Whey Bread

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Dough Yield: About


    loaves at 1.5 lb each

Appears in


By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

My Wife and I Buy Organic Raw Milk from a pretty farm a mile from our house. Early one summer evening, we walked there to pick up our weekly quart. A neighbor, who raises a couple of pigs for his family’s consumption each year, was at the farm picking up a large tub of whey— a by-product of the cheese making that also takes place at the farm. I have nothing against feeding pigs with healthy agricultural ingredients, but the thought crossed my mind that perhaps the whey could also be used to feed humans. Why not make bread that uses whey? I experimented using different percentages of whey in the liquid portion of the dough, and different blends of flour, and eventually settled on the present formula. There is a little bit of acidity in the whey (and it continues to acidify as it gets older), which helps tighten up the otherwise soft gluten structure in the dough. Residual lactose in the whey contributes to both crust coloration and food value.

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
Bread Flour 17 lb 8.5 kg 1 lb, 11.2 oz (6⅛ cups) 85%
Whole Rye Flour 3 lb 1.5 kg 4.8 oz (1⅓ cups) 15%
Whey 14.8 lb 7.4 kg 1 lb, 7.7 oz (3 cups) 74%
Sugar .24 lb .12 kg .4 oz ( tsp) 1.2 %
Salt .4 lb .2 kg .6 oz (1 T) 2%
Yeast .2 lb, fresh .1 kg, fresh .1 oz, instant dry (1 tsp) 1%
Total Yield 35.64 lb 17.82 kg 3 lb, 8.8 oz 178.2 %


  1. MIXING: Place all the ingredients in the mixing bowl. Mix for 8 minutes on first speed. The dough will be fairly loose textured with modest gluten development. Desired dough temperature: 75°F.
  2. BULK FERMENTATION: 3 hours.
  3. FOLDING: Fold the dough twice, after 1 hour and 2 hours of fermentation. Bring as much strength as possible into the dough by folding with confidence and care; this will overcome the intentional lack of significant gluten development that occurred during mixing.
  4. DIVIDING AND SHAPING: Divide the dough into 1.5-pound pieces (or larger). Preshape, and when sufficiently relaxed, shape into strong round loaves. Place in floured bannetons.
  5. FINAL FERMENTATION: About 1 hour at 75°F.
  6. BAKING: With normal steam, 460°F. Bake this bread until it achieves a full rich crust color. You may need to lower the oven temperature by 10°F for the last part of the bake. Loaves scaled at 1.5pounds should bake for 36 to 38 minutes. A full bake is recommended.