The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Whole Wheat Loaf

CrustyJohn's picture

Whole Wheat Loaf

I    've been interested in really dialing in on making a nice whole wheat loaf this year, hoping to get to a point where I can consistently make a loaf that has enough of an airy texture + richness of whole wheat to make white flour less relevant in my repertoire.  I've had some good starts that I documented here, but I recently had a really satisfying breakthrough loaf, that I think pretty well meets my criteria for success, so I'll give it a post of its own.

I recently moved to work in Maine, so I was working with Maine Grains hard red spring wheat.

Maine Grains whole wheat 100%

Water 90%

Starter 11%

Salt ~3 tsp


Pretty much same approach as documented in earlier posts but some of the stages were a bit drawn out because I was working with lower temperatures.  Maybe slightly longer on the retard stage (12-13 hrs) as I was at a dinner and didn't get back home to bake until later than planned.


The result is really nicely airy, a few overly big holes, but not enough to bother me much.  Flavor is nice- rich but mellow, not as bland and astringent as the KAF whole wheat I was using previously.  Texture is very soft.  


I'm not sure what to attribute the improved results to- perhaps good grain, perhaps an appropriate hydration for the flour, or maybe just pushing the bulk fermentation and retard a little bit longer.  Whatever it is, if I can consistently make this loaf, I'll be very pleased!


Benito's picture

That is a superb 100% whole wheat loaf John, I’d be chuffed it that came out of my oven.


CrustyJohn's picture

Thank you, Benny!  I'm very happy with it, though I feel like I sorta stumbled into a good bake, but hopefully it's a result that shows what is possible when things align right even if I don't 100% know what exactly made the difference.

Isand66's picture

That’s a great looking crumb for any % of whole-wheat.  You should be very satisfied with this bake.

Happy Baking.


CrustyJohn's picture

Thank you, Ian!  I am, and it makes me happy to see what can be done without any high gluten white flour- not that I'm opposed to, but it's nice to not feel beholden to it to make bread thaf I'm happy with.