Gingerbread with a twist

Ginger, grapefruit and honey give this whole wheat bread a little sweet and sour after taste that will change your morning toast. It also works well as a sandwich bread, paired with a few slices of prosciutto and butter. I adapted this recipe using the whole wheat with prefermented dough bread from the San Francisco Baking Institute.

Chewy in the middle, hard on the outside.

Ingredients for 4 loaves of 350 grams:

Prefermented dough:

  • 150 grams of flour
  • 97 grams of water
  • 1 gram of instant dry yeast
  • 3 grams of salt

Ginger grapefruit syrup:

  • 30 grams of honey
  • one large grapefruit
  • 60 grams of ginger, chopped

Final dough:

  • 245 grams of white flour (King Arthur white and red package works well)
  • 370 grams of whole wheat flour
  • 491 grams of water
  • 2 grams of instant dry yeast
  • Approximately 45 grams of ginger grapefruit syrup. You’ll have to experiment here to suit your desired level of sourness and taste.
  • 12 grams of salt
  • All of the prefermented dough from above.

Making the ginger grapefruit syrup:

I took this nice big and white variety from my neighbor’s front yard.

Zest and juice the grapefruit, chop the ginger, and measure your honey.

Put the honey, grapefruit juice, ginger into a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add 1/2 a cup of water and stir, until the honey is completely dissolved and the bits of ginger have softened up.

Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and return it to the saucepan over medium heat, until the liquid takes a tick consistency and coats the back of your spoon.

Final ginger grapefruit syrup in the saucepan

Store in a closed container and let it cool overnight.

Prepare the prefermented dough:

Mix all the ingredients until they are all incorporated and the dough has a rough consistency. Be careful with the water temperature. You do not want your water to be too hot or too cold. In my house where the air temperature is about 70° I used 77° water. Let it ferment an hour in a plastic container and refrigerate overnight.

Prefermented dough before it goes into the fridge.

Making the bread:

The next morning, mix the prefermented dough, water (same temperature as above, 77°) flours, yeast, salt into a mixer at low speed.

Flour, salt, yeast. Just add water.

Once all the ingredients have come together and the dough starts making strands in the mixer, add the ginger grapefruit syrup. Keep mixing at medium speed until the dough clears the bowl of the mixer.

Unload the dough int0 a covered oiled container and let it rest for 1h30 minutes.


Divide the dough and roll it into 4 equal size cylinders with your hands. Flatten each piece into a square, then fold one third over, then another third over, and roll it with the palm of your hands. It will look like this:

Let the dough rest for 30 more minutes, then roll it into loaves and put it seam side up into a couche or floured parchment paper.

Let the loaves rise for an hour, then bake in a very hot oven (450° is a minimum) until the crust is dark brown. Cool on a wire rack for a few hours before enjoying!

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