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Easy Whole Wheat Artisan Bread (No Knead!)

easy whole wheat artisan bread

Whole Wheat Artisan Bread – sounds fancy pantsy and like you bought it in an experience boulangerie en France but is actually the easiest yeast bread you will ever make!

Do you like making yeast breads at home? Up until earlier this year I was seriously intimidated to work with yeast and I felt like the idea of making homemade bread was wayyyyyyy out of my league. The idea of working with yeast and the time waiting for the bread to rise just seemed like too much work to go through for one loaf of bread until I made this Easy Whole Wheat Artisan Bread. 

Bread Making couldn’t be easier, friends. Plus, look at how g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s freshly baked bread is straight out of the oven. With this Easy Whole Wheat Artisan Bread your home will be smelling like the inside of a French boulangerie in no time!

whole wheat artisan

First, mix your ingredients in a bowl. The only thing you really have to think about here is using fresh yeast. Don’t use the yeast that’s been collecting dust at the back of your pantry for years because it probably won’t do much good in this bread. Use fresh yeast that you recently purchased for the best results!

There are no fancy ingredients here just flour, sea salt, dark brown cane sugar (which you can substitute with regular dark brown sugar or regular sugar and a bit of molasses), some oats and seeds. The dark brown sugar in this bread makes sure that your Whole Wheat Artisan Bread is soft and delicious – don’t leave the sugar out of this bread! And you can have fun with the seeds, play around with the seeds with any nuts or seeds you have in the kitchen. I have a feeling that walnuts would taste perfect in this loaf!

ceara s kitchen

Cover your Easy Whole Wheat Artisan Bread and leave it to rise overnight.  This is the fun part. I love peaking at the bread while it rises. Cooking with yeast is like a slow magic show, ha! πŸ˜€ 

The next steps are even easier, shape your dough into a ball and bake it in any pre-heated dutch oven or casserole dish with a lid. If you don’t have a casserole dish with a lid you can just use aluminium foil. This truly is as easy as bread making gets!

dark brown cane

Leave your bread to cool and make sure you have a hot bowl of soup ready to go to dip this Easy Whole Wheat Artisan Brad into. This bread made a cameo a few months ago in my Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup. Honestly, this bread + tomato soup = what dreams are made of! πŸ˜‰

Have a wonderful week friends!

If you do try this Easy Whole Wheat Artisan Bread I LOVE hearing about it! Insta it to me @CearasKitchen with hashtag #CearasKitchen (so I don’t miss it!), Tweet  it to me @CearasKitchen or Facebook it to me via the Ceara’s Kitchen Facebook Page! <3

easy whole wheat artisan bread

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Easy Whole Wheat Artisan Bread

  • Author: Ceara
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 1 pound loaf 1x


This Easy Whole Wheat Artisan Bread is as easy as bread making gets. It has a delicious golden crust on top and is filled with air bubbles inside just like bread from a French boulangerie. It makes the best sandwiches and tastes perfect dipped in tomato soup!


  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dark brown cane sugar (OR dark brown sugar*)
  • 2 tbsp oats
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin seeds/sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  1. Combine Dough: In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sea salt, dark brown cane sugar, oats and seeds. Add the water and combine until the dough comes together. Do not overwork the dough – the less you work the dough the softer your bread will be. The dough will be sticky and shaggy looking but that is okay. Form it into a make shift ball, cover dish with plastic wrap and let sit for 12 – 20 hours (I let mine rise overnight).
  2. Second Rise: The dough will have risen quite a bit and be covered in bubbles (see photo). Flour your work surface and transfer the dough to the floured area. Form the dough into a round shape with slightly dampened hands (making sure not to overwork the dough). It doesn’t have to be perfectly shaped. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rise for an hour.
  3. Bake and Eat: Preheat the oven to 450F/230C. Place a Dutch oven or deep Pyrex-like casserole dish (without the lid) into the oven to preheat for 30 minutes while the dough is rising. Carefully remove the hot baking dish from the oven and place the dough ball into the ungreased baking dish. Cover the dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the top of the bread is golden brown. Remove the loaf from the oven and leave it to cool before slicing.


1) You can also use regular AP flour in this recipe.
2) Substitute dark brown cane sugar with regular (cane) sugar + 1 tsp molasses
3) You can really customize this bread with ANY seeds/nuts you like. Feel free to substitute in your own seeds with what you have on hand.
4) If you do not have a lid you can use aluminium foil instead.

  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Cuisine: Breads

easy whole wheat artisan bread

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  1. This bread did not rise for me. I didn’t deviate from the recipe at all, but I did question the use of only 1/2 tsp of yeast (especially with denser whole wheat flour) when all my other artisan bread recipes call for 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of yeast. The flavor also wasn’t good at all, so it was basically inedible. Fortunately, I have chickens who will enjoy it.

  2. This didn’t work for me. I gave it extra time to rise, maybe that was a mistake. It was very salty and heavy. I couldn’t eat it.

  3. Ok this was delicious!! I did have to add more water… it would be helpful to have pictures of the dough in progress… It does come out a little on the dense side but the flavor is amazing! loved it!! I used 1/3 white wheat flour, 2/3 whole wheat flour ,Truvia brown sugar, and parchment paper and it came out great!!

    1. The second time around my bread rose so fast! I still let it sit for 20 hours- and it was so flavorful! I did open a fresh bag of flour this time, and it did not need extra water! This is so good and so, so beautiful!!! I look like a skilled baker making this!

  4. In your instructions you do not mention having the Dutch oven lined in parchment paper but in your photo there is parchment paper

  5. At really high elevation (7200’) I need to add 2-3 tablespoons more water, but covered with plastic wrap on the counter for 18 hours resulted in a perfect first rise. I turn it out of the bowl directly onto floured parchment paper and cover with the same plastic wrap for the second rise. My mods inclde about 1/2 c chopped walnuts and I used 1/2 unbleached flour and half whole wheat.

  6. I LOVE this bread! My whole family does. I have made it a few times, always following exactly the instructions about not overworking it. It turns out amazing every single time. I lreave it overnight on my counter, not in thefridge. I think that helps with raising too. The result is always a crispy crust, soft inside and so delicious!

    1. This happened to me as well. I’m good with dough, followed the recipe exactly. Lightly mixed until it was combined, let rest over night. I used brand new yeast, and brand new whole wheat (Bob’s) flour. I could tell this morning it would not turn out right because the top was hard before I even baked it. After the thirty min of baking in the Dutch oven, it was so hard and pretty brown. I took it out at that point and it’s a dense, flat, hard puck. Now that I see every single commenter stating the same, dry hard issues I’m going to make it again using all their changes however that ends up not being this recipe so one cannot rate the recipe if it isn’t the original. Glad for the suggestions though. Also, I’m trying to rate it a ONE star but the thing is only allowing five!!

      1. So I’ve baked this twice now and it seems the plastic wrap is really important to keeping moisture in. The first time i just used a tea towel and it didn’t turn out as well. My husband still ate it but he eats pretty much anything. The second time around I used plastic wrap and could see the humidity making a difference.

  7. This recipe make a lovely loaf of bread! I have made it several times and it is very tasty! I use a little more water until the dough is “sticky and shaggy” per your directions. The loaf ends up being soft inside with a crisp crust, just the way bread should be. Thank you for posting it!

  8. Hi ceara , the pictures you posted looked so yummy that I had to get baking right away !!! Unfortunately my dough looks really dry and even after a night in the fridge( I live in really hot humid condish) it looks and feels super dense and has zero elasticity. Can I do something to save the bread . Am an absolute newbie to breads so pleaseee help !!!!!!!!!! Thanks already 😊

  9. I made the bread and it’s proofing in the fridge since I’m leaving it over night thought that might be a good idea and others have commented on this too, you didn’t say where it should be left to proof. It does seem a tad dry to me also, but I did the recipe as you stated, so I will see if it does anything please advise about where to rise πŸ™‚

    Thanks Jo

    1. Hey. Jo , looks like you have similar trouble! My dough looked really terrible in the morning! Super dense ,stiff and breaking off ! So obviously was really low in hydration. I just cut the batch in half and incorporated more water into each half by sprinkling the h2o bit by bit and also added a tad bit of honey to wake the yeast ! The dough looked much much better and softer. I also proofed it in a mildly warm oven for an hour ! Now my dough looks more than doubled in size and soft and holey ( if that is a word) I have divided the dough in two and topped them with sunflower and flax seeds and are resting for another hour before baking !!! Fingers crossed and hope this does the trick !! Happy baking !!

        1. Whole wheat flour does not have the gluten that white flour does and the yeast needs the gluten to create bread dough. The tiny amount of yeast in this recipe combined with the long proofing time are what give the bread its structure and flavor. I usually add a small amount of white flour (like 1/3 to 1/2 of the flour) to give the yeast something with which to do its magic. It puzzles me that you have had success with only whole wheat flour but for those bakers who have been disappointed I suggest they try this.

  10. Hi! This recipe looks amazing but my bread did not rise. I tried it twice. I definitely needed more water, I’d say I added 3/4 cup more, or it just would have been way too dry. So, that’s one odd thing, but definitely the bread did not rise. What would happen if I doubled, or tripled the yeast amount? I hope you’ll respond; I’d really like to try this again.

  11. Hi! my son wanted to try making bread and we found your recipe. Unfortunately it did not rise so I am wondering what we did wrong. The yeast was Fleischmans quick rising yeast and was in date (bought at Kroger a week ago) so I don’t think it is that. We covered bowl with Saran wrap several times. Did we perhaps add too much water? Any clues would be SOO helpful! Thank you

    1. I have not made this bread, but the recipe calls for adding the yeast to dry ingredients then adding water. Every yeast bread recipe I’ve seen called for warm water in the yeast and sugar for 5 min to activate the yeast. Otherwise, the yeast doesn’t work. It’s science!

  12. I just made the dough! It seems a little dry…definitely not as wet as others I have made. Looking forward to seeing the results of the rise tomorrow morning!

  13. Hi there Ceara!! I don’t have Dutch oven and I’m curious if I can just plop the dough on a flat sheet pan glass pan and bake it the same? Do you think it will dry out?

  14. I have tried making this bread 3 times now and each time it has come out VERY dense. The problem isn’t due to it not rising however, because it rose a LOT! I’m so sad πŸ™

  15. Hi, that sounds great! Do you think that it’s possible, to bake the bread in a big stainless steel pot, or will it stick?

    1. I bake mine in an 8 qt stainless steel stock pot with its stainless steel lid. For the second rise I place the dough on parchment paper, lightly flower or use bran on top and cover with a kitchen towel (not terry). When it’s ready for the oven drop it in on the parchment. No burn, no mess!

  16. Looks and sounds wonderful, If it is made without any nuts does additional flour need to be added? Thank you so much for sharing I can’t wait to make it.

    1. I would just mix it without the nuts. If it’s too wet then you may have to add more flour to compensate for no nuts

  17. Hi Ceara,
    This looks really delicious and I’m so ready to make it. I’m new to bread making but LOVE bread and want to try making my own. One question: can I omit the sugar? I’m really watching my sugar intake and I’m trying to avoid it as much as possible. Thanks

    1. Hi Lu, you have to give the yeast something to eat. The sugar is their food, not yours anyway 😜. In other words, I wouldn’t worry about it. You could maybe try another sweetener like maple syrup or honey, but without the dark brown sugar/molasses you’ll lose some of the beautiful brown of this bread. Happy baking.

    2. I make another no knead bread recipe that has no sugar and it tastes great. The yeast will rise on it’s own without the sugar.

  18. Hi. I have the dough rising now. Looking forward to tomorrow when I bake and eat it. Lol! I just wanted to make sure: I don’t have to activate the yeast first with warm water right? I just mixed it in with the other dry ingredients. I’ve never done that before with active dry yeast. I’ve always mixed it in with warm water and let it bubble before mixing. Thanks!

    1. Hi Karina! Yes, you don’t have to activate the yeast in warm water first! It is important to make sure that your yeast is fresh, so the dough will rise πŸ™‚

  19. Just made this and had a slice, the crust is so crispy and the inside’s so soft – mmm!
    I halved the recipe because I was short on whole wheat flour but accidentally forgot to halve the sugar… didn’t come extra sweet or anything though so that was a relief!

    Thank you for this amazingly EASY recipe, I too now love yeast πŸ˜‰

  20. Hi it’s my first time making yeast bread- I was wondering what conditions to let the dough rise for 12-20 hours. Should I put the Saran Wrap on airtight or leave it loose so air can get in? Should it be left on counter or in refrigerator? Thanks!

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Leave the bread to rise on the counter-top overnight and cover with plastic wrap – airtight. You don’t wan’t to let air into the bowl or the dough will dry out a bit.



  21. Hi Ceara this bread is fabulous! I am new to the bread making art and have a question about this reciepe. The dough can rise for up to 20 hours. What if it goes for say 21 (first rise). Can you let it rise for too long?

    1. I would not let it rise for over a day. If you need the dough to rise for longer, I’d keep it in a cool place like the fridge!

      And thank you so much πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to hear how the bread turns out!

  22. Thank you so much for this easy-t0-make, delicious and absolutely amazing bread recipe. I have made it twice now. Thank you. You rock!

  23. Made this bread twice now and absolutely love it! thank you so much for such an easy, delicious and great recipe! You rock!

    1. I am not too sure Erin because I don’t have a bread machine. I am sure you could to mix the dough?! Let me know if you end up trying it – I’d love to know your results πŸ™‚

  24. This looks amazing, and I can’t wait to try your recipe! A question, though: do you think that after the first rise, I can form the dough into regular loaf pan(s) and let them finish a rise in the pan before baking? I currently use a no-knead recipe (Cooks Illustrated) that has a modified version for doing that, and it’s great for sandwich loaves. I guess I can try it!

    1. I think that would work just fine, Susan!! πŸ™‚ Let me know if you end up trying it! Happy Baking!

  25. I make no knead artisan bread all the time. I leave mine in the refrigerator and then put it on a hot pizza stone in the oven with a pan underneath to which I add a cup of water for the steam.
    However, I have not done this with 100% whole wheat. I now mill our own flour so I want to make the artisan no knead bread with 100% whole wheat flour but not change the way I bake it. I love the crust I get with hardly any work or remembering to remove the lid, etc. I will try your recipe and see if it will work. We love to make our own pizzas from the same dough. I also make crackers from the same dough.

    1. Sounds delicious, Katerina!! I am so impressed that you mill your own flour πŸ™‚ I would love to know your results if you end up trying it!

  26. Do I need to coat the Dutch oven with oil or use parchment paper to prevent sticking? Your photo looks like the loaf
    inside the Dutch oven surrounded by parchment or something.

    1. Using parchment paper is not necessary Janis! I’ve made this bread both with and without and both work just fine. Greasing the dish is also not necessary! πŸ™‚ Happy Bread-making! Would love to know your final results πŸ˜€

  27. Nothing like homemade bread, Ceara! We’re on the same brainwave this week!! LOL! Look at all those seeds you packed in there! Delicious! I love a long ferment too, it develops the flavor of the dough to its max! I know this smelled sooo good wafting through your house! Thank you for sharing, Ceara! Have a beautiful weekend!

  28. I think I can actually smell this bread wafting out of the kitchen. Nothing beats tomato soup and fresh baked bread. And I think walnuts would be awesome. But how about some pecans? Yeast totally intimates me which is why I sometimes avoid making bread and just hit up Panera Bread. But I’d love to be able to say I made this =)

    1. I think pecans would be AWESOME in this bread, Laura!! πŸ™‚ And this is the PERFECT bread to make if yeast intimidates you – it’s really a foolproof recipe that way!! It was one of the first yeast breads I ever made and I’m so glad I tried it because now I loving baking with yeast. Let me know if you end up trying it! Have a great day πŸ™‚

  29. THIS BREAD! oh god! it’s so gooooood!!! πŸ™‚ I just made it and I can’t wait to make it again! S and I will prbably play around with the seeds, trying different combos.. THIS IS JUST YUMMY, Thanks Ceara!!!!

    1. I’m SO happy you guys enjoyed it, Isabelle! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for the wonderful feedback! It’s totally a bread that you can play around with the add-ins based on what you like and what’s in your pantry! <3

    1. Thanks so much, Linda! <3 And I don't think there is anything better than the smell of fresh baked bread!! πŸ˜‰

  30. This bread is absolutely gorgeous, Ceara! It looks like something out of a bakery! I love that this is no knead too. I’ve never made whole wheat bread before so I definitely need to change that. This would be perfect for so many things, yum! Sounds so delicious! Pinned! I hope you have a wonderful Monday, friend!

    1. Thanks so much, Erin!! <3 That def. has to change! Wish I could send you some of this - it's sssoooo good with soup!

  31. Oh my heavens it’s beautiful Ceara!!! I’m drooling on my phone!! I love how easy and fantastic and healthy it is….and oil-free!! Seriously, another easy, simple recipe Ceara! I will definitely be making this! Gorgeous πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much, Brandi!! Let’s just say this bread didn’t last long around here! It is so easy to make and delicious – I’m sure you’ll love it! πŸ˜‰ And I can’t wait to see the recipe for your GF sandwich bread!

      1. Hi Ceara, I love your recipes. I have a question regarding this recipe. Can I use bread machine yeast or rapid raise instead the active dry yeast? Thanks

        1. Hi Iris! Thank you so much! I’m so happy you’ve been enjoying my recipes. I just did some reading up on the difference between the two and I think that bread machine yeast should work just fine! This is a pretty fool-proof bread recipe the different ways I’ve made it so far so I don’t think it will be a problem πŸ™‚ Just mix the bread machine yeast in with the dry ingredients the same way I did in the recipe. Happy Bread-making! Would love to know your results!

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