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Rose Levy Beranbaum’s 100% Whole Wheat Epiphany Loaf

Nov 30, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose

first published in the April 2005 issue of Food Arts Magazine

It is a common misconception, which I have shared until very recently, that 100% whole wheat bread is by its very nature dense and bitter. On a trip to the Bay Area, while researching the story in this issue on the Bay Area bakeries, I was invited to an unusual bakery in Oakland: Vital Vittles, which specializes in kosher, organic, 100% whole wheat bread. They didn’t tell me why they had invited me until I tasted the bread and then Kass, the owner, admitted that it was to disprove what she had heard me say about whole wheat on the radio a year before when on tour for “The Bread Bible.”


To my amazement, the bread made with 100% whole wheat had the aroma of a new-mown lawn combined with freshly cut hay. Kass explained that the bitterness I had experienced was due to rancidity. It was absent in her bread because she used wheat berries ground the same day as baking the bread. A wheat berry can be decades old and if stored properly, will still be viable, the fats in the germ protected from oxidation by the bran, its outer coating. The moment the wheat berry is broken or ground, oxidation starts to take place. Most millers agree that once ground, the flour should be used within 3 days or held for 3 weeks due to certain enzymes that would render it undesirable for bread baking. Three months is the limit for shelf life of the whole wheat flour unless frozen. But for the best flavor, it is ideal to use it the day it is ground.


I immediately asked Kass for a few pounds of wheat berries and the day I returned home I started grinding and developing a recipe for 100% whole wheat bread. I discovered that the secret to lightness of the crumb was not only the freshness of the flour but also not allowing the dough to double during rising which tears the more fragile gluten. The result: This soft, moist, slightly chewy, crunchy with walnuts loaf that captures the true nutty-sweet multi-dimensional wheaty flavor of the grain.


Note: The average bread made with refined flour has about 66 percent hydration. This bread has almost 88 percent hydration due to the very absorbant bran. It is preferable to weigh the flour as no two flour mills grind the same, which would impact the volume significantly.

100% Whole Wheat Bread Walnut Loaf

Oven Temperature: 450°F., then 400°F

Dough Starter (Sponge): 1-4 hours or overnight
Minimum Rising Time: About 2 1/2  hours
Baking Time: 45 to 50 minutes

Makes: An 8 inch by 4 1/2 inch by 4 1/4 inch high free form loaf
2 lbs, 1.7 ounces/956 grams without nuts; 2lbs., 6 ounces/ 1078 grams

 INGREDIENTS

MEASUREMENTS

WEIGHT

 

volume

ounces

grams

water, room temperature (70 to 90°F.) about 1 3/4 liquid cups 15 ounces 428 grams
honey 1 1/2 tablespoons    
freshly ground bread flour (red winter wheat berries) about 3 1/2 cups 16.5 ounces 466 grams
vital wheat gluten 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons 1 scant ounce 24 grams
walnut oil, pumpkin seed oil, or vegetable oil 1/3 liquid cup 2.5 ounces 72 grams
instant yeast 1 teaspoon   3.3 grams
salt 1 3/4 scant teaspoons    
walnuts, lightly toasted, loose skins removed, and chopped coarse 1 1/2 cups 6 ounces 170 grams

Equipment: An 8 1/2 inch by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan, greased lightly with cooking spray or oil. A baking stone or baking sheet.

1) Make the Sponge
In a mixer bowl, place the water, honey, about 2 cups (10 ounces / 286 grams) flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of the yeast. Whisk about 3 minutes until very smooth.
In a second bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, vital gluten, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of yeast. Sprinkle it over the mixture in the first bowl, forming a blanket of flour. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to sit for at least 1 up to 4 hours. The sponge will break through the flour blanket in places after about 1 1/2 hours.

2) Mix the dough
With the dough hook mix on low speed (#2 Kitchen Aid) about 1 minute, until the flour is moistened to form a rough dough. Scrape down any bits of dough. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes. Add the oil and knead the dough on low speed (#2 Kitchen Aid) for 7 minutes, adding the salt after the oil is mixed in. If adding the walnuts, continue kneading 3 minutes.
 The dough will not be elastic at this point and will not form a ball. It should be sticky enough to cling to your fingers. If it is not at all sticky spray it with a little water and knead it.

3) Let the dough rise
Place the dough into a 2 quart dough rising container or bowl (3 quarts if adding the walnuts), greased lightly with cooking spray or oil. Press down the dough and lightly spray or oil the top of the dough. Cover the container with a lid, plastic wrap or a damp towel. With a piece of tape, mark where 1 1/2 times the height would be. Allow the dough to rise (ideally at 75°F to 80°F) until 1 1/2 times (no more or it will tear the gluten and result in a dense crumb), about 1 hour.
Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, remove the dough to a floured counter and flour the top. Press down on it gently to form a rectangle. It will now be quite elastic and still very sticky. Give it 1 business letter turn, round the edges and return it to the bowl.Again, oil the surface, cover, mark where 1 1/2 times the height will now be and allow it to rise until it reaches that point, about 45 minutes (Or refrigerate it overnight and bring it to room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding.)

4) Shape the dough and let it rise
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and press down on it gently to flatten it slightly. It will still be a little sticky but use only as much flour as absolutely necessary. Shape it into a loaf and place in the prepared loaf pan. It will fill the pan to the top. Place it in the proof box or cover it lightly with oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rise until the highest point is about 1 1/2 inches (2 inches if walnuts) above the sides of the pan, and when pressed gently with a finger the depression very slowly fills in—about 45 minutes.

5) Preheat the oven
1 hour before baking time preheat the oven to 450F.

6) Bake the bread
Quickly but gently set the baking sheet on the hot stone or hot baking sheet and toss 1/2 cup of ice cubes into the pan beneath. Immediately shut the door and lower the temperature to 400°F. Continue baking 45 to 50 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. (An instant read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 200°F. Half way through baking, rotate the pan half way around for even baking.

7) Cool the bread
Remove the bread from the oven, unmold it from the pan, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, top-side up.

8) Serve
Wonderful as tea sandwiches with cultured butter, yogurt cheese, bleu-veined cheese and apple slices.

The Dough Percentage
flour: 100% 
water: 87.7%
yeast: 0.67%
salt: 2%

Comments

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Stacy
01/16/2014 09:15 AM

Hi Stacy,
Rose is an advocate of weighing ingredients versus using volume. In all of her books, her ingredient charts shows the weight for most ingredients in grams and ounces. Within a recipe's instructions, we also will give the weight for: a reduced syrup, a bread dough before the first rising, each piece of cookie dough, etc.
As long as your mixer can mix and knead the dough, such as the Ankarsrum Assistant, you can multiply a bread recipe by the number of loaves you want to make.
Weighing is the most accurate method and also gives you the ability to check the weight of your mixed dough or batter to verify that you have not forgotten an ingredient.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

I tried this recipe and loved it. It's the nicest whole wheat recipe I've tried. Now I'd like to make 4-5 loaves at a time and wanted to know if I could just quadruple the recipe by weight ? Or is there a more accurate way to do this?
Also, I use 1.5 lb. pans - because that's what I have - if I added more of this dough to the pans, is there anything I should do differently?
Thanks!

REPLY

Betsy Voorhies
Betsy Voorhies
06/ 3/2012 10:39 PM

Hi Rose,

Have you ever used Emmer wheat for your recipes? It is an heirloom wheat variety with a simpler genetic structure than commercial wheat. It has a higher protein content, less gluten and tastes fantastic. It has worked really well in this recipe and will be our favorite bread once I get the timing down on letting the dough rise.

Thanks so much,
Betsy

REPLY

I just love this bread. I love the pinkish color that the dough get from the walnuts.

It was my first time to make No knead bread and I am so excited the way it came out. Thank you for this Recipe it made my weekend.

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Ingrid, hopefully it is not too late with this comment- the soupy sponge and dough come from a grind on your wheat berries that is coarser than Rose's grind. You can try to created a finer grind, or reduce hydration a bit (which it sounds like you did).

Of course, it could also be that the dough enhancer affected the hydration needs of the bread.

REPLY

there wouldn't be as much vital wheat gluten in the dough enhancer as it surely contains other things. but if it worked that's the bottom line! what's interesting to know and learn for all of us is that the benefit here of two rises is that you can have a moister dough as it gives it time to absorb to the fullest.

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Hi Rose,
Thanks for replying. I did weigh all the ingredients and used a dough enhancer that contains vital wheat gluten because I did not have pure vital wheat gluten on hand. Do you think it would be better to use pure wheat gluten? I was very careful about only letting it rise 1 1/2 and not letting it double, except on the final and that is probably where I went wrong. The second attempt, in which I increased the flour to 20 oz and skipped the second rise turned out amazing. Just what you were describing in the recipe. I have never had 100% wheat bread that was that light. Thanks for the recipe and the help!

REPLY

it's hard to tell what you're doing bc i don't know if you're weighing the ingredients or if you're using dough enhancer instead of vital wheat gluten or what kind of whole wheat flour you're using. the dough will be sticky before the second rise bc it takes time for the water to incorporate evenly especially with ww flour. the second rise will indeed give it more strength. one more thing, it must not double in size on any of the rises including the final or it will collapse.

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Hi Denise,

King Arther Flour has a dough enhancer. It is called Whole Grain Dough Improver and I used it instead of the vital wheat gluten in this recipe, as it contains vital wheat gluten. Search King Arther Flour and you will find their online catelog.

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Ok, I'm a big believer in Rose's recipes, but something just wasn't right here. I made this, weighed everything. Followed each instructions carefully. The dough was extremely sticky. Struck me as far too wet. It hardly held a shape. It did rise, but on the final proof, I must have missed that sweet spot and it fell right as it started baking. Today I tried again. Upped the flour to 20 oz., kneaded it a bit longer, and skipped the second rise. It looks beautiful. Any thoughts? Could it possibly be the type of wheat I'm using. I'm not sure if it is red or white... And what am I losing by leaving out the second rise? Is it only for flavor or is it also to develop the structure? Thanks for any insight you might be able to offer.

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Julie, i second the motion. Can u send me some bread? I am dead serious, been taking too tutti cake takes that bread had been put aside. And your Canadian crown with the ladyfingers look perfection!

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Rose, the credit goes to you! I must add, that the bread is delicious on its own, but pairing it with cheese (as you recommend0 elevates it to the sublime. Brava.

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Julie, you are one great baker and the bread looks magnificent!

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Rose, this is a fabulous bread, thanks so much for posting the recipe. It is a pleasure to make something completely healthy and delicious.

My texture may not have been as light as possible, as the second rise went past 1.5x, but it is still delicious. I look forward to making it again!

Here's a photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julie2357/4592075690/

REPLY

Don't have the Bread Bible in front of me, but assuming that the 30% figure is correct, your math looks right. I think you would start with a smaller amount of starter though, and work up, through a couple of feedings, to the 275 amount.

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I am trying to convert the “100% Whole Wheat” recipe to a sourdough scenario. I have witnessed the miracle of creating a sourdough starter from scratch, by following the instructions in “The Bread Bible”, and have used it to successfully convert the “Cracked Wheat Loaf” to a sourdough recipe, now a weekly two loaf favorite.

I figured that step one was to convert my starter to a whole wheat starter, I read about doing this with rye some place and decided to give it a try with whole wheat. I have noticed that if you refresh the starter with 50g flour and 25g water it produces a really dry starter. Considering that the wheat flour is going to need more water, I have altered this to 50g flour and 37g water (this will have an effect on conversion factors later on). I figure it will take somewhere between 9 and 12 refreshes of the starter to completely convert it. I am on refresh number five at the moment.

Now for the key question: How much starter do I use to do this recipe conversion? Based on the instructions in “The Bread Bible” the goal is to replace 30% of the flour and water with starter.

1. So in this recipe we would take 428g Water + 466g Whole Wheat Flour + 24g Vital Wheat Gluten = 918g and multiply it by 0.30 to get 275g starter.
2. To figure out how much water to remove from the recipe, multiply the 257g by 0.425 to get 117g.
• Water Conversion Factor = 37/(50+37)
3. To figure out much whole wheat flour to remove from the recipe, multiply 257g by 0.575 to get 158g.
• Flour Conversion Factor = 50/(50+37)

Have I done this right? 275g of starter seems like a lot of starter for just one loaf.

REPLY

thanks julie, u r my favorite friend! YES, tortellini by the hundreds is a great group activity.

REPLY

That's a beautiful loaf of bread, Hector! And I love the photo of all those completed tortellini, that must have taken some time!

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i've just found these pictures, circa 2004. Cracked Wheat Loaf, Bread Bible page 289. hope you enjoy, this was new year's eve, plus tortellini, also a candid photo of mary's wedding cake.

http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/CrackedWheatLoaf.html

REPLY

Guen, I haven't baked this bread (yet!) but I can attest to the fabulousness of Walnut oil for baking. I have two cans of La Tourangelle walnut oil sitting in my 'fridge right now, it is delicious stuff. I don't even like walnuts very much, but this adds a very earthy, smoky, nutty flavor that is addictive. I use it in pumpkin cake, chiffon cake, dribbled on ciabatta with dark chocolate chunks, and stirred into non fat greek yogurt.

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You can buy dough enhancer at www.pleasanthillgrain.com.

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I just tried this bread and liked it very much. Loved the crust in particular.

A couple of questions for anyone else who has made it:

1) How dense should the finished bread be? I'm curious if mine was too dense. I have not made bread from scratch before, so I'm a neophyte.

2) Also, does the walnut oil make a very big taste difference? I did mine with a more common oil [but included the walnuts], but am wondering if I should make the effort to find the walnut oil for next time.

REPLY

David Chessler
David Chessler
10/25/2008 05:23 PM

Aunt Jemima probably tastes as it always did. I don't taste it as I always did. I had been using Washington brand mix (local to this area). It contains corn meal. I don't have an ingredients list, but I recall that it had rye flour.

So I've been working up the recipe. Washington says use their self-rising flour, which is not as strong, so I got a bag. I'm using buckwheat pancake mix, so I don't have to add baking powder to that, but the rye and cornmeal need some baking powder. So I mix in some baking powder. And I add buttermilk powder to make it buttermilk pancakes.

REPLY

that's funny, Aunt Jemima was what I grew up on too! haven't tried it for years but maybe they changed their formula.

yes, commercial wholewheat bread is rarely 100% and for a good reason! most people (including me) prefer the texture of wholewheat bread when it is lightened will some percentage of white wheat flour.

the only 100% wholewheat flour bread i love is posted on this blog--it's the one with the walnuts and walnut oil.

REPLY

David Chessler
David Chessler
10/25/2008 04:07 PM

Commercial "whole wheat" bread usually contains a lot of white flour--usually more than 50%.

Right now I'm working an a pancake recipe, and using white flour (about a cup), plus a couple of teaspoons each of whole rye flour and buckwheat flour, plus about a quarter cup of yellow cornmeal.

What happened is my favorite pancake flour went off the market. They posted some information on their website, but it didn't quite have as much taste. And when I tried Aunt Jemima, which my mother had used when I was a kid--flavorless.

Another couple of weeks and I'll be sure enough of the proportions to post it.

REPLY

i suspect there are many things other than gluten and dough enhancer in commercial 100% wholewheat breads--check the label.

i believe dough enhancers contain vita wheat gluten and a tiny bit of ascorbic acid plus probably some milk powder. also if you use some unrefreshed sourdough starter it helps strengthen the structure as well as giving it longer shelf life.

REPLY

Denise Zitzmann
Denise Zitzmann
10/25/2008 09:57 AM

I bought a mill to grind my own wheat for bread. Since using gluten as an additive to the 100% whole wheat bread the loaves rise but not to the degree I think they should. Cutting into the loaf each slice is about the size of 1/2 a slice of store bought bread and very dense. I have been told I need dough enhancer which should help lighten the dough and help with the rising problem. What could that dough enhancer be? And where do I get it. Any other suggestions would be helpful. Thanks, Denise

REPLY

David Chessler
David Chessler
05/29/2008 08:12 PM

I have made whole wheat breads from whole-wheat sourdough. In the past I would keep a wheat sourdough. Now I just use some of my regular white sourdough and put it in a separate container. Then I refresh very heavily with whole wheat. I allow it to ferment a couple of days, discard 3/4 and refresh again with whole wheat. This gives a whole wheat sourdough.

I usually make and refresh my sourdoughs with 5 oz of flour and 5 1/3 oz (2/3 cup) of water, and I consider 9 oz to be a cup of sourdough. (I know this doesn't quite work out theoretically, but if you assume a bit of wastage, and occasionally refresh with a bit less than 5 oz of flour, things work out. There are less than 5 oz of flour in a cup, depending on the type, but this works for me.)

A 100% sourdough loaf (no commercial yeast) will rise more slowly than a loaf with part-sourdough and part-poolish (sponge with commercial yeast) or part commercial yeast. But it should rise, if your sourdough starter is fresh. If you have any doubt, refresh it a couple of times, which will wake it up.

Also, whole wheat flour tends to become rancid in storage. If you can't get really fresh-ground whole wheat flour, then you may not be able to duplicate the bread.

Other ways of perking up lazy starter include a bit of rye flour, a bit of malted barley flour (or barley malt syrup or barley malt powder), a bit of honey. Generally a tablespoon of the flours or a teaspoon of the syrups to a 1 1/2 lb loaf (flour weight), whould be enough. And a pinch of vitamin C powder will help. The actual weight of Vit C. needed is so small that it's impractical to weigh in home-sized quantities, so a pinch will do.

Also, some whole wheat flours, especially coarse ground, don't develop strong gluten. Sometimes you have to add a bit of powdered wheat gluten from the box.

REPLY

Alexis, Peter Reinhart has already done the work for you. There is a recipe exactly like what you describe in his new book, although I haven't tried it yet. Apparently he has served it at James Beard dinners (I hope I remembered that correctly). I'm pretty sure it isn't a sponge--I think it is a biga and a mixture he calls epoxy--but it might be starter too, I forget now.

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I found the most wonderful bread at my neighborhood bakery. It's made from 100% fresh ground whole wheat flour and a grain mixture with sunflower seeds, millet, flax, barley, oat bran, pecans, and almonds. I'm on a mission to recreate it.

I thought a good first stab might be to follow the basic proportions and procedure in your "Tyrolean Ten-Grain Torpedo", but substitute the seed mixture from the ingredient list. I'm not sure how to make it whole-wheat, though. On my first attempt, the sponge didn't rise... at all.

Any suggestions, about the earth-bound qualities of my sponge, or in general? (Wouldn't I feel foolish if the problem, in fact, was that I forgot the yeast...)

REPLY

I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I made this loaf using the vital wheat gluten.
Go figure, but I had a hard time finding it, and so I've made many, many attempts at whole wheat loaves minus the VWG. Honestly, sometimes it worked (rose up, a little lighter than normal), sometimes it totally didn't work (hard, or dense like a brick). The differences came when I varied the amounts, etc....

But...the VWG is like MAGIC! No more hassle! I should have listened to Rose from the beginning.
Plus, now I can off and make those other breads that I've been avoiding because I haven't had the VWG. I'm NEVER going back!

REPLY

yes exactly--and i don't use the bread machine to bake.

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Robert Charles
Robert Charles
03/13/2008 11:43 PM


Thanks so much for your quick reply...
I cant tell you how thankful I am for all your books.. I love them all...

I read what you wrote in "Bread Bible" pg.46-48 about the use of a bread machine as a mixer (I assume for this recipe one would create the starter by hand, and let it ferment and then add to the machine).. would you bake it in the machine as well, I read the in the manual that the bread is baked at about 250-290 F.. while the recipe calls for a 450/400 F temp.. please advise.. a lost lil' baker.

REPLY

i've never made this bread in the bread machine but i'm confident it would work just like others that i do make in it. i give detailed instruction in my book "the bread bible."

REPLY

Robert Charles
Robert Charles
03/13/2008 11:58 AM

I'm a Personal Trainer. Getting my clients to eat right is always tough. Most whole wheat breads out there are loaded with high fructose syrup and loads of sugar.
Sure it would be great to have folks bake their own bread, but seriously most don't have the time.
I was wondering how to convert this formula for a Zo bread machine. That would be amazing.. please please help!

REPLY

it won't form a ball bc it is very well hydrated to ensure a lighter texture. it won't be stretchy bc the gluten is cut by the bran in the whole wheat.

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That is a beautiful sound Beth, but I was trying to remember, and I don't think I've ever heard it when I use la cloche. The breads that come to mind are those that are sprayed with water before baking and then dried with the oven door open for 5 minutes at the end--like the heart of wheat or the hearth bread. The heart of wheat is the first one I remember hearing the crackling sound.

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Rose, I have a question about Gail Sher's whole wheat bread with ground wheatberries, and I'm writing because in your WW recipe above, you say that the dough will not form a ball at the end of the kneading. I wrote in about it before. The first time (Gail Sher's recipe)I was mixing it in the Zo, and saw that it wasn't "coming together," so I took it out and kneaded it by hand, with a little success. The second time my wheatberries were drier, as they had sat around more after I had ground them, and I was doing it all by hand, as I had a different bread in the zo. Maybe I should have added more water since the ground wheat berries were drier. At any rate, I could hardly knead it at all by hand, and the resulting bread was denser. It's a very delicious recipe, though. Can you tell us why the dough won't form a ball nor be elastic at the end of the kneading with your WW recipe? Might it be a similar issue I'm dealing with, even though Gail's recipe I'm making isn't 100% whole wheat?

By the way, I've decided in trying the Romertopf to place the bottom and top on a pizza stone and then preheat the oven (I'll be preheating the bottom just to make it easier to lift up the top). Meanwhile, I'll be letting my bread proof in my smaller Romertopf in a parchment "sling." Then I'll remove the big Romertopf from the oven, place the bread on the parchment on the pizza stone, and cover it with the top of the Romertopf. Does that sound reasonable? If the big Romertopf breaks, then I can go ahead and buy a cloche! I realize that I've never heard my crust talking to me when I take bread out of the oven, and I am longing to hear this happen.

Thanks, Beth

REPLY

a stone grinder is considered the ultimate but burr grinders are also an excellent choice. texture is a matter of personal preference.

REPLY

I notice there are 3 kinds of hand grinder (stone, burr, electric impact) and was wondering how to decide which one to get (and what kind of texture/grain size is good). Thanks.

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hector that is so exciting and so generous!

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Let me do something with Excel with the values I find on The Cake Bible and this blog, and I will share the file with all!

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really hector! exactly what does one google bc i could really use software like this! i have a very good friend who set up charts for me so i can put in an ingredient for ex. flour and when i change the grams it automatically changes the ounces and volume, when i change the volume it changes the ounces and grams etc. etc. i have to input all the base values of course. so it's not like having charts set up that i just type for example: flour in the first cell, then some value and it fills in the rest. actually i'm sure excel could be set up like this but then it would have to be imported into the word document and perhaps gets too complicated to be useful. maybe i'll stick to the way i do it at least for now and use my charts to double check the conversions.

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Kimberly, google this and there is a lot out there already on the web!

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Rose, I love the way all of your recipe ingredients are in a chart with volume/grams/ounces. I was just wondering if you had software that would automatically handle the conversions and scaling the recipe. If not, maybe you should talk to someone about designing it, I'm sure lots of your fans would buy it. Thanks!

REPLY

flours designated as stone-ground are valued bc less heat is generated and less destruction to nutrients. as far as the gluten is concerned i can't answer. you will know by baking with it but i have also forwarded your posting to the technical expert at general mills and hope to post his answer or perhaps he will.

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I have a home grain mill that I like a lot. But the grain has to be very dry before grinding; if not, it gums up the mill. I used to have a dehydrator that I dried the grain in, but it broke, so lately I have been using the oven on low (170 degrees). This works fine for corn, but will it damage the gluten in wheat to dry it at such a high temperature?

REPLY

sure! i assume you don't mean baking it in a bread machine but just mixing. if you mean baking in the machine you'll have to experiment. but to mix in the machine, start the same way by whisking the sponge and then scrape it into the bread machine. check out my posting on the zujirushi for timing.

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Hi Rose,

Is there anyway to tailor this recipe so it can be done in a bread maker? I just purchased one for my parents and they love using it - I would love to give them a recipe that is 100% good for the body. Thanks, Susan

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re home milling hard red wheat - aging whole wheat flour strengthens gluten!

Your home milled whole wheat flour will have better rising properties without loss of flavor if you let it sit in a paper bag for 1 to 2 weeks.

Exposure to air (specifically, the oxygen in the air) brings about chemical changes in the flour that strengthen gluten.

This is basically the procedure that commerical millers use for *unbleached* white flour (except they age it for 4 weeks minimum).

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whole wheat bread dough shouldn't be allowed to rise until double as it has insufficient gluten to support it. that could be the problem--sounds like it.

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I love this bread. The 100% WW. I happened to have active dry yeast and so followed yr directions from the bread bible to increase. My loaf was only about 3 1/2 - 3 3/4" tall. It seemed to have deflated both times (about 45 mins - 1 hr for the final rise) and kind of hung over the sides of the pan a bit. I'm determined to figure out what I'm doing wrong. Any ideas? Thank you so much!

REPLY

David Chessler
David Chessler
02/18/2007 02:03 PM

The first loaf I put in the refrigerator for what was supposed to be the last rising. I knocked it down twice before bedtime, and in the morning the container was full again. When I proofed it in the pan the next morning it didn't rise well, didn't have a feel of good gluten, and sort of collapsed in the middle.

This second one, on first rising rose for a bit more than an hour and a half, and hwd filled the 2-quart container and pushed up the lid. I knocked it down, gave it a short second rise. Then I proofed it, and it had a good gluten skin on top (the first one didn't), rose well. When I baked I gave it a deep slash up the middle, which mostly filled itself in, but was a clear line.

Anyhow, it's a good sandwich loaf, but now I have to try it with nuts when I can get out of my driveway.

REPLY

david, either you have to keep pressing down the dough til it stops rising, OR put heavy weights on the lid, OR use less yeast!

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David Chessler
David Chessler
02/17/2007 11:02 PM

I made this a second time. The tricky part is limiting the rises. It rises faster than you think, and my experience trying to refrigerate it wasn't too successful.

But it was a light loaf and it did taste good, though I was using bulk whole wheat bread flour from the health food store.

If the ice in my driveway ever melts I'll get some walnuts and walnut oil. Also, I'll try replacing some of the honey with malt syrup or something less sweet--but that's a matter of taste.

I also made a loaf of French country bread using sourdough (I posted the recipe here somewhere). It's amazing that the two loaves have about the same weight of flour and water, but the whole wheat feels heavy and the French feels light. But the loaf is more than twice as big, and it's possible that more of the water has evaporated.

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if it's a fine flour it's probably the same. if it's coarse it's the semolina and the results will be vastly different.

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Barbara Casimir
Barbara Casimir
01/31/2007 10:20 PM

Rose, I love your Bread Bible breads and my 90 year old mother loves all my efforts as well! Thanks for such a great book.
I would like to make Pugliese, but am having trouble finding duram flour in metro Phoenix!! Whole Foods sells a semolina flour which looks just like the rye, splet and barley flour. Is this the right thing?

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my fav. is the electrolux--check it out in the bread bible!

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Dear Rose. I have been using my KitchenAid K5 for years, until I sold it away (I regreat doing so). Now I have a KitchenAid Pro 600. I love the larger bowl, but I think one mixer is not enough for me.

I am considering a Bosch as my second mixer. What is better? The Compact or the Universal series? I can see that there is a major different (besides capacity and watts), where the Compact has the beaters hanging from the top like a KitchenAid vs where the Universal has a center axle coming from the bottom of the bowl. I am actually budgeting to get the Concept series Built-In, which has the same center axle design as the Universal series. Do you have one? Or should I wait and get a 20 quart Hobart??????

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i for one would love to see the recipe!

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Rose, I finally stole the time to make some Panettone, myself. I rediscovered 2 things,#1 don't let others tell you a recipe will not work and #2, if you want it done right,do it yourself.
I made the sponge and let it develop for almost 7 hours. I would not use packaged orange zest,used 12 oranges. Let the breads proof slowly,covered the rack and placed in a corner. Baked in a 360 degree oven with the door open 1/2 way for the first 20 -25 minutes,baked for almost 1 hour.
Results:no dark crust, no shrinkage,beautiful porous texture on the interior and a fantastic taste. No fruit in the dough only toasted almonds and the orange zest.
I do not want to pat myself on the back.
Just to confirm that the old processes are still the best,just time involved but worth every minute spent. If anyone is interested,I will share this recipe. I need to break it down to smaller scale,this one produced 24 2# Panettone.
SR

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only if the bread is very moist so that it needs the support. they're called bannetons. trying googling them, or you can use a collander lined with a towel (well-floured).

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I have a question, do you use the a bread basket for rising? For rustic loaves? Any recommendations?

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Kayla Wallis
Kayla Wallis
12/14/2006 07:31 AM

A couple of years ago, I purchased a Grainmaster Whisper Mill. It grinds up to 12 cups of flour at a time in about 1 minute. It works great and the bread is wonderful. I think they have discontinued it since then, but I have seen a couple of them on ebay. It was definitely worth the cost.

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i have arrived at no knead bread nirvana! sorry to keep you all in suspense but it's torture trying to type on this little lap top. so as not to torture you with suspense--first choice is the well-seasoned 4-5 quart cast iron pot. since i didn't have a cast iron lid i used an inverted cast iron frying pan--also preheated. didn't have to invert it after all bc the bread is 4 inches less 1/8 inch high. more when the computer is fixed.

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no special blade need with the vita-mix

always put the bread or the bread in the pan directly on the stone.

preheat the oven (minimum 45 minutes) with a cast iron skillet on the floor of the oven and toss the ice cubes into it. either line the skillet with foil to prevent rusting or dedicate the skillet to this use if you do a lot of bread baking.

enjoy the book--perfect for holiday time!

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Margie Berwick
Margie Berwick
12/ 8/2006 09:39 AM


Hello Rose, I love your newsletter and blog! I just received the Cake Bible from Amazon, so I can't wait to start reading it! I am confused about the directions in the Whole Wheat Epiphany bread. Do I put the bread pan on the (heated or unheated?) stone? What do I put the ice cubes in? Thank you!
Margie Berwick
PS: Do I need to use a special blade with the Vita-Mix blender to grind flour?

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i've heard wonderful things about it!

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I bought, many years ago, a mill to grind grains. It has a one horsepower motor and 2 stones for grinding. It is called a Magic Mill. Very efficient and still working.

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i bet their flour is freshly milled. i'm delighted to hear your feedback and hope you will bring to newletter posting about slow food to your meeting!i think it will have a receptive audience there!!!

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thanks so much for the whole wheat recipe. A HUGE hit at my house - esp with my teenage son who prefers white bread, toaster strudels and cheez-its to anything, short of home made choc chip cookies...but this was a hit! I did not make it with freshly ground berries (somethings I simply don't have time for between work and home) but with organic whole wheat flour from Morgan's Mills here in Maine it was wonderful. I am sharing it with the Slow Foods Portland Maine group, many of whom will be making it this weekend. THANKS!!!
Beth

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molly--thank you! you're the first person to give me feedback on this bread. by the way, i think it would be great with cheese if i didn't already mention that.

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I made this bread and it is quite wonderful for breakfast, lunch and as dessert with fruit.
(I use a grain mill and a Bosch)

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Dana, I'm a former city kid who married an organic farmer (beef, grains inc wheat) and I can promise you that the "wheat berries" are just the harvested wheat. If it's dry enough to combine, it's dry enough to grind/mill.

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I wanted to let you know that your challah from The Bread Bible was the hit of my Thanksgiving dinner. I was a tad upset though…the whole loaf was eaten and I wasn't able to make French toast the next morning!

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dana, i use the back to basics for anything under a cup and the kitchen aid for larger quantities. for really large quantities i love the bosch.

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dana, i don't think a processor would work at all but a vita-mix blender would. if you don't have one you might as well get a grain mill!

as far as harvesting the wheat berries--please excuse me for what may sound like a flippant reply but--why don't you ask your wheat farming family? they'd know first hand. i can only imagine that they'd have to harvest the wheat sheaf, remove the wheat berries, remove the chaf and little twiggy things. and probably the wheat berries have to be dried before grinding.

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Could you share with us which grain mill you use. I am currently in the market for one.

Thanks, Smari

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I'm a city kid who has married into a Wheat farming family. Wonder what would I have to do to the wheat from the field to get to wheat berries? Now for the really stupid question, What would happen if I ground up the wheat in my food processor? Would it work?

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ted, try this recipe as close to the original as you can before trying other things. of courwse you can bake it on quarry tiles but the texture will be more dense and the loaf flatter as there is little gluten in whole wheat to support it the same way as white flour breads would e supported, hence the added gluten that improves the texture.
i recommend the back to basics little wheat grinder for small quantities but this is a 100% ww bread so if you plan to continue making it i would get the attachment to the kitchen aid mixer.
most supermarkets ahve vital wheat gluten in their specialty flour section but you'll have to go to a health food store to get the wheat berries.
be sure the walnut oil is fresh and keep it refrigerated. walnut oil become rancid even faster than ground wheat berries.

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kathy--i do have a maple board in my kithen so i'll use it to shape the no-knead this afternoon! as the daughter of a woodworker i can't help but agree about the beauties of wood.

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thank you so much for the whole wheat recipe. is there any reason i can't bake this ON my quarry tiles, instead of in a loaf pan? also wondering where i can track down wheat berries & vital wheat gluten (is the vital wheat gluten absolutely necessary?!)? lastly, how best to grind the wheat berries? is there an attachment for a Kitchen Aid mixer? would a food processor work? sorry for so many questions! you've made me into a fanatical bread-baking machine... thanks for all of the instruction--

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Rose:

recipe looks good, sounds good, will try it this weeked - but you're STILL kneading/forming your dough on a counter dusted with flour?

Not on a solid maple board? Just give it a try - wood is organic, flour is organic (well more or less!) - both once living things, exchanging energy as you knead them with your hands. MUCH nicer that any sort of counter surface.

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Thanks for sharing this recipe, it sounds delicious. Can't wait to try it tomorrow. I'm working my way through your book although still trying to understand the whole hydration factor thing.

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