The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help! I keep making Whole Wheat Bricks!

stephanienola's picture

Help! I keep making Whole Wheat Bricks!

Hi Y'all,

I'm pretty new to breadmaking and I have a Panasonic Bread Maker that I've been happy with so far making nice loaves, and doughs for pita, pizza, and focaccia, but I've thrown away 4 loaves of 100% whole wheat bread that came out like dense bricks!  Does anyone have a good recipe out there for a nice light fluffy soft 100% whole wheat bread that works for the Panasonic? Here's what the latest one that i tried - I'm also including the rest and knead times.

3/4 cup of water

3/4 cup of milk

2 tablespoons Canola oil

1/4 cup light molasses

4 cups whole wheat flour (I used King Aurthur's 100% Whole Wheat)

3 tablespoons Gluten

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon bread machine yeast

I place all the ingredients in order - dry first, then wet, and yeast goes in the yeast cup on top. I choose the whole wheat cycle which runs as follows:

- 60 minutes rest

-20 minutes knead

- 2 hours 20 minutes rise

- 50 minutes Bake


Any ideas?  This machine unfortunately does not have a programmable option for settign up your own times for kneading and resting so any changes I would have to do manually.  


Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!


Thanks much,




dabrownman's picture

blog through the search.  She just did a great bread machine write up for her great WW loaf.  She, among other things breadwise, is a BM master.

Doc.Dough's picture

I don't know of a light and fluffy 100% whole wheat loaf unless you grind and sift your own flour (and that removes some of the bran which is the major offender - imho).

You can get pretty close if you use 50% white and 50% WW.

The extra gluten is probably not helping either.

And maybe you want to increase the hydration a bit.

Don't try to go all the way at once, work up to 100% in increments.  Stop when it gets too heavy and try something else.

mini_maggie's picture

I kept reading how elusive ww in a breadmaker was but I've had great luck in my 1 lb Zo.  I often make it on overnight timer so the flour has time to hydrate. 

For 1.5 lb loaf (amts for 2 lb in brackets)

1 1/3 c water (1 1/2 c)

1/4 c skim milk powder (1/4 c) - or use milk instead of water if not on overnight timer

1 tbsp honey (2 tbsp)

2 tbsp veg oil (2 tbsp) - I use olive oil

2 3/4 c whole wheat flour (3 c)

1/2 c cracked wheat (3/4 c) - make sure it stays dry until kneading or loaf will be short and heavy

1 1/4 tsp salt (1 1/2 tsp)

3/4 tsp instant/bread machine yeast (1 1/4 tsp)

My cycle is 20 min rest, 14-19 min knead, 69 min first rise, punch down, 20 min second rise, punch down, 30-35 min third rise, 37-57 min bake, light crust setting 3 h 20 min total.   I have made and can vouch for the 1.5 lb loaf but not the 2 lb.



stephanienola's picture

Thanks! I'll give it a shot!

Alpana's picture

As mini_maggies says, pre-fermenting the flour is the best way.  I usually make a pre-ferment in the BM with 25% flour, 50% liquid and either levain or IY. I keep it for anytime between 1 to 3 hours till its fully ripe (you may need to keep longer in cold climate). If I cannot go ahead with the bread, I keep the pan in fridge and bring it to room temp before proceeding further. Then I add remaining ingredients and knead on basic cycle. Once the kneading is complete, I stop the machine and then set it to WW and let it complete its entire cycle to bake. Pre-fermenting plus extra knead gives the airiest loaf, but using any one of the two also results in a tasty one. VWG is optional, but you can try with or without and see if you like it.

I never really use recipes for bread machine. I use a formula that I like or one that is highly recommended on TFL or other forums and then adjust the quantities for bread machine. This way I am sure of the general result and only have to account for BM whims.


stephanienola's picture

Thanks!  This is very helpful!