New Method! 100 Percent Whole Wheat Food Processor Bread
Back in the early 1980s, when I first began working for Cuisinart as their national spokesperson, one of my responsibilities was to develop new recipes for the food processor. I loved bread, all sorts of bread, but the one that challenged me the most was 100 percent whole wheat bread. I had no luck making a light-textured sandwich loaf until I tried doing the job with the food processor. A whole wheat kernel is about 80 percent protein and carbohydrate (endosperm), 17 percent bran (fiber), and 3% wheat germ (proteins and fats). I felt that if I could soften the bran sufficiently so that its sharp edges wouldn’t damage the developing gluten molecules during kneading, there just may be a chance for my idea to work.
By 1987 I had a formula and procedure that worked, but still needed a bit of tweaking. So I left things alone and re-began my quest a couple of years ago. And just this year, I have a recipe and a way of mixing the ingredients in a food processor that produces the lightest-textured whole wheat sandwich loaf I’ve ever had. The resulting dough is wet, sticky, and very elastic. It will look like a mess and you will think that something must be very wrong. But it’s just the opposite. You want a sticky messy shapeless dough. Here’s how to shape this dough into a loaf.
And one bit of really good news is you can make this bread in even the basic food processor with a 7-cup capacity. During my six years with Cuisinart, the machines I used included: DLC-10 (7-cup), DLC-8 (11-cup) and DLC-7 (14-cup). There was a larger machine, too, the DLC-X, with a 20-cup capacity, but that model tended to be the favorite of restaurant and bakery owners. You can double the recipe here if you have such a machine.
The loaf in the picture above is about 6 inches tall. Magnificent! I’ll have step by step photos to guide you along as you make this bread. You will need a kitchen scale for this recipe. So let’s bake!
New Way with 100 Percent Whole Wheat Food Processor Bread
- Food Processor with dough blade and metal blade
- Digital probe thermometer
- Kitchen Scale
- 3 cups (15 ounces) whole wheat flour, divided
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (One 1/4-ounce package) instant yeast
- 9 ounces cool tap water (70 to 75 degrees F)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (olive, avocado, grapeseed)
- 3 tablespoons molasses (I use Grandma's)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon table salt or 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Vegetable Cooking Spray
- Insert the metal blade into the work bowl and add 2 cups (10 ounces) of the flour and the yeast. Process 3 seconds to combine. Have the water in a measuring cup with pouring spout. Start the motor and pour in the water. Once all the water’s in, start timing for exactly 1 minute. Stop the machine. The dough temperature will be 80 to 85 degrees F.
- Remove the metal blade and scrape the dough off it. Insert the dough blade, making sure it sits firmly on the machine shaft.
- Cover the work bowl with its lid—no need to lock it in place—and insert the pusher in the spout to keep out air. Let stand about 1 hour, until the dough just about fills the work bowl.
- Process 5 to 10 seconds to deflate the dough.
- Add the oil, molasses, egg, and salt, and process 45 seconds. Scrape the sides of the work bowl and sprinkle the remaining 5 ounces of flour on top of the dough. Process 1 minute.
- Scrape the sides of the work bowl, cover with the lid, and wait 5 minutes to allow the last addition of flour to absorb moisture. Process for 75 seconds. The temperature of the final dough will be about 103 degrees F.
- Coat a 3-quart straight-sided bowl with cooking spray. Remove the work bowl from the food processor base. You'll notice that a small amount of dough has escaped from the work bowl and dabs of it are on the base. Wipe them off with a sponge. This sometimes happens with older machines. Mine is over 35 years old. Scrape the dough and dough blade into the bowl.To avoid making a sticky mess when removing the dough blade, spray the fingertips of one hand with cooking spray and rub together with the other hand.
- Dislodge and remove the dough blade. Spritz the dough with a quick burst of cooking spray and pick the dough up with both hands. Squeeze the dough—doesn’t it feel warm and supple?—and shape it into a ball. Place it in the rising bowl.
- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic and let the dough rise until it triples in volume and fills the bowl, about 1 hour at room temperature(or more if your kitchen is cool).
- Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray. You have a choice of size depending on how tall a loaf you want to end up with. An 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4-inch loaf pan will give you a baked loaf about 6 inches tall--the photo at the top of this post. Very impressive! A more standard pan, such as one measuring 9 x 5 x 3-inches will produce a loaf about 4 1/2 inches tall. Slices from this loaf fit easily into a toaster.
- Spritz your work surface lightly with cooking spray and turn the risen dough onto it. Press gently to shape the dough into a rough rectangle measuring about 8 x 10 inches. With a short side nearest you, roll up the dough as though you were making cinnamon rolls. Try not to trap air bubbles as you roll. With the roll of dough seam side down, crimp the ends with the sides of your palms and place the dough into the loaf pan.
- Set another loaf pan upside down onto the pan with the dough. This “lid” will rest on the edges of the bread pan and act as a chamber for the dough as it rises for the final time before baking.
- Let rise at room temperature until the loaf domes up 2 to 2 1/2 inches above the rim of the pan. This takes anywhere from 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the kitchen temperature. Check every 20 minutes or so to see how the dough is rising.
- When the center of the loaf is just shy of 2 inches above the pan rim, re-cover the loaf and adjust an oven rack to the lower third position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- When the loaf is ready to bake, remove the “lid” and put the bread in the oven. Bake about 45 minutes, until the loaf is nicely browned and its internal temperature registers about 200 degrees when measured with a digital thermometer inserted to the center of the loaf.
- Carefully, with oven mitts, tip the loaf out of the pan and set it upright onto a wire cooling rack. Cool completely, about 3 hours, before slicing and eating. Wrap securely. The sliced bread stays fresh and soft about 2 days at room temperature. Freeze for longer storage.Makes1 large loaf weighing a bit more than 1 1/2 pounds.