culinary review

Basic Whole Wheat Loaf

Last Modified: 10/02/11
First Published: 10/01/11
Views: 933
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Views: 933

A nice, flavorful rather light whole wheat loaf, that was the goal of this bread, and it was indeed accomplished. If you have been looking for a simple loaf without too much fuss for sandwiches, toast etc… then this would be a great recipe to try. This bread is made with 2/3 whole wheat flour and 1/3 bread flour and it makes for a nice wheaty flavor without being too heavy and dense.

The secret to making excellent high percentage whole wheat bread is to only use very fresh whole wheat flour. If you're trying to make this bread with some old flour which has been sitting on the shelf for you-don't-know-how-long, then think again and go out and buy some new, freshly milled flour. Whole wheat flour goes rancid rather quickly, so ideally store the rest of your flour in the freezer once you're done baking these loaves, that way you'll know the flour will be in optimal condition the next time you want to do some baking.

Whole wheat flour also requires a bit of sweetness to balance it right. Here we have used honey which is a great choice and gives the bread a nice scent and a hint of sweetness, especially when toasted.

Makes two loaves


  • 453 g whole wheat flour
  • 240 g white bread flour
  • 3 tbsp of dry milk
  • 3 tsp instant yeast
  • 480 g water
  • 100 g honey (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tsp salt


Mix the whole wheat flour, bread flour, dry milk, yeast, water and honey in a mixer for about two minutes or until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes, ideally up to an hour.

Add the salt and knead the bread on medium-low in a mixer for about 8 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set to rise for about 1 hour and a half (if you have the time, fold the dough a few times about halfway through the rising process.)

Now time for shaping: divide the dough in two and shape two loaves, place them in oiled bread pans. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and set to rise for another hour and a half.

About 30 minutes before baking, put the oven on 425 degrees and ideally have a baking stone and a rack underneath with a cast iron pan for steaming. Place the bread pans on the baking stone, toss 1/2 cup of ice cubes on the cast iron pan and immediately shut the door. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for about 45 minutes or until the breads are nice an golden and an instant read thermometer reads about 195 degrees F.