Author Topic: Whole Wheat Bread Recipe  (Read 2793 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
« on: March 25, 2016, 02:12:00 PM »
I've had trouble over the years finding a fairly easy, good, whole wheat (or at least a significant portion whole wheat) bread recipe.  Generally the issue seems to be that it just ends up kind of dense and isn't soft like the store loaves.  Anyone have a specific recipe  that works well for them or tips or anything?

Dollar Slice

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Re: Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2016, 02:23:10 PM »
I never had a ton of luck getting 100% whole wheat loaves to rise really high, but I got some beautiful loaves that were ~70/30 whole/white. Adding an ingredient called 'vital wheat gluten' is supposed to help whole wheat loaves rise. I think there is a lower percentage of gluten in whole wheat because it has more fiber etc. so adding gluten back in helps it act more like white flour.

I think the nice soft fluffy store loaves of 100% WW often use additives that we don't have at home...


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2016, 02:33:10 PM »
I only do a 50/50 mix when I make wheat bread.  I do also add extra gluten.

I've tried a couple things. One is to either use extra yeast or double the rise time.  You have to be really careful in the second rise because the whole thing may collapse on you. 

If you google no-knead bread, you'll see instructions for cooking in a dutch oven with a really wet dough.  If you let the dough rise IN the container and then heat up the oven so you don't disturb it, that might help. When I've tried to move the loaf into the oven I always have trouble making it look good.

Oh, and try different brands of whole wheat flour!  King arthur is really good.  I got some at aldi once and it wasn't usable for bread.  I had to pulverize it in a blender and even then only used a bit for muffins or cookies. 


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Re: Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2016, 09:37:11 PM »
TGC has some good recipes:

I've used his 100% whole wheat pizza dough recipe quite a bit, and can vouch for it (although, as chubbybunny points out, different whole wheat flour brands can produce very different results, so if at first you can't succeed, try another brand).


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Re: Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2016, 06:55:12 AM »

I also recently folded and bought the "whole grain bread improver" from them which is gluten + some other things and man does it improve the loaf! At $5 for a bag (~1 lb)and using 1Tbs per loaf it's not a budget buster.

spokey doke

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Re: Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2016, 09:33:22 AM »
A couple sourdough versions from The Fresh Loaf (with plenty of good discussion).

A few generalities...the bran in WW runs interference in the development of the gluten network that more readily forms in using white flour and its gas retention suffers, so they are generally less lofty, light, and soft.  One take-away (and a point made in the t threads above) is that you need to be especially diligent in thoroughly kneading the dough (gluten development).

If I were you, I would join The Fresh Loaf, and as you work on your WW loafs, take and post pictures with questions, there are many experienced bakers who are good at diagnosing and addressing issues...keep at it!


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Re: Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2016, 03:17:17 PM »
I have a standard recipe I use all the time.  It works really well.  I do use a bread machine.  (Look in the thrift stores for fantastic deals on bread machines.)  Here are the vital things for good WW bread;  The flour is critical.  Some WW flour is pretty coarse and will yield a denser loaf.  Look for the highest protein content possible.  Much of the protein is gluten.  I love the Bronze Chief WW flour that I used to get at Walmart.  For some reason, my local one stopped carrying it.  (I HATE Walmart!)  It has 6g protein per38g serving and is milled very fine.  You can use it for just about everything as a substitute for all purpose flour.  Lately I have found that the Kroger store brand WW flour is also milled very fine, but only 4g protein.  It works o k.  The second thing is to give it a fairly warm rise.  A cooler rise will result in a dense loaf.

Basic WW bread for machine (I think you could do it by hand)

1.5 cups warm water
1.5 t salt
2 t sugar
2T oil
3.5 cups WW flour
3 to 4T flax seed meal
1 t rapid rise yeast

As you knead, adjust dough consistency by adding a little more flour or water.  You should have a smooth and elastic ball of dough.