Today I’m going to try and add to my cooking category with a recipe I’ve been experimenting for some time, and today it came out exactly as I intended it to be: Healthy Toast Bread.

During 2019 I started a journey towards healthy eating, and part of it was to minimize processed food from my diet. A very sad finding for me was that white flour (and bread flour) is actually processed while whole wheat is not! My signature loaf and many other recipes that I have been preparing were indeed highly processed food if we consider the amount of white flour in it. So I decided to create something that anyone in the health train can have for breakfast or as part of their sandwiches.

The resulting loaf ended up being a little airier at the top as I didn’t degas well the dough.

One thing I love about this recipe is its simplicity. I will tell you something about whole wheat flour: It contains 14% gluten protein, while all-purpose white has 11.7%, and white bread flour has 12.7%. These values might not mean anything to you, but put in simple words: Whole wheat dough requires minimal work and it’s very difficult to screw-up.

So here I leave the recipe:

Juan’s Whole Wheat and Rye Toast Bread

This recipe makes a loaf of very healthy toast bread.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Resting time10 hrs
Servings: 16 Slices
Calories: 95kcal
Cost: $2 per loaf

Ingredients

  • 368 g Water Lukewarm at around 36C
  • 6 g Active-Dry Yeast 1 commercial packet
  • 360 g Whole Wheat Flour
  • 40 g Rye Flour
  • 20 g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 g Sea Salt

Instructions

  • Warm up the water to around 33C to 36C (91F to 96F) and place in a bowl. An easy way to get the temperature right is to mix 30% of boiling water with 70% of cold water. Beware that if the water goes over 40C (104F) the yeast will die.
  • Mix the yeast into the water and dissolve.
  • Add both the rye and whole wheat flours and incorporate them into the mix. Just make sure there are no clumps of dry flour in it. It should look like an almost homogeneous batter.
  • Cover with plastic wrap (or the lid of the bowl) and let sit for 20 / 30 min.
  • Incorporate the salt and the olive oil. What works best for me is: using one hand to squeeze the dough until it breaks, put the pieces together, and repeat. But you do you, as long as the salt is evenly distributed you'll be fine. If you have an electric mixer, try not to overdo it, as you'll develop the gluten too much and the crumb might end up more tight and dense than expected.
  • Cover with plastic wrap again and let sit for 20 minutes.
  • Apply a fold: Basically, grab the dough from one side, pull it up to stretch it, fold it over, turn the container 90º and repeat, you can do this 3 / 4 times until the dough keeps its shape.
  • Apply one or two more folds every 20 minutes. This step is optional. Then leave the dough rest for 1 hour.
  • When the dough has doubled in size (or more than doubled), flour a surface (it will be very sticky!). Place the dough on top and degas it so it loses all the volume from the fermentation. To do this just gently press it with your fingers. The floured side will be the crust of the bread. This is sometimes referred to as "The soft side" of the dough.
  • Shape the dough by folding it so it fits the loaf pan. Making sure the soft (floured) side remains outside. Think about it as if you were folding a T-Shirt.
  • Place the loaf pan in the fridge (I do it overnight) for about 6 to 7 hours. I cover it with a bowl so the dough does not get dry. You will know when it's ready to bake when it has gained enough volume to fill out the loaf pan and it starts to grow outside it.
  • Preheat the oven at 250C (480F) for 40 minutes.
  • Bake the loaf for 40 minutes to an hour. Until the crust is golden brown. NOTE: Since this dough is high hydration (92%), you don't need to score it.
  • Let cool off completely and slice it.
  • The loaf will remain fresh for 2 days. I typically take a couple of slices to eat right away and freeze the rest, where it will last months.

Here you can see a photo of the resulting loaf, with a small technical mistake I made, didn’t completely degas the dough after shaping it, which resulted in bigger air pockets close to the surface.

Photo of the open crumb (for a whole-wheat bread) that results from the high-hydration of the dough and the long proofing time.

Here you can see the nutrition facts. It’s only 95 calories per slice, and it’s packed with fiber. It’s also vegan, and you can make it organic by spending some more money on organic ingredients.

Variations

  • You can add nuts and seeds: Add up to 100 grams of nuts and seeds to make the loaf heartier.
  • You can use your own starter: Subtract 80 grams of water, 80 grams of whole wheat flour, and add 160g of your starter.
  • You can use Baker’s yeast: If you have fresh baker’s yeast, just crumble 16 grams of it into the lukewarm water.

Conclusion

Most recipes for bread call for white bread flour, while this type of flour will produce very impressive and flavorful results, it’s not something that you can enjoy every day without gaining some weight.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!! Please feel free to post comments with questions.