My Good Whisk Bread is incredibly easy to make. This no-knead bread recipe has whole-grain nutrition with a lighter texture. It’s perfect for sandwiches and toast. No bread machine, mixer, or food processor needed. You just whisk part of the ingredients together to develop the gluten that gives the dough the structure needed to rise. My two videos below show below how make bread from start to finish, including the only tricky part: shaping the bread dough.
This easy bread recipe is a bargain too. Good Whisk Bread costs just $1.65 per loaf using top-quality organic flour, priced in 2017. That’s 11 cents a slice.
The taste is complex and interesting for adults while still being kid-friendly. The crispy crust protects the tender inside. The texture is light but without the big holes that might let your peanut butter escape. The slow rise makes the bread more digestible than quick-rise factory bread, which may make this a go-to recipe for some people who otherwise avoid gluten.
Active time: 20 minutes. Total time: four hours, plus rising at least overnight. Makes 2 loaves with about 32 slices total. Dairy free. Vegan when made with sorghum or agave syrup.
Video Part 1: How to make no-knead bread dough
2 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour (300 grams)
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise or instant yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup wheat germ, untoasted (64 grams)
1 tablespoon sorghum syrup (21 grams)
3 cups warm water (2 cups then 1 cup at about 110 degrees)
Mix the dough, cover it, and let it rise for one to five hours. See the video or my book Wildly Affordable Organic for details on this step.
Bread rises best at temperatures between 72° and 90° F (22° to 32° C). In the winter my kitchen is at 68 degrees or colder, so I put my bread pans on a heating pad turned to low, cover it with a cake carrier, and then cover that with a clean bath towel.
Video Part 2: How to Shape Risen Bread Dough into Loaves
Shape the loaves, put them in two greased 9×5-inch pans, and let them rise again, as shown in the video above. If you prefer, skip the pan, shape dough into round loaves or whatever shape moves you, and let rise on a cookie sheet covered with a light kitchen towel or piece of cotton.
Bake. Heat your oven to 350° F. Put an empty pan or iron skillet on the very bottom of your oven. If you have a bread stone, put it on the bottom rack of your oven. When the dough is ready to bake, it will be at or just above the rim of the bread pan. Touch it gently with a finger and watch the dough spring back into place. Put about a half-cup of ice cubes in a bowl so you can easily put them into the empty pan in the oven without burning yourself. Open the oven, put in the bread, and slide the ice cubes into the empty pan below. Quickly close the oven door so you trap the steam from the ice cubes. Do not use convection baking since this will take away the steam.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. The interior temperature should be 205° F. Remove bread from the oven. Remove loaf from the pan. If you like a crisper crust, put bread back into the oven without the pan for three minutes.
Cool on a wire rack. (If bread doesn’t just pop out of the pan when you turn it over, slide a thin wooden or plastic knife or spatula between bread and the pan.) Let bread cool all the way to room temperature before slicing it so that the structure sets. If you cut it while it’s hot, it turns into a gummy mess. Slice with a serrated knife.
Store at room temperature, wrapped in a clean tea towel or piece of cotton, aluminum foil, or in a paper bag. To keep longer, wrap the bread well in foil and freeze.
- Update from video: I use sorghum syrup or now instead of the honey shown in the recipe. The honey works fine but I’m concerned about bees gathering pollen from sprayed plants as well as other issues. You could also use maple or agave syrup. The sweetener helps encourage the yeast to grow and multiply.
- This recipe is my pride and joy, the results of eighteen months of research and bread making. I wanted a very nutritious bread that was fast and easy to make and didn’t require any special equipment, like a bread machine, food processor, or standing mixer. I studied and tried dozens of recipes, with the key steps being inspired by three sources. Thanks to Mark Bittman’s and Jim Lahey’s Sullivan Street Bread for the idea of letting the dough develop overnight instead of kneading it. Thanks to Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois for the idea of creating a gluten cloak. And thanks to Rose Levy Beranbaum for the idea of using some white flour plus wheat germ to get the nutritional equivalent of whole-wheat bread without the sharp bran that cuts the gluten and for her encouragement to measure by weight instead of with measuring cups.
Nutrition for one serving (2 slices or 1/16 recipe)
Protein 7 grams (15% daily value), total fat 1 grams (2%), cholesterol 0 grams, total carbohydrates 41 grams (14%), dietary fiber 4 grams (17%)
Calcium 37 mg (4%), iron 5 grams (27%), zinc 3 mg (21%), Vitamin C trace (0%), Vitamin A trace (0%), Vitamin B6 0.1 mg (6%), Folacin 93 mcg (23%)