everyday 100 percent whole wheat sandwich bread

Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread


Everyday 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day (slightly modified)

Process notes


Day 1: 1 hr 15 min
Day 2: 4 hrs
Total elapsed time: 27 hrs

Baker’s percentages:

  • Hard red wheat flour: 50% (199 gm)
  • Hard white wheat flour: 50% (198 gm)
  • Salt: 1.8% (1 tsp)
  • Honey: 16% (3 tbls)
  • Vegetable oil: 7% (28 gm)
  • Water, filtered 95°: 43% (170 gm) — this was increased from 36% to compensate for the addition of vital wheat gluten
  • Milk, 95°: 36% (142 gm)
  • Instant yeast: 1.8% (2 1/4 tsp)
  • Vital wheat gluten: 1.8% (1 tbls)

This recipe called for 1 egg for two loaves, but I was making just one loaf and omitted the egg.

Day 1

10:30 a.m.: Prep ingredients. Grind flours on medium, then medium-fine grind. Dissolve honey in water. Whisk together flours, salt, sugar. Mix water and milk, then whisk in yeast until dissolved. Add milk/water and oil to dry ingredients and mix with paddle for 1 min. Dough is wet and coarse. Rest 5 min. Mix on low 3 min with paddle. Turn onto bend and knead a few times. Dough is slightly sticky, strong, and on the firm side.

11:10 a.m.: Stretch and fold 3 times with 10 min intervals.

11:42 a.m.: Place dough in oiled bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Day 2

9:20 a.m.: Remove dough from refrigerator (I was surprised by how much it bulked up in the refrigerator — I wasn’t expecting so much rise) and shape for loaf pan. Proof in pan for 3 hours. Room temp 70-73°.

12:25 p.m.: Preheat oven to 350° convection. Dough is 1 3/4″ above the rim of the pan, so refrigerate until oven is heated.

12:40 p.m.: Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate pan and bake 20 more minutes.

1:20 p.m.: Internal temp 195°. Remove from oven and cool for 1 hr. Baked loaf weight 750 gm.

final proof in pan

Dough after its final proofing, in the loaf pan (I didn’t catch it before it was over-risen)


Despite letting it rise too much (should have been closer to 1″ above rim) the shape is good and the crumb is fairly even. However, there’s a bitter smell and taste that I really don’t like. I attribute it to the vital wheat gluten (it’s from the bulk bins so maybe it’s gone bad or something), the use of hard red wheat, or the absence of the egg that was in the original recipe. Or perhaps it’s a combination of all three. I’m also wondering if I could get away with less yeast, given how much it rose overnight in the refrigerator.

Toasting it helps mellow out the bitterness, and I think this will make decent toasted sandwiches like a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich, or maybe French toast.

Adjustments for next time:

  • omit the vital wheat gluten
  • use all hard white wheat
  • include egg
  • use brown sugar instead of honey
  • preheat oven earlier so it’s ready to bake at the proper time (before the dough has over-risen)

I’d also like to try this formula as a multigrain bread, using rolled oats or cooked steel cut oats in place of some of the flour.