Soaked Whole Wheat Bread in the Bread Machine

Guest post by Emily Benhase

For my first birthday after we were married, my husband gave me a bread machine. I had wanted one for months and loved it! But just a few months later, I was introduced to the “real food”/Nourishing Traditions way of cooking and eating. As I learned more about the benefits of soaking grains before consumption, the bread machine was used less and less. I assumed a soaked bread recipe and the bread machine were incompatible.

I started making Lindsay’s recipe for soaked whole wheat bread, by hand, on a bi-weekly basis, making two loaves at a time (we ate one fresh and froze the other for the following week). Although I did enjoy the process of bread making–especially kneading–I soon realized there had to be a more efficient way to make healthy, homemade bread for my family. I determined to adapt this delicious recipe to use in my bread machine. It didn’t take long before I was successful!

We love this bread. It is our standard bread that we use for toast, sandwiches and simply enjoying warm with butter and a drizzle of honey; we also think it makes wonderful grilled cheese! Especially now that we have added two little ones to our family, I love not only the healthfulness of this bread, but the convenience of my bread machine doing the work for me.

Tips Before You Begin:

  • Make sure the flour/water mixture you’ll be soaking is plenty moist. You don’t want it to dry out, plus this will make it easier on your bread machine to mix in the remaining ingredients the next day.
  • In order to maximize the effectiveness of the soaking, you should make sure you are using warm to hot water.
  • You do need to activate the yeast for this recipe.
  • Any combination of white/whole wheat flour can be used (I use 2 cups white whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour).
  • I prefer white whole wheat flour as it provides a lighter end product. This type of flour can be found in most supermarkets these days.
  • To achieve the most even slices, let your bread sit out overnight. Do not attempt to cut it right after baking (I know it’s tempting, it smells so good!). Letting it sit will help it firm up and will result in nice, even slices. Using a quality bread knife is also very helpful!

I’ve also included instructions at the bottom on how to make the dough in your bread machine and bake it in the oven, if you prefer that method. I have done this many times with great results. If desired, you can double the recipe and make two loaves worth of dough in the bread machine.

Soaked Whole Wheat Bread in the Bread Machine

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice), plus enough water to make 1 cup
1/4 cup honey (I’ve also used raw cane sugar and maple syrup with success)
3 Tbsp oil or melted butter
1/2 cup oats
2 cups whole wheat flour (I use white whole wheat)
1-2 Tbsp add-ins (ie, ground flax seed, millet, wheat germ, etc.), optional
2 Tbsp warm water
1/4 tsp honey or sugar
2 tsp yeast
1 1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Directions:

1. Add vinegar, water, honey and oil to the pan of your bread machine. Then add the flour, oats and add-ins, if desired. Start the bread machine on the dough setting and allow to run for about five minutes, just until the ingredients are well-mixed. Turn off or unplug the machine, scrape down any dough stuck on the sides of the pan and allow mixture to soak for 12-24 hours.

2. After the soaking period, in a small bowl, combine the 2 Tbsp warm water, honey and yeast. Allow to activate for 5-10 minutes, until mixture is foamy. Add yeast mixture, salt, vital wheat gluten and additional flour to the bread machine pan.

3. Select the whole wheat setting and desired crust darkness (I use medium) and press start. Keep an eye on the dough for the first few minutes to see if any extra water or flour is needed. You want the dough to be slightly tacky but not too wet.

Allow the loaf of bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then cool on a wire rack overnight. Slice and enjoy!

To bake bread in the oven:

Follow steps 1 & 2. Select the dough cycle on your bread machine and press start.

When the dough is finished, remove it from the pan. Punch down and on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, then roll it up and tuck the ends under so it fits in your bread pan. Place the dough in a greased bread pan, cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place (I turn my oven on the lowest setting: 170 degrees) until doubled, 30-45 minutes.

Once the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 350. Bake the bread for 30-45 minutes, until the sides and top are lightly browned and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely (see notes above for slicing).

Enjoy!

To learn more about soaking, visit The Value of Soaking Your Whole Grains.

Emily is a homemaker who lives in Cincinnati, OH with her husband Ryan and their two children: Jericho (2) and Anna (4 months). Their family is passionate about urban living, good food and, most of all, living their life in a way that honors and serves God. 

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

40 Responses to Soaked Whole Wheat Bread in the Bread Machine

  1. Kimberly S. April 2, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    I tried this recipe and loved it…the first two times. The last three have flopped or near flopped :( I have made bread for years, but have only just started soaking. My main problem is that it doesn’t rise much (or at all). Any ideas why? Should I soak it a bit longer?

  2. janekay February 20, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    Want to try soaking this today and baking tomorrow. Question….all I have are steel cut oats….will they work or do I need a cut oat to add? Thanks!

  3. Laura November 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Lindsay – would you tell me exactly how to double this recipe for the bread machine dough cycle? Double yeast and everything? My dough cycle rises my single loaf almost to the top.

    Thanks!
    Laura

  4. Mike R. November 26, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    I tried making the soaked whole wheat bread in the bread machine as Guest post by Emily Benhase described, However the mix seems way to dry. This is my first time trying this and the bread machine idea appealed to me but I don’t know if i’m following the directions right. Whats a good way to know the right amount of moisture content for the soaking period.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks, Mike R.

    • Laura November 26, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      I’ve made this bread about 20 times now. I can tell you exactly what I do…
      I use 2T of honey instead of the 1/4 cup. I use 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup oats, I don’t do the extra T of grains. 3T grapeseed oil, 1T ACV plus water to one cup. I soak all this…Then I mix 2T warm water with 1/4 t honey and 2t yeast. I add 2 1/8 t salt and 1/2 cup of organic white flour from the store directly into the bread machine. When the yeast bubbles up a bit, I add about another 1 T of water to it. Then I mix with a spatula into the soaked base, to keep the flour from flying everywhere. If upon turning on the machine and mixing, it gives a “ball” that doesn’t stick to the sides much as it turns, you should be good. (This exact method has worked for me the past 5 times I’ve made it.) Hope it goes well! Our Thanksgiving guests loved this made into cloverleaf rolls. Laura

      • Mike R November 26, 2012 at 11:10 am #

        Thank You Laura, after reading your reply I double checked the recipe and realized my mistake. I only read the 1Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar and missed the part about plus water to make one cup.

        thank You very much
        Mike R.

      • Sami January 7, 2013 at 10:02 am #

        Laura, do you use the 3/4 c of all purpose flour at the end still since you add the oats? And is it oat flour or who oats? Thank you so much!

  5. Ashley November 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    I would really love to try Lindsay’s pizza dough recipe in the bread machine.. on dough cycle only. How do I go about adapting it? Can I just cut the recipe in half and let it mix in there? Is there something obvious that I’m not thinking of? I’m not very familiar with bread machines, but borrowed one to try this recipe and might buy one used if I can make both this and the pizza dough more efficiently.

  6. Alicia October 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    The whole premise behind soaking grains, is to soak the “whole” grain. Try taking white hard wheat and soak it in water for 24 hours. Then for the next few days rinse a couple of times of day (leaving it in a strainer) until you see the tiny “sprout” coming out of the end. Take the wheat and dry it in your dehydrator for 10-12 hours. Then grind the wheat to make flour. NOW you have a “live” “whole” food to make your wheat bread that will provide greater nutrients for you and your lovely family.

  7. Mark Graham August 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    I have no feelings about soaked/not soaked, I just like good whole wheat bread. My wife makes ours the traditional kneaded way, and I am always looking for ways to save her labor, but her bread is so good. Bread machine breads we’ve tried don’t come close. I tried this today, and the texture and taste are wonderful, and very close to her bread’s. I await her reviews, but I think this is great bread. Thanks very much.

  8. termite detection dog August 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Kudos for an educational post. I’ve been hunting for this kind of information for a while now.

  9. Angelita August 6, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Have you found a bread machine that is not Teflon?

  10. Laura July 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    This was wonderful!! Been trying to soak wheat to see if we can digest it better. Don’t know yet, since we just ate it, but we all LOVED it! Made it in my breadman. THANK YOU!!

  11. Andrea July 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Does anyone have any tips or suggestions for buying a bread machine? I’ve been wanting one for a while but I’m not sure which to buy.

  12. Amy Durham July 20, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    What about the phytic acid in the flour that is added at the very end of the recipe, that is not soaked?

  13. Amy Durham July 20, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    What about the flour that is added at the end along with the yeast? That part isn’t soaked…so doesn’t it reintroduce phytic acid to the whole mixture?

    • Emily July 20, 2012 at 9:38 am #

      If you use whole wheat flour, yes, it does reintroduce some phytic acid. I normally use unbleached all-purpose flour, though. It eliminates that problem as well as contribute to a lighter loaf.

      • Amy Durham July 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

        Oh yeah…isn’t that because the phytic acid only in the bran? Or is it all throughout the wheat?

  14. C July 20, 2012 at 6:05 am #

    If I make several loaves of bread at once, how should I store them for future use?

    • Emily July 20, 2012 at 9:40 am #

      My preferred method is to wrap the entire loaf (unsliced) in aluminum foil, put in a gallon size ziploc freezer bag and store in the freezer.

  15. Jenni July 19, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Thank you for the recipe! I have been using a bread machine for years, but just started soaking grains last week. I was not impressed with my first loaf of bread after soaking. I made this recipe today and it is so tasty! My boys love it and I do too. Now my husband has to taste test it…if there is any left by the time he gets home ;)

  16. Pam@behealthybehappywellness July 19, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    This is funny, I just posted today about how I tend to buy bread because I don’t have time to make it!!! I will definitely be giving this recipe a try – I can certainly take a few minutes to put the ingredients in my bread maker and then bake in the oven when it’s done!

    http://behealthybehappywellness.com/blog/2012/07/what-about-meat

  17. Meta July 19, 2012 at 5:27 am #

    Does adding the vital wheat gluten negate the effects of soaking?

    • Emily July 19, 2012 at 10:50 am #

      Honestly, I’m not sure. That never occurred to me! If I had to guess, I would say no. It probably adds some phytic acid that hasn’t been dealt with, but I can’t imagine it would affect the flour that has already been soaked.

  18. Liesl July 19, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    Thanks so much for this post! My husband bought us a bread machine a few months ago and I’ve been scratching my head about how to soak the bread I bake in it. This is saving me a few experiments :) . Just one question : is the yeast that you use instant yeast (the grainy type) or the solid kind? I live in South Africa, and that is the only kinds of yeast we get here as far as I know.
    Thanks!

  19. prasti July 19, 2012 at 2:06 am #

    “As I learned more about the benefits of soaking grains before consumption, the bread machine was used less and less. I assumed a soaked bread recipe and the bread machine were incompatible.”

    I thought so too! I used to use my bread machine regularly, but hardly use it at all now. It just collects dust. But glad I came across this post. I will be trying it this week. Thanks for sharing!

  20. veronica July 18, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    What size loaf is this recipe for? 1lb 1.5 or 2?

    • Emily July 19, 2012 at 6:24 am #

      1.5 lb, I believe.

  21. Erin R July 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    This just made my day. I kept trying to perfect the other recipe, but could not get it to rise. This rose to high heaven! Love my bread maker!

  22. Rachel July 18, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    THANK YOU!!! I have been wanting to start soaking our grains, but I LOVE my bread machine and couldnt fathom giving up its convenience. Cannot wait to try this recipe :) !

  23. Kayla July 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    I am so excited to try this recipe. Lindsay’s original version has been a favorite of mine but I’ve put it to the side for smaller, less tasty recipes that I could make in my bread machine and I certainly have missed this delicious recipe. I am so anxious to try it out!

  24. Sarah July 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Thank you! One of my summer goals is to incorporate soaked grains into our diets and replace our store-bought bread with home-ade stuff. So happy I can still use my bread machine!

  25. Tina b July 18, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    I’m thinking I could easily adapt my normal bread recipe to involve soaking now that I read this. I’m wondering, though, why does the yeast need to be activated? Doesn’t it normally just activate on its own in te bread machine? At least mine does… I’m really asking because I’m lazy and want to use as few dishes as possible :) thanks!

    • Emily July 18, 2012 at 11:38 am #

      Normally, when you are making bread in the bread machine (without soaking), the entire amount of water is hot enough to activate the yeast. But with this recipe, since most of the water is added at the beginning and sits at room temperature for (at least) 12 hours, it isn’t warm enough to get the yeast nice and bubbly.

      • Tina b July 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

        Oh!!! Got it! Thanks do much for explaining that to me :) . I’m excited to try this!!

  26. Katie@ Mexican Wildflower July 18, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    I’m going to have to send this link to a friend. She wants to start eating more nourishing yet she is pressed for time with three littles. She has a bread machine so this is perfect! Thanks!

  27. Gina July 18, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    Great recipe! I’ve often wondered about doing the soaked recipe in the bread machine!

    Anyone have bread machine recommendations?

    • Kelly July 18, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

      Gina, I have found two bread machines (on two separate occasions) at Goodwill. They have worked great for me and only cost $10!

      • Gina July 20, 2012 at 8:20 am #

        Kelly,

        That’s genius. I’m going to keep that in mind next time I’m there – I never thought to look there!