Are you struggling to find a 100% whole wheat bread recipe that you love? You’re not alone! I spent several years searching for the “perfect” one! In that time, I turned out crumbly loaves, flat loaves, hollow loaves and yes, even over-baked loaves! But finally, I found the one! Good things are meant to be shared and so, I’m going to share it with you today!
What To Expect From This Bread Recipe
This recipe uses 100% whole wheat flour. No refined products in sight! It’s easy to make and doesn’t call for unnecessary additives. This is a plain, simple, whole grain bread for the table!
3 Tips on the Bread-Making Process
As we start in, there are three things you should know about this bread loaf; two that are necessary for creating a good loaf!
Use Home Milled Flour
This recipe calls for freshly-ground, red fife wheat flour. I highly discourage you from making this recipe with the whole grain flour you find on the grocery store shelves! The flavor will be far superior and I haven’t tested it with anything but freshly ground flour.
Use Freshly Milled Flour
While I do often freeze pre-ground flour to preserve it’s natural oil and nutrients, I like to use the fresh stuff when baking bread. Because it’s slightly warm when it comes out of the grain grinder, it creates an excellent environment for the yeast, which will be especially active with the added warmth!
You’ll Want to Use An Electric Bread Mixer
To create a stronger crumb, this recipe requires you to knead your bread sponge for 10 minutes. While you can do this by hand, an electric bread mixer does wonders! In my kitchen, I use the Bosch (see my resource page).
A 100% Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
These things aside, let me walk you through the how tos of creating this particular recipe! If you already feel confident with the bread-making process, you can always scroll down to the bottom of the page where I have a printable recipe waiting for you!
Step 1: Set Your Yeast to Rise
In a glass measuring cup, add warm water, honey and then yeast. While you let it sit for 5-8 minutes, go grind some fresh flour for your loaves.
Step 2: Grind Your Flour
For this recipe, you’ll need 6 C of fresh flour. I recommend using red fife wheat, primarily because I’ve only tested it with that particular variety. Red fife and spelt, that is!
Step 3: Add Ingredients to the Mixing Bowl
To your mixing bowl, add 4 C of flour, followed by the yeast water, oil, salt and vinegar. Turn the bread mixer on, then set your timer for 10 minutes. Kneading the dough strengthens the glutinous strands, resulting in a less crumbly loaf and a higher rise in the bread pan.
When you begin, your dough will be lumpy, like this!
By the end of 10 minutes, your dough should be smooth and elastic looking.
Step 4: Add the Remaining Flour
At this point, you’ll still have 2 C of flour that need to be added. If your bread mixer can handle it, go ahead and add another cup of flour to it. And then?
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and work in the last 1 C of whole wheat flour.
Step 5: Let It Rise
This accomplished, shape your dough into a ball and set it in an oiled bowl.
Wet a cloth with hot water, wring it out and drape it over the top of the bowl. Let it rise in a warm place, until dough has nearly doubled in size.
Step 6: Shape Loaves for Rising and Preheat the Oven
When your dough has reached a full rise, turn it out onto a floured (or oiled) surface. Flatten the ball into a 1 inch disc. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a loaf. Place the loaves into buttered bread pans.
At this time, you should start preheating the oven to 350F so it’s ready when the loaves are!
Step 7: Rise and Bake
Once again, cover the dough with a moist cloth and let each loaf rise until nearly double in size. Pop the bread into the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Step 8: Steam and Cool
After removing the loaves from the oven, let them sit for 5 minutes in their pans before turning out onto a cooling rack. Once again, moisten your cloth and steam the loaves for 1-2 hours.
And then? Grab the butter, homemade jam and just enjoy a slice!
100% Whole Wheat Bread
- 1 Tbsp yeast
- 2 C warm water
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1/3 C olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 6 C red fife or spelt flour
- Measure out warm water and stir in honey
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of yeast on top of the liquid, then set aside
- In a bread mixer, place butter, salt and apple vinegar and 4 C freshly ground flour
- Pour the yeast water into the mixing bowl as well and turn on your mixer
- Let it knead the dough for 10 minutes
- Once the time is up, add in another 1 C flour until mixed
- Turn your dough out onto a floured surface and knead in the last cup of flour
- Roll the dough into a ball and place it in a large, oil bowl. Cover with a dampened tea towel
- Leave your dough to rise in a warm place, until it has nearly doubled in size
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface and flatted into a 1 inch disc
- Fold the dough into a ball and divide into two parts, shaping two loaves
- Grease two bread pans and pop your formed loaves into them.
- At this point, you should preheat the oven to 350 so it's ready when the dough is!
- Leave the loaves to rise in a warm place, once again covering dough with a moistened tea towel
- When the loaves have nearly doubled in size, place them in your hot oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes at 350F
- When the loaves are done, remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Remove loaves from the pan and set on a cooling rack. Cover with a moistened cloth and let them steam and cool for 1-2 hours.
Storing Your Bread Loaves
If you have anything left over, there are a few things you should know about storing whole wheat bread! Are you ready?
Tip 1: Always Let Your Loaves Cool Before Storing
Always make certain your loaves have cooled before bagging them up. Steam will create moisture in the bag, which often leads to mold…or soggy bread!
Tip 2: Store Your Bread in Zip Loc Bags
Whole wheat bread dries out very quickly. If you want to keep it soft and moist, keep it in a ziplock bag. And remember to keep the bag closed!
Tip 3: Freeze for Long Term Storage
Because 100% whole wheat bread doesn’t contain high amounts of sugar or preservatives, it will mold much faster than the bread you get at the grocery store! If you can’t eat it all in week’s time, freeze it. And just another tip?
Slice it before freezing, then freeze with the bag open so excess moisture can escape and slices don’t stick together. It’s wonderful to be able to pop frozen slices directly into the toaster for a fast and easy breakfast!
One Last Thought
I should also mention that if you aren’t accustomed to consuming 100% whole wheat products, your gut will go through a period of adjusting. And by that I mean…ehm…well, let’s just say the roughage will do it’s work in your colon! Your body should adjust over the course of several weeks, and things should return to normal.
Happy bread making!
Such a pretty name, Autumn. And it’s my favorite season! Lovely website, too. It’s interesting, but I never heard of putting vinegar in homemade bread. What purpose does it serve?
Some people think vinegar can help break down phytic acid in whole grains, so it digests easier. And it can make pastries softer. Glad you stopped by!
Lisa Imes says
What size pan?
Normal size bread pans…and pans with high walls are nice for whole wheat because it forces the weak gluten to push the bread up, instead of out!
Cathy Ckarke says
Looking forward to trying this recipe. I read through your instructions above and found one typo, I think. Step 3 in the recipe instructions after the ingredients list it says …add butter etc to the mixer bowl. No butter listed in the ingredients. Might be confusing for a novice bread maker.
Hubby is on a sugar and carb restricted diet so hoping this will be more healthy for him, if I leave any!
Thanks for the heads up. That should read “oil” instead of butter! Best of luck with your bread baking!