Can you beat this whole-grain bread? You bet: it’s no-knead.

Crusty.

Chewy.

Whole-grainy.

If you’re a fan of these three yeast-bread characteristics, you’re going to LOVE this loaf!

Malted wheat flakes (wheat berries slow-baked to bring out their sugars, then sliced and flattened) are a key ingredient. They add nubbly texture and a subtle touch of caramelized sweetness to the bread.

Can you substitute traditional rolled oats? Sure; but you’ll lose that distinctive flavor and texture, as oats will simply blend right into the loaf, rather than add the very slight crunch characteristic of malted wheat flakes.

My suggestion? Spring for the malted wheat flakes.

What makes whole-grain breads rise, and gives them delightfully chewy texture? That would be our highest-protein flour: Sir Lancelot, checking in at 14.2% protein (compared to our bread flour, at 12.7%; and our all-purpose flour, at 11.7%).

In this particular loaf, which includes a significant amount of whole grains, a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten enhances the rise even more – especially if you substitute all-purpose flour for Lancelot.

Malted wheat flakes are a classic British ingredient, key in their Granary Bread. Crunchier and darker than rolled oats, and slightly sweet, they can be used in place of oats in many recipes.

Finally, for you whole-grain aficionados, our new 9-Grain Flour Blend – high-protein wheat flour, plus Sustagrain® barley, rye, oats, amaranth, quinoa, millet, sorghum, and teff, all milled to a baking-friendly, fine-flour consistency – is a great way to add fiber to your bread.

OK, let’s get started.

Put the following in a bowl:

3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) Sir Lancelot Unbleached Hi-Gluten Flour or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups (8 1/4 ounces) 9-Grain Flour Blend
1 cup (4 ounces) malted wheat flakes
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 1/4 cups cool water

Stir, then use your hands (or a stand mixer) to mix up a sticky dough.

Continue to work the dough enough to incorporate all the flour, or beat for several minutes in a stand mixer.

Scrape the sticky dough into the center of the bowl; pick it up (a dough scraper is a big help), spray the bowl with non-stick vegetable oil spray, and lay the dough back in the bowl. If you need your mixing bowl for other things, put the dough in a lightly greased container.

Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest at room temperature for about 8 to 16 hours; overnight is fine.

It’ll become bubbly and rise quite a bit, before falling back; so be sure your bowl is large enough.

Look at that gluten at work – it’s a beautiful thing! You never kneaded this dough, but the long, slow rise allowed the gluten to develop on its own.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

To make a single loaf, choose a 14″ to 15″ long covered baker; a 9″ x 12″ oval deep casserole dish with cover; or a 9″ to 10″ round bread baking crock. Spray your chosen pan with non-stick vegetable oil spray; Everbake is our favorite.

To make two loaves, lightly grease (or line with parchment) a large baking sheet.

Shape the dough to fit the pan.

For two loaves, divide dough in half, shape each into an oval loaf, and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Nestle the dough into the pan, patting it into the corners.

Cover and let rise at room temperature for about 1 hour.

The dough will become puffy, and will fill the pan about 3/4 full.

If baking in a lidded crock or pan that directs you to place the pan in a cold oven, place the pan in the oven, set the oven temperature to 450°F, and bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes.

Remove the lid and continue to bake for another 5 to 15 minutes, until the bread is deep brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 205°F.

To bake in a pan that doesn’t require starting in a cold oven, preheat the oven to 450°F, and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, removing the lid of the pan after 30 minutes.

For two loaves on a baking sheet, bake in a preheated 450°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until bread is a deep, golden brown, and the center registers about 205°F.

The finished loaf will be a deep, golden brown. This loaf decided to shred on its own, meaning I probably should have slashed it before putting it into the oven. Live and learn. No problem; looks don’t affect taste.

See the crust’s soft sheen? That’s from baking the bread in a covered baker. Moisture from the loaf’s interior migrates out and is captured in the baker, where it becomes steam. And steam reacts with the starch in flour to create shine.

It’s hard, but please wait till it’s cooled to slice; slicing hot bread tends to make it gummy. Patience is a virtue!

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for Malted Wheat Flake Bread.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Simply divide the bread into the sizes you’d like and bake in your pans. Smaller loaves will need less time, so keep an eye on them. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  1. jjwolf17100

    The first time I made this, I used the Sir L. flour, and it came out well, chewy as advertised. Last week, seeing that the recipe also mentioned using the KA APF, I decided to try that instead. I bulk fermented 16:45, shaped it into a boule, and put it into my dutch oven for proofing. After an hour, the dough hadn’t held its shape but had spread out to the sides of the pot. A poke test suggested it wasn’t ready, so I let it go another 45 minutes and then baked it (cover on, then off). There was no oven spring, and the bread was rather dense and not very good (texture, not flavor).

    Is the culprit likely to be the APF? Should I have used additional vital wheat gluten to make up for the less-strong flour? Or did I over-proof? I’ll try it again, but I’d appreciate a suggestion. Thanks.

    Reply
  2. SherrySea

    While living in Britain I acquired an abiding love for granary bread. So I whipped this bread up as soon as I found the recipe, substituting an equal amount of wheat germ and whole wheat flour for the nine-grain mix (I had the malted wheat flakes from KAF, but no mix). I used my Lodge dutch oven for the baking. The result was decidedly wonderful, but still not quite there. The crumb was too chewy, almost gummy. I baked the bread to an internal 204 degrees; should I have baked it for longer? Should I try reducing the water next time? I also suspect that the granary breads in Britain have nothing “whole” but the flakes. What amount (by weight), should I sub white flour for the whole grain mix? One last point: some have commented that the bread doesn’t have quite the flavor punch they were hoping for. I think this style of baking uses less salt than most of us were used to. The answer is easy and to my mind preferable: use a salted butter or good quality finishing salt just before you eat a slice. The tiniest addition of salt at the point of eating will cause the other flavors to “pop”.
    Your dough may have been under-proofed or too wet. Using white flour in place of the nine grain blend will significantly alter the flavor and texture of the loaf, but if you are going to make a replacement, I would use equal amount. ~Amy

    Reply
  3. "Mary from Michigan"

    I just made this bread and it smells great. I have a question though as this is my first time with no-knead bread. I used a 4 1/2 Qt Le Creuset dutch oven so it is in the 9-10 inch range. I let my dough go overnight about 14 hours before putting into the pan (it had fallen which I assume is OK). I did the 1 hour rise in the greased dutch oven and then put in preheated 450 oven. The bread has a very nice crust but it expanded out during the 1 hour rise to fill the bottom of the pan and thus is not very tall after baking. Is this normal? If so, to make my bread taller would it be OK to make a tin foil “tube ring” around bottom of dutch oven so dough does not spread out when rising? I would like the bread to be taller if possible. So not sure if this is normal or not since my first time.

    Congratulations on tackling this new method of baking bread, Mary – I hope you continue to see improvement with each loaf! For a higher rise, best bet would be to use a smaller-diameter pan or Dutch oven, Mary. I’m thinking a tin-foil ring wouldn’t be much of a barrier to rising dough, which is pretty strong…Do you have a tube pan, perhaps? PJH

    Reply
  4. mycoach99

    Hi… loving this bread already.
    Do tell me, I am far away from owning the crocks you have shown (they are awesome)… meanwhile I am baking in a regular loaf tin. Should I cover them with foil while baking so that I get the same golden awesome look that your breads have above? Will be great if I can get a reply soon.

    Covering the pan doesn’t yield a golden crust; in fact, we advise you uncover the pan at the end, to attain that crust. Just bake the bread without any lid or foil – what you’ll lack is steam, which adds a bit of chewiness to the crust, but your bread will be fine. PJH

    Reply
  5. yourstrulyewalani

    Oh my not only does this bread sound perfect I love that pan you baked the bread in! I will have to save my pennies and find one or three! I bake bread DAILY and these would be perfect for a longer slender loaf!

    I love wheat breads with texture. I MUST try this one! If I can find all the ingredients…

    Reply
  6. carnivalday

    Could somebody comment on my Oct. 19 question please?

    Sorry this got missed!
    “How would this bread work better, if I put this in 2 regular bread pans and covered them, or just made 2 loaves on a cookie sheet with parchment paper? Just got my order of “stuff” from KAF, and I cant wait to make this.”

    Depends on your definition of “better,” I guess. Bread in pans won’t be as crusty, but it’ll be more of a sliceable sandwich shape. Bread on a baking sheet will be crustier all around, but may flatten into an oval. The flavor won’t be affected either way. Hope this helps – PJH

    Reply
  7. ebenezer94

    I finally decided to spring for the malted wheat flakes for this recipe and at least one in the whole grain baking book (very best cookbook ever!) and was so sad to find they were out of stock with no estimated return date. 🙁

    Sorry to disappoint. We’re not sure when it’ll be back, but we hope you’ll check for it again next time you visit our website. Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  8. sbdombro

    Thanks, Irene. As this recipe uses high-gluten rather than all purpose as the “base” flour, do you think white whole wheat would be the right flour to start adding in or would something else likely work better?
    White whole wheat flour does have a high gluten content too, so yes, it’s fine to use in the recipe.
    ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  9. sbdombro

    Has anyone made this using a higher proportion of whole grain flour – either the 9 grain or perhaps KA white whole wheat? I love the bread, find it easy to do successfully, but would like a higher whole grain content.
    We haven’t tried it, but GO for IT! Make small changes at a time and you’ll have your personal bread recipe in no time. ~ MaryJane

    Reply

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