Non-Dense Delicious Whole Wheat Bread

READY IN: 1hr 20mins
YIELD: 2 loaves




  • Mix the preferment well and knead in a large bowl or on the counter untill smooth (3 to 5 minutes).
  • Cover with oiled plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
  • Mix the soaker and knead in a similar fashion.
  • Cover with oiled plastic and place at room temperature for up to 24 hours.
  • I have made this with only 30 minutes for both at room temperature with good success. Flavor is inhanced by longer periods of time.
  • After the resting period, allow the preferment to warm at room temperature for 2 hours and make the dough.
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients with the preferment and the soaker. I like to hand knead the ingredients in until the salt, yeast particles, oil and molasses are incorporated (about 3 minutes).
  • Either knead by hand using minimal extra flour, or place in an electric mixer on low speed, switching to the next speed level at the end of the kneading.
  • Knead for 10 to 15 minutes until a window-pane is achieved. Pinch a golf-ball sized lump and stretch with hands until light can be seen through the thin dough. If the dough tears easily, knead further until a window-pane is achieved.
  • Stretch the dough gently into a rectangle and fold the sides over the top like an envelope and repeat for the other 2 sides.
  • Invert the dough into a large bowl (preferably with straight sides) until doubled in volume (about 45 minutes).
  • Remove and divide into 2 equal loaves and form boules or place into two 9"x5" oil-sprayed loaf pans.
  • Cover with oiled plastic and allow to rise in an 80 F space - I set the loaves on a hot water tank that is a constant 80°F.
  • Preheat oven to 375F and place a heavy pan or skillet in the bottom of the oven.
  • When 1.5 times or twice their volume remove and uncover.
  • If free-form loaves, score with a razor blade or sharp, serrated knife and place in the middle of the oven.
  • Add 1/2 cup of hot tap water to the preheated pan in the bottom of the oven.
  • Bake for 20 minutes and roate loaves for even browning.
  • Bake 30 more minutes until 205F internally or they sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.
  • Remove from the oven; remove from the pans and set loaves on a wire rack to cool before slicing.