The Fresh Loaf

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Fluffy, light Honey wheat bread

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2remember's picture
2remember

Fluffy, light Honey wheat bread

Can some body help me to give me an advice how to make my 'honey wheat bread" be a fluffy and light bread ?

3x I made it and always hard in the bottom even little bit wet in the inside.

Pleaseee....

kjknits's picture
kjknits

Hi 2remember, I'm new to the forum and can't profess to be an expert, but maybe it would help if you posted the recipe you're using.  Someone might be able to tell if the recipe needs tweaking, or if there is an ingredient you could add to help with the lightness.

One thought is to check and see if you are kneading the dough long enough to allow for the gluten to develop.  If the dough is properly kneaded, it will pass the <a href="http://www.thefreshloaf.com/http://www.thefreshloaf.com/lessons/yourfirstloaf#comment-2109">windowpane test</a>.  Also, I used to let my bread loaves overrise on the second pass, and they would turn into bricks.  it's important to not let the shaped loaves rise too much, or the dough will fall back in on itself as it bakes.

I don't know if this helps, but I would certainly love to see the recipe.  I love honey wheat bread! =) 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

2remember,

Sorry to answer your question with still more questions but learning what you have been doing will help get to an answer more readily.  So,

1. How much flour and how much liquid goes into your dough? 

2. Does the dough contain any sweeteners or fats?

3. Are you baking the bread on a stone, a baking sheet, or in a pan?

4. What is the oven temperature during baking? 

5. How long does the bread bake?

6. Where in the oven is the bread located during baking?  (Top, middle, bottom?)

7. How do you check for doneness?  By internal temperature?  By thumping?  By color?

Your answers to the above questions will give a good starting point for diagnosing the problem. 

PMcCool

2remember's picture
2remember

I'm using baking sheet and located at middle oven and checking for doneness by using toothpick inserted into center and knead by hand about 10mnt. Here's the recipe :

Ingredients :

1 ½  cups warm water 

2 Tablespoons butter, softened 

½  cup honey 

2 cups bread flour 

1 2/3  cups wheat flour 

1  tablespoon cocoa 

1  tablespoon granulated sugar 

2  teaspoons instant coffee 

1  teaspoon salt 

2 ¼  teaspoons yeast 

 Note : this is my first time experience making bread, after reading alot information from this website and though that I should try to make my own loaf ;0)
PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

2remember,

Thanks for the additional info.  The first thing that jumps out at me is that this is a very wet dough.  Just guesstimating, but it looks like the formula might have about 18-19 ounces of flour, 12 ounces of water and maybe 5-6 ounces of honey.  Plus the butter.  That must have been a sticky, gloppy dough during mixing and kneading!  And it is no surprise that the crumb is very moist.

Although your note didn't mention it, my guess is that the formula calls for this to be baked in a 350-375F oven, probably for 40-50 minutes.  Can you confirm?

Since you are baking it on a sheet and it had an over-baked bottom crust and an under-baked interior, it is possible that your oven is heating unevenly.  It kind of sounds as though most of the heat is radiating from the bottom of the oven, rather than evenly heating the air inside the oven.  Have you used an oven thermometer to see if the oven has hot or cold spots, or if the actual temperature matches the selected temperature?

Using a toothpick or skewer is a good technique for gauging the doneness of cakes and breads made with baking powder or baking soda.  It isn't so effective with yeasted breads.  Some bakers thump the bottom of the loaf with their finger, listening for a "hollow" sound that indicates the bread is thoroughly baked.  Sometimes that works well, sometimes it doesn't.  For the best results, try using an instant-read thermometer to measure the temperature at the center of the loaf.  For an enriched bread like this, you would look for a temperature in the 185-195F range.  For a lean bread (no fats or sweeteners) the temperature should be in the 200-210F range.  These temps assume that you aren't more than 2000-3000 feet above sea-level.  You'll need to check with someone who has high-altitude baking experience if you live at a higher elevation.

The other thing that you might want to try is baking this bread in loaf pans, instead of on the baking sheet.  The heavier material of the loaf pan might protect the bottom crust from over-baking while giving the interior a chance to finish baking.  Many bread recipes with ingredients similar to this one recommend baking in loaf pans, although it isn't an hard and fast rule. Just another angle to consider.

Congratulations on jumping into bread making!  Everyone, whether novice or expert, has occasional flops.  I mangled a batch of bread just a couple of weeks ago, myself.  The good news is that most of the "disasters" are still edible.  Those that aren't can still be used for feeding the birds. 

If this particular bread is becoming a frustration for you, try working through the lessons posted on this site.  They are very informative and have helped quite a few folks gain skill and confidence.  You'll also find links here to bread-making videos that are extremely helpful in showing how things are done.  Best of all, if you have a friend or relative who makes bread, sweet-talk them into helping you or letting you help them make some bread.  That will help you understand how the dough feels at different stages, which really tells you how things are going and what adjustments to make. 

In any event, keep baking!  Bread is wonderful stuff and it only gets better when you make it yourself.

PMcCool

2remember's picture
2remember

Hi PMcCool,  Thx much for your help !

From the original recipe, I'm always reduce water just as need. and bake for 30-40mnts for 350'F, next time I checked my oven temp using thermometer and  the actual temperature matches the selected temperature, even it's an old oven!

anyway, I'm living around Jacksonville,Fl, it'll make a different for using temp range? Unfortunately I dont hv any friends who's know how to making bread, they always said " more easier to buy (for bread and cake) than you try to make it by your self!" ;0(  whish you living around here ;=)  But I'm absolutely starting addictive for baking and love to try all recipes who's interesting me, I knew that I'm learning more everyday.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

If you will be in NY, VA, or NM you might want to try attending these free King Arthur demonstration classes:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/baking/national_demonstration.html

I went to the artisan bread one and was sorry I had not been there for the soft bread class as well. It really helped to see the techniques I had read so much about being done live. Get there early for a seat up front though.

sPh

2remember's picture
2remember

Hi sPh,

yup, will be very helped to see and could asking directly while they still make it.

Hope next time King Arthur will hv that program around here, will keep wacthing their website, thx.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

> will keep wacthing their website, thx.

They add to the schedule from time to time do definately keep checking. It wouldn't hurt to e-mail their customer service and ask (or call - they put me right through to the program director when I called with a question) if the classes will be in your area -then they would have a record of a request from your area.

sPh

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

2remember,

Glad the information was useful to you.  It sounds as though your oven isn't the culprit, which is good news.

You won't have to adjust temperature ranges at all.  Living near Jacksonville, you're about as close to sea level as you can get and still have dry feet.

Sorry that your friends aren't into baking bread.  After all, friends know what you like to eat; real friends bake for you. ;-)

Keep trying and keep learning.  Have fun!

PMcCool

sphealey's picture
sphealey

I had quite a bit of success with this recipe: Plain-ol-Wheat-Sandwich-Bread. I even changed the recipe to use a poolish with a bit of sourdough starter and it came out fine. In fact, even though I have been baking artisan bread for almost 2 years now this is the first time I have ever succeeded in making a soft sandwich loaf in loaf pans.

sPh

xma's picture
xma

I haven't tried the plain-ol-wheat recipe in the link given by sph but my favorite "fluffy light honey whole wheat" comes from Hamelman's Bread. And no, it's not his whole wheat bread with a tad of honey but his OATMEAL BREAD. Fortunately, floydm has already posted its spiced cousin in http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/cinnamonraisinoatmealbread. I haven't done this version and always stick with the plain one. When I compared the recipes, these are the differences: omit the cinnamon and raisins; cut the yeast by half; the cinnamon version makes 3 medium loaves, whereas the plain one recommends two large loaves for exactly the same amount of ingredients; lastly, the temperature is different -- 460 for first 15 min and 430 to 440 for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Aside from being the fluffiest, lightest whole wheat, two other things I love about this bread is that overnight retardation works really well for this recipe, and it's just plain beautiful. I usually make batards with a single score down the length of the loaf that opens beautifully. It makes very rustic looking bread, but with a very fluffy crumb.

 

2remember's picture
2remember

Hi Xma, thx, for gave me an idea which recipes for next week project ;0) , maybe I'll try to using whole wheat flour instead white flour.

xma's picture
xma

Oh 2remember, I didn't even realize you were talking about all white flour! Talk about reading carelessly... it's just that 'light whole wheat' has been a long process of trial and error for me until I found Hamelman's oatmeal bread.  Anyway, I'm sure the recipe will turn out even fluffier if you use all white flour.  As I'm sure you've read so many times on this site, long and cool rising with folding intervals are the secrets to good bread.

I also forgot to say in my former post that the first time I made this recipe I could detect the taste of vegetable oil, so I've been substituting very soft butter for the vegetable oil. 

Good luck on your project, and let me know how it turns out! :)