James Beard Award-winning Cookbook Author

100% Whole Wheat Food Processor Sandwich Bread

For detailed instructions click here

The very idea of a light-textured, flavorful, sandwich bread made entirely with 100% whole wheat flour and no white flour is no longer just an idea; it’s a reality. How is this possible?

Kneading whole wheat bread dough by hand or with a heavy-duty mixer can cause problems. The tiny pieces of bran are sharp and can break down the gluten strands, robbing the dough of the spring it needs to rise.

Food processor to the rescue! Using the metal blade to process most of the flour and all the yeast with water produces a wet dough that softens the bran. After a rise of 1 hour, the remaining flour goes in along with an egg, molasses, oil, and salt. After 1 1/2 minutes of continuous processing you’ll have an extremely elastic, sticky dough, that will miraculously become your loaf of 100% whole wheat bread.

100% Food Processor Whole Wheat Bread

Greg Patent
The food processor makes a light-textured 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf
4.34 from 9 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Rising time 3 hrs 30 mins
Servings 10 slices

Equipment

  • Food Processor with 14-cup capacity

Ingredients
  

  • 15 ounces whole wheat flour I use King Arthur whole wheat
  • 0.25 ounces instant yeast (1 envelope; 2 1/4 teaspoons) I use SAF yeast
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons cool tap water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil I use grapeseed
  • 3 tablespoons molasses I use Grandma's
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • non-stick cooking spray

Instructions
 

  • Add 10 ounces of the flour and the yeast to the
    food processor.
  • Process 5 seconds to combine. Pour on the water all at once and process 15 seconds.
  • Scrape the bowl and process 15 seconds more. With the work bowl covered, leave the
    dough alone for 1 hour. It will more than double in bulk.
  • Add the oil, molasses, egg, and salt and process 15
    seconds.
  • Add the remaining 5 ounces whole wheat flour and
    process for 1 minute.
  • Scrape the bowl, and let the dough rest for 5
    minutes to allow this last addition of flour to absorb the liquid.
  • Process without stopping for 1 1/2 minutes. The dough will be very sticky and elastic
    and it will not look like it could possibly become bread.
  • Lightly oil a 3-quart bowl, or coat it with cooking
    spray. Scrape the dough into the bowl and turn to coat all surfaces.
  • Pick up the dough, squish it between your hands, and shape it into a ball. Return to
    the bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature
    until the dough has almost tripled in volume and almost reaches the top of the bowl,
    1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on room temperature.
  • Coat an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4-inch loaf pan with
    cooking spray. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface (cooking spray
    is okay), and pat it gently into a rectangle measuring about 9 x 12 inches.
  • With a short side facing you, roll the dough tightly like making a cinnamon roll.
    Pinch to seal and crimp the ends to make a loaf. Place the loaf seam-side down
    in the pan and tamp it gently in place so the dough touches all surfaces.
  • Cover loosely with a shower cap or sprayed plastic wrap and let rise at room
    temperature until the center of the loaf domes up 2 inches above the pan rim,
    about 1 hour.
  • About 30 minutes before the loaf is ready to bake, adjust an oven rack to the lower
    third position, put a heavy baking sheet on the rack, and preheat the oven to
    350 degrees.
  • Remove the plastic wrap from the loaf and set the
    pan on the baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the loaf is
    well-browned and sounds hollow when you tip it out of its pan and rap its bottom.
  • Measured with an instant-read thermometer, the interior temperature of the loaf will be
    about 200 degrees. Cool the loaf completely, 2 to 3 hours, then wrap airtight.
    Slices make excellent toast.
  • Makes one whole-wheat sandwich loaf, about 1 1/2 pounds.

Video



28 thoughts on “100% Whole Wheat Food Processor Sandwich Bread”

  • 5 stars
    I’m so excited! My first loaf is on it last rise. It looks great so far. Even though it is 100% fresh grind whole wheat it is a moist looking loaf. Expecting a nice crumb.

  • 5 stars
    Awesome recipe!!! I just got a food processor and was looking for a good while wheat bread recipe to use in the machine. This is tasty, light and fluffy!!!

  • 5 stars
    Beautiful bread, but my 14 cup Cuisinart rebelled, and totally quit after processing exactly 1.5 minutes (step 7). Lifting up the workbowl to put the dough in the bowl, I found lots of dough UNDER the workbowl. I had enough in the bowl to be able to move forward with the recipe. But I’m thinking that perhaps that first rest (step 3) of an hour for the dough to sit in the workbowl caused the sticking to the bottom which slowed the processor down in step 7. Whatever, I was able to salvage the bread (and, hopefully, the Cuisinart), but what do I need to do differently next time?

    • I sympathize with you, Carol. Sticky dough messes are no fun. Here’s a suggestion. Put all the flour, yeast and water into the processor work bowl. You can process a few seconds, stop, scrape the bowl, and repeat a few times until the dough gathers into a ball. Let the dough rise to double, which may take 1 to 2 hours. Then proceed with the recipe as written. This wet dough does tend to creep under the blade as you describe, but my Cuisinart has never stalled on me. You can make this bread with a stand mixer also (https://thebakingwizard.com/100-percent-whole-wheat-sandwich-bread-made-with-a-stand-mixer/). In my 5-quart KitchenAid, once all the ingredients are in, it takes 5 minutes of beating with the flat beater–not dough hook. In my 6-quart KitchenAid it takes only 3 minutes. Far less messy than the food processor way. Do let me know your results. And thanks so much for writing.

    • Hi, Carol
      I wrote a detailed email to you about this problem. Please let me know if you received it.

  • Ive had a numerous dense whole wheat loafs…
    And I’m too lazy to knead by hand.
    Thank you for the clear food processor steps I can’t wait to try this out.

  • I am so happy to find your page! I am considering buying a food processor to start making my bread dough, pizza dough etc. after my bread machine failed. I am considering a 12-Cup capacity processor of the Breville brand as it has many great reviews everywhere I read about it. I have also read that a 10-12 Cup capacity food processor would only properly process ingredients for a 1 1/2 pound loaf, generally 2-3 Cups of flour. Looking at your recipe, I see that it would probably not have more than 3 C. of flour — do you think this recipe would work in the 12 Cup machine? (There is no 14 Cup model of this brand available, and the next size is 16 Cups which is significantly more expensive. I would appreciate your advice, please.

  • 5 stars
    I made this last night. It actually worked well with the 8-cup ninja food processor. The dough looked perfect until I took it out of the oven. I think I took it out just a bit too soon, as my loaf is not as dark as in the picture, and the top of it was crumbling when I tried to slice it. It fits in the toaster though, and tastes great with butter! I may not be able to use it for sandwiches as I’d hoped though, because I had a really hard time slicing it.

    • Hi, Nicole
      You’re a real trouper. Sounds like the loaf may have been underbaked. Use a digital probe thermometer next time. Plunge it to the center of the loaf, where the temp should be between 195 an 205 degrees F. I’m glad your machine worked. Larger food processors give the dough lots of space to get slapped around to make sure all that gluten’s activated. Thank you so much for writing!

    • That’s an excellent suggestion. While I have not made additions to the basic whole wheat dough, you could pulse in flax or chia seeds or sunflower seeds (for example) or chopped nuts after the dough has been fully kneaded. I’d go easy on the flax/chia–a couple of tablespoons of either. You could add 1/2 cup or so of sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts or pecans, also once the dough has been fully kneaded. Sesame seeds on top is another possibility.

      • Thanks for the suggestions!
        Forgot to ask about rolling in some raisins and cinnamon for raisin bread. Would I want to brush in some butter during rolling stage too?

        • This bread dough is very soft and extensible after rising and before shaping. If you watch my video on shaping the loaf, you’ll see that kneading in some raisins at that stage would be quite easy. I recommend actually working the raisins into the dough, not rolling them up pinwheel fashion because they’ll likely fall out when you slice the bread. I’d add cinnamon to the dough when you add the molasses, egg, and salt. One teaspoon should do it. Please let me know how it works!

  • Was very excited to try this recipe, kneading bread by hand is hard for me anyway and we have only whole wheat flour in the cabinet until our next grocery delivery. My brand new MagiMix 5200XL overheated and shut off within the first minute of the final 90 seconds of processing, although it was a mere ~700g of dough. I’ve got it in a bowl for the second rise and the dough looks and feels so delicious. But why did it kill my machine?

    • Gosh, Katherine, I have no idea why your MagiMix committed suicide. Did it really die, or did it overheat for some reason and revive later on? You should write the company to tell them of your experience. How did your bread turn out? I’ve reworked the food processor recipe so that even a standard-size 7-cup machine can make a superb loaf. I’ll post it soon. Happy Baking!

  • 5 stars
    Hello Greg-
    I’m bewildered! The bread came out delicious but this machine, which should be more than capable, just can’t seem to hack it. I’ve just given it another go, done the 90-second processing once again, and the machine died again after just 1 minute! It’s overheating and not a full-on death thank goodness, but I wonder if missing 30 seconds of “kneading” lead to the somewhat raggy crumb the other loaf had. This recipe is such a joy to me, uncomplicated and in short steps with long breaks so I can make it while caring for a very busy 1,5 year old 🙂 and I feel good about giving her bread we make ourselves. I desperately want it to work! I’ll write to MagiMix and see what they’ve got to say about it. Perhaps I’m meant to be using a different blade/attachment.

    • to expand on the trouble, it seems that what happened both times is that the dough got itself up under the blade and out the hole of the work bowl. I’m not sure if the machine actually overheated or if it shut off due to the blade becoming disengaged from the drive axle. In any case I’ll write them and report back!

      • Katherine, I’ve not experienced the blade coming off the blade shaft, but it’s common for a bit of dough to ooze onto the machine base. But do write or call the Magimix people about this problem. Very soon I’ll be posting a new way of making this bread with the food processor using the metal blade first followed by the dough blade to do most of the work. And you can make this dough in a standard-size (7-cup capacity) food processor and also in machines with an 11-cup or 14-cup capacity work bowl. I’ll have step by step photos to guide you. Hang in there. You’re a real trouper.

  • 3 stars
    This recipe wrecked my 1 month old Cuisinart. So upset. On step 7, the dough got sucked into the shaft assembly, which alone just made a mess, but it also pushed the blade top up against the lid so hard while spinning that the plastic ground down and melted, so the top lid and blade are ruined, and the dough was filled with small pieces of grey plastic, so even that wasn’t salvageable.
    This is awful. 🙁

    • I am so sorry you had this terrible problem with your Cuisinart. What a disaster! I have made this recipe dozens of times with my DLC-7 machine and the only problem I’ve ever had is some leakage of the dough, a tablespoon or so, onto the underside of the work bowl. Cuisinart should replace your machine, and you should definitely tell them what happened. If you have a 5- or 6-quart stand mixer (mine are KitchenAid), I do have a recipe on my site to make the food processor bread with the stand mixer. I’ll send you a food processor bread recipe that should cause no problems. Best, Greg

  • 1 star
    I wish I had read the comment section before trying this recipe. In 60 years of baking, this was my worst bread-making experience ever. Like some other readers my blade moved up (I assume as a result of the first rise in the food processor bowl) and when I went to mix after adding the remaining ingredients I discovered that quite a bit of dough had worked its way outside the bowl and all over the machine. What a mess. Hoping that my (one-year-old) Cuisinart is not ruined. Wondering why this happens to some people and not others. The dough is now rising in a bowl (yes, I tried to salvage what was left so as not to waste the ingredients) but even if it does turn out I don’t feel I could ever try this recipe again. It was just awful.

    • Aloha, Karen
      Did I not respond to your bread disaster? I recall I did and also sent you a recipe I felt you’d be happy with. Please let me know. Greg.

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