The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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kimes's picture

Can a whole wheat starter be used in French Bread?

March 19, 2010 - 8:27pm -- kimes

I have recently been looking through books on whole grain breads.  I have yet to see any information on a whole wheat french bread and am wondering if it is because of the unique qualities of this type of bread.


I really have two questions:


1) Is there a whole wheat French Bread recipe available, that still maintains the slight sourness, airy texture, and large holes?


2)  Would using a whole wheat sourdough(ish) starter effect the flavoring?  Would any adjustments need to be made?


 


Thanks for your imput!

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

 Trial One


First up: the Failure.


They were completely sourdough, but something wasn't quite right. They got a bit too puffed. I'm thinking that the fact that I let the dough come back up to room temperature had something to do with that. I should've boiled straight from the fridge, then baked. It could also be that I didn't get them stretched out quite enough, either.


The taste, though? Perfect. Exactly what I want.



Second: the Success.


This is another basic sourdough rye. No caraway, no sugar...just flour, salt, water, and starter. No complaints. Time to get out the mustard. Or maybe the corned beef...


Just to show that I've been baking. Not neglecting my hobby this week. :)

jembola's picture

Who has successfully turned stone ground whole wheat into a proper loaf?

March 25, 2009 - 9:02pm -- jembola
Forums: 

In the interest of buying and eating local food, I just bought 50 kilograms of local stone ground organic whole wheat (red fife) and "fine sifted" wheat flour, which is pretty much like whole wheat but a little lighter with less bran. I was assured it was very good quality and high in protein for bread baking. I'm keeping it refrigerated so I know it's fresh.  I thought I'd just keep experimenting till I got it working well. 

Stephmo's picture
Stephmo

A few things converged on this fateful day. I had a craving for hummus, and I was out of pita bread. I didn't really feel like going to the store just for pita bread and then I started wondering how hard pita bread was to make. So to the google! And that's when the Fresh Loaf website informed me of the greatest fact ever. Pita Bread is one of the easiest breads you'll ever make. So the first thing I discover is that it's also one of the cheapest breads that I'll probably ever make. It starts with six ingredients (left to right: kosher salt, instant yeast, flour, buckwheat honey, water and olive oil): I figure that I had less than a buck invested by the time all was said and done. Mostly that's because I'm unsure as to how many cups of flour may actually be in a five pound sack of flour, so I'm guessing 50 cents for the flour. I also find out that my mixer can do most of the work. So mucho credit to the Indigo Master: Okay, an amazing thing happens. The rising part. I set aside the dough in a bowl to rise. It's only supposed to take 90 minutes and double in size. This has been a failure many times before in bread experiments. But LOOK: Here, I've taken my ingredients and transformed them into eight pieces of future pita rounds. These need to rest a bit and you can see the action shot taking place as husband begins to lay the damp kitchen towel over the dough rounds for a 20 minute rest. In the meantime, I heated the oven up and put my pizza stone in the middle to get nice and hot. I had the pizza stone because I like cooking gadgets, but I've never actually done my own dough on it. Once the pizza dough has rested, all that's left to do is roll them into rounds-ishes. This is the fun part as things are actually looking more pita-ish. I do take the extra step of the spray bottle as mentioned in the recipe (I'm paranoid and don't want to chance anything). Mostly, I think I scared the dogs. I do think I could have stood to have rolled everything a bit thinner... Otherwise, I'm incredibly proud of my result - and the pocket that appeared! Of course it was rather late, so the hummus had to wait. This was the beginning of my bread-making adventure. I hope to get more of my stories up here soon!

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