The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most Recent Whole Wheat Bakes

arlo's picture

Most Recent Whole Wheat Bakes

Before I went and watched my boss's dogs and house while he was away on vacation, I managed to bake a few loaves of bread that I did not get a chance to blog about.

The first loaf was a 100% whole wheat mash bread from Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads.

Reinhart 100% Whole Wheat Mash loaf

I was rather curious about this loaf after having made a few rye breads using Hamelman's hot rye soaker technique. What I remembered from those loaves is the mash imparted a slightly sweet taste to the final loaf as if there was a touch of sugar or honey. Bwraith blogged about this bread as well seen here; Whole Wheat Mash Bread. There is no need for me to rewrite the recipe since it is available on Bwraith's blog, which he kindly supplied in his post.

I only made two changes to the loaf. I used a whole wheat starter in place of the biga, as Reinhart provides as an alternative leavening agent. Also I left out the suggested sweetener in the recipe for two reasons; I felt many of Reinhart's recipes from WGB to be far too sweet to begin with, and second because I wanted to see the potential of the mash. To my surprise I found the end loaf to have a full 'whole grain' taste which I desired, a slightly sour taste, but only a slightly sweet taste too. I half-expected the wheat mash to match the rye mashes I have dealt with before, but to my surprise it couldn't compare. Though this loaf was still very tasty. I imagine the sweetness I was looking for has to do with the more ferment-able sugars found in rye.


Reinhart 100% Whole Wheat Mash


The next loaf of bread I baked was from The Culinary Institute of America's Baking and Pastry book.


CIA Whole Wheat Levain Loaf

It was a simple whole wheat sourdough. The end product though after an over night retardation provided a very, very tasty loaf in my opinion that certainly surpassed what I was expecting. The formula and procedure follows;

Whole Wheat levain

Ingredients                         Bakers %              Weight

Bread Flour (Sir galahad)     50%                     5.4 oz

Whole Wheat Flour              50%                     5.4 oz

Water (DDT 76)                  75%                     8.1 fl oz

100% Starter *                   40%                    4.32 oz

Salt (Grey Sea Salt)            2.7%                   .3 oz


*Starter used was a 50/50 of Sir Galahad and Fresh Milled 100% Whole wheat flour. As with the whole wheat flour used in the loaf, it too was fresh milled.



1.  Combine the flours, water, sourdough and mix on low speed for about 4 minutes. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Add the salt and mix 1 minute on low and then 2 minutes on medium. Aim for a improved stage of gluten development. The dough should be slightly soft but elastic.

2.  Bulk ferment the dough until nearly doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Though it took me about 3 hours in a cold apartment. Fold gently and ferment for another hour. Fold again. Ferment for another 20 minutes.

3.  Preshape the dough into a round and let rest for 15 - 20 minutes.

4.  Gently shape the loaf into a batard or round when sufficiently relaxed.

5.  Place in a banneton lightly floured and covered with plastic overnight in the fridge to have a slow final rise.

6.  When the dough has risen, or the next morning, preheat your oven with your dutch oven or cc, or latest crazy steaming method to 470F.

7. When preheated, remove bread from retarder, load into your oven, score and cook covered (or steamed) for twenty minutes. After twenty minutes remove steaming apparatus, bake in a dry oven for 17 minutes, or until loaf registers 200F, sounds hollow when thumped or looks nice and done to you!

8. Cool completely, slice and enjoy.


CIA wholewheat crumbs


CIA wholewheat crumb

Two different loaves, but both very tasty.


breadsong's picture

Hello arlo, it sounds like your breads are very flavorful. Thanks for posting a CIA formula. The scoring on your batard looks really good and the loaf opened up nicely! from breadsong

Mebake's picture

Very Nice Looking Breads, Arlo!

ananda's picture

Hi Arlo,

I agree with your comments about avoiding further sweetening in Reinhart's recipes.   I really love the concept behind his "epoxy" breads, and think your wholewheat loaf looks a really good loaf of bread.

If the mash is not giving the sweetness you were looking for, doublecheck the following.   The mash should be held at a temperature of between 60 and 66*C for a minimum of 4 hours.   The idea of the tight temperature range is to maximise the production of fermentable sugars, and to create an ideal balance of alpha and beta amylase to create the best possible enzymatic reactions in the final dough.   It really helps to have made beer using the same mashing techniques.

That should do the trick to give you a sweeter bread

Best wishes


wally's picture

I especially like the nice crumb you achieved on the whole wheat loaf.  I haven't tried Reinhart's recipes from WGB, but I've found that the bit of honey we add to our whole wheat at work provides just a slight sweetness without going overboard.  You're right about the higher amylase levels in rye, though Andy's suggestion might give you better results.

Nice bit of experimentation!


arlo's picture

Thanks for the words of advice and comments. I held the mash in the oven for two hours before I had to call it a night. I suppose I didn't watch the temperature well enough though. I will consider it when I try it again soon.

Since I turned 21 just a few years ago, I've wanted to make my own beer but have only gone as far as brewing my own kombucha, which I love, but one day I will tackle yeasty delicious beer I hope!

And yes Larry I agree, we make three 100% whole wheat breads at work and each are sweetened with a bit of honey and I too think that the little bit of honey helps really set off that whole wheat flavor. Especially with our 100% spelt loaf.