Thursday, March 10, 2011

Homemade 100% Whole Wheat (No Knead!) Bread

I'm beginning to think that having my son do schoolwork in the kitchen while homemade bread is baking in the oven and cooling on the counter, may very well fall under the category of 'cruel and unusual punishment'.

Saturday I make this cold-rise bread and Monday is bread baking day.  No doubt, if you were to drop by, the smells in our house would make you swoon.  I truly think there is no greater smell than that of fresh baked bread.

I don't buy bread from the story anymore.  Homemade is just too good and much better for you. 

Homemade 100% Whole Wheat (No Knead!) Bread
((Printable Version))

3 3/4 c. warm water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten*
7 cups whole wheat flour
1/4- 1/2 cup ground flax seed (optional)
5 tablespoons neutral flavored oil (vegetable)
1/4 c to 1/2 c. raw honey or molasses

*Don't skimp on the vital wheat gluten.  Trust me, I've learned this the hard way.  It is critical for 100% wheat bread if you want moist, tender bread.

In a large container with a lid, mix the warm water, yeast, and honey or molasses.  Add the oil, salt, flour, vital wheat gluten, and flax seed.  Mix all well.  Partially (loosely) cover the container and allow to rise in the refrigerator for up to 7-10 days. (You will need enough room in the container for the dough to double in size.)

dough before first rise

dough after first rise

When ready to bake, grease 1 or 2 loaf pans.  This dough will be wet and is best handled with hands.  Divide the dough in half and gently bring the sides of the dough around to the underneath until you've formed a nice ball.  Shape gently into an oval with your hands and place in the loaf pan.  Cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled- anywhere from 1 hour 40 minutes to 2 hours.  (I like putting the dough in an oven that is turned off.)

When ready to bake, flour the dough lightly and slash down the center with a sharp knife.  Place in a preheated 350F oven.  Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then remove.

This makes great toast for breakfast or wonderful sandwich bread.  I bake both loaves at once and freeze one to use later in the week.  Store in a large zip lock freezer bag.

(adapted from Artisan Bread)


  1. That is a really good tip on the vital wheat gluten! Now I know the reason why my wheat bread has never turned out this good. Awesome recipe!! And even better because it is no knead.
    Glad I'm not the only one with bread on the

  2. What can you subtitute in place of vital wheat gluten? I live in Australia and abit hard to find it here. Would love to try this recipe...thanks!

    1. Vital wheat gluten helps make the whole wheat bread more tender. You could use some white flour to help with the tenderness. However, if you really want to keep it 100% whole wheat flour, you can simply leave out the vital wheat gluten. I just made 2 loaves tonight and used melted butter instead of the oil. I also used half whole milk and half water. This made for a VERY tender loaf. This might be the thing to try if you can't get any of the gluten. Hope that helps!