Finally, there is a 100% whole wheat bread recipe on this channel. The heathiest loaf to come out my oven by far. It is super easy to make too!
The dough is made with wheat flour and rye flour for a more complex flavour and texture. A soaker of whole grains and seeds provides extra nutritional value and helps the bread retain more water keeping the crumb moister for longer. If you have never used a soaker before, then this will be a perfect introduction. To learn more about soakers check out the Principles of Baking playlist on my channel.
I used barley, buckwheat, oats, black sesame seeds, and millet in my soaker and covered the loaf in sunflower seeds. The beauty of this recipe is that you can customize it however you like with your favourite grains and seeds. The soaker can be prepared as little as 3 hours ahead of making the dough. I left mine to soak for 24 hours.
The dough is cold bulk fermented which means that the initial fermentation is done in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. It gives the bread a more distinct flavour and texture. A long fermentation also helps with breaking down the gluten in the dough making it more easily digestible. A slow fermentation also gives us great flexibility on when to bake the bread as it can be fermented for as little as 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
You must use a high protein whole wheat flour for this recipe. The flour I used had a protein content of 15%. You can go as low as 13%, but I would not suggest using flour that is weaker than that. It will be extremely difficult to knead this dough effectively and develop strong enough gluten using weak flour.
Whenever I make bread with whole wheat or rye flour, I like to sweeten the dough slightly with honey, maple syrup or malt syrup simply because I like the flavour. You can leave the syrup out if you like.
Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.
For the soaker –
20g (0.7oz) barley
20g (0.7oz) millet
20g (0.7oz) buckwheat
20g (0.7oz) black sesame seeds
20g (0.7oz) oats
2g (0.07oz) salt
200g (7oz) boiling water
For the dough –
350g (12.4oz) high protein whole wheat flour (13% or more)
50g (1.75oz) whole (dark) rye flour
8g (0.3oz) salt
3g (0.1oz) instant dry yeast or 3.6g (0.12oz) active dry yeast or 9g (0.3oz) fresh yeast
10g (0.35oz) malt syrup or any sweet syrup you like
200g (7oz) water
To learn more about dough temperature control click here.
100g sunflower seeds to cover the loaf
- Make the soaker. Combine the barley, millet, buckwheat, sesame seeds, oats, and salt in a bowl. Add the boiling water and stir to dissolve the salt. Cover and leave to soak for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Make the dough. In a large bowl combine the water, yeast, salt, soaker, and malt syrup. Mix well to dissolve the salt and syrup and hydrate the yeast. Add the rye flour and mix well. Finally, add the whole wheat flour and mix until there is no dry flour left.
- Cover and leave to hydrate for 30 minutes. This passive step will make the kneading process easier since the flour will absorb water and start developing gluten before we even touch it.
- Tip the dough out on the table and knead using the stretch & fold method for around 8 – 10 minutes. The weaker your flour the longer you will have to knead it. I kneaded my dough for 8 minutes. *Desired dough temperature 23C (74F).
- Place the dough in the bowl, cover, and chill down for 1 hour.
- Cold ferment for up to 24 hours.
- Once you are ready to proceed dust the dough with flour, release it from the bowl and tip it out on the table with the smooth side down. Flatten it slightly and shape into a loaf. Fold the two sides over each other in the middle and roll the dough up gently.
- Roll the loaf in sunflower seeds until the whole surface is covered. Be gentle and don’t rush this step to not deform the dough.
- Place the dough in a loaf tin. I used a 1kg (2lb) tin. You can find the exact tin I use in my Amazon store linked below.
- Final proof will take 3 – 4 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen. *During the final hour of fermentation preheat your oven to 210C (410F) fan off.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Take the loaf out of the tin. Place it back into the oven. Lay it down on its side to prevent it from deforming. Bake for another 10 minutes. This step will ensure that the loaf keeps it shape as it cools, and it will attain an even bake on the crust all around.
Leave to cool down and enjoy!
Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.
Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.
Watch the video here