100% wholegrain bread, with mother yeast and bread machine

I thought useful to publish this content on my blog because wholegrain bread recipes are rarely based on wholegrain flour only: quite often recipes suggest a mix of Manitoba and wholegrain flours in various percentages. My experience is that if I use a good wholemeal flour only,  I can get very good results without adding Manitoba at all. By doing so, I was expecting a more dense bread, a poor alveolate and a poorely elastic crumb but this recipe gave me good results as you can see from the attached pictures.

Before the Second World War, in most European countries, bread was consumed almost exclusively as homemade wholegrain flour bread with sourdough from mother yeast. White flour replaced wholegrain flour in bread-making techniques already in the immediate post-war period, the same fate befell the mother yeast.

a completely lost good habit
freshly cut

A variant of the recipe described in this article can be found by clicking the link below, it is based on a double leavening procedure of 100% wholegrain bread. It produces better results in terms of both flavors and digestibility.



  • 330ml water at 36°C
  • 500g good quality wholegrain flour
  • 2g of fresh yeast (1 teaspoons)
  • 30g dried mother yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of malt (or raw cane sugar, fructose)
  • 3 teaspoons of salt
  • optional: add two spoons of wholegrain flour and cow milk if you are unsure about the quality of the flour you use.
the alveolate texture

directions. Step by step procedure

With the help of a food grade brush, sprinkle the drum motor shaft and shovel with sunflower oil, insert the liquids in the bread machine basket: water (and milk) at 36°C Then add the wholemeal flour, the mother yeast, the flake of brewer’s yeast and finally the malt (or fructose). Follow the order indicated by the manual of your bread machine which could be the other way around. Add salt as soon as the ball has formed and note that wet wholegrain flour requires a longer time to collapse in a dough ball.


Start the bread machine in “Dough” mode, the program that kneads and leavenes: it should take 90 minutes. Once Dough program is complete, wait additional 40 minutes (maybe an hour) for the mother yeast to complete its job. If you are in a hurry, triple the dose of brewer’s yeast and don’t use any mother yeast.

As soon as the dough has tripled quadrupled in volume, start the cooking program for 750g bread and medium or dark finish, according to taste. The duration unfortunately depends on the power of the machine. A 600W requires 70-80 minutes of cooking

Extract the basket from the breadmachine, turn it over and let the bread out: becareful as bread and basket are both very hot.

upper part alveolate

Glazing (optional)

Dissolve two teaspoons of salt in two tablespoons of hot water and, with the help of a for food grade brush, gently brush the solution on the surface of the freshly extracted hot bread. The solution will evaporate immediately making the crust more crunchy and flavoursome.

Alternative glazing. while cooking and not before the crust has made (in about 30 minutes time) you could brush the surface of the bread with vegetal oil. Then sprinkle with a pinch of fine salt. This will give color to the crust. There is no need to remind that it must be a very quick action.

bread cooling

The bread should be wrapped in a clean linen or cotton cloth and rest for half an hour on a wire rack before cutting the first slice.

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