The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My wonderful whole wheat boule

The_Metatron's picture

My wonderful whole wheat boule

I did some reading around these parts, and this is a very god resource to use to figure out how to bake a decent load of bread. My diet is vegan, whole foods, plant based, and more than that, I use no added sugar or oil in preparing my food. This rules out most commercial bread. So, I needed to solve the riddle of bread, as it is, and come up with my own whole wheat bread. My first attempts were heavy, dense, and dry. Not a big surprise there. You just can't treat whole wheat flour like all purpose four. The keys to my loaf turned out to be proper hydration, and proper development. I use an 80% hydration, and the stretch and fold method of developing the dough, which I learned on this web site. Here is what I do:

900 grams of whole wheat flour

15 grams of salt

One, 41 gram block of fresh yeast (it's what's available to me here)

720 grams of water

15 grams of honey

Combine the first two ingredients in the mixing bowl Combine the last three ingredients and let the yeast proof in a glass bowl for 20 minutes or so. Mix it all together with a wooden spoon, then turn it out onto the board to do the first stretch and fold. Return the dough to the mixing bowl, let it rise, covered, for 45 minutes. Stretch and fold again, returning the dough to the bowl. Wait another 45 minutes Stretch and fold again, returning the dough to the bowl. Turn on the oven to preheat to 230C, with my covered casserole pot inside. Wait another 45 minutes. Plop the dough from the mixing bowl to the NASA hot casserole pot, and score the top with a razor blade. Return it to the oven, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover the pot, bake another 15 minutes or so. I get the internal temperature to 95C. Cool it on a wire rack. This makes a big boule, which I cut in half, then freeze half. It makes a nice moist loaf, as open crumb as white bread, only tastier because of the whole grain. Thanks for the help!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Hate to be the one to burst your bubble but adding honey is adding sugar.   But I can't blame you for adding it to whole wheat.  I might also.  And 15g is not a lot.  Still, I wouldn't claim " added sugar."   (I was nervous with my first post too!) 

Learning to bake your own bread is a challenge you seem to have met.  Congratulations!

      Welcome to TFL!

Being vegan, you might want to see if you can get more protein into your loaf using other types of flour that are much more nutritious than wheat.   Compare your grains and think about seeds and nuts as well.  Don't forget legumes whole, soaked, or as flours.  All of these tend to be low on gluten so you won't be using them too concentrated but it is always worth a try to increase the food value of your loaf while maintaining good flavour.  Have fun!

Mini  :)

gerhard's picture

I know people that avoid highly refined foods which includes sugar but have no problem with carbohydrates in their diet.  They make jams using pear juice instead of sugar and use sweeteners such as honey as replacements for sugar.  I guess there is now the additional worry that when you buy honey it might be sourced from China and not be honey at all.


The_Metatron's picture

Thanks for the comments.

The avoidance of refined sugar is exactly the point.  The only reason I bother with some honey at all is just to make sure the yeast is alive by proofing it and avoid wasting a kilo of good flour on dead yeast.

As for the proteins, it simply isn't possible to be protein deficient on a balanced vegan diet without being calorie deficient.  It just isn't a concern.  A daily multivitamin disposes of the B12 problem.  Everything else is taken care of wonderfully.

I think the only thing I really want to improve on is the casserole pot I use.  Mine was a freebie from All-Clad, and is made of aluminum.  Nice casserole, but aluminum doesn't have nearly the heat capacity that cast iron does.  I envision either a Lodge Dutch oven or a La Creuset cast iron pot.

This formula and method of preraration works great for us.  As soon as the loaf is cool, I cut it in half and freeze half for use later in the week.  One of these a week seems to be doing lunches for us just about perfectly.

If anyone else tries this, I'd like to hear how it turned out and what they think of it.