“Soaked” Whole Wheat Bread

By Carolyn Shearlock, copyright 2011 . All rights reserved.

Tara and a loaf of her fabulous 100% whole wheat bread

Have you ever tried to make a loaf of bread with all whole wheat flour — NO white flour at all?  I have.  And even though I’ve been baking bread since grade school, mine have been pretty dismal failures.

Where I just caved in and used part white flour, cruiser — and reader — Tara Lunn aboard  Pursuit was more determined in, well, her pursuit of the perfect loaf of 100% whole wheat bread.

And in true cruiser fashion, she asked if I’d like to post the recipe and method here to share with others.  Of course!  Tara wrote a detailed description of not just the recipe, but the method and the thinking behind it (she previously wrote a great guest article on Making and Using Ghee).

In case you’re wondering — “soaked” refers to the method of making the bread, which helps release the nutrients in the whole grains — making it even healthier while tasting great.  And it’s not “soaked” in the same way you’d soak beans, using a lot of water; it’s just barely wet and allowed to sit overnight.

While the method seems complex at first, it’s actually very simple when you follow Tara’s step-by-step directions and accompanying photos.  I was amazed at what a great loaf I made my first time using her recipe — 100 times better than any 100% whole grain breads I’d made before.

Since Tara’s article is 8 pages long and the photos extremely helpful, I’ve made it into a PDF suitable for downloading.  But don’t try to download it or print it using the buttons at the top of the article — they’ll give you a copy of what I’ve written here, but not Tara’s article.  Download the PDF of Tara’s article with the link below, and then you can save it or print it.

Click here to Download (PDF, Unknown)

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Comments

  1. I haven’t tried it yet (not a baker) but, in theory, you should be able to soak and then re-dry whole wheat groats. Then, grind them into flour and this whole process should become unnecessary. Soak as for sprouting but re-dry the groats before they open.

    Again, this is theory only. Still, allowing the seed to start its growth cycle will do the major part of your preparation for you, I would think.

    Also, if you fail to get them before they open, you can keep them growing for wheatgrass or you can use them for brewing – a win/win.

    • Carolyn Shearlock says:

      Interesting, but I really can’t imagine anyone grinding their own flour on a boat . . . let alone actually growing wheat on a boat!!

      -Carolyn

  2. Jamie Lang on Facebook says:

    Thanks for sharing – I just made a batch of sourdough myself about 1/2 hour ago. You’re right that it’s a good time to be baking more, especially on lazy Saturdays! And looking out the galley at the water while kneading – what could beat that?

  3. MaryJo Boyle says:

    Hi Carolyn,
    I’m revisiting this post because today I used a similar soaking technique to make bread with some mixed grain flour that a friend gave me. I had to chuckle when I read your comment “…I really can’t imagine anyone grinding their own flour on a boat…” because the flour that I’m using came from one our marina neighbors who lives on his 30’ sailboat; he has a small hand-cranked grinder on board to use with the whole grains that he buys.
    I have a suggestion in response to Tara’s comment: “We don’t eat bread quickly, so once it is fully cooled, I cut the loaf in half.” When I make bread, instead of forming regular loaves from the dough, I divide each loaf in half, round them up into smooth balls, then put two of them side-by-side in each loaf pan. When they’re baked, they make adorable little loaves that don’t dry out as fast as a regular half-loaf does when it is frozen. When I give one of these loaves to someone, they’re so impressed at my skill! Little do they know that I find it much easier to make a ball of dough than shape a loaf properly. I got the idea from the “Sharing Bread” recipe on kingarthurflour.com.

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