Homemade Whole-Grain Bread Recipe

Nutritious bread doesn’t have to be dense and bland. Revolutionize your whole grain baking using this Homemade Whole-Grain Bread recipe based on the methods of baking expert Peter Reinhart. You’ll make homemade whole-grain bread with a surprisingly light texture and rich flavor.


| December 2012/January 2013


Here we are following the time-tested method of creating pre-doughs that is discussed at length in Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads. The recipe is rather adaptable. A little extra fat creates a soft, airy crumb and slows staling; honey sweetens; buttermilk adds acidity and a pleasant tang; and orange juice tempers the faint bitterness in whole wheat without adding orange flavor. None of these things, however, is necessary for good bread. To keep things super-simple and super-cheap, omit everything except the flour, yeast, salt and water, and substitute water for the other liquids.

If you’re not accustomed to eating 100 percent whole-grain foods, you may want to substitute unbleached bread flour for a portion of the whole-wheat flour. Keep in mind that whole-wheat flour absorbs more liquid than white flour, so reduce the liquid somewhat if using white flour. You can always add more water later.

Homemade Whole-Grain Bread Recipe

Makes a 1-pound loaf. 

Sponge
1 3/4 cups (8 ounces) whole-wheat flour
1/4 tsp (.03 ounces) instant yeast
3/4 cup (6 ounces) cool water 

Soaker
8 ounces whole-wheat flour, OR 1/4 cup (2 ounces) whole-wheat flour PLUS 6 ounces combined total cooked and uncooked grains (see our Cooking Grains chart)
1/2 tsp (0.14 ounces) kosher or sea salt
1/2 to 2/3 cup (4 to 5 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt (wet grains require less liquid than dry grains)
2 tbsp (1 ounce) orange juice 

Final Dough
All of Sponge recipe
All of Soaker recipe
1 tsp (1/8 ounce) salt
2 1/4 tsp (1/4 ounce; 1 standard packet) instant yeast
1 tbsp (1/2 ounce) unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp (1 ounce) honey
Extra flour and water for adjustments 

charene
11/21/2017 8:05:10 PM

Gotta say, it was strange adding dry yeast and salt to a dough like that, but it worked. The weight of flour depends on the flour, and for me 8oz was 1.5cups, so my loaf was a little on the small side. The result wasn't really better or worse than my usual, but it was much cleaner (ie., non sticky), and that made it seem easier.


charene
11/21/2017 8:02:41 PM

Gotta say, as a baker for a number of years, it was REALLY strange to put dry yeast and salt into a dough like that, but it worked. The weight of flour depends on the flour, for me it was 8oz per 1.5cups. The loaf was on the small side. The results were no better or worse than my usual recipe, but I have to admit it was the "cleanest", most non-sticky dough ever, and that made it seem easier.


charene
11/21/2017 7:58:53 PM

Gotta say, as a baker for a number of years, it was REALLY strange to put dry yeast and salt into a dough like that, but it worked. The weight of flour depenfds on the flour, for me it was 8oz per 1.5cups. The results were no better or worse than my usual recipe, but I have to admit it was the "cleanest", most non-sticky dough ever, and that made it seem easier.






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