Bread | June 30, 2015

100% Whole Wheat Bread

A delicious and easy recipe for 100% whole wheat bread that can also be made into cinnamon toast! This recipe is so easy to make using a machine or by hand.

So we’re all food bloggers/recipe developers/basically-pro-chefs here, right? Not! We all love what we do, and would like to think that we’re pretty good, but none of us have gone to culinary school. We do not have tiaras at home on our shelves declaring to the world our expertise in the kitchen {now I want a tiara…}.

With the above disclaimer, I have another confession to make: baking bread scared me to death for years and years and years. Over the last year, I’ve decided to throw all caution to the wind and make me some bread. And I will never go back! You can imagine how excited I was when Ford’s new Switch It Up campaign began for their new Ford Edge and they wanted to sponsor us and participate in the challenge.

Switch It Up is a series Ford is doing where experts are challenged by an expert in another field to try something completely new! I’m loving it! The most recent episode has probably been my favorite, although the others are entertaining as well. Joanna Hawley of the lifestyle blog Jojotastic was challenged by Merrill Stubbs of Food52 (swoon) to make an exotic dish, Shrimp Birynai. I actually went and looked up the recipe and it’s now in my menu for next week. Looks divine…

I have absolutely loved perfecting my bread-making. Getting a Bosch has certainly been awesome, but I was doing it just fine before with my Kitchen-Aid. And I promise you can do it completely by hand, too.

3 loaves of 100% Whole Wheat Bread on a white surface with a bread knife

How To Make 100% Whole Wheat Bread

Throw most of your ingredients into your mixer (about half of your flour) except your salt. Yeast doesn’t like salt, so you gotta wait to add that until it’s had time to start to incorporate into all of the ingredients. My favorite tip I’ve learned is to let the dough rest before you start the kneading.

This allows the flour to really absorb all of that liquid. Wheat gluten especially needs this extra time to soak it all in. Begin your dough, then let it rest 30 min-1 hour. This is after resting, before I start adding more flour and before kneading.

100% Whole Wheat Bread dough in a bread mixer

Add your salt and another 3 cups of flour. Start mixing it again, then slowly add about 1/2 c additional flour at a time until your dough is cleaning the sides of your bowl. Not quite there yet here, but almost. Just a little more flour. The amount of flour you use will totally depend on your elevation, humidity, your flour itself, lots of factors. Flour is never exact!

An overhead shot of 100% Whole Wheat Bread dough in a mixer

See? Totally clean bowl. You also notice at the bottom how easily the dough is being stretched and pulled? If your dough breaks or rips easily if you try to stretch it into a thin square (like viewing a window pane), then you’ve either under-kneaded it and need to keep going, or there’s the chance you’ve over-kneaded it. Once the bowl is getting wiped clean by the dough, you want to knead for about 5-8 minutes.

So in addition to the previous “kneading” (or mixing) you’ve been doing, it’s about 10-12 minutes total. I’m sorry, it really just takes practice to know when you’re there. You’ll probably fail multiple times (hi! me! been there, done that! still happens sometimes!)

100% Whole Wheat Bread dough in a mixer attached to a dough hook

It’s tacky, but not really sticky. Very soft, but can somewhat hold it’s shape. You always want to underflour so you have the opportunity to add more if needed. If you start to have to add liquid to balance out too much flour, you mess up recipe proportions and it’s just not a fun place to be. Weigh your 100% wheat bread dough, divide it between the number of loaves you’re doing, and shape your loaves.

100% Whole Wheat Bread dough on a kitchen scale

I never really thought shaping was important, but it truly is! You basically want to being pulling it taut and tucking ends under. You can bang the dough on your counter, slap it, whatever you can do to get air bubbles out and really meld it together as one uniform log of dough. Doing this correctly helps get the smooth, curved top instead of a lumpy one. Ahem, not that I’ve seen lumpy after lumpy loaf…

100% Whole Wheat Bread dough after kneading shaped into a ball

Turn 100% Whole Wheat bread Into Cinnamon Toast

You can use some of the dough for cinnamon swirl loaves too! Just melt some salted butter, sprinkle a bunch of cinnamon and brown sugar, roll and brush exposed dough with butter as you go. At the end, you guessed it, pinch and tuck your ends under. Spray your pans with cooking oil and cover the dough gently with saran wrap, being careful to not restrict any upward movement.

100% Whole Wheat Bread on a work surface sprinkled with cinnamon sugar

Let the dough rise no more than 1″ above the rim. It will rise significantly in your oven. This takes some practice knowing when to start preheating your oven. If you wait to preheat until your peaks have reached the 1″ mark, they’ll have risen another inch or two waiting for your oven to preheat. I start preheating before the peak reaches the brim of the pans.

100% Whole Wheat Bread dough in loaf pans

Bake at 350 degrees about 35 minutes (give or take). Learn your freaking oven. I have an oven thermometer that I have had for years that I carry with me in every new place we’ve lived in. Each oven heats differently, and I swear I’ve never had an oven that read the temperature it was telling me it was.

You’ll learn how many minutes your oven will take. It’s done when the crust is firm when you tap it. Slide it out of the pan and it’ll sound hollow if you thump the bottom. Depending on your loaf pan, the sides will be crusty as well (the corrugated ones with the bumpy surface produce a more crusty bottom and sides). Immediately slide them out of the pans and let them cool on a cooling rack.

100% Whole Wheat Bread loaf cut into slices with a bread knife at the side

It’s sooooo gooooooood. When I first started making bread, I was still buying a loaf at the store to give to the kids for their sandwiches because I wasn’t making it a lot and I wanted to save the good stuff for Steve and me. HA. Suckers. But then my 3-year-old figured me out and started refusing the store-bought stuff. Full-time bread-maker I became. And salted butter only for bread. Do not use that unsalted stuff.

An overhead shot of100% Whole Wheat Bread and cinnamon toast cut into slices

Especially for cinnamon swirl toast.

A close up of 100% Whole Wheat Bread cinnamon toast

*This post was sponsored by Ford

If you tried this recipe for 100% Whole Wheat Bread or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave us a comment below. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to see what else we’re getting up to!

5 from 1 vote
A side shot of a loaf of 100% whole wheat bread cut into slices
100% Whole Wheat Bread
Prep Time
2 hrs
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 30 mins
 

A delicious and easy recipe for 100% whole wheat bread that can also be made into cinnamon toast! *read entire post for details, tips, and tricks

Course: bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade bread, homemade wheat bread
Servings: 16
Calories: 255 kcal
Author: Stephanie
Ingredients
  • 2 c warm water
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 5 1/2-7 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 T plus 2 t instant yeast Saf brand
  • 1/2 c nonfat dry milk
  • 2 T vital wheat gluten
  • 2 1/2 t salt
Instructions
  1. Place warm water, oil, honey, 2 c of flour, yeast, powdered milk, and vital wheat gluten in your mixing bowl. Mix.
  2. Add 2 1/2 more cups of flour and salt, mix. Let rest in the mixer 30 minutes-1 hour.
  3. Begin kneading dough on medium speed. Add 1/2 c flour at a time until dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Once you've added enough flour to clean the bowl, knead the bread for about 4-6 minutes. Dough should be tacky not sticky, pass the window pane test, stretchy yet firm, soft.
  4. Cover with towel and let rise 1 hour.
  5. Punch down and divide dough into half for two loaves. Shape into taut logs, pinching ends and seams under loaf. Places loaves into two greased loaf pans, cover loosely with saran wrap.
  6. After about 20 minutes, begin to preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Once loaves have risen about 1" above pan rim and oven is 350 degrees, place in oven and bake 30-40 minutes.

Recipe Notes

recipe lightly adapted from King Arthur's Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread

Nutrition Facts
100% Whole Wheat Bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 255 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Sodium 388mg17%
Potassium 234mg7%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 90IU2%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 67mg7%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Nutrition Facts
100% Whole Wheat Bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 255 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Sodium 388mg17%
Potassium 234mg7%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 90IU2%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 67mg7%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

10 thoughts on “100% Whole Wheat Bread

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    1. HA! Well then I love you too!!! I don’t even remember writing that, so I’m glad little bits of our personalities can shine through every now and then :)

  1. What elevation are you? I am up really high and was wondering if you knew what and if any changes should be made according to elevation. Thanks! I am super excited to try this recipe!!

  2. Hey, do you live anywhere near Dallas? I live in India and I’m visiting the U.S this summer. Would like to enroll if you do classes. Love your site.
    Cheers

  3. Hi Stephanie, i was wondering if i could omit the vital wheat gluten and Substitute honey for all regular white granulated sugar? Thanks!

    1. There is no sugar listed in the recipe, it’s honey. And yes, you can definitely omit the vital wheat gluten, but your bread might be a little more tough/dense. Not the end of the world :)