Mixed wheat bread, “no knead” variant

Simple recipe without complex dough processing

The special thing about “no knead” breads is that most of the dough processing steps (kneading, multi-stage proofing, molding) are eliminated and the dough is simply left to its own.

This recipe is inspired by my Elegant Speech Compadre Dirk Hovy.


  • Dough: 5 minutes preparation, 8-12h fermentation
  • Baking time: ca. 45-55 minutes (30-35 with lid + 15-20 without)

Basic ingredients

  • 500g wholegrain wheat flour
  • 250g wholegrain rye flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon raw cane sugar
  • 4g dry yeast (alternatively: 12g fresh yeast)
  • 600ml lukewarm water

Optional ingredients to complement the recipe

Note: The additives should only be added individually after successful first baking attempts in order to get a feel for the consistency and processing of the dough

  • 6g spices: coriander, anise, caraway, fennel in equal proportions (classic bread spice mix); best fresh from the mortar
  • 1 pack (15g) sourdough extract (flavor + additional raising agent)
  • 2-3 splashes of olive oil (longer shelf life)
  • 2 teaspoons of malt syrup (improves color and taste)
  • 100g natural yoghurt (longer shelf life)
  • 150-200g fried onions (extremely tasty; the bread is baked and fried at the same time)

Prepare the dough

  • Mix all ingredients except the water in a large, sealable bowl
  • Add water and stir by hand until there is no flour left on the bottom of the bowl
  • Let the dough rise in the closed bowl for 8 to 12 hours at room temperature (instead of a lid, you can use a damp kitchen towel to cover it)


  • Place a large pot (at least 24 cm in diameter; ideal: Dutch oven) in the oven and preheat it to 250 °C (recirculation mode) for about 1 hour
  • Caution: the following two steps have to be carried out relatively quickly because the dough is very active
  • Flour the dough: spread a little flour on the surface, use a little more flour along the edge of the bowl; then fold in the flour all around with the bottom edge of your palm so that the dough comes off the base
  • Carefully spin the dough around in the bowl so that it loosens completely from the bottom of the bowl, and turn it into the hot pot
  • Lower the temperature to 210 °C and bake the bread for 30-35 minutes with the lid closed
  • Remove the lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes
  • Turn the finished bread onto a wire rack and let it cool down for at least 2 hours

Tips & tricks

  • If finer flours are used instead of wholemeal flour, the amount of water should be reduced by 10%
  • For the first few attempts, it is advisable to use the longest specified baking time to prevent the bread from being completely baked

Make sourdough (starter)

Cultivate a rye starterMaintain sourdough

Cultivate a rye starter

Sourdough forms the basis for doughs with long fermentation times, especially for those in which a lot of rye flour is processed. The sourdough improves the baking properties of rye-heavy bread, ensures a typical nutty-sour taste and increases the shelf life of the bread.

What you need

  • 1 large, lockable container (at least 2.5l capacity)
  • 500-600g wholemeal rye flour
  • 500-600g water (40–45 °C)
  • 5-7 days


  • The ideal temperature for the fermentation process is achieved in the oven (switched off, light on) with the door slightly open (temperature 26-28 °C)
  • Day 1: mix 100g water and 100g flour and let ferment for 12 hours
  • After 12 hours stir the mixture with a spoon
  • Day 2: after 24 hours, add 100g water and 100g flour to the mixture, stir
  • After 12 hours stir the mixture with a spoon
  • Days 3 to 6: repeat steps from day 2
  • When the mass has already increased its volume significantly after 12 hours, is visibly streaked with bubbles and smells slightly sour, the starter is ready
  • Remove 100g from the finished mass and place in the refrigerator, sealed; freshen up after 7 days (see “Maintaining a starter”)
  • The rest of the mixture can be used as preferment to make a bread (see the basic recipe for the rye-wheat bread)

Tips & tricks

  • In the course of the cultivation process, the fermentation can cause the sourdough to smell quite unpleasant in some cases or it can exude fusel alcohol; however, after 5 days at the latest, a slightly sour smell should prevail
  • Make sure that no foreign bacteria impair the ripening process (rinse the bowl thoroughly with boiling water beforehand; close the lid tightly); if there is a putrid smell or a brownish-greenish discoloration of the mass becomes visible, the dough has been contaminated and must be disposed of
  • The cultivation can also be done with half of the ingredients, i.e. 50g water/flour per day; then an additional day should be planned for fermentation