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All Wheat Bread

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All Wheat Bread

All Wheat Bread

Photo © Elizabeth Yetter

I seldom bake a whole wheat bread with only whole wheat flour. I like to add bread flour to my breads for personal consumption. There are, however, many people who want a loaf of bread made with only whole wheat flour, so this is the simple recipe I use for them. All the ingredients are very basic, and the recipe can be easily altered by using different sweeteners to give the bread different flavors..

Yield: 2 loaves.

Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp or 2 packets (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1 Tbsp sugar or other natural sweetener
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 6 cups whole wheat flour, about

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, mix water and yeast. Add butter, sugar, and salt. Stir. Add 4 cups of whole wheat flour and mix well. Slowly add in remaining flour, enough flour to make a dough that follows the spoon around the bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 4 minutes, adding more flour as needed until the dough is soft and smooth to the touch. Place dough in large greased bowl. Turn dough over in bowl so that the top is also lightly greased. Cover with clean cloth and let rise in warm, draft-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

  2. Punch down dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead for 4 minutes or until the bubbles are out of the bread. For loaves, divide dough into two equal halves. Shape each half into a loaf. Place each loaf into a greased and cornmealed 9 x 5-inch bread pan. To make braided bread, divide the two into two equal parts. Set on part aside and divide the other part into three equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12 inch rope and braid. Repeat with second half of dough. Place braided loaves onto greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

  3. Bake loaves at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes or until the bread is brown and sounds hollow when the top is tapped. Remove each loaf from pan and let cool on rack.

Bread Baking Tips:

  • The 1 Tbsp of sugar in this recipe can be replaced with 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp honey, 1 Tbsp molasses, or 1 Tbsp maple syrup.

  • When honey is added to bread dough, it helps protect the baked bread's moisture.

  • Add a half cup of raisins or dried cranberries to the bread dough for extra sweetness.

  • Spraying loaves with water while they bake will produce a crispy crust.

  • Brush loaves with egg white before baking to produce a shiny crust.

  • Brush loaves with milk before baking to produce a dark, shiny crust.

  • Brush loaves with butter immediately after baking to produce a soft crust.

  • Use bottled water instead of tap water to make your breads. Water softeners and chlorinated public water can sometimes kill the yeast needed to make your bread dough rise.

  • It is not hard to learn how to braid bread dough.

  • Keep yeast stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator. Heat, moisture, and air kills the yeast and prevents bread dough from rising.

  • To keep bread soft, store in a plastic bag.

  • Store flour properly to keep it from spoiling.
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