Procrastinator's Sandwich Bread: Take 2
Continued from Procrastinator's Sandwich Bread.
So, while I was impressed with the taste and texture of the previous PSB, I still don't like the idea of all white bread. I grew up on white bread; my mother bought sandwich loaves from the grocery store like most busy moms, especially since she had little talent in yeasted baking, and my grandfather's specialty was potato bread. And while tasty, and surely better than the store-bought loaves, it still wasn't any paragon of nutrition. It took me a long time to like the taste of whole grains, but now I seemed to have flipped the other way... I don't really like white bread. I'll tolerate it, but I prefer whole grain.
And to make it even more difficult, I don't really like wheat -- at least, by itself. I find it bitter, and frankly, I don't do bitter. But I love rye, and barley, and corn, and oats, and... well, you get the picture. I actually really like white wheat, because of its less-bitter taste, but it's much harder to find for a good price. Red wheat is plentiful and cheap, so I just find it easier to mix it with other grains, or sweeten it, etc. Even white wheat has a bold flavor, though. You notice it right away. This isn't a bad thing, but it isn't what I wanted in this bread. I wanted subtle, behind-the-scenes flavor. The kind that makes you go, "Hmm, what is this? This is different. This is good."
So I chose barley. Mild, slightly sweet, and a perfect backdrop for the flax already in the recipe. This time, I chose to use only 1 cup of barley flour and 4 cups of bread flour. I need to know the threshold of the bread, when it goes from just enough whole grains to too much. I intend to gradually step up the amount of barley flour I use until I find it negatively affects the texture, flavor, and/or ease of use of the bread. I don't want to have to coddle this bread because it has whole grains. If I have to coddle it, I won't make it regularly. And that sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?
I show the recipe below for one loaf, though I doubled it this time around and made two loaves. Honestly, this dough is so easy to handle even by hand, I would make massive batches at once, but I only have one oven and two loaf pans. I'm sure if you scaled this out and made a baker's dozen it wouldn't be much more work than it is for one. I scaled back the yeast some this time, to see if it still rose quickly -- I noted little difference in rise times but a big difference in taste. Also, I used half buttermilk, half 1% milk this time around, and sprinkled with barley flakes instead of the 7-grain cereal. Very tasty! Though the barley flakes like to fall off some...
Procrastinator's Sandwich Bread: Barley Edition
- .25c butter
- 1c 1% milk
- 1c reduced fat buttermilk
- 2tbsp granulated sugar
- 2tsp kosher salt
- 4c bread flour
- 1c barley flour
- 1tbsp instant yeast
- 2tbsp vital wheat gluten
- 2tbsp ground flax seed
- more milk for brushing
- 1-2tbsp barley flakes (or topping of choice)
- Melt butter in microwave in a large measuring cup or bowl. (1 min on HIGH for me.)
- Add milk and heat to lukewarm. (1 more min on HIGH for me.)
- Add sugar and salt and stir to dissolve.
- Combine flours, yeast, gluten, and flax in a large bowl/the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add liquid and mix to "shaggy mass" stage.
- Knead by hand or mixer until elastic. Dough will NOT clean bowl or form a ball; this is fine.
- Let rise until double, about 35 mins.
- Shape into a loaf, and put in greased 9x5in pan.
- Preheat oven to 350F; let dough rise 25-30 mins.
- Brush with milk and sprinkle barley flakes on top, then score loaf as desired. (I always do mine diagonally, corner to corner.)
- Bake for 25 mins uncovered, with steam, then cover with foil and bake another 20-35 mins, until internal temp is 190F.
Pictures to come tomorrow, when I un-lazy enough to upload them to my computer. LOL