Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
20 mins.
Baking time:
40 mins. to 45 mins.
Total time:
4 hrs
Yield:
one 9" x 5" loaf, 18 servings
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...
Volume Ounces Grams

  • 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).

Directions

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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.