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Maybe it would be good to define whole wheat.

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ron45's picture
ron45

Maybe it would be good to define whole wheat.

Last time I was at this whole wheat section of the bread forum, [8 months ago maybe] there were posts about whole wheat bread. To me that means 100% whole wheat. And it seemed to mean that to the other posters back then. What does it mean to you people? Some whole wheat, mostly whole wheat, a little whole wheat. Do we really need a forum titled 100% WHOLE WHEAT? If so lets please start one. I've been thru about 20 posts that describe increasing the whole flour amount, or adding bread flour, It sounds like the business definition of whole wheat has been adopted here....i.e. whatever thier lobby people paid congress to say it means. It's still the english language and bribing congressmen aside, whole means entire or all of something, and wheat is a grain surrounded by bran with an intact germ inside. Everything else is dead flour. The business man's delight. That's my .02.

Ron

PsDenys's picture
PsDenys

I agree, Ron, that bread labeled "whole wheat" should be made with 100% ww flour. Perhaps we should adopt PR's terminology of "transitional" breads to indicate those breads that include a significant percentage of ww flour, but are not 100%.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

I like Peter Reinhart's books and his recipes, but I have to say I wasn't very excited by his attempt to introduce "transitional" as a new classification when I encountered it. Transitional to what? As compared to what? I was then a bit amused to find out that Reinhart is struggling with a weight/blood sugar problem and is suddenly in favor of a 100% whole grain diet. Which is in many ways similar to his previous books: he is always 100% convinced about the theories he propounds in Book N. And I don't doubt that he is sincere and heartfelt about it. But then in Book N+2 he has a new theory that contradicts some or all of the theory in Book N, and he is just as sincere about the new one as the old.

So I take his recipes and writing style as they come, and his theories (and new terminology) with a small grain of salt.

Just my 0.02.

sPh

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

It really annoys me how many people treat whole grains as some sort of silver bullet that will solve all their dietary ills.  Even if you accept the idea that white flour is unhealthy, which I do not, in an otherwise healthy diet an occaisional loaf of white bread won't be the end of one's life.  And in the absence of an otherwise healthy diet, whole grains won't save you.

Personally, I am far more concerned with the rise in the consumption of sugar.  If you look at history, the aristocracy ate white breads from the middle ages on.  And they lived longer than the peasants who ate whole grain breads.  Please, don't tell me that the wealthy had access to doctors - the doctors in days of yore weren't all that good for you.

But I've seen graphs comparing the increaed consumption of sugar with the incidence of obesity and diabetes, they track very well.

If you accept the idea that you have a goal of making whole grain breads, and you are having trouble making them, then the idea of honing ones skills on breads that are partly white and partly whole wheat would lead to the term transitional.

However, I see nothing wrong with white breads.  Or with part whole wheat bread.  Or all whole wheat breads.  As I often say, good breads, like good people, come in all colors.

As a hint... look at the USDA food database.  Look up industrial white flour.  That's whats used to make mass market white breads.  Look up all-purpose and bread flours.  That's home bakers and artisan bakers use to make breads.  There are orders of magnitude of difference between them.  Are they as wholesome as whole grain?  No.  Are they a nutritional landmine?  No.  Are you suffering from malnutrition?  Again, no.

Mike

 

ron45's picture
ron45

Hi Mike and the other bread lovers here. From my perspective which is admitedly biased, you mention sugar consumption and something to be careful of, paraphrasing here, refined white flour is essentially sugar. It is close enough not to matter much. That is the main reason informed nutritionists do not advocate much of it in a diet. The usda is the last place to go for nutritional advise. They are followers not leaders and are mostly a booster club for agribusiness. That said, as you correctly observe, an occasional dose of bread with white flour in it isn't going to hurt anyone. I had some tonight at a ranchers dance here in New Mexico. It was great. I started this thread because like you I think the words whole wheat should stand for something. It should not be a label bandied about by commercial interests or yuppies trying to feel green which is another label being raped by commercial interests. But Thats getting off topic.

peace, love, dough

Ron

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

I totally agree, and should have said so, that if a bread is called whole wheat, all the flour in it should be whole wheat.

When I was selling at the farmers market, I was a stickler for that.  If it wasn't 100%m I didn't call it whole wheat.  To do otherwise would be cheating the customer.

I would call a bread a "wheat bread" if it was partly whole wheat and partly white.  But even there, if it wasn't half whole wheat I didn't think it was worth mentioning in the name of the bread.... though it was mentioned in the ingredient list.

Mike

 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

My biggest concern, personally, with white flour breads is not its nutritional make-up, but its impact on the blood sugar. French bread has about the same impact as eating straight sugar, and with several cases of Diabetes type II on both sides of my family, I'd rather eat a sourdough, whole wheat bread that has a much lower glycemic impact.

It's not a silver bullet, of course, but we eat a lot of bread in my house, so the type of bread does matter. As for the nobility, saying that they ate white bread and still lived longer than the peasants who ate whole grain bread really doesn't say much, since the nobility weren't working in the fields sun-up to sundown six days a week eating little more than bread and water.

That's not to say that I don't make white breads from time to time. I do. Just not on a regular basis.

I don't mean to preach here at all; I'm just explaining why I, personally, have chosen to make most of my breads from 100% whole grain flour.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

When I first read this post's title (Maybe it would be good to define whole wheat), my first question to myself was - flour or bread?

If we're defining flour, then true whole wheat flour contains the entire wheat berry. Supermarket brands of "whole wheat flour" that omit the germ in order to obtain longer shelf life need not apply. I don't think many readers at TFL would argue with that one.

If we're defining bread, then there is plenty of descriptive latitude for those who don't sell their bread. Most of us here do not sell bread (never have, never will).

When I make bread (or read bread recipes), I don't care if the author's "whole wheat" or "whole grain" bread uses some white flour. Sure, this forum is called Whole Grains: Whole grain and multi-grain breads, but that covers a wide territory.

There are strong opinions about what constitutes "whole grain" bread, both on this site and others. For some, a well-risen loaf with zero white flour is the holy grail. For others, bread made with white flour and whole grain flour is the end goal. (I include myself in the second group.)

For me, transitional implies that the end-goal is to make bread with zero percent white flour. White flour is a crutch or learning tool but, ultimately, an ingredient to be eliminated.

We are united in our quest to make good bread. The world of bread is infinitely variable and will keep us all happily experimenting (and eating) until we pass on to that great bakery in the sky. Let's respect that variability - in bread and in ourselves.

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

subfuscpersona commented:

If we're defining flour, then true whole wheat flour contains the entire wheat berry. Supermarket brands of "whole wheat flour" that omit the germ in order to obtain longer shelf life need not apply. I don't think many readers at TFL would argue with that one.

To the best of my knowledge, and I have talked to a number of millers, whole wheat flour in the USA contains the wheat germ. That is why whole wheat flour will turn rancid far more quickly than refined white flour. The oils in the germ are present.

Looking at http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article/63/Wheat-Flour you can scroll down and see, "Whole wheat flour contains the germ (the embryo of the wheat kernel) and is more flavorful than regular all-purpose flour which does not include the germ. Because the germ is included, there are more nutrients as well as fiber and fat content in whole wheat flour. However, the flour should be stored in the refrigerator to prevent the germ oils from becoming rancid."

I know that this is an international forum, and not knowing where subfuscpersona is posting from, I don't know if the same is true there.

Mike

 

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

I keep forgetting how international this site is (one of the many things I love about it).

Anyway, I live in a working class neighborhood in New York City. The Pillsbury brand of whole wheat flour carried in my local supermarkets does not contain the germ, a fact which is discreetly mentioned, in very small print, in the ingredients listing.

klemenv's picture
klemenv

I am from Europe and for me, whole  wheat means whole berry. That includes germ and outer skirt.

But there also exists so called black wheat, that means that it contains germ. For example type 1100.

Whole wheat is coarser than black flour. But black flour is darker, and much different than white flour. 

It is very difficult to bake bread with 100% whole wheat flour. (Peter Reinhart has recepie in his book that includes soaker). However, it is easy to bake bread with 100% black flour. For example Pollaine Miche recepie may be used with 100% type 1100 flour.

 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I haven't read this thread until now. Yeah, really.  OK, don't believe me, but everytime the words "whole wheat" pop up in a Q, I go the other way.  Maybe because I'm not sure what it is.  My Mother used to bake with it and it made the loaf dry and crumbly and reminded me of chewing on hay.  So I'm afraid of it.  (now you know my weak link)  When I see a recipe asking for it, I just use whole spelt flour (like in the yeast water recipe).   Does Whole wheat flour still look like dull vermiculite or does it really look like flour?  I'm serious now.  I've read the other answers in this thread and I don't really know yet.  Someone take a picture please?  I would really like to know.  Is it moist?  Does it clump when squeezed?  Are the hulls included?

Mini O

JERSK's picture
JERSK

 

       I'm not so sure that the nobility live longer than peasants. I've read accounts that counter that argument. Of course, they likely had access to a wider range of foods and better living conditions. I do agree that whole grains aren't a silver bullet, but do retain much more of the nutrition. A lot of this isn't readily digestible by humans. Sourdough fermentation does help a lot. The food scientist Harold McGee concluded some time back that a loaf of white bread was more nutritious than a loaf of whole wheat bread. This due to the vitamins added to white flour. However, he was only considering conventionally yeasted breads. It since been proven,or maybe previously, that fermented whole grains are more nutitious than straight cooked whole grains. So, maybe if your major concern with whole wheat/whole grain breads is nutrition you should stick to sourdough types. It probably won't make much difference with yeasted breads, except for the fiber. I do think some whole wheat flour added to an another wise white bread loaf does add a nice flavor. I have to agree with Mike Avery though that a good loaf of bread is really what you're aiming at in baking, regardless of creed or color.

Floydm's picture
Floydm


Now the Star-bellied Sneetches had bellies with stars.
The Plain-bellied Sneetches had none upon thars.
The stars weren't so big; they were really quite small.
You would think such a thing wouldn't matter at all.
But because they had stars, all the Star-bellied Sneetches
would brag, "We're the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches."

With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they'd snort, "
We'll have nothing to do with the plain-bellied sort."
And whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
they'd hike right on past them without even talking.

I certainly respect anyone's decision to only bake whole grain breads. But I agree with Mike and others that I personally don't believe it is a dietary silver bullet and that it is one of many valid goals in baking at home. Personally, it isn't one of mine.

As site admin, I've consciously resisted calls for flour Apartheid here (does that sound ridiculous? It should). I agree with subfuscpersona that we should focus on what we have in common and ways we can help each other reach our own personal goals rather than casting aspersions on others who aren't pursuing the same goal. I'm not saying you were doing so, ron, as much as addressing a series of posts we've had in the past few months that have suggested we should divvy ourselves up into us (the pure, the whole grain bakers) and them (those who are foolish enough to consume white flour). Again, if I'm making it sound ridiculous, that's good... it seems absurd that we'd squabble over this when 95% of what we do is the same.

I guess my suggestion is that if folks aren't finding a suitable 100% whole wheat recipe on the site, post one and get that conversation going. Sharing one's passion and enthusiasm for 100% whole grain the way JMonkey has is a much more effective way to promote one's cause than suggesting people who don't share the purist's definition have just been brainwashed by lobbyists.

leemid's picture
leemid

Pardon me for sitting here and snickering just a little. I realize this is a serious topic for many, not so for some. But I am reminded of the elephant, described by the host of blind people, pardon me for the apparent but unintended implication...

100% whole wheat with no white flour... is that someone's real goal? I agree with Floyd, who I respect very much for his character, especially his ability to hold his tongue and when he releases it, the words are uplifting. Why do we as a race need so desperately need to elevate our noses so high? Tell me if I am wrong, but isn't there white flour in whole wheat? Now before you get all uppity and answer in anger, consider that question as legitimate. When you grind up the wheat berry, you get bran, germ and WHITE FLOUR. See, there I go getting excited. Pardon.

Let me ask this: although the size of individual wheat berries is fairly consistent, there must be some variation, no? So some whole wheat flour has more white in it, marginally, that others, year by year, as the growth cycle changes with the weather. So, some of us just boost that some...

"I'll have a Big Mac, large fries, an apple pie, and a diet Coke..."

I agree with the sugar issue, except what I read suggests that corn syrup is a larger contributor to the increase in obesity and diabetes. When the price of sugar went up some years ago, ingredient lists changed as more less expensive corn syrup replaced more sugar. Any way you look at it, if we are more concerned about the way we eat, perhaps we will improve our nutrition. Will that save your life? No.

"Well, it's five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates. Well, there ain't no time to wonder why, whoopy, we're all gonna die." There is so much more that we do in violation of how we should live our lives, perfect nutrition will not save us. That said, except for chocolate, we should be more consciencious about the food we put in our mouths.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Lee

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Lee,

Whole wheat flour contains white flour, as you say. So, what's the argument really about? You could easily argue that whole wheat flour contains about 75% white flour.

I could feel especially superior, based on some of the reasoning here, if I were to make up a bread from bran and wheat germ. That would be especially nutritious, I guess, according to the "100% whole wheat" argument. It should be vastly superior to whole wheat bread, so maybe we should start a crusade to make "endosperm free" bread. Why must we insist that one and only one ingredient is allowed - a flour made of only the entire wheat berry, and ignore all other possibilities and considerations, as if using only that one ingredient will make all the difference in nutritional value or any other measure?

Bread in general, whether white or whole grain or in between, should probably not be a large portion of the normal diet anyway. Maybe we should stop baking bread in the interests of better nutrition.

Bill

leemid's picture
leemid

the smirk on my face, the smile in my eyes or the giggle in my voice...

Lee

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Lee,

I did giggle right along with you. Sorry if my own reflection on your comments sounded too serious. I meant to agree with you and add my own slant. The endosperm-free bread seemed illustrative of the point you were making. What you said above hit the nail on the head for me both in content and tone.

Bill

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

the smirk on my face, the smile in my eyes or the giggle in my voice
The Chantilly lace and a pretty face
And a pony tail hanging down
That wiggle in the walk and giggle in the talk
Makes the world go round

There ain't nothing in the world like a big eyed girl
That makes me act so funny, make me spend my money
Make me feel real loose like a long necked goose
Like a girl, oh baby that's what I LIKE!




I dunno why your post made me think of The Big Bopper, but there you have it. It's late, I guess.
browndog's picture
browndog

Not as if this were news to anyone, but JMonkey, you are a man of hidden depths.

(Pick you up at eight?)

PsDenys's picture
PsDenys

Hmm...I seem to have stepped on a landmine here. Sorry about that. I did not mean to suggest that there is anything wrong with breads that are partly white flour and partly whole wheat. Nor, for that matter, that there is anything wrong with fully white flour breads. Most of the breads I bake are one of these two types. 

Still, I do find it confusing the way we use the term "whole wheat bread." My post was simply intended to propose a way to describe bread, following PR, that is partly whole wheat. I did not find the term "transitional" offensive, but this thread has helped me understand why others are upset by it. Is there another, more neutral term?

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

PsDenys,

I don't see that you detonated anything.  Matter of fact, for all of the noise, most of what was said had little to do with your original point. 

Anyway, I'm not sure that I care much for Mr. Reinhart's suggested "transitional" label for breads with a mixture of flours.  I like the German "mischbrot" better.  Since most Americans haven't heard the term, it probably won't fly here.  Maybe if we were to Anglicize it to, say, "mixed flours breads".  That way it wouldn't matter if the flours contained nothing but endosperm, or if they have their full complement of bran and germ.  For that matter, it wouldn't matter what type of grain or seed that the flour was milled from, either.

Maybe there's something that trips off the tongue more lightly.

PMcCool

ron45's picture
ron45

Hello pmccool, Rienheart or anyone else machs nix to me.The forum heading is whole grain. That is even a bit more pricise than whole wheat. The origonal point and post was mine. I have no trouble with people using the term whole wheat if that makes them happy, it's the presence of these peoples discussions in a whole grain forum that I am questioning. White flour is not a whole grain. It's that simple. No high horses or aspersions cast. It's a different subject to be discussed elsewhere, not waded thru to find a topic that discusses whole grain baking. The issues are different with whole grain baking. It' a whole different animal once you introduce dead fllour. I need help with whole grain baking.

Ron

Floydm's picture
Floydm

The subtitle of this forum is "Whole grain and multi-grain breads". People who are interested in whole grains but do not always bake 100% whole wheat are more than welcome to post here: it is meant to attract people interested in whole grain baking, not as a policy to exclude other posters.

I'm sure you can find a forum on another site that enforces a 100% "dead flour" free policy but not here. Sorry, dude. Wade through it.

ron45's picture
ron45

My problem with dead flour is not the users. I wish a lot more people ate a lot more of it.

It's the fact that it was foisted on the public for the convenience of corporate entities. It is a public so easy to foist things on. You just have to repeat what ever you are selling alot and give it catchy labels. It's always worked, probably always will.

There are more things for me to learn about baking so I'll keep asking questions and trying to bake better bread till I get it right....... or excommunicated. Meanwhile, the help and experience of the members is much appreciated.

Ron

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Honestly, ron45, this is the wrong forum to air your grievances with lobbyist and FDA labeling policies. Enough with the "foisting" and the "dead flour" and the anti-corporate crap, please?

We are amateur bakers. Amateur bakers and cookbooks aimed at amateur bakers (in the US at least) tend to refer to the breads as whole wheat if the color and flavor are dominated by the whole grain flour, even if the whole grain flour makes up only a percentage of the total flour in the recipe. This has been true for many many years. I don't think this means that Bernard Clayton, Peter Reinhart, Julia Child, and James Beard were all brainwashed by the grain lobby. Nor have we: more often that not we are being conversational, not strict and legalistic, with our terminology.

Politics aside, it sounds like chatting with other folks about how to bake better whole grain breads is a goal of yours. You've come to the right place. I'm not one of them, but as subfuscpersona was helpful enough to point out there are a number of very good bakers who post here who bake a lot of whole grain breads. Hopefully some of them can give you some pointers if you let them know what kind of challenges you are facing.

ron45's picture
ron45

Hey thanks for making the changes in the sigh in area.

Ron

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Ron on Nov 22, 2007 wrote:
I need help with whole grain baking


I did a brief search on TFL for you. The TFL links I cite below include ingredients and detailed instructions and will hopefully assist you in your efforts.

If you search TFL yourself, don't restrict the search to the Whole Grains forum. Many bakers here make 100% whole grain bread but may post their results to a different forum. Be sure to check out the blogs too.

> from JMonkey
100% Whole Grain Hearth Bread posted Nov 9, 2007
100% whole wheat bread posted Feb 11, 2007

> from bwraith
Whole Grain Sourdough Sandwich Bread posted Jul 3, 2007
Whole Wheat Mash Bread posted Oct 11, 2007

> from jane
100% whole wheat bread with sourdough starter posted Feb 19, 2007
ron45's picture
ron45

Thank you Subfuscpersona, I'd already saved the first one and will do the same with the rest. Your user name seems like a good description of what some of us do with our online names. I'm grateful you took the time to help. I should have done that earlier. It's not like I'm the first person show up here to try to coax the bran laden stuff to rise up and play nice.

Ron

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

Like you, I like the term "mischbrot" and wish there was, or we could come up with, a term in English that was similar.  "Multi-grain" might be as close as we get, but I'd have trouble using the term "mult-grain" or even "mischbrot" to describe a bread that was part white flour and part whole wheat.  It's ALL wheat, where's the mixture, where's the multi-grain?

Maybe multi-flour, since the bread I imagined above does have more than one flour in it.

Mike

 

Ramona's picture
Ramona

                                            Maple Oatmeal Bread

sponge                                           autolyze

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour          2 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp. dry yeast                         1 tsp. salt

1/8 cup water                               1 cup milk/1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 1/2-2 cups water                        3/4 cup maple syrup

 

 oats                                            seeds

1 1/3 cup rolled oats                     1/3 sunflower seeds

2 cups boiling water                       1/4 cup millet

1 tsp. salt                                     hot water to cover

 

Next day

1/4 cup water                                1/3 cup butter

1 3/4 tsp. dry yeast                       1/2 cup ground flaxseeds

Night before: Mix the yeast and 1/8 cup water together.  Make sponge in one bowl and autolyze in another.  Put water over oats in a bowl and the seeds in another bowl.  Cover all and let sit til next morning.  Mix yeast and water together and add to the sponge mixture.  Mix the butter, seeds(drained), oats(with water) to the autolyze.  Then I add all together and add the flax.  Mix it together *and let sit for about 40 min. to 1 hour or until it gets some rise.  Then I use a spat to pull the dough up from the bottom and over the sides towards the middle, as I go around the dough in the bowl.  It starts to get stronger as I do this.  Then I cover this and let it double and then do the fold techniques about every 30-40 minutes, about 3 times total.  Then I shape into loaf pans, I also like to put poppy seeds ontop, proof, and then slash and bake in a cold-start oven at 450 degrees, for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 for about 30-35 minutes more. 

*Now I don't measure exact, I make this bread all the time, so I just put it together and go by how it looks to see if it needs anymore flour or water.  I have done it without the milk and all water and it did still turn out well.  This bread is not sweet, just really flavorful and has a soft texture.   I grind my own flour and it is the hard,red, spring wheat.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

formula today for Maple Oatmeal bread and I'm not sure what I did wrong. It was extremely slack, like ciabatta.  The only change made was that I used buttermilk instead of milk & vinegar and canola oil instead of butter. I persisted and used lots of flour to fold. I can't really say I shaped the loaves, but I tried. They rose over the pan and slightly over the edge so that on one loaf I had to tear the lip a bit to get it out. In doing so I can see the crumb, which looks pretty good. The outside of the loaf is not a pretty picture. I need to learn to check out formulas with baker's percentages. I used 1.5 c of water for the sponge... 1 c buttermilk, .75 c of maple syrup for the autolyse, 2 c of water for the oatmeal, isn't this a lot of liquid ? I did drain the water from the seeds. I can't wait for it to cool so I can give it a taste see the crumb. One other ? ..I thought autolyse was a verb, can it be used as a noun too? Thanks for sharing your recipe

JERSK's picture
JERSK

     This recipe looks really tasty and healthy. I have a couple of questions. It looks like you add vinegar to the milk in the autolyse. I am assuming this would curdle it. Is this so you get a buttermilk like flavor or does it take the place of scalding? Also, you mention a spat. What's that?

charbono's picture
charbono

I think this forum subheading is fine as is.  Postings of recipes with small amounts of whole grains will tend to be made elsewhere.

 

I disagree with the notion that 100% whole grain bread is a distinct class.  Beginning somewhere around 33% whole grain, it becomes harder to ignore the common issues that differentiate all whole grain baking: hydration, gluten development, structure, enzyme control, flavor, and texture.  Maintaining a 100% purity rule would also eliminate whole grain breads with a little vital wheat gluten. 

 

As a designation for mixed refined and whole grain bread, “bastard bread” sounds kind of negative.  How about “lightened bread”?

 
Ramona's picture
Ramona

Sorry, I should have said rubber spatula.  As for the milk, I don't usually heat mine up and I add the vinegar to achieve what buttermilk is like. 

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Found yet another TFL link - the poster gives ingredients and detailed instructions

> from donyeokl
100% wholemeal spelt with poolish posted Oct 1, 2006
donyeokl also posted this photo


The post is in a thread called Supermarket whole wheat bread in the General section of General Discussion and Recipe Exchange.

Ramona's picture
Ramona

Sorry to hear that it didn't work out.  But I did say that I don't measure exact.  And I know by looking at it, if it needs more liquid or flour.  I use the autolyse term because I have learned that is what others call it for soaking the flour for a period of time.  The oatmeal, for me soaks up all that hot water overnight.  I don't know about the canola oil, but it may make a difference.   Maybe you needed to do some more folds also.  I don't shape if it doesn't feel right.  If you feel this is too much liquid for your flour, then cut back on some of it.  Even if your first try didn't work for the "look," how did it taste?

ejm's picture
ejm

Much of the argument here all seems a bit like a tempest in a tea cup.

I admit that I am casual and call my sandwich bread "whole wheat" - made with half whole wheat flour and half unbleached allpurpose. If I were making it with all whole wheat flour, I'd call it "100% whole wheat". (If I were buying bread, I would look at the ingredients label to see what kind of flour, how much sugar, oil, preservatives, chemicals, artificial flavourings and colourings, etc. etc.)

I've never heard of "transitional" bread - that of course, does not mean it doesn't exist.

My only goal is to make good bread. I always include some whole wheat flour in every recipe - I'm using the Carol Field ("Italian Baker") method of mimicking hand-milled flour. I do not believe that white flour is bad for one. It's all the other junk - too much sugar, too many preservatives, too much transfat, etc. etc. 

It's my understanding that 100% whole wheat flour is flour milled from the WHOLE wheat berry. Atta, which seems like whole wheat, is not. There is one part missing (sorry can't remember which part) from the durum wheat from which it is milled. 

The only thing that I am concerned with when using whole wheat flour for bread making is that it has a high enough protein content.

-Elizabeth 

P.S. I love the motto I saw on a blog recently. It went something like this: I believe in moderation in everything - even moderation.

goetter's picture
goetter

It gets a little tiresome, sometimes.

I usually just call my wheat breads "wheat bread."  This works as well for yesterday's 80% whole-grain wheat flour loaf as for the 17% whole-grain flour loaf that I made a few days before.  On the rare occasions that I make a bread entirely out of highly refined flour, I'll call it either "white bread" or by some specific style name: pane di como, pain ordinaire, ciabatta, etc.  Just plain "wheat," though, serves to differentiate my usual product well enough from the Emmermischbrot and Roggenbrot also common in my kitchen.

I very much like 20% strong white refined flour in an otherwise whole-grain wheat loaf, for the mechanical properties that it imparts to a lean dough.  Eliminating that residuum of refined flour is an interesting technical goal, but at present only a technical goal.  If I either lost access to refined flour or else gained access to a market eschewing refined flour I'd have to take the challenge more seriously!

ejm's picture
ejm

When I first did any travelling in the USA, it took me a while to understand that "wheat" bread was the same as what my family called "brown" bread - ie: bread that had whole wheat in it (the bran was visible). And still when I see the label "wheat" bread, I do a double take. Because, correct me if I'm wrong, all-purpose flour is made from wheat too. So bread made with all-purpose flour could be also be called "wheat" bread.

-Elizabeth, in Canada

P.S. It looks like I may have been wrong about atta. (me?? wrong?! never! :-D) I really thought that part of the kernel was removed to make atta... (I love the internet):

excerpt from wikipedia cookbook:

In terms of the parts of the grain (the grass seed) used in flour -- the endosperm or starchy part, the oil-containing germ or protein part, and the bran or fiber part -- there are three general types of flour. "White" flour is made from the endosperm only. "Whole wheat" flour is made from the entire grain. A "germ" flour may also be made from the endosperm and germ, excluding the bran. The germ is sometimes sold by itself, as "wheatgerm".
[...]
Atta is a popular flour used in South Asian cuisines, and is a blend of wheat and malted barley.

excerpt from wikipedia - atta flour:


Atta is [...] whole wheat flour made from hard wheat. [...]

It is obtained when the complete wheat grains are ground to get flour from which nothing is removed. It is creamy / brown in colour and relatively coarser as compared to flour. Since there are no removals from atta all the constituents of the wheat grain are preserved.

excerpt from Asia Food Glossary: atta


Atta [...] Fine wholemeal flour made from low-gluten, soft-textured wheat, used to make Indian flat breads and also known as chapati flour. It is sold in Indian stores and may be labelled 80/20 or 60/40, the higher figure referring to the proportion of wholemeal to white flour.
jonquil's picture
jonquil

Hi, with you on occasional white ok, BUT, hubby gets gastric distress with ANY white wheat flour and even limits his ww consumption. But I love bread so... I need 100% ww recipes.  I also use brown rice flour as gravy thickener and breading for meat, etc. with no ill effects and tastes good.  So that's my 2c. 

Jonquil

ejm's picture
ejm

  • 100% whole wheat loaf - based on a recipe in Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book - A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking by Laurel Robertson
  • chapatis (rotis) - substitute the allpurpose flour with 100% whole wheat

 

Sorry to hear that your husband has an intolerance for wheat. My dad is celiac and is allergic to gluten. I have made bread for him when my parents visit but I must say that wheat really is the best thing for bread making! However, there are a number of people who successfully make wheatfree bread - and claim that it's good too. Take a look at Ellen's Kitchen - Flour substitutions and Gluten Free Baking for some handy tips.

For more, google for "gluten free baking". Hope that helps!

-Elizabeth