No-knead Spelt Cocoa Bread

Bread is such a fascinating bake. There is so much variety in taste and texture to be had. Thankfully there has been a revival of interest in real bread in recent years, spearheaded in Britain by the Real Bread Campaign. New techniques and methods are being invented or rediscovered all the time it seems. I’ve been making my own bread since I was a teenager – on and off. But it wasn’t until I attended a bread making course with Andrew Whitley a few years ago that I discovered, when it comes to water, more is definitely best. Wet doughs may be harder to knead, but generally give a much better result. I’ve been hearing about no knead breads for a while now. My own rye sourdough requires no kneading, but could this really work for wheat breads I wondered? I really kneaded (get it) to try it out for myself. Thanks to the unexpected delivery of a Lékué bread maker, I finally managed it.

Lékué is a manufacturer of BPA-free silicone cook and bakeware from Spain. I was lucky enough to receive a bundle of their products to try out recently – you will, no doubt, see them popping up in subsequent posts. Their products are innovative, well thought out and of high quality – certainly the three I have tried so far have worked well.

Silicone Bread Maker

The Lékué bread maker is a strange looking piece of kit and I was a little sceptical when I first took a look. Having now used it, I am completely won over. It is basically a silicone bowl which doubles as a prover and baking tin, thus requiring little in the way of clearing and washing up. You can even knead the bread in the bowl and avoid having to oil or flour a work surface. The bread maker came with a few recipes, one of which was for a no-knead bread. It was time to try this new-fangled bake for myself.

I adapted the recipe of course. I used a mix of half wholemeal spelt and half strong white flour and added a teaspoon of my rye sourdough starter just for luck. I also added some cocoa and molasses, which I thought would give a nice rich dark loaf – and it did.

This is how I made:

No-knead Spelt Cocoa Bread

  • Weighed 200g wholemeal spelt and 200g strong white wheat flour and poured them into the bread maker.
  • Added 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 rounded tsp yeast.
  • Made a well in the centre and added 360 ml tepid water, 1 tbsp molasses and 2 tbsp olive oil (and a tsp of sourdough starter which was more for luck than anything else).
  • Stirred it all together until well mixed.
  • Closed the bread maker using its nifty catch, then covered with a cloth and left in a not particularly warm room for 4 hours (time will vary according to warmth).
  • Baked at 225°C for 15 minutes, then reduced the oven to 200°C and baked for a further 25 minutes.
  • Turned the loaf out of the bread maker onto a wire rack in order to tap the bottom to test if it was done. It was, so I left it.
No-Knead Spelt Loaf

This is such a simple bread to make with a great texture and so very tasty. I can see this becoming a regular on our table when we need something a little different to rye sourdough. The cocoa gave a depth of flavour without the bread tasting too chocolatey, which is what I’d been hoping for. The molasses added additional complexity and a little sweetness. I found I didn’t need to bake it for as long as the recipe stated, nor did I need to take it out of the bread maker and bake it upside down for the last 10 minutes. The recipe also warned that the dough should prove for at least 6 hours, but I didn’t notice that bit until it was too late. Luckily, it all worked out terribly well.

Lekue Bread Maker

We started the bread the day it was made (although the recipe stated to keep it for 24 hrs before using) to mop up our supper of shakshuka. As I’d hoped, it complemented this dish brilliantly. Having made a chocolate version of shakshuka once, I sort of thought it might. Over the next couple of days, we ate it as toast. It sliced well making few crumbs and was particularly delicious with poached eggs and then later with cream cheese and marmite.

The bread maker is extraordinary, I’m really quite excited by it. No mess, no fuss, it’s a one bowl wonder. The washing up was minimal. If I had some digital scales, I wouldn’t even have needed to get those dirty. Admittedly, I made a no-knead loaf, so I am unable to report on how easy it is to knead in the bowl. But, quite frankly, why knead when there is  no need? It’s hard to believe that bread could get much better than this no-knead loaf.

Thanks to Lékué for the bread maker given to me to try. There was no requirement to write a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.


  1. Leave a Reply

    Ren Behan
    4th February 2014

    Cocoa bread – how lovely for you. Here’s a recipe for you to try – cocoa eggy bread. When it’s gone a little stale (if there is any loaf left) dip into an egg and cocoa mixture and fry up 🙂 Our favourite. Loving the look of the handy bread maker, too.

    • Leave a Reply

      20th February 2014

      Haven’t made eggy bread for years Ren, but will most certainly have to try it now.

  2. Leave a Reply

    belleau kitchen
    4th February 2014

    your loaf looks gorgeous!… i’m so glad you’ve discovered this method, it is my ‘go-to’ loaf every time now as it’s just so simple and is pretty much faultless… you will never look back!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Nazima Pathan
    4th February 2014

    it looks lovely. we also use a no knead method and are so happy with it – your choc spelt loaf sounds like a lovely combination – shall have to try this out x

  4. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    4th February 2014

    WOW! That looks amazing and I am fascinated by your mould too! Bet that bread will make a FAB bread and butter pudding if you have any left that is!

  5. Leave a Reply

    CJ - Food Stories
    4th February 2014

    Nice – Would love to see this submitted at so I can share with all my foodie friends 🙂

  6. Leave a Reply

    Sarah Trivuncic
    4th February 2014

    What a brilliant shape it comes out, like a bullet! I’ve got the same mould but not used it yet, can’t wait to try it out.

  7. Leave a Reply

    Sylvia F.
    5th February 2014

    Looks fantastic! I recently baked my first no knead bread with grated cheddar cheese and it turned out so good that I’ll be definetely making more soon!

  8. Leave a Reply

    Lou, Eat Your Veg
    5th February 2014

    What a great and easy loaf! I’m all for no knead loaves. Great looking bit of kit too, I’ve also been sent loads of Lekue products to try too, and need to get myself busy with them soon 🙂

  9. Leave a Reply

    Jacqueline Meldrum
    5th February 2014

    Oh chocolate bread, mmmmmmm! I must go look at their products, they sound interesting. I have to get back to baking bread again. There is nothing like it!

  10. Leave a Reply

    Tina Anand
    5th February 2014

    I like the sound of the breadmaker, as well as your no knead cocoa bread. I’m a big fan of baking bread, something very relaxing about it.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Janice Pattie
    6th February 2014

    What an interesting concept. It certainly seems to have worked well, the bread looks lovely.

  12. Leave a Reply

    Nazima Pathan
    7th February 2014

    very nice Choclette, I have got some stuff from Lekue too, including the bread basket/cooking basket and I do love your cocoa bread here. the bundt cakes you made using their mould have looked fab too!

  13. Leave a Reply

    Hazel - Chicken in a Cherry Sauce
    9th February 2014

    This sounds like a very interesting kitchen gadget! You bread looks and sounds wonderful (and so easy!). I love the idea of cocoa in bread. I really must try it one day and this seems like the perfect recipe for it.

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