Bread Baking-90 Minute Whole Wheat Bread


I’ll admit it. I am a total artisan bread snob. I can’t help it. I’m sorry, but white sandwich bread has never excited me. I have made trips into San Francisco (about a 45 minute-1 hour drive) for the singular purpose of eating bread. Whether I’m visiting Acme at the Ferry Building, or pressing my face up to the window outside Boudin as the bakers roll out their sourdough creations…you name the San Francisco native bread, I love it.

I actually crave all sorts of bread, not just French or sourdough bread. For me, a bread recipe has to have the following qualities for me to deem it good:

  1. Easy to make
  2. No fussy ingredients outside of the parameters of bread flour, all-purpose flour, and whole wheat flour (because I honestly don’t need to crowd my tiny kitchen with bags of expensive, exotic flours which serve only one purpose in my diet)
  3. Full of air holes, with a light airy crumb-no “brick” bread (i.e. the result of nearly every whole wheat bread recipe I have tried)

If you have ever baked whole wheat bread at home, you know it sometimes (or for me, always) turns out dense. I prefer my bread to be full of air holes and chewy. It has to have a thin crust.

Lately, I have stuck to eating two kinds of bread-Dave’s Killer Bread, purchased from the grocery store, and my own home made 5 Minute Artisan Bread, which I have turned into various bread products.

You should take a minute to read about Dave’s Killer Bread when you get a chance. The story behind it is incredible. I am a firm supporter!

The 5 Minute Artisan Bread method creates an easy, cost friendly, lean dough, which I’ve used for multiple purposes. I have given this recipe to friends and culinary students I’ve tutored in college who were struggling to make ends meet. This is because I’ve done the math-it’s more cost effective for a person to make bread, over buying it in the store, (even though I still splurge when I can.) I’ve used this artisan bread dough as pizza dough, English muffins, focaccia, and stromboli.

I’ve decided that it’s time for me to put on my big girl pants and just try baking my own seeded whole wheat bread, just to prove that I could. This recipe seemed particularly attractive to me. I had all of the ingredients on hand. There weren’t any long-winded procedures. It seemed like a great base dough recipe to blend with seeds and oats, and there was a short mixing, rising, and baking time-only 90 minutes.


Adapted from Jenny Can Cook:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour
2 teaspoons or dry active yeast
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup 1% milk, heated to 110° F
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
about 1/4 cup additional bread flour
Scant 1/8 cup old fashioned rolled oats

Place flours, yeast, & salt in a large mixing bowl. I used my KitchenAid with the dough hook attachment.

Stir in milk, honey, oil, egg, and seeds.

Beat on high for 2 minutes.

On low speed add about 1/4 cup bread flour until dough forms a mass.

Place dough on floured surface and knead 40 turns. The dough will go from shaggy and loose, to firm and elastic.

Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Shape dough into a loaf. Roll the loaf to cover with the oats. You may not end up using all of the oats, but just coat the loaf with as much as you can. Place the loaf in a parchment lined 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.

Cover and let it rise in a warm spot, about 35 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375° F & bake for 30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, cover the top of the loaf with a foil tent to prevent over-browning.
The verdict: The bread had a soft, light, pillowy crumb, slight sweetness from the honey, and a bit of savoriness from the salt and seeds. I’d say this recipe is a winner. No whole wheat brick bread here.

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