How to make No-knead Kefir bread on a Snowy Slushy Snainy day!

The snow was a bit of a disappointment yesterday but we did  get about two inches of snowy slushy snainy rain. Snain is Viv’s new word for snow mixed with rain. I like it! We got snained! And while the wind was blowing the weather  in, everyone hunkered down in the barn, like those beautiful tiny strong old ladies who sit with their brown prayers and second-to-best coats at Mass on a weekday morning, tolling their beads. Waiting. Serene.


I was hoping for a more dramatic snow event when I began this series but ah well. Water came out of the sky as ice, rain and snow. But it was warm enough not to be too much of a bother as the snain was melting as fast as it was falling which is great news for the fields.

It was a good day for making bread. Bread made with Kefir will take at least two days to complete. This suits my lifestyle as long as I remember to start the next one when I get the hot one out of the oven. Once a rhythm is established the process manages itself.  I find it a relaxed process, if you leave it for an extra hour, one way or the other it seems to work out ok.

No Knead Kefir Bread

Step One: Mix together.

  • One cup of active alive kefir
  • One cup of bread flour
  • One cup of warm filtered water
  • One big tablespoon of honey.

Let sit covered in a warm spot for at least 24 hours. Stir two or three times during this period. I have left it up to three days with excellent results. As you can see once again I have written a recipe that I can remember without consulting a piece of paper.  Lazy girl.

When it has doubled in size a few times (after the gentle stir) and is nice and fluffy, add –

  • 4 cups flour
  •  1/4 cup warm water if necessary
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt to taste or not.


You want a tacky elastic mixture. This will not look like a normal bread dough. No need to knead.  Allow to rise in a very well oiled bread tin until doubled again, often about three hours.kefir-bread-3

Cook at 400F for 50 minutes (depending on your oven). This is the easiest bread I have ever made as long as you are happy to let it take its time.  It does tend to stick to the sides of the tin though, or possibly I need a new one!! But oil your loaf tin well just in case.

Good morning.  The home-schooled children are coming this morning. Hopefully John will be able to get the trailer out to collect a big round bale of grass hay to go down the back for Queenie, The Bobby and Hairy. It will sit on the round concrete pad and we will push it into the corner where three little fields meet, then lock it in with a pig panel to try avoid too much waste. Then Daisy can come over and have a munch as well. The big round bales are very heavy, our tractor cannot carry one, so there is a bit of luck involved when we push it off the trailer and into the corner, if it rolls the wrong way I will have to make a new plan!!

You all have a lovely day. aaasnow-005

See you later in the comments lounge. I learn so much over there, it is thrilling to get so much good advice in the comments. I really mean that.


123 Comments on “How to make No-knead Kefir bread on a Snowy Slushy Snainy day!

      • Hi,
        Does alive kefir mean the kefir has not been filtered out the kefir grains? Or the filtered kefir without the kefir grains?

        Could you let me know? I really want to make this bread. I have homemade kefir.

        • Hi,
          Does alive kefir mean the kefir has not been filtered out the kefir grains? Or the filtered kefir without the kefir grains?

          Could you let me know? I really want to make this bread. I have homemade kefir.
          Thank you!

    • Okay I’m waiting and hoping as I’ve tried to make it gluten free…I tried watching to see if it rises…but that’s not working 😉

  1. Our day is a bit of snow and slush and I know when the children open their eyes they will be disappointed it is not a snow day! So off to school they will grumble along about the unfairness of life I am sure..The bread looks wonderful!

  2. I have been wanting to try Kefir Sourdough bread but with a house heated with wood, it would get too cold during the night hours but, now that we are in town for a few weeks, it’s top of my list! Enjoy.

    • My house is heated with a woodstove too, in just one room, so we average about 60F. The longer it proves the more sour it gets too. If I want to hurry it along I set it in the oven with only the light on.. morning jess, hope you enjoy the bread! c

  3. Yum! A perfect way to warm the kitchen on a messy day!
    We’re in for three solid days of rain – sure wish there was a way to share it with all of you who need the moisture…

  4. I wouldn’t dare to use that name for the bread in S Africa – it would be construed as a viciously racist remark! Nor would I know where to get any active alive what-you-said! Looks delicious, though.

    • Best you call it sourdough then! Do you have the same trouble with Lime Kefir leaves? maybe they are called something else there.. i do hope so!! c

      • None of us in the family have ever heard of Kefir! I have looked it up and find it most interesting. I woulnd’t mind starting a culture of it if I could find out where to get a starter pack here. Yoghurt we do have.

    • Nonsense. Kefir is spelled and pronounced differently to THAT word. Look on gumtree, its available everywhere

      • I wouldn’t say everywhere by a long chalk, and I note the pains every gumtree entry goes to to explain the origin of the word. I also know full well the propensity of sectors of the population whereby if a stick has a wrong end they will grab it.

  5. If I knew what Kefir was, I might have a go at making your bread. I haven’t made any since the heart attack, but it’s time we had some decent bread to eat! Thanks for adopting my word…your pictures demonstrate it perfectly.

    I hope the hay rolling goes well.

  6. We’re in that snainy mess right now, it’s disgusting. The streets are filled with mounds of icy snow, it alternates rain and snow.
    That bread looks amazing; JT makes a similar version with a 1/4 tsp yeast and he baked it in a lidded cast iron Dutch oven! The last 5 minutes without the lid, it makes for an incredible crumb! He uses corn meal so the bread doesn’t stick.

  7. Well I have more snow on the ground but it is pouring out and the beavers have returned to flood me out but I am READY JT too!

    Love the looks of this bread though lately I have been worried about Wheat Belly 🙂 though I was down almost 4 lbs. this week after all the shoveling how do you leave heaven on earth in your homeland and welcome this outside our windows lol just saying

    • It is not always perfect in NZ, when you and i were there we had fantastic luck with the weather..A man once said to me, I could sit you on a balcony facing a brick wall with a glass of wine and a book and you would be happy. What he meant was that i am happy just about anywhere just as long as i have a glass of wine and a book waiting. I think i am lucky that way. i love it when I am home in NZ and I love tramping through the mud to the barn out here.. interesting i suppose. c

      • That’s my problem I don’t DRINK lol I am like you really always making the best at what is dealt but I so am just trying to get through winter it is not horrible I have a roof so far over my head and heat much more than many others have just tired I suppose of shoveling

  8. The round bales are fairly easy to unroll if things go awry in your placement. You just have to get the outer layers loose. Use your tractor to roll it until it is small enough for you to push it yourself. It is more labor intensive than round bales are meant to be, but you can control the amount they are getting so waste is less. We did this often when I was growing up on a dairy farm. Once the loft and sheds were full of square bales hay, Dad had a neighbor come and round bale the grass hay and the final cuttings of alfalfa. The cows were really good at breaking the round bale feeders so we went to unrolling their hay in the pasture for them, The heifer inherited the feeders and they were really good at getting stuck in them. The cows and the deer were pretty good at cleaning up the tasty morsels in the pasture.
    The bread looks yummy.

  9. I have a bread pan that I can ONLY grease up with butter. If oil, particularly olive oil, touches it then everything sticks fast to the pan. It’s that silvery aluminium type pan. Is that like yours?

    • No mine is an old dunger of a thing, i should use it as a dog bowl. but i did use olive oil this time, next time i will use butter and just see if that was the trouble.. i just hate to throw something out but there comes a time!! how is your house, my builder is chopping a hole in the wall today!! YAY ,.. i shall pop over! c

      • Lots of wiring going on today, brick cutting, sealing up back door, alarm system rewired and sensors repositioned. Electrician returns this weekend, but I’ll be in Denmark from tomorrow and through the weekend, so they’ll just carry on without my coffee-making skills. Pop-over and have a look; lots of photos. 🙂

  10. This looks lovely. I’m going to try it. I have just recently started making kefir and researching and exploring using various kinds of fermented things like Kombucha Tea (you can get a scoby from me if you log onto my blog (, I’m finding that kefir makes a lovely cheese, the whey has many uses (sour kraut for one and in the garden to boost microbes for the soil), besides the delicious drink itself, and now this sourdough starter.

    I have a question – Celi – have you tried using whole grain milled spelt or kamut instead of white processed bread flour for this recipe? I’d like to know if anyone has as I don’t use commercial short white wheat. How about quinoa or other alternate grains?

    Thanks Celi.

  11. May your hay bales roll in the direction you wish and your bread stick not upon the tin.

    The bread looks quite delish although I fear I would wander off into the thick of my life and leave the bread in some sort of sorry unfinished state, forgotten.

  12. Thankyou for writing this out – I will give it a go once I have the kefir up and bubbling again. There are so many ways to raise bread. I have often used whey or yoghurt in the bread but didn’t think that one could use kefir on its own, very very good looking bread too !! xx Jo

    As for that snain… Brrrrr….

  13. It’s lovely to see life (hay and bread) rolling along. Slight disaster here at the moment, but manageable. I used to make the kind of bread I could only buy in the Czech Republic. Crescent-shaped crusty bread sticks dusted with rock salt and caraway. I think a bit of bread making would help to calm things down.

  14. What a great bread recipe, Celi, and perfect weather to bake it. Is the flavor like that of sourdough? I need to try this.
    We got a little bit of everything last night and it’s been snowing intermittently this morning. I cleared the walks last night and they’re relatively clear. With a freezer full of food, I’ll be staying put today. Have a great day, Teach!

  15. If one could bottle the aroma of baking bread we would dab it behind our ears – or sprinkle it through the house. It would be the most perfect perfume in the world. !!

  16. I love the subtlety of your prose, the unexpected way of description; the brown prayers, tolling, ….
    (it’s too early to punctuate)

  17. If my partner wasn’t allergic to milk, I ‘d be starting that bread tonight. Alas, I shall remain kefir-bread-less!

    • Hello, I am also allergic to milk but, Kefir has so many probiotics that it doesn’t bother me. It has to be unpasteurized grass fed milk though. I started with fresh unpasteurized Goat Milk. Might be worth a try if you are near a farm where you can buy a share of a goat or cow. You can also buy water kefir grains (no dairy).

      • you are probably allergic to pasteurised milk, pasteurised milk is very hard to digest – i never drink it.. no dairy goats around here.. only corn and beans and a few cows.. i have my own raw milk .. Daisy my milk cow, just about to calve again.. I milk her so we can all have good milk.

  18. So many people talking about kefir states right now – they seem to make wonderful bread. I need to look into this seriously…..Hope the bale moving went well!

  19. A bit of snain makes for some really pretty photos! Your bread looks good too, I haven’t heard of kefir – wonder if we can get it here?

  20. I forgot about my kefir; unattended for 15-18 hours ……and now how the thickest greek yoghurt.
    I thought I would make a kefir sourdough leaven when I return from holiday.
    If you dust your bread pan with rye flour after greasing………….nothing seems to stick.
    Looking forward to visiting On Trays next week………….yes on holiday in NZ.

  21. It does look a bit Christmasy there. Spring is coming – hang on.
    (Ahh, the yummy bread smells)
    Hope the hay moving goes well (Do not do one of those cartoon moves and try to stop it if it starts going the wrong way…no one wants you squashed)

  22. What a fantastic bread and so easy to make: since I work from home can keep an eye on it and patience I do have!! Tomorrow a big shop: have to see whether kefir is kept in the supermarket – 75% hopeful!! Oh, and absolutely love the sepia tonings of your snainy daily view – another case of pinching methinks 🙂 !

    • My world is sepia.. soon the colour will come back, they say it might warm up a bit next week! Pinching!! good.. c

  23. hi Celi sorry i didn’t get to you till this evening . been pulling brush from the storm in July 2012
    the round bales how big are they 4×4 or 5×5 ? I push the 4×4 s around on and off the trailers to load my mobile feeder 4×6 trailer with a roof and side rails to prevent waste that way i can get some benefit from the waste seeding the pasture 🙂 that way i just move it around it seeds as I move it Missy has a sour milk bread I just love 😛 she is trying all kinds of bread I like bread good thing she made some bread with molasses just to die for yum yum 😀

    • That is a great idea, a moving bale, I like it. I will certainly try bread with molasses, it does sound good. c

  24. Hi Celi….just love your icey srainy pics…looks like a fairy Wonderland.
    Nothing exciting to say from me but I do love making no knead bread…it’s such a lazy, hazzy type of bread baking and always turns out YUM…I make it often….it’
    s wonderful fresh out of the oven with a drop of honey and a glass of Pinot Grigio…..

  25. The snowy landscape looks like heaven to me now that we are parched and longing for rain, and none to come for another two weeks- if it does, and if not… who knows….Don’t know how you fit bread-making into everything else in your busy days!

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  27. I got to try this bread, no knead breads are good specially when you are busy and dont want to clean lots of utensils and kitchen surface.

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  30. Awesome bread! I put it in the oven after stage one and then forgot it. After two days there it was, I did stage two with only 3 cups of bread flour and no additional water, put it in the oven for a second proof and then baked it. That’s the bread I’ll always make from now on. Thank you for this recipe, also in the name of my husband.

    • you are welcome christel, i have made nothing else but since and it can be pizza bases, flat breads, pita breads.. I use it for everything.. c

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  32. I made my initial mix with freshly milled spelt and kefir. I only had ½ cup of kefir so used ½ cup of spelt flour and then halved the next day’s flour amount. Subbed in butter for the olive oil, added a tsp of salt and the extra ¼ cup of water and it turned out wonderful. Was a pourable batter. I could not believe how great the crust and the crumb were! Thank you so much for posting this recipe, wonderful bread.

    • wow, I sub stuff too but I have never used butter instead of the oil, i will though.. i will be milking again soon.. there will be loads of delicious butter.. c

  33. This is the most wonderful tasting light bread ever! It did take me three times but, the third worked after I put in three cups of bread flour instead of four. I also let it rise for 3 hours before the final 4 hour rise in the bread pan. I am so happy to know I made this without any store bought yeast. I make this every week now. Thank you so much Cecilia. I love your Blog..

    • you are welcome diana, i make it every week too, in fact i had better start another batch today.. c

  34. Cecilia,
    Just wondering what brand of flour you use when making your sourdough? I can’t get over the many ways that you can use Kefir in recipes.

    • hi diana, i just use an all purpose high gluten flour.. I always find the kinng arthur flour good, plus I often add a little flaxseed flour.. I also add a little kefir to my animals food once a week esp Miss Sheila the big fat pig! c

  35. Cecilia,

    I feed my cats kefir everyday. My one cat has subcutaneous bumps that were getting really big but, since giving him kefir I can hardly find them anymore. Looking forward to seeing what’s happening on your farm. Love your pictures. Diana

    • interesting, I give it to everyone once a week, i shall have to increase that! thank you diana.. c

  36. Cecil I tried the starter but it doesn’t rise or double in size. The kefir yoghurt was out of the fridge as I’d removed the lump of kefir 24hrs earlier. Is that ok? Then mixed with strong brown flour. Plus water. It bubbles a bit. Tried it on airing cupboard in case kitchen isn’t warm enough… Still nor much happens!

    • I only ever use white flour, the heavier flours don’t seem to take as well. Also I never put my kefir in the fridge. Here is what i do now. I keep ithe jar of kefir under a hat on the kitchen bench, with a plastic strainer I strain a big cup full into a bowl, add a cup of warm water and a cup of flour and a teaspoon of honey, then I let it sit for as long s it takes, sometimes even 24 hours. I would refresh your original jar of kefir with more fresh milk and let it stand on the counter for a day, then begin. let me know how it goes! fingers crossed! c

      • Thanks Celia, I retried a cup of brown flour with cup of kefir (no water) and it rose very well in a dayq to make a starter. I left it for a few days, probably too long. It sunk. mixed in some brown, oil and salt. 40 min was too long at 200C. The resultant bread was ok for a first attempt.

        Re the kefir. I find if I leave kefir in milk (i use goat milk) for more than say 2 days at room temp then it tastes of alcohol and separates into creamy thick milk and clear colourless liquid. So I tend to pop it in the fridge in a jar and a small amount of milk when I don’t need more kefir yoghurt for a few days. What do you think?

        • Yes that is good. Just make sure it is freshly fed and at room temperature when you begin to make your bread! Sounds great. Hope you enjoyed your loaf. there are so many variables.. you seem to have worked it out very well.. c

      • Thanks for replying.
        does it have to be milk kefir grains, can I replace it with water kefir grains?

        • I only use milk grains, however do try and see if it starts to work and let me know, soon i will have no milk and mine will change to water too.. c

  37. I just got my kefir grains last week and my first kefir has finally finished. So I saw your recipe starting the soak with that. The grains I order were from You get twice as many grains as everywhere else plus they are live not in a dormant state.

    • Fabiola, have you tried rye flour? I tried this recipe with spelt and turned out well for 1st attempt. I don’t think I let it rise enough the 2nd time. I am dying to try with rye, but afraid it won’t rise and I have a limited amount of kefir.

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  39. Hi there! For the 2nd step, is it 4 cups bread flour or all purpose flour? Thanks! 🙂

  40. Lovely looking bread. I will try your recipe. Do you kefir grains or kefir milk?

  41. I have made this twice and it is so delicious, thank you! I bake mine in a Pampered chef stoneware loaf pan and it slides right out. I don’t even need to wash the loaf pan!! (just wipe it out with a damp cloth.)
    I do butter it well beforehand. Thanks again for the wonderful recipe.

  42. In case anyone is interested, I have tried this with a variety of gluten-free flours and had great results! But I add 2 eggs and baking soda to help out with rising and texture. I let mine sit out from morning to early evening, but because of the egg I can’t let it out longer than that! Anyway, in case anyone else is interested . . . 🙂

    • I would love to have the gluten-free recipe as well! Could you please post it Valerie?

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  44. I made this a few months back and it was lovely…eventually. I am confused as to the little amount of liquid added when making the final dough. I could hardly stir it, it really was like concrete with huge lumps of flour that I couldn’t combine. In the end, I added nearly a cup of water before it was manageable…maybe I made it too runny but I couldn’t see how the lumps of flour would ever get to join in with the rest of it!

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