The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Third Time's a Charm (Adventures in Whole Wheat)

R.Acosta's picture

Third Time's a Charm (Adventures in Whole Wheat)

So after two loaves with tons of flavor, but not the rise that I was looking for, I decided to try to make up my own honey whole wheat recipe.  I know, 'tis a little ambitious for a novice whole wheat baker, but I did do a little research beforehand, and it was wildly successful!!  So here's the recipe!

Night Before:

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 cups warm water
2t yeast

Combine all ingredients together and mix until well incorporated, then cover and let sit overnight. Mine was pretty wet:

Day of:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup honey
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
2t salt
1t yeast

First, stir in honey, butter, milk, salt, and yeast until they are pretty well incorporated.  Then add your flour by the 1/2 cup.

The dough is going to be a pretty sticky mess, but that's ok. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and work it the best you can. I tried kneading, which was quite impossible, so you could almost classify this as a no-knead bread.  When I do this again I might incorporate some stretch and folds into this stage of the breadmaking process.  Anyways, shape your dough into a ball and put into an oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and let rise for 45 minutes.

Do your first stretch and fold, put the dough back in the bowl, let it rise for another 45 minutes, and then do your second stretch and fold.*

Now let the dough rise until double its original size.  Approximately 75 minutes for me.  Mine looked like this:

Now, divide your dough evenly in half and preshape into two loaves, let rest for 10 minutes.**

Then, do the final shapingof your loaves and put in oiled bread pans.  Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and let rise til doubled.  Mine only took 45 minutes.

^Those obviously aren't risen, I just snapped a quick photo before covering them for the rise.  I was a little iffy about how these would turn out (especially lefty over there.) because the surface tension just didn't seem to be there like it had before.  Anyways, I think you'll see that I had little to worry about.

Once your loaves are risen, slash them down the middle, and throw in the oven at 375F until they are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Or until they look like this!

And now for the long-awaited crumb shot:

This bread is so super soft and fluffy, the crust is not as crunchy as the other recipe (which I do miss) but it does make for great sandwich bread in that respect.  This one's going into our family cookbook :)


**for the shaping of my loaves I used this video:

*for stretching and folding, this one:


ehanner's picture

Very nice job Rachael. Your formula looks like it produced a great result.


Janetcook's picture

A great feeling to get the results you are after :-)

Your loaf looks very tasty.

Happy Baking,


R.Acosta's picture

Thanks guys!  :)