100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

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KAF guaranteed, whole grain
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: one 9" x 5" loaf, 18 servings

Recipe photo

Moist, easy to slice, and 100% whole wheat — no, these are NOT contradictory phrases! This whole-wheat loaf is the ideal everyday bread, perfect for sandwiches, toast, and French toast or grilled cheese sandwiches. Read our blog about this bread, with additional photos, at Flourish.

Our guarantee: This bread will rise 3 1/2" to 4" tall at its center, and will have a moderately fine, even texture inside. It'll taste strongly of whole wheat...

100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

star rating (198) rate this recipe »
KAF guaranteed, whole grain
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: one 9" x 5" loaf, 18 servings
Published: 01/01/2010

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water*
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 3/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
  • 3 3/4 cups King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
  • *Use 2 tablespoons less water in summer (or in a humid environment), 2 tablespoons more in winter (or in a dry climate).

Tips from our bakers

  • Don't bother heating the orange juice to lukewarm; you can use it straight out of the fridge. The orange juice won't add its own flavor to the bread, but will mellow any potential bitterness in the whole wheat.
  • If you're kneading bread by hand, it's tempting to keep adding flour till the dough is no longer sticky. Resist the temptation! The more flour you add while you're kneading, the heavier and drier your final loaf will be.
  • The amount of liquid you use to make the "perfect" dough will vary with the seasons. Flour is like a sponge; it absorbs water during the humid days of summer, and dries out during the winter. Your goal should be making the dough as it's described (e.g., cohesive, soft but not sticky), rather than sticking religiously to the amount of liquid.
  • When making yeast bread, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., "Let the dough rise till it's doubled in bulk." Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking (how you kneaded the dough; what kind of yeast you used) that it's impossible to say that bread dough will ALWAYS double in bulk in a specific amount of time.

Directions

1) Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes, till it becomes puffy. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.

2) Combine the yeast/water with the remaining ingredients, and mix and knead—by hand, mixer, or bread machine—until you've made a cohesive dough. If you're using a stand mixer, knead at low speed for about 7 minutes. Note that 100% whole wheat dough will never become smooth and supple like dough made with all-purpose flour; it'll feel more like clay under your hands, and may appear a bit rough.

3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow it to rise till it's expanded and looks somewhat puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes. Note that dough kneaded in a bread machine will rise faster and higher than bread kneaded in a mixer, which in turn will rise faster and higher than one kneaded by hand. So if you're kneading by hand, you may want to let the dough rise longer than 90 minutes.

4) Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan. Gently shape the dough into a smooth log, and settle it into the pan, smooth side up.

5) Tent the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaf to rise till it's crowned over the rim of the pan by about 3/4", about 75 minutes. Don't let it rise too high; it'll continue to rise as it bakes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

6) Bake the bread for 10 minutes. Lightly tent it with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove it from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack.

7) Run a stick of butter over the top of the hot loaf, if desired, for a softer crust. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 slice (55g) Servings Per Batch: 18 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140 Calories from Fat: 35 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 230mg Total Carbohydrate: 23g Dietary Fiber: 4g Sugars: 4g Protein: 5g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.

Reviews

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  • star rating 04/21/2015
  • Babs from Charlottesville
  • I have a confession to make: I really wasn't expecting this bread to taste as good as it did. I picked this recipe to use up the traditional whole wheat flour. But seriously, it has a wonderful taste. Next time I make it, however, I'm going to cut back on the yeast, because the dough doubled in less than an hour for the first rise, and in under 30 minutes for the second, which is surprising considering the kitchen wasn't particularly warm. I baked the loaf for 40 minutes in a cast iron loaf pan, removed it from the pan and baked it on the oven rack for an additional 15 minutes, at which point the internal temp read 191. so glad I tried this. BTW, I didn't have any o.j. on hand so subbed water.
    We're glad you used water as the liquid to sub for orange juice. The orange juice won't add its own flavor to the bread, but will mellow any potential bitterness in the whole wheat. Happy Whole Wheat Baking!Irene@KAF
  • star rating 03/24/2015
  • Millie from Texas
  • I made this recipe just now. I measured everything into the Zo before I found that I had no potato flakes or potatoes. So I nuked a sweet potato and added it to the mixture wondering what would result. I could barely handle the lovely loaves right out of the oven they were so light and fluffy. I don't usually cut warm bread but I had to taste my creation. Marvelous! Beautiful crumb. Delicious bread. Try the sweet potato!
  • star rating 03/09/2015
  • mrmoran from KAF Community
  • Really flavorful whole wheat loaf. Used traditional whole wheat flour and added some Whole Grain Bread Improver, which, in retrospect, probably wasn't necessary -- This bread rose very quickly, but nonetheless, the flavor is terrific. On a dry winter day in New England, did need extra water to make a reasonably soft, cohesive dough.
  • star rating 01/27/2015
  • katjajen from KAF Community
  • This is the best whole wheat sandwich bread I've ever had! I'd like to swap out oil for the butter but am not sure if that would negatively affect the taste or texture. Any ideas? It's a small amount for tenderness, and will be fine as a substitution. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF
  • star rating 01/13/2015
  • jane from Cuyahoga falls, ohio
  • I made this bread, and though it rose well, I did not like the flavor, despite using white whole wheat flour, or the texture. I was even more disappointed, as, I had made this bread a while ago, but forgot that I had not liked it. I gave this suggestion to cust.srv a year ago, that it would be SO helpful if, when we save a. recipe to our box, if we could type in our comments or additions and save it, similar to the allrecipe site. Thank you.
    I love your suggestion for an area to make comments on on a recipe in your recipe box. I have passed this suggestion on to our Web Team and will again! Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 01/02/2015
  • Liz from Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • I made this loaf for the first time today and I am having a hard time not eating the whole thing! It is really good! Thanks to tips from Elizabeth at the Hotline today, I altered the recipe to eliminate dairy. I subbed almond milk for both the water and the milk. I subbed vegan butter (Earth Balance, soy free) for the butter. I omitted the nonfat dry milk and I subbed 6T of potato flour (starch) for the potato flakes. I ended up with a vegan WW loaf that is just about perfect for toast.
    I am so happy the tips helped you make such a delicious outcome! Enjoy! Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 12/13/2014
  • Elena from Illinois
  • A delicious ww bread. I used white whole wheat and doubled the recipe because one loaf of fresh bread doesn't stand a chance in our house! Left out the dry milk and potato flakes because I had none on hand and the bread was still wonderful. The orange juice is a great addition. I've used apple juice as well. Both juices temper the whole grain taste but us not detectable. I sometimes toss in an egg. This loaf is a winner. Slices nicely and tastes great!
  • star rating 10/01/2014
  • Mary from NH
  • Taste was a little bitter in spite of orange juice.
  • star rating 02/22/2014
  • Susan from Los Angeles
  • The dough was very wet when I original mixed it so I had too add flour to get the dough to pull away from the sides and form a soft ball. Once I made adjustments the bread came together beautifully. This is the BEST whole wheat bread I have ever made!
  • 01/23/2014
  • Barbara from Lakeside, AZ
  • This bread recipe went together so easily for me.Doubled the recipe because I hate to heat the oven to bake only 1 lonely loaf! 1st and 2nd rising went fine. I substituted fresh-squeezed pink grapefruit juice for orange juice. All I had. Everything went fine till I tested it with what I thought was an instant read thermometer! It wasn't and I ended up baking it for 55 min. instead of 30-35 min.! Results were very dark and crusty outside-tented the top as directed so it was fine after smearing with butter while bread was hot. I LOVE whole wheat bread, but this just has a slightly different taste to me. I was planning to take it to some friends tomorrow night, but now I think the taste might be off-putting so I'm going to make some more tomorrow with the King Arthur WW Flour Sandwich Bread recipe. I read all of the reviews and no one commented on the taste being different.
    Orange juice tempers the bitter taste some tasters detect in whole wheat baked goods - If you don't have it, just use the same amount of water. Grapefruit juice probably won't be the same flavor profile and may have led to the different taste you detected this time! We hope you try the recipe again. Be sure your whole wheat flour smells sweet, not bitter or sour - as it may be rancid. Call our Baker's Hotline for more WW tips at 855-371-2253 - Happy Baking! Irene@KAF
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