Everyday Whole-Wheat Bread

Everyday Whole-Wheat Bread

13 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2009

This whole-wheat loaf is excellent for sandwiches, toast or eating plain. It has a light, springy texture and a mellow, slightly sweet grain taste from cracked wheat. The crust is crisp when the bread is first baked, but gradually softens as it stands. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

Ingredients 14 servings

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Original recipe yields 14 servings
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  • 1/4 cup bulgur, or cracked wheat (see Tip)
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour, divided
  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour, (see Note), plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ, (optional)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons table salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant, quick-rising or bread-machine yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups ice water, (see Tip), plus more as needed
  • 1/4 cup clover honey, or other mild honey
  • 3 tablespoons corn oil, canola oil or other flavorless vegetable oil

Preparation

  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Mix dough: Stir bulgur (or cracked wheat) and boiling water in a medium bowl. Thoroughly stir 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, 1 3/4 cups bread flour, wheat germ (if using), salt and yeast in a 4-quart (or larger) bowl. Thoroughly stir 1 3/4 cups ice water, honey and oil into the bulgur. Vigorously stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides and mixing just until the dough is thoroughly blended. The dough should be moist and a bit sticky, but fairly stiff. If the mixture is too dry, stir in just enough additional ice water to blend the ingredients, but don't overmoisten. If the dough is too wet, stir in just enough bread flour to stiffen it slightly. Lightly coat the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  2. First rise: Let the dough rise at room temperature (about 70°F) for 12 to 18 hours; if convenient, stir once partway through the rise. For convenience (and improved flavor), you may refrigerate the dough for 3 to 12 hours before starting the first rise.
  3. Second rise: Generously coat a 9-by-5-inch (or similar large) loaf pan with oil. Vigorously stir the dough to deflate. If it is soft, stir in just enough bread flour to yield a firm but moist dough (it should be fairly hard to stir). Transfer the dough to the pan. Lightly coat the top with oil. Smooth and press the dough evenly into the pan using a well-oiled rubber spatula or your fingertips. Evenly dust the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour, smoothing it out with your fingertips. Using well-oiled kitchen shears or a serrated knife, cut a 1/2-inch-deep slash down the length of the loaf. Cover the pan with plastic wrap.
  4. Let rise at warm room temperature until the dough nears the plastic, 1 to 2 1/2 hours. (For an accelerated rise, see Tip.) Then gently remove the plastic and let the dough continue to rise until it extends 1 inch above the pan rim, 15 to 45 minutes more (depending on temperature).
  5. 20 minutes before baking: Position a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 375°F.
  6. Bake, cool, slice: Bake the loaf on the lower rack until the top is nicely browned, 55 to 65 minutes. Cover with foil and continue baking until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs on the tip (or until an instant-read thermometer registers 204-206 degrees ), 10 to 15 minutes longer. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the loaf out on the rack and let cool to at least warm before serving. The loaf is good warm but slices best when cool.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Wrap airtight and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Note: Milled from high-protein wheats, bread flour develops strong gluten, resulting in well-risen loaves. It helps give breads with a high percentage of whole grains better structure and a lighter texture. Find it near other flours in most supermarkets.
  • Tips: Bulgur is parboiled cracked whole wheat. Cracked wheat is, literally, cracked whole wheat berries. Find either near other whole grains or bread-baking supplies in supermarkets or natural-foods stores. (You can use whole wheat berries that have been chopped in a blender or coffee mill in place of the bulgur or cracked wheat.)
  • To prepare “ice water” for this recipe, add a heaping cup of ice cubes to cold water and stir for about 30 seconds before measuring out the water.
  • You can turn your microwave into a warm, moist environment to help accelerate the second rise of the bread dough. Begin by microwaving 1/2 cup water in a 1-cup glass measure just to boiling. Set the water in one corner of the microwave, place the pan of dough on the other side of the turned-off microwave and close the door. The dough will double in size in 45 minutes to 11/2 hours.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1/2-inch-thick slice
  • Per serving: 188 calories; 4 g fat(1 g sat); 3 g fiber; 35 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 60 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 5 g added sugars; 2 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 12 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 293 mg sodium; 111 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 fat

Reviews 13

November 28, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Seriously 188 Cals per slice?! You need to rethink your nutrition calculations on this one. At 188 calories per slice it cannot possibly be labeled low -calorie
April 11, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Long, long time to raise! I had this bread mixed, wondered why there was no kneading. And then I noticed that the raising time was 12 to 18 hours! You have to think WAY ahead to make this bread. I was looking for something more more conventional. Cons: too long to raise
November 17, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I love this recipe. It takes all of ten minutes to throw the dough together. The risings are so forgiving...what's another hour after 12 or 14! I make a loaf for the two of us every week. I did have to buy a larger pan...11X5 size. Before that, I made a reg. loaf and a mini loaf. Now that it is getting cooler, I will mix it in the evening and put it in the garage overnight. I'll be pulling a gorgeous loaf out of the oven here in about 30 minutes. Linda, Cincinnati, OH
November 17, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I love this bread recipe. It takes all of ten minutes to prepare the dough. I make it at least once a week for the two of us. I did have to buy a larger bread pan (11 X 5). The dough throughout the process is very forgiving. Just stick it in the fridge if your schedule gets tight. Now that the weather is getting colder, I will mix the dough in the evening and put it in the garage overnite. Linda, Cincinnati, OH
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
This bread was everything I hoped it would be! Delicious, easy,economical -- what more could I ask?? I will definitely be making this bread again! I'm wondering if I could divide it into two smaller loaf pans. Thanks for a great recipe! Linda, Sodus, NY
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
This is our new everyday bread. I never knew about the correction and have been preparing this as it was originally printed with excellent results. For the person who said this did not rise, it may have been possible that they used active dry yeast which is deifferent than quick rise. Robin, Long Beach, CA
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
I was amazed by this bread. It was ridiculously easy and came out great, with a perfect crumb. I used bulgur & skipped the wheat germ. I will make this again--often. NancyV908
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
This bread was great! It rose so much it actually spilled out over the pan top (I'll use a larger pan next time!). So easy to just mix up and let it do the rest. Nice texture. Jennie, Chapel Hill, NC
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
This is the best whole wheat bread I have made. It rose, had a great crumb and we devoured it. I refrigerated the bread after the first rise for about 12 hours and it came out wonderfully. I also tweaked the recipe by using a jar of baby squash instead of honey and added 2 Tbsp of gluten to improve the rise since I only had whole wheat pastry flour which I think is lower protein. Amy, Newton, MA