The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Wheat French Bread

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Morgon77's picture

Whole Wheat French Bread

Can anybody advise me about how to make whole wheat french bread? Obviously it would be a portion wheat, not the whole content. I've been using the French Bread recipe from "The Bread Baker's Apprentice"...should I replace the bread flour in the second portion with wheat? And I'm leaning toward the white wheat from King Arthur, rather than Graham flour. Also, do I need to presoak it at all, if so?

Floydm's picture

I'm just starting to tinker with more whole wheat breads. The rustic bread is probably the closest thing to a whole wheat french on this site. It is good, but probably not as wheaty as what you are looking for.

I don't think a presoak would be required, but it might help. I'd say give it a shot and, if you don't get what you are looking for, try again without.

Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

Why not try Mr. Reinhart's Pain de Campagne? It's 15.8% whole wheat flour, and just delicious.


bennymer's picture

I have been using this recipe lately, and it is turning out wonderfully:

1 1/4 cups warm water
about 2 tsp active dry yeast
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (organic, I don't know if that makes a difference)
up to 1 1/2 cups white flour, as needed

I let the yeast activate in the water, add the flour to make a slackish dough, then knead for around 10 minutes, followed by a 1-2 hour rise, shape the loaf, another 1-2 hour rise, slash, and bake at 450 F for 20-30 minutes. I like to spray the loaf at the beginning of baking for a crustier crust... I often double the recipe for two larger or 3 skinnier loaves.

It turns out to have a very uniform crumb, but soft and quite tasty. It is just slightly sweet tasting, maybe due to the WW flour?

I would cite the web site I took the recipe from, but I have lost the URL... sorry!

Patrick's picture

Reinhart's "Poolish Baguettes" recipe in BBA is a whole-wheat French bread. I just made some this weekend and it's great. The recipe calls for sifting the whole-wheat flour to remove most of the bran but the mesh on most sifters is too coarse. So I just used a strainer we had around the kitchen ...something like this:
...simply vibrate it back and forth to make it "sift" the flour and separate out the bran - it worked perfectly.