The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Reinhart's 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

dolfs's picture

Reinhart's 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Received the book finally 2 days ago. I had pre-ordered from Amazon and they kept claiming it wouldn't ship to me until October. I complained with customer service as others were receiving it, and when I placed a new order, it said it would ship immediately (I cancelled that one of course). That caused them to send it right away.Reinhart's 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Reinhart's 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread 

So, I just had to try something and since I had not built a starter yet, and need basic sandwhich bread for my family's daily needs, went for the 100% WW sandwich bread. I followed the biga based recipe and it worked out beautifully. I needed none of the extra flour, although a little got used during hand kneading.

Result shown in the picture, and taste and crust were great.


browndog's picture

That looks perfect. Lucky family.

Trishinomaha's picture

Looks like a picture in a magazine!

Minos's picture

Wow, that's nice... and 100% whole wheat too? I'm having a devil of a time with my whole wheat, and I'm talking just a yeast risen loaf with 30% whole wheat to white flour ratio. I'm getting good rise and great flavor with a little buttermilk accented recipe that I'm experimenting with, but I'm getting some aweful tearing while proofing.

Tell me how I can get a loaf that looks as beautiful as yours. Any hints on how to end this tearing mess I've got going on?

dolfs's picture

Yes, yes, 100% WW as per WGB (although I forget to mention I used buttermilk instead of water in the final dough, as per the commentary). I previously had been making a mixed whole wheat bread, based on a recipe from the New Homemaker.

The first one or two times I ended up with a "brick". Rise looked good, but no oven spring, and sometimes even a collapse. It made me decide that I needed to understand more about the process of making bread than I knew at that point.

You see, I am an engineer by day so I tend to approach things scientifically and analytically. I got myself several baking books (yes, I have a full shelf now) and learned, among other things, about gluten development, and in particular, difficulties caused by the presence of sharp pieces of bran. So, I started to add some hand kneading to that recipe and bam, it worked. Next, I started using buttermilk and that made the result even lighter. I also added a baking stone, even when baking a sandwich loaf in a pan, such as this one.

Still wanted to increase the wheat percentage though, and WGB gave me the answer, so I tried and there is the result. I think a small mistake in (pre)shaping caused the little hole in the middle, but otherwise it came out really well. I pre-shaped as a batard, using the fold to the middle and than fold onto itself method.


dolfs's picture

What I didn't mention anywhere is how I got the white stuff on top. I just dusted the top with some rice flour (through a small strainer) just before slashing. --dolf

Minos's picture


Well it's obvious that the scientific method, and a bit of study, has paid off. It looks quite fantastic. I think one of my main problems might be with gluten development as well. It seems logical that if my loaves split there is not enough elasticity, but the rise is not a problem or collapse. I have pre-soaked the whole wheat flour overnight and think that has helped me.

As per your suggestion I might increase the amount of buttermilk (you're the second person that has mentioned that the use of dairy increases rise, not to mention flavor.) Perhaps the hand kneading is something I should try. I have quite an old mixer with dough "screws" instead of a hook, so it might be a bit outdated, though with white flour it does pretty well. Thanks for the tips! :)

Ramona's picture

Your bread came out really well.  I also have made this bread and had good results.   I thought you might like to know that the Yogurt Bread in the Laurel's book is also a really good bread, like this.   It is all whole wheat too.  I also use buttermilk for a portion of the recipe and a little more butter and maple syrup for the sweetener.  My family has enjoyed both.

subfuscpersona's picture

Whether its buttermilk or yoghurt, why would the use of a slightly acid dairy product help whole wheat dough rise? Can't get my head around the "science" of it.

I've used buttermilk as the liquid in other loaf bread recipes using primarily white flour and do observe that the crumb is softer, more open and, well, a bit more crumbly. But I've never noticed that I got a higher rise during baking with buttermilk as opposed to fresh milk or water.

Eagerly awaiting your explanations, oh gurus of TFL... 

Ramona's picture

Subfuscpersona, I don't understand all the technical science of it either.  I am using raw milk (not heated up) and 1 tbsp. of raw, unheated, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. So, for mine, there is alot of healthy bacterias working in there.  Like I said before, I have made this whole wheat bread and it came out light and tasty.  But I even get better results with the Yogurt Bread from the Laurel's book.  I use yogurt and the buttermilk in that one and it comes out light, fluffy, and really flavorful!  It is by far better than any artisan whole wheat bread that I ever bought at the stores.  And I am not using any flour conditioners or improvers.  I am just doing the sponges and autolyzes overnight. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I noticed with my low protein flour, adding egg white (protein) or milk (protein) also helped hold the loaf together, maybe helping gluten strands. I know they are not the same kinds of proteins but proteins none the less.

Lactic acid in the milk, buttermilk, or dairy products tightens gluten strands, one way to tighten gluten strands, trapping gases and thus leading to a higher rise. Other acids can do it too.

You also have a lot of experience with dough feel and texture and make your own adjustments too to get the right feel for a good rising loaf weather you use milk or water, kneading longer or shorter, folding, proofing and poking all with a somewhat trained eye, rarely writing down exactly your changes. I'm not answering as a guru, just an intuitive hobby baker. :)

KipperCat's picture

I was reading over some old notes yesterday. Another baker in Austria mentioned that she uses egg white in her breads to extend the keeping quality, using the egg yolk as a wash.


Schlake's picture

I had it pre ordered as well.  When I got mail from Jessica's Biscuit that they had it in stock and were shipping I wondered why Amazon hadn't shipped mine.  I cancelled my pre-order and reordered it.  It said shipping immediately, but then sat there for a couple of days.  I got mine quite a while ago, so I was luckier than you!  I pre order things all the time and this just isn't how they normally do it.

sallam's picture

Can someone please post the recipe for that Reinhart's ww sandwich bread?

marmus33's picture

I have a bread book from Reinhart and had tried the whole wheat bread in it a couple of times - after I figured out I had to adjust for using active dry yeast it turned out slightly better but still a small loaf.  Not sure if we're talking about the same book/recipe but how do you adjust for when the recipe calls for 8x5" loaf pan and all I've got are 9x5?  I think that was my other problem - my pan was a bit too big and I really don't want to have to buy new pans!  Thanks in advance to anyone who can give me an answer.