Light Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread


Here we are at [easyazon-link asin=”1580082688″]The Bread Baker’s Apprentice[/easyazon-link] Challenge recipe #18. Wow, we’re almost half way! This time, were’ making what is  expected to be a more typical sandwich bread, what your basic sliced white bread from the grocery store should be like. Except much tastier, of course and without all the chemical preservatives.

Personally, fluffy bread like this isn’t my fave but it is the sort of bread Punkin likes so hopefully, this will be “the” home-made bread when something to replace the store-bought  “bailed fog” (his term, not mine!) is called for. We’ll see.

Let’s get our stuff in order.


This “Light Wheat” uses both white high-gluten flour and whole wheat flour at about a 2:1 ratio. I don’t have a high gluten flour so to the 325g of bread flour I added 8g of vital wheat gluten to bump up the gluten content.

This is an enriched bread with the addition of butter, powdered milk and sugar (or honey).There is also instant yeast, salt and water added, of course.

BBA-lw03-liquids BBA-lw04-Ball BBA-lw05-Knead

We add allt he dry ingredients to the bowl and stir together, then add all liquid ingredients.

This is mixed on low speed until it forms a rough ball which is then turned out onto a floured surface then kneaded about 10 minutes (6 minutes if kneaded by machine).

BHB-rye0209Ready2Rise BBA-lw06Bulked

The kneaded dough is then placed into a lightly oiled container and flipped to oil all sides, then covered and allowed to do a bulk fermentation for 1.5 to 2 hours or until doubled in size. (You may have noticed the dough in the left hand photo is actually the rye bread photo from the previous post. I didn’t get a pic of this step for the light wheat. But it’s a pretty generic view so I’m really just recycling, which is good, right?)

At the 1.5 hour mark, the dough had much more than doubled. Yipes! Ah well, can’t unrise it.

BBA-lw07TurnedOut BBA-lw08Shaped1

I turned out the risen dough and did a little shaping to get it ready for the pan. Hmmm… That looks like a pretty big loaf to go into the recommended 8.5″ X 4.5″ pan.

BBA-lw09Shaped2 BBA-lw10Shaped3

Forming the dough into a loaf, it really is looking pretty huge for the pan. So I get a slightly bigger 9″ x 5″ pan ready. However, I’m reminded of another bread loaf a few challenges back wher I placed a loaf that was supposed to go into a 8.4″ pan into the 9″ pan and the loaf just ended up too small once risen and baked. Better stick to instructions, I figure. Reinhart says 8.5″, then that’s what I’ll use.

BBA-lw11Shaped4 BBA-lw13FinalProof

So into the prescribed pan it goes, gets covered and allowed to rise  about 90 minute.

And of course, at about 70 minutes, I had a monster loaf as you can see. Shoulda put it into the bigger pan. Too late. At least there’s be little worry that we’ll have really fluffy bread!

So into the preheated 350º oven it goes. And 45 to 60 minutes later (once internal temp reached 190º) it comes out of the oven, quite a lovely colour. After being removed from the pan, it cools on the racks and here’s what we had:


A rather gigantic loaf of bread! A coouple more shots to see it from different angles:

BBA-lw14huge2 BBA-lw16Huge1

Yep, that’s some titanic loaf, indeed! But in spite of it’s huge size, it still came out quite a nice , light loaf with a very decent crumb, a thin, soft crust and great taste.


The bread gets 1 to 2 (preferably) hours to cool and we can finally slice it. The crumb is fine, soft and very evenly bubbled. You can tell there’s whole wheat in here but it’s a very light mix so it should be acceptable to most white bread lovers who don’t like darker whole wheat varieties. Or so I hope.

And what of the Sliced White Bread Lover? Well, the bread was eaten up for a couple of days but, soon enough, a new bag of wonder-type white stuff was purchased (not by me) and that’s been getting used while the last third of this (I thought tasty) light whole wheat remains untouched and going stale. I guess the birds will enjoy the rest.

I am going to admit defeat and simply accept that the “bailed fog” stuff will always win out over hand made bread even when it’s  home made “fluffy sandwich bread”. From here on, I’ll just make the breads that I enjoy, let Punkin buy his sliced white fluff  and skip making bread that’s obviously not liked by either of us; it just doesn’t make sense to do so.

Next up in the challenge:

Recipe #19 is Marble Rye. Yea! Bread for me! Ooops! That’s supposed to happen today (Sept 19). Oh well, looks like I get a reprieve because…

After that: Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire, another fluffy bread. I’ll be skipping that one, and any other “fluffy sandwich breads” in the challenge from here on. Fortunately, it looks like there are only three sandwich breads left in the list.

Here’s where we stand for the remaining recipes:

No. Recipe Page Due Date
19 Marbled Rye Bread 183 19-Sep-09
20 Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire 187 26-Sep-09
21 Pain à L’ancienne 191 3-Oct-09
22 Pain de Campagne 195 10-Oct-09
23 Pane Siciliano 198 17-Oct-09
24 Panettone 202 24-Oct-09
25 Pizza Napoletana 207 31-Oct-09
26 Poolish Baguettes 213 7-Nov-09
27 Portuguese Sweet Bread 215 14-Nov-09
28 Potato Rosemary Bread 219 21-Nov-09
29 Pugliese 222 28-Nov-09
30 SD: Basic Sourdough Bread 233 5-Dec-09
31 SD: New York Deli Rye 236 12-Dec-09
32 SD: 100% Sourdough Rye Bread 239 19-Dec-09
33 SD: Poilâne-style Miche 242 26-Dec-09
34 SD: Pumpernickle Bread 246 2-Jan-10
35 SD: Sunflower Seed Rye 249 9-Jan-10
36 Stollen 252 16-Jan-10
37 Sweedish Rye (Limpa) 257 23-Jan-10
38 Tuscan Bread 259 30-Jan-10
39 Vienna Bread 261 6-Feb-10
40 White Bread: Three vars. 265 13-Feb-10
41 Whole Wheat Bread 270 20-Feb-10
42 Potato, Cheddar & Chive Torpedoes 278 27-Feb-10
43 Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche 281 6-Mar-10

Some of the other bakers blogging this bread:

Deb at Italian Food Forever wishes she’d made two loaves!
Oggi at I Can Do That made a very stylish loaf
Mags from Other Side of Fifty went with rolls for this recipe
Sally at Bewitching Kitchen has made this bread often before, it’s a fav at her house.

7 Replies to “Light Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread”

  1. That is one monster loaf~ I prefer to keep mine from rising so much in the 8×4 pan. If it is too big, it won’t fit into the toaster!

    It took me a long time to have wheat win me over the white. As my folks always said, “The whiter the bread…the sooner you’re dead.”

  2. Dealing with all that white bread has been my challenge with the challenge too. I just have no interest in making bread that isn’t at least 1/2 whole grain, so that has been my challenge to myself, to modify the recipes so they are.

    Very impressive monster size loaf! Are you making the marbled rye? I dragged my feet and then made one of the ryes out of his whole grain book instead, very tasty!

    Looking forward to the sourdough bit, my favorite!

    1. Oh, it’s not the “white” aspect that I don’t care for; I’ll gladly chow down a good baguette or Italian bread any day.

      It’s the flavourless, air-filled, non-descript crusted aspect of Wonder-type bread I would prefer to do without. And I won’t make like I solidly refuse to eat it – it’s great for grilled cheese – but I’m not going to put time and effort into making something similar if the commercial stuff is still preferred over the home-made version. It’s simply an exercise in futility if half the loaf ends up being tossed out anyway. I’ll put that time making bread I like instead.

  3. That was really a monster loaf! I agree with you that these “air” breads are not really all that wonderful. I am tempted to skip this one as well, but probably won’t because I’m such a stickler for the rules!

  4. If you decide to make the marbled rye in a loaf pan, I suggest you go with that internal instinct that makes you want to use a 9″ pan instead of the 8.5. I wish I would have.

    I think your loaf looks divine and I really enjoyed this bread because it had that “store bought loaf” texture my family is drawn to. At least it was in roll form.

    Thanks for linking my light wheat bread post!

  5. I think this recipe is kinda blend. I prefer to make some changes to its formula by increasing the percentage of sugar, salt, and butter, add also milk powder, but stick to ca. 33% of wheat flour used. By experience, you can tell from its formula that it is a blend one ….

  6. hi,

    what makes this bread fluffy as opposed to regular harder sourdough bread?
    when i buy sourdough bread, i find it gets harder and harder over time, how do you stop that from happening?

    thanks lots!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *