Easy 100% Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread
This Easy 100% Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread is perfect for sandwiches, toast, french toast, or just snacking! Once you make a loaf, you will be addicted to this homemade bread!
I try to buy and bake with whole grains as much as possible. We always eat whole-wheat pasta and brown rice. I often cook with quinoa, make whole-wheat pizza dough, and bake with whole-wheat flour. Whenever we buy bread at the grocery store, it’s always 100% whole-wheat. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that my favorite homemade sandwich loaf is 100% whole-wheat as well.
I recently purchased the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook, and I absolutely love it. I’ve had it less than a week, and have already made three recipes from it, including this bread, which I’ve made three times. Each of the three recipes I’ve tried have been wonderful, and I cannot wait to try more.
This Easy 100% Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread really couldn’t be any easier to make (so far as making homemade bread is concerned). You add all (yes all!) of the ingredients to your mixing bowl at once, and let your mixer do the mixing and kneading work for you. I let my bread rise right in the mixing bowl. After the dough has risen, you gently deflate it and shape it into a loaf.
I’m including step-by-step instructions for how to make a braided-top loaf below, and it takes about 3 extra minutes to do so. If you wish, though, you can skip the braid and pop the loaf right into your bread pan. Another quick rise and the bread is ready to bake.
The flavor of this 100% whole-wheat loaf can’t be beat. Fresh and warm from the oven, it’s perfection. We enjoyed most of our first loaf with butternut squash soup for dinner. The rest made excellent grilled cheese sandwiches the next day.
As always, I highly recommend measuring your ingredients by weight. Not only will this ensure your bread comes out perfectly, but it also leaves less dishes to wash.
- 4 tbsp. (½ stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
- 3 cups (12 ounces) whole-wheat flour
- 3 tbsp. (1 ¼ ounces) sugar
- Heaping ½ cup (1 ¼ ounces) dried potato flakes or 3 tbsp. (1 ¼ ounces) potato flour*
- ¼ cup (1 ounce) nonfat dry milk
- 1 ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 ½ tsp. instant yeast
- 2 tbsp. (1 ounce) orange juice (can substitute water or milk**)
- 1 cup (8 ounces) lukewarm water (about 110 degrees F)
- Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix and knead until you have a soft, smooth dough, about 8 minutes. (Alternatively, the dough can be kneaded by hand.) Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise until it's puffy and nearly doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.
- Lightly grease an 8 ½ x 4 ½-inch loaf pan. Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8-inch log. Place it in the prepared pan.
- To make a loaf with a braided top, after deflating, cut off about ⅓ of the dough. Form the large piece into an 8-inch loaf, and place it in the greased loaf pan. Divide the smaller piece of dough into three equal parts. Roll each part into an 11-inch long rope, and braid the three ropes together. Lay the braid lengthwise along the top of the loaf in the pan. (See step-by-step photos of this process below.)
- Cover the loaf with a piece of lightly greased plastic wrap and allow to rise until it's crowned about 1 ½ inches over the rim of the pan, 1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours. Near the end of the bread's rising time, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Uncover and bake the bread for about 35 minutes total, tenting it with foil after about 15 minutes to prevent the top from getting too dark. The bread is done when the center registers 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and let the bread cool in the pan for just a minute or two before removing it to a wire rack. If desired, brush the top of the loaf with melted butter; this will keep the crust soft. Cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
**Note: Using orange juice helps to lessen some of the bitter flavor that can come through when using whole-wheat flour. I've used both orange juice and milk, and your bread will be delicious either way.
Source: King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking.
Here are step-by-step instructions to make a loaf with a braided top:
After deflating the dough, cut off about 1/3 of the dough. Form the large piece into an 8-inch loaf, and divide the smaller piece into three equal parts.
Place the large loaf in the greased pan and roll each of the smaller three parts into an 11-inch long rope.
Braid the three ropes together.
Lay the braid lengthwise along the top of the loaf in the pan.
Cover with a piece of lightly greased plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it’s crowned about 1 1/2 inches above the rim of the pan.
Bake, and that’s it! Now you have a beautiful, delicious loaf of bread!
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