Go Back Email Link
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Softest Whole Wheat Bread

This nutritious wheat bread is soft enough to eat as is, and stable enough to use for sandwiches. Say goodbye to dense or crumbly wheat bread!
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 2 loaves
Author: Lori Vaughn

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups warm water about 110 degrees
  • 1 ½ TB instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter softened (or oi+ more for brushing
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • About 6 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 TB vital wheat gluten**

Instructions

Create Sponge

  • In a large bowl (or mixer with dough hook), mix together the water, yeast, honey, and 3 cups of flour. Mix well until combined. Cover with a clean sack cloth towel or sprayed plastic wrap and wait about 20 minutes, or until the mixture has almost doubled in size and looks “sponge-like”.

Create Dough

  • Add the vital wheat gluten, 1 more cup of flour, salt, and butter (or oil) to your sponge. It is normal for your sponge to “deflate” as you mix this together. Slowly incorporate the remaining flour in ½ cup increments. When the dough seems soft, not too sticky, and is gently pulling away from the sides of the bowl, it means you’ve added enough flour. Knead for 10 minutes.
  • If you are kneading by hand: when the dough mixture becomes more difficult to stir and work with in the bowl (usually at about 5 – 5 ½ cups). I like to work in the rest of the flour by hand. Place the dough on a clean, floured work surface. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough and begin to knead. The quicker you work your hands, the less likely they are to stick. I like to knead by pulling in the corners of the dough with my fingers and then pressing down with heel of my hand, quickly and gently over and over again. While doing so, I continue to slowly add additional spoonfuls of flour. This will take about 10 minutes depending on how fast you knead. You know the dough is ready when it’s not too sticky, and very soft.
  • After kneading, round out the dough into a circle; doesn’t have to be perfect. Grease or flour the bottom of a bowl, place dough in bowl, and cover. Let rise about 25-30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Forming the Loaves

  • Grease two 9x5 inch pans. Punch down the risen dough to release air bubbles. Divide the dough in half. Gently work your dough into a thick rectangle (about 12x8)and fold into thirds. Roll it up, pinch the seams together, and gently throw your loaf on the work surface to release any last air bubbles. (There are many ways to form a loaf. Do what's comfortable and what works for you.)
  • Place loaves in prepared pans, cover, and let rise again for about 25 minutes, or until thepeak of the loaf is just arching over the rim of the pan.
  • While dough rises, preheat oven to 350°(I like 375°F for high altitude).

Bake

  • Bake for about 25 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. If the tops are browning too quickly, but still needs time to cook, you can cover tops with aluminum foil to slow down the browning.
  • Transfer loaves to a cooling rack and generously lather the tops with butter while warm.

Notes

*I like to grind my wheat fresh using a certified Kamut grain or another favorite is Lehi Roller Mills hard white wheat. 1 cup grain yields about 1 ½ cups flour.
**Add the 3 TB vital wheat gluten when adding your flour. This is optional, but will help with the rise and protein structure of a heavy wheat.
  • To help dough rise quickly, place in a warm, draft free place. This is often my warm laundry room or closed oven door with the oven light on.
  • The amount of flour you use and the baking temperature will vary due to the amount of humidity, temperature and brand of flour, and many other factors.
  • Bread can be stored in an airtight bread bag at room temperature for about 5 days and can be frozen for up to 6 months.
  • Ensure your water isn’t too hot when combining with the yeast in the first step. If your bread is struggling to rise, it could be because the water was too hot and killed the yeast. You know your yeast is activated when it gets foamy within a couple minutes in the first step.