Sugar to No-Knead Bread – Will It Affect The Rising Process?


No-knead bread is one of the easiest ways to bake delicious, homemade bread at home, and it’s also one of the simplest recipes. However, plenty of tricks and secrets can make this recipe even better, such as adding some sugar to your dough before baking to add some sweetness without making the bread overly sweet. Read on to know more about no-knead bread!

Can you add sugar to the kneaded dough?

You can add sugar to your no-knead bread, but the sugar will not affect the rising process. The sugar will dissolve in the dough, giving it a slightly sweeter taste.

You might want to consider the following when adding sugar to the kneaded dough: 

  • To make the bread light and fluffy, you need yeast for the dough to rise. Otherwise, any extra sugar will just get caramelized in the oven and give your bread an even sweeter taste. 
  • To know that your dough is over-kneaded, look at the surface of the dough. If there are deep holes or if it has turned sticky and wet, then your dough has been kneaded too much. Another way to check is by pressing on the surface of the dough with one finger. 
  • If there’s any indentation when you push down on it, your dough needs more time to rest before being rolled out again! 
  • The sugar for yeast bread provides nutrients for the yeast during fermentation. But you don’t need sugar to make quick pieces of bread because they rely on chemical leaveners like baking powder or baking soda, which do not require sugars. 
  • If you don’t knead bread enough, you’ll end up with a dense, heavy loaf. When this happens, the loaf will usually have large holes and be very moist. 
  • On the other hand, when you have over-kneaded bread, it’s usually undercooked (even after 45 minutes) and has a dry crusty exterior.

Should I put sugar in my bread?

A tiny bit of sugar can help with browning and flavor. Some bread, like challah or brioche, uses a bit of sugar for flavor. But suppose you’re looking for sweet-tasting bread. 

The role of sugar in bread making is threefold:

  • it helps caramelize the crust, so the crust tastes crispy instead of chewy; 
  • it lends sweetness, 
  • and it helps preserve the crumb by acting as a preservative. 

So, depending on your preference for texture, plenty of recipes don’t require any sugar at all!

How do you make no-knead bread rise higher?

Adding more flour will also make it rise higher. If you want more rise, leave your dough in a warm place for 3-4 hours before baking.

No-knead bread can be flat because it’s usually made with rye flour, and there is no yeast or baking powder in the recipe. 

No-knead bread uses little yeast because it’s mostly flour and water, which won’t produce enough gas to form large bubbles. 

Without added leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder, your loaf will be extremely dense, even if you add plenty of yeast – which makes up only 2 teaspoons per loaf! 

You should punch your dough as long as possible to eliminate all the air bubbles that would otherwise cause your loaf to be dense. Leaving it in a warm place will help, but don’t put it near an oven vent or anything else that could blow on it (baking off some of those tasty flavors!). 

Don’t knead your bread long after three minutes, five max; you’ll wind up with doughy hands and burning forearms from struggling with wet, sticky dough. It’s best to keep it around 5-6 min; punching takes care of most of the problems.

What happens when you add sugar to bread dough?

You might want to add sugar to bread dough for many reasons. 

  • One reason is that the yeast will consume some sugar and produce carbon dioxide, which helps the bread rise. 
  • Another reason is that adding a bit of sweetness can make a loaf of bread taste delicious. 
  • A third reason might be if you’re using whole grain flour because whole grains don’t contain as much sweetness as refined flour.


To summarize, yes, you can add sugar to no-knead bread. But remember that a lot of the sweetness will come from honey and brown sugar if you go that route. If you’re adding too much sugar or not enough, it could be a very sweet or bland bread. If your goal is sweeter bread (like white bread), it’s not worth baking the no-knead recipe.