This 100% whole wheat loaf is my idea of the perfect homemade bread. The ingredient list is fairly short and calls for only a few kitchen staples in addition to the requisite whole wheat flour, salt, water, and yeast. Compared to white flour loaves, whole grain breads are also undoubtedly the healthier choice, but its more assertive flavor and denser nature understandably takes a bit of getting used to.
Based on the master formula in Peter Reinhart’s award-winning whole grain breads book, the recipe may seem intimdating at first. The process is spread out over two days, but after trying it a few times, you’ll find that the techniques and scheduling are far more forgiving than other traditional methods.
Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread – 100% Whole Grain
makes one 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch pan loaf
For the Biga (Pre-fermented Dough):
Ingredients Volume Ounces Grams whole wheat flour 1 3/4 cups 8 227 instant yeast 1/4 tsp water, at room temperature 3/4 cup 6 170
Biga (Pre-fermented Dough) Instructions:
Mix the biga ingredients until a shaggy ball of dough is formed. Knead the biga for about 2 minutes or until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Place the biga in a bowl and cover. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. Let the biga sit at room temperature for about 2 hours before using in the final dough.
For the Soaker:
Ingredients Volume Ounces Grams whole wheat flour 1 3/4 cups 8 227 kosher salt 1 tsp .14 4 whole milk 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp 7 198
Mix the soaker ingredients until evenly hydrated. Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.
Final Dough Formula:
Ingredients Volume Ounces Grams all of the biga, cut into small pieces all of the soaker, cut into small pieces whole wheat flour 7 tbsp 2 57 kosher salt 1/2 tbsp .18 5 instant yeast 2 1/4 tsp .25 7 honey 2 1/4 tbsp 1.5 43 unsalted butter, melted 1 tbsp .5 14
Final Dough Instructions:
Mix Mix all of the ingredients until evenly incorporated Knead 8 to 10 minutes Rest 5 minutes Knead 1 minute to further strengthen the gluten Bulk Ferment 45 to 60 minutes at room temperature in a lightly oiled bowl, or until 1 1/2 times its size Shape loaf pan shape, in a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan Preheat Oven 425ºF/218ºC Final Proof 45 to 60 minutes at room temperature, or until 1 1/2 times its size
Proofed whole grain honey wheat sandwich dough.
Bake Lower the temperature immediately to 350ºF/177ºC. Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the loaf if necessary and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the loaf registers 195ºF/91ºC in the center. Cool At least 1 hour
Whole grain honey wheat sandwich bread crust.
Whole grain honey wheat sandwich bread crumb.
Links about Peter Reinhart’s whole wheat sandwich bread: