Breads (Yeast) - Loaves

100% Whole Wheat Bread

September 24, 2023 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
100% Whole Wheat Bread

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Scroll to the bottom of the page for "PRINT RECIPE" ⬇

In this recipe, I used 100% whole wheat flour (no white bread flour at all).  

A slightly different approach is needed when baking a 100% whole wheat bread.   It requires a larger quantity of flour to fill up the volume because whole wheat flour has very little gluten as compared to other types of flour. Whole wheat bread doesn't rise as much as white flour bread.  Higher hydration is also required as the bran and germ of whole wheat absorbs more water.  

I read somewhere on the internet that the bran in whole wheat flour can shred the gluten in the dough if it's kneaded too much.  Hence, I cut down on the kneading time too.

The texture of the bread is crumbly and easy to tear apart with darker colour and a delicious nutty smell.  Whole wheat bread tends to have a shorter shelf life than normal bread due to its higher moisture content so it is best refrigerated if not consumed within a day.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.  Do tag me on Instagram @Bakewithpaws if you attempt on this recipe.

How To Make 100% Wholewheat Loaf

Yields: 1 Loaf


Old Dough:
190g whole wheat flour (I used Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour)
145g water, room temperature
1/4 round tsp (1g) instant yeast
1/4 tsp sugar

Main Dough:
190g whole wheat flour (I used Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour)
All the old dough (above)
20g sugar (I used coconut sugar)
1 tsp (3.1g) instant yeast
1 tsp (5.5g) salt 
160g full cream/whole milk or fresh milk
35g butter, room temperature

Egg Wash (Optional):
1 egg + 1 Tbsp water, whisked

450g loaf pan (21.3 X 12.2 X 11.5 cm  /  8.4" X 4.8" X 4.5")

  1. Old Dough
    1. Combine water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl. Then mix with hand. Roll into a ball and place in a greased bowl.  Cover with cling film and let it proof 1 hour in room temperature (28C).  After 1 hour, place into the refrigerator overnight for at least 12 hours or up to 36 hours.  The next morning, take out the old dough from refrigerator to return to room temperature 30 minutes before using.
    2. You can also let it ferment for 12 - 16 hours in cool place or  air-conditioned room (22C - 23C)
  2. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter), including all the old dough (slightly tear the dough) into a bowl of stand mixer.
    2. Slightly combine the mixture by hand with the paddle attachment before turning on the machine so that the flour will not splash out.  Using the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes or until the dough comes together and elastic.  
    3. Change to hook attachment, add butter and continue knead for about 7 - 10 minutes or until reach  a reasonable window pane stage.  The whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.
  3. 1st Proofing:
    1. Cover the bowl with plastic or cling film and let it proof at a warm place for about 45 - 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
  4. Shaping:
    1. Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 3 equal portions (about 240g per portion) or 2 portions at your choice.
    2. Form each portion to a ball.  Rest for 5 - 10 minutes.
    3. Flatten with rolling pin into a dish.  
    4. Fold right to centre and fold left to meet in the centre. Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed.
    5. Place all dough in a loaf pan.  
  5. Second Proofing:
    1. Let the dough rise for about 30 - 45 minutes  slightly below the rim of the pan.  My room temperature 28C - 29C.
  6. To bake:
    1. Brush with egg wash (optional).
    2. Bake in a preheated oven at at 190C (top & bottom heat) or 170C (fan-forced) for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  
    3. I usually preheat oven for 15 minutes before baking.
    4. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack completely before slicing.
Old Dough

Main Dough


Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.

For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof until it rises 80 - 90% in size or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.


  1. Thanks for this recipe sis ❤❤❤... I wish you make the sourdough version too...

    1. Hi, thank you for dropping by Bake with Paws. I will try soon hopefully but going to be sour for sourdough version.

      You are most welcome:)

  2. That loaf is beautiful. Where can I buy a pan that size. I feel like I've looked everywhere.

    1. Hi, Thank you. You can order online. Just google search Chefmade 450g Loaf Pan.

      Below is in Amazon:

      Cheers :)

  3. Hi, do I just double the ingredients if I want to make 2 loaves? Thank you!

    1. Hi, thanks for your interest in this recipe. Yes, please double the recipe for 2 loaves.

      Cheers and happy baking:)

  4. Hi, I tried this recipe and everything was ok until when kneading with the butter. The dough became very sticky and stuck to the bowl of the stand mixer.

    I tried mixing it longer and adding more hole wheat in increments but it still remain too sticky.

    Any idea what might be wrong? I have tried your white bread shokupan and never experienced this issue before :(

    1. Hi, thank you for trying and sorry to hear that your dough is too sticky.

      It maybe too much liquid for the flour you used. This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. Please use less milk in this case.
      Maybe try to reserve 20 - 30g of milk in this case.

      However, if a small part of the bottom sticking to the base of the mixer bowl is fine.

      I hope it helps.

      Cheers :)

    2. Thanks… Tried a second time and it worked! Your recipes are always great. One question… is your butter used salted or unsalted?

    3. Good to hear this and your update. I usually used salted butter in all my bakings :)

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :)

  5. Hi, what do you think to use almond milk (homemade) instead od regular one?
    The old dough is in the fridge, tommorow is baking day ☺️

    1. Hi, thank you for trying. I think it should work too. Exciting time...Looking forward to your result.

      Cheers :)

    2. It turned out pefect! Thank you so much for the recipe. 🥂

  6. Hi
    Can not use milk but use warm water instead? My son is lactose intolerant. Want to try making this bread.

    1. Hi, thank you for your interest in this recipe. Yes, of course you can use all water. Please cut down about 15% of liquid if water is used. So, replace 160g milk with 135g of water.

      Thank you :)


Post a Comment