No-Knead Whole-Wheat Bread 10.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Mar 20, 2019

With very little work, this recipe and method will yield a crusty, chewy and beautifully aerated loaf. The bread is baked in a Dutch oven, which helps produce a crunchy, flavorful crust.

Baker Jim Lahey calls for a ratio of 3 parts bread flour to 1 part whole-wheat flour. Feel free to experiment with the proportion of whole wheat, but keep in mind that too much might lead to a texture that is too gritty or dense.

Make Ahead: The dough needs to rest and rise twice; first for 12 to 18 hours, and after it's shaped, for 1 to 2 hours (all at room temperature).

10 - 12

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 10-12 servings; makes one large boule-type loaf

  • 300 grams (2 1/4 cups) bread flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 100 grams (3/4 cup) whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt (table)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried instant yeast
  • 300 grams (1 1/3 cups) cool water (55 to 65 degrees)
  • Wheat bran or cornmeal, for dusting (may used additional flour)


Stir together the flours, salt and yeast in a medium bowl. Add the water; use a wooden spoon or your hands to mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let the mixture sit at room temperature until its surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough has more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours.

Generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a rubber spatula or lightly floured hands to scrape the dough onto the surface in one piece. Use your lightly floured hands to lift the edges of the dough up and in toward the center. Gently pinch the pulled-up dough together, cupping the edges in your hands as needed to nudge it into a round (don't worry about making it a perfect circle).

Place a clean dish towel on your work surface; generously dust the towel with wheat bran, cornmeal or flour. Gently place the dough on the towel, seam side down. If the dough feels sticky, dust the top lightly with more wheat bran, cornmeal or flour. Fold the ends of the towel loosely over the dough to cover it. place the dough in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it has almost doubled in size. When you gently poke the dough with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for an additional 15 minutes.

About half an hour before you think the second rise is complete, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and place a 4 1/2- to 5 1/2-quart heavy Dutch oven or pot with a lid in the center of the rack. Preheat to 475 degrees.

Use pot holders to carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven, then lift off the lid.

Uncover the dough. Quickly but gently invert it off the towel and into the pot, seam side up. (Use caution — the pot and lid will be very hot.) Cover with the lid; bake (lower rack) for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid; continue baking until the loaf is a deep chestnut color but not burnt, 15 to 30 minutes more. (If you like a more precise measure, the bread is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the bread registers 200 to 210 degrees.) Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly before serving or storing.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method," by Jim Lahey (W.W. Norton, 2009), as posted on

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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