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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread

This bread is a family favorite. Though I would rather have 100% whole wheat, my husband and I have compromised and I now do most recipes with half wheat, half white. It does make the bread much lighter when you use the white flour too. We like this bread because it is soft and fluffy, while still holding its shape enough to slice for sandwiches. This recipe also includes a great technique for shaping the loaf, so it turns out beautifully every time.

Soaking Grains
I adapted this recipe to soak the grains. If you are short on time, you can do it all in one day and still have delicious results.
I soak the grains to break down the phytic acid; it makes the bread more digestible and nutritious.
This recipe is adapted from William-Sonoma's Bread.

Whole Wheat Bread

1 1/2 tbsp. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups tepid buttermilk
1/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup melted butter, cooled slightly
1 tbsp. salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3-4 cups unbleached bread flour

Day One:
Mix 3 cups of wheat flour with 1 1/2 cups buttermilk. Cover with a towel. Leave out overnight.

Day Two:
In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the buttermilk/ flour mixture, sweetener, butter, and salt. Beat on medium low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Beat in the yeast mixture. Beat for 1 minute.  Add the bread flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed, adding the bread flour 1 Tbsp at a time if the dough sticks, until smooth but slightly sticky when pressed, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and turn the dough once to coat it. Cover loosely and let rise until doubled in bulk, 1- 1/2 hours.

Lightly grease two 9-by-5 inch loaf pans. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide in half and pat each half into a long rectangle. Fold one rectangle like a letter, overlapping the short sides in the middle; press to flatten. Beginning at the narrow end, tightly roll up the dough into a thick log. Roll the log back and forth with your palms until it is the same length as the pan. Pinch the ends and the long seam to seal. Place the loaf, seam side down, in prepared pan, tucking the ends under to make a neat, snug fit. Repeat with the second portion. Cover loosely and let rise until about 1 inch above the rim of each pan, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and pull away from the pan sides, 35-40 minutes. Turn out onto racks and cool completely.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday,  What's cooking wednesday and Pennywise platter.


  1. This sounds great! I've been meaning to get around to making some whole wheat bread. This recipe will be perfect.

  2. So I have a regular whole wheat bread recipe I use, but have been looking for another one because it doesn't hold up for sandwiches. Maybe this will do the trick! I'll try it this weekend. Thanks so much

  3. That looks yummy! Last time I attempted whole wheat bread, it rose too long, and kind of collapsed before it baked. It tasted pretty descent, but looked pathetic!