Easy 100% Whole Wheat Bread in 90 Minutes

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Easy 100% Whole Wheat Bread in 90 Minutes

Easy 100% Whole Wheat Bread in 90 Minutes

This is a great 100% whole wheat bread recipe for beginners and experts alike.  It is *almost* foolproof.  But, just to make sure you know what you’re doing, we have a picture tutorial on the process of making 100% whole wheat bread.  Explaining bread making in written words is challenging, so please bear with our long post.
Mix the 3 1/2 cups of flour, vital wheat gluten, (Vital wheat gluten naturally occurs in wheat.  It’s what holds the bread together.  Adding just a little more makes your bread nice and stretchy.) and yeast in your mixer with the dough hook.  (We recommend the Bosch Universal for durability and performance, but you can use whatever mixer you have.)  Add the water all at once and mix for 1 minute.  Cover it and let it rest for 10 minutes.  This allows the yeast to proof a little bit (Even though we’re using instant yeast which doesn’t need proofing, it still makes the final product just that much fluffier.)
While the dough is resting, assemble the remaining ingredients.  When the 10 minutes is up, add the salt, oil or soy lecithin, (Lecithin is a healthier option.  It is very beneficial to the brain.) honey or brown sugar, (Honey will keep the bread more moist, but some like the flavor of brown sugar.) and dough enhancer.  (Dough enhancer works with the yeast to make a fluffier bread.  The citric acid in it also acts as a natural preservative, allowing your bread to keep for a week or more just sitting on the counter.)  Knead for 1 minute.  Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time.  The last 1/2 cup may or may not be needed depending on the moisture in the air.  Knead for 6-8 minutes until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. 
In the picture above, the dough has too much flour.  This is not a bad thing.  It’s actually smarter to put all the flour in, then add water as needed because any flour added after the first 3 minutes of kneading will actually contribute to dryer bread.
This picture shows what  to look for when you want to start checking if the dough is developed.
Some mixers may fully knead the bread in less time and some may take more time.  The best way to know if the gluten is fully developed and the dough is ready to be shaped is to do a window pane test.  This video demonstrates how to do this.  (Sorry for the poor video quality.)   Spray your hands with cooking spray and grab a small glob of dough.  Stretch it gently with your fingers.  The thinner you can stretch the dough before it starts to tear is how you tell.  If it starts to tear quickly, it needs to knead more.  The dough in the video needs some more kneading,  You can also over-knead it and it will revert back to being basically undeveloped and there’s really no way to fix that.  So be careful. 
The next step is to shape the dough into loaves. Spray your counter top with non-stick spray and plop your dough out.  Don’t use flour.  It’ll dry your bread out.  Weigh your dough out into 1 1/2 pound portions.  While it’s not crucial that you weigh the dough, it does help to keep the bread from falling or being too heavy.  Too much dough in the pan = the dough rising too high above the pan and falling because of a lack of support above the pan or not rising enough, resulting in heavy bread.

Shape your loaves and place them in your bread pans. After your loaves are shaped all pretty in the pans, brush the tops with melted butter or spray with butter flavored cooking spray.  This little extra step keeps the tops from drying out while rising and makes a super soft crust.

Turn your oven on for 1 minute, then turn it off.  Put your bread in there to rise for 10-15 minutes or until the dough reaches the top of the pan.  Then turn your oven on to 350 degrees without taking the bread out and set your timer for 35 minutes.  While the oven is pre-heating, the bread will finish rising and then automatically begin to bake.   

After 35 minutes, take your bread out of the oven, get it out of the pans, and place it to cool on a cooling rack.  Again, brush the tops with melted butter or spray with butter flavored cooking spray.  It makes the crust super super soft and gives a delicious buttery flavor.

Cut a slice while it’s still hot and spread some butter on it.  Enjoy!

Click on the photo above to enlarge it and check out that texture!

Oven: 350 F    Prep: 15 minutes    Rise: 30 minutes
Bake: 35 minutes    Cool: 1 hour    Makes: 5-6 loaves
 6 cups warm water
 1 cup honey
 ¼ cup liquid lecithin or oil
 1 tablespoon salt
 2 tablespoons dough enhancer
 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
 16-18 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour
 2 tablespoons SAF instant yeast
 Butter for brushing on tops

Directions:
1. Pour water in bowl of bread mixer. Add honey, lecithin, salt, dough enhancer, and vital wheat gluten.
2. Add 10 cups of flour, then add the yeast.
3. Turn the mixer on to speed 2 and let all the ingredients combine. Add more flour until you see the curve of
the bowl. The dough should still be quite sticky. If not, add more water. This will keep your bread from
being dry and heavy.
4. (At this point, the water hasn’t had time to fully absorb the flour. When the flour is fully absorbed, the
dough will become less sticky. This is what you want to happen. If you’re not sure about the consistency of
the dough, pinch it between your fingers. If you feel the pressure of your fingers, add more flour. If it is not
sticky, add water.)
5. Knead dough for 8 minutes to develop the gluten.
6. Shape the dough into loaves and place in bread pans.
7. Let rise until the dough reaches about 1 inch above the tops of the pans (about 30 minutes). Preheat oven to
350 F at this time.
8. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.
9. Immediately remove from pans and place on cooling rack. Brush tops with melted butter and allow to cool
completely before slicing.

 

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Comments (2)

  • Shawn Hoth Reply

    I don’t see the actual ingredients on the blog post. I’ve tried this recipe before and remember it working well. Do you have the amount of each ingredient?
    Also, soy lecithin is hard to find. I don’t live in the Ogden area any more and I haven’t been able to find it in my new area.
    Can I substitute it with something?

    August 30, 2021 at 1:36 pm
    • Caleb Williams Reply

      Just fixed it! You can substitute the lecithin with vegetable oil!

      September 10, 2021 at 1:45 pm

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