No Knead: Muesli Whole Grain Spelt Loaves with Cherries & Pistachios

I put the spelt loaf in your handbag darling…have a nice day at the office!

Klik hier voor de Nederlandse versie
I wasn’t always a keen consumer of breakfast. But that was many moons ago. With the discovery of homemade toasted muesli and things like porridge with apple and cinnamon I now go to sleep at night, looking forward to my morning munch moment.

So I like to wake up slowly and make my breakfast in a relaxed way, not in a hurry. But sometimes you look at the clock and you know you have to fly and you know you’re off to a bad start. ‘Grabbing something along the way’ usually results in horrible food choices at gas stations!

That’s one of the reasons I came up with this bread recipe. If I can’t have my muesli moment at home I will put it in a loaf and take it with me! It’s my special pleasure to think of a combination that’s equally great in texture and color as it is in taste, aiming to please all the senses. That’s also why I chose the cherries and pistachios for the filling, but you can concoct your own filling of course. The fruit, nuts, seeds, flakes and yogurt, together with the whole spelt this makes for a happy healthy bread on the move.

And did I mention the ‘no need to knead’ part? A bit of stirring, a bit of fridge time and a bit of folding and shaping, that’s it. A satisfying result for both bakers and eaters I hope. Our ‘bread testers’ (men, women and children) told me they loved the taste and texture. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients for the Loaves

makes two loaves of about 500 g each

250 g wheat flour (bread flour) or white (fine) spelt flour

250 g whole grain spelt flour

325 ml water

150 ml full fat yogurt

‘Muesli mix’ of about 125 grams in total of dried cherries, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, golden raisins and rolled spelt flakes in equal quantities

8 g sea salt

6 g instant yeast

Making the loaves
This recipe is easy and quick and requires no kneading. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a spoon or a spatula for about 1 minute. Of course you can be creative and add your own muesli mix of dried fruit, nuts, seeds and make it your own favorite loaf. The amount of moisture in this recipe makes for a rather sticky dough. It’s meant that way but if you want it less sticky I suggest you put in a little less water (25-50 ml less). Cover the bowl with clingfilm and put it in the fridge until the following day.

Preheat your oven at 220ºC / 430ºF. Take the dough out of the fridge and turn it out onto your floured work surface. We are now going to give the dough one or two stretch and folds (see pictures and also our bread movies on the subject) to develop it a little further. Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into two equal parts and shape them as you like. I quickly and very roughly make oval shaped loaves, I fold it to give the loaf some tension and then roll it carefully with both hands to get the required shape.

Slash the top of the loaves with a lame or bread scoring knife. To get a nice crust, try to create some steam in your oven by putting a small metal baking tray on your oven floor when you preheat the oven and pouring a half cup of hot water immediately after putting the bread in the oven. Release some steam by setting your oven door ajar (perhaps with the help of a wooden spoon or oven mitt) 5 minutes before the bread is ready. If you are going to create steam with a baking tray, you maybe also want to turn your oven temperature a bit higher, because you are going to lose some heat in the process. Bake the bread for 35 to 37 minutes. Leave to cool on a rack. These loaves keep well in the freezer. You can slice them before you put them in, grab a few slices in the morning and take your ‘breakfast in a bread’ with you.

The recipe will give you two loaves of about 500 grams each. Of course you can make one big loaf or 4 handbag size ones of 250 grams each, but make sure to adjust your baking time accordingly. Alternatively you can skip the whole stretching and folding, shaping and resting part of this recipe and immediately bake the bread after you get the dough out of the fridge. Just cut the dough into four pieces and whack it in the oven and bake for 27 minutes. This way you will end up with a much flatter bread, but it will be a very quick way to make bread and equally tasty. For more inspiration on easy bread also visit the virtuous bread website.

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33 Responses to No Knead: Muesli Whole Grain Spelt Loaves with Cherries & Pistachios

  1. claire says:

    Kefir lovers: this recipe is easily converted into a yeast free sourdough version, just mix half the flour with an equal amount of kefir and leave it out of the fridge for 24 hours, then put in the rest (less water and no yeast) and leave again out of fridge for an hour of 6/8.. then you can shape of do some s & f..I tried this with some slap and fold, and without, more and less water and as Marieke says, all equally tasty. I used Doms Kefir pizza bread method as a inspiration, but also did a hybrid a la the 70% rye on this site with 2 grams of yeast and 1 hour rest after the 24 hour fermentation..
    I prefer less hassle and a denser bread in the end. Great recipe thank you! It really reminds me of Holland.

  2. Pingback: Easy No Knead Muesli Bread | bluebirdsunshine

  3. Helen says:

    Just baked this bread this morning after its sleep in the fridge and it came out fab!! It tastes lovely too – nice and soft and not compact at all. I used sunflower seeds, raisins , hazelnuts and a few chopped dates, cranberries and dried apricots.
    Thanks for another great recipe – much appreciated!

    • Weekend Bakers says:

      Hi Helen,
      You’re welcome! Your selection of ingredients sounds heavenly. Sounds like it turned out exactly as it should be.
      Thank for trying and liking our recipes :)

      Happy baking,


  4. Lisa says:

    Wat een geweldig recept is dit! Zo makkelijk en lekker! Ik doe per brood zo’n 200 gram mueslie mix (zonne- en pompoenpitten, gemengde noten, rozijnen, abrikozen, dadels en vijgen) zodat je een goed gevuld brood krijgt en voeg nog 2 tl honing of appelstroop toe, dat geeft een beetje zoete smaak aan het brood. Een likje roomboter erop en smullen maar!

    • Weekend Bakers says:

      Hallo Lisa,
      Wat leuk te horen dat het recept je ook zo goed bevalt en wat ik nog leuker vind is dat je je eigen draai er weer aan hebt gegeven. En die appelstroop, dat ga ik ook proberen.

      Happy baking!


  5. Carla says:

    I made it today and the result was fantastic! Easy to make, nice bread to see and the taste is fabulous! I’ve made bread with spelt flour before and the structure was very dense and not tasty but the result of this bread was great! From now on if I want to make spelt-bread this is the recipe for me.
    Thank you so much for posting it on your website.


    • Weekend Bakers says:

      Thanks for the feedback and for liking it so much Carla.

      Happy (weekend) baking!

      Ed & Marieke

      • Carla says:

        Update on this fabulous recipe:
        You can bake this bread in a loaf tin too! I’ve used a tin of 30cm to make one big loaf. After getting the dough out of the fridge, I did the two stretch-and-folds and formed a loaf shape, put in a prepared loaf tin. Let it rest in the tin for 30 min. The rest of the proces according to the original recipe. Bake for 40 minutes and I had a beautiful bread with a nice crust on top. When I bake my bread this way the end result is a higher bread then “free form” but the taste and crumb inside the bread are the same! The hardest part of the bake is every time the cooling period!

        • Weekend Bakers says:

          Hello Carla, this is a very good idea. When using a baking tin you can also stretch the final proofing to 90 min – 120 min, this way you get an even fluffier structure. The sides of the baking tin will help the bread and keep it from collapsing. Happy baking!

  6. Suuz says:

    Geweldige site! Kan de wheat flour vervangen worden door spelt flour?

    • Weekend Bakers says:

      Dankjewel Suuz!
      Ja dat kan, ik heb het nog even erbij gezet. We zouden wel aanraden een combinatie van speltvolkorenmeel en de lichtere speltbloem te gebruiken voor een mooie kwaliteit kruim. Met alleen spelt volkoren wordt het wel erg zwaar en compact.

      Happy baking!


  7. Ingrid says:

    How do you think Muesli cereal would be be incorporated, still using at least the pistachios and cherries?

    • Weekend Bakers says:

      I think it could work, but have not tried it myself. Something like the cereals from the Dorset brand maybe?

      Hope it works out.

      Happy Baking,


  8. Jan - Chiang Rai - Thailand says:

    Hi Weekendbakers,

    Really like this recipe, but the yogurt I can get here really isn’t suitable to put in the bread, would it be possible to change it for milk powder and some more water? If so what would be a good ratio?

    Still baking many different recipes from the site, and driving my wife crazy with all the breads and cookies 😀


    • Weekend Bakers says:

      Hello Jan,
      Great to hear from you again!
      Yes, I think that is no problem. I would use a little bit less liquid (I think around 25 to 50 ml less) but I have no experience with the use of milk powder I must say. So just give it a try. The dough should be very moist and there is very little handling of it involved, only a bit of S & F and quick shaping.
      So great you like so many of the recipes and are having success with them with your family. Very rewarding this baking :)
      Hope this one turns out delicious too.

      Happy Baking Weekend!


  9. Jane Mason says:

    Thank you for the link. I have always loved your site and this comprehensive and easy to follow recipe is no exception!

    • Weekend Bakers says:

      Glad to do so Jane. You are an inspiration to many bakers and angels of course :)


  10. sonja says:

    Wat een site! Ik kan niet stoppen met lezen! :-)
    Kan ipv de Dutch Oven ook een emaillen Hollandse braadpan gebruikt worden?
    Bedankt voor al die super-broodbak-lessen!


    • Weekend Bakers says:

      Hallo Sonja,
      Dank je! Ja een zware braadpan (die lijkt op een le Creuset pan) werkt heel goed, als er maar geen grepen of knoppen aan zitten die niet oven-bestendig zijn (smeltgevaar!).

      Happy Baking!


  11. Swetha says:

    Yummy looking bread! I really want to give it a try. What is your comment on using a dutch oven for baking this bread? I am bit scared creating the steam by placing a pan in the bottom of the oven and pouring the water (i dont want to damage my new oven!!) I was doing some research on creatung steam in the oven and found that a dutch oven can be used to get a good crust on bread. What is your opinion?

    • Weekend Bakers says:

      Hello Sweta,
      You are right about being careful with your new oven. Placing a pan on the bottom would be a safe option compared to spraying water on the walls of your oven. You can only do this if you are really sure your oven can take this kind of ‘battering’ (like we know our Rofco stone oven can, because it is built that way). So using a Dutch oven would not only be a save option, but also one that would very likely lead to better baking results because the direct heat from the pan to the surface of the bread and the steam /water trapped in the pan during the first stages of baking will make for a crustier crust and a better oven spring. It is like creating an oven in an oven. So in short it is very well worth a try. And please be careful with the hot Dutch oven and always have very good oven gloves ready so you will not by accident touch the pan or lid with your bare hands!!

      Good luck with it!


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  17. Marieke says:

    Hi Paolo,
    Not yet, but it’s on the list to do exactly that this weekend! I would use 30 to 40 grams of starter for this recipe (also depending on how active your culture is).

    Happy baking!


  18. paolo says:

    The loaf looks great and…yummy! Have you tried a version with sourdough starter instead of yeast?

  19. Jane says:

    Yuuummmmyyy bread – I adore muesli in bread.

  20. Laurie Pfalzer says:

    Gorgeous bread! Really impressed with the results you’re getting in your little bakery. It’s all inspiring. Looking forward to more.