The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Wheat French Bread

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.