Whole Wheat Bread
key to really great 100% whole wheat bread is to extract the best flavors
from the whole wheat and temper the harsh tones that sometimes accompany
whole wheat flour. Good whole wheat bread has an almost nutty taste
without a bitter aftertaste. A long fermentation gives the yeast a chance
to produce its own flavors and convert the starch to sugar. By refrigerating
the dough overnight, you can make excellent 100% whole wheat bread.
This is one of
our favorite bread recipes. yeasts perform differently at low temperatures.
In this recipe, the dough is mixed the day before and refrigerated.
The acids and enzymes produced by the yeast at lower temperatures temper
the harshness of the whole wheat and develop wonderfully complex bread
flavors. It’s no more work than other recipes; you just mix the
dough the day before.
note: This bread should be very light and fluffy,
not dense. The secret of making it so is to make sure that the dough
rises fully both in the first rise and in the pans. The dough will fill
two 5 x 9-inch loaf pans and should be very soft and puffy before baking.
If you let it over-rise, you may see a blister or two in the dough.
Poke the blisters with the point of a knife and hurry the bread into
the hot oven.
5 to 6 cups fine-ground
whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons wheat
1 teaspoon dough
1 seven gram
packet of instant yeast (or two teaspoons)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons melted and slightly cooled butter
1. Place about
three cups of the flour in the bowl of your stand-type mixer. Add the
yeast. Carefully measure 2 cups room temperature (80 degrees) water.
The water should feel cool to the touch. Mix the water with the flour
with a dough hook for 30 seconds or until the yeast is dissolved and
the ingredients begin to combine.
2. Add the salt,
sugar, and butter and continue mixing. Add most of the remaining flour,
the wheat gluten, and dough conditioner and continue mixing at a medium
speed for at least four minutes adding more flour as needed to reach
a soft dough consistency. (It is important that the dough be mixed for
at least four minutes to develop the gluten.) The dough should clear
the sides of the bowl but will be soft, not firm, to the touch.
3. Once the dough
is mixed, place it in a large greased bowl, turning once to coat both
sides, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for up
to three days.
4. On the day that
you would like to bake your bread, remove the dough from the refrigerator
and let it warm to room temperature--about three hours. The dough should
rise to nearly double in size.
5. Once the dough
has risen, form the loaves. Coat your hands with flour and gently form
a loaf by pulling the dough around itself to create a slightly stretched
skin. You may need to coat your hands several times if the dough is
sticky. If necessary, pinch the seams together on the bottom of the
loaf. Lay the loaf gently in a well-greased loaf pan and cover with
plastic wrap. Repeat with the second loaf. Let double again in size,
about 11/2 hours.
6. Preheat the
oven to 350 degrees. Once the dough has doubled (the loaf should be
very puffy), place the two loaves on a shelf in the top half of the
oven, well-spaced so that air can circulate between the loaves. Bake
for thirty minutes or until done. The interior of the loaves should
register at least 185 degrees when an insta-read thermometer is inserted
through the bottom crust. Remove the bread from the pans and cool on
wire racks. Let it cool completely before cutting.
Read on for more bread information at our Bread Center. >>