Whole Wheat Bread

July 17, 2007

Yesterday I was trying out a terra cotta bread pan that I have, and used the Whole Wheat Bread recipe on the label. It was British, and called for one pound of flour – so I had to guess a little. Everything else was clear though: 2 tsp. salt, 1 ounce of olive oil, 2 Tbs. honey, 1 cup warm water (it actually said tepid, which I guess means lukewarm), and a package of yeast. I guessed that 2 cups was about a pound, and then kept adding it until it didn’t stick as I kneaded it.

The differences with this recipe from every other one I have seen is that you never punched down the dough, but just put it in the oven after it had doubled in size. I guess that is because it was whole wheat and really dense, so maybe the second rise would have taken forever. Also, it was a 450 degree oven. That is pretty hot.

All is well that ends well, though. The bread had a nice crust and was tasty. The only thing is that it was very dense, like all other whole wheat breads that I have found. They taste great after toasting with a little butter, or as an aside to soup or chili, but I would really like to find a way to make a fluffy, light whole wheat loaf. If anyone knows of a recipe that calls for all whole wheat, let me know.

I have one idea: mix the ingredients and then put them in the refrigerator in the morning to let it rise slowly all day, and then go from there. I think that the longer time would develop the flavor more and perhaps make it a little lighter. Who knows. Really though, does anyone have any ideas.?

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2 Responses to “Whole Wheat Bread”

  1. Liz Says:

    You were halfway there! A pound of flour is 4 cups. Here is a reference http://www.barryfarm.com/How_tos/how_many_cups_in_a_pound_of.htm

    And, from working at subway (not making my own bread, I never make whole wheat!) I can say — yeah, the wheat takes forever and six days to rise in comparison to the white, and never does quite seem to get as huge – though it’s almost always softer.

    As for the lightness…perhaps a preferment would help? Sometimes called a poolish, it’s when you put your yeast and flour and warm water out and let it go all night. And THEN you start making the bread. Dunno, might have to pick up some whole wheat and try it out!

  2. wildschwein Says:

    Hey,

    We just posted a wholewheat bread recipe on our blog. See http://wildschwein.wordpress.com/2007/08/03/perfect-loaf-of-bread/#more-209 If you can find it try atta flour: its a very finely ground true wholewheat product. A lot of flours marketed as wholemeal are just white flour with some bran put back (usually have no wheatgerm in them) and lead to dense heavy bread products. Anyway, the recipe on the blog comes up well and is quite light in texture. Making sure the dough is moist enough when you’re kneading it too contributes to a lighter texture. When you add your liquid to the flour having more more moisture is better than being too dry. You can always add extra flour as you go. The dough should be moist enough so it just barley doesn’t stick to your hands as you knead. This is one of the fundamental things I have found over the years that seems to lead to a better lighter loaf. If you are to dry and you add more water it never quite seems to come out as well.


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