For those of us who are making our own loaf bread, it’s a great challenge to find a whole wheat bread recipe that can stand up to a loaf of store-bought bread in texture and taste. This recipe and baking method accomplishes both and the technique is easy to learn.
Feel free to skip to the video below.
In my two or three years of making bread I have tried several whole wheat recipes and eaten lots of hard, stiff, crumbly, bread. In bread making…persistence pays. I know I am very fortunate to have found a great bread recipe early in my bread making career.
I heard about a bread class last year that was over an hour drive from my house. It was a fellow bread making mom who was taking the time to invite other moms into her house to share what she had learned in her 20+ years of bread making.
Six months ago I took her class. I traveled the hour and 15 minutes to learn how to make excellent bread. It was well worth it and we have been enjoying the soft goodness of homemade Whole Wheat Bread every week since then.
I have put together a video of this technique I learned and am sharing her recipe as well, with permission.
Her goal was to make a bread that you could leave teeth marks in. Is that possible with Whole Wheat Bread? Yes. This persistent Mom did it! And did it with excellence.
To complete this task at home you will need a high quality mixer and grain mill if you are milling your own wheat.
She uses the best mixer and mill out there. Her choice (and mine) of mills is the L’Equip Nutrimill. I have used several types of grain mills and found the Nutrimill to be an excellent mill for me. Here are a few reasons why:
- You can stop and start it with out any problems. This is important in a busy home.
- It creates less mess and requires less effort to operate.
- It is compact. (It stacks on itself, there is no hose to connect two pieces)
- It’s electric! Yes, I have used a hand mill and it’s great…if the power goes out…but electricity is nice!
- It’s fast and cleanup is snap.
Her choice (and mine) for the mixer is the Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine. I did a lot of research on the Bosch mixer before purchasing mine to upgrade from my 6 quart KitchenAid Professional mixer. I found it to be consistently rated high and the favorite choice among those making Whole Wheat Bread. With flying colors, many Bosch users have been making whole wheat bread with their mixers for decades. So, I made the investment in both the Nutrimill and the Bosch mixer at the same time and haven’t regretted it for a moment. Having the option to make my own whole wheat bread free of preservatives and unknowns has been worth it to me.
*Note: Bosch offer an optional blender pitcher that attaches to the mixer base on the right side. This blender does not even compare to the power of a Blendtec or Vitamix blender. I have seen the inferiority of the Bosch Blender next to the Blendtec and have heard both good and not so good about customer service on replacing the plastic coupling piece from a broken, leaking Bosch blender pitcher. I totally recommend the Blendtec Blender as the top rated blender and would pass on the optional Bosch blender pitcher. Unfortunately, you cannot purchase the Bosch mixer without the blender base attached, but you order it without the blender pitcher and put this money towards your new Blendtec.
The Bosch mixer by itself is hard to beat, and Bosch offers several optional attachments to help with specific baking needs.
Below is the whole wheat bread making video and recipe. Enjoy!
Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
Adriel’s Version of Marilyn’s Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
adapted from the recipe at www.urbanhomemaker.com
yields 2 loaves (bold yields 4 loaves)
• 7 Cups freshly milled Whole Wheat Flour, divided (14 Cups)
• 1 Tablespoon SAF yeast (2 Tablespoons)
• 1 Tablespoon Dough Enhancer (2 Tablespoons)
• 1 Tablespoon Gluten (optional) (2 Tablespoons)
• 1 Tablespoon Lecithin (optional) (2 Tablespoons)
• 2 Teaspoons salt (4 Teaspoons)
• 1/3 Cup olive oil or coconut oil (2/3 Cup)
• 1/3 Cup honey (2/3 Cup)
• 1 Cup Buttermilk, Yogurt, Kefir or water (2 Cups)
• 1 1/2 Cups water (3 Cups)
• 1/4 Cup Ground Flax Seed (optional) (1/2 Cup)
• 1/2 Cup cooked Oatmeal or Seven-Grain Cereal (optional) (1 Cup)
- In your mixer combine 2 cups flour, yeast, dough enhancer, lecithin and gluten.
- In a large measuring bowl combine buttermilk and water. Make sure the buttermilk and water are warm (115 degrees Fahrenheit). You can microwave it for 90 seconds, or warm in a pan of water on the stove with a candy thermometer.
- Pour milk/water into flour and beat for 1 minute.
- Cover with a towel and let sponge for 20 minutes. (Sponging merely means letting the dough rest. This step activates the yeast, gives the flour time to start absorbing the liquid, removes the need for a second rising later and yields a lighter, fluffier loaf.)
- Turn the mixer back on and add salt, oil, honey, flax seed and/or cereal (if desired) and the remaining cups of flour until the dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl. You may need to add up to one more cup of flour (or you may not use all of your flour). Remember the dough should be slightly tacky. Too much flour will make the bread stiff and dry.
- Knead for 8-10 minutes in your mixer or wait until step 9 to knead by hand.
- Preheat your oven to 170 degrees (or the lowest temp).
- Grease two stainless steel 4” x 8 1/2” loaf pans. If your loaf pans are bigger, the wheat bread will not rise as prettily and glass pans tend to burn the bread.
- Lightly oil countertop and hands (don’t use flour – it will dry out your bread) and if kneading by hand do this now.
- Divide dough in half and shape into loaves
- To Shape into loaves: (Taken from Set for Life Cookbook by Merrill & Sunderland) “Slightly flatten a ball of dough with your hands, and then cross-grain the dough by folding in each of the four sides, directly across from each other. Using the palms of your hands or a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a rectangle approximately 7 x 15 inches. Roll up, starting at the narrow side, sealing each turn tightly with the edge of your hand. Tuck in the uneven ends, and seal the ends of the loaf into two very thin strips. Tuck the strips under the loaf, and roll the loaf back and forth to make it even. Place in a lightly greased loaf pan. If the loaf is a bit too long for the pan, lift up the center, allowing the ends to fit, then lay the center down. The dough will fit without remolding.”
- After placing shaped loaves in the pans, oil the tops lightly so the dough stays moist and rises well. (I just give them a couple sprays of PAM).
- Place the pans in the preheated oven and TURN THE OVEN OFF. Letting the loaves rise in the oven provides a warm, moist, draft free environment.
- Check after 20 minutes. Sometimes loaves may need 30-40 minutes to rise.
- Once the loaves are nicely domed and cresting over the edges of the pans, they are ready to cook.
- Leave them in the oven and turn the oven on to 350 degrees.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes depending on your oven.
- The loaves are done when they are a toasty brown color and sound a little hollow when thumped on the bottom.
- Remove from the pans and place on a cooling rack.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. When you are ready to try this whole wheat bread recipe, I recommend shopping at amazon for the Bosch Mixer or the L’Equip Nutrimill grain mill.