100% Whole Wheat Flax Everything Bread
I want to be as honest as possible here — I am not a bread expert. I’m a bread lover and consumer, but I’m not a trained baker by any means. I’m just a lady who likes to bake bread for her family so that we know what’s actually going into the loaf! I used to buy the organic whole wheat loaves at the store (that are extremely over priced, might I add) and then I would get home and read the label to find words (preservatives) that I couldn’t even pronounce. Annnd that’s why I made this bread to begin with! This is a NO-BS whole wheat loaf and I love it. Like, I literally love it.
Here’s a video tutorial to make your life even easier!
What’s the texture like?
Friendly reminder. This is sandwich bread. It’s not meant to be rustic, crumby (crumby = big holes) artisanal bread. It’s also 100% whole wheat, which means I didn’t even add a dusting of regular all purpose or bread flour. This affects the texture tremendously because regular flour has that bouncy chew to it that we all know and love. Whole wheat flour can be dense, and that’s what we are working with here. I know you know this, but it’s important to remember! In order to bring a little moisture to this recipe, I added some olive oil to our dough. You can also use a warm milk instead of water, which is supposed to be great for adding moisture and tenderness to the dough.
What other mix-ins can I use?
As long as you don’t go overboard, the world is your oyster! I love adding cranberries and chopped walnuts. You can also add pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. I would stick with the 1/3 cup of each rule and then add more on top before baking, but if you want to experiment by adding more, be my guest.
What kind of whole wheat flour should I use?
Believe it or not, every brand’s flour is different! I used King Arthur Whole Wheat flour and I’ve tested it 3 times with this flour, which all yielded the same results. So of course, I do recommend King Arthur 100% Whole Wheat Flour. Believe it or not, if you use another brand, your dough will turn out slightly different. If you can’t find King Arthur it’s totally ok! You will have to trust your instincts, though, so get ready to trust yourself! If your dough feels too wet, adjust with a little more flour during the initial kneading process. If your dough feels too dry (lacking in that elastic stretch and instead feeling like a dense ball of flour that breaks when you try to stretch it) add a little more water and continue to knead that water in. Baking is a science and a feeling, and if you understand what bread dough should feel like, then you will be able to easily tweak .
100% Whole Wheat Bread
- Standing mixer with dough attachment
- 4 1/2 cups 100% whole wheat flour I used King Arthur and recommend using this kind if possible! Also keep a little more on hand for dusting a workspace if needed.
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 2 1/2 tsp fine kosher salt
- 2 cups warm water follow the instructions for your instant yeast, mine calls for water between 120-130 degrees F. I used water at 123 degrees F.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for greasing the bowl/pan
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/3 cup flax seeds plus more for topping
- 1/3 cup everything seasoning plus more for topping
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, instant yeast and salt.
- In a bowl or liquid measuring pitcher, combine the water (which should be at the temperature according to your yeast package instructions,) honey and olive oil. Mix together.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients.
- Turn your mixer on and with the dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed (speed 2 on Kitchenaid) for 3 minutes, until the dough is fully combined and in a cohesive ball. It should feel slightly elastic and may stick to the edges of the bowl. If kneading by hand, combine the wet and dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and use a long wooden spoon or spatula to combine them. Once a dough is formed, transfer the cohesive mixture onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 3-4 minutes.
- Fold the flax seeds and everything seasoning into the dough. If kneading with a mixer, knead with the dough hook on medium speed (setting 4 on a Kitchenaid) for 4 1/2 minutes. You will have to rotate the dough by hand a few times throughout the kneading process to ensure the mix-ins are getting evenly distributed through the dough. If kneading by hand, fold in the mix-ins and knead for 6-7 minutes, until the seeds are fully incorporated in the dough.
- Form the dough into a ball. Pour about 1-2 tsp of olive oil into a mixing bowl and wipe it around the bottom and edges of the bowl, so that the inside of the bowl is lightly coated in olive oil. Put the dough ball into the bowl and cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap. For extra insulation, place a towel on top of the plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm area and let the dough rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. If you live in a cold place and don't have any warmer spots in your house, it will take longer to rise and could take up to 90 minutes. In order to create a warm spot, I like to turn my oven on to 250-300 degrees and just let the bowl sit on top of the stove to catch the light radiating heat from the oven.
- Once the dough has risen, make a fist and lightly press down the center of the dough to release the air. Transfer the flattened dough to a work surface and shape into an oval. If you've never shaped bread before, I'm linking a great instructional video here for you to follow! I feel like watching it is so much easier than explaining it...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FRcdJHXB0g
- Lightly season a loaf pan with olive oil. Place the loaf inside the loaf pan and let it rise for about an hour, until the top of the dough has risen about 1-2 inches above the brim of the pan. Once again, if you live in a cold place, this may take longer. If you live in a really hot or humid place, this may take half the time.
- 30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Once the bread has finished rising, place the loaf in the center of the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 45-55 minutes until the top is lightly golden brown and it feels hollow inside. You can test this by simply knocking on the bread. It should feel hard and empty inside...lol that seems so dramatic but it is what it is! Can't make this stuff up! The internal temp should also register 190 degrees.
- Remove the bread from the pan and let it cool on a rack or cutting board before eating. You're *supposed* to let it cool for 1 1/2 hours before slicing so all the heat and air can finalize its distribution, but I'm not judging if you break this rule. Store at room temp in a bag or on a covered cake stand for 3 days, or covered in the fridge for a week or so.