W for Whole-Wheat Herb Bread – Day 23

For the Letter W, I picked a herby whole-wheat bread from Tuscany, Italy. It has a crisp hard exterior with soft scrumptious bread on the inside. Perfect for dipping in olive oil. We have enjoyed this bread many a time at Italian restaurants. Its hard to resist and we often fill up on this even before we order the main course! :D


Italian Bakers call this bread “Pane Integrale”. The name refers to the unadulterated nature of whole-wheat flour. Traditionally Sage is the herb of choice for this bread but since I didn’t have that on hand I used Oregano. The tantalizing aroma of bread baking in the awesome is just something one has to experience. I baked this last night,it was quite therapeutic before going to bed.

You will need:
Makes: 1 medium sized loaf
Recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Baking book

1 1/3 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast (7g/2 ¼ tsp)
1 tbsp Olive oil
½ tsp Dried Oregano
1 ½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1 ½ cups Whole-Wheat flour
2 to 2 ½ cups Bread flour or All-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl stir together the warm water, yeast, olive oil, salt, oregano and sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes until foamy.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the whole wheat flour, about ½ cup at a time. Stir in the 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour a little at a time, stir until most of the flour has been absorbed and the dough begins to form a ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes) Shape the dough into a ball. Place in a lightly oiled bowl turning once to grease the surface. Cover let rise in a warm place until double (45-60 minutes)

Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a baking sheet. Shape dough into an 8”x4” inch loaf pan. Place on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with additional flour. Cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425F. Using a sharp knife, slash top several times making each cut about ½ inch deep.  Place in pre heated oven. For a crisp crust spray or brush the loaf with cold water every 3 minutes for the first 9 minutes. After 9 minutes turn down the temperature to 375F. Lightly sprinkle the loaf with additional flour. Bake about 20 minutes more or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer to cooling rack and cool completely.

Serve with olive oil topped with cracked pepper.




  1. This loaf looks beautiful Namratha. I am all for therapeutic effects if bread..glad you enjoy it too. Your kitchen must have been filled with the aroma of bread and oregano! Sounds like a little slice of heaven

  2. Fantastic bread there ! What a lovely crumb.. and I guess most of us have picked Whole Wheat title today ! Lol!

  3. This whole wheat bread looks rustic with a beautiful crumb. I feel like slicing them and having with some salted bread.

  4. Yummm... agree with therapeutic effects of bread baking. Love the addition of oregano.

  5. Such herbed breads are always welcome at my place. Good one.

  6. That whole wheat bread looks so nicely baked...love that crumb..what a lovely pick Namratha..

  7. That is a beautiful loaf of bread Namrata. Love the aromatic herbs added in it.

  8. The loaf looks so delicious and I just need some butter or jam to go with it.

  9. yes whole wheat is winning today. beautiful loaf of bread.

  10. Whole wheat totally rocked this day and lovey bread with the goodness of all herbs..


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