100% Whole Wheat Free-Form Artisan Bread

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100% Whole Wheat Free-Form Artisan Bread recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Full of flavor, with a great balance of nutty flavor from the whole wheat and sweetness from the honey, this is a wonderful whole wheat bread recipe.

This recipe gives you light-textured whole wheat sandwich quality bread dough prepared in just minutes and then simply tucked into the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. This it the easiest whole wheat bread I’ve made yet.

The bread follows the principles of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. This whole wheat recipe is in the book and I am very happy with it. Read through the recipe and see how simple the actual directions are.

This recipe makes three small 1 1/2 pound loaves. The bread can be baked in loaf pans or shaped and made free-form style.

If you’re looking for another great bread to try now, this Honey Buttermilk Bread looks super easy and it rises beautifully. This Tender High Rising Gluten-Free Bread is another great option if you’re avoiding wheat.

The reviews on both of these bread recipes are fantastic. Happy Baking!

100% Whole Wheat Free-Form Artisan Bread recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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100% Whole Wheat Free-Form Artisan Bread

Recipe adapted from and with thanks to Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day
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Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast I used active dry yeast
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 5 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 6 2/3 cups whole wheat flour I used freshly ground hard white wheat

Instructions

  • Day One: Mix all ingredients except the flour in a large bowl or a lidded (not airtight) storage container. I use a plastic shoebox size container with a lid that simply clicks on and off. If you do not have a lid that is NOT airtight, you can drill or cut a small hole in the lid and vent it that way.
  • Next, add in the flour and stir until combined. Let this rest on the counter, covered, in the non-airtight container, for approximately 2-3 hours. The dough should rise and then collapse (flatten on top). Store this dough in the refrigerator for 2-5 days.
  • On Baking Day: Lightly flour a baking sheet or pizza stone and set aside. Wet your hands first and then remove a 1/3 portion of your dough. It will be very sticky and wetting your hands makes it much easier to handle. Keeping your hands wet, quickly shape the dough into a ball and stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all sides, rotate the ball as you go around it shaping the dough.
  • Place the dough (folded ends tucked underneath) on a pizza peel (or directly on your baking sheet if you do not have one). Allow it to rise for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Flour the top of the loaf and slash, using the tip of a serrated knife.
  • Twenty minutes before it's time to make the bread, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place an empty broiler tray on the lowest shelf of the oven. I keep a baking pan in the oven that I use just for this purpose. If your dough is rising on a pizza peel, put the stoneware in the oven now to heat.
  • Transfer your dough from the peel to the stone that is now hot in the oven. If your bread is rising on a baking sheet already, simply place the baking sheet in the oven. Pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray (or pan) in the bottom of the water. Quickly close the oven door. This is essential for breads with a cracked crust. The steam from the water creates the lovely crust.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes or until deeply browned and firm. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Chris says

    I'll have to pass that one on to Alexis to try, she does the baking on her Egg (mine is for grilling and smoking). I love a good fresh bread!

  2. Apron Appeal says

    I have a favorite whole wheat bread but you know, they are a little delicate and finicky. My kids have been wanting to learn to make bread…I think an artisan bread will be a good place to start. We'll build up to the 4 hour rise, deflate, rise, deflate, rest, shape, proof, cook method

  3. Anonymous says

    I just made this bread… I cut the recipe in half and made two small loaves. I think next time I will make the entire amount- the 6 cups of flour scared me.

    I have yet to try it, but it was super easy to make, smells and looks delish. Like a perfect herbed olive oil dipping bread.

  4. Anonymous says

    Just made loaf #1. Great. Didn't get the rise in the first prove but it has carried on well in the fridge. I am looking forward to loaves 2 and 3.

  5. CINDY FEINZIMER says

    Hi Mary,
    I have some sourdough starter for bread. Do you have a Gluten Free Sourdough Bread recipe that you can send me? Or a recipe that would work with a sourdough starter?
    Cindy

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