Non-Dense Delicious Whole Wheat Bread

"The method used in this recipe produces the most consistently fluffy loaves of whole wheat bread compared with any other method I've used. Modelled after Peter Reinhart's preferment and soaker method for whole grain bread, a soaker made without yeast sits out at room temperature for up to 24 hours while a yeasted preferment resides and rises in the fridge. While this bread is a wet dough (71% hydration), it can be made much wetter for even a looser crumb."
photo by Red_Apple_Guy photo by Red_Apple_Guy
photo by Red_Apple_Guy
photo by Red_Apple_Guy photo by Red_Apple_Guy
Ready In:
1hr 20mins
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.

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