Wholegrain Nettle Bread (Vegan)

One might think that Nettle bread is a little extreme in my bid for healthy baking. But this is the beauty of home baking. Liberty to use freshest seasonal ingredients of choice. The joy of baking your own bread and the wonderful aroma wafting through and you know exactly what has gone into your bread is a good feeling

Monsoon is on the wane. It rains erratically now. Monsoon has blessed our hills with lush and luxuriant greenery. The landscape is full of ferns, grass, bushes, and weeds.  All sorts of wild greens including nettles have sprung up. Our vegetable patch had to be prepared   for the new crop and a thicket of nettles had to be removed. I decided to use some in my whole grain bread.

Nettles or Stinging nettles as they are commonly called are rich in Vitamins (A, B, C, and K), minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium, fats and amino acids. Adding a handful of nettle leaves to the bread makes it healthy and delicious.

Make sure you use a pair of gloves to pluck tender leaves. Wash and blanch the leaves. Drain and chop the leaves and add to the dough after the first rise.

Nettle bread has a tender crumb. The crumb is speckled with nettle leaves.

Wholegrain Nettle Bread (Vegan)


  • 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups water cups warm water
  • 1 cup fresh nettle leaves (new tender leaves)


  1. Whisk together first three ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. In another bowl, take sugar and water and add yeast. Stir, cover and let sit for 10 minutes or until frothy.
  3. Add yeasted water slowly to the dry ingredients and knead the dough. Keep adding water and keep kneading till you get very soft and supple dough, about 7-8 minutes.
  4. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Turn around dough so that it is evenly coated with oil. Cover and keep in a warm place for 1 ½ hour or until double.
  5. In the meantime, wash the nettle leaves. Bring water to a boil in a large pan.  Add Nettle leaves. Cover and keep for 10 minutes. Drain. Reserve some leaves to put on top. Chop remaining leaves.
  6. Punch the risen dough. Add chopped nettle leaves evenly in the dough.  Knead for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Shape into a ball. Stretch the top and tuck under the seams.
  8. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rise for 1 hour or until double.
  9. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  10. Brush the top of the bread with water. Arrange the leaves.
  11. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top turns golden.
  12. Remove from the oven. Cool in the rack. Slice when cold.
Note: You may use a blend of 50% all-purpose flour and 50% whole wheat flour to get a lighter crumb. In this case, water requirement will be less. You may also use any green leafy vegetable in place of nettle 

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  1. When i use more than 1 tsp of yeast, my bread gets a yeasty smell. Is it because I live in mumbai where the weather is humid and warm? Also I have another query. When i use 3 cups of atta (mine is chakki ground atta of MP sihore type of wheat) then I need almost 2 to 2 1/4 cups of water as my dough absorbs a lot of water. Why is it so? Is there a lot of difference in chakki ground atta and readymade atta? As u r an experienced breadmaker, I m botherimg u with all these questions.

    1. Hello! A standard loaf baked with 2 1/2 cups to 3 cups flour needs 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast. However, if you find it too yeasty, reduce the quantity of yeast to 1 1/2 teaspoon. In this case, the dough will take longer to rise. This is slow fermentation. It gives a very good flavour to the bread.
      Every flour is different in texture. If your flour, is coarse, it will definitely require more water. Keep on adding water till it absorbs.
      I use Four Seasons yeast.
      Please free free to ask. I would love to answer your queries. Happy Baking!

  2. Oh, I forgot to add. Iusè instant yeast Falcon brand good quality.

  3. Thanks for ur quick reply. Yes every flour is different. My flour however is not coarse. I get it ground ver fine in the chakki and again i sieve it before using as we need smooth flour to make thin phulkas. Also inspite of using only 1 tsp of yeast for 3 cups flour, my dough doubles in 1 hr.flat. So no xhance of slow rise. Maybe because of the hot and humid clomate here. Thanks again

    1. Hello!
      If your flour is fine, then it is ideal for baking. Yes, heat and humidity makes the dough rise really fast. How is your crumb? Do share your experience.