The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

wholemeal bread recipe

silverback's picture
silverback

wholemeal bread recipe

I have always made bread using bread maker.  Now I am branching out into making my own but because of health issues it has to be a wholemeal loaf. The ones I have made up until now have been "OK" but I would like one which is not as dense as they appear to be.  I have experimented using half white and half wholemeal flour which does make a difference but still not completely satisfied.  Does anybody out there have a foolproof recipe that I could try please?  Also I am using quick yeast, so not sure whether I should be using fresh.


All ideas and suggestions would be really greatfully received!!

swtgran's picture
swtgran

My very favorite soft 100% whole wheat is the one posted at Everyday Homemaking.  It is Vicki's bread.  The same bread with an egg makes great rolls and sweet rolls.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

If you have the opportunity, try using white whole wheat flour. It has a sweeter taste than the usual whole wheat and retains the same benefits.

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Hi Silverback


King Arthur say this is the most popular recipe on their site:


http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2010/08/16/q-whats-our-most-popular-recipe-a-you-wont-believe-it/


But I wonder what you made in the bread maker? Can't you use the same ingredients and work by hand to make the bread you already like?


What 'hand' techniques are you using? If you are not familiar with 'autolyse', 'stretch and fold in the bowl' or 'stretch and fold on the bench aka letter fold', I suggest you make good use of the search box to learn more about these techniques which make for easier hand work to develop gluten and thus less dense loaves . You'll find videos here too that illustrate the S&F methods.


Are you giving your dough a cosy spot to bulk ferment and proof in? Are you confident that you know when your dough is ready at each stage? The photos in the KAF link will help, but again reading archives here will help too. Giving the yeast enough time to work (while not going too far and over proofing the dough) will also help create a lighter outcome.


It will not matter what yeast you use, but you do need to use a different quantity, depending on the type of yeast. Should a formula call for 3 grams of instant dried yeast, you would need 4 grams of active dried yeast or 10 grams of fresh yeast. Instant dry yeast is popular because it is reliable and easy to use, just mix it in with the dry ingredients. (Stay round TFL for long and you'll soon be interested in sourdough yeasts too!)


You might find it useful to check the Book Review link in the banner above and then see if any of the books which take your interest are available at your local library.The more recently published books appear at the bottom of the thread, of course.


Robyn

silverback's picture
silverback

Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I was going to attempt another loaf today, but I think I will check out the suggested websites/ideas and take a few moments to decide which is the best way to go forward. Hopefully, I will work out where I am going wrong and then GO FOR IT!!


thanks again, silverback

coolkev's picture
coolkev

Hello Silverback,


I agree with Robyn's advise, just had a couple of things I thought I'd throw out there for you.


Postal Grunt mentioned White Whole Wheat but I don't believe that's available to you in the UK. It's a wholemeal made from hard white wheat instead of the regular hard red wheat. It is nice. You might try checking some of the Canadian flours.


I like the recipe that Robyn recommended to you. I make it often. I incorporate  the techniques that Robyn mentioned, "autolyse" and "stretch & fold". I also do a "pre-ferment" and a "retardation" for most Wholemeal breads, including this one. If you're making a single loaf, try a "pre-ferment" of 1 cup of flour, i cup of water and a pinch of yeast. Let it ferment for 12 to 24 hours and use like any liquid ingredient. You can experiment and increase the amount of flour and water in your "pre-ferment". After bulk fermentation, I shape the loaves and "retard" them by putting them in the fridge for 8 to 24 hours. I end up with a 100% wholemeal bread that's as light an airy as most white breads. I also like spreading out the process over a period of time. I think it improves the flavor and the storing qualities of the bread. A few minutes one day, a few minutes the next and finally I just put the loaves in the oven and bake. It never gets to be a chore.


Quick yeast is good, I believe it what we call Instant in the US. Leave Fresh yeast for the professional bakers.


On your Bread machine, you can use it for mixing and kneading. I like it better than using a stand mixer. It's a longer, slower process that I feel approximates mixing and kneading by hand. Look at the instruction manual that came with the machine. Try to find the settings that will give you the longest knead time and use that for your wholemeal bread. My machine has a 'pre-heat' cycle. I avoid that as well as any 'rise' cycles.


Always weight your ingredients. You can get a inexpensive scale from Amazon UK for less than 10 pounds.


Have fun making your bread.


Best Regards,


K

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

coolkev wrote: Leave Fresh yeast for the professional bakers.

Why?


You can easily get fresh yeast from Tesco & Sainsbury's in the UK and (I think) Tesco doesn't charge if you don't ask for too much.  Sainsbury's sell it in 200g packages and quite cheaply. 


I much prefer fresh yeast to dried and it is easy to use, just rub it into the flour as if you are making crumble and use 10 - 15g to 500g of flour.  Keep unused stocks tightly wrapped and refridgerated for two weeks or so.


Ruralidle

coolkev's picture
coolkev

While I've been to Tesco, Sainsbury & Super Value over the years, I nerver realized that they sold freah yeast. I have always thought that fresh yeast was something that you needed to source from your local baker. Thanks for the tip.


I'm glad that fresh yeast is so readily available to you and I'm sure you have had great success with it. Actually I'm a little bit envious, I wish I had an easily accessible source for freah yeast. I would love to experiment with it.


That said, I really don't know that much about Silverback's situation. The reason I recommended to SilverBack to not worry about Freah yeast versus Quick yeast was because I thought he might have bigger issues than the type of yeast he was using.


I was just trying to help Silverback. The very last thing in the world that I want is to get into a debate over types of yeast.


K

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

coolkev, sorry I didn't mean to give offence I was just passing on the benefits of my experience as a homebaker in the UK and also trying to help Silverback.  I learnt how to make bread, as opposed to bricks, from Richard Bertinet who prefers fresh yeast to the other varieties. I have to admit that I have had far more success with fresh yeast (and sourdough ferments) than I had with dried yeast.  However, that may be more to do with Mr Bertinet's techniques and the instruction that I received!  I think the real moral of the story is use whatever you find the most convenient and - most importantly - what works best for you!


Best wishes


Ruralidle