It takes a lot of experience and some failures to learn some aspects of baking. Baking bread is a great experience, a source of happiness that comes from accomplishing a task you love. It is a rewarding experience.

I love everything about the whole wheat bread. From hearty texture, earthy taste to the good feeling that comes when baking with wholegrains.
Wholegrain bread tends to have a dense and heavy crumb and the slices crumble and break while slicing.
However, with a slightly different approach, it is possible to get a light and airy crumb.

Recently we baked a 100% whole wheat bread with autolyse method.  Autolyse is a technique developed by Raymond Calvel. He has been called the teacher of bread teachers and is considered to be an expert on French bread.
Autolyse is a simple process. Just combine flour and water in a bowl and mix until no dry flour remains. Do not be tempted to knead. Simple cover the bowl and leave it in a warm place for 20-30 minutes to 3 hours. During the resting phase, gluten development begins and simple sugars start to form as starch is broken down. Autolyse is best described as a resting period between mixing and kneading.

Autolyse can be easily introduced into baking with whole grains. And it delivers a dough that is easier to work with and shape and gives a loaf better in texture, rise and flavor.

While adding water, adjust quantity according to need. Quality of whole wheat flour varies. a coarser flour requires more water. Weather conditions also differ from place to place. In a cold climate, you require more water. Besides following the recipe, there is an equal amount of intuition required to really hone your baking skills.

100% Whole Wheat Bread


  • 3 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¼  cup water (at room temperature)
  • ¼ cup unrefined sugar or brown sugar (powdered)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 ¼  teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ cup water for kneading


For Autolyse

In a large bowl combine whole wheat flour and 1 ¼ cup water. Stir well so that the water is absorbed and no pockets of dry flour remain. Cover and keep for 2 to 3 hours to hydrate the flour. 


  1. After the resting period add salt, sugar, and yeast and knead for 8 to 10 minutes till dough becomes soft and gluten is well developed. You may take a break in between kneading. It is very important that all the ingredients are uniformly incorporated and the dough becomes smooth.
  2. Drizzle oil and 3-4  tablespoons of water and knead further. Stretch the sides and pull it to centre. Repeat the stretch and fold method for another 5-6 minutes. By the end of kneading the dough should feel wet, sticky and elastic.
  3. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover and keep to rise for 1-2 hours (depending upon the warmth of the kitchen) until double in volume, puffy and light.
  4. Grease one 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan. Dust with flour.
  5. Punch the risen dough. Transfer the dough onto the kitchen counter generously dusted with flour. Roll out the dough into a rectangle no wider than the loaf pan you are using. Roll the dough towards you tightly. Pinch seams and sides to seal.
  6. Transfer the shaped loaf into the prepared pan. Cover and let it rise until double. Poke with the finger, if the dough is firm and springs back immediately, it needs more time to rise. If the shallow impression remains,  the dough is ready.
  7. By the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom.
  9. Remove from the oven after 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on the rack.
  10. Slice when cold.

 Black Grape Cake has a soft dense crumb and jammy grapes in every bite. It is a low-fat cake best enjoyed plain or with some custard. 


 Layers and layers of grey clouds started collecting over the horizon. The clouds look lurid, monstrous and ghastly. So unwelcome at this time of the season. The Spring should have been in its youth with myriad hues, aromas and beauty that adds so many shades of joy and mirth to life and erases the blues and barrenness that sometimes seeps in.
A strong wind pushed the clouds around and they spread all over. Flashes of lightning made scary patterns in the grey canvass. The winds howled and wailed and soon the rain came down in torrents. The soft murmur of the river transformed into a monstrous roar and the air filled up with all the sounds that the heart abhors. As in life, so in everything, there is no permanence and change is the only constant. The morning was bright, brilliant and beautiful. 

The rain left puddles everywhere. And the birds thronged the puddles bathing, playing and enjoying to the core. 

A pair of Himalayan Bulbuls dived into the water and a Kingfisher sat on a broken branch in a grassy patch nearby.

There was so much freshness and so much life in the new day.
The oven timer chimed and  Black Grape Cake was taken out of the oven. A buttery aroma wafted through. 

It is a wholewheat cake. Seasonal black grapes were added to the batter and a handful arranged on top. The grapes on the top cook, shrivel and become very jammy. 

Every bite has sweet jammy grapes and the cake has a mellow citrusy flavour from the zest.
Sprinkle some icing sugar and serve.

Black Grape Cake


  • 1 ½ cup wholewheat flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup unrefined cane sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup small size black grapes


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line one 8 inch round cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together first three ingredients. Keep aside.
  3. Beat together butter and sugar till pale and light.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix well.
  5. Add half of the flour and half of the milk. Stir to mix.
  6. Add remaining flour followed by milk. Mix to get a smooth batter. Do not over mix.
  7. Fold in zest and ¾ cup of grapes.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes. Quickly open the oven and arrange remaining grapes on the cake. Push in the grapes gently as the top must be slightly firm.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Wholegrain Flaxseed and Sesame crackers are crisp and delicious. The crackers are guilt-free and make a  healthy snacking option. Enjoy plain or with cheese spread or with your favourite dip

     A heavy downpour plummeted the temperature. Winter is yet to stay it seemed.  Higher peaks of the region had mild snowfall. 

    But the next day, the sky was clear and azure. The Sun emerged from behind the hills in all the glory and strength.  The warmth infused a new life and high spirits that wiped the winter blues away.
    Far away near the bank of the river, we noticed some movement in the bushes. It was a fox. A majestic animal soon joined by two more were perhaps in search of some prey.

    The foxes moved ahead and one of them reached the puddle left by heavy rainfall a day ago. It looked intrigued by its reflection in the water. 

    A neighbour’s dog barked and the foxes disappeared in the forest.

    A sweet aroma wafted through and the timer chimed. Our whole wheat flaxseed crackers are ready. Crisp and seedy crackers make great guilt-free snacking option. 

    The crackers are a great accompaniment to a cup of tea, you’ll love them with cheese spread or some homemade dip.
    I have baked the crackers with oil. You may use the same quantity of ghee (clarified butter) or butter for a rich buttery taste.

    Wholegrain Flaxseed and Sesame Crackers /BreadBakers


    • 1 ½ cup  wholewheat flour
    • ¾ - 1 teaspoon salt
    • 4 tablespoons oil
    • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
    • 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
    • 3-4 tablespoons cold water


    1. Take sesame seeds in a thick bottom wok and roast till the colour just begins to change.
    2. In the same wok roast flaxseeds till the seeds begin to crackle.
    3. Keep the seeds to cool.
    4. In a large bowl take first three ingredients and mix well.
    5. Add seeds. Add water just enough to bring the mixture together into a dough. Do not knead. Cover and keep for 20 minutes.
    6. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
    7. Divide dough into two parts.
    8. Take one part and roll thinly between two sheets of parchment paper.
    9. With a cutter or a sharp knife, cut even size crackers.
    10. Bake for 20 minutes or till the colour at the edges begins to change.
    11. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
    12. Cool and store in an airtight container.
    Linking to #Breadbakers

    #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. 
    You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here.
    Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.
    We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
    This month, our host is Sneha and decided that we bake crackers.

    Check out the fabulous crackers baked by the other talented bakers

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