High Altitude No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

As I mentioned in my last post, I am on a quest to find a good recipe for a 100% whole wheat bread that is high altitude friendly. My previous method of using wheat flour in this recipe just wasn’t cutting it at 7,000 ft. The loaves didn’t rise well and were pretty dense.

1photoSee how small they are?

I’m sure it’s not all the altitude that screwed up that recipe, it probably doesn’t help that I took a recipe that called for AP flour and just put in 100% whole wheat. Still, I didn’t want to try and tweak that recipe anymore so I started googling. 🙂 

While I love making bread, I’m not into the recipes that take forever and require multiple rises and massive amounts of kneading. I started searching for no-knead bread recipes and most of the ones I found required 12-24 hours between making the dough and baking it. I was delighted when I stumbled upon this recipe and I tried it out right away. However, because of it’s rapid rising time the inner structure of the loaf wasn’t very stable. It did have a great flavor though, so I used some of the knowledge I’d picked up from Pie in the Sky and made some tweaks. What resulted was a loaf of bread, slightly larger than I’m accustomed to, that held together beautifully and had amazing flavor. The best part is that it only takes about an hour from the time I start proofing the yeast until I pull it out of the oven!

photoLook at the difference!  That’s a gorgeous loaf of bread!

High Altitude No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

(adapted from baking bites)

4 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour (you can find this with other wheat flour)
1 3/4 cups warm, not hot, water
4 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup butter, melted (you could probably use coconut oil in place of this)
1 3/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place flour in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30-40 seconds, until warm to the touch.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, honey and 1 cup of the water. Combine and let sit for about 10 minutes, until yeast foams.

Add the remaining water, butter, salt and about 2 cups of flour to the yeast mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon.

Attach dough hook to stand mixer, turn to recommended setting when using the dough hook.  (My mixer’s manual said to use the dough hook only at speed 2.) Continue adding flour gradually until dough forms into a smooth ball and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn mixer speed up a notch or 2 and mix for 1 minute. (I know this breaks the rules with my mixer, but it hasn’t hurt anything…yet!)

Butter a 9×5 loaf pan well.

Turn dough into loaf pan and press down to form it a bit to the shape of the pan.

Lightly grease a piece of plastic wrap and lay it over the pan. Don’t seal it, you’re just trying to keep out cool air. (I use my Misto for this so I don’t have to worry about the junk in the spray cans of oil)

Allow dough to rise for about 20 minutes or until dough has risen approximately 1 inch above the sides of the pan. Depending on the weather, the temperature in your house, etc. your bread may rise faster or slower, just check on it every 5 minutes or so to see how fast it’s rising.

When bread had risen, remove plastic wrap and place pan in oven.

Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, then turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Bread should be a dark golden brown and sound hollow when you tap on the top.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then place on wire rack to finish cooling.

If you can resist the delicious smell of freshly baked bread, let it cool completely before cutting into it.  Cutting into warm bread often results in a mess!

If you can’t resist it, enjoy anyway! 🙂


5 thoughts on “High Altitude No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

  1. I made this bread, it’s a favorite recipe for sure. I’ll increase the salt a little bit, maybe 1/5 tsp next time i make it.
    I loved being able to knead it with the mixer, rather than hands, because I don’t have much time to do it.
    The bread turned out very smooth soft bread, when all the other recipes I had tried lately turned into a brick bread.

  2. Well, I couldn’t wait til it was totally cooled, but warm with butter blend, it is perfect! Flavor is great. I changed only one thing: used 3 C WW and 1-1/3 C AP. (both KAF) My 7,000′ is probably different from yours, though, as it took almost 1-1/2 hrs to reach 1″ over top of loaf pan even tho kitchen was warm. That’s okay, though….. good bread, without all the kneading, is well worth the wait. Oh, also I used the paddle to mix all the flour with the liquid at one time and then switched to hook. Did 10 min with dough hook at 2 and then 1-1/2 min at 4. Worked like a charm.
    Thanks SO much for this recipe. Next time I’ll try increasing liquid a bit and adding some grains. 🙂

  3. I haven’t made this one yet but I would like a sweeter wheat bread. How much honey, molasses or sugar would I use instead of the 2-Tbsp?

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