In my search for a mild tasting, high protein, whole grain bread with good structure, I decided to tinker further with this basic whole wheat recipe. The bread I made today is similar to the bread and rolls I posted on August 2, 2011, but without using the soaking method (and a couple of other slight changes). Both were predicated on Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book’s Basic Whole Wheat Bread on pages 80 to 82.
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
½ cup warm water
4 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup soy flour
¼ cup gluten
2 ½ tsp salt
2 ¼ cups warm water
2 Tbs blue agave
2 Tbs cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
1 cup broken walnuts
Dissolve the yeast in ½ cup warm water in small bowl.
Mix flours, gluten, and salt in a large bowl.
Combine 2 ¼ cup warm water and blue agave in medium sized bowl. Pour into center of flour mixture along with yeast mixture, stir to blend.
Add cold butter to above.
Knead for 20 minutes or more – do not be afraid of kneading – it’s fun, relaxing, and one of the best parts of making your own bread!
Because there are a lot of variables determining how moist your dough is at any given time, you should be prepared to add more or less flour depending on these (apparently) constantly changing variables. Therefore, as you knead the dough have a bowl of whole wheat flour ready to add as needed (no pun intended!). I actually used 2 more cups of whole wheat flour in the kneading process today.
Form into a ball and let rise in a large oiled bowl with an oiled plastic wrap over the top for about 1 ½ hours or until doubled in bulk.
Gently press the accumulated gas out of the dough, form into a ball, and let rise again for about 45 minutes.
Cut the dough in half and gently deflate each half again. Form into loaves and place in 4X8 inch greased bread baking pans. I used one metal and one glass pan. Let rise for another 30 minutes or more.
Place bread pans in oven pre-heated at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.
Turn temperature down to 325 degrees and continue baking for another 55 – 60 minutes.
Option: brush olive oil on top of loaves.
RESULTS: A delightful, dense, wholesome bread with enough whole grain flavor without being overwhelming. The bread’s structure appears to be just right for making sandwiches.
To make hors d’oeuvres, I thinly cut the bread and then divided each piece into thirds as a base to eat with slices of cheese. Very nice in complementing flavor and texture. It’s crust added a bit of crunch, as well.
Later, I tried the bread with butter and still found it to be an agreeable bread in every way. Sometimes breads change after a couple of days and aren’t as good as when fresh out of the oven, however, I think this one will hold up for several days.
This is worth a try!