The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour - 3 Rise Bread Problem.

Hes Dead Jim's picture
Hes Dead Jim

King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour - 3 Rise Bread Problem.

This is just a basic recipe that I use until I get the hang of bread baking.


Pour 1.25 cups of room temperature water and 1 cup whole wheat flour a clean glass bowl.

Stir with a wooden spoon until the large lumps and most of the small lumps are gone.

Add 1 (5/16oz) packet of Hodgson yeast.

Keep stirring for a minute or so until the yeast is thoroughly mixed in.

Put a clean towel over the bowl and let it sit to rise for 45 minutes by timer.


Add 2 cups whole wheat flour to the bowl and mix well until it is thick and pasty.

Pour out onto a well floured surface and knead for 15 minutes by timer, adding extra flour as needed.

Place in oiled bowl, cover and let it sit to rise for 60 minutes by timer.


Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.

Punch dough down, shape, and place into oiled pan.

Cover and let rise again for 30 minutes by timer.



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Cool on rack and serve.


So far, everything comes out great except that after I punch down the dough and try to shape it, it doesn't gel together, after it bakes and you cut it, the slice seperates along the fault lines.Othwise, the rises are great, the texture, moisture and taste are all great. How do I get it to mix better during the 3rd rise?



nbicomputers's picture

Dont go by timer bread is ready when its ready there are to many factors that come into play.

the pic looks like the bread over proofed (rose to much) and fell

if the slices are falling apart did you shape it using flour or oil?  flour or oil could cause that

sheffield's picture
sheffield (not verified)

No salt?

KAF bakers's picture
KAF bakers

Send us an email if you need any assistance with this.  Not sure why you are using all of the yeast in the sponge or why you are using a sponge.  "Times" are just recommendations.  "As needed" is a dangerous expression, whole wheat dough needs to be slack (more wet) than white dough.  It is easy to add too much flour during kneading.  Frank from KAF, baker/blogger.

ehanner's picture

There are a couple things that you need to think about with this recipe. First, I suspect that you left out the salt ingredient when typing the recipe in your post. Just to be certain though, you should be adding about 2% of the flour weight in the dough mix. 1 teaspoon of fine salt should be about right for 3 Cups of flour.

Second, I would combine this recipe and add all of the flour at one time. Everything in the bowl at one time and mix until it is combined. Cover and let it set for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then knead for 10 minutes or so, form a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap or in a plastic shopping bag. After about an hour, dump the dough out on a clean counter and stretch it out about twice the size and fold into thirds both ways like a letter. form a ball and again into the bowl, covered with plastic.  Take note of the size of the dough. Imagine how big it would be if you doubled the batch. That's what you want to wait for next.

After the dough has grown to about double, lightly flour the counter and tip the dough out being careful to not get any flour on the top surface.
 Gently pat the dough into a rectangle smaller than the size of your pan. Roll the rectangle up like a jelly roll trying to keep the outer surface stretched tight. If your hands are getting sticky, use a little water on your fingers. Pat the roll into the length needed for the pan and place into the oiled pan. Rub a little oil on a piece of plastic wrap and put the oiled surface over the pan and wait for the dough to grow  to about 50% larger. Depending on the size of your pan, this might be to over the top edge. In any case the final rise or proofing will be about 30-60 minutes in warm room temperatures. 

Remove the plastic slowly and bake. Instead of preheating to one temp and lowering to a cooler one, I would just set the oven at 400F and bake for about 30 minutes. You could spray the top with water lightly or toss in 1/4 cup of water in a pan in the bottom of the oven for steam that will help the loaf grow in the oven.

Hope this helps Jim. Let us know how it goes.


Hes Dead Jim's picture
Hes Dead Jim

I want to thank you all for the good advice. I reworked the recipe a bit and I will be making some more bread in a day or two. I think my problem was that i needed to use a little bit less flour in kneading process.

This recipe originally called for salt and sugar (which i substituted with honey) and vegatable oil (which I substituted with olive oil) and it came out real nice, but it was written to make 4 loaves at a time. i was not entirely successful (lol) in reworking it for 1 loaf, so i fugured that i would remove everything except the flour and water and get that right, and then add the other stuff in one at a time.

another question i have is about the salt. is that part of the baking process, or is it just there for flavor? because the bread tastes great without it.

thanks again.



OTRPU's picture

Here's an explanation might be of interest to you.



Hes Dead Jim's picture
Hes Dead Jim

that was a good read, thanks..

I made a loaf today and it came out better looking than the loaf in my picture above, but tasted and felt drier and more crumbly.

I'm pretty sure that i can fix that though and I will be making more on the weekend.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Baking completely salt free results in a low and pale loaf.  If you like salt free, by all means go for it.  I myself cut the salt in most recipes to well under 2% depending on environment conditions and food served with the bread.

nbicomputers's picture

so not only does it ad taste but it is a control so the yeast does not multiply out of control
without salt the yeast will grow to fast make the dough rise to nuch and cause the dough to fall since the gluten will not be able to support the crum of the bread (too many holes) also since there will be to nany yeast cells it will eat all the food supply and with all the sugar gone it will start to fead on the starch in the flour and when thats gone the yeast will die
with out any sugar or starch there is nothing to carmelize resulting in the pail color talked about in the last post
there is a way to pake salt free but it requires re formulating the mix with less yeast very cold water and decreased fremantation time. with salt free baking forget the timer and be ready to drop whatever your doing and work with the dough since it will rise faster than a normal dough.

OTRPU's picture

Hi all, I'm having trouble with "the Holy Grail of 100% whole wheat bread". I ABM mixed and 1st rise the dough, punch it down, cut off 1/3, (by weight), then cut that 1/3 into thirds, (by weight). Shape the 2/3's, place in sprayed Corningware pan. Braid the 1/3 to 3 strand braid, place utop the dough in the pan. Place in oven with light on for second rise. Get a nice rise, but the braid keeps ending up laying to one side of the loaf. Kind of hard to reposition the risin braid on the risin loaf. Anybody got any idea what I'm doing wrong? Here's a link to what I'm trying to do: