The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

100% whole wheat bread

Mebake's picture

Yesterday, i was meaning to bake Hansjoakim's (a TFL member) Pain au levain with Rye sour, but changed my plans at the last moment. I stared at the Ripe Rye sour sitting in the bowl and thought of possible alternatives to my intitial recipe. I wanted a 100% wholegrain bread so I browsed through the bread books i have and found that most recipes needed a soaker of some kind, which i had none. I decided to improvise and bake some bread with my whole wheat and whole rye flours. I weighed the sour and calculated the required flour and water to arrive at a medium loose consistency dough at 75% hydration. It is 22% fermented flour, all of which is whole Rye flour.



412 grams Rye sour (200g water, 200g Whole Rye flour, 12g rye starter)


700 grams Whole Wheat flour (finely ground)

480 grams water

Starter above

1.5 Table spoon salt

Total Dough weight: 1605 grams 

I mixed all the ingredients incuding salt using my mixer, made a dough of medium softness, rested it for 5 minutes, and finished mixing it at speed 2. The dough was rounded and left to ferment for 2 hours. The dough fermented very slowly, if at all, and on hour 3 i lost all hope and knew that it would be an unpleasently sour bread had i left it to ferment more. I have learned yesterday that a rye sour will not do quite well with wholewheat flour, as opposed to white wheat flour (as is the case with Hans' recipe - which contains some rye flour in the final dough too).

I decided to add instant yeast, and i'm glad that i did. I spread the dough to a rectangle and dissolved 3 tsp of IDY in water and poured it on top of the dough, i then kneaded the yeast in until it diappeared.  The bread rose in 1.5 hours, shaped and fermented for 1.5 hours in my bread pan.

The bread's crumb is medium soft, and the crumb is soft and slightly moist. the flavor is very good, with a nice sour tang with each bite. The Rye sour really came through

A really good save, and a lovely wholesome result.




dmsnyder's picture

I am gradually aclimating to retirement. I still get twinges Sunday nights in anticipation of a non-existant Monday patient schedule. But this week I broke the thought habit of baking being exclusively a weekend activity. Maybe I over-compensated, but I don't think so.

Tuesday evening, I activated my starter and I put up a bulgar soaker and a whole wheat poolish in preparation for a Wednesday bake of my favorite 100% Whole Wheat Bread, the one in BBA.

100% Whole Wheat Bread 

100% Whole Wheat Bread crumb

This is probably my favorite bread for almond butter on toast, BLT's and Tuna Salad sandwiches. We had all of these this week.

Wednesday evening, I fed the starter at 100% hydration for Thursday's bake of San Joaquin Sourdoughs and started on txfarmer's 36+ hour baguettes for a Friday bake.

San Joaquin Sourdough Breads

This bread is good with everything. We had some with almond butter, more with penne with butternut squash, sage and hazelnuts and more with a salad lunch.

Thursday evening, I mixed a firm levain for Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat. Txfarmer's baguette dough was mixed, fermented and refrigerated.

We were invited to some friends' home for dinner Friday. The response to "What can we bring?" was not hard to guess. This morning, the baguettes and Pain au Levain for dinner tonight got baked.

Baguette Crust

Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat crust

Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Crumb

 I have the walnuts toasted for Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread.

To top off the week, my son, Joel, sent me a photo of the latest bagels he and 3-year old Sasha made this week, and he expressed some interest in "trying" to bake sourdough breads. I'll take him some starter when we visit in November. What fun!

It's just that I can't figure how I ever had time to "work."


mikeone's picture

My Bread & Buns.

This is my best bread I have ever made.

This is what you would need to make it.

One large bowl one jug.



1 ½ Lbs white bread flour

1 Tablespoon vital wheat flour

1 teaspoon Xanthan gum

1 ½ teaspoon quick yeast

2 teaspoons of sugar

1 ½ oz butter

4 cups of milk

1 ½ salt

2 Eggs

This bread is what you would buy in your bakery.

Soft and really tasty.

I use a stand mixer no kneading just shape and let it double in size.


In your large bowl put in your flour, vital wheat flour,

xanthan gum, yeast ,sugar, salt.


In your jug put in milk, butter and put this in microwave for

1 ½ mins beat eggs in to this if finger hot.

Add this to your mixer in three parts not all at a time.

Mix on setting 3 for about 4 mins.

Place on floured bored shape let rise about 30 mins

or doubled in size


bake in oven on gas 6 buns about 25 30 mins bread about 40 45 mins


















Serial Griller's picture

I would like larger loaves

April 17, 2012 - 3:50pm -- Serial Griller

I just made  two loaves of 100% whole wheat bread from Peter Reinharts book "The Bread Bakers Apprentice. I'm very happy with the way they turned out except I would like larger loaves for sandwiches. I baked them in a 8-1/2 x 4-1/2" pans. I live at elevation 6700 ft if that matters.

How do I make the recipe larger for a 9x5 pans or 10x 5 pan?

Thanks in Advance.


bryoria's picture

Thanks to the advice I received on my last post, I thought I'd try the Buttermilk Bread from the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.  What a difference from the oatmeal bread of the other day!

I made the dough exactly to formula, using the larger amount of butter (50 grams) and my own home-milled whole wheat flour which had been aged and stored in the freezer for the past 2 months.  The buttermilk was store-bought, whole buttermilk (3.25% fat).  I didn't amend any of the liquid or flour amounts.  The dough was beautifully soft and pliable, as-is. 

Instead of kneading for 20 minutes by hand (!), I mixed the dough in my stand mixer for about 8 minutes, give or take.  There was a short break in the middle where I had to help one of my kids tend to an injury, but it was only a few minutes.  I then kneaded the dough for another minute or so by hand, just because it was so lovely to work with and I had to get my hands into it.

After that, let it rise for about 2.5 hours in the oven with the lights on to make it warm, giving it a stretch and fold twice in that time. 

I decided to make dinner rolls instead of loaves, so divided the dough into two portions.  One of the portions I made into 12 rolls, and the other into 15 rolls.  I put the rolls into two 9x13 metal pans that I had greased lightly with solid butter.  I let the rolls rise for about 40 minutes in the microwave (trying to keep them out of drafts - we have a bit of a blizzard happening outside) until they were all touching nicely. 

I baked them for 15 minutes in a 400F oven.  I pulled the pan of 15 out right away, and let the pan of 12 bake for another 2 minutes.  The centre of the centre roll measured about 195 F when they came out and they were all beautifully browned: 

I brushed them with melted butter, just because the book suggested it and I'd never tried that before.  It made the rolls shiny and softened the tops:

I confess I didn't wait for full cooling to tear one open.  It was incredibly soft and tender.  This recipe was a huge difference from the previous Oatmeal Bread.  Can't wait until supper!

kathunter's picture

I made my bread dough for a wheat bread using my bread machine. After the kneed cycle I kneaded the dough just enough to shape it and put into a bread pan. It rose very nicely! I spread a little bit of butter on top then into the oven to bake at 350. The bread then flattened out unevenly, even!  What happened?  Suggestions appreciated.


Breadless in Seattle

neeraj2608's picture

Whole Wheat Bread Raw from Bottom

September 15, 2011 - 11:40am -- neeraj2608

Hello all,

This is my first post on The Fresh Loaf. I've been a regular (unregistered) visitor to the site for a couple of months and I've learned a lot about bread from these forums, so a quick thank you to all you helpful people out there.

Anyway, here's my problem: no matter what I do, my bread always comes out slightly raw at the bottom and the lower halves of the sides.

dmsnyder's picture

The 100% Whole Wheat Bread from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice has been one of my favorite breads for years. I love it for it's delicious honey-wheat flavor. However, it often comes out with a dense, cake-like crumb. In April, I tried making this bread using a more intensive mix, as demonstrated by txfarmer. (See Light and fluffy 100% Whole Wheat Bread) I did, indeed, achieve a less dense, more open crumb. But I felt there was some loss of flavor due to oxidation of carotenoids. 

It is difficult to make a 100% whole wheat bread with a light, airy crumb. The pieces of bran in the flour act like little knives, cutting the gluten strands that give bread crumb its “structure.” I had heard of flour mills that grind the bran to a finer consistency after it has been separated during the normal milling process and then add the fine-ground bran back in, along with the other wheat components that re-constitute “whole wheat” flour. The smaller bran particles do less damage to the developing gluten during mixing.

Central Milling makes such a flour, and brother Glenn recently got some for me at CM's Petaluma warehouse. Today, I used CM's “Organic Hi-Protein Fine” whole wheat flour to make the Whole Wheat Bread from BBA. I followed the formula and procedures in my April 2, 2011 blog entry with one exception: I only mixed the dough for 12 minutes at Speed 2.


The first difference in the bread was the wonderfulness of its aroma. I can't say it was different in quality, but it just filled the house as never before. When the bread was cool and sliced, the crumb structure was even more open than I got with intensive mixing. The bread is chewy like a good white loaf and not at all cakey or crumbly. The flavor is delicious. I can't really say it is better than the flavor I've gotten with either home-milled flour or KAF Organic Whole Wheat flour, but the combination of crumb structure, texture and flavor was remarkable.


I am now eager to try using this flour with other breads, for example the Tartine "Basic Country Bread." Stay tuned.


Submitted to YeastSpotting


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