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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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