Whole Wheat Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Miscellaneous
Serves: 2 loaves
  • Biga:
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • ½ teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • Soaker:
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • 2 cups milk
  • Dough:
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 4 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 Tablespoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • bread flour for work surface
  1. I usually make the biga and the soaker the night before I plan to make the bread. It takes only a few minutes and it's ready to go the next morning.
  2. Biga:
  3. In a large bowl, mix the bread flour, water and yeast. I use a large wooden spoon. Cover it with plastic wrap or a towel and let it stand at room temperature for 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Overnight is perfect.
  4. Soaker:
  5. In another bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, wheat germ and milk. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator, overnight or for 8-24 hours.
  6. Making the Bread:
  7. After at least 8 hours, tear the bread soaker that was in the refrigerator into about 1 inch pieces and put it into a large bowl of a powerful stand mixer. Tearing it into pieces will help to incorporate it better, more easily and evenly into the bread dough.
  8. Add the biga and the rest of the dough ingredients. With a dough hook attachment, mix the bread, starting on low speed and gradually increasing the speed until the dough is evenly mixed.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for about 45 min.
  10. At this point, punch the dough down and mix the dough by taking the dough from the bottom and folding it over the top from all four sides. Cover and let it rise for another 45 minutes.
  11. Divide the dough into 2 parts.
  12. On a floured surface, knead each half of dough for a few minutes, until the dough is elastic. Pat each half of dough into a rectangle and starting from the short side, roll it tightly into a loaf.
  13. Place each loaf into a greased bread pan. Cover lightly and set aside to rise until the bread is slightly above the edge of the bread pan, about an hour to an hour and a half.
  14. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. When the bread has risen, place the bread pans into the preheated oven and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees.
  15. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the bread is golden brown. You can check for doneness with an instant read thermometer, which should be 200 degrees Fahrenheit in the center.
  16. Cool the bread in the bread pans for 5 minutes and then take them out of the bread pans and onto a cooling rack.
  17. I usually freeze one loaf, so that it stays fresh while we eat the other loaf. To defrost it, simply take it out of the freezer and place the frozen bread on a kitchen towel and let it thaw. It will taste just as fresh.
Wheat germ is the part of the wheat kernel that germinates and and turns into a plant. It is removed when white flour is refined. This tiny part of the wheat kernel is really nutritious and is packed with protein and lots of vitamins - vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, thiamin and phosphorus. Not only is it really good for you, but it adds so much flavor and texture to this bread. I buy wheat germ in the baking aisle of my local grocery store, and I'm sure most specialty food stores have it too. Since I know someone will ask - No, I haven't tried making this bread without the wheat germ. I don't know how it will turn out without it. I love how it tastes with it, so I never tried leaving it out.
Recipe by Olga's Flavor Factory at https://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/recipes/miscellaneous/breads/whole-wheat-bread/