The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

AW's picture
AW

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

After much searching for a whole wheat sandwich bread that would be soft yet nutritious, my friend Ben shared this recipe with me. Ben and his mother have perfected over the years and given us some choices on substitutions for ingredients, which is so nice.

I think the texture and crumb are simply perfect. The dough can also be nicely worked up into individual soup rolls, though I have to say that I much prefer it as a sliced loaf. If you'd like a step-by-step show of this friend me on FB.

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Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

From Ben Chaffee

Makes 2 loaves (8-1/2" by 5-1/2")

1 package active dry yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast (2-1/2 tsp)

1/4 cup water

2-1/2 cups hot water

1/2 cup brown sugar (can interchange honey or molasses 1:1 for brown sugar)

3 tsp salt

1/4 cup shortening*

3 cups (374 g) stirred whole-wheat flour

5 cups (663 g) stirred all-purpose white flour           

 

  1. Soften active dry yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (110°) or compressed yeast in 1/4 lukewarm water (85°). Combine hot water, sugar, salt, and shortening; cool to lukewarm.
  2. Stir in whole-wheat flour, 1 cup of the white flour; beat well.
  3. Stir in softened yeast. Add enough of remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface; kneed till smooth and satiny (10 to 12 minutes).
  4. Shape dough in a ball; place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface.
  5. Cover; let rise in warm place till double (about 1-1/2 hours). Punch down (or fold). Cut in two portions; shape each in smooth ball. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  6. Shape into loaves.† Place them in greased 8-1/2" by 5 2-1/2" loaf pans. Cover with a damp towel. Let rise till double (about 1-1/4 hours).
  7. Bake 375° for 45 minutes. When tapped, the bottoms of the loaves should have an almost hollow sound. Cover with foil last 20 minutes, if necessary.

 

*Other fats, such as vegetable oil or butter, can be used 1:1 for the shortening.

Place dough on counter. Press out large bubbles and gently form each dough ball into a rectangle. Ensure the shortest side of the rectangle is approximately the longest size of your loaf pan (8-1/2"). Roll up the dough. Pinch the seam closed. Tuck open sides down and under. Place in loaf pan.

 

Whole Wheat Sandwich

Comments

AW's picture
AW

I make it whenever I am out of sandwich bread. The swirls are a mistake, the result of me inadvertantly incorporating a tiny bit too much flour. I prefer shortening to butter because it seems to impart a softer crumb and slightly longer keeping quality.

Marni's picture
Marni

This looks delicious!

enaid's picture
enaid

Eureka!!  Thank you AW for this recipe.  I have been trying for a long time to improve my (partial) whole wheat sandwich bread.  Since discovering this site, I have tried other recipes, baking with stone and steam, pre-fermenting, autolyse, adding salt at the end, adding more yeast, adding less yeast.  You name it, I've done it. Nothing worked satisfactory for me until I tried your recipe.  PERFECT.  A simple method, mixing and kneading by hand, just like I've always done.  No more feeding the birds and squirrels with rejects.  Now I've perfected my sandwich bread (I'll try increasing the WW flour until I have eventually have all WW) I will be more interested in expanding my horizon and taking full advantage of this wonderful site.

AW's picture
AW

Glad you had success! It is yummy. Have fun baking!

varda's picture
varda

Hi,   I was looking around for a whole wheat sandwich bread and I found this post.   So I started with your recipe and modified it and made maybe the most delicious bread I have ever managed to make.    Here is what I did.   I used the ingredients as above with the following changes:  I used 302g whole wheat starter instead of yeast, I cut the honey to 1/4 cup, I used vegetable oil instead of shortening, and I threw in 2 oz of powdered milk.   The final change was an accident.   I meant to put in the required 374 g of whole wheat flour, but instead I poured in rye.   When I figured out what I had done, I was only able to remove some of the rye, so I ended up with 135g whole wheat and 239g rye.   Then since I have been making Hamelman's various sourdough breads, I automatically went into his methods.   So I mixed for a couple of minutes, then let rise with two stretch and folds for 2 hours then shaped as two batards, and let rise for almost 2.5 hours, then cooked for 1/2 hour in my WFO (that last part is not Hamelman).   Anyhow, usually when I just mess around with bread, instead of following very specific instructions, it ends out getting thrown into the woods for the coyotes to enjoy.   But surprise, surprise, this came out both very delicious and pretty too.   Anyhow, thanks for getting me started.   I still want to make a whole wheat sandwich bread, so maybe next time I'll just follow your recipe to the letter and see how it goes.  -Varda

AW's picture
AW

Varda,

Thanks so much for sharing your variation on the original loaf! I'm so happy you had success and the will to play around. Thanks for sharing!

-Arlene

AW's picture
AW

Dear friends, I wanted to let you know that my Facebook page was hacked so the step-by-step instructions are no longer there.

AW's picture
AW

Hi all, please try refriending me on FB if you like. Had to take the page down and bring it back up again. I just reposted the pix on how to make this bread.

AW's picture
AW

Measuring

Measuring is the most likely culprit. Stir your flour in the container where you store it and then lightly put it in the cup. Take a flat knife and level it off.

  • Don't dump it from the bag
  • Don't plunge the measuring cup into the flour and level it off
  • Don't shake the flour down once it's in the cup
  • Do use a measuring cup for solids not liquids

I'm sorry I haven't yet converted this recipe to weights.

Flour type

I use King Arthur Flour, which is the best I've found over the years. I also like Old Mill.

Doubling

You'll see for sure that it has doubled. If you have a glass bowl, use that so you can clearly see. Some people use plastic containers and put a rubber band where they started so they can see how far the dough has risen. There are containers you can buy too that have markings along the side. Your kitchen might be too cold. I sometimes turn the oven on for just a couple minutes, boil a cup of hot water in the microwave. Then I turn it off the oven, set the water in the oven and put my bread in there. (You do this while you are letting your dough rise.)

Kneading

You'll know when you are done kneading because the dough will be silky-looking. It will mostly pull away from the sides of the bowl. I have step-by-step instructions if you want to friend me on FB.

Stay with the baking thing. Take a class if you are frustrated. Read Bread by Hamelman. Stick with it. You can do it!

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I baked this today.  I used a combination of molasses and honey in place of the sugar, and forgot to reduce the water proportionately.  I had to bake it longer and it was very moist, but still a good texture.  I suggest reducing the water by 1/8 cup if you use 1/4 cup liquid sweetener.

Excellent flavor!!

Thanks.

Glenn

AW's picture
AW

Hey, Glenn,

Thanks for your tip to me and all the other bakers. I really appreciate that you made time to share how you advanced the recipe! I love the idea of adding molasses. I can image that it would impart a rich, heady flavor. If you have a second to share what type of molasses you used, that would be very helpful. Also, do you think a hearty dose of flax seed would be a good accompaniment?

Thanks again,

Arlene

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Arlene--

I used Brer Rabbit brand "Mild Flavor".  It added a subtle touch of dark flavor, almost chocolatey.  

I'm not fond of flax seed (they taste a bit bitter to me), but I think toasted sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds would be a great addition.  As would toasted wheat germ.

I'm sure I'll be tweaking this recipe in the future.  My Chief Taster likes it.

Glenn

AW's picture
AW

Glenn,

I was thinking about your pumpkin seed idea while I was in the store tonight. I was already on the second proof and wished I had seen this giant bag of pumpkin seeds that was at the store BEFORE I did the second proof. And I was thinking about the oil too. What do you think of using sunflower or walnut oil as a fat in this recipe?

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Given the flavorful ingredients in this bread, I doubt one could taste the difference between different oils. I used soy bean oil (Wesson "Vegetable Oil") which has very little flavor.

I still need to try pumpkin or sunflower seeds on wheat bread.

Glenn

AW's picture
AW

That would make a world of sense. Wheat is so robust! I usually use canola oil but I have some really lovely walnut oil. Maybe I'll try it in something else. Thanks!

Amori's picture
Amori

This is a great recipe. I used only 1/4C @ Canola Oil and honey, 4 C Red Mill Whole Wheat and about 3 1/4 High gluten flour. Not sure if mine didn't rise like yours due to the alterations or pan sizes [10x6"]?

 This morning I had the best toast ever, the loaf was still soft and so yummilicious!

BTW, The FB link isn't working......

AW's picture
AW

That looks great. Yep I bet you're right about the size of the pan making a difference in the rise. You took out 3/4 cup flour and it worked? Cool. Smarter people than me might know why that is. I'm guessing it's because you used high-gluten? Whatever the case your crumb looks exactly the same as mine did though so I think you should dub yourself highly succesful. Two taps to your should and a "hey, nice JOB"! I dunno what's up with FaceBook but if you wanna friend me go for it. (Arlene Walters, Chicago). BTW this bread is fun with peanut butter and grape jelly if you want to be a healthy adult-kid. I imagine nutella or almond butter and a nice jam would be a blast of spectacular too.

Amori's picture
Amori

I'm going to friend you Arlene =-)

I had no plans to alter the recipe, the truth is, I wanted to use the last bits of WW and HGluten flour to wash the containers lol. Since I was using honey and oil, I only used 2 1/2 C of water and kept 2 C HGluten aside. I believe the extra cup of WW flour 'drank' liquids faster, preventing me from using the rest of the HGluten. The crumb is amazing! DH had BLT with avocado for lunch and  dinner. I need newer pans for this bread, the recipe is a true keeper!

Thanks, Amori.

AW's picture
AW

Bob's Red Mill has great flavor. I bet you are in for a nutty treat. Amori's turned out good so I bet yours will too! Have fun. Let us all know how it turns out!

Marni's picture
Marni

and toast and spread lightly with butter.  My variation on it came out delish!  Thanks for a great, flexible recipe.  I used white WW flour (all three cups) about 4.5 cups of all purpose, canola oil and a mix of brwon sugar, white sugar and molasses that was just greater than the 1/2 cup.  I let the WW absorb some of the water for about 10 minutes, that may be why I used less flour.  My pans are likely bigger (They are not marked and I was too lazy to measure them) but the rise was sufficient and my whole family loves it.   My pictures a re a little blurry - sorry - the crumb is great.  Thanks again, this will be regular around here.

Marni

 

PS - I think ground flax would be a nice addition.  I might also swap the white and whole wheat amounts.

Amori's picture
Amori

Marni, those are beautiful. I need to get new pans as one of them is dented. I'm going to try a bit of Vital Wheat Gluten next week as I would like to increase the WW a bit.  Why didn't I think of flax seeds? Yum!

Amori

 

AW's picture
AW

Amori,

If you up the gluten, will you share your formula? I'd love to take this recipe to a higher level of wheatiness!

Arlene

Amori's picture
Amori

I'm going to try next week, we'll see what happens.....=-)

AW's picture
AW

Marni,

Those are some lovely loaves. I'm happy you like the recipe. Happy baking to ya!

-a

purplemom4's picture
purplemom4

I have been trying to find a good wheat sandwich bread recipe - thanks.  I'm going to try making it today.  Hopefully it won't be too chilly in my house, oh who cares I'm going to try it anyway.  I love the smell (and taste) of homemade bread.

Thanks for the recipe.  I love this site - so  many bakers with great ideas.

-Vanessa

AW's picture
AW

Vanessa,

I'm glad you found what you were looking for; now the fun begins! When my kitchen is cold I turn on my oven for a couple minutes, boil 2 cups of water in the microwave, put the water in the oven, turn off the oven, and put the dough in there to keep it warm during both rises. Last weekend it was cold in Chicago, and when the loaves were in the pans for their final rise, I found I had to give them another 20 minutes. If you use the pan size I did the loaves will have a little paunch on the sides of the pan. :) Have fun today!

-Arlene

Amori's picture
Amori

After 6 loaves, this bread has new fans: Two friends, their children and my husband.

2 1/2 ts SAF yeast  [10 g]

1 Tb salt  [18 g]

1 1/2 Tb Vital Wheat gluten [last minute item]

5 C Bob's RM Whole Wheat Flour  [680 g]

2 C AP flour  [250 g]

2 3/4 C warm water  [600g]

1/4 C canola oil  [55 g]

1/4 C Organic buckheat honey  [55 g]

1/2 C additional AP flour for kneading/shaping

 

In the bowl of the KAid mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix first 8 ingredients to obtain a thick batter. Add 1 C of AP flour and continue mixing/adding flour to make a somewhat stiff but VERY pliable dough [2C].

Dust the counter lightly with flour; knead until smooth and springy. Place into a proofing container, cover and let rise until doubled in size [1 1/2 hours].

Degass and divide in half. Shape into loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Brush with egg yolk/cream mixture and cover loose with saran wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/4 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake loaves for 45 minutes. As AW mentioned, you might want to cover with foil the last 20 minutes if they start browning too soon.

AW for a Wonderful & Simple inspiration.........

AW's picture
AW

Hallelujah and pass the butter. Looks great and thanks for sharing your modifications!

purplemom4's picture
purplemom4

I haven't had time to post my results until now.  The bread was fabulous!  Thank you for sharing that recipe.  It was soft, light and airy - just how we like our sandwich bread.  I'll definitely be making this more often.

-Vanessa

AW's picture
AW

Hi Vanessa. Thanks for sharing your happy results. I like my sandwich bread light too!  If you ever doing alternate versions and feel like sharing I'd love to know what you did to make it better. In fact, you make me wonder if we could turn it into a pain de mie. Anyway, happy sandwich-makin'! :)

RuthieG's picture
RuthieG

I have a wonderful Honey Whole Wheat that I make often but I am always open for a new version or a new bread so I just set this recipe to proof........Looking forward to tasting it........Thanks

AW's picture
AW

If you'd like to, Ruthie, share your recipe here. We all love to play. I know I'd love to try yours.

RuthieG's picture
RuthieG

A friend psted it on another site that I read so it is not really mine.  I can just verify that it's a wonderful bread....Very similar to this one or probably any ww Sandwich loaf.  but thanks to my friend Annie, I'd be happy to share it......I can't say where she got it from......although I admit that I have made it with brown sugar and more or less my own mixture of flour...It's never failed me yet.I have made it also by just tossing it all in the mixer or the bread machine without all the heating up....

HONEY WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
INGREDIENTS:
• 3 cups all purpose flour
• 3 cups whole wheat flour
• 2 pkg. active dry yeast
• 2 tsp. salt
• 1 cup milk
• 1 cup water
• 1/2 cup honey
• 3 Tbsp. oil
• 1 egg
PREPARATION:
In large bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, the yeast, and salt and mix well.
In saucepan, heat milk, water, honey, and oil until a thermometer reads 120-130 degrees F (warm)
Add liquid mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine. Beat this batter for 3 minutes. Then, gradually stir in rest of whole wheat flour and enough remaining all-purpose four to form a firm dough.
Sprinkle work surface with flour and knead dough, adding more flour if necessary, for 5-8 minutes until smooth and satiny. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning the dough in the bowl to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour, until double in bulk.
Punch down dough and divide into 2 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll or press each piece of dough to a 14x7" rectangle. Starting with shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll with each turn. Pinch edges and ends to seal and place dough, seam-side down, into greased 9x5" bread pans, making sure short ends of bread are snugly fitted against the sides of the pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until the dough fills the corners of the pans and is double in bulk, 30-40 minutes.
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, until bread is golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. I like to brush the bread with butter when it's still hot from the oven for a softer crust.

 

Here's a picture of the bread in the original posted recipe of this thread...I got a weird oven spring from the slash but it tastes wonderful.....My Husband agrees that it is another good one......I suspect that it was just a little under proofed and that caused the funny "large" slash.


 

AW's picture
AW

Ruthie, That looks so, so good. I actually love the "weird slash from the oven spring." The deep scoring and your lovely wash remind me of some of the buttertop loaves my grandmother used to make. She taught me the basics while I stood on the step-stool watching her and throwing in tiny fists of flour at her request. So (as you can tell) I have a deep love for this loaf. My grandmother scoffed at perfectionists and strove for sustenance. I suppose that comes from surviving a depression. I love that you made this for your family. Thanks for sharing it with us so we can share it with ours. :)

-Arlene

RuthieG's picture
RuthieG

Thanks AW the slashes were actually deeper than I intended but I had just opened a new blade and guess I was not thinking about it too much and made a hefty slash.  Since the oven spring was so much, it is probably just as well that I had a good slash.

 

The bread was soft and delicious...not better or worse than my usual WW loaf, just different......that's what I love about baking bread........no two or alike, even using the same recipe they just might not be........

rosiePearl's picture
rosiePearl

Thank you SO much for this!  I've made about 50 loaves of whole wheat and this is the first one that's actually real bread.  I really love the roll-up instruction before putting the dough in the loaf pan, too; it makes such a difference.  (I was idiotically trying to form the dough into the proper shape before, but it would always shrink and I'd have to stretch it, and would shrink again.  What a dope!  The rectangle-fold method is so great.)

Anyway, I've been fine with all kinds of other breads, but whole wheat was really tripping me up.  You've given me a keeper at last, and thank you once again!  Delicious.

AW's picture
AW

Dear rosiePearl,

It sounds like you're on a roll! Congratulations on your success. Your comments made me feel great especially  the one about how well the instructions worked for you. I'm a writer by trade so that is particularly meaningful to me. :) Have fun!

AW's picture
AW

Carll,

I'm glad you had success with the loaf. If you try the recipe with less sweetener, would you let me know how it turns out? I am trying to reduce my sugar and dairy intake and would love to know how this recipe can be made better.

Davidkatz's picture
Davidkatz

Kids love it!

Thanks

AW's picture
AW

David, I'm so glad your children are enjoying the bread. Thank you for letting me know. I'm happy they'll be getting delicious whole grains in their tummies.

 

rosiePearl's picture
rosiePearl

Still making this wonderful bread, 2 years later!  Two loaves are about to go in the oven in about 10 mins.


Thank you, thank you....

AW's picture
AW

RosiePearl,

Thanks for making time to drop me this note. I am so happy you are enjoying making this bread. I feel the same way. Lately I've been playing around the crust. So far I'm enjoying the shiny deep golden brown crust as described by Rose Beranbaum: http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/recipes/bread/.