Kitchen DIY: Vogel’s bread

Just about every New Zealand cookbook author worth their Marlborough flaky sea salt has a recipe for a no-knead, Vogel’s-style bread. Annabel Langbein (described here by the lovely Linda Burgess as ‘New Zealand’s blonde Nigella’) calls it her ‘Busy People’s Bread’, Ruth Pretty calls it ‘Quick Wholemeal Bread’ and Masterchef’s Nadia Lim calls hers ‘No-Knead Seed Bread’.

They’re all more or less the same thing – a porridge-y mixture that you stir together in a bowl, then scrape into a well-oiled loaf tin. The dough rises in a low oven before baking and the whole thing is done in about 90 minutes. Ruth told me that as far as she was aware the original recipe came from a 1950s Home Economics textbook – though none of the recipes I’ve seen ever go so far as to acknowledge its origins. Here then is my version – with due credit to all the above – which I have worked out to suit the dimensions of my large loaf tin (which measures about 20cm x 10cm x 8cm) and my oven (you don’t need the measurements of that, trust me).

DIY Vogel’s Bread
I knew I’d cracked this when the Small Girl saw me take some of this bread out of the freezer and said, ‘is that Mr Vogel’s bread?’ It’s a brilliant trick to have up your sleeve when you realise there’s no bread for toast in the morning but you can’t face a) going to buy some or b) staying awake to nurture an ordinary loaf. It keeps fresh for at least three days and freezes well, though I do advise slicing it before freezing for ease of thawing.

600g flour – half strong white, half wholemeal, with perhaps a little rye thrown in for luck
40g – about half a cup – rolled oats
2 tsp dried yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
750ml lukewarm liquid – a mixture of water and milk, or just water
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, optional (you can use other seeds too)

Put everything into a large bowl and mix well – it will be like porridge. Scrape into a very-well oiled loaf tin (of the dimensions listed above) and smooth the top.
Put into a cold oven and turn the dial to 50C. Leave for about 35 minutes, until the dough has risen to the top of the tin. Turn the heat to 200C and bake for another 40 minutes, until crusty on top and hollow when you tap it on the bottom.
Turn out to a rack to cool. In the morning, eat with lots of butter and peanut butter, or avocado, and dream of the day that you’ll be able to have it with Marmite again. If ever.

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25 Comments

  1. November 27, 2012 / 7:32 pm

    This sounds really simple to make. Thanks for sharing the recipe x

  2. November 27, 2012 / 8:22 pm

    oooh, I love my no-knead bread but it's getting a little dull so adding the extra flour should really pep it up… great recipe, thanks for sharing… x

  3. November 27, 2012 / 10:14 pm

    I wonder if the origin of this recipe is the wartime "Doris Grant Loaf". Jane Grigson describes it in English Food as causing a sensation when it was published. It is a wet slithery dough, using only wholemeal flour. I used to make it a lot, but nowadays prefer the NZ version with seeds and other grains. Never added rolled oats though – will definitely give your version a go, thank you.

    • Anonymous
      March 2, 2017 / 10:37 pm

      No – look it up or try Elizabeth David's seminal work English Bread and Yeast Cookery – the Doris Grant is a wet wholemeal mix designed to be easy to make under wartime conditions.

  4. November 28, 2012 / 1:54 am

    now this is something i absolutely will try, we really miss vogels bread, toasted with avocado, hello heaven …. our neighbours who are also kiwis bring home loaves and loaves of it back when they visit !!

  5. November 28, 2012 / 5:49 pm

    Looks very easy, which is my kind of bread. Will definitely give it a go. sorry about the spam!

  6. November 29, 2012 / 5:02 am

    that looks fresh and delicious. you must be very good.

  7. November 29, 2012 / 12:46 pm

    This looks yummy. I usually make a no knead spelt bread. Can't imagine toast and no marmite!! Hope they get it back under production soon 🙂

  8. December 5, 2012 / 7:30 am

    At least the no wheat breads are simple mix dry-mix wet and combine recipes. No hassle and keeps for ages in the fridge. Admit I do miss eating a crusty loaf.

  9. March 24, 2013 / 8:54 am

    are you using the dried active yeast, or surebake?

    • March 25, 2013 / 3:04 am

      Hi Mel, I use dried yeast (I think the brand is Mauripan?), that I buy from Moore Wilson's in Wellington. I don't use Surebake, partly because I went to a baking class with Dean Brettscheider once and he was very dismissive of it. He did, however, recommend the sachets that Ian describes below. Hope that helps!

    • March 27, 2013 / 5:39 am

      Thanks! *Waves at Ian O* "Hi Dad!" LOL.

  10. March 24, 2013 / 7:35 pm

    I find that for general purposes, Edmonds sachet yeast and Surebake are interchangable, even though the sachets have no additional ingredients. A slight edge for the sachets because they don't go off as Surebake may do if left in the frig too long.

  11. April 10, 2013 / 4:42 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! My husband LOVES vogels. We are moving overseas and I'm trying to find a similar bread to make once we go. He really likes this one and so does the rest of the family. I also like that it's so stinkin easy to make. Cheers!

  12. Anonymous
    July 22, 2013 / 7:49 am

    Hello! I'm an adopted Kiwi now living abroad and I miss Vogels soooo much! Definitely going to try this, but I have one question: Here in Sweden we use fresh yeast – I'm not even sure that you can buy dried yeast. (When I lived in Wellington I used to get fresh yeast from the bakery department at Pak'n'Save, because I just couldn't get my head around dried yeast!) Any thoughts on how to adapt this recipe/method for fresh yeast? Not so much the quantity, just how and when to add it? Cheers!

  13. Anonymous
    October 11, 2013 / 9:56 am

    I, too miss Vogels! And am planning on making this today. My question is actually about Marmite – is there some reason I missed that says I shouldn't be eating it? Thanks, Veronica

  14. Gemma
    October 7, 2014 / 10:25 pm

    I'm very late to the party here, but I just wanted to thank you for this recipe. I've gradually been shifting our food at home from processed store bought to home made, and I settled on trying this out with the intent of starting to make this regularly as our main home made bread.

    We love Vogels, and compared to many other recipes online, yours looked the easiest by far (all the others had far too many ingredients and/or had proving times which I can do but why bother when you can make it without all those steps?).

    I didn't have oats so instead of half a cup of sunflower seeds I used a full cup of mixed toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds that I happened to have made up last week. It turned out bloody delicious and it tastes EXACTLY like Vogels (I daresay better!), I just need a taller loaf tin to make a normal size loaf (all the tins I can find are only 6cm or so tall, so I made two short loaves instead of one tall one, but I'll keep an eye out for a taller tin).

    Thanks for introducing a nice easy staple to our household, unfortunately I'll probably never buy Vogels again though!

  15. Anonymous
    January 23, 2015 / 11:40 pm

    I made it. It is just poorly risen wholemeal bread, not like vogel's at all. Vogel's may be dense but it is well risen with obvious bubbles in the bread.

  16. June 5, 2016 / 11:55 pm

    I have just had breakfast with 2 slices vogel bread toasted ,buttered, with 2 poached eggs, (I forgot to ask for bacon), I will get that next time. Really delicious.

  17. Niki Neck
    August 15, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    I have just made 2 loaves in past 3 days as per recipie. 1st one was still very moist so slipped it out of the pan and out it back in oven for 15 mins. Was delicious but still a bit moist. 2nd one today I added tbspn each of chia, flax and mixed seeds from my regular bread making. 50 mins baking and then 15 mins without the tin. My tin is exactly the same width and depth and had to lengthen it as the pre rise was over flowing. Got a darker crust, but still moist inside. Still delish. What can I do to dry it out?

    • lucycorry
      August 16, 2017 / 2:17 am

      Hi Niki – maybe try reducing the liquid a little, say by 50-100ml to start with? What sort of flour are you using?

      I mainly make sourdough these days and haven’t made this one for ages, but I’ll try to make it in the weekend and see what happens.

  18. Allan Abbott
    October 11, 2017 / 1:09 am

    I followed the recipe and the bread is just out of the oven. It looks so Vogel-ish. As soon as it cools, I’ll be eating. How exciting. I made it in a loaf tin that measures 28cm x 13cm x 7 cm and it almost overflowed after the 50C rise. The loaf tin that you mentioned is 20cm x 10cm x 8cm. I looked at a few places that sell loaf tins and this size usually called “small”. I can’t see how you can get so much flour and water in such a small tin. Now I’m thinking I misunderstood. Is this supposed to make 2 loaves? Thanks. P.S. Someone gave me the Paul Hollywood breadmaking book a few years ago. Now, I’m always making all sorts of bread. Including sourdough.

    • lucycorry
      October 11, 2017 / 1:56 am

      Hi Allan – the tin I use is large, I think the tin you use sounds about right. It does overflow a bit, but not crazily. You could try making it in two smaller tins? Best of luck!

      • Allan Abbott
        October 11, 2017 / 2:18 am

        Thanks for your response. I just tried my first piece. It looks and tastes just like a Vogel’s loaf!!!!!
        Thanks for the awesome recipe.

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