light-wheat-bread Recipes

light wheat bread

I don’t think it is a big deal if other people buy sandwich bread pre-sliced in a soft plastic bag from some factory bakery that specializes in long shelf lives. But I do think it’s a shame that someone like me who: a) enjoys, nay, loves baking bread, b) always remarks that if something has no flavor, it’s probably not worth the calories, c) works from home, meaning that the 15 minutes of labor and four hours of idle time that goes into making a delicious loaf of light whole wheat bread is more than doable, and d) owns two of the best bread-baking books out there still buys that pre-sliced stuff all of the time.

flourdry ingredientspowdered milkready to rise

This week I decided “no more!” And I set out to find a whole wheat bread recipe would be soft but tough enough for sandwiches and have such an amazing flavor that I’d no longer find that tasteless bagged stuff worth buying. You know, just a few stipulations. Not surprisingly, I had look no further than Peter Reinhart, whose Bread Baker’s Apprentice has not one but two whole wheat sandwich breads. In the end, I rejected the 100 percent whole wheat version, though I might get to it down the road, as I have to admit that I don’t need my sandwich bread to be that earnest and it felt like more work than I wanted to put into a bread that I essential use as a peanut butter and jelly vehicle. While we’re being honest and stuff.

forming the loaf

But his Light Wheat Bread sounded perfect. With 33 percent whole wheat flour, it’s a lot like the softer wheat sandwich breads we are used to, while also managing to be the only recipe in the book that requires no preferment. Which basically means you get to make an awesome Reinhart-quality bread in a tiny fraction of the time. Win-win!

ready for the tin

Oh, and it’s perfect. It’s sturdy but not stiff, and has an excellent chewy crumb. It slices really well, whether you like thick or really thin slices and it freezes even better. I put the sliced bread into the freezer (the best place for more than two days of fresh bread storage, in my opinion) and have been able to toast pieces up as I need them this week — which, of course, has turned out to be a lot. Because when your sandwich bread tastes this good, you find a lot of excuses to use it. I’ll tell you about a good one next time.

from the oven

Bread-phobic? Check out my tips for beaming and bewitching breads before you start.

One year ago: Pickled Carrot Sticks
Two years ago: Warm Cauliflower and Brussels Salad

Light Wheat Bread
The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

Makes one two-pound loaf

2 1/2 cups (11.25 oz) unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz.) whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons (.75 oz.) granulated sugar or honey
1 1/2 teaspoons (.38 oz.) salt
3 tablespoons (1 oz.) powdered milk*
1 1/2 teaspoons (.17 oz.) instant yeast
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) shortening or unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) water, at room temperature

1. Stir together the high-gluten flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar (if using), salt, powdered milk, and yeast in a 4-quart mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the shortening, honey (if using), and water. Stir (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) until the ingredients form a ball. If there is still flour in the bottom of the bowl, dribble in additional water. The dough should feel soft and supple. It is better for it to be a little too soft that to be too stiff and tough.

2. Sprinkle high-gluten or whole-wheat flour on the counter, and transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook). Add more flour if needed to make a firm, supple dough that is slightly tacky but not sticky. Kneading should take about 10 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The dough should pass the windowpane test and registers 77 to 81 degrees F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

4. Remove the dough from the bowl and press it by hand into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick, 6 inches wide, and 8 to 10 inches long. Form it into a loaf by working from the short side of the dough, rolling up the length of the dough one section at a time, pinching the crease with each rotation to strengthen the surface tension. It will spread wider as you roll it. Pinch the final seam closed with the back edge of your hand or with your thumbs. Place the loaf in a lightly oiled 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch bread pan; the ends of the loaf should touch the ends of the pan to ensure an even rise. Mist the top with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap.

5. Proof at room temperature for approximately 60 to 90 minutes (as in, original recipe says 90 minutes, I walked into the kitchen at 60 and said “whoa!” as it had almost risen too much; clearly final rising times vary), or until the dough crests above the lip of the pan.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the oven rack on the middle shelf.

7. Place the bread pan on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue baking for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the oven. The finished loaf should register 190 degrees F in the center, be golden brown on the top and the sides, and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

8. When the bread is finished baking, remove it immediately from the loaf pan and cool it on a rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours (yeah, good luck with that), before slicing or serving.

* More uses for that powdered milk you just bought: 101 Cookbook’s Yogurt or Homesick Texan’s Uncle Austin’s Granola. Even better, eat them together!

See more: Bread, Photo

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338 comments on light wheat bread

  1. I just bought Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and am letting my third loaf rise as we speak. I can’t wait to tackle homemade sandwich bread. I have hated pre-sliced sandwich bread for years, but didn’t think I had the time or skill to make my own. But more in more I find myself replacing convenience foods (even ones as old as sliced bread) with homemade ones. There’s a lot of pride for me in knowing every ingredient that has made up the thing I’m eating and it almost always tastes better than the pre-packaged alternative.

  2. Hmm, I will try this for sure. I tried your “No Break Bread” and it was great. I didn’t realize that I needed to change things due to the fact that I am at a high altitude, but even still, it turned out alright. (Except for the part where I didn’t put down any cornmeal or oats to prevent the bread from sticking to the cookie sheet- whoops.) Thanks for all your great recipes!

  3. I adore making bread at home. The first woman who taught me to bake bread was an amazing Costa Rican woman in a tiny farming village where I lived for the summer, and she always told me that baking bread was domestic therapy. I definitely don’t bake bread at home as often as I would like.

    Your loaf seems to have risen beautifully. I always always get a crack in the side of mine, despite much playing around with cutting crosses in the top, varying baking temps, and baking with steam. Any advice?

  4. I’ve been on a serious bread-baking kick lately (now that holiday cookie baking season is over). I think I’m gonna have to get that book, as this bread looks just lovely. For me, almost as much fun as the baking itself is the science behind it (yeah, I’m a geek – I have a degree in math), so I think this book will appeal to both sides. But, of course, the most fun of all is the eating. (I’m not that much of a geek….)

  5. Sounds wonderful! One of the things on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days is to make a loaf of bread – I’ll definitely give this one a try!

  6. I LOVE LOVE LOVE making bread. We haven’t had any kind of store bought bread here at Chiot’s Run in 4-5 years.

    I’m a huge fan of the 2-3 day long process of delayed fermentation (as I type I just finished up a batch of sourdough english muffins and a a Poinlane-Style Miche is fermenting on the counter). This recipe looks great though, every so often I’m looking for a quick bread recipe. I rarely make my bread in a loaf pan, I’ll have to dust mine off an give it a whirl (when we eat up all the english muffins and miche though, wouldn’t want anything to go to waste).

  7. I can’t wait to try this! I was just telling my husband how much I hate store-bought bread, but every wheat recipe I’ve tried is just too dense, chewy, dark, or something else that I only like in toast form. I have a wonderful white bread recipe, but I don’t want our family eating white bread all the time.

    I do have a question: I’ve only ever used active dry or occasionally rapid rise yeast, the kind in a jar. I didn’t even notice that this recipe calls for “instant” until I saw that the water is at room temperature. Could I use regular yeast and warmed water instead?

    Oh, another question: How do you slice it so neatly and evenly?? I always end up with slices ranging in thickness from 1/4 to 7/8″, often cut diagonally, so that it’s not uncommon to find those ranges on one single slice. :o/

    Also, my mother-in-law’s little secret for making a super soft homemade bread, in case anyone is interested! As soon as you remove loaf from pan, rub a half-stick of unsalted butter all over top, sides, and bottom of loaf, rubbing melted butter in especially on corners, until all butter is melted and absorbed.

  8. dearest smit–

    you are warming my heart to the innermost cockles!!! for years my mom, of hardy, pioneering stock, made homemade wheat bread that i was forced to take to school in the form of round, coffee-can bread sandwhiches in my homemade lunch. i ate those sandwhiches grumbling each day that only the lucky children got white bread. after about 10 years of my mother making that bread, our family moved to a new address, my mom got busy and forgot to unstick the recipe from inside the cupboard door at the old house and lost the recipe altogether. it wasn’t until years later that the entire family recognized the actual, visceral loss the forgetting of this recipe caused.

    i have enjoyed your recipes so frequently, and just the images are pleasing to the tast buds, but today you moved me to mouth-watering rejoicing for a new bread sandwich recipe. i thank you and my empty round coffee cans thank you!!!

  9. Looks lovely! Winter always makes me want to bake bread. Thanks for the kick to get back in the practice. I’ll have to dust off my standard recipe, but will give this one a try too.

  10. Absolutely gorgeous loaf! I’ve never made bread myself, but it’s something I’ve been wanting more and more to learn how to do. My bf’s sister just gave me her King Arthur Flour whole grain baking cookbook, so I think the time has come to give it a shot!

  11. I’m off to make this right now. I was just thinking, as I made a sandwich yesterday how much I dislike store bought bread.

  12. I have just started baking bread and the Bread Baker’s Apprentice has been a great resource. Every recipe that I’ve made from there so far has turned out great. I haven’t tried this Light Wheat Bread yet, but I have tried the 100% whole wheat one and you’re right Deb, it’s not really suited for sandwiches, although is great for toast and jam.
    Love your site!

  13. Hi Lauren — There is a loose exchange that says that instant yeast should be 3/4 of the volume of active dry yeast, so if you’re using active dry, you might try with a scant two teaspoons of it. I haven’t tried this recipe with active dry, though, so you’ll have to let us know how it goes.

    Instant yeast doesn’t require warm water proofing but active dry, in theory, does. That said, I use active dry all of the time without the warm water proofing (in my really simple pizza dough) and it works fine. The warm water proofing is mostly an insurance to make sure the yeast is still good.

    A good bread knife is the secret to nice, even slicing. I used to think that the kind of bread knife one used didn’t matter — I rationalized that because you can’t sharpen the knife, who cares which brand is on the blade — until I finally used a great bread knife and I haven’t looked back. My current favorite is rather inexpensive for a good knife.

  14. I started making sandwich loaves every week about 18 months ago. Homemade bread is indeed a wonderful thing. Tasty, frugal, makes your whole house smell yummy. I started with the Sandwich Loaf from Baking with Julia, using unbleached white bread flour, then gradually switched to more and more wheat with mixed results, both flavor- and texture-wise. Then I discovered WHITE whole wheat flour and it’s marvelous for those of us who want a whole wheat bread without the heavy taste and texture imparted by red whole wheat flour (that’s the usual kind you find). I get mine from Bob’s Red Mill or Azure…and when I was visiting my brother last fall, discovered that Trader Joe’s sells it, too. I have basically converted Julia’s White Sandwich Loaf to 100% white whole wheat, and it’s fantastic.

  15. Just wondering how you get the nice even slices? Are you able to do that with a bread knife? One of the only reasons I buy packaged bread is that I can never seem to slice my homemade bread thin enough for a sandwich. Any advice?

  16. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at baking my own bread; it’s good to know that with some patience one can produce something that looks this yum yum.

  17. I HATE the options when it comes to sandwich bread at the store … the wheat breads either A. Are not really wheat bread and instead are made from mostly white flour with a pinch of wheat thrown in for color or B. They are full of high fructose corn syrup. If it’s really as easy as you make it look, we should all be making our own bread for sandwiches.

  18. We are on the same wavelength as I just set out to make a whole wheat bread for the first time yesterday, while stranded at home in a snowstorm.

    However yours turned out eternally better, so I’m going to try yours shortly. But the bread making process sure is relaxing isn’t it?

  19. re: the best baking books — I must get those. Right now I’m deep into Baking With Julia — it’s got a great baguette recipe. I’ve even learned how to “humidify” my oven. Sweet! I finally pulled it off the shelf after eight years! So glad I did.

  20. My new bible….”Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day”. Oh, my….we’ve had fresh bread since 12/26.. the day after my stepdaughter gave me the book, a jar of yeast and a box of kosher salt.

    Oh. My. Goodness.!

  21. Oooh, I know what you can do with the rest of that powdered milk! Make yummy hot cocoa mix!

    8qt box Powdered Milk (about 11 c)
    2 c powdered sugar
    6 0z jar powdered coffeemate (I used french vanilla, but you could use any flavor you want!)
    20 oz. container Nestle’s Choc Quick

    Mix all together. Use about 1/3 cup per 2/3 cup boiling water or to taste. Makes a huge tub that should last you most of the winter! :-) It’s divine!

  22. Dear Ashley (Sweet & Natural),

    Congratulations! The King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Book is AMAZING. The lemon barley scones are good, but so is everything else in there.

    :)

  23. Hi Deb, thanks for all the fabulous recipes! I’ve made bread before but never in a loaf pan, and I wonder if you could shed a little more light on the instruction about forming it into a loaf? When you say “rolling up the length of the dough,” I’m having a little trouble visualizing it. Do you mean to fold it up on itself so it’s like a log with a long seam on top? Sorry, I’m sure this is clear to others with loaf experience, but I am dying to make this bread and want to make sure I know what to do!

  24. Thank you thank you!!! I have been looking for a wheat bread recipe, and this sounds perfect. I can’t wait to try it out. Also, I have just discovered your blog, and I am enjoying so much.

  25. I have been meaning to get the courage to try baking my first loaf of bread. Thanks for this post! It actually doesn’t look as scary as I thought. :)

    Angela

  26. I cannot wait to try this. Perfect to try on a cold winter day. I find that I’m either buying bread with no preservatives and it goes bad before we can eat it or I cannot find anything that’s actually healthy at the store closest to our home. I’ve been thinking about making my own for a long time. You make this look easy. Thanks for the inspiration.

  27. I just pulled my loaf out of the oven and looks and smells wonderful! Unfortunately, it’s late for me, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to try it. Yum!

  28. Re, the bread-slicing: Since you all are so complimentary of my slicing skills (why thank you)… honestly, I eyeballed it. I’d say I was good at spacial relations but the fact is that I stub my toes/bump my elbows/thwack my head on things all of the time, so there goes that theory.

    Two things:
    1. The ruler is your friend. Seriously, I use it all of the time to cut things. Yes, people walk by and tease me for being so retentive/ocd, whatever, but it annoys me more when I get less than I think I am going to from a pan of brownies/loaf of bread because I eyeballed it wrong.

    2. Figure out where certain measurements are on your hand. For most of us, an inch is the space between the tip of our thumb and our first thumb knuckle. Half an inch is the height of my stubby thumbnail. Whatever it is on your hand, knowing it helps when you’re measuring things out and you lose track of what size you want a space.

    And that is all I am going to say about slicing bread. Promise.

  29. this is nearly the exact same world famous bread that the sage restaurant in oregon makes every day. at the restaurant, we tend to proof the bread in a warm oven to speed the process. Cuts your time waaaaay down.

  30. It’s a small thing, but thank you for including the weight measurements! I found out awhile ago that my measuring cups aren’t accurate (at all) unless I weigh my ingredients, and you took the step of figuring out the amounts for me! This bread looks too delicious to be true!

  31. When I re-read the recipe for the second time, i was surprised to see the water was used at room temp. I thought it shouldve been around 110 degrees? Are you using room temp. water because you are using instant yeast? I plan on making this soon and just wanted to know

  32. I’m half afraid to ask, for fear of the firestorm it might generate, but would it be totally heretical to adapt this for a machine. I’m gone most of the day every day, even sometimes Sundays.

  33. Any chance you could comment on kneading with a dough hook? I got a Cuisinart kitchen machine for Christmas and love it, but the three kinds of bread I have made have all turned out rather heavy. Any helpful hints for times to let the dough hook do its thing? I see from your pictures that you use a dough hook, so would like some help from the “expert”.

  34. Thanks for posting this recipe! I’ll have to give it a whirl soon.

    I usually make all of our bread b/c I hate the idea of paying so much for it at the grocery store AND I love the fact that I know EXACTLY what is in my bread – no preservatives here. I also never make just one loaf of bread, however – always three. Lots of return for minimal effort!

    My favourite recipe is for “Country Seed Bread” from “The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook”. It’s 1/3 whole wheat flour as well – and the recipe is on canadianlivingdotcom.

  35. Hey! I baked bread yesterday too! I love to bake bread, and aside from the standard white bread recipe that I use for cinnamon rolls and dinner rolls, my current favorite is a honey oat wheat bread–I make this all the time now. I’ll probably try this, since I’ve been on the lookout for a sandwich bread recipe…I’m with you on the store bought bread.

  36. Do you have a way to calculate the nutritional information in this loaf? I usually buy my bread based on how many grams of fiber it has, so if I were going to make this it would have to be comparable to what I am getting now in order to make it worth my while … it does look delicious, though.

  37. I’m trying to bake more bread this year (and so far I’m doing a pretty good job). And I can make a heck of a lot of bread for what a nice artisan loaf costs at the bakery.

  38. Sounds great…any recommendations on how to substitute the powdered milk for the lactose intolerant? Would it really be missing something if it was left out?

    Thanks.

  39. Hi Maria — Instant yeast doesn’t require warm water proofing. It was developed for bread machines, where everything is just thrown in. I talk about this a little more in comment 16.

    E.J. — Actually, I believe Reinhart mentions that because this bread doesn’t have a preferment and uses just instant yeast, that it’s a rare one in his book that is adaptable for bread machines. I haven’t used one before, but I am sure it would work.

    Johanna — I don’t really have any hints to offer. You don’t want to use the dough hook on a very high speed (I think 2 is the max, but I’m not sure) but otherwise, there’s nothing to it. Just keep in mind that it kneads things faster, hence the different times suggested with a machine.

    GT — I don’t have one on this site but there are many on the Web.

    Avi — I have only tried the recipe this way but if you swap it, do let us know what you use and how it goes. I am sure others would appreciate what you’ve learned.

  40. This looks really good. I’d love to try to make our own sandwich bread.

    But I do have a question… how long does it last (stay fresh)? And how do you store it to keep it fresh?

    We’ll buy a loaf of sandwich bread from the store and it can last us at least 2 weeks, because we don’t use it daily, or even every other day.

  41. I figured out the nutritional information using Fitday. I used the weight measurements. The whole loaf is 2187 calories, 32 g fat, 406 g carbs, 75 g protein. So if you cut the loaf into 12 slices, each slice would be 182 calories, 2.6 g fat, 33 g carbs, 6 g protein.

    I was looking for a replacement for my 40 calorie per slice store bought wheat bread, but I guess this isn’t it. :( (maybe if I slice it really thin..)

  42. I have the Reinhart book as well–thanks for reminding me what’s in there, I’ll have to try it soon. I love making bread as well and find it just takes a little thinking ahead–with my stand mixer it really doesn’t take so much time. I think you can fit it even when you don’t work at home, now that I know you can let it rise slowly in the fridge. Now it’s just a matter of getting up that extra 15 minutes early in the morning to get it going.

  43. This sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to try it. Also, I love reading your blog, and am so happy to see the new “Good Reads” section. Thanks so much for putting that up! I can now read blogs all day if I want to. Bliss.

  44. Hi Robin — What you see up top is only about 2/3 of the loaf. I would expect you to be able to get about 17 1/2-inch slices out of the full loaf.

    Erica — I try not to keep bread like this, without preservatives, at room temperature in a plastic bag for more than two days, max, as the plastic/humidity begs for things like mold to develop. After that, I keep it in the freezer, which is the best place to keep it from getting stale/rubbery, as I feel most breads do in the fridge.

  45. I am totally hooked on the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day method. I got the book probably 2 months ago now and I’ve had a fresh loaf of bread every day since! It’s so easy and they are telling the truth about the five minutes part. It’s great to have dough in the fridge ready to go and any time I want a loaf, I just break off a hunk, shape it into a ball, let it sit, then bake it for a half hour. My husband calls it, “a life changer”. A little dramatic, but I think I agree!

  46. You just made my monday!
    I’ve been baking sourdough bread from a starter as my staple-sandwich-bread, but I’ve also been dying to make a good (and light/fluffy!) wheat bread. I think wheat’s pretty darn tasty!
    I’m guessing the high-gluten/bread flour part is important. I live in Chile as an expat, and I haven’t seen anything fancy like that here! Let’s just say, I make my own buttermilk, and had to smuggle the sourdough starter into the country! (They don’t exactly have the whole “best thing since sliced bread” here – how can you, when your sliced bread sucks?)
    Do you think I could get away with using all-purpose flour? I use the typical “harina sin polvo de hornear” (flour without leavener). Is there something I can add to all-purpose flour to activate it / make it more gluten-y?

  47. I too am totally in love with bread baking. I generally use the recipes out of the La Brea Bakery cookbook, but have been hearing good things about Dan Lepard’s The Hand Made Loaf. Have you used that book at all? Any thoughts?

  48. PERFECT TIMING!!!

    I woke up this morning with the notion that I would bake bread today with one requirement: Make more than one loaf and freeze the extras so I can have fresh bread for the month.

    With that being said, do you have any tips on freezing bread other than baking it and freezing afterwards? Some advice I’ve seen says to freeze after the first rise and allow for a second rise during the defrost. Others recommend to bake approx 80% through and then freeze.

    Any suggestions? and THANK YOU!

  49. Wow! Some really good information in here today. I’m going to look for that Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book. I make bread all the time either by hand or in my bread machine. I got my bread machine at Target, a Breadman Ultimate Plus. It’s the only machine I could find without ordering on the internet. I do love it. I did a lot of research and most machines had both good and bad reviews. You can get a ‘lemon’ in any brand or price range but I just hoped for the best and that’s what I got. I also got a bread slicing guide (internet) from Westbend that has been a great help in slicing an entire loaf at once which is what I like to do for sandwich bread. (And then freeze it, like Deb.) Just make sure your bread knife is long enough. (I use Beth Hensperger’s The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook, great book though the index is useless.) A good way to proof your bread if you have an over-the-stove microwave is to put it in there and turn on the light underneath it. It makes for just the right temperature and is draft-free. I read somewhere that underproofing your bread is what causes the cracks in the side, Erin (comment #3). Maybe you’re just not letting it rise enough? If I figure out where I read that, I’ll let you know. It might even have been on this site! And I’m looking forward to finding out what ‘windowpane’ means, too. I’m looking forward to trying this loaf. Thanks, Deb. Always love your posts.

  50. According to King Arthur flour (and my own experience) dry milk makes bread softer, more tender, and increases calcium. You can;t substitute milk; besides being a concentrated form of milk, there’s something that happens in the dryong process that makes the impact of dry milk different than that of wet milk. Using dry milk also makes for a higher rise. It might mean that not using dry milk for this recipe would change the outcome, I don’t think it would make a huge difference if it was not used.

  51. I always wonder why I don’t make my own sandwich bread as well and the same thing– I work from home enough days of the week to be able to do it. But then I find myself throwing a loaf of multigrain bread that is just meh in my basket and going along with it. I’m inspired. I’m going to try it. thanks for the recipe!

  52. Have you tried the Multigrain Sandwich Bread from Cooks Illustrated? I had a similar fit of “why should I buy sandwich bread when I can make it?” recently, and that was the first one I tried. It’s fantastic! I haven’t gotten through it all yet, but when I do, I’ll definitely be trying your wheat bread recipe, and the dill-onion bread that you linked to. Thanks!

  53. I made this bread last night and it was great! It was very easy to knead – no sticking to the counter or anything. I was out of whole wheat flour, so I used white whole wheat and that worked just fine.

    The second rise seemed to take a long time, but it puffed up so much in the oven that I needn’t have worried.

    It slices beautifully and tastes deeeelish! Thanks for a great recipe, Deb!

  54. Hi Theresa — I don’t. I’m not fond of bread machines and if you check out all of the bread recipes I’ve made by hand, you’ll see why I don’t think one is not necessary.

    Amanda — Whoops, meant to link to this. Of course Reinhart describes it in greater detail in the book, but for a quick explanation this will do. It is just one way to measure whether your dough is kneaded enough. Keep in mind that it is very hard to mess up kneading and I think it causes people more worry than necessary. You’re looking for the dough to feel cohesive and smooth, and lose some of the stickiness it has when first mixed. It is nearly impossible to overknead by hand, so go a minute or two longer than you think it needs.

    Emily — You can actually freeze your bread dough at any point in the process, but the best points are before a rising, either the first or second. What’s important is that you get it fully defrosted and back to room temperature before continuing whereever you left off. If it hasn’t risen a first or second time, it still needs to.

  55. This bread looks good and easy enough. I don’t quite understand what is meant by this..” rolling up the length of the dough one section at a time, pinching the crease with each rotation to strengthen the surface tension.” Could you explain that in a little more detail?
    Thanks. (I just shot you an email..hope you see it)

  56. The rolling up technique is described in full detail in the book. But, the photo of me doing it (6th photo) should help clarify. You’re folding/rolling, and then pinching the crease only closed, then folding/rolling again, just one turn at a time. The idea is to create a tight loaf that is not deflated. If you just rolled it up, you might end up a) deflating the dough or b) with a lot of holes.

  57. Have you ever tried using fresh whole wheat flour? As in, just ground right 5 minutes before you mix the dough? If you like your whole wheat bread now, you’ll love it with fresh flour.

  58. It’s like you’ve read my mind! I pretty much bake a loaf of bread every Saturday to use for toasting & sandwiches during the week, and I’ve tried all sorts of fancy recipes, but have had no luck at all with just a simple wheat bread. The last recipe I tried was from Martha Stewart’s website and called for a whole tablespoon of salt and baking at 400 degrees for a whole hour. Against my better judgement, I gave it a shot and you know what, it was salty and overcooked. I can’t wait to try this one!

  59. This looks great! Another item of my list of goals for this year is to bake more bread. You can save a little bit of money and you get the wonderful aroma of baking it at home. The color is so warm and delicious.

  60. That looks fantastic! My mother sometimes baked bread for afternoon tea, when I came back from school and I smelled the bread baking I knew I was in for a treat! Fresh baked bread=heaven. I wish I was a baker like you! I might try this recipe it looks wonderful!

  61. This looks delicious! I’ve been thinking about making wheat bread since we eat so much of it anyway for lunch…thanks for sharing! : )

  62. Your bread is beautiful! I love the Bread Baker’s Apprentice, it’s one of my favorite cookbooks. I’ve been experimenting with Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads book too with pretty good success.

  63. a wise friend of mine who loves to bake made a proclamation a few years ago that she was never buying premade, sliced bread again. if she didn’t get around to making it homemade, she’s just have to go without. she learned pretty fast that it really is minimal effort for such a superior product.

    i’ve followed her bold lead and it really is such a delicious (and versatile) staple in my freezer. i always make two loaves at once, whatever type it is, so i can enjoy one with dinner and immediately slice and freeze the rest. as soon as i get through the loaf that’s in there now, i’m looking forward to trying this one.

    after all, when you’re never without the makings of a grilled cheese, you’ll never go hungry.

  64. I’ve been reading The Bread Bakers Apprentice for the past few weeks and trying my hand at a few recipes.

    It sounds like your bread may have been at a higher temp. then room. It will double in size in 90 minutes at 70 degrees but if the temperature is 17 degrees higher (87) it will take half as much time(45 minutes). If the temperature is 17 degrees lower it will take twice as long. (53 degrees, 3 hours).

  65. I just love photos and wtritting.

    But being lokated in Denmark some things, like rice a roni and powered milk is not possible to get.

    Just got of work, felling like making a doug ready for baking a bred in the morning, this sound very nice – but et milk part – bommer, I just will have to find someting in a book of mine – but will keep returning – cause just love your site :-)

  66. I’ve recenlty ressurected my bread baking skills and have been making one loaf every morning (we eat A LOT of bread!). I looove my recipe, but I’ll have to try yours too. My new philosophy is that if I can make it myself, I don’t buy it. Bread, breakfast cereal, crackers, granola bars, stock….all of these things are simple to make and SOO much better when they’re homeade!

  67. Let me echo the many comments above when I say you were reading my mind! I’ve been looking for an alternative to bread with preservatives and other such scary words on the list of ingredients.
    That said, I made this last night and it was amazing! So simple and so tasty. I think I’ve found a new Sunday tradition!

  68. I’ve been baking our own bread for 3 months now, cheating by letting the breadmachine do the first steps and then taking it out for the second rise and regular oven baking. And I JUST CAN’T go back to store-bought bread, even fancy bakery bread. Something about that fresh-bread-in-your-house smell makes life worth living. My light wholewheat recipe is very close to yours and it is just perfect. Makes yummy soft dinner rolls too.

  69. Deb,
    Thanks for the knife advice! I totally forgot until your reply that I have an amazing Cutco bread slicer knife that was just crammed in a drawer (with the blade pointing in towards the corner, of course; I’m not a sadist). When we moved into this house a year and a half ago, I wasn’t baking bread on a super regular basis, so the bread knife didn’t make the cut – haha ;o) – of being chosen for my countertop block. Also, thanks for the tip on the active dry yeast. Hopefully I’ll make a loaf tomorrow afternoon, and I’ll let you know how it turns out, different rise times, etc. Thank you again!

  70. I wish I had the time and energy to always bake my own bread. I do enjoy making it sometimes, but just not consistently. I also worry about it going bad, but freezing it already sliced is a great way to get around that! Thanks for posting this recipe.

  71. You have inspired me to try sandwich bread again. Just lately I have been making No Knead Bread with great success. It is one that offers so many possibilities with additions such as chopped rosemary, olives, sun dried tomatoes. Plain and toasted it makes beautiful bruschetta. And it is so quick to make. Less than five minutes to mix in the first instance and only a few minutes attention in the latter stages.

  72. I have been wanting to find a recipe for a great wheat sandwhich bread for awhile now, but never had the time to go through the books to find one that would work. Thanks for doing the leg work, I am so excited to make it for the kids!

  73. I asked for this book for Christmas and didn’t get it. Maybe I should just man up and buy it myself. I definitely believe that the smell of freshly baked bread is one of the most engaging experiences a person can have.

  74. I got the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book early last spring, and I haven’t bought a loaf of bread in something like 7 or 8 months. It is terribly easy, and the bread comes out divine–and we use the dough for pizza and strombolis, too. If you do get the book, go check out the website where corrections to the book are listed. Also, (and I can’t remember where I read this) I do NOT have a wooden paddle, so I don’t use the whole cornmeal on the paddle/slide it onto the pizza stone thing. Instead, I put the bread on parchment paper to rise for a bit before baking and then slide the paper out from under the loaf for the last 5 minutes of baking. Works great!

  75. I made this the other night. I wasn’t wild about. I don’t have a mixer or bread maker, so I do everything by hand, so I’m not sure if that was the problem. I cut back the flour by 1/2 cup but still had issues with it being way too dry, and had to add about 1/3 cup (but needed more) water. So I really had my work cut out for me on the kneading phase. It tasted fine, but not fantastic.

  76. Realized that I was out of whole wheat flour and decided to try this with all bread flour (KA, natch). It came out very nicely. The crust shatters with a satisfying sound, the crumb is just right for sandwiches! Not crumbly or doughy, this made my bread-ambivalent husband come back for more. Baby seems to love it, as does the dog, whom the baby insisted upon feeding some of his sandwich.

  77. With your freezing advice, I doubled the bread recipe and froze one loaf after shaping but before the second rise.

    Additionally, I used active dry yeast but used 2tsp per loaf. Instead of just adding it dry to the rest of the ingredients, I first added it to 1/4c of warm water to get it started. I then added it to the dry ingredients shortly followed by the butter and remaining water at room temperature. The dough had no problem rising and becoming nice, full loaves!

    Hope this helps!

  78. One word – delicious. Tried this last night and as well as a picture perfect loaf, I could not believe how tasty this bread was in today’s sandwiches. I used half milk, half water as I did not have milk powder. A tip from Nigella Lawson is to use the water saved from boiling potatoes, as this improves the keeping quality of the resulting bread – so that’s what I did. This recipe is a keeper and I doubt I’ll try another bread recipe. This is my first ever post on your lovely website – thank you!

  79. I saw this yesterday afternoon and went out and bought enough powered milk to make 10 quarts of milk (it’s all they had) and bread flour right after work to make it! I have never made bread but it looked so good I had to try. Well I thought it was going to be disastrous-I don’t even have a KitchenAid mixer, just an electric mixer and my hands. I tried to mix it with the mixer and I ended up with a small ball and a bunch of dried flour mixed with all of the other ingredients. I thought there was no way I could fix it. I added drops of water and some more shortening and kept working it and incorporating it and I ended up with a ball that I couldn’t get completely round. I decided it was the best I could do after spending 35 minutes kneading it to overcompensate for not mixing it well. I left it overnight in the fridge after letting it rise. Well I made it this morning and it came out perfect! I don’t know how I did it! I also didn’t have active yeast but used the 2 scant teaspoons you suggested and it was just right. I will never buy a loaf again. I am in awe at how delicious it was. Best of all I gave it to my 16 month old and she loved it too. No preservatives either.

    First time poster here-I have been lurking for a while. I made your mac and cheese in the summer and then quickly realized everything suggest is delicious. I love your blog, it’s really fabulous.

  80. Deb – thanks!! The store by my house has “powdered milk” but it is not as fine as the one you show in your picture (more like little pebbles)…I must be looking in the wrong place! Can’t wait to try this…and thanks, again!!

  81. RJ – in my store, powdered milk is in the baking aisle. One of the name brands is Carnation, but the store brand is just as good.

  82. I tried the recipe yesterday and I got the dough too be too tough (not enough water) so I added some more and now it is really nice, not too dense, just right. Tastes great.

  83. I agree with Liz in an earlier comment….the multigrain bread from Cooks Illustrated is really good and Ive made it many, many times

  84. Thanks, Deb! I’m one of those people who haven’t had success making bread till now..This is a great recipe! Thanks for your blog – your posts are simply delicious. Please keep them coming…

  85. Thanks so much for posting this recipe! I made it yesterday, and it turned out beautifully. Today I had an excellent breakfast of this bread toasted and topped with sauteed kale and a fried egg. Lunch was the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich I’ve had in such a long time. Thanks for inspiring me to get on the ball and make this. You just added a whole bunch of happy to my day.

  86. Deb,
    I made this bread today, and it is so delicious! As one of the more recent comments said, and like you recommended, I used about 2tsp of Rapid Rise Fleischmann’s yeast (since that’s what I had). I was a little concerned during the kneading process, since it never really got that smooth look that other bread recipes I’ve tried get. And then… I definitely cheated on the rising. Since we are total cheapskates, “room temperature” at our house is approximately 64*F right now, so I proofed it sitting on the stove top while I had muffins in the oven; it ended up being a little over an hour for the first rise, and about an hour for the second rise. To be honest with you, I was really surprised that there wasn’t much of a difference in the rise times given the different yeast and the cozy, warm proofing environment I gave my bread.

    Anyway, I was positively thrilled with the end result! This is by far the best-tasting wheat “sandwich” bread I’ve ever tried. (And I’m pretty impressed with the spectacular slicing job my Cutco knife did.) I’m also so pleased to read Emily’s (#108) positive experience with doubling the recipe, because I would definitely prefer to make 2 loaves at a time. All in all, awesome! Thank you!

  87. I made this bread today. It’s really easy and really does make a beautifully textured sandwich bread. It was everything you said it was. It makes a tall well shaped loaf. When it rose in the pan, it got so big that it fell over one of the ends of the pan. I felt like Lucy Ricardo in the baking episode when the dough started bulging out of her oven! Well… not really that bad..but it sure surprised me that it crawled over the end of the pan! I think I could have easily used a 9X5 pan and still had a well shaped loaf.

  88. This is a much needed post. And thanks for the link back to the beaming and bewitching bread post. I love homemade bread, and have only given a few shots, now knowing how elegantly simple it is, I will follow my mantra of 2009, Make it Myself.

    krista:)

  89. Hey Deb…

    For quite a while now, I’ve wanting to give homemade bread a try. And yesterday, with my new Bosch kitchen machine arriving (my life’s very first kneading machine), I decided to start my bread bakery career baking this one.

    Turned out fantastic! Reinhardt’s Bread Baker’s Apprentice was in my cookbook-wishlist anyway, now it is climbing to the top of my wannahaves catalogue – with turbospeed!

    I’m a huge fan of your blog: So funny-yummy-beautiful-unpretentious-inspiring-instructive! Thank you… :D

  90. Have you read Reinhart’s book on whole grains? It’s quite good as well.

    I’ve been making 100% whole wheat sandwich bread for a few months now. I adapted a food processor recipe I had to use the sponge method in The Bread Bible. I’ve been really happy with it and I don’t find it too dense or chewy… in fact my kids will even eat the crust! I can’t really comment on it more technically because I’m still too much of a novice breadmaker.

  91. I am so impressed by your loaf of bread! I am really trying to understand making my own bread at home with some successes and some failures. I would really like to start making more sandwich bread instead of relying on the loaves at the store. Thank you for sharing, I have bookmarked this one for my next bread baking adventure.

  92. Have you tried the NYT recipe for No Knead bread? It is really easy and comes out amazing every time–perfect crispy crust.

  93. Have you read Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day? Also a no-knead bread method… I got the cookbook and it changed my bread baking habits forever.

  94. Thanks so much for your breadmaking techniques! I found your site by a link to the chocolate toffee cookies, and have been saving your recipes to try out. Out of several attempts, my bread has alternatively been burned, flat, dry and perfect. Your whole wheat recipe was the first that came out perfectly the first time!

  95. O.K., I am new to the site, but I have made over 11 recipes in the past 3 weeks. All are so good! So, I thought I’d attempt the bread- for the first time ever. I immediately bought a bread loaf pan that fit your measurements, but as it has arrived at my door it looks soo small (1 lb loaf). I checked the recipe again and it says 2 lb.- do I need to buy a 2 lb loaf pan? Any help for a bread novice?

  96. That confused me too! I can’t tell you how much searching I did for corrections from the book or concerns from other people who have made the bread to find out how a two-pound loaf of bread would be baked in a pan typically used for one-pound loaves.

    Alas, it absolutely works. The extra pound is all in that giant dome on it, which of course is the traditional shape of sandwich bread.

  97. Hello, thank you for the recipe. I do have to say that I tried to make this bread and the first time it severely failed. The second time I added more water and it was great. I also used my bread machine to mix the dough. I baked it in the oven though. I think that the key to making this a success is more water. I would say almost 1 1/2 cups of water.

    Thank you. I have found a new recipe for bread that will hold up to butter or sandwich materials!

  98. Thank you so much for this recipe. I have had some bad experiences with bread-making in the past. Bread-Making Breakdowns, you might say. Today I began anew with this recipe. Am now contentedly munching on an absolutely delicious slice of this bread (drizzled with honey & butter, natch). Very satisfying.

    I appreciate the detailed instructions and the beautiful photography — both were very helpful along the way. Thank you for opening up the joy of breadmaking to me!

  99. Your pictures inspired me to make this today, and it came out wonderful, even though I had never made sandwich bread before. The tip that it is better to have soft dough than too firm was really helpful in determining how much water was needed (lots). So was the windowpane hint, in figuring out when to quit with the dough hook (10 min). These modifications worked, in case others are considering the same: 1 1/2 teaspoons Fleishmann’s RapidRise yeast, all-purpose flour plus 2 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten instead of bread flour, and a 9×5 pan. Thank you for bringing bread to my kitchen, and also for your previous post on no-knead bread, which lead me to the CI “Almost No-Knead Bread”, and at least a half dozen more loaves of delight!

  100. Just wanted to let you know that I tried this, and substituted 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 cups “white whole wheat” (King Arthur produces this) for the 2 1/2 cups of bread flour and it came out great! The crown wasn’t quite as high, which I attribute to the lower gluten level–it still rose beautifully. Regarding those who are adding more water, I had to add a little more water too, it’s winter and cold & dry here and that affects the moisture level of the flour. During more humid times, you might not need to add so much–which is why the guidance on how the dough should look and feel are so fantastic!

    Also, mine took the full 90-minutes (plus some) to rise, but we tend to keep the house quite chilly, which impacts proofing time.

  101. Peter Reinhart is awesome. I love his bagel recipe from that book too. (It is an authentic New York bagel.) Deb Madison also has a very soft, fluffy 100% WW bread recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I liked it so much that I ate it everyday for a week, sometimes twice a day. I didn’t get too creative with the fillings; PB&J was good enough for me.

  102. I was surprised when I cut into a beautiful loaf to find a giant bubble running the length of the loaf in the upper portion. I’m guessing that the top fold did not adhere to the fold below it for some reason. Still, the bread was good (for small sandwiches) and the recipe was well-written.

  103. This is a great, simple loaf of bread to make. I am making it for the third time today. The only change im making is switching the white flour/wheat flour proportions so that the whole wheat flour is 2 cups and the bread flour is 2 cups. Its really really good and it is about the easiest loaf of bread Ive ever made. As I am anticipating making it again this week and all the ingr. are on my counter, I am throwing together all the dry ingr. for another loaf into a tupperware container so I dont have to get everything out and measure it out when I make it again later this week. Should save me 10 min. of measuring and clean up.

  104. Hi Deb,
    I just discovered your blog, and I think it (and you) are wonderful! Thank you for all the great recipes.

    Peter Reinhart, is, of course, pretty much the god of bread. However, if you want a 100% whole wheat loaf that is light and delicious, no doorstops, try this:
    http://www.sourdoughhome.com/100percentwholewheat.html

    It is converted to sourdough, but it’s adapted from the Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book (as he tells you) and you could convert back to yeast pretty easily.
    I’m not a big whole wheat bread fan, but I am a bread baker, and this was so easy, and so delicious, I thought I was cheating!

    Thanks again!

  105. Just curious if you saw Peter Reinhart’s talk at the TED conference. After seeing your post I happened to see his name on the TED.com website. I go there for the science talks- and found him!

  106. This is a great recipe. I’ve made it twice and it is now my 11 year old daughters favorite bread! To Lauren from blog #10, I have used active dry yeast from a jar and heated the water to 115 degrees with a little sugar and proofed the yeast both times and it has worked wonderfully. Also, I am using a food processor to mix all the ingredients, then kneading it afterword. I have eliminated the shortening/butter and have added olive oil. Also, I haven’t used powdered milk (I haven’t had any in the kitchen either time).

  107. For a while I’ve been wanting to give up supermarket bread, but hadn’t found a wheat bread that wasn’t heavy like a brick. I tried sourdough last summer–loved the results, but couldn’t get into the rhythm and advance planning required to really be successful.
    This bread was great, and as a mother of young twins, we’re home enough during the day for me to produce a loaf every few days without much effort.

    thanks so much!

  108. I’m not much for mixing bread by hand or using my KA stand mixer for dough either, so I took the chance of using my breadmaker’s dough setting. It came out beautifully. I did let it rise for another 10 minutes in the machine before I dumped it out to shape the loaf. I did use an instant read thermometer to test for doneness. I wish I could upload a photo here. It will be my new basic bread recipe. DH just loved it!

  109. I commented before but I made this bread again today. I didn’t have a serrated knife the first time I made it and needless to say I needed one. I would have loved to have bought Deb’s suggestion but poor law student here so I bouht this 10 dollar one. Well it’s fantastic. Feels and look high quality even though it’s cheap and does the job very well. Just thought I would recommend it if there are others in my position.

    http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Cutlery-Walnut-Tradition-Serrated/dp/B00091SCV4/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1232906081&sr=8-1

  110. I bookmarked this recipe a few days ago because it looked so good. It is just wonderful, wasn’t able to let it rest after coming out of the oven though, 15 minutes later and almost half of it is gone. I will be making this again in a few days. Homemade bread is just the best food, my daughters love it so much.

  111. Having been recently made redundant I’m on a mission to fill my time, mainly with cooking up a storm of goodies. My current mission is one of bread making, more specifically finding a bread recipe that really works for me. Finally I think I’ve found it. Your recipe is wonderful and it worked a treat for me first time (that’s rare, I’m never entirely satisfied). Thanks!

    PS – Only recently found your site but I’m already hooked. :)

  112. Deb, I made this recipe last night and it was delicious! I have a couple of questions: in terms of the temperature, will the thermometer immediately read 190, or should I wait a few minutes to decide whether to put the bread back in (will the temp continue to rise for a few minutes)? Also, my bread retained some of the spiral shape from rolling it, such that some of the slices don’t hold together very well. Any suggestions? I posted a picture of the slice on Flickr, so you can see:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/a_day_that_is_dessert/
    Thank you for any suggestions you may have! And thanks as always for another great recipe. This took me about 15 minutes to make and was very well worth the time.

  113. Hi Lecia — I suppose it could be one of two things. One, it may not have risen as much as it could (which would help merge the rolled dough back into itself)… I’m only noting that because my “dome” looked a bit bigger. Second, there might have been a bit, or a bit too much flour on the rolled dough, creating that separation. Hope that helps.

  114. Deb, I just made this bread for the second time today – it is our new favorite. The first time I used some old whole wheat flour (because it was available), and this second time I used fresh, and it is so much better! I am going to try Maria’s idea of using 2 cups all purpose flour and 2 cups whole wheat (now that I am getting back to bread baking I am looking for the best flour). I used an envelope of active dry yeast and added the water at 110 degrees — worked great! This is truly easy & fast, and way better than the store-bought.

  115. Thank you Deb. I mixed the dough in my mixer and put it on a very lightly floured pastry board to roll. Should I do it on the board sans flour next time?

    Also, should the temperature immediately read 190 when inserted?

    Thanks again.

  116. maybe a dumb question, but i’ve always wondered how you check for a hollow sound while thumping the bottom of a loaf of bread… that’s still possibly not baked enough. you can’t take it out of the pan, really. i’ve seen this thumping method recommended a few different places and… can someone illuminate this?

  117. Ive made this bread about 5 times already. Thanks for the recipe—-it is really foolproof and soooo very easy and delicious and simple. Ive made tweaks and small substitutions and found that the recipe is best AS WRITTEN. Take it from someone whos tried small changes, like increasing the amt. of ww flour—its just not as good. Make it just as its written. And like i said earlier—–people post once youve actually made a recipe…so much more interesting to read posts from people who cook, try, experiment…not just the peepers…lol

  118. Regardless of the thunking, this turned out really well. It’s not so easy to find powdered milk here in Japan, so I left that out. I threw in 1.5T of ground flax seed, which has binding properties. It slices really nicely, and has an almost un-discernible ghost of a spiral to the middle, from the dough roll method. There’s only about an inch left after less than 24 hours, not enough to freeze!

  119. I just made this as written (used sugar, not honey) and it was amazing. I used a combination of dough hook and hand kneading. My convection oven took a lot less time, so the 190 degree measurement was so good to know. Thank you so much!

  120. This makes maybe the tenth time I have made this, and it is fail-safe so far. I let it rise extra time this last time, and it is just gorgeous. Going to give some to the Minister tomorrow, even. It makes a swell gift!

  121. HI – can’t wait to make this, but wondering if you can restore the windowpane link again, as I think I broke your site! :)

  122. Thanks for this great post. I was able to make up the dough in under 10 mins this am, with my little kids, before school. Used the mixer to knead while orange juice was served, spilled, etc. I noticed someone else mentioned they used a more coarsely powdered dry milk. i used that kind too with fine results.

  123. I made this bread today and it turned out wonderfully. Thank you for this blog and your great pix. You have given me inspiration to try baking again. I posted a pix of the loaf I turned out today. Best, Ani

  124. I am making this bread yet again!!! Ive pretty much stopped buying store bought bread, and the ingredients have been memorized. Also delicious is the oatmeal bread on the outside of the King Arthur Bread flour bag. The recipes are similar and I was able to make both kinds of bread, without having to wash out kitchenaid mixer. I must say this is one of my favorite recipes.

  125. Well that was mighty tasty. I made some this afternoon, totally botched the directions, and it’s still great. I attempted to knead the dough in my food processor while I was getting ready for class…bad idea boys and girls. Luckily I walked back in before the processor wobbled its way off the counter – the dough also started to look more like smooth thick cake batter than bread dough…so I stopped that and just let it rise in the bowl while I was gone – because I was already late. I came back and it was huge and I was ready to bake it….except it had to proof again…great. I was in a time crunch, again, so I let it rise for about 25 minutes (good enough right?!) and baked. I checked the temperature after 45 minutes and it was already at 195! So out it came, and I actually left it alone for 2 hours (only because I had to leave). Now my friends and I have been through more than half of it. This is the first time I’ve made bread that would actually work for sandwiches – awesome!

  126. I just made this – and yeah – couldn’t wait an hour to slice. It’s great. I’m not sure if I have it in me to make this often, but I’m no longer a bread-phobe.

  127. Wow! I just made this today and it was excellent and SO easy. My husband is drooling over his sandwich I packed for his lunch tomorrow – homemade bread, and meats & cheeses from the Whole Foods deli…I couldn’t believe how easy it was to slice! Thanks so much for sharing!

  128. in the oven as i write. it has been YEARS since i made a proper yeast bread. if this turns out as well as i’m anticipating, i’m going to start making batches of dough for the freezer so we can wean ourselves off our spendy bread buying habits!!

    thank you for getting me over my yeast phobia. i have conquered the little beasties and they are now doing my bidding!

  129. This is fantastic! I made it last night and it came out perfect- easy to slice, light and fluffy and delicious. thanks for the tip on windowpaning— i think all my baking life i’ve not been kneading for long enough.. now i know. I also had to add alot more water to get this the right consistncy perhaps another 1/4c?. took the tip to rub some butter over the hot loaf when it came out.. another fantastic tip! Thanks for all your great recipes!

  130. Thanks, Deb, for another great recipe. A really beautiful, soft, tasty loaf! I’ve made many combo white-wheat loaves recently and this is definitely the best. I happened to have leftover powdered milk from making homemade hot chocolate mix—that’s another possible use for it for those who buy it for this recipe!

  131. I have been making this on a weekly basis since you posted it.

    Yesterday I adapted it into an amazing cinnamon raisin bread and I hope to post the recipe on my blog, unless you object of course!

  132. I made this tonight and it came out great! I was especially relieved because aside from pizza dough, this is the first yeasted loaf I’ve ever made. I had a lot of worry that I’d ruin it, but once I sliced into the cooling loaf, I knew it was going to be good and that I’d be making it again. My KA stand mixer is going to get quite a work out!

  133. I also had to add about 1/4 cup of water, because the dough was really dry. I added 1/4 tsp of ground ginger, per your suggestion in another post, and preheated to 375 but dropped the temp to 350 immediately after putting the loaf in the oven.

    This is the most amazing bread ever. Because it is my friends birthday tomorrow, and he is king for the day (even though he pretends to be all “manly” and not “care” about birthdays), so dinner will be meatloaf sandwiched between slices of this amazing bread. I haven’t figured out how to get a veg down his gullet, but I’m sure I’ll think of something. Maybe NCAA basketball will distract him and he won’t notice its green beans he’s eating.

    He also says “Thanks Deb!” because this bread will take his favorite sandwich into a new realm of deliciousness.

  134. I made this bread last night — just perfect. It was especially marvelous this morning with a little blackberry jam.

    My new pledge to myself is to make my own bread, all the time. With recipes this easy and delicious, well, making the switch from store-bought doesn’t seem like that much of a challenge!

  135. ok.. i’ve now made this twice with rye flour and caraway seeds! Its great.. the first time I messed up and swapped the rye/white quantities, but I’ve just made it again and swapped the wheat flour for rye and added 2T caraway seeds. Its delicious! The only minor flaw seems to be on the second rise I keep getting a ‘cracked’ apart top in places. Any ideas as to the cause/solution for that?

  136. Hey Deb. I just made this recipe and love it! This was my second attempt and it was much, much more successful than the first as it actually looks like a loaf of sandwich bread now. Any tips on how to get the bread out of the pan a little easier? I oiled the glass pan w/ vegetable oil, but had a hard time setting the loaf free. I suppose I could have used Pam, but I was all out. Thanks!

  137. This is my second time making this recipe, and both times it’s been perfect. I’m thrilled about it, and so glad to no longer have to buy sandwich bread at the store.

    I’m also happy to report, for vegans or the lactose-intolerant, that my loaves have been vegan and delicious. I used soya powder instead of milk powder, and non-dairy “butter” and everything was great.

    Thanks so much!

  138. This bread is fantastic! I made a loaf to have the kids “try” it. They don’t care for wheat bread. Needless to say I was making another loaf last night before bed. It’s light but makes great sandwiches. Thank you so much. ***I used my bread maker for the mixing and the first rise. Finished it off in the oven.

  139. I’m on a smitten kitchen baking blitz…pretzels two days ago, bread today, quiche tomorrow. This recipe rocks. I mixed it all by hand using the wood spatula that came with my wok and kneaded it until smooth. My house is freezing but it rose like a champ. My oven is cruddy and who knows if the temperature is even accurate so I had to watch the baking progress like a hawk. The loaf was done in about forty minutes and turned out fabulous. I attribute it to your easy breezy instructions! Nest purchase…a thermometer and a better bread knife.

  140. I have my own bakery that my friend and i run out of her house and this is EASILY the best bread i have EVER tasted, let alone made myself! thank you so much. you have your self a brand new devoted fan!!

  141. I’ve had this on my to do list for a while and I just got around to it. It was perfect for a wonderfully crisp fall afternoon! I’ve decided to have my husband make another one tomorrow…and the next day…and the next…

    This may even become my new “somthing-to-take-when-someone-has-a-baby” item! Thanks.

  142. I make this recipe about once a week instead of buying commercially processed bread. I’ve successfully used a 50-50 ratio of whole wheat and bread flour, upping the water just a bit. I’ve also used plain (liquid) milk or buttermilk in place of powdered (same quantity). I mist the top with water or spray oil before baking and garnish with oat bran.

  143. Tried this one last week and it turned out so great that I’m making it again. I’ve compared the recipe to others and it seems there’s a correllation between the amount of flour and the rising time (as in, more flour, more time). Does anyone know if I’m right? I ask because I’m tempted to double the recipe (one loaf for me, one for a lucky friend), and I’m wondering if I should increase the rising time if I do this, at least for the first proof before the loaves are separated into their respective loaf pans. Any advice would be appreciated!

    1. Not necessarily a correlation between flour and rising time — more likely there is a correlation between the amount of yeast or pre-ferment used and rising time; less will require more time. If you wish to double the recipe, double everything. Rising time and baking temperature remain the same.

  144. Hi Deb, I am absolutely new to baking and thought one needs eggs and buttermilk kind of stuff for a soft bread. This looks simpler. Thanks!!

  145. I just made this again! It’s become my go-to bread. It’s pretty much the definition of carb-y perfection. I use soy milk powder instead of regular because I can get it in the bulk foods section of my grocery and just get a small amount. I also use agave nectar instead of sugar/honey. I do use butter, but if one went with shortening or a vegan margarine (I’ve always had excellent luck baking with Earth Balance when making vegan stuff, even though “they” always say you shouldn’t bake with tub margarine) instead, then it would be happily vegan!

  146. Thank you so much for helping me with my first homemade loaf of bread! It’s 11:40pm and I’m stuffing my face with this bread + hummus. Sadly, I don’t have the bread knife that you have, so my bread is getting a little hacked… Are there bread knives that you recommend?

  147. Thanks, Deb! I’m on it now. The bread has been fueling my mornings. Your bread posts are so encouraging. Your baby is sooo lucky (and oh so cute!).

  148. Thanks Deb. I am so proud I made my own wheat bread. I ate it plain, as a BLT, with pasta. The swirl on one end remained… it looked kinds offensive… like it was flicking me off – but it was hysterical.

  149. I love this recipe and I just never saw it in the cookbook it came from. I’m curious if this can actually be 2 – 1 lb loaves since it rises so much more quickly than anticipated. I noticed in the cookbook all of the other sandwich bread recipes seem to be for 2 – 1 lb loaves instead of 1 – 2 lb loaf. The bread is a little a dense but the flavor is outrageous and my hubby loves it.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  150. This is the bread recipe that finally got me past the fear (personal curse?) of bread-baking. I’ve had many bad bread experiences, but this one worked like a charm, and my family now refuses to eat anything else! Thanks.

  151. I made this bread the other day. It was delicious, but the crust was REALLY hard. I do love a good crust, but this was too much. Did I do something wrong?

  152. I just put my first loaf of this bread in the oven – I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I love this book but some of the recipes intimidate me because of the sheer amount of work required. As a full-time worker outside the home, I can only do these on very well planned weekends, because of the slow rising and the overnight preferments. Plus my stuff always seems to rise way slower than the book says. Except for this light whole wheat – it rose like a champ!

  153. This bread is wonderful! I used 2 cups of whole wheat against 2 cups of white and subbed rice milk for the powdered milk and it tastes wonderful.

  154. Mine was pale, like scary pale and hard like a brick and I used half whole wheat half white ap flour, Shoulda followed instructions, Its like bread flavored chewing gum :(

  155. I was very excited to try this recipe, but I ended up being really disappointed by it. I’ve tried other recipes on your website and loved them, so I thought that this would turn out just as well. At first I doubled the recipe and the dough was really hard to work, I ended up adding about another 1/2 cup of water. It ended up still being to tough, and the water would no longer incorporate. I thought that my decision to double the recipe was what made it turn out so bad, so I decided to just make one loaf. The dough is currently on my counter. It is brick-like and unworkable. I’m very upset. I’ve wasted thirteen cups of flour and quite a few other ingredients in the process. I was using king arthur flour, so I know it wasn’t my flour causing the problem. Do you have any idea what I could have done wrong? I’m sad that I have to waste this much potential food, and I would like a way to remedy my situation.

  156. First of all I would like to say thanks for replying to my above comment. I was a little exasperated when I wrote it, and I’m sorry if I came off as being rude :/ I really appreciate the effort that you put into this blog on top of all of the other things that you have going on in your life, and my unfortunate experience is no reason to be mad at the recipe, or the blog. It was mos certainly an error on my part.
    My yeast was good, It was freshly bought for this recipe. I think that I might have overworked the dough when mixing and caused the gluten to become tough and hard-to-work. The dough that I mentioned in my last post (the one that was “brick-like”) is rising on my stove right now. I’m going to try to knead it after this first rise, before I put it into the bread pan. I think the two hours or so rising time that I’m giving it will be an adequate amount of time to allow the gluten to settle. I could be completely wrong, but oh well, it’s worth a try!

    1. No worries! I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. I get furious when recipes don’t work as well (see my post about to go up) however, I find this to be such a flexible, reliable recipe I am at a loss as to what went wrong. I’ll keep thinking about it though.

      Is your place on the cold side, btw? Definitely will increase rising times.

  157. First of all thank you so much for your blog. I’m a starter in the kitchen and I love the way you cook and it helped my a lot to develop my skills!
    This bread was sooooo good! I borrowed the bread maker machine from my mom and tried it yesterday. I mixed the recipe from the machine with yours and it came out great! I mad the dough in the machine and baked it in the oven. I changed the honey for maple syrup (If you noticed that my english isn’t that good it’s because I’m from Québec and I don’t get to practice my English a lot but a do get a lot of maple syrup :)
    Anyway I have a little question… the crust of the bread was a little bit to hard… should I lower the temperature of the oven to make it lighter or should I reduce cooking time?
    Thank you!

  158. I am lucky to live in a place that houses many great artisan bread bakers. Their breads are sold in the health food stores and co-ops all over so I rarely have to buy commericial bread. Still, I long to make my own bread. The handful of times I tried at home, I have experienced less than favorable results. Just last week, my two preschool aged children made bread a la Reinhart. I always like to check your blog to see if a recipe has gone through your test kitchen and lucky me, I found it here! My dough is fermenting on the counter now, beautifully. Fingers crossed for delicious results! Thank you, SK.
    Melissa @ TigerLilyFarm

  159. FYI – Bread’s out and cooled off a bit. It cooked evenly and is delicious! Now, if I can just figure out how to make it look like a real bread loaf, rather than a bread roll….

  160. I’ve made this multiple times now and I love it! My boyfriend started pestering me yesterday to make a rye bread for him and though I looked at your ny deli rye bread, I figured a modification to this recipe would work better for what he wanted. Thanks to Mary for testing this out! Like her I substituted the rye flour (I used Bob’s red mill brand) for the wheat flour and threw in some caraway seeds. I also doubled the honey and added an equal amount of blackstrap molasses (boyfriend’s request) which made the bread caramel-y and sweeter. He said it was exactly what he wanted and I’m thrilled with it too.

  161. this bread is wonderful! fluffy but still somewhat dense (in a good way) and tasty. i was a bit confused by the whole rolling part, but it seems like i did it right. thanks for this recipe–i’ll probably be making it every week for a while. smitten kitchen to the rescue again :)

  162. This bread was fantastic, the first “bread” bread I’ve baked :)
    I used all purpose flour because I didn’t have bread flour or whole wheat at hand, and it turned out more like artisan bread than sandwich bread. Other than that, I changed nothing. What could I do to make it more sandwich suitable? Recipe was awesome none the less ;)

  163. I like to use my bread machine to make the dough and then put the dough into a regular loaf pan. I usually check the internal temperature (190 to 200 degrees) to know how long to bake the bread. However, how do I know what temperature to set the oven.

  164. I had always been afraid of making things with yeast until I found your blog. I started with your pizza dough (amazing!) which seemed less daunting then actual bread and finally decided to take the plunge and try the wheat bread as your tips were so helpful I figured I should be able to pull it off. I’m so glad I gave it a try. The bread is wonderful and your tips and directions made it so easy. I’ll never be afraid of yeast again! Thanks.

  165. Tried this multiple times, but only considered the window pane the past two. That first time I hand-kneaded for a half hour and couldn’t pass the windowpane test. Today I shortened the kneading to save my wrists and still couldn’t achieve window pane. Seems that most people here use mixers… did anyone have luck hand kneading? I’m about to abandon this recipe for good.. :(

  166. Well, I’m reading back and now I can’t believe mine turned out at all as I used active dry yeast…not instant (I guess I just didn’t fully read or understand that was something different…oops) and I did not put the yeast in warm water first…and it somehow turned out. Perhaps I had my other ingredients just warm enough or the spot in which it sat for those hours was warm (which it was)…but it did rise…both times quite well…and it’s quite yummy. The only problem, which I think is my oven’s fault, is that the top crust is just a bit tough and crusty..but it is still divine and delicious. I’ll definitely do this again. This was my first “loaf” of bread…and I enjoyed myself immensely. :) Thanks!

  167. caitlin…on yoru window pane issue…i only hand needed for approx. 10min…def. no longer than that. I floured my fingers well, and very slowly rotated a little piece of dough as I slowly stretched it…slowly. After 6 minutes it broke very quickly, but around 10 minutes it stretched quite a bit before breaking. Now, should I have done it more? not sure…but my loaf turned out nicely and I was afraid of overworking it. 30 minutes seems like a long time…compared to my 10…so maybe check it sooner? and be sure you’re stretching it very slowly when doing the test? (those are tips I read online so just passing them on…) I’m sure others will have more tips for you…but that was my experience. BTW…I’m in Missouri and it’s very hot and humid here…I have no idea exactly how that affects dough, though I know it does…but just sayin….Oh…second tip is I tried to use the smallest amount of flour possible when kneading it out…and allowed it to get just a bit tacky (not sticky) with a bit of a sheen to the dough as I was working it. ;) That’s all I got…

  168. Okay, I found your website last week while searching for cookie recipes. I taught myself to bake about a month and a half ago, and have been obsessed like a mad man. I made your peanut butter cookies AND your oatmeal raisin cookies (with chocolate covered raisins) and got RAVE reviews from my coworkers. I’ve been baking bread – which I have always seen as this huge challenge – since I started this baking journey. It turns out well, and I have made some really great italian bread but my wheat breads have, while tasting great, always turned out like bricks. Oh boy. I made your bread tonite and I cant tell you how great your recipe is. It rose and rose and is just so perfect and golden. I am now convinced that you are a food god and I am going to try as many of your recipes as I can. Forget Julie and Julia,Im going to dedicate a year to making all of your recipes! (unless they contain salmon…blech) Much love from Portland, Oregon (and THANKS!!)

  169. Used the scant two teaspoons of active dry yeast mixed right in (no proofing) with great results – although rising time was less than an hour for each rise (normal temperature room). I noticed someone else used 1 1/2 teaspoons of active dry with fine results as well – is there some benefit to using less yeast and waiting longer for the rise? Sorry to be lazy and ask rather than do my own research :T

  170. Just pulled this one outta the oven. It’s an easy and beautiful sandwich bread.

    My pic isn’t as clear and nice but the loaf really does look like yours in real life. LOL

    Thanx again, Deb. I know whatever I try from this site will never fail me.

  171. Hi, I stumbled over your blog when i looked for a great wholewheat Sandwich bread recipe. I am also a fan of Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day. But don’t really like their wholewheat Sandwich breads (too crumbly). This was so easy and has the texture I was looking for. On the ends you can still see the roll, so my 3 year old calls it “snail bread” and devoured 3 slices for breakfast (she’s not a very good eater normally). I will definitely make this again. Next time I will try not to stuff it up (still turned out good, though). I baked it too long or too hot or too high in the oven. when i checked it at 45 minutes, it registered 209 degrees already and the crust was pretty hard. So I rubbed butter into it which softened it a bit.
    Thank you for sharing. i think this will be my go to Sandwich bread recipe. I also want to stop buying bread. Being German but now living in Australia, I am used to good breads and find the pre-packaged sliced varfiety pretty disgusting. I figured if I can make yummy stunning artisan breads, then I should be able to whip up a standard Sandwich bread. Now I can, thanks to you.

  172. I’ve been looking for a good but easy wheat bread for a while and was happy to see this, especially since it’s Peter Reinhart’s. (I have Crust and Crumb, which I love.) Naturally, I didn’t have powdered milk so, being a rebel, I used milk in place of the water. It turned out just fine, although I will be getting some powdered milk because I noticed that it’s probably more concentrated than milk, due to the ratios. My dough was particularly thirsty today, probably due to the dry air, so I kept adding water as I kneaded. I must have put an extra 1/4 cup of liquid in the dough. So, if you don’t have powdered milk on hand, don’t let that stop you. And don’t be afraid to keep adding water. It really is better to have the dough be a little too wet than too dry. Just add it a few drops at a time. Thanks!

  173. I know that this is a very particular question, but I’m going to ask it nonetheless, just to see if you have any thoughts. I’ve made this bread several times now (in CO and in WA), and in CO, it rises beautifully, tops out the pan, and generally looks exactly like it should. In WA, it rises well during the first rise – during the second rise, however, it does less, and then does not finish the rise in the oven. There’s no difference in method, oven, etc between the two states, and I’m using exactly the same ingredients. Do you have any further thoughts on what could be going wrong? Thank you!

    1. I’m not an expert on baking at altitudes (I’ve lived at sea level my whole life!) but it sounds like that could be a culprit. There are many online resources for adapting recipes to different altitudes.

  174. yeast doughs have been my nemesis for years, so all you could hear when this came out of the oven was, “it looks like bread! it smells like bread! i made real bread!” i found it quite easy to put together. i didn’t require any extra water, though it was a challenge for me not to add a ton of extra flour when i was kneading it. my dough never quite passed the windowpane test. i did try it a few times, though, and definitely saw the changes in elasticity, which was cool. the bread has the perfect chewiness and a great crust — i hate crusts that are really dry tasting. because of its density, it also slices really well, even with a not so sharp knife… no more bread aisle for me! :)

  175. also, i got a craving for raisin bread this week, and since this bread turned out so well for me i used it as a base (instead of finding an actual recipe…). i used ap flour instead of the whole wheat, added an extra tablespoon of powdered milk and an extra drizzle of honey, reduced the salt to a teaspoon, and rehydrated about half a cup of raisins in boiling water and kneaded them into the dough. when i patted it out just before rolling it up, i sprinkled it with cinnamon. for an experiment it came out pretty well. next time i’ll use more raisins (a cup? maybe more even?) and definitely more cinnamon — i’ll cover the dough with it! it’s been breakfast every day this week, toasted with butter.

  176. seriously delicious. first bread recipe i have tried that came out successful (meaning not a dense hunk of cooked flour!) thanks!

  177. I’m about to bake this for the second time, this time a double batch. It’s wonderful bread, and was my first attempt at any kind of loaf.

    My husband loved it, but I think I’ll be making another of the Dill Loaf as well, because that lasted barely 3 days.

  178. I am an experienced bread maker. I was looking for a new whole wheat sandwich loaf and tried this a few times. I have tweaked the recipe slightly. I find I need 12 oz of water to make a nice dough. Also, this time I used half whole wheat and half white bread flour. I also added a tbsp of King Arthurs whole grain improver. But the biggest difference was letting the dough rest covered in the bowl after the first mixing, before I knead it. Many whole wheat recipes call for this as it takes time for the whole wheat flour to absorb the liquids. My dough was just beautiful and the finished loaf spectacular looking and tasting. I love that it is not too sweet.

  179. I was in a desperate search to find a bread that would be a good consistency to replace sandwich bread (which for whatever reason has high fructose corn syrup in it or is entirely too expensive if it doesn’t), and I have found it in this recipe. Since living in an arid/higher altitude climate, I have tweaked the recipe a bit and use less flour, but other than that, I have found this recipe to be perfect – Invaluable in fact. Since finding it, I haven’t bought a loaf of bread from the store once. I usually make 2-3 loaves a week and found it to be so entirely easy. So thankful (and my family is too) that I found this recipe!

    1. No reason why not. My reason was that I personally don’t like keeping bread in the fridge; I find it gets stale very quickly, faster than at room temperature. If we’re not going to use it in a day or two, I use the freezer to preserve the moisture and freshness.

  180. This was my first bread-baking attempt and it came out great! As other commenters have said, I used a scant two teaspoons of active dry yeast and it worked just fine. I ended up needing to knead it for closer to 15 minutes (by hand), as it pulled apart instead of stretching, but then it rose beautifully. Just made BLTs even though it’s the dead of winter, just so we have dinner starring the bread. :)

  181. Just made this yesterday, and so far it has passed the following Sandwich Bread Litmus Tests. Any bread worth its…yeast?… has to hold up to these– otherwise, what does one do with sandwich bread??

    – PBJ (only with honey, not J)
    – butter on toast
    – fried egg runny yolk sopper-upper
    – egg in the hole base

    I’ll be running the Grilled Cheese Test later today, and if it passes, which I fully expect it to, I can declare this a 10.0 on the virgin sandwich bread performance! (because I was a sandwich bread virgin until yesterday.)

    Quick note: I omitted the powdered milk (didn’t have any), and it still turned out wonderfully. Great flavor, awesome crust, perfect chewiness. 10.0, as I said.

    A tip, too: if your kitchen is a bit on the cold side, as mine is, you might try this: preheat your oven to its lowest temp (mine is 170 F), then turn it off, wait 5-10 min for it to get a little cooler, and then let the bread rise in there.

  182. I just found your site, it’s beautiful. There are many recipes I think I’ll try! I just wanted to leave a quick slicing tip for all those who commented on the even slices. When I turn my bread out to cool, I make sure the end of the loaf is lined up nicely with one of the metal bars in the rack. It then leaves slight, even, indent lines – crossing the loaf – all the way down the bottom of the loaf. Then I just turn it on its side to slice (and still use a good bread knife) and cut along the lines as a guide. I find them to be the perfect width for sandwich slices.

  183. Deb, I just sliced into my second loaf of this delicious bread and it is better than the first, which I suppose should be the case but considering the first loaf was devoured by my husband and I in less than 2 days an improvement was a glorious surprise. I got a better rise out of this loaf (tho not the impressive dome of your last photo) and the texture is just perfect. Thank you, thank you for improving our eating, our health, and our grocery budget! We eat a LOT of bread and I foresee this replacing a lot of the purchased loaves. Thank you.

  184. Made this today and it is good! My second rise was also really quick, especially considering my cold house. I used 1/2c. of spelt flour (from your great crackers) and 1c. whole wheat flour. The bread is slightly sweeter than I had thought it would be — like a really good, upgraded Roman Meal, if anyone remembers that brand.

  185. I made this today and it is life changing! I’ve been making bread, good bread, since I was 12, but I never got a good wheat crumb for sandwiches. This is perfect! I can shave off cracker thin slices. I don’t have a Kitchen Aid (it’s a long sad story ) or a bread machine, so I mixed this with a wooden spoon.I did double the recipe, because I am accustomed to a two loaf yield.
    But please people, for the love of science, don’t put your bread in the fridge! It breaks down the sugar structure and makes it go stale. And presumably you put it in the fridge to avoid that!

  186. This is BY FAR the best bread recipe I have tried!! It was incredibly light and fluffy with an amazing flavor!! I have tried quite a few recipes but none have yielded such amazing results! thank you for sharing!! (and I absolutely LOVE your site!!)

  187. Awesome recipe and great for a beginning bread maker like myself. I’m about to put my 3rd loaf in the oven! It turns out perfectly each time! Thank you again for a great recipe!

  188. So I tried this recipe and well, changed it up…quite a bit. But successfully!

    I added about a tablespoon of yeast. I messed with the proportions a bit (3 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat, 4 tsp wheat gluten). I lowered the yeast to 1/4 tsp and let its first rise take as long as it needed to/went about my business in the method of the timetable-less bread you showed before. (I think I came back about five or six hours later and it had doubled, but I live someplace very warm; I was willing to let it go overnight, honestly). Then I patted it into the rectangle and slathered melted butter, cinnamon, and raisins that I had soaked in the fridge during the first rise. Then rolled and baked as usual.

    …Honestly, it was perfect. The texture and flavor were completely spot on and the cinnamon swirl is utterly delightful. Success!

    Thanks for the great recipe Deb, and the wonderful blog, and the resources a person needs to feel confident significantly changing a recipe. :)

  189. This was just the right amount of. whole wheat. Most recipes for whole wheat produce a dense, heavy, not terribly good tasting loaf. This one is tender with a nice soft crumb. It’s as wonderful smeared with cream cheese and a little preserves as it is serving as the holder for a nice sandwich. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  190. I made this after a struggle with homemade bread. Instead of making bread, I made a rock. It didn’t rise well and it was just ugly. This however, worked wonderfully for me. I’m at high altitude, so I added extra salt and extra water – but it came out great. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  191. I just made my first loaf of bread EVER using this recipe last week…and it was a success! It’s so good that I am hoping to find the time to try to always make my own bread instead of buying it (I’m optimistic!). The thing is, at the supermarket my favorite bread is the “seeded” type with lots of pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and poppy seeds in it, so I want to try to replicate that. Are there any tricks or changes that need to be made to add seeds to a bread recipe – or could I just throw them into the dough and keep going? Thanks! :)

  192. Tried the recipe yesterday and wasn’t disappointed. I normally use dried yeast, and a pre-ferment which I might try with this recipe in the future, can’t see the dried yeast being of any detriment to it and should be better.
    My question is what is the point of the rolling technique instead of simple shaping and placing in the pan?

  193. The rolling technique is the traditional way to make perfect pan loaves, with tight, bulged tops. However, if you found it made no difference how you put it in the pan, no reason to bother next time.

  194. I’ve made this loaf twice now and it’s wonderful- my family loves it. I’ve never baked bread (other then in a bread machine) before and now I have the bread baking bug! I LOVE it!! Thanks.

  195. Thank you so much for this recipe. Even more helpful than the recipe are the tips for baking bread. I’ve been trying to replace store bread with home made for over a year with limited success, but with your tips my breads (and pizza doughs, etc …) all come out much better! Thanks again!!

  196. Having made this now on quite a few occasions I have to say the recipe is excellent. Too much water is a no no, and today I tried it with two tablespoons of sunflower oil instead of butter which was a success.
    I normally use dried yeast, but having read PR’s explanation for using instant yeast I will be using that exclusively.

  197. I normally make whole wheat bread, and they come out dry, so I surf the net and I found, this recipe, and it came out great, I just add one more cup of water and my family loves it, no more dry wheat bread for me thank you very much, I will be using this recipe from now on and share it with others and my children it will go from generation to generations
    I follow your recipe, and now am going and try your banana bread ,I know I will not be disappointed

  198. Hey deb, I discovered this site a few weeks ago, and since I have been working my way backwards reading each recipe.* A week or so ago I made bread for the first time, and I am almost one hundred percent certain the recipe was either on your site or linked from your site. It was a basic white bread for beginning bread makers. But I have been all through your recipe index and can’t find it. Any ideas? (and by ideas I mean, please help I need that bread!) This recipe was the closest I could find on the site to what I made before.

    *Your son is adorable and your linked pictures are completely charming. Also other gushy, I love this blog kind of things.

  199. I am truly glad to find your recipe and plan to make it real soon. I will add onion powder….it adds such a good taste. My kids call my homemade bread, with onion powder added, “Stew Bread” when they toast it, cuz it smells so good.

  200. Hi Deb! I don’t have any unbleached high-gluten flour on hand, do you think I can add some vital wheat gluten to the white bread flour and yield similar results? I also have to omit milk powder from this recipe as my daughter is allergic to dairy. Will that make the final result spongy without the milk powder?

  201. Does anyomne know of a recipe that is ALL whole grain and not hard & heavy? I want to use 100% whole grain; there has to be a way to do so and not end up with a brick.

  202. I’ve made this loaf numerous times, both with honey or sugar. One tip I found for when the kitchen is cooler, especially this time of year, is toss the bowl into the oven to rise. No need to turn on the oven, just click on the inside light! It generates just enough heat in the enclosed space to really help.

  203. This is a damn good recipe. I let my loaf proof a little too long so my loaf is ENORMOUS and yet the crumb is still perfect and the bread is delicious. Your deli rye is still my favorite, though!

  204. I made this yesterday and it turned out beautifully! Thank you so much for such a wonderful recipe. This is the first loaf of bread I’ve made in 5 years. My whole family just loved it, myself included. Many thanks for sharing :)

  205. Hi Deb, I’m new to your blog but have tried several of your recipes (apple pie, pizza crust, breads) and I’m loving it! Thanks for posting all wonderful recipes. I made this light wheat bread four times in 2 weeks. I tweaked the recipe twice, put 1/4 wheat bran or more ww flour, they didn’t turn out awesome. I also put the dough for second rising in the fridge – the bread tasted beery and sour. So I won’t put it in the fridge ever again. Hint: follow the recipe just as it’s written and you can’t go wrong.

  206. Mmm.. I just inhaled, I mean ate, a panini made with this delicious delicious bread. It was my first bread baking experience and it came out really well! Another yummy recipe I’ll be trying again in the near future! (I also made your granola today, mmm.. hazelnuts are an excellent addition :)

  207. I’m a convert. This is the first loaf of bread I’ve ever made. It is amazing. The bread itself and the fact that I made it.

    Thank you. I’ve made so many of your recipes. It is always the first place I look and usually the only place I need to look. Thanks for doing what you do. I hope you never stop! :)

  208. Up until last night I had given up on baking a loaf of bread suitable for sandwiches. I bake delicious white yeast bread and rolls, but they are too fragile to hold up for a sandwich without slicing it an inch thick.

    Holy crap. I made this last night. It’s PERFECT. All the good things about store bought bread, (soft, tight structure, flexible, sturdy) but without the tastelessness and added crap.

    My only problem is, I’ve never formed a loaf quite in this way (rolled up), and while it resulted in a BEAUTIFUL loaf, I got a big crescent of air where two layers of the roll separated inside the loaf rather than melding. So my slices have a big hole in them. Did I not roll tightly enough? Is this going to happen every time?

  209. I’ve made more than one of your recipes and they have been fabulous! The Carrot, Ginger, Miso soup has been a super duper hit. I’ve been failing at making bread for quite some time. I’ve been able to pull off only the one bowl NYTimes, flour, salt, water, yeast recipe with any repeated success. I made this today and I swear I almost cried I was so happy. I only had active dry yeast but found your suggestions in the comments and it worked perfectly. The first rise was perfect. Forming the dough was perfect. The second rise was perfect. Everything was just perfect. I do a whole lot of camping out on sites and not a lot of commenting. The fact that I am breaking my lurker status is H-U-G-E. This is a wonderful recipe with great instructions and I had excellent results. Thank you!

  210. This is such a great recipe-I’m about to make it for a second time in one week! I’ve been looking for a basic sandwich bread and this is so light and flavorful. This time, I’ll make two with one to freeze.

  211. I made this! first time I’ve ever attempted bread (besides the real quick kind) and it worked quite well. I am so proud of myself. Thanks for such a detailed recipe :)

  212. I have made a number of your recipes and they all have come out awesome… So when I was in the mood for bread yours was he go to site… I tried this recipe n it was just out of the world. Thanks for shearing such awesome recipes.
    If I were to make a regular loaf can I just substitute the wheat flour to white bread flour???
    Your recipes are awesome… Thanks again

  213. Stupid, stupid, stupid! I just now read your tips for bread, now that the dough is rising. *smacking head* For next time…do you always add vital wheat gluten? Should I add it to this recipe? Thank you so much, I love your site. Peter Rinehart’s book intimidated me, but you’ve made this seem very manageable. Here’s hoping!

    1. Not at all! You can use all-purpose for bread successfully. Bread flour has a little extra gluten in it that helps bread’s texture. If you can’t find bread flour (or don’t want to buy a 5-pound bag for only occasional use), Vital Wheat Gluten added to regular flour will give you almost the same effect. But, you can still make great bread without either bread flour or AP+VWG. Hope that helps!

  214. That helps a lot, thanks! I did use the bread flour so I should be good. It’s rising beautifully. One more question, perhaps a stupid one, but I’m trying to learn–it rises so much, is it possible to use a 9×5 loaf pan to get a larger loaf?

  215. ok- made this last night…didn’t rise and tonight…not much better…I thought the “room temp” water was too cool..so I warmed it up a bit…not much…rose better, but still…totally disappointing,.. what am I doing wrong?? Not high altitude here

  216. Just wanted to say I haven’t bought bread for my family in a month. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I work from home so it’s easy to throw this together every few days. I enjoy the process, my family enjoys the bread.

  217. The recipe is simple and excellent but even more importantly, thanks to this I finally understand how to shape a loaf of bread! (As good as Shirley Corriher’s Cookwise is about the culinary science, for some reason its unillustrated instructions for shaping a loaf of bread just fell short.)

  218. At Knoble Brew, we compost a lot of spent grains each week, to the point where the composter can no longer contain the smell, let alone any of our other standard kitchen scraps. Taking my cue from half the internet, I made a loaf of your bread tonight subbing 1 3/4 C spent grains for a portion of the wheat flour. With a few other small tweaks to make up for the taste and moisture levels, the results were amazingly gorgeous. My hungry brew crew devoured the entire loaf in minutes. (So much for toast in the morning…) Thanks for a great recipe to play with!

  219. I am making this now and I just got a scale and I used it for my flour and it matched my measuring cups perfectly. Since I am getting the hang of it I am using measuring cups and scale. But to get 1 oz of powdered milk oh my golly! It is taking waay more than 3 Tablespoons. I have no idea why and which measurement to trust here. (It is just under half a cup of powdered milk to equal 1 oz..

  220. Hi Sandra — Yikes. I haven’t retested this in a while and the weights are from the original book. Defer to the tablespoon measurement instead of the weight, in that case. Hope you like the bread.

  221. Has anyone tried this omitting the powdered milk? I’ve a friend who keeps kosher and I’d feel pretty stupid serving him a roast beef sandwich on bread that has milk in it!

  222. I have made bread for years and this looks like a good whole wheat recipe. I would disagree with the idea of using shortening in bread; why use a flavorless unhealthy trans fat? And I would never bother making just one loaf at a time. Making bread is a physical work out so if you’re going to go to all that trouble (and mess) make 2 or 3 loaves at a time. I will double this recipe.

  223. This recipe worked really well for me and was super yummy! My kids gobbled it up and asked for seconds (and thirds.) I used butter and a combo of both sugar and honey. I also used white whole wheat flour instead of regular whole wheat flour. Love it!

  224. I would love to repost this to my tiny DIY blog, with credit of course. This was an absolute hit with my family tonight. I plan to mix the dry ingredients and keep batches on hand in gallon zipper bags, then just add the butter and water. I could make this several times a week. Thank you, also, for the “windowpane test” clarification. I had never done that before, and as I kneaded and checked, I could really feel the difference in the dough.

    Thank you!

  225. Speaking of slicing the bread……I take the bread next day (if you can wait that long) to the deli at neighborhood grocery store and they are always happy to see my bread and happy to slice it for me at no charge…..just don’t tell your party you had at sliced by deli!….ha!

  226. Any alternatives to milk in the recipe? I have lactose intolerance members of the family. I’d love to try this recipe! I make bread, but my husband asked for one that’s light like the store-bought kind. I like the dense bread myself. But, I’m trying to find a good recipe for him. Thanks!

  227. How do you bake bread in higher altitude? I just moved for California to Colorado and don’t know how to get it to rise.

  228. One reason you might want to use shortening (or at least margarine) in the bread: this makes it pareve for those who keep kosher and want to be able to eat cold cuts sandwiches with it!

    (This is also why I asked if it works without powdered milk.)

  229. This recipe is excellent – my attempt at this turned out to be the best sandwich/toast loaf I have ever had. So easy and slices beautifully. Thanks again Deb and best wishes for 2013.

  230. hello, I made this breadand loved it.

    can I sub the wheat flour bread flour to make reg white breadm will it still work? also do.you happen to know of a boillo recipe(mexican bread)

  231. I’ve lost count of the times I have made this and haven’t read all the comments in the ages so if I am repeating someone else’s tip I apologize. One thing that I have found that makes things easier is that I “dissolve” the honey into the water (I don’t use sugar). By dissolve I mean that I simply stir my honey into the water before adding it to the flour mixture, makes it a bit easier to combine everything.

  232. Hi there! I love this food blog and have been trying to find a good wheat bread recipe that can become my go-to recipe for frequent bread baking. The photos were very pretty, but unfortunately my personal experience wasn’t as enticing! I used bread flour and wheat flour, quick rise yeast, and nonfat dry milk, as well half of the required sugar, substituting the rest with honey. The first rise was successful, the dough really poofed up, but the second rise did not work. I also found the bread did not rise while backing and the end result was a somewhat bland bread. It pretty much compared equally to the healthy, low-fat type of breads at grocery stores unfortunately. I really think having enough sugar in bread makes a big difference for yeast activation as well as flavor. Thank you all the same for the recipe! I’m glad I gave it a try.

  233. Thank you so much for posting such an easy to follow recipe. This is the second time I’ve made it and it’s turned out fantastic, so I won’t be using any other bread recipe. I skimmed over the comments and remember reading that someone rubbed unsalted butter over the loaf to stop it from being so crusty so I’m attempting that now. I’m also going to make these into bread rolls too :)

  234. This was fantastic. I did not have any milk powder so i substituted 1/2 cup of milk for some of the water and I used regular yeast and proofed it with the honey and water.It was a fabulous rise both times, I let mine rise in the oven with the light on for some heat and I cover it with a heated wet towel that I heat in the microwave
    Rising time was quicker than indicated as was the cooking time.

  235. Hi all, so looking forward to making this, the other recipe I made, the loaf could have been used for self defense,it was that heavy. Tasted fine, just heavy, I have 2 Bigas proofing as I type, so it will be a good day in the kitchen.

  236. I am looking at a beautiful loaf of light whole wheat bread, during the kneading ,the dough came out a little tough. But I think all in all , I am looking forward to making it for the family , No more store bought ever,Thanks for a wonderful recipe.
    Kim

  237. Oh Deb,you and I have this desase called BREAD.where the recipient will look at bread recipes for so long that you just have to make it even if it means calculating the minutes and waking up at 5 am. The long and short of this I want to make this and since I can’t (milk powder?!) it has made long for oatmeal bread.

  238. Love this! The rolling trick is especially helpful. The crust is so good, I cut of the heal and ate it first. Will be my go to recipe.

  239. have you tried used the dried buttermilk powder you can get now? I use it in almost everything it seems nowadays, because it adds the buttermilk flavor without having to keep the liquid version in the fridge or messing up liquid quantities in recipes. Just wondering if anyone had tried it in this bread recipe! I will try it when I get back to my home kitchen.

    1. Sarah — Such a great suggestions and no, I’ve never tried it. I’d love to hear how it goes for you. Might add an extra complexity to the flavor too.

  240. Just wanted to share my recent adaptation of this recipe, I have begun using it as a base for fruit bread. I added two more tablespoons of sugar and then added sultanas, cinnamon and nutmeg. The rest of the recipe stays the same. It is amazing toasted with some butter.

  241. Thank, thank you for this recipe. I too have added my own embellishments and it is the best bread for toasting I’ve made in years. And, Em from Oz, II’m going to try your fruit bread next time too.

  242. i’ve been tinkering with this recipe a bit and have found some great additions for the batter: 1 whole egg and 1/2 cup of wheat bran. the egg adds a richness, and the bran makes it still taste whole wheat-y. i also used white whole wheat instead of regular whole wheat. reminds me of the arnold 100% whole wheat bread i ate as a kid. love this recipe!

  243. The above recipe above does not say how long to bake the bread for if using a bread pan so I put it in for 35 minutes but will use my digital thermometer to double check.

    Now for all you new bakers out there, listen to Grandma V and try not to concern yourself with using a 8 1/2x 4 1/2 pan or your 9×5 pan as there is hardly any difference in these two sizes. I’m using a 9×5 and it looks fine. Anyway, flour is cheap if you fail try it again it isn’t that hard.. Here is a website for a good but simple loaf of white bread http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com try this first it turns out lovely and will give you practice and confidence.

    There are many good hints out there so do a little reading on how to make bread. Try the recipe on the website I mentioned and you’ll pretty well have to sit on it for it not to rise well and even then..

    If I were to pass a long a hint I would say to judge for yourself when you dough has risen enough, whether its the first or second rise do not necessarily go by the directions in this as it does depend on many factors. Just relax and look at the loaf if its doubled its done, on the second rise if its over the edge of the bread pan then pop it in the oven. Sometimes 30, 60 or 45 minutes is enough other times 90 minutes but in reality if its doubled it doubled.

    Do the finger check and that will tell you if its done rising. If on the second rise and your dough has been in the pan rising for 40 minutes and its an inch over the rim then put it in the oven and stop worrying as it rises more while baking. It you let it rise to much either times it will balloon then deflate while baking.

    And lastly, the whole reason for making homemade bread is the kneading, its good for the head to knead and relaxing. You will learn many things while kneaded, just try it. You would knead max for 10 to 15 minutes and you only do it once so what is so hard about that. A true baker whose worth their salt kneads their own bread otherwise what’s the point. Anyone can stick a bunch of ingredient in a bread maker but the true test for home made bread is the one you made it by hand, now that’s something to be proud of. The point is how do you describe how you made your bread if you used a bread machine.

    I did buy a bread machine once then sold it after trying it once, honestly it was the stupidest thing I’d ever bought and does not and will not make you a true bread-maker. There is a good deal of pride that comes from making bread. So good luck and don’t give up. Wait til your hubby tells his friends his wife makes her own bread. Good luck, if you have any comments I’d be happy to answer them if this website allows for it.
    Grandma A

  244. Hi Deb. Just a quick clarification question — is the wheat flour all purpose or bread flour? Thanks! Looking forward to trying this.

  245. I made this today for the first time. I had a little trouble with the hydration. I don’t have powdered milk, so I used fresh milk and subbed out some water. I must have gotten the ratios wrong and the dough was way dry. I added a tbsp of water at a time and kneeded a bunch and got there.

    If you run across a good substitution formula for using milk as opposed to water, it would be helpful. I used 1/4 cup per tbsp of powdered milk and backed out that amount of water. As I said, too dry.

    The bread is terrific, It is my new everyday bread. Thank you for putting this up.

    Andy

  246. Deb, I think I owe you an apology.
    I’ve been baking my own bread on and off for most of my adult life, but I Started out on a bread baking Spree Only recently.
    For about Three months I have been trying out different Sandwich loaf recipes, Most of them with fancy stuff like sourdough or preferment and fermentation Times upward of 12h. Most were pretty good, but none was “the” bread. While I’ve been an Avid Reader and tryer-out of your recipes for ages,I did not try Out your bread recipes. I considered them too housewifey, I guess.
    MAN, am I sorry! I tried this recipe yesterday with very Slight tweaks (fresh organic yeast , Milk instead of milk powder and fresh ground spelt grain mostly). It’s “the” bread! I shouldn’t have doubted you.
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!

    1. Marcie — You can use bread or regular flour here instead, but they’re not going to absorb liquid the exact same way. You might find that you need a touch more flour or water to get the dough to the right consistency.

  247. Deb you can make the lightest fluffiest whole wheat bread without white flour, gluten flour, dough conditioners etc… I learned to do it from Laurel’s Kitchen. Use hard white wheat if you want it to look lighter and taste a bit less hearty.

  248. Hi Deb,
    Help! I’ve made this about 25 times. It is my go to sandwich loaf since I realized I was spending $90 a month at our local bakery for sandwich bread for the kids!One problem, it always falls in the oven. It’s nice and high, about 1 1/2 inches above the pan at proofing and always ends up barely peeking over the pan when baked. Taste and texture in good, I just want it to look like yours. I’ve tried everything: kneading more/less, proofing longer/shorter, more/less yeast, flour ratio, baking temp… The only thing I havn’t tried is instant yeast. Still working my way through 4 lbs of active dry, but I let that sit in warm water as suggested above. Any thoughts? Thanks!

  249. Omg, this bread is absolutely fantastic! It’s so good! One of my Brazilian friends cooked it once for me and since i fell in love with it. Amazing!

    I recommend everybody to bake it at home! This way you can save some money and eat fresh bread whenever you want! It;s a win-win situation!

  250. I want to thank you: since I discovered this recipe over a year ago, I have baked at least one loaf of your bread every week. At my son’s suggestion, I now add 2 T flax seeds and 4 T chia seeds before it is kneaded. I slice it thin and when it is toasted and spread with a little butter, it is absolutely delicious!

  251. I’ve made your bread recipe a bunch of times and it turns out perfect every single time!! But today I am out of bread flour, so I’m going to be using only wheat. I hope I don’t f it up! Do you think it’ll make a difference?

  252. Hi Deb. I’ve scanned all of the comments and see your mention of using vital wheat gluten in the case where high gluten flour wasn’t used. I’m new to bread making and don’t know how much gluten to add. Is there a ratio? Would it be specific to this recipe?

  253. I make bread once a week. I made your recipe twice with durum wheat. Each time it came out perfect. I do not keep milk powder. Once I used milk and the other time I used heavy cream. Success and success. It also freezes well.

    However, each time flour amount was to much. I approached carefully and about
    1/3 of a cup I put it aside to add if needed which I did not. I am in CA. I do not know if that makes a difference.

    I am very thankful that I have your working recipe. Best.