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Seeking the Perfect Homemade Whole Wheat: Tammy’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread (no. 6)

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We have another serious contender! The Seeking the Perfect Homemade Whole Wheat Bread series is heating up!

From my husband at dinner tonight: “Oh, my gosh, this is good bread.” I wish I would have taken a picture of his super thickly sliced, toasted, garlic-salted bread. It was just gone too fast! See what our family did to a freshly baked loaf in just one meal?

Tammy's soaked bread success (1) (475x356)

I was stubbornly eating mine as “just bread” because it was so soft that I felt it was a shame to toast it like our dense breads require. He kept bragging and said it reminded him of Texas toast, and I finally snitched a little bite. Oh, heavens!

An inch thick, crispy crusty crunchy on the outside yet remaining incredibly soft – so soft! – on the inside, and perfectly seasoned. I almost stole it and traded him for my boring buttered bread. My self-control ruled and I resigned to dipping my bread in chicken noodle soup, which wasn’t half bad.

The original recipe is from Tammy’s Recipes, although of course I tweaked it a bit. She included four dough conditioners (What’s a dough conditioner?) including gluten and soy lecithin, and I decided to cut those two and just see what happened. I included powdered ginger (yes, that’s really just the spice you might have in your cupboard for pumpkin bread or Asian fare), and I had citric acid (you can also use Vitamin C, even in the form of lemon juice – see comments for great ideas!) from my feeble attempts at making homemade mozzarella cheese, so I tossed in a pinch.

I also subbed more honey for the brown sugar, and put in yogurt instead of milk to prepare for the soaked version.

I made my first two batches, one soaked and one unsoaked, on the same day. I have a hard time believing that these two loaves had exactly the same ingredients, but it’s true:

tammy's bread (14) (475x356)

Okay, so I’m fibbing just a tiny bit. On the first loaf, the soaked version (on the right) the night before, I forgot to add that 1/4 cup flour to compensate for the deleted vital wheat gluten. It made a big difference in the dough consistency, but after last week, I figured well-hydrated was okay:

tammy's bread (8) (475x356)
tammy's bread (2) (475x356)

By the way, more readers than I can count chastised me for being too hard on the Healthy Bread in Five recipe last week. They said I should have stopped fiddling and just followed directions instead of second-guessing the recipe. They’re probably right. I still maintain that the first sandwich bread’s consistency would never have absorbed enough liquid as it sat overnight to be able to make rolls, and the book said I could make rolls.

I’ll stop being a baby about it, though, and someday I’ll try again, measure exactly, mix with a wooden spoon instead of a machine, and follow the directions to the letter, including the helpful hints in videos online. Just not this week. I’m smart enough to admit that it’s just not the style of recipe for me.

The rise on those loaves was, um, rather significantly different as well:

tammy's bread (12) (475x356)
tammy's bread (6) (475x356)

The soaked stayed on the right. What’s amazingly great about that very dense loaf is that it actually tasted great! We’ve been toasting it all week and thoroughly enjoying the bread anyway, in spite of the fact that it had a totally dysfunctional rise. I gave the first loaf to a friend who had a baby recently, so I only kept one slice for observation. I was very thankful that at least one loaf turned out great, although oddly shaped because it rose higher than the pan on me.

Just today I fixed the flat problem in the soaked loaf, either simply by adding the appropriate amount of flour or because I folded the yeast to the inside of the dough when the machine first started kneading it. I was worried the yeast simply stayed on top, although I am guessing that after 20 minutes of kneading it would have ended up incorporating. The soaked version was as good as last week’s gorgeous unsoaked loaf!

By the way, some of the flour in these loaves was right from the Nutrimill vs. Wondermill head-to-head challenge. My apologies to email subscribers, as I didn’t realize the videos would not show up in the emails. If you’d like to see the fun firsthand, you’ll have to go to the post.

tammy's bread (22) (475x356)
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Seeking the Perfect Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

Tammy’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread – Adapted

  • Author: Katie Kimball

Ingredients

UnitsScale
  • 1 c. warm room temperature water
  • 1 Tbs. plain, full fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp. salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase)*
  • 2 Tbs. softened butter or coconut oil
  • 3 Tbs. honey
  • a sprinkle of ground ginger
  • a pinch of citric acid
  • 3 1/4 c. whole wheat flour (I used hard red spring wheat)
  • 2 tsp. SAF yeast*
  • *withheld in soaked version until final mix


ship kroger


Instructions

  1. Put the ingredients into the machine in the order listed and run the dough cycle, which takes two hours. (20 minutes of warming up, 20 minutes of kneading, about an hour to rise and then a punch down and another short rise) (I was happy to use the bread machine for this recipe.)
  2. When the dough cycle completes, use floured hands (or deal with the stickiness, which is what I usually do in laziness) to form a loaf shape.
  3. Place the dough in a buttered pan and allow to rise, covered, for 30 minutes. This dough rises quickly! You might want to set your timer for 20 minutes and use the last 10 to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Bake the dough for 30-35 minutes until the internal temperature is 200F.

Notes

To soak this bread, simply leave out the yeast and salt, mix together the other ingredients with a wooden spoon in the bread machine, and allow to sit overnight at room temperature. Add the yeast and salt and run the dough cycle.

If you’re unsure that your bread machine can incorporate dry yeast into already mixed dough, you can hold out 1/4 cup of water and a Tablespoon of honey from the soaked mixture as well. “Proof” the yeast in that for 5 minutes, then add the liquid to the dough and allow the machine to do its job. If you’re kneading by hand, you’ll certainly need to use this method.

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If you’d like to see how I think about baking bread, including thoughts on dough conditioners and gluten, and also how to adapt a breadmaker recipe for hand-kneading or other machines, see HERE. Tammy also makes this particular recipe (her way) without a machine, so you can check out her original directions here.

Kimball Family Bread Ratings:

  • Whole grains: 5
  • Softness: 5
  • Flavor: 5
  • Workability (dough): 5
  • Good rise: 5
  • Easy recipes: 5
  • Bonus points: –1 because citric acid is not in every kitchen

Total Score: 29/30 (view the bread rating system and all recipes HERE)

I am totally thrilled with how well this bread folds in half like store bread! It is truly so soft, and putting peanut butter on a piece and snapping it shut like my mom prefers her sandwiches is a great joy. It stayed soft and supple for a few days stored in a plastic bag.

Tammy's soaked bread success (6) (356x475)

<– See how I am learning? Multiple people also have picked on me for underbaking my bread – I admit, I have a serious phobia of overbaking things because that’s generally what happens because of forgetfulness when I cook. It took me a few weeks to remember that I could use my instant read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the bread, instead of relying on the highly subjective “tap on the loaf” test, which apparently fails me. Thanks for the timely reminder this week, Whole New Mom!

Also, did you know non-chlorinated water is best for baking bread of all kinds? If you have well water, you’re in the clear, but those of us with city water should jump through a hoop or two to ensure a good rise in our bread.

I leave a jar of water on the counter at all times to allow the chlorine to evaporate, using it for bread baking, water kefir, and sometimes just drinking. This way I also always have room temperature water for recipes. Someday I’ll have a Berkey to get the chlorine out (and fluoride and practically everything else out too!), but I’m not allowed any large new appliances until we sell our house.

Soaked Version

tammy's bread (1) (475x356)

The “oops” soaked version on top of the normal rise bread.

To soak this bread, simply leave out the yeast and salt, mix together the other ingredients with a wooden spoon in the bread machine, and allow to sit overnight at room temperature. Add the yeast and salt and run the dough cycle.

If you’re unsure that your bread machine can incorporate dry yeast into already mixed dough, you can hold out 1/4 cup of water and a Tablespoon of honey from the soaked mixture as well. “Proof” the yeast in that for 5 minutes, then add the liquid to the dough and allow the machine to do its job. If you’re kneading by hand, you’ll certainly need to use this method.

Tammy's soaked bread success (2) (475x356)
Tammy's soaked bread success (4) (475x356)

See? Much better look and rise today than last week. Sometimes I wonder how we ever get anything to eat around here! Winking smile

Kimball Family Bread Ratings:

  • Whole grains: 5
  • Softness: 5
  • Flavor: 5
  • Workability (dough): 5 (once I fixed it)
  • Good rise: 5
  • Easy recipes: 5
  • Bonus points: –1 for citric acid, +2 for soaking

Total Score: 31/30 (view the bread rating system and all recipes HERE)

Want to Play Along?

This one is a must-try. If you don’t have a bread machine, remember that you can fairly easily adjust the recipe using the bread machine to hand kneaded dough tips.

I am of course deadly curious to know if those teeny, tiny pinches of two dough conditioners make a difference, so someday I’ll try the bread without them completely and/or with one at a time.

I also think that adding an egg to the water would even further improve the bread, as eggs contain natural lecithin, one of the dough conditioners I omitted. I would break an egg into a measuring cup and add water to equal the one cup in the recipe. If soaking, I would omit 1/4 cup of water or my best guess at the equivalent to one egg, then add the egg with the yeast and salt.

I’d love it if you’d let me know how it goes if you give this recipe a try, especially if you attempt one of the variations I mentioned above.

Catch up on all the recipes in the Seeking the Perfect Homemade Whole Wheat Bread series. Did you catch Friday’s post announcing the upcoming FREE soaked grains eBook?

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I’d love to see more of you! Sign up for a free email subscription or grab my reader feed. You can also follow me on Twitter, get KS for Kindle, or see my Facebook Fan Page.

77 thoughts on “Seeking the Perfect Homemade Whole Wheat: Tammy’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread (no. 6)”

  1. This was very good. However, it was a little swet for me. What can I do to make this not so sweet? Would taking some of the honey out be bad?

    1. I made it again today using KA hard wheat & it wasn’t as sweet & had a more firm texture. The 1st time I used KA whole white. I also used a different honey that didn’t seem as sweet. Maybe I’ll mix the flours next time.

      It was very good, but still not as good (slightly less soft & tasty) as the bakery bread I buy. It has oats. I’d like to add oats to possibly soften, but not sure how t go about it.

  2. Coreyanne Armstrong

    Hi! I made this recipe today – with a few alterations of my own – and linked it over to your original recipe. I am a new blogger, so I am not sure if that is cool, but hopefully that was the right thing to do 🙂 I soaked it using buttermilk with the water, oil, and honey, and it is now the family’s new favorite bread! Thanks for the trouble you took to test different recipes!! I’ve been using one from Urbanhomemaker.com forever now, and before that one from some people named the Beckers. Definitely this one is a keeper!!! 🙂 Here’s a link to my blog about it with pictures and my changed recipe:
    http://whosrunningthisplaceanyway.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/monday-a-great-day-to-start-nesting-7/

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Coreyanne,
      That’s pretty much good protocol for bloggers and recipes – if you write your own version and link back, you’re following etiquette. Thanks for the note! 🙂 Katie

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  4. This bread is fabulous! My family never likes whole wheat bread because it’s too hard. I tried this recipe with white whole wheat (which I had never used before), so I don’t know if it is the different wheat or the different recipe, but the other day my oldest daughter asked for bread instead when my husband offered her the choice of chocolate cake!

    I have what is probably a silly question. My family just started our whole foods journey recently (really within the last couple of months), and I had never heard of soaking grains until I started reading your blog. I think I have finally worked up the courage to try a soaked-grains recipe (I know it sounds silly that I had to work up courage for something like that, but that is how I am), and I was thinking of starting with this recipe. My questions is, given that I never know exactly how much flour it will take to get the texture exactly right, as it is slightly different depending upon the day, how do I know how much flour to include in the pre-soaked mixture? Will the texture of the dough before the soak be a good indicator if the flour amount is exact? I have had bread recipes turn out terribly (even this one one time) because I did not take the time to withhold a bit of flour for fine texture adjustment. I just want to make sure that will not be a problem with the soaked version.

    Thank you,
    Michelle

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Michelle,
      No silly questions! I’m just like you, taking time to work up to every single new task, so I get it. I would just shoot low on the flour in the soak, because you can always add more in at the end when you’re kneading the dough and adding yeast.

      If you’re nervous about the final product, I will say that yeast breads are tougher to soak than things like crackers, some cakes or quick breads. Oatmeal is the very easiest if you want to ease into it… Have fun with it! 🙂 Katie

  5. I just baked this bread today with fresh mill flour. It’s came out beatifull. I used one egg and one tsp of lemon juice. I have a picture but I don’t know how to post it. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Im making this bread to try, but my dough cycle is only an hour and 20 minutes, should it still work or should I change something?

    1. Sara,
      It’s got to be worth a try! I’m guessing the dough cycle will do just fine and must compensate for the time. Have fun with it! 🙂 Katie

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  8. I make a very similar version of this using a little King Arthur bread flour in with the whole wheat which works well in my quest to switch our family off completely from store bought bread. We don’t nearly eat as much bread as we did when the kids were bringing lunches to school everyday (3 loaves a week then-1 loaf a week now that we homeschool and eat hot lunches). I have a dilemma now though. I find leaving the bread out on the counter it grows mold within 4-5 days. Other option is to refridgerate it but then it gets dense and breaks easily and no one wants to eat it. Do you have a secret to keeping bread moist in fridge or lasting longer on counter?

    1. Slice it and then put the loaf in a plastic bag in the freezer. You can toast the slices on leave to defrost. The bread stays a lot fresher this way than in the fridge.

    2. Amanda,
      Refrigerating bread def. makes it crumbly, but freezing it works out great! I would leave half a loaf at room temp and slice and freeze the other half. You can toast a slice when needed or thaw on a plate for 15-60 minutes. Hope that helps! 🙂 Katie

  9. I used the lemon juice and ginger. I always take the bread out too early. The thermometer worked! My bread was delicious!

  10. Made this tonight, used one egg + water to make a cup. Used milk instead of yogurt b/c it’s what I had. Added the gluten (to be sure and get a good rise!) and about a tsp lemon juice instead of the citric acid.

    This bread got HIGH reviews. I will be trying again next week to see if I can get a duplicate loaf. Then I’ll probably experiment to see if I can toss in some nuts/seeds as we like a little crunch in bread. 🙂

    I just started making bread again after buying for a long time. So I hope I can keep it up! 🙂

  11. Argh, I tried it tonight as an actual loaf rather than rolls (I finally bought a loaf pan) and got a doorstop! Tastes fine, but still quite a disappointment. I have no idea what I did wrong. Maybe I didn’t knead enough? I kneaded by hand for 20 minutes, but it was still failing the “windowpane” test when my arms gave out. And I didn’t let the water sit out, though I don’t know if we have chlorine in ours. I got plenty of rise on the first rise, but when I shaped it into the pan, it just sat there. Barely peeked over the edge of the pan at all, and I let it sit for over an hour before finally giving up and putting it in the oven.

    I’m a little scared to try again, but I think I will just because the rolls I made with this recipe were so good. Still… I’m kind of nervous.

    1. Sheila,
      Oh no! How strange to have a good first rise but no second…I think I would have let it sit a little longer. But maybe it was overkneaded – 20 minutes is a really long time! Whole wheat doesn’t always pass the windowpane test; can’t remember if this one does at all b/c I just let the breadmaker do its thing and trust it. I’d try more like 10 minutes of kneading – the whole wheat bran could cut the gluten strands and cause you problems. At least the rolls were good – phew!
      Katie

      1. I probably did overknead it. I don’t know where I heard that 20 minutes was the right amount — recipes I’ve looked at since suggest 10-15 minutes. I’ll try that next time.

        Also, I was running out of honey and only put in 2 tablespoons. I thought it wouldn’t matter, just make the bread less sweet, but now I realize that it meant the yeast had less to eat! Oops. I bet when I add more honey, that will help.

  12. All I can say is for my family this recipe wins hands down! I had a hard time trying to find citric acid so I ended up just using the juice from a lemon slice, unmeasured and totally unscientific but it seems to work beautifully! Even my husband, a long time white bread afficianado, has fallen in love with this one. I made two loaves this weekend, it’s only Wednesday and we’re already nearly out! Thanks so much for sharing it.

  13. Maria from Riihimäki Finland

    Hi, this recipe worked very well and tasted great! I used organic spelt flour, which is basically an ancient type of wheat. Didn’t have citric acid, but I threw in a tsp of lemon juice and a tablespoon of home made whey. I let the flour soak for about 12 hours and used 25 grams of fresh yeast the next morning. Lovely crunchy crust and soft center! Thanks for this great recipe!

  14. I just made this bread today, after consulting Tammy’s website and yours. I have made 100% whole wheat bread for the past six years in my Bosch, and I have always followed their traditional recipe, which is very close to the “sweet and simple” recipe you posted about first, though minus any dough conditioners. So, the big difference today, in my experience, was that I added milk (didn’t have yogurt, so I followed Tammy’s recipe for that) and I used the ginger and ascorbic acid. Um, my bread is SO much better than it has ever been! Those three changes made a HUGE difference- it is softer, lighter, and it rose better. I was considering buying dough conditioners and vital wheat gluten, just to see if they made a noticeable difference (I have always had good success with my bread) but after reading your posts, I decided to go with JUST the ginger and acid. I am So happy!!

    Also, I am certainly not a pro, so this next bit may seem like bread-making heresy, but the Bosch man who taught my mother-in-law who taught me to make bread had us not do two risings, and just after kneading the bread for 10 minutes, we put the dough in the pans, and let it rise in a warm oven (preheated to 170 degrees, then turned off once the dough is in the oven) for 25 minutes, then without opening the door, turn on the oven to 350 degrees and let it bake for 30-35 minutes. This is what I did today, not knowing what would happen if I didn’t allow for the first rise, and it worked BEAUTIFULLY! Seriously. I’d be curious to see what your thoughts on that technique are, if I am somehow killing some vital nutrient or something:-)

    fyi- I quadrupled the recipe exactly for my Bosch, kneaded for 10 minutes, then did the above method. I used 1/2 tsp ginger, and 4 pinches of ascorbic acid (I already had it for apples and peaches:-)
    Thanks for the great site!

    1. Meg,
      I love that twist on the rising and baking! Seems super easy, much more so than all the hassle of the other way. 🙂 You’re not killing enzymes or anything, don’t worry. They all go in baking anyhow. The only drawback I could see from a super short rise time is that even yeast bread does break down some phytates/phytic acid, usually about 50%. The shorter the rise time, the less breaking down of the bad stuff there will be. Of course, if your method works with the soaked version, who cares? I am excited to try it this way someday; thank you so much for explaining it! 🙂 Katie

      1. Does the dough still double this way? I tried it and my dough wasn’t doubled so I left it in for an hour and then baked it. Bread is delicious!

        1. It seems to double for me, but I’ve never been a good judge of what that means- when I let my dough rise in my Norpro pans in the warm oven, it grows from not touching the ends at all to just peeking over the top when the 25 minutes is up. That seems like its doubling to me, but I may be wrong:-)

        2. Jill, I had trouble the first time with the soaked version, but then yes, it rose beautifully on the second try. Glad it worked out anyway? 🙂 Katie

  15. made it today and…i’m having huge problems with “rise” in my house. i used the breadmaker for the dough portion (mine only takes 1.5 hours) and then let it rise in the oven. maybe i didn’t let it rise enough (highly possible, but it had been over an hour) but it ended up nothing like your gorgeous pictures. i even opened up a fresh bottle of yeast today just to make sure that wasn’t the culprit. sigh. i’m sure it’ll taste good, but am disappointed. i’ll try again at some point and re-visit. 🙂

    1. Coleen,
      Well that’s no fun. 🙁 Did you do the soaked or regular version? The dough rose on the first round in the breadmaker, right? Luckily this bread is still pretty awesome even with little rise, as with my wacky pictures of short loaf vs. tall loaf. Hope it goes better next time! 🙂 Katie

      1. Katie,
        I did the…ahem, combo version. I didn’t have time to soak overnight, so I let it “soak” for an hour or so and then did the regular version. It did rise in the breadmaker (not as high as the pictures, but a reasonable loaf). It does taste great. I do wonder if my cold kitchen just requires a ton of extra rise time….

  16. This is my go-to whole wheat bread!! I am going to try making it with lemon juice and leave out the gluten and lechitin. I might even try making hamburger bun with it too.

  17. Heather Ledeboer

    I tried this today via the soaked method and it turned out (as you said) much better than I thought it would. It was only my second time trying soaked bread and I was shocked at how difficult it was to knead after soaking. Any tips on this process? I also discovered I should have covered it overnight to prevent parts from being “dry”, I should have thought of that. The first rise was very insignificant but the second rise (in the oven with the light on) went well (I let it go about 70 min). The tip on using the thermometer to check the internal temp was great, I have never done that and would not have cooked this long enough had I not.

    1. Heather,
      So glad you liked it!

      I always use a machine to knead, because I’m terrible at all things kneading, so that’s my only advice – it is totally difficult to incorporate the yeast/water after soaking, I agree. Covering will help. 🙂

      Nice work! 🙂 Katie

  18. Heather Ledeboer

    I am going to try this! If using a stand mixer instead of a bread machine to mix up the soaked dough, should I use the dough hook?

    1. Heather, Yes, for sure. Probably knead about 6-10 minutes, depending on how the dough looks. There are some tips to adapt here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2011/01/19/katies-basic-bread-baking-techniques-or-lack-thereof/
      Good luck! 🙂 Katie

  19. I have found that red winter wheat seems to make bread more dense. I have switched to using white wheat and kamut makes a better loaf. Of course, I don’t have any scientific analysis to back it up, just my perceived observation. The white wheat and kamut produce a very nice French bread that has become a staple for us.

    Thanks for all you are doing, love following your site 🙂

    1. Judy, A lot of people love white wheat, and I use it sometimes, often half and half with red, but I kind of wanted to try these recipes for the first go-round with what people typically already have in their homes. Some people are confused about white wheat or unsure about where to find it, you know? I think when I get it down to two winners in contention, I’ll fiddle with various flours and see what happens. 🙂 Katie

  20. Just wanted to report that I have made this bread twice now, once with hard white wheat berries, once with hard red. I used the ginger and a tsp. of lemon juice and no other conditioners. I soaked overnight and added the extra 1/4 cup flour. I don’t have a bread machine, but use my kitchenaid mixer for kneading!

    Both loaves have turned out beautiful! They didn’t rise quite as high as yours, but still plenty high for sandwiches…I think I prefer the taste of the hard red, but maybe I’ll try a mix next time! I just started baking our own bread from freshly milled flour about a month ago, so I am by no means an expert, but this is a really easy wonderful recipe! I am loving your series investigation about soaking vs. sprouting…still want to learn more, but thanks, Katie, for posting this recipe! Love it!!

  21. Thank you for the information! Thanks be, I did not use that much citric acid and the bread, though unshapely, is quickly disappearing. I guess that means I’ll be giving the recipe another go-around soon.

  22. I made the recipe again, this time doubling it while increasing the yeast by only a tsp as someone had suggested. They did not rise as high this time around, but I think it had more to do with me not kneading it long enough. The yeast might have been a little old, too (but it was ten at night so I just threw it in anyway 😉 ). However, it still tastes GREAT. Even if it does not look as lovely, the flavour is not compromised in the least. Thank you again!
    Question: About how much is a pinch of citric acid and ginger? You say to use a tsp of lemon juice as replacement, but does that mean I use a tsp citric acid?

    1. Definitely do not use a teaspoon of citric acid! (I have done that myself… with disastrous results!) Really only a tiny pinch of citric acid is enough. 🙂

      The lemon juice contains citric acid, but it is “diluted”. 🙂

      For the ginger, I give a good shake from my powdered ginger spice bottle. I don’t think I’ve ever added too much ginger just from shaking, but again — not a full teaspoon or even a half teaspoon. More like 1/8 teaspoon to 1/4 teaspoon would be okay. 🙂

      1. Hey Tammy! Glad to see your bread is the “top of the heap” so far. Here is a question for you: can you use vitamin C tablets for the citric acid?

        1. Thank you, Jill! 🙂 (Funny “seeing you here! Boy, we go waaay back, huh?!)

          From what we have read, you can use crushed Vitamin C tablets (just make sure they don’t contain fillers or anything besides Vitamin C) or empty powdered Vitamin C from capsules in place of the citric acid.

          We have never used Vitamin C because citric acid is so much cheaper (we got it at a bulk food store), but it is an option for those who can’t find citric acid! 🙂

          1. Thanks Tammy! I’m making it now with the vitamin C tablets. I’ll let you know how it turns out! Good to run into you where ever it is!!

    2. Jenn,
      I probably used an 1/8 tsp or less of ginger, and literally a “pinch” – about as little as one can get – of citric acid. Tammy says “use sparingly!” with the exclamation point, so I was light-fingered. 🙂 Katie

  23. I made rolls with this recipe tonight. Didn’t have any citric acid so the only dough conditioner I used was the ginger. It still worked great!

  24. I made this bread yesterday morning (after soaking it the night before) and it was amazing and turned out beautiful! I am, by no means, an experienced bread baker and this recipe was easy! I did not use any gluten or lecithin, but used 1 tsp. lemon juice and the ground ginger. I was curious, though, because I have sprouted wheat before and not had great luck with bread baking with it…does soaking the non-sprouted flour give the same nutritional benefits?

    1. Brandy,
      Soaking regular flour has some similar benefits (digestion wise) as sprouted flour. Sprouted flour definitely behaves differently in baking and is an art in itself. I have a few posts on soaking and sprouting and will actually return to comparing the two methods this Thursday, so watch for that! 😉 Katie

  25. Tried this yesterday and it was a hit! Katie is right, the dough is wonderfully soft and the flavours are versatile. We always keep citric acid on hand for bread-making reasons, so this was perfect. I am going to make another batch soon, but I will double the recipe because it was kind of small for our bread maker. I guess I will up the yeast by a teaspoon…

    Thanks for a great recipe!

  26. From the comments, I find it interesting how bread-making varies so much depending on our location, home, etc.! 🙂

    That size and quality of loaf without adding additional gluten or lecithin is amazing to me, because those definitely make a difference for us! (But, not so much when we lived in Ohio.) 🙂

    A couple quick notes:

    Yes — citric acid and ascorbic acid are different, but will both work, as will adding a little lemon or orange juice. 🙂

    Adding an egg would add some lecithin, but breads with egg do tend to be dryer the day after. That was why we chose to use granulated lecithin — because we wanted a bread that wouldn’t dry out the next day. 🙂

  27. I just spent some time poking around your website- very interesting! I have tried Tammy’s recipe and it IS good but I don’t have all the additives to put in. I’ve been using the ginger and also use lemon juice.
    However, I just tried a new recipe from Cook’s Illustrated (from their March/April magazine) and it’s wonderful. It consists of a “Biga” (white flour with yeast) and a “Soaker which is whole wheat flour mixed with milk. Both are left over night/ up to 24 hours. Then all is mixed together with egg, honey, etc. to make the dough. They used a lot of yeast, though- 1/2 teas in the sponge and 2 TBL (!) in the final dough mixture. It rose really well. Next time I try it, I think I will use all whole wheat and maybe less yeast. The recipe requires a subscription to their website (or purchase the magazine) sadly. My kids said it was the best bread ever.

      1. No, it doesn’t. My son is very sensitive to the sourdough taste and he didn’t notice any. It was moist and stayed that way for awhile.

  28. Thank you so very much for this recipe. I made this bread as soon as I got home from work last night.
    It was awesome. I first called my baker family member because I did not have any citric acid on hand. I was told that this serves as a flavor enhancer and should not affect the bread.

    So I made this bread just as you recommended, leaving out the acid. Beautiful, just beautiful.

    Thank you so much for sharing!!

  29. Glad you found a bread recipe that makes you so happy – those are great scores! Bravo for thermometer testing your bread for done-ness too. I’ve not noticed a problem with chemicals in water for standard yeasted breads; though I have experienced problems with it in sourdough. I’m also a skip the dough conditioners person I’d rather add and egg or other naturally real ingredients to get the desired result rather than sprinkle in a powder.

  30. Katie,
    I loved the internal temperature test when I first heard about it years ago as well. Sure beats knocking on the bottom of your loaf of bread and getting burnt knuckles!

    I also should say that I like the type that has a cord attached to the probe that slips neatly through your closed oven door. That way you can check the temperature of anything without even opening up your oven and seeing your temperature dive!

    I saw one by Thermoworks on Amazon that fits the bill.

  31. Oh, I’m so glad you tried this recipe! It’s what I make on a regular basis, tweaked to almost exactly the same recipe you have here except that I replace about 1/8 c. of the water with ACV or whey instead of using yogurt. I leave out the gluten and soy lecithin, too. I added the gluten the first couple times I made it, just to see if it made a difference, and it really doesn’t seem to matter.

    It’s our favorite bread recipe and so, so good!

    Dawn commented that Vitamin C is ascorbic acid and not citric acid, which is true, but I use Vitamin C (ascorbic), too, in place of the citric and they seem to serve the same function.

    This bread is soo good, soft, fluffy and really close to good store bought bread, but soaked and without all the rotten ingredients. I never thought homemade bread could be this good.

    Everybody should try this recipe!

    1. I know this is a really old post, but that you for the ACV idea! I was just wondering about omitting the yogurt because I don’t have any at the moment, but I do have ACV. Thanks again!

  32. Katie,

    I’ve heard somewhere that while an egg can help with softness, it also contributes to the finished product drying out more quickly (as in challah bread). Do you know if this is true?

    Thanks…and sorry for the multiple posts!

    1. Laura,
      One of my favorite roll recipes http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2011/02/01/seeking-the-perfect-homemade-whole-wheat-our-favorite-happy-rolls-no-4/ uses an egg, and I can’t say I’ve noticed them get dry more quickly, but I could have just missed it. I’m planning to experiment more with egg, so I’ll be on the lookout for that side effect! Thank you! 🙂 Katie

  33. I was just about to post about this 🙂 My bread machine manual actually recommends the addition of lemon juice (1 tsp per loaf). I’ve used it with this exact recipe (omitting the same 2 dough conditioners as Katie). Definitely makes the citric acid easier to come by. Hope this helps!

    Katie, so glad you decided to review this recipe! I’ve been making it routinely for quite a while, always with great results.

  34. I am totally going to try this recipe! It looks amazing! I have been slack on reading this blog recently, so I am going to have to catch up on this series! I have been baking whole wheat bread for the last four years, and always struggling to find a good recipe! Also, I have been trying to get into soaking grains since your whole ‘to soak or not to soak’ commentary last year! Can’t wait to try this and review it for you!!

  35. Looks like a great recipe! However, to my knowledge and understanding, letting city water sit out, only removes the chlorine odor, not the chlorine itself. May want to look into this.

    1. Amber,
      Oh, dear. Here’s the moment of truth: I got my information from the pet guy at Meijer when we bought a 15-cent goldfish. He said to leave the water out for 6 hours to let the chlorine evaporate or the fish would die. I figured that was good enough for my bread dough, too…

      Here’s what Google tells me: sounds like 24 hours sitting out will get rid of chlorine. One good source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=earth-talks-tapped-out Of course, I need to make sure my city water isn’t treated with chloramine instead, which does NOT evaporate. I need a Berkey! Waaaaahhhh!
      🙂 Katie

  36. Is there something that can be substituted for citric acid? Lemon juice maybe? Or should I just try adding an egg? Looks awesome!

    Brandy

    1. Yep, lemon juice will work! It is recommended in the manual for my bread machine and I use it with this same recipe regularly. 1 tsp per loaf should do it 🙂

  37. I will be trying this tonight! I’m so excited by your softness review and we’re out of my usual homemade sandwich bread. I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

  38. I’m going to try this sometime, looks good!

    just a note though, your “print easy” button, doesn’t let you take photos, etc out – I’d love to see the “print friendly” button that I can take photos out before printing to save on ink or just print the recipe- though you know I love your chatter too 😉

    1. Jen,
      Thank you for telling me that! I was just thinking that I needed to actually test that function, which is new. Here comes the print friendly button back! 🙂 Katie

  39. I’ve been making this bread with half plain flour, half wholemeal and added gluten, and it tastes very nice. Just usually it’s a bit flat and on the dense side. So last time I added an egg (after reading about it here!) and no extra gluten and the difference was huge! The dough was much softer, the rise higher (I’m guessing the fact that I left it rise longer has something to do with it but it wouldn’t have got so high without the egg) and the bread is so soft! So that’s what I’ll be doing from now on. I might even try 100% wholmeal.

  40. This looks wonderful! I may just have to play along with you on this one…

    I have a question, though. I thought Vitamin C was ascorbic acid, not citric acid. Are they the same thing???

    Thank you for doing this series. I’m looking forward to your final evaluations.

    1. Dawn,
      You got me! Working too fast, I guess. You’re right – citric acid is what I used, ascorbic acid would be Vit C, which apparently would also work, even in the form of lemon or orange juice. I’m going to experiment more! 😉 Katie

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