100% Whole Wheat Bread

This recipe is the not only the basic recipe I use for all of my whole wheat breads, it is the base of all my whole wheat bread recipes…if you master this recipe the variations from this are nearly limitless. This is also an excellent example of artisan bread being made with only whole wheat flour. I use a few more ingredients in this recipe than in the most basic of them all–four ingredient bread–but I prefer this one. And while the Ezekiel Bread recipe and Brown Rice bread may have more substance to them, they also require more time and a bit more effort…this bread, on the other hand, is simple to make (but not simple in flavor). This recipe is also an excellent example of my theory that bread nearly makes itself…we–the bakers–simply combine the ingredients and guide them along. This can be baked free-form (as pictured in this post) or in loaf pans for a more traditional sandwich bread.

100%Whole Wheat Bread
Makes2 loaves
6cups whole wheat flour, divided
2tablespoons vital wheat gluten
3cups water, divided
4teaspoons instant yeast, divided
2teaspoons kosher salt
1/4cup olive oil
1/4cup honey
Separatethe ingredients in two bowls using this ratio: In one bowl combine 4cups of flour, the vital wheat gluten, and 2 cups of water. Stir itjust until combined; cover with plastic wrap and set aside. In asecond bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups flour and 1 cup water and 2teaspoons of yeast. Stir it just until combined; cover with plasticwrap and set aside. Allow the bowls to rest for at least an hour.After the ingredients have rested and have begun to ferment, combinethe contents of both bowls to an upright mixer that is fitted with adough hook. Also add the remaining ingredients: the salt,olive oil, honey, and remaining two teaspoons yeast. Knead the dough onmedium speed for about 8 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap andallow to rise for one hour. Transfer the dough to a work surface, cutit into two pieces, gently shape it into loaves, and place themeither on a baking sheet or in loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap andallow to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat an oven to 425F/218C. If makingfree-form loaves, slash them with a razor just before they go intothe oven. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, or until golden brownand sounds hollow when tapped on. As the bread bakes roate the loavesin the oven once or twice to ensure even baking. Remove the breadfrom their pans and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

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