Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The softest fluffiest 100% Whole Wheat Bread you will ever eat!!

Soft and Fluffy 100% Whole Wheat Rolls. Yes, it's possible.

My mom's boyfriend's doctor has informed him that he has to switch to whole wheat breads/pastas etc. I had a bag of whole wheat flour lying around. I've been wanting to try my hand at making a whole wheat bread, so this seemed like the perfect excuse to try making one!

The problem with whole wheat breads--especially 100% whole wheat--is that they tend to be more dense and chewy than their white flour counter part. Most whole wheat bread recipes call for a mixture of whole wheat and white flours to help combat that.

Luckily, I have a copy of "The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book: A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking." In her book, Laurel Robertson states that anybody can make fluffy 100% whole wheat breads as long as they knead the dough for a long time until it passes the window pane test and you let the dough rise three times. While she provides tons of 100% whole wheat recipes in her book, I decided to use my own, and follow her techniques.

I decided to use the bread recipe I used for the April Daring Cook's Challenge, but use whole wheat flour instead of white flour and omit the mashed parsnips. I also used granulated sugar instead of the maple syrup as the sweetener.

100% Whole Wheat Rolls


1/2 cup water
1/6 cup whole wheat flour

Whisk together the cold water and whole wheat flour (there should be no lumps) and cook over low heat (stirring all the time) until the temperature reaches 149ºF or until the spoon you’re stirring with leaves a trace. The mixture should have the consistency of something between crème anglaise and pastry cream. Leave to cool down to room temperature.

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tbsp+2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
All of the tangzhong
2 tsp instant yeast
3 tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)


1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center. Add in all wet ingredients: milk, egg, and tangzhong.

Bread ingredients ready to be mixed together.

2. Fit the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer and begin mixing on medium speed and knead until your dough comes together and then add in the butter and continue kneading.  Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not too sticky on the surface and elastic. Keep kneading until your dough has achieved window pane.

Did I mention I love my KitchenAid mixer?
Window pane achieved! It took about 30 minutes of kneading in the KitchenAid to reach this point.

3. Knead the dough into a ball shape. Take a large bowl and grease with oil.  Place dough into greased bowl and cover with a wet towel.

Ready for the first rising.

4. Let it proof until it’s doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

5. Punch down dough completely and let proof a second time until double in size, about 40 minutes.

6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and punch down. Divide into 10 equal pieces, rolling each into a ball (I find a kitchen scale very helpful for this).

7. Place buns, seam side down, on a baking sheet coated lightly with cooking spray (or use parchment paper). Tuck ends under and cover. Repeat until all the buns are prepared this way.

I made rolls because I planned on taking them for Easter dinner.

8. Lightly coat formed buns with cooking spray, cover and let rise, until double in size, about 40 minutes

9. Bake at 375 degrees for 17 minutes or until lightly browned. Lightly coat baked buns with cooking spray and cool on a wire rack.

Out of the oven and cooling.

10. Enjoy your fluffy soft rolls!

Soft and squishy 100% whole wheat bread.

I'm so glad I followed Laurel's advice on Whole wheat breads. They came out fantastic! I liked them even better than any white bread I've made. I think this will be my standard soft bread recipe.


  1. Hmmmmm...you may have mentioned this thing you have for your KitchenAid mixer at least once or twice. :)

  2. Loved the method of cooking the whole wheat flour first! Have got to try it. BTW, I found your blog through Laura at KAF who wrote me about a question I had for my blog. Why not visit and let me know what you think?


  3. I just tried this method with King Arthur Flour's Apple Challah, changing the recipe to use all whole wheat. It took a lot more water than I expected, I added nearly half a cup of additional water. Thank you for changing the directions to use cups instead of grams. I don't have a scale and that was very helpful to me. I made the Tangzhou with 1/2 cup water and 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour.


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