Delightfully Delicate Wholemeal

homemade wholemeal bread
It's not often you can say that a wholemeal loaf is delicate but, amazingly, this one is. The recipe was born from an experiment (as so many are) in which I discovered I didn't have any yoghurt.

Searching about in the fridge for inspiration, I found another ingredient. Shall we call it the 'secret ingredient' just to add some suspense?! I found the secret ingredient and decided to give it a try.

The resulting loaf was tasty and moist, as well as being delicate and crumbly. To be quite honest, the crumbly-ness was a mixed blessing (pre-warm your butter, folks!) but it was such a light texture and great flavour that I thought it worth sharing.

homemade wholemeal bread crumb

I should mention, at this point, that I was using emmer flour. Emmer is an ancient variety of wheat that Wikipedia says was used by the Ancient Egyptians. The flour I had was organic, wholemeal emmer, from Shipton Mill. If you don't want to use emmer, I am sure regular wholemeal flour would work nicely in this recipe, instead. Just beware that you might need to adjust the amount of water for a different variety of flour. Add the liquid gradually until you have a dough you can handle easily. Please go ahead and add more than the recipe states, if you need to.

So, here goes. A new recipe for you. Ladies and gentlemen, I present...

Delightfully Delicate Wholemeal

500g/17 oz/3 ⅓ cups wholemeal flour (I used organic emmer flour)
1 tsp instant dried yeast
2 tsp salt (or less, if you prefer. Here are notes on reducing salt)
200g/7 oz/¾ cup mascarpone cheese (the 'secret' ingredient! I was aiming to use Greek plain yoghurt, or soya yoghurt. You could try that instead)
240ml/5 fl oz/1 cup hand-hot water (or thereabouts, depending on the type of flour you use)


NB I'm following The Master Method which you can see in detail (with videos!) if you follow the link.

1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Take care with the water, though, because your dough might need a little less or a little more, depending on the variety of flour used.

2. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead it for about ten minutes.

Do you know what? Mine was soooo sloppy. I actually used too much water by mistake and I ended up with dough that had to be scraped into a heap...

dough too sloppy

3. Upturn the mixing bowl over the dough and leave it to ferment for about 45 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.

4. Shape the dough* and place it into the tin (aka loaf pan), leaving it to prove for a further 45 minutes, or until the loaf has risen clear of the tin. (For more details on how much to prove, see this article on perfect proving.)
*Mine, being so sloppy, wasn't so much 'shaped' as 'scraped up'.

5. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 200oC/400F. Keep the high temperature for five minutes then reduce it to 180oC/360F for a further 30 minutes.

6. Remove the bread from the tin and allow it to cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes before cutting.

homemade wholemeal loaf

I've got to say, my little boy was somewhat disappointed that we were keeping the brown loaf and giving away the lovely-looking light, airy loaf that you can see in the background(!) But you're never going to get an impressive rise out of a wholemeal loaf. And emmer might be lower in gluten than other flours, further reducing its ability to rise. Anyhow, what it lacked in height, it made up for in flavour. There were no further complaints from my little boy, later, as he stickily wolfed down bread and honey.

More Recipes

If you're looking for more inspiration, grab a copy of my ebook, The Recipes, which contains my growing collection of bread recipes.

Also, don't forget to grab a copy of Fresh Bread In 20 Minutes for homemade bread asap!

And if you have any questions, drop me a line!


  1. Well, with bread they say 'the wetter the better' so a sloppy dough is good. Do you think the delicate crumb came from the flour, the secret ingredient or the wetter dough? Or a combination of the 3?


    1. Nigel I'd have to be more scientific about things to really know but I suspect the biggest factor was the mascarpone acting as a shortening agent to create the delicate crumb, The wetter doughs that I have made previously have never turned out crumbly like this. I just don't know how different the emmer flour is to my usual wheat, but probably not much. I'll bake more with the emmer and find out...

  2. That's what I was thinking! I don't usually have mascarpone cheese, but I actually make a simple clabber cheese quite often from fresh raw milk from our cow or goats. It is similar to a homemade cottage cheese, and I think it would be amazing in this bread!

    1. That sounds wonderful Carol, I think you're right - it would work really well. Please let me know if you try it!


Don't miss out

Bread In 20 Minutes