Kefir Bread Recipe (No Yeast, No Kneading) (2024)

Published on by Helen Best-Shaw 12 Comments
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No-yeast kefir bread is a three ingredient loaf that’s simply delicious, and you don’t even need to knead it! Slowly raised overnight by milk kefir, it is sweet, soft and aromatic, with a note of sourness. An ideal alternative to sourdough!

Kefir Bread Recipe (No Yeast, No Kneading) (1)

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Milk Kefir Bread – No Yeast, No Knead!

This is a tasty soft white bread that uses the yeast found in home-made kefir (cultured fermented milk) to give a long, slow rise to dough. The milk kefir gives a hint of sourness to the bread and you don’t need any additional yeast. I love it toasted, with a generous smear of salty butter on top and maybe a little homemade jam.

Why Make Kefir Bread?

  • Tasty! It’s a soft and delicious loaf with a hint of sweetness.
  • It’s easy! The long rise means that the gluten develops naturally. No kneading required! It isn’t the quickest loaf, though, and rising times will vary.
  • No yeast or sourdough starter needed.
  • It’s different. I love experimenting with different recipes, and this slow rise loaf made without commercial yeast or sourdough starter is fun to make.

Can I Make Kefir Raised Bread with Ready-Made Kefir?

I’m afraid not, no. Bottled kefir from the supermarket is too filtered and refined, and doesn’t contain the microscopic pieces of yeast found in home-made kefir. It’s this yeast that raises the dough. Making your own milk is easy and economical though, and finding the necessary grains is straightforward.

Kefir Bread Recipe (No Yeast, No Kneading) (2)

If you have never made milk kefir before, have a look at our post on Getting Started with Milk Kefir. Kefir grains can be bought online, or you can join Facebook kefir groups – they have members who are happy to send grains to new milk kefir enthusiasts.

Once you have the grains, making kefir is easy. Just add the grains to fresh milk and leave to stand for 24 hours or so.

Kefir Bread Recipe (No Yeast, No Kneading) (3)

How Do I Make Kefir Bread?

First, mix the flour and salt. I use a combination of strong white and strong brown bread flour. Using strong white bread flour for the bulk of the flour makes for a lighter, tastier loaf.

Second, add the milk kefir. Mix everything together to a rough, shaggy dough.

Kefir Bread Recipe (No Yeast, No Kneading) (4)

Third, turn out the dough and give it a few kneads, to make sure that the liquid is evenly distributed through the dough. You don’t need a long knead to develop the gluten, as the long rise allows this to happen naturally.

Fourth, place the dough back in the bowl, cover and leave it to rise until doubled in size. This bulk raise will take time – kefir bread takes longer than my slow rise no knead sourdough. Depending on temperature, I’ve left the dough for 12 hours. You’re looking for the dough to have doubled in volume. This is easy to check if you raise the dough in a straight sided plastic box.

Fifth, form the dough into a loaf and transfer either to a banneton or a greased loaf tin. You need to cover it without touching the top of the dough, leaving space for it to rise. You can use a plastic bag tied around the tin and supported at the edges but I use a shower cap. Leave it to prove until it is well risen and springs back slowly when pushed. Again, this takes longer than sourdough, and much longer than yeasted loaves. You might need to leave the dough for 6 hours at this stage, to get a dough that still feels springy, but not too springy.

Sixth, bake at 180°C for about 35 minutes. When it’s ready, the loaf should sound hollow when you tap it on the bottom. If in doubt give it another 5 minutes.

Finally, allow your kefir bread to cool. Then slice, and enjoy!

Hint and Tips for Kefir Raised Bread

  • Timings for first and second rises might vary significantly, depending on temperatures and your kefir. If you place the dough in a straight side plastic box for the first rise, you can easily see when it’s doubled in volume. For the second rise, the loaf is ready to cook when it rebounds slowly when pressed.
  • If your kefir is very thick, you may need to substitute some with a little milk or water.
  • I made this in a greased loaf tin, but you could also use a cane banneton, well dusted with rye or other gluten free flour for the second rise, then turn the bread out to bake.
  • I always grease my loaf tins with butter. I find that I get a far better release of the loaf than when I use oil.
  • If you don’t have the time to make this kefir raised bread, but want to incorporate kefir into your baking then make my yeasted kefir bread.
  • This bread freezes well – slice, freeze and then toast from frozen.

More Easy Bread Recipes

If you love this try some more bread recipes

  • No yeast bread
  • No knead sourdough
  • Yogurt Bread
  • Porridge Bread
  • More bread recipes

And to go on your bread!

  • Homemade butter
  • Plum Jam
  • Quince Jelly
  • Blackberry jam
  • other easy jam recipes

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Kefir Bread Recipe (No Yeast, No Kneading) (5)

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5 from 3 votes

Kefir Raised No Yeast Bread

Raising bread with the natural yeasts found in kefir, a fermented milk, makes a slow raised no knead bread that tastes delicious.

Servings: 12 slices

Author: Helen Best-Shaw

Prep Time10 minutes mins

Cook Time30 minutes mins

Resting18 hours hrs

Total Time50 minutes mins


  • 250 g strong white bread flour
  • 150 g strong brown bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 280 ml milk kefir (must be homemade)


  • In a large bowl, mix the two types of flour and salt. Add the kefir and mix it in until you have a rough, shaggy dough.

  • Turn the dough out onto a work surface, and knead briefly until all the kefir is evenly distributed through the dough. As the bulk raising time is so long, a long knead to develop the gluten isn't required.

  • Place back in bowl and cover. Leave in a warm (20–25°C) environment until the dough has doubled in size. This may well take several hours.

  • Grease a 2lb loaf tin (7" x 4.5" x 3.5"/18 cm x 11 cm x 9 cm) with butter.

  • Turn the dough out of the bowl and roll into a sausage. Place in the loaf tin, seam side down. Cover the tin without touching the dough and leaving space for it to rise. We use a plastic shower cap, which is perfect for the job. Leave the loaf to prove. Again, this may take several hours.

  • When proved, the dough will spring back slowly when pressed. When you are happy with it, bake at 180°C for about 35 mins. It's done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.


  • It is essential you use homemade milk kefir for this recipe. The brands of commercial kefir we have tested this with are too finely filtered to carry on fermenting and the bread simply won't rise.
  • Kefir bread freezes well. We slice, wrap in a bag, freeze and toast from frozen.
  • The use of milk kefir makes this a lovely soft loaf, ideal for sandwiches.
  • If your kefir is very thick, you may need to substitute some with a little milk or water.
  • I made this in a greased loaf tin, but you could also use a cane banneton, well dusted with flour.
  • I always grease my loaf tins with butter. I find that I get a far better release of the loaf than when I use oil.

Nutritional Information

  • This recipe is 4 Weight Watchers Smart Points

• Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only.

• Unless stated otherwise cup conversions have been made with an online tool. For accuracy please check with your favoured conversion tool. We recommend buying inexpensive digital kitchen scales.

Nutrition Facts

Kefir Raised No Yeast Bread

Amount Per Serving

Calories 135Calories from Fat 9

% Daily Value*

Fat 1g2%

Cholesterol 2mg1%

Sodium 206mg9%

Potassium 34mg1%

Carbohydrates 26g9%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 4g8%

Vitamin A 50IU1%

Calcium 34mg3%

Iron 1.1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course: Baking, Bread

Cuisine: Bread

Keyword: Kefir raised bread

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Kefir Bread Recipe (No Yeast, No Kneading) (2024)


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