Tuesday, October 27, 2009

5-Minute Recipe for 100% Whole Wheat Bread

Makes 2-3 loaves. Recipe can easily be doubled or halved.

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (1 1/2 packets)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
5 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil, plus more for greasing the pan
6 2/3 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly milled hard white wheat)

Mix together the water, milk, salt, honey and oil. I use boiling water and milk from the fridge, which together with the oil and honey make just the right temperature for the yeast when all is mixed.

Add yeast and stir (don't worry too much about it all dissolving).

Add flour and mix in without kneading using a big spoon, food processor, or KitchenAid with dough hook (speed 2). You may need a little more flour - the dough should basically somewhat hold its shape and pull away from the bowl, but still be very moist and not dry at all. The secret to this dough is that it is very wet, which is why it will rise without kneading and also keep well in the fridge.

Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough doubles.

The dough can be used immediately, but it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container. Dough can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. I keep mine in a 1 gallon plastic pitcher with lid (vented).

When you are ready to bake, wet your hands and tear off a piece of dough about the size of a cantaloupe. Quickly shape and place in greased bread pan. Cover and allow to rise until about doubled.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place an oven-proof bowl with cold water on a rack in the oven below the rack that the bread pan will be on. Bake bread for about 50 minutes.

When bread is done, rub top immediately with a stick of butter, which will make the top very soft and easier to slice. Take out of pan and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

Alternatively, the equivalent of one loaf also makes about a dozen rolls, which I make by simply placing balls of dough in a greased muffin tin. You can do this the night before and let them rise in the fridge overnight, setting them out in the morning for only 15 minutes or so for the dough to warm up a little before baking. I bake them at 350 degrees for about 20 or 25 minutes - just going by the color of the rolls and not really timing them. Again, I rub a stick of butter on the top of them as soon as they come out of the oven and then put them on a cooling rack. This recipe also makes fantastic hot dog and hamburger buns.

The dough is suited for any sweet baked good that uses yeast dough, such as cinnamon rolls, although if you have it on hand you may want to replace the hard wheat with soft wheat (pastry flour). Do not use the pastry flour for making bread, though.

This recipe is NOT conducive to making pizza crust and french bread, because it contains milk and bakes up too soft.

I got this recipe from "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day". Most of the recipes in the book use white flour, BUT they just released their new book TODAY: "Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day". I ordered a copy on Amazon and will let you all know how I like it - supposedly, it has many recipes that use 100% whole grains.

I calculated that using all organic ingredients, raw honey, and raw milk this recipe comes out to less than $1 per loaf, with very little time or effort expended. Right now I am experimenting with using other grains, and adding sprouted wheat berries.

If you find yourself baking all or most of your family's bread (as I have done consistently since discovering this recipe), you may want to invest in an electric slicer. I found several on craigslist for $10-$30. You will be able to use the slicer for cutting meats and cheeses as well, which can help save money by buying in bulk.
Please leave me a comment if you try this recipe and let me know how you like it.


  1. Great recipe thanks! I *LOVE* home made breads. I cant say Im an expert, but people say I should go into business whenever I make the no knead bread recipe from NY times.

    Check it out. Try it out. I think you'll love it! Its like a french loaf with very simple ingredients and done inside of a cast iron pot (hopefully you have one for stews or whatever). Making the bread inside of the pot (in the oven) helps retain the moisture and gives you a superb crispy crust with a soft chewy inside.

    Its so good I might just have to make it again this week!!!


    So, thanks for the wheat bread recipe. I will try it out with sunflower seeds.


  2. yummy! I'll have to try this bread!

    I wanted to add that 2 years ago I was given a new slicer as a Chiristmas gift, and bread was nearly the only thing it was good for. It was very similar to the one above. I was just not very pleased with it, and it took up a bunch of space.


  3. I love the idea that I can make up the dough ahead, but bake a loaf fresh every day or two. I will definitely be trying this recipe.


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