23 responses

  1. bee
    March 6, 2007

    thank you, thank you, thank you. just what i was looking for. – bee

  2. alexandra
    March 16, 2007

    Well done. you did it. And thank you. love your blog.

  3. Jessica
    March 16, 2007

    Bee and Alexandra, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the compliments.

  4. Mina
    May 11, 2007

    This just came out in my local paper. I’ve tried the proportions in the original recipe but substituting whole wheat flour (bulk Arrowhead Mills from my local coop, hard red, fine ground, not “white” or “pastry”). Used active dry yeast, didn’t know about using extra. Let it sit for about 20 hours, expanded a lot and got bubbly/puffy, still pretty gooey but workable with enough flour on the board and hands. Used a crock pot crock and lid to bake it, at 450 F. Result: It rose the standard amount (about double on final proof), has good flavor, but the crust is *very* hard, and the inside is somewhat gummy. I know a lot of the comments about this bread praise the “crisp” crust but my result was excessive. And I wonder about the interior wetness, re: your recommendation to use even more water with WWF. Should I bake it at a lower temperature? I am pretty experienced at cooking but not at bread. When I used to have more time I used to do some of the recipes in Laurel’s occasionally, with good results. I wonder if you can explain what makes the center so damp, or how to make the crust less hard.

  5. Anne
    May 12, 2007

    This sounds wonderful! Has anyone had experience making more than one loaf at a time? I live in hot Texas and hate to heat the oven for just one loaf!

  6. Jessica
    May 18, 2007

    Mina, it sounds like the crust is cooked before the inside has a chance to finish. I would bake it at 425 and/or use a couple tablespoons less water. You definitely do need more water with whole wheat flour, but I think your area (Texas) is more humid than where I am. So you can back down on the water a bit. Bread baker Peter Reinhart once told me to do what the dough dictates.

  7. Cynthia
    July 4, 2007

    Finally, someone with a true desire to make a 100% whole wheat loaf of bread without the extra days of working with a starter and with the perfect amouts of gluten and water. The browning factor is a bonus.

    Luv ya!!

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    other name under heaven given to men by which
    we must be saved. Acts 4:12

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  8. kahling
    July 22, 2008


    i have a quick question. i am making it in the loaf pan, do i put it in the loaf pan for the second rise before it goes into the oven? or do I heat the loaf pan in the oven first?


  9. pooh
    October 19, 2008

    Where can I find the “vital wheat gluten”? I haven’t tried making this, but look forward to it because it seems really easy. Hope so, anyway. Thanks for your answer.

  10. valerie
    June 2, 2009

    Hi, I am new to bread making and found your recipe for 100% whole wheat. Would you have any ideas what adjustment should I make if I am grinding my own flour using Prarie Gold Spring Wheat Berries. I plan on using my romertopf clay pot and I live at 9000 feet. Challenging I know but I am determined. Any suggestions or ideas are appreciated.

  11. C
    August 15, 2009

    Hey Trying out the bread recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes! I didn’t let the yeast set in water though!! Maybe add that at the beginning of the recipe I read the bottom of the recipe when I was already done, oops!

  12. alice
    September 16, 2009

    i noticed vital wheat gluten at the store the other day and i’ve been googling it trying to figure out how to use it in whole wheat breads. i just tried to do a 1/2 whole wheat loaf in a loaf pan, inside my dutch oven, and it came out pretty well but sadly i knocked the pan around trying to get it inside the dutch oven and so it deflated quite a bit and got kind of dense. this post is exactly what i was looking for, though. i’m going to give this a go next week. thanks!

  13. Nancy
    September 27, 2009

    I too am wanting to use Jim Lahey’s recipe to make a whole wheat loaf. The problem with the original method is in fact, gluten development. Having been a maker of truly 100% whole wheat bread for years, I can tell you that additional gluten is NOT needed IF the bread is kneaded. Kneading well develops gluten in ww flour. In white flour, resting for long periods of time is enough to develop gluten structure, but not in ww flour. Others adapting his method are kneading for several minutes first, then following the recipe as written. This is an alternative to those who may be opposed to adding gluten – I don’t like to add it, it feels like cheating to me, and it’s not natural. Unfortunately, without a strong network of gluten strands going thru ww dough, it doesn’t have enough structure to rise. I wish there was an easier way around this. sigh. Kudos on your recipe!

  14. Samantha
    February 23, 2010

    Are you using regular salt or kosher salt?

    • Jessica “Su Good Sweets”
      February 28, 2010

      Hi Samantha, I used regular salt. Kosher salt is about double the volume but the same weight.

  15. Pamela
    April 15, 2010

    I heard about kneadless baking and this blog has helped answer a few questions about the whole process. I just went and got what I knead ;) and will be trying out later today! Can hardly wait!! Thank you for the information, great blog!!

  16. Noelle Ray
    April 21, 2010

    Hallelujah!! (Sounds of heavenly choirs…). I did it!! I just made (and my son and I ate half) of the bread!! It was crusty, chewy and holey too. I always like to sprout my wheat–I dehydrate it and then grind it just like flour–and I wasn’t sure if it would work with this, but it did!! I wonder if sprouting it softens the grain a little when it is ground later. Anyway, I used 2 TBSP of gluten because sprouted wheat has less gluten than regular. I had to use more water because that type of flour soaks up more water. I used the corn meal which added a lot to the texture. It was a little flatter than would be ideal, but the crust was crusty and the interior was moist and yummy. Thanks for the whole wheat suggestions. They worked great.

  17. C
    August 10, 2010

    Just made this, it’s delicious and easy! Never made bread before, but I’ll definitely be making this one again (and often, I hope).

  18. janet
    May 23, 2011

    I’ve made this white bread many times and in different proportions of white to wheat. Will try the WWF recipe too. I’ve made it in a large double baguette pan covered with foil and it came out great. I’ve made it in a covered cast iron casserole and that is great too. I LOVE THIS BREAD!!!

  19. Donna
    August 7, 2012

    Thanks for this recipe. I’ve made good no knead WW bread using no gluten. The trick is the really wet dough, IMO. And long rising time. With those 2 things, I don’t think you need extra gluten. I use Kroger house brand WW flour, so nothing fancy. I do add about 2 T. brown sugar for more carbs for the yeast to eat. But be sure the dough is extra wet. It takes a long time to thoroughly wet WW flour, it will soak up a LOT of water, so you have to start with a soupy dough. I shape the wet dough on waxed paper with a LOAD of flour on it. I use wheat bran for bottom of the loaf. After you’ve done it a few times, you can finesse it, making it more dry so you get a higher, rounder loaf. But not until you really get a feel for how much water the WW flour absorbs.

  20. Nicolle
    February 26, 2013

    I live in Norway and can’t find vital wheat gluten, what do I need to do to make a ww loaf without it? If I have to knead it, when do I and how long? Do I need to add sugar for the yeast to rise? Any advice would be great!
    :) thanks

    • Jessica "Su Good Sweets"
      March 9, 2013

      Hi Nicolle, unfortunately there’s no substitute for vital wheat gluten. If you can’t find it online, try 1/3 whole wheat flour and 2/3 all-purpose or bread flour, and decrease water to 1 3/4 cups. You can up the percentage if you’re happy with the initial results, but there will be less rise. Unlike other recipes, this one doesn’t need sugar or kneading.

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