No-knead bread with yeast water

    16 hours 10 min

    This yeast bread is made entirely with a homemade yeast water starter. Like sourdough starter, it is based on wild yeast. I am a big fan of spelt so I am using a combination of wholemeal and spelt flour here but you can also make this bread with strong white bread flour instead of spelt, which absorbs less liquid so you might have to add a tiny bit more flour.


    Pennsylvania, United States
    1 person made this

    Makes: 1 loaf

    • 350ml active yeast water (see footnote)
    • 250g spelt flour (or strong white bread flour)
    • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
    • 200g wholemeal flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Extra time:15hr rising  ›  Ready in:16hr10min 

    1. The day before, in a container with a tight fitting lid, stir the yeast water and the spelt flour until evenly combined. Cover with the lid and let it sit on the kitchen counter or a warm but not hot place for 12 to 20 hours depending on the room temperature and how active your yeast water is.
    2. Add the remaining ingredients. If using bread flour, add a little more, 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough should be tacky but not very sticky or liquid. Stir with a wooden spoon until no traces of flour remain.
    3. Cover with the lid and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours.
    4. On a lightly floured work surface, briefly knead the bread to remove any air pockets. Line a bowl about the size of your cast iron casserole with a clean tea towel and generously dust it with flour. Shape the bread into a round loaf and place it in the lined bowl. Cover with a second clean tea towel and leave to proof at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours.
    5. After about 45 minutes, preheat your oven to 240 C / Gas 9. Once the oven is preheated, place your casserole on the oven rack in the lower third of the oven and let the casserole preheat for the remaining time, at least 20 minutes.
    6. Remove the casserole from the oven and take off the lid. Carefully lift the bread into the casserole and cover with the lid. Turn down the oven temperature to 220 C / Gas 7 and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and bake until top is nicely browned, a further 10 minutes. Immediately remove the bread from the casserole by turning upside down. Let the bread cool on a wire rack. Wait at least 2 hours before slicing.

    Yeast water

    See my recipe for how to make your own yeast water.

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