The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Soaking Bran?

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Mebake's picture
Mebake

Soaking Bran?

A thought has just came across my mind. When we want to include cracked grains or seeds in our bread mix we usually soak them for many reasons, one of which is to soften them up.


Could sifting the whole wheat flour, and soaking the bran overnight, and re-including it into the final mix improve the crumb texture of wholewheat bread??


Only way to find out is to try. Anyone ever tried that before?


thanks


khalid

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

both with cold and with hot water. Not exactly exciting, as both soakers acquired a smell of stable :-)

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Khalid,


Yes, judicious quantity in the dough is necessary to avoid what Nico is describing.


We actually experimented by making the bran soaker into a little ferment by adding a small amount of yeast.   This was used as a means to break down the bran and make it more digestible, as opposed to a search for greater leavening power.


Results were inconclusive, if I remember rightly


All good wishes


Andy

Ford's picture
Ford

I like to soak my whole wheat flour for a couple of hours, or overnight to soften it.


Ford

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Strange? Nicodvb.. but thanks for sharing that.


Andy, inconclusive, umm, sounds like a dead end to me. and Ford, i only wanted to test the principle of softening bran along with any soaker say: seeds or grains, as they might mask the "stable smell" effect as apposed to soaking whole wheat flour and introducing unwanted enzymatic activity to a controlled test.


Any more thoughts?


khalid

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Khalid, 2% of salt with respect to flour will stop (or at least relent very efficiently) all proteolitic activity in the soaker. A chemistrian friend told me that salt doesn't have any effect on amylase when used in the usual quantities, so at most your whole wheat flour soaker will have some more added sugar, that doesn't taste bad at all ;-)


 


 

midwest baker's picture
midwest baker

I soak all the whole wheat flour in the water and salt from the recipe overnight in the fridge. Haven't noticed any bad smells or tastes. Works great. May be the salt and refrigeration stops some of the bad  things from happening.

Crider's picture
Crider

when I make homemade graham flour. The soft brans causes the dough to handle nicely.

RonRay's picture
RonRay

When I was on a high fiber kick, my breakfast was 1/3C Bakers bran, 1/4C Oat bran which was boiled with about 2/3C of water, in the microwave covered for 4 to 6 minutes. All water was absorbed. I then added milk, honey, etc and ate it like hot oatmeal. It was not bad - nor great either, but it certainly softened the bran.


Ron

rayel's picture
rayel

My experience with soaking bran, was with added bran, 1/3 cup, to nearly 5 cups of whole wheat flour. I didn't soak overnight as was suggested, but the bread, though not high rising as i had expected, was still quite good. My recipe called for apple juice as the soaking liquid, which might explain the agreeable smell. Oh yes, allspice, was added to the soak. I don't see why your plan to sift first, would not work to give you better texture.  (Will you sift the germ out along with the bran, and would it matter?) I think a long soak will allow the bran to take up quite a bit of liquid, and am wondering how you will figure in the correct amt. for the dough. It will have to be a feel thing probably. Let us know if you try it, and results. Ray

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Nicodvb, midwestbaker, crider, and Ron.


Ray, looks like hands on experience is the judge here. will post result when available,


 


thanks to all.


 

midwest baker's picture
midwest baker

Hamelman's book says "By adding the dough salt to the soaker, the enzymatic activity is reduced and the development of off flavors avoided." I was reading the book this afternoon and just came across this. Hope it helps.  (p. 50)


Mary