Old-Fashioned 100 Percent Whole Wheat Bread

Old-Fashioned 100 Percent Whole Wheat Bread

Christina Wilkes Savaglio

"Finding myself living at 5300ft, none of my bread recipes would rise and bake properly. I came across this one in the Denver Post archives and feel that it needs to come back out in the world. I now live at 4300ft, and still use this recipe because it is so good. Play with it and have fun!"
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3-5 h servings
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 48 servings

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  1. Prepare the sponge: In a large bowl, whisk water, dry milk, buttermilk, yeast, honey and 3 cups flour until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place for about 1 hour. The sponge will double in bulk and be bubbly. Gently stir it down with a wooden spoon.
  2. Sprinkle oil, salt and 2 cups flour over sponge and beat hard with a whisk for 1 minute, or until smooth. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon or beater attachment, until dough just clears the sides of the bowl.
  3. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and springy, yet slightly sticky, about 3 minutes, adding flour 1 tablespoon at a time to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface. Do not add too much flour, as the dough must retain a definite sticky quality, which will smooth out during the rising process. The dough will also have a slightly abrasive quality due to the whole grains.
  4. Place in a greased deep container, turn once to coat the top, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  5. Turn the dough onto the work surface and divide it into 3 equal portions. Shape into 3 round balls and place at least 4 inches apart on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet that has been sprinkled with rolled oats. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until not quite doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
  6. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until the loaves are deep brown and hollow sounding when tapped. Place a piece of aluminum foil over the tops to control browning, if necessary. Cool on racks completely before slicing.


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