The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

whole wheat recipes

ladonohue's picture

whole wheat recipes

I am looking for a whole wheat bread recipe that yields a light soft loaf for sandwich bread. 

Also any advice on which wheat flour to use?  I am looking to buy in bulk online and the amount of options is daunting...


Ford's picture

Here is my recipe




2 3/4 cups (25 oz.) refreshed whole wheat sourdough starter (100% hydr.), at 70 to 80°F
3 3/4 cups (16 oz.) whole-wheat flour, King Arthur brand, finely milled*
4 cups (34.0 oz.) 80°F scalded milk
(1 cup [3.3 oz.] oat meal, pulverized to a flour, optional, decrease flour by 3/4 cup [3.1 oz])
1/3 cup (3.8 oz.) honey, or brown sugar, or corn syrup
~6 2/3 cups (28.5 oz.) unbleached bread flour (King Arthur brand preferred)
1/4 cup (2 oz.) melted butter (or corn oil ♥)
1 1/2 Tbs. (1 oz.) salt
1/4 cup (2 oz.) melted butter (or corn oil ♥) for brushing dough and the baked bread
~78% hydration.  ~50% whole wheat flour.  3 loaves: ~35.8 oz. each unbaked, ~33 oz. baked.
*If you use stone ground, coarsely milled, whole-wheat flour (Arrowhead Mills), then use 3 1/4 cups, still 16 oz.

For the soaker, combine the, milk, honey, whole-wheat flour, and optional oat flour in a large bowl.  Cover and let sit about one hour to soften the bran, allow the flour grains to absorb water.

For the dough, mix the soaker, the refreshed, room temperature starter, the salt, and a quarter cup of melted butter.  Blend in as much bread flour as can be mixed with a spoon.  Turn out on to a floured surface, knead well, working in only as much of the flour as to give a non-tacky dough.  The dough will not be as elastic as the white bread dough.  Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and allow to ferment for thirty to sixty minutes, then gently degas the dough by folding it on itself.

Brush melted butter around the inside of three 5”x 8” loaf pans.  Again, place the dough on the floured surface and divide into three equal parts.  Shape the dough into loaves and place them into the loaf pans.  Brush each loaf with melted butter.  Cover with plastic wrap and let them rise until the dough comes well above the top of the pans, about 2 to 3 hours.  Do not keep the dough at room temperature for long periods as the acid in the sourdough may break down the gluten strands.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Place a broiler pan of boiling water on the shelf below the baking shelf.  If desired, slash each loaf with a greased razor blade or a very sharp knife, making a quarter inch deep cut.  Spray the loaves with a mist of water and place them on the middle shelf of the oven.  Spray the loaves two more times in the oven at two-minute intervals.  After fifteen minutes, set the oven temperature to 350°F and remove the pan of water.  Bake for an additional 45 minutes or until the interior temperature of the loaf reaches 195 to 200°F.

Turn the loaves on to a cake rack and brush all sides with melted butter.  Cover with a damp paper towel.  Cover the damp towel with plastic wrap.  Allow the loaves to cool before cutting or wrapping.  The loaves may then be frozen, if desired.

I have found that as I have gained experience in handling the dough I have been able to work with slacker doughs, i. e. doughs of higher hydration.  The slacker doughs will produce a lighter loaf.   Finely milled whole wheat flour is better for lighter loaves.


JoeV's picture

Try this recipe. It's not 100% whole wheat, but it yeilds a fantastic sandwich loaf. I buy my stone ground whole wheat flour at an Amish bulk food store, but feel free to use any whole wheat flour you can get at teh grocery store to try out the recipe.

If you are looking for a 100% whole wheat loaf with softness, this is one I make as well.