Whole Wheat Pullman Loaf
I pulled the trigger on a pullman 13x4x4 loaf pan recently, and have been itching to bake a sandwich bread. I was unable to do it last weekend due to travel plans, so I was trying to figure out a way to get the loaf done after work. Unfortunately, I can't begin to bake anything until 7:30 pm at the earliest, and I usually go to bed by 10.
Then I had an inspiration -- instead of making the oat/white bread recipe from KA Flour's website, I would make the "master loaf" from Whole Grain Breads. I thought that I could mix the "soaker" and "biga" one evening and make and bake the dough the next.
What I forgot, however, was that the formula calls for two rises. For some reason I had thought there was only a single rise, in the pan. However, by the time I figured it out, I was in for a penny, in for a pound, I sucked it up and realized I'd be up for at least an hour longer than I hoped.
I rushed things along by putting the dough in a warm oven and letting it rise for only 45 minutes or so, during the bulk fermentation and then for the proofing in the pan.
I also forgot how to bake the darned loaf. He uses the "epoxy" method where you make the biga and soaker the day before, and then mix in the final ingredients with the two components. While the "final ingredients", being a bit of flour, honey, butter and a lot of yeast are to be added to the other components, I decided mix them first....resulting in what looked like wet brown sugar.
Let me just say that it is not easy incorporating that sticky granular mess into the rest of the dough. However, after a while, it blended in seamlessly.
I still don't think I am getting a proper window pane and do not understand how it is possible to give instructions suggesting a total of 3 minutes hand kneading. Maybe store-bought whole wheat flour would behave differently.
I get it to a shaggy mass, let it rest, and then kneed for several minutes, including slaps and folds, with wet fingers. It gets super sticky, I let it rest for another five minutes, and repeat. May have done this 3 times. It is still pretty darned sticky when I break off a piece for the window pane and it is still very weak. Next time I am going to break out the kitchen aid and see if I get better development.
The dough rose nicely, and I shaped it into a log by first patting it into a long rectangle and then folding it up to the middle, from the bottom, and down from the top to the middle, and then in half again. I have absolutely no idea why I did it this way instead of just rolling it up all the way.
I think the dough filled about 1/2 the pan, maybe a little less. It rose to within 1 inch of the top, rather rapidly. In fact, i think it was probably closer to 3/4 of an inch. I worried it would pop the top but it did not even make it to the top. Next time I may use more dough or perhaps with better glutton development I will get a better rise.
The loaf it self came out okay, but not fantastic. I did not run a stick of butter along the top but will probably do that next time around.
It made great toast. It was relatively easy to slice. But it is definitely not the best bread I've made. I've got work to do on the whole grain breads. This one, like my last one, contains a bit of rye. I made myself PB&J for lunch with it, and look forward to seeing how it does. However, the next loaf I make in this pan is going to be the honey oat white bread from KA Flour's site. I want a soft decadent loaf that my son will like. I don't want to try giving him the whole wheat before I get him hooked.