No Knead Marathon Bread

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 31 votes

No knead marathon bread is a hearty breakfast bread that is very simple to make. Loaded with seeds, dried fruit & shredded carrot.

Overhead shot of sliced no knead marathon bread

I’m not a big time baker, but there are a handful of things that I can do well. No knead bread is definitely one of them (and obviously this no knead marathon bread variation), but honestly anyone at any level of ability can walk into their kitchen and make a loaf of this goodness. The technique was made famous by legendary bread master Jim Lahey. I make his no knead pizza dough as well (for pizzas like this Buffalo cauliflower one). Fancy-lazy is the name of the game!

All you have to do is mix up the ingredients the night before you want to bake bread, cover the bowl, let it do its thing, shape the loaf in the morning, and bake it in a super hot dutch oven. Total simplicity and ease for such a delicious loaf of homemade bread. It is positively mind blowing the first time you try it. Once you get into it, no knead baked goods are a way of life! See: these no knead cinnamon rolls.

I live by a US border and hop over there for some American grocery specialties from time to time. One thing that I often grab at one of my favourite grocery stores (shoutout to Wegmans) is a loaf of marathon bread. It’s super seedy, loaded with finely minced dried fruit, and little shreds of carrot. A toasted slice is just the thing with almond or peanut butter and a sprinkle of salt.

I looked at the ingredients one time and thought of that beloved no knead bread. I figured it would be simple to fix up a low maintenance, homemade version of this marathon bread at home. I would take the base, use a bit of hearty whole grain flour, add shredded carrots, seeds, dried fruit, and a touch of warm spice to get me even more excited for Fall bread baking. It all worked! No knead marathon bread! This is an excellent toast bread that warms up the house real good. Perfect for those first forays into cool weather baking! :)

Shaping the no knead marathon bread dough
No knead marathon bread, pre-baking
No knead marathon bread baked in a dutch oven
Toasted no knead marathon bread with peanut butter

No Knead Marathon Bread

No knead marathon bread is a hearty breakfast bread that is very simple to make. Loaded with seeds, dried fruit & shredded carrot.
5 from 31 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Resting Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat OR whole spelt flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • cup grated carrot from roughly 1 small carrot
  • cup dried fruit of choice, finely chopped (I used goji berries and golden raisins)
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds, plus extra
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds, plus extra
  • 1 ½ cups room temperature water

Notes

  • This recipe is entirely based based on Jim Lahey’s famous no knead bread technique.
  • No Dutch oven? The Kitchn has a guide to baking no knead bread without one right here. Also, this method from Jenny Can Cook also looks promising.
  • Any finely chopped dried fruit that you like is great. The original marathon bread that I based this on has finely chopped banana chips, apples and apricots in it. Go wild ;)
  • I like to let my dough sit overnight for a solid 16 hours. Anything in the 12-18 hour window is fine.

Instructions

THE NIGHT BEFORE:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, cinnamon (if using), and instant yeast. To the flour mixture, add the grated carrot, chopped dried fruit, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and water. Using a spatula, stir the dough until it comes together.
  • The dough will seem dry in spots, extremely ragged, tough, and shaggy. This is fine! The dough will hydrate and unify overnight. Cover the bowl tightly with bees wrap or plastic wrap and place in a slightly warmer area of your house overnight, up to 18 hours.

THE NEXT MORNING:

  • Arrange your oven racks near the bottom of the oven to accommodate a large dutch oven (mine is 7 quart). Place the large dutch oven, lid and all, inside the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Let the dutch oven heat for one hour. Rip yourself a piece of parchment paper (enough to set the dough onto and transfer it to the dutch oven) and set it on the counter. If you have a mister/spray bottle, fill it with water and set it on the counter near the oven.
  • While the oven is preheating, shape your bread. Lightly sprinkle a working surface with flour. Using a spatula, gently scrape the marathon bread dough out onto your floured surface. Flour your hands and gently shape the dough into a nice round loaf. I just pull up the sides and lightly tuck each “flap” of dough in the center until I go all the way around. Minimal handling is optimal!
  • Once you’ve shaped the dough, set it on top of the parchment paper and cover it while you wait for the oven to finish preheating. Press some seeds into the exterior of the bread if you like.
  • Once the hour is up, carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven and set it down. Carefully remove the lid of the dutch oven (remember to use a dry towel–it’s super hot!) and set it to the side. Uncover the marathon bread dough. Grab the corners of the parchment paper and carefully transfer the dough to the hot dutch oven. Once it’s in place, use your dry towel to grab the dutch oven lid again. Quickly spritz the inside of the hot dutch oven lid with your mister/spray bottle of water and close the lid on top.
  • Transfer the dutch oven back into the oven. Set a timer for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes are up, open the oven and remove the dutch oven lid. Let the marathon bread bake for 15 more minutes, or until the top is quite browned. Remove the marathon bread from the oven.
  • Let the no knead marathon bread cool completely before slicing. This should take a good 2 hours. Transfer the marathon bread to a cooling rack to speed this process up if you wish.
18/09/2019 (Last Updated 18/03/2024)
Posted in: autumn, breakfast, carrots, nut free, oil free, refined sugar-free, snack, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter

96 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Daphne

    5 stars
    This recipe is so versatile; I love it. Made it today with walnuts, figs and fresh rosemary. It’s so easy and always ends up tasting like an expensive artisan loaf. Perfect recipe for a beginner baker. It takes on a slight tang after the lengthy rising period…no complicated sourdough recipe required!

  • Hannah

    5 stars
    We are currently nestled into our family cottage in the Cape Breton Highlands. It’s a rainy & cool day here, so perfect for baking a loaf of this bread. Mixed it up last night, adding the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds (only had salted versions so I decreased salt to 1 tsp) & dried cranberries and baked it when I got up this morning. It reminds me of something you’d pay good $$$ for at a Farmer’s Market. My husband & I just shared a piece and it is incredible. A little sweet, a little salty & perfectly chewy with a crisp crust. Thank you Laura for always giving us the very best, wholesome recipes. This will undoubtedly become a favorite!

    • Laura Wright

      Hannah,
      This sounds so dreamy. No doubt the salted seeds added a nice flavour contrast there–I can’t wait to try it myself. Enjoy the cottage life! :)
      -L

  • Toni

    5 stars
    I made this and it is amazing!

  • Julie

    Please provide the weight of dry ingredients, especially the flour in either ounces or grams. Thank you. 

  • Jane

    5 stars
    Turned out fantastic! I put a pan of water in the oven for moisture and baked the dough in four mini loaf pans (silicon). I added hemp hearts, a bit more yeast, and baked at a little lower temp for the little loaves. Let it rise for about 5 hours in a warm area and that was plenty, but also proofed in my oven for about 20 before baking. Will be making this recipe a lot!!

  • Mike C

    5 stars
    I followed all of the directions except I put the dough in a Pyrex bread loaf… tin? Anyway, then I put that into the pre-heated Dutch oven and tossed in a couple of ice cubes. It took about an hour to cook until it reached just over 200°F inside, and came out a little on the dense side, which is totally understandable. It did make for AWESOME toasted slices though. I’m making it again tonight but I’m following the recipe exactly this time. Thanks for putting this together, Laura!

  • Sherry

    It’s in the oven right now. Looks good! I just wanted to point out one thing. I noticed that the instructions and description for this recipe are very “wordy”, which makes it harder to follow. Simplicity is our friend.

  • Jacquie

    5 stars
    This bread is just wonderful and so easy! I used regular white bread flour, whole grain sprouted spelt flour and chopped apricots. The aroma is amazing. As another commenter said, the hardest part is waiting 2 hours for the bread to cool.