The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

whole wheat

cabbagehead's picture

whole wheat

Well I made the most amazing  4 loaves of whole wheat bread today. It was quite hot out and I was expecting company so I decided to turn on the air conditioning. I then realized it would be better for the bread if I had a warmer and more humid environment so I placed the rising dough out on the patio under the umbrella and covered with a damp towel.  That must have been a perfect scenario for the bread because it rose like crazy. I also think it had something to do with the actual recipe. For the first time I used my Five Roses cookbook which called for a lot more yeast than I was used to (16 grams for 4 loaves). I also prepared a mixture of the yeast, some sugar, some scalded milk and water before hand then mixed eveything together. I've never seen yeast froth up so much! The result was 4 wonderful large loaves of delicious bread that had soft crusts (coated with melted butter just before oven time). The flavour is quite intense and perfect for sandwiches a well as toast (with jam or honey). Tonight my supper consisted of fresh bread, ancient cheddar cheese, red wine and great music. Life is pretty good.


ehanner's picture

Could you post the recipe you used for this bake? It sounds like you liked the results. How was the flavor?


cabbagehead's picture

Hi Eric and thank you for your interest. I used the basic Five Roses cookbook recipe for white bread but substituted half of the white flour for whole wheat. Here goes:

  • 10 ml sugar (2 tsp.)
  • 125 ml lukewarm water (45 C, 110 F) (1/2 cup)
  • 2 pkgs active dry yeast (16 grams)


  • 500 ml milk (2 cups)
  • 500 ml cold water (2 cups)
  • 50 ml sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 25 ml salt (5 tsp.)
  • 50 ml shortening (1/4 cup)
  • 2.75 to 3 L flour (1/2 whole wheat) (12 to 13 cups)

Disolve yeast in warm water in which 10 ml sugar has already been disolved. Let stand 10 minutes; stir. Scald milk. In a large bowl, combine scalded milk, cold water, sugar, salt and shortening; stir until sugar is disolved. Cool until look warm and stir in yeast mixture. Stir in half of flour and beat vigorously with wooden spoon until mixture is smooth and elastic (or until your spoon breaks lol). Add enough flour to obtain a soft dough that does not stick to bowl. Turn out on a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and satiny (8 to 10 minutes). Place in a large greased bowl, turn to grease top. Cover with greased waxed paper and a clean cloth. Let rise in a warm and humid place until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down. Cut dough into 4 equal pieces; shape into balls; Cover and let rest on the board 10 minutes. Shape into loaves. Place in greased pans. Grease top of loaves. Cover with greased waxed paper and a clean cloth. Let rise until double in bulk (45 to 60 minutes). Bake in a pre-heated hot oven. Remove from pans and cool on racks. Brush top with butter or margarine, if desired (I do this liberally before placing in oven). Cool completely before wrapping.

Loaf pans: 4 measuring 21 cm x 12 cm (8 1/2" x 4 1/2")

Cooking time: about 35 minutes

Tempurature: 200 degrees C (400 F)

Yield: 4 loaves

This recipe results in loaves that are only slightly more heavy than using white flour alone. My opinion is that the most important part is the bit about letting the dough rise in a "warm and humid" place. If you do not have such a place, a good idea is to fill your sink with about 4 inches of hot water and place the bowl of dough into it checking every now and then to make sure the water is still hot and adding more if it is not.

I also found that the bread will keep on the counter for about a week if you wrap it in plastic film (I had delicious toast this morning but after a week the bread was losing it's softness). You can also freeze it in an air tight container almost indefinitely. Or you can give it away to friends and neighbours who will be greatly impressed!

Enjoy and let me know how it turns out.