Ron and I like to try new and different tastes (Ron even more than me). This makes trying out different breads and baked items just right for us. The other side of the coin, though, is that we get somewhat bored with the same thing/flavors if we have them too often and too many times in a row. And, this is what has happened by my using the soaker method so often of late – we are wanting other flavors beyond the dominant tang caused by using buttermilk in the soaker. As a result, I thought I was going to have to avoid using the soaker method given by Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions.
However, in reading Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads book, I noticed he allowed for the use of soy milk in place of buttermilk in the soaker. As you know, soy has little to no flavor on its own, so I was intrigued. I’ve had Reinhart’s book for a while, but was too intimidated to bake his recipes. This week I decided to go ahead and try using his “Master Formula” for a whole wheat bread (pages 78-86). Turns out it was not too difficult because his instructions are quite clear and he has helpful photos showing what things should look like as you move through the process.
Peter Reinhart’s Whole Wheat Bread
I followed his whole wheat bread directions as closely as possible – using unsweetened, unflavored soy milk in the soaker, active dry yeast, and blue agave as a sweetener. I also used the mixer during the first stage in blending the pre-dough pieces together, but used hand mixing after that.
By the way, Reinhart’s book is filled with useful suggestions, such as keeping a bowl of water available while handling the dough which makes working with wet, sticky dough incredibly easy. So, even if you’re a bit intimidated by baking at this moment, get the book for its guidance and suggestions. It will help you prepare for when you are ready to jump into the baking process.
RESULT: The loaf has a nice flavor, not too strong yet hardy enough. When I sliced the loaf, however, I found that I had a big air hole in the center of the loaf. That was disappointing, since obviously that means most of the loaf won’t work for a sandwich bread. Anyone know why this happened?
whole wheat bread with hole!
In any case, I’m satisfied with this bread (although I need to find out about my hole!) and didn’t find the recipe too difficult.