Who says whole wheat bread has to be dense, dry, and tasteless? This 100% whole wheat recipe features the delightfully nutty taste of wheat in a fine-grained, moist, faintly sweet loaf.
Hands On Time: 12 to 23 minutes
Baking Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 17 minutes to 5 hours 3 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf
1 to 1-1/8 cups lukewarm water*
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. honey, molasses, or maple syrup
3-1/2 cups King Arthurs White Whole Wheat flour (Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour
2-1/2 teaspoons instants yeast (or 1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tablespoons of the water in the recipe)
1/4 c. non-fat dry milk
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
*Use the greater amount in winter or in a dry climate; the lesser amount in summer or a humid climate.
1) In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. For easiest, most effective kneading, let the dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes in the bowl; this gives the flour a chance to absorb some of the liquid, and the bran to soften. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minute, or until it begins to become smooth. (You may also knead this dough in a electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine programmed for “dough” or “manual”) Note: This dough should be soft, yet still firm enough to knead. Adjust its consistency with additional water or flour, if necessary.
2) Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl or large measuring cup, cover it, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, or till the center has crowned about 1″ above the rim of the pan.
3) Transfer dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8″ log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8-1/2 X 4-1/2 loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for 1 to 2 hours, or till the center has crowned 1″ above the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4) Bake bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning.
*The liquid sweetener you choose makes a difference. Molasses produces the darkest loaf, one with old-fashioned flavor. Honey yields a lighter, milder loaf. maple syrup makes a less-sweet loaf–unless you use real maple syrup, it’ll be similar to a loaf made with honey.
*If you’re someone who tends to taste whole wheat as somewhat bitter, try substituting 1/4 cup of water in this recipe. A bit of orange juice tones down whole wheat’s somewhat tannic taste.