High Rising Whole Wheat Commercial Yeast Bread

"These are the lightest, highest rising loaves of whole wheat I have seen. The recipe is a variation of Peter Reinhart's 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf and consistently produces light loaves of 100% whole wheat flour."
photo by Red_Apple_Guy photo by Red_Apple_Guy
photo by Red_Apple_Guy
photo by Trainlinezoo photo by Trainlinezoo
Ready In:
12hrs 55mins
2 loaves




  • Make the sponge:

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl large enough to accomodate the sponge doubling in volume. Mix well.
  • Spread the remaining flour over the top of the sponge as a blanket but do not mix into the sponge.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature one hour and then refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
  • To make the dough:

  • Remove the sponge and let warm for 1 hour. Mix the blanket in to make a very ragged dough.
  • Cover and rest for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature to hydrate all the flour.
  • In a cup, mix the egg and oil together well using a fork and add to sponge.
  • Add the remainder of the ingredients and place in the mixing bowl of a standing mixer.
  • Mix on medium-low speed with the dough hook for 8 minutes, adjusting with small amounts of water or flour until a slightly sticky dough is formed. Slightly sticky means that a small amount of dough will stick to a dry finger when poked. The dough should form a ball and clean the sides of the bowl.
  • Continue mixing until the dough can be stretched to form a thin film that doesn't easily break.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and form a ball.
  • Place in a lightly oiled container and let rise for 40 minutes at 80F or until the volume has doubled. I have a hot water tank in a closet that stays at 80°F I set the dough on the heater.
  • Gently divide in half and shape 2 loaves either in a free standing form or 2 oiled loaf pans (8 1/2 x4 1/2 inch).
  • Let rise until doubled in volume.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F along with a pan on the floor of the oven for water.
  • Place the loaves in the oven and add 1 cup of hot water to the pan.
  • Drop temperature to 375F and cook for 50 minutes or until loaves are 205F internally or hollow sounding when thumped. Rotate the loaves after 20 minutes in the oven for uniform baking.
  • Alternate method: Place the loaf pans in a large roaster pan that has been preheated in the oven to 450F with a tight fitting lid.

Questions & Replies

  1. what type of whole wheat berries are best for a high rise whole wheat bread? I have a flour mill. thanks.


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My wife and I live just outside of Atlanta, GA. Two daughters live in town, one with my two grandsons. My son is living in California. I'm a retired environmental manager at a manufacturing facility. My Mom and Dad would have loved this site. Dad was a huge collector of recipes and was in the food industry. Mom was a terrific cook as well. Another influence was a roommate at the Universtiy of Arkansas that was an excellent cook. Today I enjoy barbecuing and grilling year round and cooking in general. My latest adventure is in bread baking. I'm loving it and going to school on it right here on the bread forum. I'm active in a terrific church and also love fly fishing and fly tying.
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