The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello! And Help!

alifranroy's picture

Hello! And Help!

Hi! I'm Alice. I just joined here because I loove bread! We buy store bread alot... which is not nearly as good, but I'd like to get back into making my own sandwich bread. My only thing is, I'm watching what I eat (kind of). So, I'm in need of a recipe that meets certain requirements...

  • Whole wheat!
  • High in fiber
  • Low sugar
  • Low fat
  • High protein
Mm, I know I'm new and it's not nice to request things first off, but I'd love some help! Annd, one more thing, how do I take a white bread recipe and make it a whole wheat recipe? Do I just do it by switching the flours completely, or should I add somthing like honey?
sphealey's picture

The canonical reference here is The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. Very readable and usable from the first chapter, they also go into great detail on how to make healthy bread and convert standard recipies to whole grain.


I have two other useful books at home whose titles I can post tonight.


Just to get started, for any recipie you have you can replace butter (or any of the less-healthy fats) with an equal amount of olive oil (or even soybean oil) and up to 50% of the white flour with whole wheat (maybe adding 10% or so more water). More whole whole grain than that it is best to use specific recipes.


King Arthur's "white whole wheat" is quite nice too; you can us a lot of it without affecting the recipe or taste much but it is a whole grain.





andrew_l's picture

So do I take it, Alice, you are in the UK??!! If so, try looking at
and put in a search for wholemeal bread. You shouldn't need to add honey or anything, but perhaps slightly more water - wholemeal can absorb quite a lot! Bethesdabaker on the site has loads of goods info and a search of his name will bring up all sorts of things!!
There are a couple of good books available here in the UK which would help - Richard Bertinet's "Dough" is EXCELLENT and Dan Lepard "The Handmade Loaf" is also very good - especially if you want to make sourdough (I do!!) or use fairly wet doughs - some brilliant tips in both books about how to handle slack, wet doughs.

Happy baking! Andrew

JMonkey's picture

If you're looking for whole wheat recipes, you cannot do better than Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. I made a loaf of the Black Turtle's Raisin Bread last night -- whole wheat, black beans, blackstrap molasses and raisins. Sounds strange, I know, but the loaf is delicious!

A slightly buttery taste, though there's no butter in the recipe, with a deep sweetness from the molasses and rasins, though the amount of sweetener per slice is less than 1/4 tsp.

Here's the nutritiounal stats for a single slice:

Calories: 116

Carb: 25.6 grams

Protein: 4.3 grams

Fiber: 4 grams

Fat: 2.2 grams

Saturated Fat: 0.1 grams

This is from memory, so I'm not sure it's 100 % accurate ....

Essentially, though, the ingredients are 750 grams whole wheat flour, 2 scant cups cooked and mashed black beans, 1/4 cup canola oil, 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses, 1 Tbs salt (I think), 4 tsp yeast, 1 cup steamed or soaked raisins, 2 1/4 cups water.

Basically blend the beans and water. If you're using active dry yeast, proof it in 1/4 cup warm water. Otherwise, mix the molasses and oil with the water-bean blend, mix the dry ingredients together, and then put it all together to make a fairly wet dough.

Knead it very well -- about 600 strokes or 20 minutes by hand -- adding the raisins near the end of the kneading. Let it rise 45-1 hour, degass it and let it rise a second time. Shape into loaves, allow for the third rise and then bake at 350 degrees F for 45 mins to an hour.




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I couldn't find all the ingredients to make The Black Turtle Raisin Bread, but the bread is still a great bread!  I have to also admit that I had no scale or cups,  I used a drinking glass that I thought was about 9oz.  The Beans created the "Ooo, ahh" effect.   "What?  Beans?" 

What I did:

I soaked about one cup of beans for 24 hours changing the water twice.  Boiled and simmered them one hour, drained, then mashed while hot and allowed to cool.

I substituted Wheat flour with 13% Protein.  I think it is enriched, could even be bleached.

For Molasses, I used about 1/4 cup loosely packed dark brown cane sugar and added about 1/8 cup more water.

After I mixed up the wet and dry ingredients, I autolysed or let the dough sit covered for 30 minutes.  The kneading took one minute max.  Then worked in the raisins, Del Monty in the sealed plastic bag, clean and moist = no soaking.

The forms I bought locally were 30cm x 11cm  or 12" x 4"  but the recipe filled 1 1/2 pans, ... a little awkward.  (Oh, well.)  I just crammed some aluminum foil into the space.  Shiny pans were not the way to go.  Forty minutes into the bake, the tops were brown but the thermometer (yes, it goes everywhere with me these days) was a cool 160°F.  Something was wrong so I tipped the loaves out of the forms and put the loaves (parchment and all, yes, a tiny roll with me)  back into the oven.  I put a little foil tent on top of each one to prevent more top browning.   They stayed there on the rack utill I could see the bottoms and sides turn brown and their insides were 205°F. 

This recipe is a big hit and worth keeping.  Don't forget to bury the raisins so they don't get burnt.  Just push them inside with your finger.   No scoring needed.

The crumb is light, moist, stretchy and cake like.  Truly amazing!

Enjoying the tropics,  Mini

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Back in Austria, I haven't found turtle or black beans yet but it won't take too long.

I've made the loaf again using soaked white beans which make a good bread and to repeat, the crunb is light, moist, stretchy and cake like.  I find the buttery taste of white beans weak and would substitute melted butter for the oil.   The crumb color is lighter but the extra flavor found in turtle or black beans is a step better.

My best method has been to let the beans cook using up most of the water and just mash the beans lightly leaving no beans whole.  Blending the beans results in a very dark bread, chunks however look more like cocolate chips having more visual appeal. 

The dough benefits greatly when allowed to stand 35 minutes after combining.




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Chile via Costa Rica in a can!  (Beware of the black soybeans everywhere, they are not the same, they are smaller and taste different!)

So... I'm reformulating to make this bread using my non-sour rye/wheat sourdough starter  ... in grams.   Please stand by.