The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Want 100% WW yeasted sandwich loaf

KipperCat's picture

Want 100% WW yeasted sandwich loaf

I do plan to get to sourdough one of these days, but in the meantime I'm looking for a 100% - or at least nearly that - whole wheat sandwich loaf. I don't mind a little potato flour or dough enhancer or extra gluten. I do want to produce something with a texture similar to Mrs. Baird's 100% whole wheat bread - i.e. light & fluffy.

Is this something that's easier to produce with a sourdough starter for some reason? Any pointers, or especially recipes would be greatly appreciated. I'd prefer using some folds to a lot of kneading, but will knead if that's the best option. I have the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. Should I start with her Loaf for Learning? I know that seems like a Duh! answer, but I'm hoping your collective experience can help me sort out all of the so-called "best sandwich loaf recipes" out there. I also have KAF's recipe for "100% whole wheat sandwich loaf", but have found a real mixed bag of results for this mentioned on the KAF forum.

sphealey's picture

There have been a couple of good threads on this in the last six months. Here is one:

and this is the one I have been using:

(page down until you find the link to the Google spreadsheet with the correct formula).

For this recipe I have been mixing the whole wheat flour with an equal weight of water, a tiny pinch of yeast, and a few tablespoons of my sourdough starter and letting it preferment for a few hours or overnight. This removes any last hint of bitter wheat taste in my experience.

Generally speaking people who like sourdoughs prefer whole wheat bread to be sourdough rather than straight - the yeast/bacteria combination predigests the wheat bran to a certain extent and improves the flavor. YMMV.

The Laurel's Bread Book receipes are good to start with too. Loaf for Learning is not as rich nor as easy as the one above though so I tend to use it to introduce people to whole wheat. I only need to knead it for few minutes.




KipperCat's picture

Thanks! Both of your links go to the same thread, and I can't find a link to spreadsheet formula. Am I missing something?

sphealey's picture

Sorry; I pasted the same link twice. Here is the 2nd thread with the spreadsheet for the recipe I use:

This one goes straight to the spreadsheet but you probably want to scan the thread too:


mse1152's picture


Since you already have Laurel's bread book, check out the whole wheat/buttermilk bread recipe.  I've made several breads from that book, and the buttermilk one is the lightest and rose the most of any of them.  Buttermilk really makes a difference.  You might want to incorporate some of JMonkey's hints for good whole wheat breads also (about half way down in this thread).  He makes whole wheat breads almost exclusively.


MommaT's picture

Having 1/2 quart of buttermilk leftover after Sunday's pancakes, I just found this recipe on TFL and made it earlier this week. 

It is a great, moist WW bread that seems to rise very well.  I made the biga version, but I imagine the straight-dough version would rise even more reliably.  

With that said, I am planning to try it with a mix of bread/ww flours next time.  I find that 100% ww sandwich breads tend to get crumbly very quickly and I end up with much too much butter on them...which is no prob for my palate, but likely detrimental to my waistline!

Give it a try!  You won't be disappointed.


Jenm's picture

I was on my way to making my usual ww loaf when I read this thread. As I also have Laurel's book, I took Sue's suggestion and made the Buttermilk Bread. The only change I made was to use a poolish made with 1 cup ww flour, 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp yeast. Making one loaf and 8 rolls, the bread and rolls were very light, fluffy and tasty. My husband (not crazy about ww bread) was enthusiastic. I like my usual ww bread, but this is more better :) and makes great toast!


home_mill's picture

Agree with the comments on buttermilk. I did a poolish a few times and one time got the best rising loaf ever, but have not been able to repeat it yet.



ejm's picture

It has been ages since I've made it but the basic whole wheat loaf (with a starter dough) in Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book - A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking is really good. I suspect it was the "loaf for learning" recipe. I got the book out of the library eons ago (possibly in the last century!) and haven't yet added it to our cookbook shelf. I really should! It's a very good book.

I used regular powdered skim milk instead of powdered buttermilk and as I recall, the bread rose very well and had a wonderful crumb. But I haven't made it since we got the digital camera so there is no photographic proof. (I've been distracted by French bread, wild yeast, pita, caraway rye, multigrain...)

Here is my take on Laurel Robertson's recipe:


moontripper's picture

I just made these yesterday, after months of frustration:

It's a yeasted bread, 100% whole wheat, using long fermentation, no kneading, just stretch and fold.

840 g WW flour, 630 g water, 2 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp instant yeast, 2.5 Tbsp oil, 1/4 muscovado sugar

Technique (thanks to reading and re-reading Jmonkey, jane, bwraith, etc!):

I mixed the flour with 580 g of the water and left it for an hour. Then added the rest of the ingredients (the yeast was dissolved in the remaining 50 g of water for 20 min before stirring in) and given a mix in my KA. Covered the bowl and threw in the fridge. Stretch and Fold twice at 1 hour intervals (dough is very wet and sticky) and back to the fridge each time. Went to bed. Next morning another stretch and fold, back to fridge. At around 3 pm (about 18 hours from start of bulk ferment) take out the dough, divide, rest, shape and final rise in 2 bread pans, about 50 minutes. Spritz and slash loaves. Into a COLD oven set to 170 deg Celsius. Total bake time 40 minutes.

This bread had the best rise, softest, most open crumb I have yet done with whole wheat. I think the key here was the higher hydration (this was 75%, but where I live humidity is over 90%) and the long ferment which develops the gluten better. I think also that I have over-handled the dough in the past, kneading it until it broke trying to get that window!

The taste was just a little bland for me, though. I adjusted the salt and maybe will try one more rise at room temp before shaping. I have an idea that a higher temp contributes to a more (desirable) sour taste than just the long ferment.

This is a little late, but I hope it helps.