The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole-wheat Sandwich Bread

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Whole-wheat Sandwich Bread

 

Has anyone tried the Whole-wheat Sandwich Bread recipe in the recent March-April issue of Cooks Illustrated?

The video for it is free to access at:

http://www.cooksillustrated.com/video/default.asp?newVideo=y&docid=27547

It is a 60% whole wheat flour loaf using a biga and a soaker with milk.

Biga

  • 2 cups (11 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) warm water (100-110 degrees)
  • 1/2 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast

Soaker

  • 3 cups (16 1/2 ounces) whole-whet flour plus extra kneading
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 2 cups (16 ounces ) whole milk

Dough

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 tsps. table salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Cover both biga and soaker and let stand 8-24 hours.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 40-50 mins.

Bread flour for work surface.

Yield: 2 9x5 inch loaves.

Whole milk and wheat germ in the soaker?

And it still doesn't look as if it has sufficient height to it in the final product.

Suggestions; comments?.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Seems the linked video shows and mentions yeast added to final dough. Seems to be missing from the "dough" ingredients list in op?

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Mr. Frost, thanks for the heads up on this.......

Seems the linked video shows and mentions yeast added to final dough. Seems to be missing from the "dough" ingredients list in op?

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

So how much(yeast)?

Thanks

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

Along with the fats you add 2 Tablespoons of active dry yeast.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Ok, you asked below if you could decrease the yeast.

I have done this recipe a couple of times and only used 2 teaspoons of instant yeast. And this was back in Feb-Mar when my room temperatures were still relatively cool(65 - 70 deg F). I imagine I found a place about 75 to 80 deg to let the dough rise. Even with that little yeast, my rising times still seemed to be in line as described in the video. My loaves rose just as much as those in the video. Really, I think I got more volume than they did, as I used 9 x 5" pan compared to their 8 x 5" pan.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Great illustrative Video! CountryBoy! Thanks...!

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

But when does one add the yeast in this recipe?

The recipe says one thing but the video adds it later ?

Help! What does PR do?

cb

Caltrain's picture
Caltrain

According to Reinhart, you first add a small amount (1/4 tsp) of yeast to the biga, then the next day add a lot more (7g, or 2.25 tsp) to the final mix.

If you're curious, here's a link to PR's 100% whole wheat version, with some more detailed instructions.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Raises the question of the source of the recipe as posted in op?

Actually, this (same?)recipe seems to have been originally posted a couple of weeks ago, being attributed to Cook's Illustrated alter ego, America's Test Kitchen. Questions(of the opposite sort) on the yeast amount were also raised.

The amount of yeast to be added to the final dough appears to be 2 Tablespoons. Why so much? Maybe it's the wheat germ? But whatever...

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22271/america039s-test-kitchen039s-amazing-tasting-yeasted-whole-wheat-sandwich-bread

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Just to add some more confusion...

PR states that he uses more yeast so that fermentation time is shorter since the grains have all soaked overnight..don't need a longer time to soften or develop flavor or gluten  BUT I think he might say more too but I am really new to all of this so I don't know his complete answer...suppose I shouldn't then offer my partial one since it will only confuse matters more.

I do know I cut his recommended amount by half and I have found no difference in fermentation times.  (I live at 5280 feet and altitude shortens rising times.)

I have basically used PR recipes for breads that use soakers and bigas and I have pretty much followed his directions.  Now I am beginning to branch out and ask more questions as to why things are done the way they are...it does get confusing.

Like if you want a really, really soft 100% whole wheat sourdough bread txfarmer has a recipe that uses a starter and a soaker but the distribution of the flour and water is very different from PR.  It also involves an overnight retardation period in the refrig. once all the ingredients have been added...

So, one question leads to another.

Good luck with your loaf!

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Ok, so I will try this recipe tomorrow and let people know what happens.

Note PR refrigerates the biga overnight and goes with room temperature overnight with the soaker.

However Cooks Illustrated does the opposite.

Are there reasons for this or are they being contrary?

cb

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Well I just took it out of the oven and it seems to have worked better than expected.

I am still puzzled that PR and Cooks differ on what to refridgerate the night before; they differ on biga or soaker. I went with Cooks soaker in the fridge.

Maybe we should refridgerate both?

Yes, I split the yeast with 1/2 added in the biga in the beginning and then the other half the next day while mixing.

Also, for the record, I quadrupled the recipe size and got 3 good size loaves.

Am still puzzled by the 10% shrinkage of the loaf after cooling.  But they look great when pulled from the overn and just like the picture.

Does anyone else get any shrinkage or am I the only one?

cb.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Actually, in the video, look closely at the loaf when it is rotated during the bake and when they just remove them from the oven. Now compare to when the loaves are turned out of the pan.

To me, there appears to be about that much shrinkage(10%), at least.

I've said this in another thread that I'm convinced that loaf "contraction" is not uncommon as a significant amount of moisture leaves the loaf in the latter part of the bake, and continues as the loaf cools. Not that this is an original observation, as I'm sure it is not. Of course this contraction is what causes the singing and cracking in breads that have crisp crusts. Not always so apparent in soft crusted breads. There is often a little wrinkling and shriveling that's noticeable though.

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Thanks Mr. Frost for your astute observation; most appreciated.

I guess I thought I was the only one.......

cb

AlaskanShepherdess's picture
AlaskanShepherdess

Must you have the regular flour in order to make great sandwhich bread?

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

The first time I made this I  made a mistake and doubled the whole wheat flour in the soaker. The dough was very stiff and had to be worked by hand. I was perplexed since most recipes from this magazine are reliable. However it rose beautifully and came out fine.

I am trying it again with a few substutions. I replaced wheat germ with flax seed and used an additomal 1/2 c  of rye flour in the biga.

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

This time the bread came out very soft. Softer than I like, but my husband LOVES soft bread.  I was worried that I would overknead the bread and didnt knead it enough. I also wonder if I can put less yeast in it as it seems to rise fast. Still this recipe is easy and satisfying to make.

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

I have continued to make this bread. I keep tweaking it with a bit of this and that, although I still find that I need to add much more flour than the recipe states.

https://picasaweb.google.com/truthcounts/BreadTrials?authkey=Gv1sRgCNiXzcfO2veXUg#

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

How much yeast are you using? The recipe as listed in the first post only calls for 1/2 teaspoon that I can see?

Could be missing something though.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

ps: Used much less; 2 teaspoons. See explanation higher up where you responded to an earlier post of mine.

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

I ran out of bread flour and used All Purpose flour and some vital wheat gluten. I think this is why it was so wonderfully soft!

Pat in SoCal's picture
Pat in SoCal

In searching for a great WW sandwich bread I tried 4 different recipes and Reinhart's won hands down for height, crumb, and crust. Followed exacty except for final rise in the fridge that got squished by accident and had to re form and rise again on the counter. Scored down the middle, beautiful oven spring. Very yummy....but now have 3 "lesser" loaves to finish up before I bake again.

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Ok folks, this is probably cheating but here goes. I bake this bread 4 loaves at a time and have been doing so for the last 3 years. However good crust has always eluded me until now.

When I put the dough in the oven I now bake it for 15 mins. each at 475, 425, 375, and 350. If that doesn't do it then do it an extra 10 mins. at 350. End product, good crust all around and no worry with pouring water on stones, etc. 

Obviously all ovens are different so adjust accordingly.

country boy

 

 

 

 

 

Lauraclimbs's picture
Lauraclimbs

I have made this recipe several times. It is incredible. I have also followed this recipe making the loaf 100% ww. Tomorrow, I am planning on making a sourdough version. It will still be use whole wheat flour, which I am soaking over night. I don't know exactly how much starter to use or if the dairy will effect the starter, but I figured it's worth a try!

If you haven't tried the Cooks Illustrated recipe yet, however, do it. It's awesome!

bisbys's picture
bisbys

So I have made this recipe a few times and love the flavor but the more i try to understand the quatities the more confused I become! First I agree 2 Tablespoons of yeast is too much, now i tried to do baker's percentages on this recipe and realize that the flour quantities provided in ounces don't match the cups!!  can anyone verify which is correct?

bisbys's picture
bisbys

i found my own error on this they are using Imperial cups, as we do, makes me wonder why the Baker's Percentage converters I was using show US Cups.

 

bisbys's picture
bisbys

OK. So clearly exposing my ignorance!The issue is simply different conversion quantities for Flour presumably according to the method used to measure the flour in cups and or moisture content etc. Just shows why we should weigh ingredients, which I do.