How do you bake a simple fool proof whole wheat bread?
Posted: 26 January 2012 07:45 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have been trying to find out how to bake a simple fool proof whole wheat bread,  I searched on Google and Yahoo, but so far haven’t found anything that looks like it would work.  What I would love to know is how to keep the loaf light and not heavy like a brick.  Perhaps this is taught in cooking school or learned with time and experience, but so far, I haven?t been able to bake up anything with whole wheat that is light and airy.  If anyone has any tips or recipes that I could download I would love to hear from you. Also if you know of any youtube sites where I could see it demonstrated, that would be great.  Thanks.

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Rose Braverman
Molokai Hawaii

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Posted: 26 January 2012 08:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi!  Welcome!

Rose has the following recipe posted on the blog:  http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2006/11/rose_levy_beranbaums_100_whole.html

Her big secrets:  use fresh ground flour, wheat gluten, and don’t let rise over 1.5 times in bulk.  A soaker can also soften the bran which helps reduce severing of the gluten strands during kneading.  I’ve made this recipe, but it’s not quite for me.  Perhaps I should try again. 
http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2006/11/rose_levy_beranbaums_100_whole.html

That said, I find my personal preference is around 50% whole wheat/50% white flour + additional grains and I like to bake her Honey Oat Bread:

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2007/12/a_fabulous_new_bread_recipe_fo.html

I usually add up the total amount of flour and do 50% ww and 50% unbleached or bread.  It is my absolute favourite soft sandwich/roll bread.  I just made a variation similar to it from King Arthur and there is no comparision to Rose’s recipe!  You can minimize mess/dishes by being efficient and thinking ahead.  I usually get the grains soaking.  Mix together my dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  I whisk all of my dry ingredients before I use it in the wet ones.  Then add oil and honey to the flax/oat soaker (whisk) and then dump my dry stuff on top of that.  Adding some browned milk solids (from making beurre noisette) really adds another dimension to this loaf.

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Posted: 27 January 2012 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Yes to everything Sherrie said (well, except that I actually like the 100% whole wheat bread a lot) smile

Whole wheat, specifically the bran particles, cut the gluten strands that make up a bread’s structure.  Without enough structure, the bread is dense, not light.  So to compensate, you add more gluten, either by combining the whole wheat with a high gluten flour or by adding vital wheat gluten. 

And just to reinforce Sherrie’s tips, the other things you can do are to add a touch of oil, to soak the whole wheat flour with some of the water and salt from the recipe overnight, to limit rises to 1.5x, and to use a fairly well hydrated dough.

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Posted: 09 February 2012 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I just made Peter Reinhart’s multigrain struan which is made of 100% whole wheat flour and also makes use of a soaker and biga and it turned out really light and fluffy! I added vital wheat gluten, lecithin granules, and a dash of ginger powder and I think these helped make the bread have that store bought quality.  I think it’s also important to achieve the windowpane consistency to the dough before the first rise.

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http://thekitchenismyshrink.blogspot.com/

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Posted: 01 March 2012 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thank you, Sherrie, for the tip on Rose?s blog.  I read the article and printed it.  It was very helpful especially the things you highlighted, using fresh ground flour and rising time.  I know what you mean about 50/50, that is exactly what I have the most success with in bread and pizza dough. I have generally found the King Arthur products to be delicious, so your comment on Rose?s recipe being better was particularly encouraging.

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Rose Braverman
Molokai Hawaii

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