This is the exact recipe and method that I use at home for my family’s whole wheat sandwich bread. My mom and sister were recently visiting and watched me as a baked a big batch of whole wheat bread. Their comments while we were baking made me realize that it may be useful to write this down for anyone else who needs a refresher.
For this bread, I use a Bosch Mixer and freshly milled flour from my Nutrimill Grain Mill. This recipe is written exactly for this mixer and flour. I make no guarantees about whole wheat bread success if you are using different tools or ingredients. If you have a smaller capacity mixer, you may want to check out my recipe for Small Batch Sandwich Bread.
When I teach classes, I use this same exact method in my classes. If you took a whole wheat bread class from me a while back, it is quite possible that this recipe has evolved slightly since we baked together. The main change being that I now consistently add one cup of white, organic flour (store-bought!) to the batch of bread. I’m still using vital wheat gluten and dough enhancer, but the white flour seems to help greatly with a great rise on the bread.
As my sister, mom and I were baking, we also talked through lots of little techniques that can help with a great loaf of bread. We spoke about bread pan size, oiling the tops of the loaf, and the type of oil that I use. Every time I bake bread with someone, some specific questions come to light – maybe the sugar, type of salt, or oven temperature. Bread baking is also different during every season of the year, it’s one of the challenges that allows the baker a certain amount of pride when the loaves turn out perfectly.
If you want to learn this method in person, or just need a refresher course, give me a call or email me for more information.
- 6 cups of warm water (think, baby bath water)
- approximately 16 cups of freshly milled flour using a Nutri Mill Grain Mill
- 1 cup of organic, white flour
- ⅔ cup (or 5 ounces) of olive or safflower oil
- ⅔ cup (or 6 ounces) of honey
- 2 T Vital Wheat Gluten, L'equip brand
- 2 T Dough Enhancer, L'equip brand
- 2 T instant yeast, SAF brand, not quick rising
- 2 T fine sea salt, I use RealSalt brand
- Add water to bowl of Bosch Mixer fitted with the dough hook.
- Add olive oil, honey, white flour, 8 cups of whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten, dough enhancer and yeast.
- Turn Bosch to speed one and mix until combined, about 30 seconds.
- Dough will be very wet, more like a batter consistency. Cover with bowl lid and let rest for 10 minutes. If you are short on time, you can skip this step.
- After ten minutes, open lid, add 4 more cups of whole wheat flour, and salt. Pulse a few times until combined.
- Turn Bosch to setting one and slowing add remaining flour about 1 cup at a time until the dough just cleans the side of the bowl and pulls away from the center post. For the last cup or so of flour, add it about ¼ cup at a time. The dough can be slightly wet, as it will continue to absorb liquid as in kneads.
- Turn the machine to speed 2, replace lid and knead for 8 minutes.
- Remove dough onto a large oiled bread board or counter top. Divide into 6 portions. I measure mine into 1 pound 6 ounce portions. This is the perfect size for the 8.5"x4" bread pans. Note that bread pans may have a different rise since the whole grain breads seem to rise better in a narrower pan.If you have larger pans, you may need to make 5 loaves or make more dough to make 6 loaves. To make 6 larger loaves, increase water in step one to 7 cups and add about 3 cups of flour to the recipe - everything else can stay the same.
- Shape bread and place into oiled pans.
- Oil the tops of the bread with olive oil.
- Allow to rise in a warm spot, away from drafts, until the bread is about 1 inch above the top of the pan - about 45 minutes.
- While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Once the bread is risen, bake for 30 minutes until it is golden brown.
- Remove the baked bread from pans immediately and cool on racks.
- Allow to cool 3 hours before you bag it. These loaves can be frozen at this point.
If you are curious, here is short video of my Bosch kneading this recipe.