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How To Make Whole Wheat French Bread

Updated on October 4, 2012

Whole Wheat French Bread

I recently did a recipe on French bread but I have since adapted that and this is the recipe I am sticking to as I love being able to combine whole wheat flour with it. I had to tweak it a bit from the original recipe but it has proven to be a delicious variation.

For non-wheat French bread, try my other French bread recipe but do cut the salt back to 1 teaspoon as I found that it rises better and is not so much of a ciabatta bread and I do not roll the dough out and then form it into a loaf. I just shape it to the desired shape(s) and bake that way. I found it works better in my kitchen with those adjustments!

Photo Credit: Flickr Adam Pieniazek

Whole Wheat French Bread Recipe

Makes 1 loaf


  • 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 package)
  • 1-1/4 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups unbleached flour (divided 1-1/2 cup and 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (divided ½ cup and ½ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • Cooking spray


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl or bowl of mixer with dough hook inserted.
  2. Stir in sugar, salt and 1-1/2 cups of unbleached flour and 1/2 cup of wheat flour.
  3. Beat until smooth. Stir in the remaining flour.
  4. Run mixer on low to knead dough for 6-8 minutes or turn out onto floured cloth and knead for 5-8 minutes by hand.
  5. Place the dough in bowl sprayed with cooking spray, turn greased side up.
  6. Cover with a damp flour sackcloth or dish towel.
  7. Let rise in warm place until double – 1-1/2 to 2 hours. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched)
  8. Punch down the dough and let rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Grease cookie sheet or jellyroll pan and sprinkle with cornmeal.
  10. Either roll dough out into rectangle and roll up tightly, seal edges or just mold into desired shape (French bread shape) and place on cookie sheet.
  11. Make 1 lengthwise slash down center or 1/4-inch slashes at 2 inch intervals.
  12. Mist lightly with cold water (or brush over loaf) – let rise uncovered until double again – 1-1/2 hours.
  13. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush loaf with cold water or mist again with cold water. Bake 20 minutes.
  14. Mix the egg white and water and brush over loaf. Bake until loaf is deep golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped – about 25 minutes.

One source for baking bread says that a thermometer inserted into the bread should read 200 degrees and it is done baking.

Other suggestions would be to add oat flour or semolina flour. I have not taken the plunge to replace all the unbleached flour but anything is possible!


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    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 6 years ago from USA

      This is great. I would like to use more whole wheat. Thanks.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      FuzzyCookie - It works for me really well and I think it is delicious - let me know how you like it! Thanks for the read.

    • FuzzyCookie profile image

      FuzzyCookie 7 years ago

      omg akirchner, You already have a wheat bread recipe!!!!! I am definitely going to try this, I hope this tastes good.. bookmarked this and will let you know how it went.. cheers!!!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      I hear you and yes - the wheat makes it all okay! Thanks for commenting.

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 8 years ago

      Sounds like an awesome recipe. Will definitely have to try this one out. Breads are my weakness, I try to stay away from them. But wheat bread, that's another story.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      Yes - and reminds me I was supposed to make some yesterday but got side-tracked....thanks for reminding me!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Mmmm...I can almost smell it baking!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      Thanks but I just and checking them out is kind of a hobby but thanks so much for stopping by.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Thank you for this awesome hub, you are a chef for sure.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      Thank you for stopping by! The other French bread recipe I have on here as well is very, very easy - but I cut the salt back to 1 teaspoon when I made it and did not roll it but just shaped it and that seemed to work better. The ciabatta style though was still great! Hope you enjoy and if you have the time, let me know if it worked out. Baking is all about just doing it and if you can cook already, you are already there!

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      This just looks amazing. I've always wanted to learn how to bake (I'm a decent cook, I'm told) especially bread. I'm bookmarking this one to try very soon. Thank you for sharing this.