The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

whole wheat

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subfuscpersona's picture

Grain prices to rise due to poor harvests

August 24, 2007 - 7:36am -- subfuscpersona
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Bakers and home millers might want to stock up on grain now, as weather problems have significantly reduced the projected wheat harvest. Eventually this will be reflected in consumer prices. Grain keeps well and does not require special storage conditions beyond a cool, dry place. IMHO, any non-white flour should be refrigerated or frozen to preserve flavor.

KipperCat's picture

for Helend - 1st wholemeal spelt loaf

July 17, 2007 - 6:26pm -- KipperCat
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Helend - DH is bringing home some wholemeal spelt flour tonight. I had planned to start a loaf of 100% WW tonight, but may try the spelt instead. I've read that it absorbs less water than whole wheat. Anything else I should know? I usually add an acid to my whole wheat bread. Should I do this with the spelt as well? And lastly, any thoughts on whether I should use all spelt or try a blend (about 50/50) of whole spelt and whole wheat?

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

I think the formula/recipe was fine on this, but the dough was either a bit overproofed or underkneaded. How's that for confusing? :D

I know that whole wheat doughs rise faster than white doughs. I don't remember how long this dough sat for the initial ferment, just that it was less than 18 hours. I suspect that it would have been fine if I had developed the gluten by hand a bit more - maybe another fold and rest before the final shaping. As it was the dough was a bit soft when risen. I slashed it about 1/2 inch deep and saw the loaf start spreading outwards almost right away! I don't have a picture of the crumb. It was soft, but not the lightness desired in a sandwich loaf. Next time I'll try a more enriched dough for a sandwich loaf - probably Laurel's Kitchen buttermilk.

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

I was visiting with my sister in Wisconsin, and we joined several other family members for a July 4th get-together at my cousins' cottage. I decided to bring bread for my contribution and thought it would be best if baked fresh. So the night before I started 2 loaves each of white and whole wheat NYT No-Knead bread. In the morning, I folded each loaf and placed in an oiled ziploc bag. The bags were carefully placed in a soft sided picnic-cooler-on-wheels. At that point I realized that the cooler-on-wheels wasn't about to stand up straight and give the dough the gentle treatment I had hoped! It flopped over there in the kitchen and did so more than once more throughout the day.

Anyway, the cooler was stowed in the back seat and we headed off 100 miles to the cabin. After visiting for awhile I was going inside to bake my bread. Cousin Jeff told me that wasn't a good idea. It seems a squatter had been resident in the oven the week before. While the mouse had been evicted, the thorough cleaning needed after a bad tenant had yet to be done. So my cousin and I walked around the pond and up the hill to the other cabin. At that point I was very glad for the wheels! This kitchen was spotless, and even had a bench knife in the drawer to help with the final fold. When I opened the cooler, the zip bags were puffed out like plump pillows from the risen dough! Here I shaped and baked the loaves. The bread was very popular, with 2 requests for the recipe. I wish I had pictures - of all the family, and the bread that did just fine with that rough handling. :~)

 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Even in the midst of moving, a family’s got to eat. And with the beautiful summer weather we’ve been having in New England (70 degrees F, sunny, low humidity – ah, New England, I’m gonna miss ya), I’ve been cooking an awful lot on the grill, and I finally got around to making grilled pizza. Of course, I did it with whole wheat.

I don’t have the recipe in front of me, but if there’s interest, I’ll add it in the comments sometime later. All I can say is, Peter Reinhart’s advice in American Pie is easy to follow, and makes a fantastic pie. It’s surprisingly simple to do.

To make the pie whole wheat, I simply increased the amount of water by about 2-3 Tbs per cup. I downsized the recipe to make just two pies, and smaller ones at that. A 12-15 inch pie would be too large to fit on one side of the grill, which was a necessity, since I was using the one-grill method.

The key, it seems to me, really is to rake almost all the coals to one side so that there’s a blazing hot side and relatively cool side. I shaped my pies in a rough oval, because they fit better that way, but they got deformed because, even though I slathered the back of my baking sheet with olive oil, it was still not an easy task getting the dough off the sheet and onto the grill.

I was a little too worried about burning the dough. I could have left the second pie on the grill a little bit longer and gotten a better crust. But who’s complaining? It was excellent! For cheese, I used a 50-50 mozzarella-parmesan blend, and then added dollops of goat cheese. Toppings were roasted tomatoes, roasted red bell peppers and dollops of basil pesto.



We’ll be making these again.

Friday night, I’d started refreshing Arthur, my whole wheat starter, at 1-5-5, and did so again on Saturday morning, so by Saturday night, I had about 550 grams of starter at 100%. I decided to set up three things:

  • Whole wheat sourdough hearth bread: 88% hydration with 5% of the flour pre-fermented as starter
  • Whole wheat sourdough sandwich bread: 85% hydration with 10% of the flour pre-fermented
  • Sourdough whole wheat English Muffins: I used this recipe for Sourdugh English Muffins, substituting whole wheat flour for the AP flour and adding 2 Tbs more milk. I used only 2 cups flour for the entire recipe. Good Lord these are easy!


When I woke up, I used what has come to be called “the French Fold” on both breads, and then set about making the English muffins. Did I mention that these are easy? And delicious?

Here they are set on the breakfast table:




And here’s one opened up. I was very pleased with the spongy interior!



I rolled these out a little thin, but they were still lovely. Plus I got 15 muffins, instead of just 12. Next time around, I’ll keep them thicker, though.

Here’s the whole wheat sourdough hearth bread we had for dinner. I was rushed when shaping, so I didn’t preshape and was a little rough. You can see the results in the crumb – not nearly as open as I’d like, but still good for dinner.



We had the bread with a delicious and quick-to-make asparagus-spinich pesto over whole wheat linguini and a white bean and spinach salad. (I like 101 Cookbooks a lot, and her cookbook, Super Natural Cooking, is very good, but she uses a lot of exotic, hard-to-find ingredients. For the salad dressing, I just used some lemon zest, plain olive oil and cider vinegar, and it turned out fine.)

Last, the sandwich bread. I let it ferment a bit too long, but it nevertheless turned out just fine, if a little on the sour side (which my wife says is a feature, not a bug). The blur you see is my daughter’s hand grabbing the slice mid-shot. She’s a growing girl, what can I say?

subfuscpersona's picture

article on using whole grain flours (San Francisco Baking Institute newsletter)

June 14, 2007 - 5:18am -- subfuscpersona
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Interesting article in Winter 07 newsletter from San Francisco Baking Institute on using whole grain flours in bread formulas. Discusses types of whole grain flours, effects on gluten development and suggests adjustments for water content and mixing times. The link is http://www.sfbi.com/pdfs/SFBINewsWI07.pdf

KipperCat's picture

A not-so-sour sourdough?

June 12, 2007 - 9:51am -- KipperCat

My husband loves sourdough bread.  I can't argue with the quality of the bread, but it's usually too sour for my taste.  So, while it may sound crazy, I'd like to be able to make a less-sour sourdough.  Are there things I can do to accomplish this? 

I'd like to make my own starter from wild yeasts, and would prefer to bake mostly whole grain breads. I have absolutely no sourdough baking experience - and little enough with any bread. 

If I do manage to make a less sour bread, will it still have the lower glycemic impact of sourdough? 

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