No knead overnight buns, made with spelt flour, two ways here. These low effort buns are mixed in the evening, left to ferment overnight, and baked the next day, either in a Dutch oven for crusty buns or on a baking sheet for dinner buns. Skip to the recipe →
I’ve been meaning to try no knead overnight buns for ages now. When I was back home this summer, I kept eyeing up my mom’s huge oval dutch oven and thinking about it, but never got around to it then. I recently received a Skeppshult pot and started thinking about these buns again. We got an oven in this past Saturday – finally – and here they are.
There are two methods offered here for these buns. Baking them in a dutch oven, like a no knead bread, results in a crusty roll with a crispier exterior. A baking sheet and lower temperature will result in a softer overall bun, like a dinner roll. Both are delicious, but I know many of you might not have a dutch oven and I often get questions about baking no knead loaves without one (this overnight rye bread is a good example of how to do that).
As you can see, the difference between the two is pretty stark. You won’t have those square edges if you have a larger dutch oven to bake these in, if they have enough room not to touch during baking. If you want a crusty bun but don’t have a large covered casserole dish, you can try spraying some water in the oven before baking. I’ve never found this to be as effective but it can help a little bit.
The internal texture of the buns doesn’t differ much between methods, and both are quite light. I prefer a mix of half light spelt and half whole grain, but if you want a softer bun, choose all light. (I accidentally wrote bum first and that might also be true?) There is no fat added so these aren’t your gran’s dinner buns or ones you’d find at a prairie diner, but they’re an excellent everyday bun, and easy enough to be just that.
I know there can sometimes be some confusion about the shaping of dough like this, so I made a very low-fi video for this recipe! I hope it helps. It’s just about shaping the buns so you don’t end up with a dough puddle. Check that out below and let me know if you want more (less low-fi) videos, particularly about bread. Next up, these twisted Swedish cinnamon buns, promise.
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- 480 grams / 3 1/4 cups spelt flour*
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
- 375 ml / 1 1/2 cups water, room temperature
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. The dough should be shaggy and a bit wet.
- Cover the bowl with a plate and set in a warm-ish, draft free place to rise overnight (8-12 hours). It should at least double in size. Once the dough has risen, tip it out onto a generously floured surface.
- Cut the dough into eight equal pieces. Stretch and fold each piece, holding the centre with one hand as you pull half of the dough away from yourself and fold back toward the centre. Do this about six times, rotating the bun slightly with each stretch, until tension forms in the dough.
- Flip the bun fold side down and use the edges of both hands to turn the dough with small twists until a rounded bun forms with a fairly smooth top. Set the finished bun onto parchment paper to rise.
- Repeat this with each piece of dough, adding flour as needed both to the surface and your hands. See above video for additional guidance on shaping.
Method One: Crusty Rolls
- Place a large dutch oven in your oven and preheat to 250C / 480C. Heat slightly longer than usual to allow the dish to heat through.
- While the oven is heating, shape the buns and set onto a piece of parchment paper that will fit in your dutch oven. You may have to do this in two rounds.
- Once the oven is hot, very carefully remove the dish. Place the buns, with the parchment, into the dutch oven and cover with the lid. Place into the oven and reduce the heat to 230C / 450F. Bake covered for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10 minutes at 200C / 400F. Repeat if needed.
- Cool the buns for 15 minutes in the dish before removing and cooling on a rack.
Method Two: Dinner Rolls
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the prepared buns onto the baking sheet and cover with a tea towel. Let the buns rise for another 20 minutes.
- While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 200 C / 400F. Once the oven is hot, place the tray on the centre rack and bake the buns for 25-30 minutes, or until golden.
- Let the buns cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling fully on a rack.
* I prefer a mix of half light and half whole grain spelt flour. It will work with all light, all whole grain, and sprouted spelt flour, or a mix of them, with no issues.
• If you forget to turn the oven down to 200C 20 minutes into the crusty roll method, don't worry. Reducing the heat to 230C the first time is the important bit - if you leave it at 250, it'll hinder the rising of the buns.
• A shallow dutch oven, like this one, will be better suited for a recipe like this, but a regular deep one will work too.