Whole Wheat Loaves {TWD-BWJ}

Many of the Tuesdays with Dorie recipes from Baking with Julia have been new to me, either in ingredients, technique, or finished product. Not so these hearty whole wheat loaves. I’ve been baking bread for over 30 years, so there was nothing new here. Classic ingredients, standard techniques, nothing fancy.

But don’t take that to mean this was a ho-hum recipe. Far from it. While everything about this recipe was comfortably familiar to me, the finished loaves were nothing like the dense, crumbly whole wheat loaves so many recipes produce. No, these were light, airy, slightly sweet loaves that rose well over the pan and far beyond my expectations.

The ingredients list for the loaves was simple: water, yeast, honey, bread and whole wheat flours, canola oil, malt extract, and salt. It’s the honey and malt that give these loaves their earthy sweetness. And the combination of flours resulted in a hearty, yet tender, crumb.

The dough was wonderful to work with: firm, tacky but not sticky, and quite supple.

Here it is before bulk fermenting:

And here’s what it looked like 1 1/2 hours later:

I divided the dough (not too evenly, as it turns out), shaped the loaves, and put them in pans to proof.

After an hour of proofing, the loaves were well-risen and ready to bake.

This, boys and girls, is why you should always scale your dough.

I baked the loaves, cooled them, then put one in the freezer and kept the other out to use for toast and sandwiches.

This is a delicious bread, and easy enough to make a bread baker out of anyone!

Our host for this week are Michele of Veggie Num Nums and Teresa of The Family That Bakes Together. Check out their posts for the recipe and to see what they thought of this bread.


  1. September 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    I admit, I had to laugh at the different sizes of the risen loaves. =) I’m trying to get back to more bread baking, too.

    • gaaarp said,

      September 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      You should have seen them when they were done baking!

  2. September 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I think this is my favorite recipe so far! Yours look beautiful!

    • gaaarp said,

      September 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Thanks! I’m thinking of making this recipe again this weekend, even though I still have a loaf in the freezer!

  3. September 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    This looks so great. I think I will have to give the bread another try.

    • gaaarp said,

      September 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      This is one worth trying until you get it perfect.

  4. oven chaos said,

    September 18, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Now the question is did you put the bigger loaf in the freezer 🙂 Real beauties!

    • gaaarp said,

      September 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      Of course not. We cut into that bad boy as soon as it was cool enough to handle!

  5. teaandscones said,

    September 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    One large loaf for the adults, one for the girls. Works for me. They were so easy to make. I think this was the best WWbreads I have made.

    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      I agree. It was really good.

  6. September 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Lovely bread! Nice baking with you. Blessings, Catherine http://www.praycookblog.com

    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Abby said,

    September 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Lol about scaling your dough! And you perfectly captured the flavor…seemed so basic, but tasted anything-but!

    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      The funny thing is, a few years ago I never would have thought about scaling it.

  8. September 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    now i wish i had a second loaf pan so i could have made a full batch and had two loaves like you!

    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      You could always do one loaf and one freeform loaf.

  9. breaddivas said,

    September 18, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    LOL regarding your comment about scaling the dough 🙂
    Beautiful loaves!

    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      You’d think it wouldn’t be that hard to eyeball.

  10. Dawn said,

    September 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Lovely! I look forward to a thick buttery grilled cheese with this bread….very soon. 🙂

    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      My first loaf didn’t make it as far as grilled cheese, but I’m holding out hope for the second one.

  11. Piebird said,

    September 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Yeah, I got lazy about scaling the dough too (certainly I can divide it evenly I half, right?) so mine turned out like yours!

    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      It’s good I wasn’t entering them in a perfect loaf contest! But they tasted great anyway.

  12. Cindy Harris said,

    September 18, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Ok, well almost anyone! I need to try them again. My DIL had my bread pans so I used a pan that was to big anyway. I can’t wait to try this recipe again. But I do have two loaves of crunchy croutons!

    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      LOL about the croutons. This is definitely a bread worth making again. If it’s any consolation, when I started making sourdough bread, I had a lot of flops at the beginning. I just kept baking it every week for about 4 months until I had it perfected.

  13. Ckay said,

    September 18, 2012 at 10:59 am

    You’ve been baking bread for sooo long: wow, bravo!!!
    Your WW loaves look giant and delicious!

    I love baking bread and think that our baker’s has long forgotten about my existence.
    This is my favourite recipe from the book so far. Such a versatile bread is a dream! We had it toasted and not-toasted with butter and honey or butter and jam; we made sandwiches and have it anytime we like to eat bread.
    I have tons in the freezer, now.

    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      Sounds like you’ve found a family favorite!

  14. Pamela said,

    September 18, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Looks so good!!

  15. September 18, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Baking bread over 30 years?? Now I know where to go for help with bread related questions 😉 Nice shots.


    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 9:30 am

      I started at a VERY young age!

  16. September 18, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I was wondering about freezing these also. How did that turn out when thawed?

    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 9:30 am

      This bread freezes beautifully! I double or triple wrap bread when I freeze it, and tend to freeze the loaf unsliced. But you could easily slice it first, then grab it out of the freezer a few slices at a time for toast or sandwiches.

  17. September 18, 2012 at 9:22 am

    This was a middle between white and dense whole wheat. The perfect toast! Beautiful loaves!

    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 9:28 am

      Thanks. I like whole wheat bread with a bit of white flour added to it for texture.

  18. Teresa said,

    September 18, 2012 at 8:55 am

    This really is a loaf to give confidence to novice bakers and it was a pleasure to work with the recipe. Your bread looks fantastic.

    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 9:06 am

      Thanks, Teresa. And thanks for hosting this week!

  19. Cher said,

    September 18, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Very nice. This was a pleasant recipe to work with.
    I am very guilty of trying to eyeball my dough portions – which is weird because I scale out most of my ingredients when I bake…

    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 9:05 am

      I usually scale dough if I’m making rolls or more than 2 loaves. But it seems like one should be able to divide dough in half, doesn’t it?!?

  20. Rebecca said,

    September 18, 2012 at 7:54 am

    They look beautiful, Phyl! I’ve only tried a couple of the bread recipes out of BWJ. You’ve convinced me that I ought to go back to that book and see what the bread chapter has to offer.

    • gaaarp said,

      September 18, 2012 at 9:04 am

      Thanks, Rebecca! This bread has me convinced I need to bake more bread (and perhaps not so much cake).

      • Rebecca said,

        September 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm

        You may be right. As much as I love to eat cake, I’d rather bake bread.

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