The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help with whole wheat recipe

Justkneadit's picture

Help with whole wheat recipe

So, I attemted Peter Rienhart's Whole Wheat Bread recipe in his The Bread Baker's Apprentice, and I swear I kneaded that sucker for at least 20 mins, how do you get whole wheat to pass the window pane test?

Yerffej's picture

My simple answer is that; you do not.  I know that Reinhart calls for the window pane test on this bread but I find that all but impossible with 100% whole grain, especially coarsely milled whole grain.    I would ignore that instruction and go forth with all else that you know to be correct in working with this dough.


subfuscpersona's picture

...says TFL member kippercat in her post dated December 19, 2007

Here's her photo -

Worth the read

Yerffej's picture

The photo is of a dough made with King Arthur flour and Bob's Red Mill flour.   These are both flours that are fairly fine in their milling.   Reinhart's recipe calls for, in part,  "coarse" or "coarsely ground" whole grains.   Achieving a window pane such as the one in the picture would be quite difficult due to the bran in coarsely ground grain. 

Impossible?  Probably not, but definitely difficult and certainly not a prerequisite to a good loaf of bread. 

For someone relatively new to whole grains, I would recommend keeping your eye on a good loaf of bread and not to worry if you are unable to achieve that sort of window pane in the photo.  Some whole wheat flours are conducive to the window pane test and some are not.   Experience will teach the difference in those flours and how they behave in the mixing bowl, on the table, and in the oven.   Many a great bread has been made by bakers who never once applied the window pane test.

Happy Baking,     Jeff