How to make the easiest spelt bread (or whole wheat bread). A bread that you can mix in less than 5 minutes, place in the cold oven, and bake for one hour. No kneading and no rising involved.
This easy homemade spelt bread is absolutely amazing! I discovered this recipe about 10 years ago and I have been making it hundreds of times ever since.
It was while living in the UK, more than 10 years ago, that I have started baking this bread.
The problem was, that although I had only lived for 2 or 3 years in Germany before moving to London, I had already gotten used to the wonderful German bread, which is the best in the world, if you ask me.
And then I got to the UK and the bread was terrible. Supermarket bread was mostly white and packed in plastic, soft, and disgustingly sweet. Really good, artisan bread was expensive and not available in the area where we lived and nobody wants to regularly travel for one or two hours just to get some...
I was working full time and didn't have much time for baking, so finding the recipe for this no-rise, no-knead bread was life-changing!
And considering there are no-rising and no-kneading involved, this bread is still amazing. It has a good bite, it is crusty, it keeps well for several days and it tastes wonderful.
What is spelt?
Spelt is an ancient whole grain, its earliest recordings appear in the Bible. It is actually a type of wheat and it contains gluten.
Spelt is regaining popularity nowadays and it is sold as health food, mostly because it remains untainted by terms like "hybridization" and "genetically modified".
Spelt's nutritional profile is very similar to that of regular wheat, the differences are very subtle, so personally, I don't think there is much reason to consider spelt a lot healthier than wheat.
The healthy factor when it comes to this spelt bread is that it is wholemeal, free of sugar and of any artificial substances that are added to the supermarket products.
I like to use spelt when baking because I just love its nutty flavor and the sturdier consistency of the baked goods.
Spelt flour can be either wholemeal or white and it can replace wheat flour in almost any recipe, either bread, cake, pancakes and so on.
- You can use only wholemeal spelt flour, either store-bought flour or you can grind your own wheat berries.
- And if you are not keen on spelt or you don't have it, you can use whole wheat flour, I have done it dozens and dozens of times.
- You can mix spelt and wheat as well.
- Sometimes I substitute a small amount of wholemeal flour with some white flour (about 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon) – this makes the loaf a bit fluffier.
- Sometimes I use a small amount of rye flour, that makes it even sturdier.
- Really, you can be bold and experiment here, find your perfect combination of flours. My favourite would be the whole spelt mixed with a small amount of white spelt flour.
What kind of yeast to use?
- Usually I would use one cube of fresh yeast. Fresh yeast can be bought in any supermarket in Germany, is incredibly cheap (9 cents) and yields perfect results.
- One cube of German fresh yeast weighs 42 g/ 1.5 oz.
- Fresh yeast needs to be dissolved in lukewarm water before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients.
- The bread pictured here is made with instant dry yeast.
- If fresh yeast is not available (I remember that it never was in the UK) or it is too expensive (I have heard that the half amount of fresh yeast costs about 2 dollars in the US, which is crazy), you can always switch to active dry yeast or instant yeast, whichever you prefer.
- If I use German dried yeast (which is instant), I use two small packs, each containing 7 g/ 0.24 oz. They don't have to be dissolved in water, you can mix the yeast with the flour directly.
- If using active dry yeast, you will have to dissolve it into the water as well.
- I use equal amounts of sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and sesame seeds.
How to bake?
You can mix the ingredients in a matter of minutes, then bake it without letting it rise, you don't even have to preheat the oven. There is also no kneading involved either.
- Take one bowl and place it on the scale (if using a scale, cup measuring works as well). Pour in the lukewarm water and crumble the fresh yeast into the water. Stir until dissolved.
- Reset the scale. Add the flour, seeds, salt and vinegar.
- Mix everything together with a tablespoon. The dough will be pretty wet and pourable, no way you could ever knead that mixture.
- Butter a loaf tin and pour the dough inside. Level it with the spoon.
- Place the tin in the cold oven. Set the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the time to 1 hour.
- After one hour take it out of the oven and out of the tin.
How to check if the bread is done?
- Tap it on the underside, it should sound hollow.
- The bread should also have a deep golden brown color.
- If the underside is too lightly colored, allow the bread (without the tin) 5 or 10 more minutes in the oven.
- That is not always necessary, I used to do it in my old oven, but I never do it nowadays, apparently, my new oven is hotter. It really depends on your oven.
How to store?
- The wholemeal spelt bread keeps well for several days at room temperature.
- You don't have to wrap it or anything.
- Once you cut a slice, you might want to cover only the cut side with a paper bag or clean kitchen towel to prevent it from getting dry.
- You should definitely have a slice of this bread while still lukewarm with some salted butter, it is heavenly.
- Otherwise, once cold, anything goes: jam, homemade bread spreads, any kind of cheese, meats.
What to serve it with?
Best Ever Hummus
The Best Camembert Spread
Zacusca - Red Peppers Eggplant Spread
Smoked Salmon Sandwich
Smorrebrod - Danish Open Faced Sandwiches
Mushroom Garlic Toast with Eggs
Vegan Carrot Soup with Ginger
German Cheese And Leek Soup
Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
Spelt Bread – No-Rise, No-Knead Bread
- 500 ml/16.9 fl.oz/ 2 cups lukewarm water
- 42 g/1.5 oz fresh yeast or 4 ½ teaspoons dry yeast See note 1
- 500 g/17.6 oz / 4 + ⅛ cups wholemeal spelt flour See note 2
- 50 g/ 1.7 oz/ ⅓ cup sunflower seeds
- 50 g/ 1.7 oz/ ⅓ cup sesame seeds
- 50 g/ 1.7 oz/ ⅓ cup flax seeds
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- Dissolve the fresh (or active dry) yeast in the lukewarm water. If using instant yeast, mix it with the flour.
- Place your bowl on the digital scale. Weigh the rest of the ingredients directly into the bowl. Mix everything with a spoon. The dough will be pretty wet and runny, that is how it is supposed to be. You won't be able to knead it even if you wanted to.
- Grease a loaf pan (circa 30 cm/ 12 inches long) with butter. Pour the dough inside, level it with the spoon.
- Place the loaf pan in the COLD oven and set the temperature at 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 1 hour.
- Remove the bread from the pan, check if it's ready by tapping it with your knuckles on the underside, it should sound hollow. The underside of the bread should be a deep golden brown. If the underside is too lightly colored, place the bread in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, directly on the rack, upside down and without the tin.
- Take it out of the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
- You can use instant yeast (to be mixed directly with the flour) or active dry yeast (to be dissolved in lukewarm water).
- Whole wheat flour can be used instead.
Saftiges Vollkornbrot from Egghead at Chefkoch.de is the original recipe.
There are dozens of versions of this bread and not only by Chefkoch.de. But thank you for letting me know.
I don't like white bread at all. Although, you'd be surprised to see how many types of bread are now available in the supermarket in UK. Soda bread, Polish bread, wholemeal, 50/50, bread made with buttermilk, and, of course, the amazing bagels. I love bagels.
I've baked bread today, but next time I'm going to try this recipe. I like that its texture is more dense.
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says
I love the idea of this bread - especially with all the options. I do love bread making, but sometimes the process can take more time than I have. This one looks perfect.
Kelly | Foodtasia says
This bread is brilliant! I can't believe how easy it is to make. It's so frustrating moving to a place where there isn't a convenient selection of good bread available. Making your own is sometimes the only option and this recipe makes that so simple! Thanks for sharing!
Hi, will this still turn out if I leave out all of the seeds? Do they have a function other than being addins? Thanks!
Hi Carolina. I've never made this bread without seeds, so I don't know for sure. Use a little less water, maybe 50 ml less.
Naomi Stillman says
Hi - This bread is delicious, but mine came out a bit raw/doughy in the center - any suggestions?Thank you!
Hi Naomi. I am glad you liked it. It was probably not baked long enough, every oven is different so you might have to adjust the time. After the indicated baking time, take the bread out of the loaf pan and make sure it is deeply brown on the bottom side and that it sounds hollow when you tap it with your knuckles. If not, place it back in the oven, without the pan, directly on the oven rack, bottom side up or on one side, and give it 10 more minutes. And leave to cool for a while before cutting it, it can be lukewarm but not hot. It should be fine then. It is our favorite homemade bread, it actually never goes wrong.
I can only find roasted sunflower seeds, is that what you use? Or will that work?
Hi Mags. I use raw seeds, but roasted should be fine as well.
Chap Macduff says
This recipe and your blog are just bloody briliant, this is so quick and easy and tastes fantastic. I love it toasted, my go to toppings are 1.... Butter, dark tahini, urfa biber flakes and marmite...savoury and 2.....butter, light tahini and pekmez (Turkish grape molasses) sweat...... Have you ever had marmite when you were in the U. K.
Hi Chap. Thank you for your nice comment. I love this bread with a passion, I wish everybody would make it, I am like that when I think something is really good! I did have marmite in the UK. Funny story: we had never heard of it before and by the look of it we thougt it was beet molasses which is very sweet, and which my husband likes very much. He smeared it rather generously on bread and almost choked when he took a bite, it was really unexpected. 🙂 It took us months to finish that small jar, but we did manage. It is an acquired taste, I suppose, you have to be patient and don't give up too easily. 🙂 Tahini and pekmez sound really interesting, I always have both in the fridge, but never had any of them on bread, I will try that.
Hi Adina, can I replace the cider vinegar with something else or leave it out?
Hi Patricia. You can use any other vinegar you have. Adding a little acid helps the yeast work better, especially since this dough will go straight to the oven.
@Adina, thanks for your fast reply! ? is lemon juice an option?
Hi Adina, made the loaf with lemon juice instead of the vinegar and it came out perfect! What a tasty bread and so crunchy on the outside.
Hi Patricia, thank you so much for the feedback. I am so happy you liked the bread, it is our favorite homemade bread.
Hi I was looking for Spelt Bread recipe and I found your. I was very happy about No Rise and No Knead..so I just make it..waiting for it to cool..it came out perfect...thank you so much will make it all the right now ❤️
Hi Jan. I am so glad you liked the bread, it is our favorite bread recipe as well, I must have baked it hundreds of times.
Hena Chaudry says
So glad I found this recipe. I'm trying to reduce the amount of sugar I eat and this bread was perfect! So easy to make too. Thanks so much!
I am so glad to hear it, Hena. We love it too, there is no other bread I bake more often. And indeed no sugar needed.
Wow, this is shockingly good for how simple it is! I used whole wheat flour as I didn't have spelt, and it turned out absolutely incredible! I love the texture of it and the level of salt. I'll definitely be making this again and again! Thank you so much.
Isn't it? I had the same thought the first time I've baked this bread, and actually, every time I bake it again, there is no other bread I've baked more often. And it's great with most kinds of flour or flour combinations. Thank you for your feedback!
I am going to bake this bread this morning.
I will let you know how it turns out.
I have made no knead sourdough, so this sounds ideal.
Hi Patrick. I hope you will like it.
What is the purpose of vinegar?
If I skip the nuts and seeds (that is one cup less of ingredients), do I need to decrease the water content?
Hi. A little vinegar improves bread quality and helps it rise as well. This bread needs it as it goes directly into the oven. I've never baked the bread without seeds, so I can say for sure how it works, but I would indeed use less water.
Hello Adina - thanks for this recipe. I was looking for a no oil, no sugar spelt recipe and finally came across this one - it looks perfect. Three questions:
1. You mentioned you lived in Germany for a time, so you know that they have different "types" of flour here. Would this recipe work with the 1050 type? I guess it is close to wholemeal but not quite?
2. Can I use chia instead of sesame or sunflower seeds (or both)? Chia absorbs more water. Would I just add ~1/3 cup more water?
3. Can I halve this recipe and it would still work? I would probably just need a smaller loaf pan so it doesn't come out too flat? Or is there is another reason why it might not be ok to halve it? (This is my first ever bread-baking attempt so I have no clue what works and what doesn't in the world of bread.)
Hi Annamarie. I use Vollkornmehl (Dinkel or Weizen) most of the time. However, this recipe is forgiving, you can use most types of flour or you can mix several different types. I would not try to make a pure rye bread (Roggen), but otherwise, just try and see what you like best. You can use 1050 or mix it with some other type as well.
When it comes to chia seeds, I am not sure, I've never used them for this recipe. They do absorb more water indeed, so I guess a little more liquid should be fine. You can mix any other seeds you like, you can use slivered almonds, poppy, or pumpkin seeds as well.
You can definitely halve the recipe and use a small loaf pan (about 20 cm). In this case, check a bit sooner (5 - 10 minutes earlier) if the bread is baked through or not. It should sound hollow and be deeply brown on top and golden on the bottom. If it's not quite done yet continue baking it without the loaf pan (directly on the oven rack) until deeply golden on the bottom (another 5 to 10 minutes). I usually bake it upside down during these last minutes to make sure that the bottom gets golden.
What size loaf pan would I use? I only have a 9x5 and an 81/2x4 This bread sounds very yummy. I will be making it in the near future, but I need to know the size of the pan first before I can make one.
Hi Cheri. The size of the pan is mentioned in the recipe instructions, it should be 12 inches long.
What size loaf pan would I use? I want to make this, but I need to know what size pan I would use.
Adina Beck says
@Cheri, hi. I answered earlier today ( see above). I use a 12 inch long loaf pan. Use something that's closest to this size. 9 inch still seems a bit small, the bread might need longer, check as instructed in the recipe, it should sound hollow.
Cheri Nigh says
I don't have any flax seeds. Would it still work without them?
Yes, no problem. Increase the sesame and sunflower seed amount to make up for the flax seeds.
Cheri Nigh says
How much would I increase the sesame and sunflower seeds to?
Hi Cheri. To make up for the missing flax seeds. You need 50 g of those, so you can replace them with 25 g sunflower seeds and 25 g sesame seeds.
I ended up getting some flaxseed when I was at the grocery store. I'm anxious to make this bread. What I'm wondering about is adding poppy seeds. Should I add them or not? If so, how much?
Hi Cherry. You should have a total of 150 g seeds in the bread, mix them how you like it. This bread is so easy to make and so forgiving, you could hardly go wrong. Happy baking!
Grace Wieber says
Fabulous recipe! Worked well, and is so tasty. Thank you
Thank you for the feedback, Grace, we love this bread too.
I'm going to be sticking to this recipe! I love that it has no oil and can be done with 100% whole wheat and seeds. It browned to perfection, tastes amazing, and very importantly, is the easiest and fastest bread process I've encountered. Thanks for sharing.
I could not describe this bread better! We love it too, I don't think there is a recipe that I've baked/cooked more often than this one.
I've made this recipe about 4 times and I love it so much about it. I am having trouble with the side of my loaf splitting every time. I've tried varying the water measurement and it still splits. A quick Google search states the splitting can be due to underproofing, but I'm not sure what to do because there is no proofing in this recipe. Do you have any thoughts?
My bread also splits occasionally; it could be because of under proofing; it only has a little time for that while the oven gets hot. As the dough is so wet and different from regular bread dough, I am not sure what would happen if I left it for longer; maybe I should try just to see. However, it tastes fantastic and it's fast, so I just live with the splitting, it's only a bit at the surface.
Hi Adina, I followed the instructions exactly but my loaf did not rise at all. What could have gone wrong?
Hi Bernadette. Probably the yeast. Either not good anymore or the water you dissolved it in was too hot. The salt should also not come into direct contact with the yeast. First water and yeast, then flour and the rest and the salt at the end. Then mix.
Thank you for this recipe! just one side note about spelt gluten, According to Nature;s Legacy:
Q. Does spelt contain gluten?
A. Yes, but . . . the gluten in spelt has a different molecular make-up than the gluten in modern wheat. It is more fragile and more water soluble, which makes it easier to digest. Spelt is also higher in fiber than wheat, and the extra fiber aids in the digestion of the gluten. Modern wheat has been bred to contain a high gluten content for the production of high-volume commercial baked goods. The content and character of the gluten in spelt has not been modified from its natural state
Thank you for the information, Rod, that's good to know.
Lazy Saturday morning after hurricane Ian passed through my neck of the woods in central North Carolina. Craving a hearty grain and seed bread and decided to give this a try. Had to make a few tweaks but the result was spectacular! I used 50/50 organic spelt/whole wheat flour with organic black sesame seeds, chia seeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Didn’t have whole flax seed but added a couple of tablespoons of ground flax seeds to the mix. Used 2 pks of instant dry yeast and organic apple cider vinegar. My loaf was cooked in a glass loaf pan and was ready after 50 minutes in a 400 degree f oven. This is a healthy and versatile bread without added oils and fat that I can feel good about serving to my family and friends. I will definitely be making this throughout the year. Thanks so much for such a healthy and easy recipe!
I am so happy you liked it. It's our favorite bread, I bake it all the time.
I just can't believe how well this bread turned out for such an easy recipe! I used hemp, sunflower and sesame seeds because that's what I had in the cupboard and it's absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing it.
I am so happy to hear it, Helen. I bake this bread all the time.
Hi! I’m really excited to try this recipe, sounds great! I was wondering if it is suitable for freezing? Thank you!
Hi. Yes, you can freeze the bread. Happy baking!
Thank you for the recipe. What is the point of using yeast since there is no time for it to rise? When baking batter breads, for example, a rising time is included.
Thanks for mansplaining. I find it unbelievable when people judge a recipe without even trying it and just assume they know it better. If there were no point in the yeast, I would leave it out. It will, of course, help the bread rise while the oven heats. This bread rises perfectly thanks to that yeast, tastes fantastic, and keeps for days; it's healthy and easier to make than any other bread. I took the liberty of changing the mean star rating to 5 because, in this case, I know it better.