Thursday, January 13, 2011

Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread

Obviously you can't see my face right now but I'm smiling from ear to ear. Pretty much since last night :o) Why? I made King Arthur Flour's "Classic 100% Whole Wheat" last night and it didn't turn into something rock hard that you could seriously injure somebody with. Not only that, the bread was moist and had a hearty wheat flavor, and a soft texture. Why is this news worthy? Well, if you read my previous post on Challah Bread, you'd know I have a yeast phobia. I figured the only way to get over that is to practice, practice, practice. All I can say is that the 100% whole wheat bread I made yesterday is a huge big confidence booster :o)

I love the caramel-colored interior of this bread
The recipe follows...

I made the dough in my bread machine, using the "dough" cycle. This 90-minute program kneads the bread and then lets it do its first rise. As you can see in the picture below, I added flax seeds to the recipe. Why not make a healthy recipe even healthier? :o)

This is what the dough looked like when I punched it down after its first rise

I shaped the dough into a log and placed it in a greased loaf pan

The dough is now ready for its second rise

After about 45 minutes, the dough was ready to be baked

It took my bread 50 minutes of baking time to have its internal temperature register at 203F degrees (anything above 190F means its fully baked but I prefer my bread to be at least 200F degrees)

Brushed the loaf with a little butter

Finally the bread is cool enough to eat :o) What a pleasant surprise. Light, soft, moist and airy interior and wonderful crust!  Bon Appetit!

Final thoughts/tips:
  • Hubby and I loved this bread. It was the perfect accompaniment to our soup and salad dinner. Hubby loved the soft texture but said he could smell and taste the "heavy wheatiness" of the bread. Personally, that doesn't bother me, but I guess everybody's different. He gave it an 8.5 out of 10.
  • I shared some of this bread with 3 friends and got 3 recipe requests :o)
  • To make the bread even healthier, I added 1 Tbsp of flax seeds.
  • I added 3 tsp of vital wheat gluten to the recipe, thinking that it would make the bread soft. I will have to research the effects of vital wheat gluten on whole grain breads to make sure I'm not misinformed.
  • Last but not least, I used a little bit of barley malt syrup for a little color in the bread but I think you could get the same effect if you used molasses.

Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread
(slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour's recipe found HERE)

  • 10 ounces lukewarm water
  • 1 3/4 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 ounces barley malt syrup, organic
  • 3 tsp of vital wheat gluten
  • 1 Tbsp flax seeds
  • 2 1/2 ounces honey
  • 14 ounces 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 ounce non-fat dry milk powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1) In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine programmed for "dough" or "manual.") Note: This dough should be soft, yet still firm enough to knead. Adjust its consistency with additional water or flour, if necessary.
2) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or large measuring cup, cover it, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
3) Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8" log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 to 2 hours, or till the center has crowned about 1" above the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
4) Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. The finished loaf will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center. My loaf took 50 minutes.
5) Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. If desired, rub the crust with a stick of butter; this will yield a soft, flavorful crust. Cool completely before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.


  1. Woohaaa!!! This is all whole wheat? And the second proofing that fast?
    Never ever speak to me about your fear of wheat, let's say you've won the battle! ;-D A gorgeous loaf Hanaa!

    I guess US ww is slightly different from ours, less coarse and more uplifting. Great result!

  2. You go girl!!!!!

    Bread looks lovely and light - well done :-}

  3. What a beautiful loaf of bread! After this, I don't think you can claim to have a yeast phobia any more. Maybe it's time to master something else you're nervous about!

  4. Your bread turned out lovely! I have a ww bread recipe where the bread comes out looking super everytime..oh and tasted so good too!!! I love a pretty loaf of bread!!

  5. The vital wheat gluten is supposed to help compensate for the lower gluten in whole wheat flour, and thus give you a better rise. I don't know about softness effects.

    Beautiful loaf of bread! I've used that recipe too, with good results.

  6. ב''ה

    When I saw the picture of that nice rise you got I wondered if you added something like vital wheat gluten.

    Well done!

  7. Looks absolutely professional!! I had the privilege of tasting it too!! Yummy Yummy!! Really gooooood!

  8. I did taste it, it is not only looking good but really taste great, I really think this is 100%, your touch and the things you did add is great,
    I did a whole wheat bread with my touch I will put it soon in my blog I want you comment, you know your comment is very important for me.



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