The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bakers, start your whole wheat engines!

  • Pin It
mse1152's picture
mse1152

Bakers, start your whole wheat engines!

I got my copy of Reinhart's new book yesterday! I'm used to referring to The Bread Baker's Apprentice as BBA, so maybe I'll use WGB to refer to this one - Whole Grain Breads...less typing.

I've been cruising through the first three chapters, and I feel like I'm preparing for a mid-term. Is this gonna be on the test? Since I want to bake something from the book this weekend, I'm going to skip a few pages and go to page 95, 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread. Tomorrow I'll start the 'pre-doughs' (ha! a new goofy word, like 'pre-boarding'. I guess you could even claim that raw flour is 'pre-dough'). Anyone want to join me in baking this and posting the results? Maybe this book will kick-start us out of the summer doldrums of lower site activity.

Sue

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Gee, it must be three days since I last baked something.  I think there's a little space in my freezer for something else.

I've been READING the first three chapters of Whole Grain Breads.  There's a tremendous amount of information.  Reinhart keeps apologizing for oversimplifying scientific processes, but it's a good thing he didn't undersimplify.  I want to learn about wholegrains because I think they're healthier and I have the NutriMill.  I think this is going to be my favorite bread book, moving Laurel's Kitchen BB to 2nd place.

So I'll be using fresh-ground ww flour.  I even think I can do this without too much grief.

Rosalie

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I'm finally getting a chance to sit down and look through it too. A lovely book. I noticed a few site members' names in the acknowledgments as recipe testers. I was also excited to see The Fresh Loaf get a mention in the resource list in the back of the book.

Rather than me try to review the book, how about I make this a sticky thread that stays on the front page for a few weeks so that people can share their thoughts? Many of you are more experienced whole grain bakers than I am anyway, so I should be listening rather than spouting off.

If anyone hasn't ordered Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads and would like to help support this site, you can order a copy here. Or, by all means, if you prefer pick up a copy from your local bookstore.

I saw that Amazon just shipped the books that site members pre-ordered, so everyone should be getting their copies in the mail soon.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

As I've written before, I've got to wait until October to see the book, since my mother wants to buy it for me for my birthday. I'm really eager to see how much has changed since the test bake period. The epoxy method really changed the way I make sandwich bread, especially.

I'm particularly interested in the rye section -- I tried a couple and for some reason, I couldn't get the loaves to make anything except a pancake. A tasty pancake, to be sure, but a pancake all the same. I'm sure I was doing something wrong with the recipe, and I'm eager to see what the final text says.

Ah well, I'll be eagerly following this thread.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

'cause I aint got no whole wheat.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Hmmmm, epoxy is "A two-part resin/hardener glue that forms a tight, cross-linked polymer structures characterized by toughness, strong adhesion, and corrosion resistance"

Since few of us want bread with these characteristics, what does PR mean by this similie?

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Yes, it's not necessarily an appetizing metaphor, but it is appropriate. The night before, part of the dough is set up as a pre-ferment, either as a sourdough starter or as yeasted sponge. The other half is set up as a soaker with flour, water, part of the salt to slow down enzyme activity, and maybe some other seeds or grains.

The next morning, each of these two are torn into parts and then combined along with the rest of the ingredients to form the final dough. It's a method that brings out a lot of flavor from the whole grains, softens the bran for better volume, and develops the dough so that very little kneading is needed the next morning.

That help?

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

And as you all should know by now...just the phrase "very little kneading" rolls my bobby socks up and down! :D

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Yeah, BZ, I hear you. Unless I'm doing an "epoxy" dough, I've completely quit kneading altogether. A 1-hour rest followed by three folds at half-hour intervals does it just fine for me. I have to adjust the yeast (if it's sourdough, I adjust nothing) so that there's at least a 2.5 hour bulk rise, but that's it.

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I wanted to be on the same time schedule as Sue and start my pre-doughs this afternoon.  But I couldn't wait.  I started them last night.  I'll bake the bread this afternoon.  Lord knows I could use a good success, after the difficulties with my sourdough attempts.

I'll have to warn you about one thing.  Be careful about multi-tasking.  The preparation of the biga and the soaker are similar:  8 oz ww flour, about 3/4 cup liquid, and salt for the soaker, yeast for the biga.  So I was making them in parallel.  But I got confused and dumped plain water into the soaker (with the flour and the salt) when I was supposed to use an enriched liquid, buttermilk in my case.  I saved the day by using buttermilk powder, but it's not as creamy as the liquid stuff.

Rosalie

ehanner's picture
ehanner

When jmonkey posted the details of this recipe there was only 4 grams of salt listed. I've been making this mix all summer but I add salt to the dough to equal 1.7% total. Is the salt really that low in the printed book?

Eric

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I usually add about half the salt in the recipe to the overnight soaker, but that's just me. I seem to remember that from the test, but I'm not sure, actually, what Reinhart recommends in his book.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

The only reason I brought this up is that when I saved the recipe that you posted for the WGB ww sandwich bread, the second amount of salt was missing. You mention adding the salt in the dough directions but it's not on the list. Other people who might use the recipe would perhaps find it a little flat with only 4 g of salt.

Eric

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Yes, I add another 5g salt when I put it all together. I'll go back and correct that. Thanks, Eric!

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

The book calls for 1/2 tsp. (4 grams) salt in the soaker plus 5/8 tsp. (5 grams) in the final dough.

 

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

I made this the other day per JMonkey's formula, and loved the results. To my surprise, DH said it still wasn't soft enough. For sandwiches, he likes the Mrs. Baird's 100% WW bread that we buy.

Maybe if I dumped in 1/2 cup of added gluten he'd be happy. (sigh) Though I'm not sure I would be. I actually ran across a WW sandwich loaf that called for that much added gluten. Marshmallow bread, anyone?

We went to a new Italian restaurant last night that had wonderful food - which surprised me quite a bit as the bread they brought out when we sat down was pretty bad. I think it got most of its flavor from the sour cream butter, which was very good. DH called it Italian wonder bread. I just called it lousy stale bread.

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

Or is it D'ough! ?

I just picked up the book--didn't pre-order and didn't want to wait so I ended up buying it locally. I'm in the acknowledgments! Well, one of many, many folks who I'm sure tested more than I did, but still fun. The book looks lovely but I haven't dived into it yet.

 

Anyway, the "d'oh" is that I dropped my salter scale all of 8 inches onto the floor and it won't turn on! Now what do I do about baking all weekend? I may have to see if I still have my spring scale left from our garage sale pile....

 

I'll have to check the forums for scale recommendations, this model broke 3 times under warranty (without dropping it, I should add) and I don't want another one like it!

 

 

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

I just posted a pic of my new scale HERE.  Maybe you'll get some comments from others there as well.

L_M's picture
L_M

it's only the battery. Could be it just moved out of place slightly when the scale fell. Did you try taking the battery out and putting it in again? Hope your scale didn't break - I can't imagine being without mine.

L_M

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

I tried the battery thing, but no luck.  Maybe I'll take it apart later tonight, ha ha.

And I did find the spring scale, but a cup of water weighed in at 6 ounces, so I'm not thinking its very accurate!  Oh well.  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

 Upside down, what could it hurt?  Never mind, a contact?  Dig out that 'ol soldering iron.  And when that doesn't work: "Drop Kick Me Jesus through the Goalposts of Life"

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Floyd, you asked for first impressions. My very first one was that it is a beautiful book and a good follow up to the BBA. My second impression was that it is a bit daunting to a rank amateur like me, and some of the comments from the "real" bakers of TFL make me realize that I am stumbling around on the very edge of this amazing subject. Then I looked at some of the recipes and so my third impression is that I too can at least try this! I have a new bag of KA wholewheat flour and a quart of buttermilk and I will be joining Rosalie and Sue. Well, sorta limping along behind them, A

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

The explanations and science are interesting but quite intimidating also.  I will learn a  lot from them - but slowly. What excites me for the present is the idea of formulas and procedures already geared to whole grains.  I'm far too inexperienced both in general baking and whole grain baking to be able to adapt  white flour formulas to whole grain without a lot of trial and error.  I am very grateful to PR and his testers for going through all the trial and error already!

The sandwich loaf that I tried was excellent.

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

As I said before, I made the soaker and the biga Thursday night and the bread Friday.  Here are my experiences and comments.

I had to add quite of bit of extra flour every step of the way.  That seems to be standard with me.  When I used storebought flour (white or ww) I had to do it and figured maybe it had just absorbed a lot of moisture from the air; but now I'm grinding my own just before using it.  (The 8 oz for each of the soaker and the biga were ground in my Nutrimill, and the rest in my hand mill, all on the finest possible setting.)  The ony commonality is the water - Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water.  This water must be wetter than normal water.  Anyway, I'm going to start using less water, because my loaf was literally over the top.

The recipe (formula, pardon me) has you bake for a total of 40-50 minutes.  I had to cook it an hour or longer.  Could that have been because I had so much additional flour?  I wonder if I should get one of those thermometers that you can read without opening the oven.

I ended up with a lot of dirty dishes.

It's delicious!

Rosalie

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hi Rosalie, I was so happy to read about your experience with this dough because I had to add what seemed like an awful lot of extra flour. Do you use a mixer? I don't and the dough was soft enough to make the kneading easy. I was a bit perplexed to read that I should sprinkle the cut up pieces of the soaker and the biga with flour to stop them sticking together - and the PR suggested stacking them and cutting one time. The dough is fermenting as we speak and I have high hopes! A

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

His directions say often that the doughs will be sticky, but you obviously should have been able to handle them.  I didn't add extra wheat to the soaker, but I should have.

I cut the biga - which had add'l flour because I'd had to knead it - into lots of pieces, and I dredged them through the flour that was going to be used in the final dough.  The soaker was too soft to cut, but I figured it'd mix up with the other ingredients easily enough.

Yes, I used a mixer for the final dough.  I thought it strange that the instructions would specify that we take it out of the mixer and hand knead at the end.  That's what I usually end up doing, but for the directions to tell us that ....

I suspect that, despite all the detail provided my Mr Reinhart, he would be surprised if we followed his directions absolutely.  I'm sure he expects us to do what we have to do.  One lesson I'm trying to console myself with, over the fact that the whole thing didn't go totally smoothly, is that things rarely go perfectly smoothly.  I heard a definition once of a professional as someone who doesn't do things perfectly but knows how to fix them when things go wrong.

Rosalie

mse1152's picture
mse1152

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi everybody,

I started this process at midday Friday. The soaker and biga sat for 22 hours. I used Bob's Red Mill organic whole wheat flour, powdered buttermilk in the soaker, honey and butter (vs. oil) in the final dough. I cut the 'pre-doughs' into many more than 12 pieces, just so they'd get incorporated more easily. Nice to know I'm not the only one who added extra flour (about 1 cup), and the dough was still sticky and loose. Sadly, it was not fun to work this dough. Sometimes I pick up a ball of dough and say 'oooooh!' (I don't get out much). Not this time. I hand mixed and kneaded it for about 9 minutes, rested 5 minutes, then kneaded 1 more minute. Still sticky (it is unusually humid here in San Diego lately).

 

Both rises were one hour long, and I baked this bread 45 minutes. It rose beautifully in the pan and still had a little oven spring. The crumb is tighter than the photo in the book. That photo shows a few flecks that look like unbroken bran to me. I don't know how that happened, unless he ground his own flour and threw in a few whole bits of bran. Seems unlikely that pieces that size would survive commercial milling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I waited one hour to slice it, then, then,....hmmm....well, it's whole wheat bread. I remember being wowed the first time I tasted Laurel's buttermilk WW bread, but this one wasn't quite a wow. It's good, moist enough, maybe a bit low on salt. But no particular thing stands out. I'm going to reserve final judgment until tomorrow to see how it ages. I think the texture is very good, and will hold together well in a sandwich.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General thoughts on the photos in this book:

The instructional ones are excellent, lots of detail, very clear. Some of the individual finished bread photos are less appealing than I'd expect. The photographer seems to like these dark breads against a dark background with not quite enough light. Some photos made me think 'Is that the best picture you could get of that?'. The pizza photo in particular is bad (p. 267)...the only thing in focus is a blob of cheese off to the right side. What can you tell of the crust from that photo? The power bread photo (p. 184)...half a slice of toast sticking out of the toaster...??? The ingredients sound really good to me, but the photo's not so hot. The Santa Lucia buns (p. 239) don't look like something I'd like to hurry and bake. The pita bread photo (p. 273), on the other hand, has good lighting, and I can easily see the texture. Overall, the BBA photos were much more enticing to me.

I guess I'm entering the curmudgeon phase of my life, but don't get me wrong, I'm going to bake plenty of breads from this book! I especially like the looks of the mash WW bread (p. 196) and the potato rosemary bread (p. 125).

 

And now, for something completely off topic, but that occupied some of my time today. Pumpkin or tomato?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Sue, your bread is beautiful!  I see you didn't slash it.  He didn't say anything about slashing, but I slashed mine.  The slash combined with a not-quite-cohesive crumb and probably a couple of other factors make the slices separate at the middle - although they're large enough slices that it's not much of a problem.

I don't think Reinhart milled his own flour.  As one who does, I searched his book eagerly to see what he might say about freshly milled flour.  He ignores it completely, as though it doesn't exist.  So that's one thing we with home mills will continue to wonder about.

Rosalie

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

and very sharp details!!!

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

I too am partway through the beginning chapters and made my first recipe. Pitas, which is an odd choice but I needed them for dinner.

The pitas perfomed just as described, and turned out great:

 

I understand the curmudgeon-ly thing, I get it a lot with PR books. I like them, but I find myself grumblng through the steps for some reason. Lots of steps, and his description of wetness and textures often differs from my own perceptions. But strangely, when I'm done, I almost always pause and go "yep, that's about the best _____ I've ever made". Today wasn't much different. The pitas are really, really good. Can't believe they're 100 WW. Is it worth the time and effort for a good pita? Sometimes, but other days I'll probably stick to a plain ol' straight dough recipe. This is one of the reasons I wouldn't recommend BBA or this book to a beginner--to me they are more about refining your skills and taking your baking to a new or different level, and might be overwhelming for a new baker.

 

I agree to about the photos, most are lovely but some? My MIL made quite a joke on what the The Santa Lucia buns looked like to her!

 

Misc. comments. I'm using volume this week as my scale is out of order, so that may make a difference. For once, the pita dough was actually drier and stiffer than described--I almost always end up with wetter preferments and doughs than described in his formulas. I used my KA mixer and it really put a strain on it--something I've been warned about with WW doughs. When I did some of the test recipes, my soakers and bigas were often a lot wetter than I thought they should be, but if I continued on per the formula the final dough was always about pefect, give or take a few Ts of flour. The five-minute rests always made a big difference for me too--they would take an almost impossibly sticky dough and make it manageable.

 

I'd suggest for the first run-throughs of the recipes to stick with the formula, as adding a lot of extra flour will impact the final result quite a bit.

 

I'm looking forward to working through more recipes in the book, and I'm very happy to have participated in a very small way to a very cool project. I find his books challenging, but I like how engaged he is in the process, and how he invites you along on his bread journeys.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Dang, dang, dang. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I tried again with the whole wheat pitas, this time at 75% hydration and they STILL only halfway inflated, at best.

I'd not ask you to post the recipe -- I'll have the book in early October (the wait is going to kill me) but might you be able to give me the basics in a nutshell? Hydration, oven temp, shaping?

Thanks!

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

Honestly I wouldn't recommend this as a beginner pita recipe. I was taught the key to pitas puffing correctly is not rolling them out too much or stretching them etc.

One technique thing from this recipe--he had you divide the dough after an initial rise, shape them into ball, and then rest another 30-45 minutes (I think, I don't have the book here). THEN you pushed them flat into discs (I just used my hand), and let them rest another 5 minutes or so. THEN, you rolled them out gently to about 1/4 inch (no thinner than that), and did one final rise of about fifteen minutes.

These went directly onto a stone in a very hot oven (between 450-500). Reinhart said that they should start to puff after about 2 minutes, and then let them bake for 20 seconds. I set my timer for 3 minutes, and sure enough, they started to rise at 2 minutes, were up at 2:30, and I let them go until 3:00. Just right!

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

For one if you try to roll them right after dividing, the dough fights back to much and you get nowhere, but if you let them relax for 30 minutes under a cloth, then shape to disk and then roll, it works pretty easily!

I roll mine to 1/8" thick and move them immediately to a parchment. I cover with a cloth and let them rise for 45min to an hour and by then they are about 1/4" thick or so. Then into 500 degree oven with stone and 3mins later, voila! Puffed pillows of pita perfection! :D

I think he's totally right about not "pulling them" or stretching them. I did that to one of them and it was the only one that did not puff fully. It was lopsided.

 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I was rolling them out and putting them right on the hot stone. This is likely exactly why I'm having trouble. Thanks! Next time around, I'll give it a rest. :-)

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I was lurking on the Pita issue and thought I would try the suggestion of not stretching and leaving the rolled disks to rise for a few minutes. My last batch was perfect, every single one was like a pillow. Thank you thank you again!!

Eric

mse1152's picture
mse1152

The taste improved after a day or two  --  good news.  Not so good news, the texture is a bit crumbly, making a wobbly sandwich.  Will have to try a few more turns of this recipe (sometime).  It makes lovely toast.

I've been reading about the mash WW bread, and started a 75% whole wheat starter this week.  I based it on a teaspoon of my existing 100% white starter.  I just can't get excited about the multi-day seed culture and starter he wants you to build.  I got a nice active glob of starter in less than 24 hours using my own.  I may not get around to baking the bread till after Labor Day.

Sue 

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Rosalie, check out page 172 where PR has a FAQ - Can I grind my own flour? Brief, but it is there, A

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Thanks.  I feel less forsaken now.

Rosalie

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Sue, what a lovely loaf and such great pictures. I had to bake mine for quite a bit longer than the 45 minutes suggested to get to the 195*, and I think it is a bit scorched. The crumb is nowhere as open as yours and in fact looks like the picture of the Oat Bran Broom Loaf on page 109. The dough rose beautifully in the pan and I baked it when it reached 1 1/2" above the rim but there was no oven spring. I found the dough very sticky and had to add more flour to be able to handle it - maybe that it why the crumb is dense? Are we downhearted? NO! I am going to do what I probably should have done in the first place and I have the soaker and the biga made for the transitional loaf. Tomorrow is another day. Have to say the bread flour biga was much more workable. I can see that I need to ease into the whole grain world gradually. So many breads, so little time! A

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I preordered, I thought through this site, but mine is not yet shipped despite saying "shipping soon" for several days now.  I'm very anxious to get it.

 

Sue, your bread is beautiful.  I love the large heirloom, too!

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Hey ZB,

I have my copy, which was pre-ordered via Amazon. Reading will commence shortly. It arrived day before yesterday, but I wasn't home until today.

Bill

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Good morning to all. I have a question (again) and would like to hear your opinions. I am not familiar with buttermilk but dutifully bought some to try some of PR's new recipes. Both times my soaker was very wet, and yesterday I noticed that my buttermilk is low fat and I wonder if that could be the problem? I had a harder time combining the soaker and the biga in the transitional version even after lots of kneading. I made a large batard and slashed it deeply down the length. Baked it on the stone on parchment which I removed after the first 10 minutes. Good oven spring but the crumb was not at all holey. The flavor was not as "aggressive" as the completely wheat version, but as I think I scorched the wheat one that could be the reason. Great fun, and PR says we should try each recipe more than once. Maybe not all in one week? A

TRK's picture
TRK

You can get whole milk buttermilk, but I think buttermilk actually should be low fat--it was originally what was left over after you removed the butter.  I haven't baked out of this book yet, but it sounds like a lot of these recipes are wetter than people expect (from the comments above about adding extra flour).  Did the final dough seem overly wet, or just the soaker.  WW flour absorbs more liquid, so the higher hydration might be compensating for that.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

TRK, the transitional loaf wasn't as wet as the 100% whole wheat one, but for some reason the soaker was too wet to cut so I just mushed it in with the biga. I use a scale so unless that is faulty I think my amounts were the same. At least I could cut the first soaker. In both cases I did have to add much more flour than the small amount PR suggests (28g) for adjustments..Buttermilk isn't at all the way I imagined it to be - I thought it would be like skim milk with flecks of butter, not so smooth. I will persevere with ww and I still think the book is great, A

wvwyatt's picture
wvwyatt

I was wondering if one could mix the cold biga, the soaker, & the rest of the dough together at lunch and allow it to proof for 4 hours, then arrive home and start the oven and bake. If this were to work it would certainly be easier for those of us who  would like fresh baked bread soon after the workday.

wvwyatt's picture
wvwyatt

I can forsee some leftovers that I would like to keep for later.

zolablue's picture
zolablue

Amazon finally shipped my book!  I have only taken time to skim it.  It is first and foremost a beautifully put together book with lovely photos and looks to be some very interesting recipes and information.  I am very anxious to read in depth and sample some recipes.  I have so enjoyed Reinhart's BBA and will always hold it as a special book that helped me very much on my first attempts at baking.  I think he's done another outstanding job.  

 

 

In addition, I have to add how proud I am of the people on this site who have been lucky enough to be testers for Peter.  What an opportunity!  Not least is the joy I felt at seeing the acknowledgement given to The Fresh Loaf and the generous words he wrote about Floyd.  That is really very special.

 

Breadnerd – your pitas are beautiful!

  
breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

I've made the pitas twice now, and this morning made the transitional sandwich loaf. I was happy that the biga and soaker performed just as described, and I added no additional flour with the exception of a little dusting during kneading--probably less than a tablespoon total. It can be a sticky dough at times but if you do the rests etc. as prescribed I found it not at all difficult to work with.

After the first rise the dough was really lovely, soft and flexible. The bread rose nicely, and the final product looks pretty nice (It's a little assymetrical, either from shaping or because it could have proofed a little longer but I had things to do this afternoon and put it in the oven a little bit early).

 

The taste? It's a little wheatier than my usual 50/50 (or 60/40) light wheat bread. My usual recipe uses an egg and a little more fat/sugar, so that makes sense. I guess I was hoping that the preferments would mellow it more, as it seemed to do for the pitas. Very nice texture and flavor though and I'll be making more for sure. Kind of wish the recipes were for 2 loaves, but easy enough to double next time. My first time through I'm trying hard to stick close to the recipes and techniques.

 

cnlindon's picture
cnlindon

Just got a copy of the book yesterday.  I have read through it and am starting the master formula for ww sandwich loaf today.  I am using my regular starter, instead of making a whole wheat starter.  I'll let you know how it comes out.

-Chad

cnlindon's picture
cnlindon

Here's a couple of pics of my ww sandwich loaf from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grains book.

I haven't tried it yet...it's still cooling.

-Chad

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Looks Great!  Is this the 100% WW? 

cnlindon's picture
cnlindon

Yes it is the 100% ww recipe, although I used my traditional starter so technically it is 92% ww.  It tasted very good and had a very tender airy crumb as compared to most dense ww breads that I have made.  The taste was wheaty, but not bitter like other ww breads.  I am very pleased with the results.  Next, I want to try a multigrain recipe from the book.

-Chad

www.breadmoonrising.blogspot.com

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

I'll have to give it one more try - the last time I used too much salt, and liked neither the taste nor the rise. It was a nice soft crumb, though.

cnlindon's picture
cnlindon

-Chad

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I just got my Amazon delivery of WGB's today. After following along in this thread for a week or so I was getting needy for a new book so here we go.

I have been making a similar ww sandwich loaf all summer so I won't do that first. I'm hoping I will refrain from jumping in without reading at least chapter 3 as suggested but I'm sort of famous for not doing the rtfi thing. One page jumped out at me was the Rye Sandwich Meteil on Pg 112. I like the sound of the combination of sorghum, onion and caraway. My bee keeper friend gave me a jar of sorghum a while back and I've been looking for an excuse to try it in bread. I'll take some pictures and post the results soon.

Adding to post:

I finished up late this afternoon with the Onion Rye Sandwich Mateil on Pg 112.  I decided to buy the powder Buttermilk made for baking to give it a try. I plan to make many of the breads in this book and Buttermilk is common ingredient. The first thing I noticed is that if you measure out 3 Tablespoons of the powder and add water to make the 3/4 C and mix it up, it only weighs 130 grams. I decided to add additional water so I would have the amount of liquid called for in the formula. The soaker and starter went together just as advertised and they were similar in consistency. I have seen some reports from others that the starter was mushy but I added a T extra flour and everything was as I expected. When combining the soaker and starter after an overnight preferment, I was able to cut both doughs as called for and combine them by hand. I added the additional ingredients in the final dough including Honey and Sorghum, caraway seeds and I used Penzies dried onions. I crushed the onions slightly to make the pieces smaller and I think I would soak them in a little water to re-constitute them somewhat, next time.

The dough raised by double in 2 hours in my somewhat cool kitchen (67 F) and after I shaped and formed it I placed it into the oven with a cup of hot water to proof. I baked it after 1-1/2 hours and it was maybe 50% larger diameter than after shaping. I should have cut the top before proofing but I forgot, so a slash and I turned the oven on to 450 F without a stone. I have a double layer cookie sheet I use for these things so I preheated the oven quickly with only the steel sheet. Steam and lower the heat to 350 F for 20 minutes, rotate and set the timer again at 20 minutes. I also set a temperature probe in the center of the loaf to get a read on the temp rise. The internal temp was 140 at the 20 minute mark and it only took another 10 minutes for my probe to alarm at 196 F. That seemed a little short so I let remain in for another 4 minutes. I removed the loaf looking brown and done with a total cooking time of 34 minutes at 350 degrees F. PR said it would take 40-50 minutes.

I don't think I got any oven spring at all. I wish it would have managed to inflate a little so the shape was more in line with a sandwich loaf. The crumb is soft and flavorful if a little dense. This is a complex loaf with many flavors lurking. The plan is to cook a corned beef tomorrow and make some sandwiches. Looking forward to that.  

One thing that PR mentions on the side is a note about adding a dough conditioner acid. It's vitamin C in a very small amount that is supposed to help prevent the dough from falling apart at the end and allow it to rise instead of deflate. After a little reading and seeing Prof. Calvel use this acid and also malt on nearly every mix, I think it's worth a try. A very very small amount of a vitamin C tablet crushed will be all that is needed (20 PPM), think half a pinch and that's probably to much.

So my first impressions are that this is going to be a keeper. PR's recipes/formula are step by step and clear if you read them carefully. I found some things slightly confusing in the way he referred to certain steps but when I went back and took another look I could make sense of it. I'm certain this will be a classic best seller in our community of Artisan Bakers. The soaker combined with a preferment is a great process to learn for full flavor and soft texture. Hope you enjoy the book and the many great breads.

Eric 



KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Eric, the loaf looks good, and I'm glad to hear the complex flavors are there.  I've been wanting to bake his Rye Sandwich Meteil this week, but life keeps interfering.  Since my last loaf of rye was so tasteless, I purchased the "deli rye flavor" from King Arthur.  It sounds now like I might not need it.

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Eric, I made the Rye Sandwich Meteil a couple weeks ago.  It was a bit ago and I don't remember a lot, but I probably used buttermilk that I cultured myself, vital wheat gluten, molasses and honey, and dried onion.  I made the bread up into mini-loaves and froze them.  Just had a slice a moment ago.  The onion really comes through.  I didn't get much oven spring either, as evidenced by the barely opened slashes.  But I love to eat the whole grains, and they just don't behave quite the same way as refined flours.  Crumb was excellent.

Rosalie

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Rosalie, the onion is a key to the flavor of this loaf. When I first tasted it on the day it was baked, I thought the onion was to prominent. However the next day we made corned beef sandwiches with it and it had smoothed out noticeably and was very good.

I wonder if you froze your mini loaves before the bread had aged or if the combination of flavors made a differance. I also used the wheat gluten but I swapped the molasses for sorghum. The crumb is excellent I agree.

I think I will eliminate the caraway next time I make this bread. There are so many flavors lurking, each one good on it's own, I think the caraway masks the subtle nutty flavor of the grains. Simple is often better IMHO.

Eric

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

No, I wasn't complaining about the onion.  But when I eat of the bread, it's obviously an onion bread.  I love onion.  This bread is just about perfect.  Some of the best I've made in a while.  It must be the Reinhart technique.

Rosalie

wholegrainOH's picture
wholegrainOH

for my autographed copy to arrive from Reinhart.  The posts and pictures are delicious and bread-making-whetting.  Looking forward to see how the recipies/procedures changed from the testing period over the last couple of years--

 

Alan 

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

I tried this one the other night. I made one change to the recipe, making it a bit more whole grain. The biga calls for 227 gr of bread flour. I used 127 gr bread flour, and 73 gr whole wheat. I also added 1 tsp wheat gluten.

Since this formula specifies some hand kneading, I decided to make it all by hand. Blending the molasses, honey & oil with the somewhat stiff chunks of biga and soaker was not easy. Next time I'll start with my stand mixer! The rise was nice.

The flavor the first night seemed a bit sweet to us, though it was fine the next day. The crumb is nice and soft. The texture of the bread reminds me of a small cocktail rye - a bit heavier than I would expect in a sandwich loaf, but acceptable. It's possible that I pushed out too much gas out during the final knead.

All in all I like the bread. I have a picture in my camera, but can't download it right now.  

mse1152's picture
mse1152

Last weekend, I made the mash bread on page 195.

Whole Wheat Mash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I baked it for 48 minutes, and I think I may have underbaked it slightly, since the crumb looked a little moist when I sliced it.

 

Mash Crumb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reinhart makes a point of how sweet the mash gets after low temperature baking for 3 hours. I did taste it, and the mash is sort of sweet, but when combined with the starter and proofed, the bread turns out with a definite sourdough tang. I didn't go through the multi-day process in the book for creating a firm whole wheat starter; I just made my own, beginning with a teaspoon of my 100% white starter, and it took less than 36 hours.

The overall taste and texture are good, and one thing I'm discovering is that I prefer my whole wheat breads to be on the sweeter side, not tangy. This bread holds together better for a sandwich than the sandwich loaf I made first, oddly enough.

Has anyone else made a mash bread yet?

Sue