The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

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AW's picture
AW

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

After much searching for a whole wheat sandwich bread that would be soft yet nutritious, my friend Ben shared this recipe with me. Ben and his mother have perfected over the years and given us some choices on substitutions for ingredients, which is so nice.


I think the texture and crumb are simply perfect. The dough can also be nicely worked up into individual soup rolls, though I have to say that I much prefer it as a sliced loaf. If you'd like a step-by-step show of this friend me on FB.


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Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread


From Ben Chaffee


Makes 2 loaves (8-1/2" by 5-1/2")


1 package active dry yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast (2-1/2 tsp)


1/4 cup water


2-1/2 cups hot water


1/2 cup brown sugar (can interchange honey or molasses 1:1 for brown sugar)


3 tsp salt


1/4 cup shortening*


3 cups (374 g) stirred whole-wheat flour


5 cups (663 g) stirred all-purpose white flour           

 

  1. Soften active dry yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (110°) or compressed yeast in 1/4 lukewarm water (85°). Combine hot water, sugar, salt, and shortening; cool to lukewarm.
  2. Stir in whole-wheat flour, 1 cup of the white flour; beat well.
  3. Stir in softened yeast. Add enough of remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface; kneed till smooth and satiny (10 to 12 minutes).
  4. Shape dough in a ball; place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface.
  5. Cover; let rise in warm place till double (about 1-1/2 hours). Punch down (or fold). Cut in two portions; shape each in smooth ball. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  6. Shape into loaves.† Place them in greased 8-1/2" by 5 2-1/2" loaf pans. Cover with a damp towel. Let rise till double (about 1-1/4 hours).
  7. Bake 375° for 45 minutes. When tapped, the bottoms of the loaves should have an almost hollow sound. Cover with foil last 20 minutes, if necessary.

 

*Other fats, such as vegetable oil or butter, can be used 1:1 for the shortening.

Place dough on counter. Press out large bubbles and gently form each dough ball into a rectangle. Ensure the shortest side of the rectangle is approximately the longest size of your loaf pan (8-1/2"). Roll up the dough. Pinch the seam closed. Tuck open sides down and under. Place in loaf pan.

 

Whole Wheat Sandwich

Comments

AW's picture
AW

I make it whenever I am out of sandwich bread. The swirls are a mistake, the result of me inadvertantly incorporating a tiny bit too much flour. I prefer shortening to butter because it seems to impart a softer crumb and slightly longer keeping quality.

nbrinkles's picture
nbrinkles

Until today I have never been able to make a decent loaf of bread. It's actually a running joke in my family at this point. I always mess something up and we always end up eating bricks of tasteless, dry bread. I made this awesome recipe today but I made three mistakes/changes- first, I had to use coconut oil because it's the only oil I had and my car is buried under a lot of snow and I was just too lazy to go buy shortening. Second, I re-read the instructions and thought it said to punch the dough down twice and let it rise twice. I nearly cried when I realized you meant just once. I also mindlessly added vital wheat gluten because I just hoped it would help. Despite my changes and mistakes the bread turned out so tasty. I am amazed. This is just about a foolproof recipe. You're today's hero :) Next time I'll follow your instructions to the letter!

AW's picture
AW

You must have felt great that you had success. I'm so happy this helped you turn a corner.


Your family will have to change the running joke to something about how you give your bread the 1, 2 punch. :) Clearly you have great insincts on ingredient substitutions. If you make it with the other types of fat let me know if you prefer the coconut oil or the ones I posted here. I'd be interested in knowing.


If I have an unbusy day one of these days, perhaps I can do some variations for this recipe based on everyone's amazing feedback.


Thanks for making time to let me know how it went for you!

nbrinkles's picture
nbrinkles

The bread has turned out great each of the four times I've made it. The shortening works just as well as the coconut oil I think. Perhaps the oil produces a bit more sponge but hardly noteworthy. Though I do prefer the coconut oil for health reasons, it is a lot more expensive. I made hamburger buns from one batch by forming 12 balls and placing them on a greased cookie sheet to rise and then baking for 15 minutes. A bit more dense than your typical bun but tasty nonetheless. Thanks again!

Marni's picture
Marni

This looks delicious!

TCinAZ's picture
TCinAZ

Just made this and am eating it now. Wonderful bread; it turned out great! Now off to give some to my friends.

AW's picture
AW

I'm glad you liked it. BTW, it freezes beautifully.

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Hello AW.


I followed this recipe but converted it to sourdough.  I made 200g sandwich rolls and they are great!!! Popped them out of the oven late last night and now they are almost gone.  Think I will make this my everyday table WW bread.


Thank you for sharing. 


Faith

AW's picture
AW

When you have a second, Faith, would you please tell me how to do the conversion? I have a nice culture I'd like to use for this but I don't understand how.


Thank YOU!


Arlene

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

HI Arlene,


Basically you don't use commercial yeast just use your starter.  I keep a large mass of pre-fermented dough so my method is a bit different.  But I would build your starter just as you would for any other sourdough bread and use the amounts indicated in the formula.  Just leave out the yeast.  As you know expect longer proof times when working with sourdough.  My 200g loaves did nice final on a 10 hour proof.


I will be baking this again tomorrow this way there will be plenty of sandwich bread for the work week.


This was a big hit for the friends I use to enable my bread addiction.  Bread junkies!!! 


If you need help on how to build your starter just ask.


Faith

enaid's picture
enaid

Eureka!!  Thank you AW for this recipe.  I have been trying for a long time to improve my (partial) whole wheat sandwich bread.  Since discovering this site, I have tried other recipes, baking with stone and steam, pre-fermenting, autolyse, adding salt at the end, adding more yeast, adding less yeast.  You name it, I've done it. Nothing worked satisfactory for me until I tried your recipe.  PERFECT.  A simple method, mixing and kneading by hand, just like I've always done.  No more feeding the birds and squirrels with rejects.  Now I've perfected my sandwich bread (I'll try increasing the WW flour until I have eventually have all WW) I will be more interested in expanding my horizon and taking full advantage of this wonderful site.

AW's picture
AW

Glad you had success! It is yummy. Have fun baking!

fethiye's picture
fethiye

Just made this, and it is great. I was worried that the yeast amount may not be enough, but no worries. Everything turned out right.


I used bread flour, instead of ap.  And Kitchen Aid to do the mixing.

AW's picture
AW

I'm so glad you tried it and like it!

fethiye's picture
fethiye

You mentioned it freezes well. Do you slice before freezing (that's my dad's method) or put it unsliced?


Also, what do you wrap it with, to keep in the freezer?


How do you keep it otherwise, in room temperature or fridge. Do you use anything special to cover, ziplock bags?


Thank you again, it really is a good bread.

AW's picture
AW

I freeze it in the bread bags I bought from King Arthur Flour.


http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/single-bread-bags


They are a heavy gauge of plastic so I suspect that's why I didn't get any freezer burn. I put the loaf in unsliced and bring it to room temperature. This type of bread is fine kept in a plastic bag. Since there is fat (shortening or oil) in the dough you don't need to leave it out to ensure you maintain a crisp crust quality.


I'm really happy you like it.

midwest baker's picture
midwest baker

I'm going to make this right away. Thank you for the recipe!

AW's picture
AW

I hope you enjoy it! I'm in the midwest too. These days we shouldn't have to worry about it being to cold to get a rise outta our bread. :)

midwest baker's picture
midwest baker

I'm in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I started a blog for kicks if you want to check it out.


midwestbaker.blogspot.com

AW's picture
AW

I like your blog. Thanks for sharing it. Maybe I can try your oat bread next time I bake a loaf!


Thanks, Arlene

Trialer70's picture
Trialer70

Another excellent source for plastic bags of all sizes for bread storage and freezing is http://www.uline.com/Grp_4/Poly-Bags-Gusseted  I get the 2-mil thickness and haven't had any problem with freezer burn.  I do wrap the bread in foil and then put it in the plastic bag with a twist tie.  You can get about any size, length and width bag you wish.  I have purchased a couple of different sizes for both my big rounds and loaf breads.  The service from this company is excellent and their phone support is also excellent.

AW's picture
AW

Hi Trailer70,


Are these food-safe? I would love to support Uline, especially they are local for me, but I have yet because I could not tell whether or not their bags were safe for food storage. Thanks a million for the tip.


-Arlene

varda's picture
varda

Hi,   I was looking around for a whole wheat sandwich bread and I found this post.   So I started with your recipe and modified it and made maybe the most delicious bread I have ever managed to make.    Here is what I did.   I used the ingredients as above with the following changes:  I used 302g whole wheat starter instead of yeast, I cut the honey to 1/4 cup, I used vegetable oil instead of shortening, and I threw in 2 oz of powdered milk.   The final change was an accident.   I meant to put in the required 374 g of whole wheat flour, but instead I poured in rye.   When I figured out what I had done, I was only able to remove some of the rye, so I ended up with 135g whole wheat and 239g rye.   Then since I have been making Hamelman's various sourdough breads, I automatically went into his methods.   So I mixed for a couple of minutes, then let rise with two stretch and folds for 2 hours then shaped as two batards, and let rise for almost 2.5 hours, then cooked for 1/2 hour in my WFO (that last part is not Hamelman).   Anyhow, usually when I just mess around with bread, instead of following very specific instructions, it ends out getting thrown into the woods for the coyotes to enjoy.   But surprise, surprise, this came out both very delicious and pretty too.   Anyhow, thanks for getting me started.   I still want to make a whole wheat sandwich bread, so maybe next time I'll just follow your recipe to the letter and see how it goes.  -Varda

AW's picture
AW

Varda,


Thanks so much for sharing your variation on the original loaf! I'm so happy you had success and the will to play around. Thanks for sharing!


-Arlene

AW's picture
AW

Dear friends, I wanted to let you know that my Facebook page was hacked so the step-by-step instructions are no longer there.

alsek's picture
alsek

Thanks so much for the recipe. I made two loaves today and am extremely pleased with the results. One loaf is in the freezer, the other we'll use for sandwiches this week. First time I've made whole wheat bread !

AW's picture
AW

I'm so happy it turned out well for you. It's funny how such a small thing, like preparing food for the week, can make one feel so good! I always feel a little better when I just make one little thing for the week. Somehow I feel more relaxed. Anyway, I hope your week is great.


-Arlene

AW's picture
AW

Hi all, please try refriending me on FB if you like. Had to take the page down and bring it back up again. I just reposted the pix on how to make this bread.

martemom's picture
martemom

Hi, I'm a total newbie at bread baking. I have only made the "Healthy Bread in 5 minutes a day" whole wheat bread recipe until last weekend when I decided to try and make bread that required kneading. The 5 minute bread recipe was OK but a little dense and not in a sandwich loaf form. So I made this recipe. It was a lot more dense than that 5 minute recipe. I think the problem could be any number of things-


1) the type of wheat flour I'm using


2) the amount of time I'm letting the bread rise (sometimes I don't think I let it sit long enough to rise the 1st or second time, because I am not experienced enough to eyeball it and know for sure that it has "doubled" in size etc.)


3) I didn't knead it enough (I used the kitchen aid to knead, how do I know when it's done?)


4) my house is too cold. It's winter here in WI and sometimes the house is a chilly 62 degrees F (but not always)


5) ?????


Anyone patient enough to address these issues? I'd love to know what the most likely reason is for a dense loaf. It feels so heavy. It tastes good though!


Thanks in advance.

AW's picture
AW

Measuring


Measuring is the most likely culprit. Stir your flour in the container where you store it and then lightly put it in the cup. Take a flat knife and level it off.



  • Don't dump it from the bag

  • Don't plunge the measuring cup into the flour and level it off

  • Don't shake the flour down once it's in the cup

  • Do use a measuring cup for solids not liquids


I'm sorry I haven't yet converted this recipe to weights.


Flour type


I use King Arthur Flour, which is the best I've found over the years. I also like Old Mill.


Doubling


You'll see for sure that it has doubled. If you have a glass bowl, use that so you can clearly see. Some people use plastic containers and put a rubber band where they started so they can see how far the dough has risen. There are containers you can buy too that have markings along the side. Your kitchen might be too cold. I sometimes turn the oven on for just a couple minutes, boil a cup of hot water in the microwave. Then I turn it off the oven, set the water in the oven and put my bread in there. (You do this while you are letting your dough rise.)


Kneading


You'll know when you are done kneading because the dough will be silky-looking. It will mostly pull away from the sides of the bowl. I have step-by-step instructions if you want to friend me on FB.


Stay with the baking thing. Take a class if you are frustrated. Read Bread by Hamelman. Stick with it. You can do it!

martemom's picture
martemom

I was plunging the measuring cup, that may be my problem. Also, "stirring" the flour was confusing and I did it wrong. Thank you! I have a "warming zone" (a 5th burner on the stovetop) that I can put on to keep my stovetop warm but not too hot while my bread rises. One problem I had was that the dough didn't ever look "silky" as described by many online. I think it was the whole wheat flour. I bought new flour today from the neigbhorhood co-op. It's organice whole wheat I bought in bulk, but I didn't note the brand. If you ever get around to converting the measurements that would be great, I do have a digital kitchen scale. Thanks so much for all your tips! I will defnitely not give up. One of my New Year's resolutions was "never buy another loaf of bread". Almost $4 a loaf x 2 loaves a week is making my wallet hurt!

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I baked this today.  I used a combination of molasses and honey in place of the sugar, and forgot to reduce the water proportionately.  I had to bake it longer and it was very moist, but still a good texture.  I suggest reducing the water by 1/8 cup if you use 1/4 cup liquid sweetener.


Excellent flavor!!


Thanks.


Glenn

AW's picture
AW

Hey, Glenn,


Thanks for your tip to me and all the other bakers. I really appreciate that you made time to share how you advanced the recipe! I love the idea of adding molasses. I can image that it would impart a rich, heady flavor. If you have a second to share what type of molasses you used, that would be very helpful. Also, do you think a hearty dose of flax seed would be a good accompaniment?


Thanks again,


Arlene

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Arlene--


I used Brer Rabbit brand "Mild Flavor".  It added a subtle touch of dark flavor, almost chocolatey.  


I'm not fond of flax seed (they taste a bit bitter to me), but I think toasted sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds would be a great addition.  As would toasted wheat germ.


I'm sure I'll be tweaking this recipe in the future.  My Chief Taster likes it.


Glenn

AW's picture
AW

Glenn,


I was thinking about your pumpkin seed idea while I was in the store tonight. I was already on the second proof and wished I had seen this giant bag of pumpkin seeds that was at the store BEFORE I did the second proof. And I was thinking about the oil too. What do you think of using sunflower or walnut oil as a fat in this recipe?

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Given the flavorful ingredients in this bread, I doubt one could taste the difference between different oils. I used soy bean oil (Wesson "Vegetable Oil") which has very little flavor.


I still need to try pumpkin or sunflower seeds on wheat bread.


Glenn

AW's picture
AW

That would make a world of sense. Wheat is so robust! I usually use canola oil but I have some really lovely walnut oil. Maybe I'll try it in something else. Thanks!

nbrinkles's picture
nbrinkles

I just enjoyed a warm slice of this week's sandwich bread, one loaf of which a made into cinnamon bread. After rolling the bread out to shape the loaf I generously coated it with melted butter then spread cinnamon sugar over the butter before rolling it up jellyroll style. I had a bit of trouble sealing the seam and ends because of the butter but did manage to get a pretty tight closure. I baked it as usual and it turned out beautifully. Perfect for another snow storm here in Michigan!

AW's picture
AW

nbrinkles,


Thanks for telling me about your cinnamon bread success. I'll try this on my next time around with this recipe. Like you, I took advantage of this cold, rainy day to make a couple loaves. (I have them in the oven right now!)

AW's picture
AW

nbrinkles,


Did you take a picture of your bread? I would love to see it. If not this time, maybe next?


-Arlene

nbrinkles's picture
nbrinkles

The rise isn't as great as it could be as I used all WW flour and it's quite cold in my house. The loaf only lasted a day and a half so I don't think it affected the flavor too much :)


 


Thanks for asking!

AW's picture
AW

That is so nice. I love it.

Amori's picture
Amori

Not sure how did I miss this pretty loaf... Gorgeous nbrinkles!

Amori's picture
Amori

This is a great recipe. I used only 1/4C @ Canola Oil and honey, 4 C Red Mill Whole Wheat and about 3 1/4 High gluten flour. Not sure if mine didn't rise like yours due to the alterations or pan sizes [10x6"]?


 This morning I had the best toast ever, the loaf was still soft and so yummilicious!



BTW, The FB link isn't working......

AW's picture
AW

That looks great. Yep I bet you're right about the size of the pan making a difference in the rise. You took out 3/4 cup flour and it worked? Cool. Smarter people than me might know why that is. I'm guessing it's because you used high-gluten? Whatever the case your crumb looks exactly the same as mine did though so I think you should dub yourself highly succesful. Two taps to your should and a "hey, nice JOB"! I dunno what's up with FaceBook but if you wanna friend me go for it. (Arlene Walters, Chicago). BTW this bread is fun with peanut butter and grape jelly if you want to be a healthy adult-kid. I imagine nutella or almond butter and a nice jam would be a blast of spectacular too.

Amori's picture
Amori

I'm going to friend you Arlene =-)


I had no plans to alter the recipe, the truth is, I wanted to use the last bits of WW and HGluten flour to wash the containers lol. Since I was using honey and oil, I only used 2 1/2 C of water and kept 2 C HGluten aside. I believe the extra cup of WW flour 'drank' liquids faster, preventing me from using the rest of the HGluten. The crumb is amazing! DH had BLT with avocado for lunch and  dinner. I need newer pans for this bread, the recipe is a true keeper!


Thanks, Amori.

Maya1's picture
Maya1

So glad to know that this recipe is foolproof. Saw Red Mill's on sale yesterday on my way to get some. Thanks!

AW's picture
AW

Bob's Red Mill has great flavor. I bet you are in for a nutty treat. Amori's turned out good so I bet yours will too! Have fun. Let us all know how it turns out!

Marni's picture
Marni

and toast and spread lightly with butter.  My variation on it came out delish!  Thanks for a great, flexible recipe.  I used white WW flour (all three cups) about 4.5 cups of all purpose, canola oil and a mix of brwon sugar, white sugar and molasses that was just greater than the 1/2 cup.  I let the WW absorb some of the water for about 10 minutes, that may be why I used less flour.  My pans are likely bigger (They are not marked and I was too lazy to measure them) but the rise was sufficient and my whole family loves it.   My pictures a re a little blurry - sorry - the crumb is great.  Thanks again, this will be regular around here.


Marni



 



PS - I think ground flax would be a nice addition.  I might also swap the white and whole wheat amounts.

Amori's picture
Amori

Marni, those are beautiful. I need to get new pans as one of them is dented. I'm going to try a bit of Vital Wheat Gluten next week as I would like to increase the WW a bit.  Why didn't I think of flax seeds? Yum!


Amori


 

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