Crusty Whole Wheat Italian Bread

"A rustic, whole wheat version of Italian Bread. Posted for a request, but I haven't made it myself."
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
photo by Anonymous
photo by FrenchBunny photo by FrenchBunny
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photo by Trini19 photo by Trini19
photo by FrenchBunny photo by FrenchBunny
Ready In:
2hrs 50mins
2 Baguettes




  • ----ForBread Machine----.
  • Add all ingredients except cornmeal to bread machine pan in the order recommended by your machine's manufacturer.
  • Select dough cycle and start machine.
  • ----ConventionalMethod----.
  • In large bowl, dissolve yeast, brown sugar, and ginger in warm water.
  • Let stand 5 minutes until yeast foams.
  • Add salt and bread flour; beat well.
  • Stir in whole wheat flour to make a stiff dough.
  • Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead 10 minutes or until dough is springy, smooth and satiny.
  • Wash bowl, grease it, and add dough to bowl; turn over to grease top.
  • Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  • ----Shapingand Baking----.
  • Lightly oil or grease a 14x17" baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal; set aside.
  • Punch down the dough.
  • Divide in half and, on a lightly floured surface, shape into long loaves, rolling each piece first into a 5x12" rectangle, then rolling each up along the long side to make a long, narrow loaf.
  • Pinch edges to seal, and taper ends.
  • Place loaves, seam side down, on prepared baking sheet.
  • Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • Make 4-5 slashes across each loaf with sharp knife or razor blade.
  • Brush each loaf with water and sprinkle with whole wheat flour.
  • Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes, until loaves are browned and crisp.
  • Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • NOTE: I also use a spray bottle filled with water and spray the loaves and oven walls once or twice at 5-minute intervals at the beginning of baking.
  • You could also make this into one large oblong loaf or a round loaf, but baking time would need to be increased.

Questions & Replies

  1. How long does it keep. Thinking of making it the day before Thanksgiving. Does it freeze well.
  2. What setting do you use on the bread machine if baking in machine from start to finish?


  1. The kids loved this one, very nice crust, lovely taste. I used 2 cups whole wheat flour, one cup unbleached all purpose (Canadian). Used the full dough cycle on the ABM. I think I had to add a couple extra tablespoons of flour and I added 4 tablespoons of ground flax. Will definitely be our "go too" bread recipe from now on. Thanks for posting :)
  2. This is such a good recipe. I've made it twice now--once following the instructions exactly, and the second subbing semolina for the cornmeal and topping with soymilk & rolled oats instead of water & flour. Both times I was so pleased with the results. This is such an easy recipe for someone not very experienced with breadmaking. I'll definitely use it again.
  3. Wonderful!!! I used 100% whole wheat flour (I ground it to a fine bread flour consistency), used the bread maker for the kneading and baked it on a stone. The bottom didn't brown, though, so maybe I'll just use a sheet pan next time. But it looks amazing! So good just with butter or dipped in olive oil and balsamic. And my kids are devouring it! Thank you for this great recipe!!!
  4. Very good, indeed. However I would like to make a note about making the slashes in the top after rising but before baking...I used a very sharp knife on my beautifully risen loaves and they promptly fell completely flat. I was so disappointed! From now on I'll be putting the slashes in BEFORE I let them rise the last time. Otherwise a great recipe as is. Thanks!
  5. WOW.....didn't realize how easy this was to do. And absolutely delicious. I made it according to the recipe for the first time. But next time I can see sprinkling some herbs on top or putting some in it. I had made 2 loaves with the recipe. I found the texture to be perfect and not heavy at all. And this bread freezes so well too. Will definitely be using this recipe often. Thanks for sharing Donna M.


  1. Wonderful! Instead of bread flour I used unbleached all-purpose flour and added 1 T gluten. Used the bread maker to make the dough, then shaped by hand, let rise, and baked. Nice crusty bread, very tender on the inside. Even with the whole wheat, light and delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
  2. FANTASTIC!! I have tried several wheat Italian breads and have never been satisfied. I grind my own wheat and used hard white wheat berries for this recipe and was vary happy with consistency and taste. I would have liked my crust to be crunchier so next time I will use egg whites instead of water to coat the top. This recipe is a keeper!!
  3. I've made this bread several times now and each time, it comes out great. I've used unbleached all purpose flour in place of bread flour... and I've also sometimes eliminated the 2nd rise and it still comes out great. You don't really taste the ginger. I think it's more for yeast-enhancing purposes. I've also added an extra Tbsp of brown sugar for a little added sweetness and that makes it perfect.
  4. I also used 3 cups of wheat flour and I used garlic powder instead of ginger, dough cycle then oven. I would say this was the most perfect loaf of wheat bread I have made so far. Great flavor, very moist and fluffy on the inside with a nice crispy crust. Will make often, thanks so much!
  5. All right! What a great bread! This was very easy to work with. Since I am not a ginger fan I left the ginger out. I subbed honey for the sugar and used rapid rise yeast and cut the rising times by maybe 15 minutes each rising. I split the dough into three long ropes, braided them together into one long loaf and let rise. Then I brushed the top with an egg wash, sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked as directed. The loaf came out as beautiful as any from a bakery and went just as quickly. I will make this bread again and again. Thank you for sharing this recipe!



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