Our Everyday Sandwich Bread, 100% whole wheat
I used to make the buttermilk bread from the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book as our everyday sandwich bread, but then I discovered an overnight fermentation recipe and the colour, texture, and taste are so much better, I don't think I can ever go back to an all-in-one-day bread recipe.
My recipe is based on this one for Traditional Soaked Whole Wheat Bread from The Elliot Homestead website, but I've made several modifications to make it work with freshly ground whole wheat flour and end up with 3 good-sized sandwich loaves.
Here are my modifications from the original recipe:
- I always use fresh ground flour, right out of the mill (I have a nutrimill), measured by weight (440 grams in soaker, 440 grams in sponge).
- I use 1 2/3 cup of the milk and water (instead of 1 1/2 cup).
- I use lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar.
- I add 3 Tbsp of wheat gluten and 1 Tbsp instant yeast to the final mix.
- I bake using the "convect roast" setting on my oven, set to 375F, for 35 minutes.
- I find this makes three good, decent-sized loaves. The original recipe shows two very flat loaves. Maybe she has huge bread pans?
This bread has a wonderful texture, toasts well, and fits well in our sandwich containers! It does take a very long time to rise in the pans, and I don't rush it. 1 1/2 hours is typical, at room temperature (we keep our house at 19C). I bake it at 375F convect roast setting for 35 minutes.
I have made some observations when using fresh ground flour. This bread is the ultimate if the flour is truly fresh - the flavour is fantastic. I use the flour immediately after milling, while it's warm. If you don't use it within 24 hours, the flour changes and turns into an unruly teenager who will destroy all of the gluten in an overnight ferment. The dough will never firm up - it loses all its elasticity and just spreads into a flat pancake on the counter. I assume this is due to enzyme changes. In that case it is better to age the flour for weeks before trying to use it again, though I will use "teenaged flour" for same-day baking like pancakes, muffins, and cookies.