the edges of your dough and tuck them in toward the center. Do this repeatedly to shape the dough until round.

Place a tea towel out flat on your work surface and dust with flour. Place the dough onto the tea towel, seam side down, and cover loosely with the rest of the towel. Allow the dough to sit and rise for 2 hours, or once the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to 475°F, and adjust your rack to the lower third position. Place a 4 1/2- 5 1/2-quart dutch oven on the rack and allow to preheat with the oven.

Once the oven and dutch oven are preheated, open the oven and remove the lid. Unfold your tea towel and invert the dough into the pot, seam side up. Be careful not to touch the lid or pot with your bare hands - they're very hot. Replace the lid and bake the bread for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking for 15-20 minutes, or until the bread has achieved a deep golden brown color.

Remove the dutch oven with the bread from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes. Using a spatula, remove the bread and place on a wire rack to cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Jim Lahey's Whole Wheat No-Knead Recipe from Leites Culinaria.


  1. Now that you mention it..I have also put the 'no knead' in the dark, back alley of my mind and I don't even remember when it happened. Your loaf looks beautiful and I like the idea of whole wheat. - Happy Valentines to you and your Matt! xo

  2. man, you keep REMINDING me that i have been wanting to make some of your no knead bread!

  3. Making bread is something I'm yet to try. I think I'm building it up to be bigger than Ben Hur and getting nervous! No Knead sounds like a good place to conquer those nerves. It looks great!

  4. Hey Lindsay,

    We're big fans of that recipe too. It seems everyone has a soft spot for it in their bread making hearts.

    Love the whole wheat version though, I've only ever made it with white.

    Have a good day,


  5. This is going to be our Sunday morning bread this week.

  6. What a beautiful loaf! Baking bread is my favorite ritual at home, and I love how it can lead to constant experimentation. It's always fun to remember a recipe you haven't used in a while and revisit it.