The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

whole wheat

RuthieG's picture

One of our favorite sandwich loafs is a Honey Whole Wheat that my friend Annie passed along to me and has become the regular go to bread in this household.  However I am always looking for a new loaf and wanted to try the Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf  mentioned in this thread  and compare it with my regular loaf only because I love trying new recipes and have a goal of trying as many different varities as I can. 


I followed the recipe to the letter.  My belief is that before you start adding and subtracting from a recipe you need to first make it completely as is and then experiment later.  The result was a wonderful light loaf that was an immediate hit.  I usually can resist the urge to slice a hot loaf but I honestly couldn't when my husband walked in and said, "Let's sample it.  We did and it was absolutely delish.......


The rise was so beautiful and honestly when I slashed it for the oven, I knew that I could have left it to rise longer...It was almost like a small explosion.  I ended us with a slash that was probably 1/2 inch deep instead of the 1/4 that I was looking for.  I use a very sharp single edge blade made for straight razors and it was a brand new blade and made a beautiful slash.....It blossomed as I finished the slash and the obvious rise in the oven was amazing.  One loaf, see the crumb picture below, actually ended up with a weird little top puff/crowne.  (Notice loaf on the right in picture below)  The other loaf, though. had a beautiful crown/top.   I was out of real butter and had a butter/oil combination stick that I used to glaze the top.


The recipe was easy to follow, easy to knead, no adjustments at all and came out amazingly good.  It isn't better or worse than my regular Whole Wheat loaf, just different.  I would encourage you to try the recipe. 

The crumb.


I think if you try this recipe, you will not be disappointed....I certainly felt that since I had never made a blog entry, this bread was worthy of my first blog.


AlaskanShepherdess's picture

What Can and Cannot be made with Whole Grains?

March 29, 2011 - 2:08pm -- AlaskanShepherdess

I've been using whole white wheat flour for about 4 years now, 2 of which I have been grinding my own hard and soft white wheat flours. Our grinder is excellent and grinds them so fine that I cannot feel any hard "granules", all I feel is soft powderiness, like you would expect from processed storebought flour.

halimahanne's picture

Hello all!  I've been reading this site and playing with artisan breads for.. oh 6 weeks now.  Anyway, great site and great information, thanks!  

Recently I bought a cookbook called Good to the Grain which has recipes with a bunch of different flours, including brown butter scones with teff, buckwheat cookies and more.  So, being rather poor at following recipes, I decided to make something up with my stock of weird flours for extra flavors. O M G! I ate half of the first loaf the first day.  I'm not sure that I can describe the flavor...sweet and rich... thats not quite right.  But I would like to share, cuz it was so yummy.

Biga/Poolish thing:

50 g millet

70 g barley

40 g teff

170 g whole wheat

320 g water

1/8-1/4 tsp yeast

I made at night and put immediately in the fridge at 9:30 pm.

Final Dough


180 g AP

tsp yeast 

85 g water (on the warmish side to warm up the cold dough)

17 g salt (TB)


Autolyse 30 minutes without salt.  Added salt and did the French slap fold thing for maybe 5 minutes (where you pick it up bang the end on the table, stretch and fold it over).  Then I did 3-4  envelope thingys over the next 3 hours.  Shaped (not so good at that yet), rose and baked at 500 5 minutes with steam and then turned down to 450.  Not sure how long, used a thermometer  for doneness.

I want to try other breads (I have a starter in the fridge) yet I'm making this again for tomorrow! I'm addicted. Let me know what you think!  Thanks, Halimah

arlo's picture

Though I haven't posted about bread in a while, I have my reasons. No, I am still working at the bakery baking bread daily which hasn't made me bread-sick. I still am studying to complete my degree (end of this fall it looks like!) but I make time for the important things in life (like baking!). But what is keeping me away from bread is that I am working towards my American Culinary Federation Certified Pastry Chef title, which I hope to obtain this year. What that means is I have been baking a lot of genoise cakes, cookies and attempting Bavarian cream. Since those are the required pastries to be made for the practical examination.

Today, after getting off my shift I went ahead and made some molded Bavarian cream which is actually still in the fridge due to other time restrictions and appointments, but also went ahead and changed my game plan when it came to my cookies. I decided against my original molasses and oatmeal raisin cookies and went for the more familiar. Although I am still sticking with my two brownie recipes I decided. It's not that my molasses or oatmeal raisin recipe were bad, it's just I thought I should pay homage to the bakery that has taken me in and taught me so much.

I took a look at some of my aforementioned baking knowledge from working at a bakery that promotes whole grains and decided to make a two cookies using 100% whole wheat flour. They are different than what I make at the bakery by a long shot, but they remain true to using entirely whole grains.



The end result was a deliciously chewy whole wheat oatmeal cookie, and whole wheat oatmeal chocolate chip cookie! I made roughly four dozen, two and half went to my fiances work to be shared (they see lots and lots of my pastries from homemade poptarts, cakes to truffles) and the other half will be for her father, who is in the armed forces and is going overseas to the middle east again this month.

I am very pleased with the taste and texture and am glad I went with something I am familiar with. I think it will bring along confidence when it is time to step up to the plate.

BostonMaria's picture

No-Knead whole wheat and flaxseed

March 10, 2011 - 12:51pm -- BostonMaria

Hello everyone -

I took Lahey's No-Knead recipe for Pane Integral, and experimented with it a little bit. I used 2 cups of whole wheat and 1 cup bread flour and 1/4 cup of flax seed. The water, salt, and yeast amounts are the same.

Everything looked pretty much identical to the 100% bread flour recipe, but when I baked it in the Dutch oven the center of the loaf is sunken. The taste is and the crust is crunchy, but I'm not sure why the center of the bread didn't rise (or maybe it fell?).  Any ideas?

RonRay's picture

Sourdough Crackers

Previous blog:

I know that most of us, that culture wild yeast, seldom actually "discard" the discards of our sourdough. Of course, it is not unusual to hear someone new to keeping a sourdough culture remarking that they hate to have to through out the discards. And again, of course, a dozen replies of "No! Make pancakes..." or "Oh, no! Make waffles... ". Well, from now on, I will be crying "No! Make sourdough crackers.. The older the discards, the better the crackers!"

Naturally, that does assume you like sour sourdough, but the crackers are great even with "un-sour" sourdough discards, Rye Sour, etc. or even non-discarded levain as the leavening ingredient.

I came across a year old post by Sarah Wood on using your discard for whole wheat crackers. The link is:
It certainly looked simple enough, so I tried it. I am certainly glad I did, although, a batch never last very long and another few hundred calories have been ingested.

So, here is a step by step, complete with photos, Baker's percentages, some suggestions, and pointers on the ingredients and process. Even if you are not of an experimental curiosity by nature, I suspect you will have some ideas for variations you would like to try.

A small amount Sesame Oil, or Olive Oil to brush the top of the crackers and Kosher salt to sprinkle over the oiled surface will also be needed.

Substitutions of butter or lard can be made for the coconut oil, but I prefer the coconut oil, either the Extra Virgin, or the Expeller types.

Notice that I chose the ingredient amounts to exactly match the Baker's percentages. This batch size works very well for one sheet of crackers per Silpat baking sheet and a 100 grams of discards is an equally reasonable size. If you wish, make multiples of this amount and store in the fridge until you want more crackers.

I do want to mention some considerations to keep in mind when using coconut oil. Using the Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is my first choice, Expeller Coconut Oil is my second and neither one requires special consideration in a warmer kitchen, but if the kitchen temperature, or the dough temperature, is below about 78ºF ( 25.5º C) then you should either use methods to maintain the temperature of all ingredients about 78ºF ( 25.5º C) during the mixing phase, or use softened butter. Coconut oil is liquid from about the 75ºF ( 23.9º C) and above. Adding it in a mix of cold, fresh out of the fridge, levain may very well cause lumpy, difficult dough conditions. Once the full mixing is complete, this is no longer of any potential problem.

Let your finished crackers cool before placing (if any are uneaten) in an airtight container to preserve their crispness.

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oceanicthai's picture

Today's bake was a 3-seed sourdough.  I previously posted all ingredients and the method I used, and had to go, and lost it...sigh.  Next time  :)   Here's the pics...tastes lovely.


The seed soaker added extra water even after I drained it.  I can't tell if I underproofed or not.  The crust was nice but I didn't get as much vertical lift as I had hoped.  My scoring kind of just melted back into itself.  I like this a lot better than the wheat germ one, but I think next time I use wheat germ I will soak it first.  I soaked my terra cotta lid for a couple of hours before I baked it.

J.K.L.'s picture

Sourdough Bao Zi or Mantou - anyone with experience?

February 6, 2011 - 10:37pm -- J.K.L.

I am gearing up to make some sourdough Bao Zi (chinese stuffed, steamed bun). Scoured the web and there's really hardly anybody doing something like that. Most of what I found were people using a quick yeasted dough with white flour. 


I want to try a whole wheat sourdough Bao zi or Mantou (steamed bun)!! 



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