The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole wheat-unbleached flour ratios and bread rising

ichadwick's picture

Whole wheat-unbleached flour ratios and bread rising

I made a modest little pan loaf yesterday (no-knead) using 1 1/4 cup unbleached flour and 1 cup nine-grain (whole wheat) flour. Tasty, but it didn't rise as much as expected, so was a bit denser than optimal.

Is the ratio of wholewheat to white too high to get a good rise? If so, what should it be?

Could I get a better rise with:

1. Longer cold fermenting?(it sat 3 days in the fridge after the initial rise)

2. Longer rise time after shaping? (it had about 1 -1.5 hours before baking)

3. Less salt (had about 1/2 tblsp) or more yeast (used about 1 tsp)

4. Cooking time/temperature change (cooked at 450 for 35 mins)

Whole wheat loaf

Antilope's picture

This loaf is 50% stone ground whole wheat and 50% bread flour.

I used the stretch and fold technique on 65% hydration light wheat bread (half bread flour & half whole wheat flour).

It came out as good as when I make the recipe from kneaded dough. I adapted the Panama bread stretch & fold recipe that is on I also made a Tangzhong roux from the 1/2 cup of water and 3 Tbsp of bread flour, which I always do to this recipe when making the kneaded version.

Here's a link to a YouTube video showing the Stretch & Fold technique I used on the firm bread dough:
Panama bread's first stretch and fold
Panama Bread's Second Stretch and Fold
Panama Bread Third Stretch and Fold


Here's the recipe I used:

No-Knead Stretch-N-Fold Honey Wheat Bread

This makes a delicious loaf of bread with very little effort.

Makes a 1-1/2 lb sandwich loaf of Honey Wheat Bread without kneading. 
No mixer, bread machine or hand kneading required.

You just need a wooden spoon and a couple of mixing bowls along with a loaf pan.

This recipe uses a series of stretch and fold techniques on regular firm dough to replace kneading. The bread is baked in a regular loaf pan.

Total time, about 4 hours, mostly rising and waiting. Actual hands on work, about 15 minutes.


1 3/4 cups (225 g) Whole Wheat Flour
1 2/3 cups (225 g) Bread Flour
4 Tbsp (30 g) Wheat Germ, raw or toasted

2/3 cup (160 g) Milk, lukewarm
1/2 cup (120 g) Water, lukewarm (used in Tangzhong roux with 3 Tbsp bread flour)
1 Egg (50 g), beaten (or 1/4 cup Eggbeaters egg substitute)
2 Tbsp (40 g) Honey or Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp (15 g) Ovaltine Classic Malt Powder (do not use chocolate flavor) - optional
2 Tbsp (15 g) Non-Fat Dry Milk or Dry Coffee Creamer
1 1/4 tsp (9 g) Table Salt
2 1/4 tsp or 1 packet (7 g) Instant or Active Dry Yeast
3 Tbsp (45 g) Butter, softened


In a large mixing bowl, stir together the Whole Wheat Flour, Bread Floor and Wheat Germ. Mix well.

In a smaller bowl, mix in the milk, water (or cooled Tangzhong roux), beaten egg, honey, Ovaltine, non-fat milk powder, table salt and yeast. Mix well. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Stir the mixed liquid into the flour mixture. Mix until the flour is completely moistened. Mix in the softened butter. Add enough additional water or flour as needed to form a slightly sticky, firm, ball of dough. Mix well until everything is evenly incorporated.

Form dough into a ball, place in covered bowl and let rest for 45 minutes.

Remove dough from bowl, do the first of three stretch and folds on the bread board.

Stretch and Fold Technique:
-Press and stretch the dough into a 12 by 9 inch rectangle. Dust lightly with flour, as needed.
-Take the top (12-inch) edge of the dough and fold it down to the middle. Press dough flat. 
-Take the bottom (12-inch) edge of the dough and fold up to the top edge. Press dough flat. 
-Take the right edge of the dough and fold it over to the middle. Press dough flat.
-Take the left edge of the dough and fold it over to the right edge. Press flat.
-Return dough square to the bowl and cover. Rest 45 minutes.

Remove dough from bowl, do the 2nd stretch and fold on the bread board and return the dough to the covered bowl for another 45 minutes.

Remove dough from bowl, do the 3rd stretch and fold on the bread board and return the dough to the covered bowl for another 45 minutes.

Remove dough from bowl, form loaf by rolling or pressing dough out into a 10 x 10 inch rectangle. Roll dough into a sausage shape. Pinch seam closed along length of dough. Rotate loaf to place seam on bottom. Flatten about 1 inch on each end of roll and fold under loaf.

Place formed dough in loaf pan, seam side down. Use an 8 x 4-inch or 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in warm place until doubled and it has risen about 1-inch over the edge of the loaf pan, about 60 minutes. Remove plastic wrap.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350-F degrees for 45 minutes, until done, or until center of loaf reaches 200-F on a digital probe thermometer.

Remove from loaf pan and allow to cool before slicing.

Makes one 1-1/2 lb loaf of bread.


To add rolled oat topping, after loaf is formed and placed in loaf pan, before rising:
-Using a pastry brush, paint plain water over entire top of loaf to moisten dough.
-Sprinkle 1/4 cup of Quick Rolled Oats over top of moistened loaf and press on oats to make them stick to dough.
-Allow loaf to rise and then bake as stated in recipe above.