The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Trying to replicate whole wheat with whole wheatberry bread.

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Nominingi's picture

Trying to replicate whole wheat with whole wheatberry bread.

I'm from South Africa where every shop used to sell white, brown and wholewheat loaves. The wholewheat loaves were simple and delicious: wholewheat crumb with intact wheat berries for crunch. I have not found a recipe that enables me to replicate this bread, but the quest continues and helps me improve my bread baking skills hand over fist.


  • should the soft, white wheat berries I bought from a local mill be soaked before I add them to my whole wheat sourdough?
  • Does the addition of wheat berries mean that I have to increase my starter percentage
  • How does one incorporate hard red wheat berries whole: by soaking or boiling them first?

Thanks so much

dabrownman's picture

i put whole grain berries into bread.  One way is to scald them for 10 minutes and then let them soak in the water in the fridge for 24 hours.  Another way is to soak them for 4 hours and then sprout them for 24 hours.  The 3rd way is to cook them until done like a  porridge.

No change to SD amount is required but the hydration may need to be altered to account for the extra moisture from the berries.  Some also add some SD to the porridge, scald or sprouts too.

After gluten development with 3 sets of slap and folds, I incorporate the berries during the first set of stretch and folds.   After the 3rd set of stretch and folds they are fully incorporated.

clearlyanidiot's picture

Does scalding them change the flavour or texture at all compared to soaking or sprouting?

dabrownman's picture

similar tastes and textures.  I would think the scalding then soaking route would be the one to try first and most likely what your example had it it.

SourDoughMan's picture

I've started using sprouted wheat berries instead of just cooked or soaking.  I find the texture and flavor to be better plus sprouting boosts the nutritional value considerably.  

Nominingi's picture

A big thank you to all of the bakers who replied. My account settings must be wonky as I wasn't notified of any of your replies, which are all helpful.

donna955's picture

Hi Everyone!

I'm Donna a 59 year old home baker.I learned to bake from my 84 year old mother who still makes homemade bread by hand at her home.

I use sprouted flours from . I put them in my vitamix blender with a dry container for grinding 2 cups at a time, only doing 3 batches before I let it cool off. I keep my grains in the freezer and let them sit overnight out before grinding, and then sit overnight before using to cool off uncovered. I make pitas, buns for sandwiches, pizza, loaves of bread - rye, oat, sourdough, spring wheat, einkorn, barley, winter wheat and combinations with Bob's mill or Meadow Farms graham flour. I use no processed white flour. I have used finely ground kamut, amaranth, quinoa, spelt but don't like the taste, kamut doesn't rise as well, oat by itself tends to be dry so needs more fat. I live in southern USA so it is humid and hot a lot, so I use 4t wheat gluten per batch of wheat breads. I make it by hand when I want to make more than 4 loaves or a lot at a time, otherwise I use my kitchen aid mixer.