The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hamelman's Whole Wheat Bread

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Hamelman's Whole Wheat Bread

I have not posted much in the last month or so since I have been working on different variations of Hamelman's Whole-wheat bread, p 122 in his book Bread.  The recipe is fine and I am sure most people enjoy it just as it is. I have baked it about 6 times. However, for various reasons I have being trying to in some way supplement the recipe so that the crumb is smoother and creamier.  To do this I have done the following:

1-Added 1 teaspoon of gluten for each cup of flour

2-Substituted milk where water was asked for.  KA advised doing so.

My recent batch turned out very well and seems almost creamy however I do now have problems:

1-when using milk KA and others advise scalded milk, which I believe means waiting for the milk to bubble on the edges of the pan, which it seems is very much a judgement call since to do too little can make as many problems as heating too much. Yes I know there is a school of thought that says scalding is not necessary but for various reasons I choose to do so.

2-the use of milk also results in the carmelizing of the milk after the first 20 mins. in the oven so that the bread crust becomes quite dark..  I guess the tenting over the bread could possibly solve that but I am not sure; however I tented it for the last 15 minutes and it seemed to control it.

So my questions are:

  1. How does one scald milk just right?
  2. Is there a way to use this recipe in a way to get the creamy effects I am currently getting but with a simpler means?  Possibly Potatoe Flour?
  3. My loaves are not as tall as I would expect them to be, ie, no real 'oven pop', but rather about the height at which I put them in the oven (about 450 degrees as directed.) Do I just continue to increase the yeast amount and go for it?

Thanks.


 

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I scald milk when I make yogurt.  After years of frustration trying to do it on the stovetop, I found the easiest way is in the microwave with a tempreature probe.  Boiling the milk makes a mess, whether on the stove or in the microwave.  Direct heat on the stove results in a hard-to-clean pot.  But put it in the microwave and set it for maybe 195 degrees, and that should be perfect.

Rosalie

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

I appreciate your sharing of the experience of trying to scald milk when you say: "Direct heat on the stove results in a hard-to-clean pot"

And of course I have no microwave.

Yet to heat the milk too much or too little results in real problems....maybe I should use Whey instead........

Jeffrey's picture
Jeffrey

It's two pans, one fits inside the other, the bottom one is filled with water, then you put the milk in the top one.  Or you could put the milk in a jar, then place it in the boiling watter.  It would be messy using the direct heat on the milk.

 

We haven't replaced our microwave in years.

 

jeffrey

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

That is the only option I can think of also.

Interesting that Joy of Cooking explains how to boil an egg but not how to scald milk.

whatever........

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Hi Country Boy,

If you're not getting any oven spring at all, my guess would be that the loaves are overproofed. Try proofing less time and see what happens.

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Add and egg white.  Put it to your measure cup and then add cooled milk to make up liquids.  Sometimes the eggwhite stretches your liquids, meaning you might want to use just a little bit less milk as see what it does.  Before adding eggwhite, you should know that it shortens the life span of your loaf, it tends to dry out faster, not a problem if bread is eaten in the first 3 days. I like mashed potato flakes, not flour, for a moister loaf.  I have never used potato flour or potato startch in bread,  yet.  -- Mini Oven

L_M's picture
L_M

Hope this isn't too off topic, but, can anyone please tell me what potato flour looks like? We have a product here that is called potato flour but I have a feeling it might really be potato starch. It is very, very white and is very fine - feels quite like cornstarch. Potato flakes are a creamier colour and Mini Oven's comment got me thinking that maybe I've been using starch all along instead of flour!  It does seem to give the same moist results in bread though.

L_M

sphealey's picture
sphealey

=== can anyone please tell me what potato flour looks like? We have a product here that is called potato flour but I have a feeling it might really be potato starch. It is very, very white and is very fine ===

That is a perfect description of the product sold to me by King Arthur as "potato flour". It is also a very pervasive material; once you get a bit of it on the counter it is all over the kitchen within a few minutes.

sPh

L_M's picture
L_M

Hmmm, could it be that they are both the same - just different names? From what I have heard King Arthur is a very reputable source.

L_M

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Both King Arthur and Bob's Red Mill list potato flour and potato starch as different products. BRM also carries potato flakes, which work quite nicely in the BRM Potato Bread mix.

sPh

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Someone could e-mail KA & Bob's and ask what the difference is.  Since potatoes are not a grain, its flour couldn't be comparable.

Rosalie

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think it would be good to know. The most obvious example is corn starch / corn flour. I do use potato starch for cornstarch, like the taste more. I tend to think starch stands by itself (processed into being starch) where flour may also contain starch. Any kind of flour is up to experimentation and not all flours come from grain. (Dried chestnuts are also ground to flour and used for bread. The Romans planted chestnut trees all over Europe purposely supporting their troups.  Read More )

Creamy: Yesterday I forced myself to make a kilo loaf without egg white and was very nervous about it. I did find 150ml UHT whipping cream, so I added that and continued with water, a heaping soupspoon of rye firm starter, yeast, sugar, salt, and AP flour. Ev. put it into my casserole and came out with a lovely creamy loaf! (That with low gluten flour!) Nearly pushed the top off!

CountryBoy, what is your definition of "creamy" ??? Mini Oven

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

To scald milk on the stove top, put the pot on medium heat and wait until you see small bubbles beginning to form on the top (especially at the sides of the pan). Immediately remove from heat. As long as you've seen the beginning of bubble formation, it is "scalded just right".

Scalding milk does *not* mean to bring it to a boil. It means to bring it just to the point where it would start boiling if left on the heat longer. (When milk boils, especially if placed on high heat, it can foam up rapidly.)

Jeeze, people, this ain't rocket science. :)

PS - 2 suggestions

If your bread recipe calls for butter (or other solid fat) as well as milk, you can put the butter in the milk immediately after it is scalded so the butter will melt.

If you want to use half milk and half water for the liquid, add the cool water to the milk immediately after it has been scalded. This will quickly lower the temperature of the milk so you don't have to wait as long for it to cool before adding it to the flour.

browndog's picture
browndog

Milk is properly scalded when, as you say, bubbles are just beginning to form at the edges of the pan. Scald over high heat in a thick-bottomed pan, and here's the deal-breaker, you have to stir constantly to prevent scorching, which is so boring you might decide that whatever the reason you were scalding to begin with may not matter after all.

(Whoops, right on the heels of subfuscpersona, who is making bubbles form around my edges in the form of giggles...)

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

hi browndog,

Not to scold you on your scalding techniques and With All Due Respect, I don't think one should use *high* heat when scalding milk. If you're not careful, this can mean the transition from almost boiling to actually boiling can happen pretty rapidly and this is when the milk can boil over and make a mess. Also, I don't think you need to stir all the time, just every now and then.

I remain, your humble servant, etcetera...

subfuscpersona :) :) :) :) :)

 

browndog's picture
browndog

subfuscpersona:


My goodness, you leave me nearly speechless. Ah, but only nearly.

The truth is I agree with you. Hmph.

If you aren't doing high heat you don't need to stir all the time. But it takes FOREVER on medium. But you can easily scorch it on high. So if you lack patience in one department it's best to have a surfeit of it in another.

P.S.This confirms my every suspicion. You are adorable as well as wise. ; )

P. P. S. It pains me to note further that despite your exceedingly politic presentation, you actually disagreed with all my points...

P.P.P.S. If there's room here for any obscurity whatsoever, let it stand for the record that I'm grinning from ear-to-ear...(Paranoia strikes deep.)

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Appreciate the guidance on this.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

This might be a bit late but I was always told to rinse the pan with cold water before scalding milk. So I checked with The Joy of Cooking and sure enough they say: "it is a help in later cleaning to rinse out the pan with cold water." I haven't scalded milk in ages so can't remember whether it is yet another old wives' tale, but it might help. NOW, can someone please tell me how to read the latest posts on Firm starter - Glezer method? There must be a way to get to the recent stuff without having to go back - and back - and back? It is raining cats and dogs here this morning so I am happily working on some sourdough bread. Let it rain! A

L_M's picture
L_M

AnnieT, we're onto page 2 on the Firm starter - Glazer method. Scroll down to the bottom of the first page and then click on 'next' or page 2

L_M

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Also, since replies to earlier comments aren't necessarily at the end, I sometimes do a search for the word "new", which appears in the upper right corner of new (to me) comments.

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

I am not sure if people got focused on question #1/Scalding and forgot about the other 2 questions.  So far MiniOven and Susanfnp are the only two who have been able to really tackle the other two questions; for which thanks. 

Since there are so many here who are professionals or with many years experience, possibly they could comment on questions #2 and #3 as well?  Thanks.

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

Countryboy,

I lurk - but just wanted you to know that I use bread pans about 75 percent of the time as well as yeast.  My SO loves a "farm fresh" loaf that I found on the net and I have to make 2 batches (6 loaves) a week to keep her happy.

She does not like sourdough, even mild, so when I use my starter and make SD bread, it is strictly for MY use. 

Maybe it is a lady thing (no offense) because my neighbor doesnt like SD either, but her husband scarfs up every bit I give to him!   Hummm, do we need a study on this matter?

Ramona's picture
Ramona

Hi, I am very new to this, but have been studying quite a bit in the past month.  Today, I made Floyd's potato chive bread with hard winter red wheat and no all purpose or white flour.  I had to adjust the hydration a little.  Again, I am learning as I go.  It turned out very tasty and the texture was really good.  I have come to realize, from all my reading and instructions from others, that I really need to do a sponge and maybe an autolyze, as well, to get the flavor, nutrition, and the texture that I am looking for.  I am still learning, but so far have found that doing these overnight practices really helps.  With the potato bread, I also added mashed potatoes and sour cream, which really gave the bread good flavor and texture(creamy?).  I also didn't have a problem with stickiness using the sponge.  I will probably make this bread often, because not only did I like it, but my husband really commented on it, as well as, my children.  As for scalded milk, you seem to have gotten quite alot of answers that are helpful.  All I do, and I realize according to Laurel's breadbook also, is wait until I see a skin ontop of the milk.  But I don't want to cook my milk unless I really need to.  I use raw milk and want the health benefits from it.  I know that some say there is a protein in it that hinders rise unless it is scalded, but I haven't been disappointed by the rises in my bread.  In fact, I have found that my doughs rise relatively fast, compared to recipes.  I did read that whole grains are subceptible to this.  One of the things that is important to me is getting whole grain recipes to taste like white flour recipes(that I grew up on).  And today, I also made sticky buns with pecans and they turned out tasting just like the ones that we use to buy.  They are probably my best yet so far in baking from whole grains.

Ramona's picture
Ramona

I made this with hard red spring wheat.

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

So I was reading through the BBA and noted his Light Whole Wheat Bread recipe that includes butter.  Is that a tenderizer? 

Do people use butter and an egg for most breads where they want more tender crumb?

He also mentions that there is no real point in going with a preferment or sponge on this but Hamelman definitely does use a preferment for his whole wheat.