The New Bakers Dozen
Whole wheat flour

The The Bakers Dozen: Whole wheat flour
By c on Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 07:40 pm: Edit

Why does a dough made with 100% whole wheat flour not rise anymore when put in the oven? As opposed to one made with white flour, which springs a lot during the first few minutes of baking.

By d. on Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 10:20 pm: Edit

100% whole wheat flour, where the wheat kernel is milled with the germ and the bran,has less gluten-forming proteins than an all-purpose flour(almost like cake flour). A bread dough made with 100% whole wheat will tend to be heavy and not quite as elastic as a regular bread dough(the gluten is very important for elasticity). Wheat flour(white flour), particularly if you use bread flour, is much higher in protein and therefore has the ability to form gluten strands that will trap all the gases produced by the yeast. Usually a blend of both whole wheat and bread flour is used to produce whole wheat breads.

By joyce piotrowski on Sunday, November 26, 2000 - 03:26 pm: Edit

I teach my students that the gluten in flour is like bubble gum. When you first put the gum in your mouth it still has sugar in it. If you try to blow a bubble then, the bubble will quickly break. AS you chew the gum it becomes stronger and more elastic. This is just like the gluten in flour being kneaded. When it is elastic it can hold in the air and form a strong bubble. Your wheat bread did not have enough gluten so it could not hold in the air bubble when the heat of the oven expanded the air.

By Matt (Matt) on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 01:30 pm: Edit


Whole flour is usually milled from hard wheat and is a high gluten four., But the bran that is left in tends to cut the gluten stands and that is why the baking dough looses the gases prodused by the yeast.


By c on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 06:17 pm: Edit

Thanks! Yes, I'm pretty sure that I knead the dough enough and I'm also pretty sure that I don't have too much flour in my whole wheat dough, so your explanation makes so much sense. Thanks again!

By healthforyou on Wednesday, December 06, 2000 - 09:17 am: Edit


You might want to add some vital gluten and some sort of dough enhancer, be it commercially prepared or something natural like Vitamin c powder to get a soft bread and a higher rise out of whole wheat. Freshly ground flours will be softer and lighter than flours purchased that have been previously ground. I prefer to grind my whole wheat, using Golden 86, hard winter wheat, minutes before baking. I get a whole wheat bread that is as soft as white and rises 3 inches out of the pan! :)

Hope this helps,

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