Mary Berry Wholemeal Bread Recipe

Mary Berry Wholemeal Bread Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 2 Hr 31 Mins Total Time: 2 Hr 46 Mins

If you are looking for a healthy and delicious bread recipe, you might want to try the Mary Berry wholemeal bread recipe. This recipe is easy to follow and uses simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. Wholemeal bread is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and it can help you feel fuller for longer. It is also a great way to introduce more whole grains into your diet, which can lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

In this article, I will show you how to make the Mary Berry wholemeal bread recipe with detailed instructions and tips. I will also answer some frequently asked questions about wholemeal bread and share some variations and serving suggestions. By the end of this article, you will be able to bake a loaf of wholemeal bread that is soft, moist, and flavorful.

What is Mary Berry Wholemeal Bread?

Mary Berry Wholemeal Bread is a robust and flavorsome bread that uses a blend of wholemeal and white flour to create a loaf with a wonderful texture and depth of flavor. Renowned for her straightforward and foolproof recipes, Mary Berry’s version of wholemeal bread is a testament to her philosophy of baking – using simple ingredients to create delightful, homemade bread. The inclusion of wholemeal flour not only enriches the taste but also increases the nutritional content, making it a healthier option compared to bread made with only white flour.

Why You Love this Recipe

This recipe is adored for several reasons:

  • Health Benefits: The wholemeal flour enriches the bread with fiber and nutrients, making it a healthier choice.
  • Simple Ingredients: Easily sourced ingredients make this recipe accessible for anyone wanting to bake homemade bread.
  • Versatile: It’s perfect for a variety of meals – from breakfast toast to a hearty sandwich base.
  • Mary Berry’s Touch: Following a recipe from a trusted and beloved baker brings a sense of reliability and charm to the baking experience.

What are the ingredients for Mary Berry Wholemeal Bread?

To make Mary Berry’s wholemeal bread, you will need:

  • 75g white bread flour – This provides structure and elasticity to the dough. Look for it in supermarkets or online.
  • 375g wholemeal bread flour – Made from whole wheat grains, this adds nuttiness, fiber, and nutrients. The coarse texture comes from the bran and germ.
  • 300ml warm water (40C) – Activates the yeast and hydrates the dough. Water that is too hot will kill the yeast. Too cold will slow fermentation.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil – Adds moisture and enhances the flavor and texture. Use extra virgin for the best taste.
  • 1 tsp caster sugar – Feeds the yeast and aids rising. Granulated sugar or honey can be subbed.
  • 1 tsp salt – Enhances flavor and controls fermentation. Use sea salt or kosher salt.
  • 7g fast-action yeast – A type of instant yeast that can be stored at room temperature. Works quickly without needing activation.

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Wholemeal Bread

To make the Mary Berry wholemeal bread recipe, you will need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Mix the Dry Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, add the white bread flour, the wholemeal bread flour, the caster sugar, and the salt. Mix them well with a whisk or a fork. Then, make a well in the center of the flour mixture and sprinkle the fast-action yeast on one side of the well. Make sure the yeast does not touch the salt, as salt can inhibit the yeast activity.

Step 2: Add the Wet Ingredients

In a measuring cup or a small bowl, measure the warm water and the olive oil. Gradually pour the water and oil mixture into the well of the flour mixture, while stirring with a wooden spoon or a spatula. Mix until a shaggy dough forms, then transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface.

Step 3: Knead the Dough

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky. You can use the heel of your hand to push and stretch the dough, then fold it over and repeat. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment to knead the dough, if you have one. If the dough is too dry, you can add a little more water, one tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too wet, you can add a little more flour, one tablespoon at a time.

Step 4: Let the Dough Rise

Once the dough is kneaded, shape it into a ball and place it in a lightly greased large bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm and draft-free place for about an hour, or until it doubles in size. You can also use the proofing function of your oven, if you have one, or place the bowl in a microwave oven with a cup of boiling water.

Step 5: Shape the Loaf

When the dough has risen, punch it down gently to release the air bubbles. Then, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle that is about the same length as your loaf pan. You can use a rolling pin or your hands to do this. Next, roll up the dough from the short end, like a Swiss roll, and tuck the ends under. Place the dough seam-side down in a lightly greased 2-pound loaf pan, and press it down to fit the pan.

Step 6: Let the Loaf Rise Again

Cover the loaf pan with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm and draft-free place for another 40 minutes, or until it domes over the edge of the pan. You can also use the proofing function of your oven, if you have one, or place the pan in a microwave oven with a cup of boiling water.

Step 7: Bake the Bread

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, or 355 degrees Fahrenheit. When the loaf has risen, uncover it and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes, or until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. You can also insert a skewer or a thermometer into the center of the bread, and check if it comes out clean or registers 190 degrees Fahrenheit. If the bread is browning too quickly, you can cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.

Step 8: Cool the Bread

When the bread is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, transfer the bread to a wire rack and let it cool completely before slicing. You can also brush the top of the bread with some melted butter or honey for extra flavor and shine.

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Wholemeal Bread?

Mary Berry Wholemeal Bread is incredibly versatile. Serve it warm with butter for a comforting snack, use it as the base for sandwiches, or accompany it with soups and salads. It also makes fantastic toast, complemented by jams, honey, or a spread of your choice for breakfast.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Wholemeal Bread

  1. Ingredient Temperatures: Ensure your water is warm – not hot – to activate the yeast without killing it.
  2. Kneading: Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. This develops the gluten strands, giving the bread its structure.
  3. Proofing: Allow the dough to be in a warm, draft-free place to help it rise properly.
  4. Shaping: Shape the dough evenly to ensure a uniform loaf that cooks consistently.
  5. Oven Calibration: Make sure your oven is properly calibrated for accurate baking temperatures.
  6. Cooling: Allow the bread to cool completely on a wire rack to avoid sogginess.

How do I store Wholemeal Bread?

To keep your wholemeal bread fresh, wrap it in a clean, dry tea towel and then place it in a bread box or paper bag. Avoid plastic bags, which can trap moisture and make the bread soggy. For longer storage, slice and freeze the bread, wrapping it tightly in foil or a freezer bag.

How do I reheat Wholemeal Bread?

To reheat wholemeal bread, preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Spritz the loaf or slice lightly with water and heat it directly on the oven rack for about 5-10 minutes. For a quick warm-up, use a toaster for individual slices or the microwave for 10-15 seconds on high, although the latter method may not keep the bread crusty.


Here are some common questions and answers about the Mary Berry wholemeal bread recipe:

Can I use other types of flour instead of wholemeal bread flour?

Yes, you can use other types of flour, such as spelled flour, rye flour, or oat flour, to add some variety and flavor to your bread. However, you will need to replace only a portion of the wholemeal bread flour, not the entire amount, as these flours have lower gluten content and will affect the texture and rise of the bread. You may also need to adjust the amount of water and yeast, as these flours have different hydration and fermentation rates.

Can I add other ingredients to the bread, such as seeds, nuts, or dried fruits?

Yes, you can add other ingredients to the bread, such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, raisins, or cranberries, to make it more nutritious and tasty. You can add them to the flour mixture before adding the water and oil, or fold them into the dough after the first rise. However, you should not add too much, as they will weigh down the dough and affect the rise and structure of the bread. A good rule of thumb is to add no more than 10% of the total weight of the flour.

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