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Multigrain Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

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dolfs's picture
dolfs

Multigrain Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

In seeking a tasty and healthy bread for my 6 year old son's lunch box I've been looking to create a sandwich loaf that is in large part whole wheat flour and other grains, yet has a somewhat soft crust (you know children: they don't appreciate the best part of good bread), and fine and soft texture. It should hold up well for PB&J as well as cheese, turkey etc.

Multigrain Oatmeal Sandwich Bread
Multigrain Oatmeal Sandwich Bread 

Today was baking day for me and I made up a new recipe. It started with a variation on Peter Reinhart's Struan from his "Whole Grain Breads," but ended up with substantial modifications. What remains is the "epoxy" method which has always worked well for me since I learned about it. As you can see from the picture most (if not all) of my goals were reached. The whole loaf is airy, and the crust is mild in flavor and "crustiness." The color is lighter than you might expect because a substantial portion of the whole wheat flour used was white whole wheat flour. This is another one of those "fool the kids" tricks. If the bread doesn't look too brown it tastes better! (The white whole wheat does have a milder taste too).

The overall composition of the bread (not counting the oats on the outside) is 37% bread flour (I used Giusto's Ultimate Performer, organic unbleached), 35% white whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur), and 13% whole wheat flour (Giusto's), 14% rolled oats, 3.4% wheat germ (yes, that's a little over 100%, I rounded the amounts for this summary). Salt comes in at 1.85% overall, and hydration is at 75.6%. The bread flour comes in handy to provide enough gluten for a good rise (needed for good air and fluffy bread) and also helps create a milder (less WW) taste. I am not saying you need this much for the gluten reason, it is just what I ended up with and I am happy with bread that is only 1/3 refined flour. You can experiment with less if you want.

The end result was exactly what I was looking for. Within this goal, it was certainly my best ever. I know that some of you frown upon this kind of bread because it is not 100% whole wheat, it is too much like Wonderbread (not really, except texture may be somewhat), etc. I make plenty of "real" bread, but this outcome was the goal. Others have looked for this in the past (although mostly in a "white" bread), so I thought it worth sharing. 

Here is the recipe (from my Dough Calculator Spreadsheet):

Multigrain Oatmeal Sandwich Bread Formula
Multigrain Oatmeal Sandwich Bread Formula 

The recipe, as given here, makes 3% extra of the soaker and the biga to compensate for what might stick to your container and utensils and doesn't (easily) make it into the dough. I bake by weight (highly recommended), but approximate volumes are given for almost all ingredients. The wheat germ, if I remember correctly, was about 5 tablespoons. Not mentioned in the formula, but I also used about 1/16 of a teaspoon of ascorbic acid powder (vitamin C) as a dough enhancer. It promotes dough strength and allows for a "lighter" product. It gets destroyed during baking, so no health benefits!

Also note, for those of you that like to judge a formula by looking at the percentages, that soaker and biga are huge percentages in the final dough. This is normal for doughs made with the "epoxy" method as virtually all flour is part of biga, starter or soaker. In fact, if there was no flour whatsoever in the final step, you wouldn't be able to use percentages, because 0 flour would result in infinite percentages for the other components. The dough calculator has a convenient "Analysis" worksheet that collects all ingredients into an "Overall dough", which is how I got the percentages mentioned above.

Directions:

  • Soaker: Mix all ingredients until everything is mixed well and hydrated completely. Leave out at room temperature for 12 hours (overnight is what I do).
  • Biga: Mix all ingredients until everything is mixed well and hydrated completely, and then knead briefly. For a ball and place in refrigerator for 12 hours (overnight).
  • Final Dough: Cut up soaker and biga each into some 10 pieces and mix them in a bowl with all other ingredients. Mix well (dough whisk, stand mixer, whatever you like) on low speed until you have achieved a good blend. This will happen easier than for doughs not made with the "epoxy" method. Continue to knead until full gluten development has been achieved. With this dough you should be able to achieve a wonderful gluten window (window pane test). Your ideal dough temperature at this point should be 78F (if you don't know why or how, don't worry about it).
  • Bulk Ferment: Shape dough into a ball with tight skin and place, good side up in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until approximately 2.5 times original size. (This happened for me in about 75 minutes in a 70F) kitchen. The dough will feel very airy! In my case no folds were necessary, but if you feel your dough s not as strong as you want (possible since the dough is fairly wet), give it a folder after 30 minutes and perhaps another after one hour.
  • Divide & Pre-Shape: The recipe makes two 1.5 pound loaves, so divide the dough into two equal pieces and quickly shape each piece into a tight ball. Deflate the dough some, but not completely while doing this. Let the pre-shaped balls rest (covered) for about 15 minutes. The dough might be just a tad sticky to your hands (it should have cleared the mixer bowl). If necessary use a tiny amount of flour, or wet your hands.
  • Shape & Proof: Pre-heat oven at 400F (I used a stone and cast iron pan for steam, but you can do without). Grease your loaf pans (I used spray with flour in it, you can use some butter, oil, or use parchment paper). Shape each ball into a roll/loaf, make sure seam is pinched shut, and roll the top side (seam will go down in loaf pan) in some oats that you have spread out. Place in loaf pan, seam down, oats up, and cover and let proof until a dome forms above the edge of the loaf pan (this took about 1 hour for me).
  • Slash & Bake: Optionally slash the loaves (I used a curved slash through the middle). If you don't slash and you get too much oven spring you may get tearing. I happen to think the slash looks good anyway. Place on the baking stone (i you use one, otherwise straight on rack in lower third of oven) and bake approximately 25 minutes until internal temperature is 205F (or use the "thump" test if you do not have a thermometer). Make sure you rotate pans sometime in the middle to get even heating and browning. I also remove the loaves from their pans when the internal temperature is about 190F so that the sides of the bread get some more browning. Careful with that, the loaves are very fragile at this point!
  • Cool & Eat: As always, let cool fully before slicing and eating. This bread freezes well. I slice the whole loaf and freeze two slices in a sandwich ziploc for easy "on demand" retrieval.



--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

Comments

edh's picture
edh

Dolfs,

Those look fantastic! I've been thinking that I need to give loaf breads another go, and this looks like a great place to start. As soon as the flu goes away and I'm not afraid of making the rest of the family sick with my cooking (well, anymore than I  usually do), I'll give it a try.

Thanks for the easy to use formula chart!

edh

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Dolf,

That's a beautiful sandwich loaf. I don't see how you could improve on the appearance. The photo is crystal clear with vivid colors, and the detailed write-up is so useful for anyone who wants to try to make it in their own kitchen.

Bill

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Beautiful Dolf. And outstanding write up.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

This looks like just what I have been trying to find for my husbands lunches. He takes PB&J..every day for lunch. The wheat breads I've made are just too dry and dense. They are good toasted, but not PB&J material. Do you get the ascorbic acid powder at a health food store? Would you approximate 1/16 of a tsp as a pinch? I've looked for for a set of measuring spoons with an 1/8 tsp measure, without success. Can't wait to try this one!

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I got mine from the KA Baker's catalogue when I was ordering a whole bunch of other stuff (to economize on shipping). I would dare say you can find it at a good health food store as well.

I have a set of three mini/micro measuring spoons: 1 dash (1/8t), 1 pinch (1/16t), and 1 smidgen (1/32t). I can't recall where I found them (I wasn't looking for them, but when I saw them I instantly realized how useful they would be), but it probably was my local independent kitchen/cooking store. So yes, the 1/16 was 1 pinch.

According to Prof. Calvel, it should be used at a dosage of 20-80 mg per 1,000g of flour, or between 20-80 ppm (parts per million), or 0.002-0.008% (baker's percent). I totally guesstimated my amount (but looked it up now), but total flour was 714g, and I estimate the pinch's weight at 400mg, so that actually sounds like I over did it at 0.056%! 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

sybram's picture
sybram

Dolf, have you ever tried this with sourdough?  Wouldn't it help to preserve freshness? 


Syb

erina's picture
erina

Hi Dolfs,

Gorgeous bread. With the speed of a roadrunner I rushed to my kitchen and mixed the ingredients after I saw the picture. Um, I have young teenagers in the house who still crave for the fluffy breads.

As I write, the soaker and biga are in place to be mixed tonight. About the ascorbic acid, what happens if I omit that from the recipe? Will the bread not be fluffy? Or, can I use my vitamin C tablet ground up? I am too late to buy ascorbic acid from KA website. When I saw your picture, I drop everything and quickly assembled the soaker and biga without reading too carefully about ascorbic acid. Oops..:-(

Thanks!

Erina 

 

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I've not baked this without the acid (just got my second batch for 3 loaves in bulk ferment; did soaker and biga last night), so I can't say for sure. It might be slightly less fluffy, but make sure you develop the gluten really well.

If you do want to grind up a tablet, I'd say go ahead. Check out the label to figure out how much a. acid the tablet contributes and grind it fine. Let us know what happened. 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

edh's picture
edh

Hi Dolfs,

I'm finally getting around to trying this yummy looking bread (this time it's me craving soft bread). I don't have ascorbic acid either, but just threw caution to the winds and decided to do without; the only vitamin C I have in the house is tangerine flavoured, so thinking that wouldn't be such a good addition...

For tomorrow, however; did you bake in 9x5 pans or 8x4? I don't bake a whole lot of bread in pans, so I have trouble estimating how much dough goes in what size, though I have both.

Thanks again for this recipe; I don't expect mine to poof up as beautifully as yours, but I'm looking forward to trying!

edh

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I've baked it (today actually) in both sizes. I generally scale 1.5lbs dough for the smaller and use a 1.3 times larger amount for the 9x5 (or 1.95 lb) and another 1.3 for a 10x5 (which results in 2.54 lb). This general rule has worked well for me for all whole wheat or multi-grain breads in pans.

When I baked it again today (3 loaves for friends and family) I scaled back the a. acid to 1.5 smidgen, apparently without ill effects. Still proofed like crazy. On the next try, I am going to keep the ascorbic acid, but scale back the yeast in the final dough to 50% of the original. I can stand the slightly longer bulk ferment and I want to see what happens to the taste.


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

edh's picture
edh

Ok, so I'm throwing more than caution to the winds; more like throwing concentration out the window, too. I just mixed up the final dough, set it to rise, left the kitchen, then noticed the coconut oil (I was going to sub it for the butter) I'd left on the woodstove to melt. Oh well, so no ascorbic acid or oil. Getting leaner all the time...

I suppose it will just be a little less tender. Which is of course what was so appealing about the recipe. Oops, just going to have to try it again :-).

Thanks for the description of dough weights to pan sizes; I'm writing that down and putting it on the inside cover of my kitchen notebook. I've never been able to get a handle on that, and you laid it out very clearly. Are you a teacher in real life? You give excellent instructions!

Thanks,

edh

dolfs's picture
dolfs

In yesterday's batch I made a similar error. Dough all mixed up and in container, mixer bowl filled with water in preparation for cleaning and … saw the butter still sitting out.

Since it was immediately after mixing, I cleaned the mixer bowl, dumped the dough back in, and mixed in the butter after all. Seems to not have hurt the end result. 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

erina's picture
erina

Dolf, Whoa! I checked your link My Bread Adventures in picture, those breads look sooo wonderful. I drooled over Cinnamon Raisin Junior pictures. You really are an excellent baker. Have you ever posted the recipe for Cinnamon Raisin bread? I would love to have your recipe for that.

BTW, I just crushed my vit C to replace as. acid. The bread was wonderful. 

Thanks,

Erina 

 

 

dolfs's picture
dolfs

That's where the recipe came from. All I did was adjust the amount of dough and figure out how much goes in each junior pan. This takes 0.7 - 1.0 pounds of dough. In this case with the weight of the raisins not contributing substantially to dough volume, I used 0.9 pounds if I remember correctly.

If you don't have access to the JOC let me know and I will put up the actual recipe. 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

edh's picture
edh

I'm eating one last piece before calling it a day; this is a lovely sandwich bread, Dolfs. Both I and my PB&J addiction thank you!

I didn't get a great oven spring, so the loaves are smallish, but they're not dense at all. Light, squishy, a little sweet. Just the thing for toast, too.

Do you use a mixer or do this by hand? I ask because I'm working by hand, and sometimes have trouble getting sufficient gluten developement with enriched doughs. Lean doughs don't seem to be a problem, so it's probably just that I'm not kneading enough. I've gotten spoiled by being able to do a French Fold or two, then a bunch of stretch and folds and call it good.  

Now I'll have to try it with the oil and ascorbic acid...

Thanks again!

edh

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I can think of two reasons for your lack of rise: gluten development, absence of ascorbic acid. From your remark the former seems a definite. I prepare this dough in a DLX mixer and get a full window pane after about 7 minutes total mix time.

If you are having trouble with enriched doughs, leave the butter/oil out until have better gluten development. Oil coats the gluten strands and make things more difficult. This is even more of a problem with whole wheat based doughs as the bran present in the flour tends to cut the gluten strands. Reinhart's epoxy method is supposed to offset this because the biga and soaker also work as a sort of autolyse step. You can probably even do a fold (perhaps two), but you will have to do it fairly early. I suggest 30 minutes and perhaps again at 50 minutes.

I am a little confused though, as you mentioned you forgot to put the oil in. Technically with the honey this is still an enriched dough, but it makes my epxlanation mostly irrelevant. Do you use sugar instead of honey? Sugar, more so than honey, is hygroscopic and may take some water away from the flour handicapping gluten development as well. This too can be added after autolyse and sufficient kneading.

Just so you know, I don't get much oven spring either and that is generally the case when baking in pans. The pan is metal (or stone) and tends to absorb the first wave of heat once bread goes into the oven. Because it takes longer for the heat to reach the bottom/inside of the bread, the crust gets a chance to form too early. This is the reason why I try to proof loaf breads until nearly 100% (but don't go too far!).

Glad you liked it. I like it toasted as well as regular.


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

edh's picture
edh

Sorry, couldn't help myself...

I hadn't realized that, about the oil hindering gluten developement, very interesting. Of course, as you noted, I forgot the oil, so can't use that as an excuse! I did use honey, but honestly, I don't think the ingredients are my problem, I think it's me.

Where whole grains are concerned (and white flour,too for that matter) I'm a dedicated convert to the longer is better school of thought. My whole grain loaves may not have oven spring that touches the sky, but they're a far cry from my old door stops! I'm just starting to experiment with oats in bread (yours was the second effort), and I'm really liking the taste and texture, but wondering if they require a little more attention in the gluten development area? In other words, having no gluten themselves, do they tend to weigh the dough down more?

Thanks for all your help; this is clearly a bread worth getting right!

edh

dolfs's picture
dolfs

The oats seem to partially dissolve during the overnight soak, and the part that hasn't is very soft. Therefore I don't think the oats acts in the same way wheat bran does in cutting gluten strands.

Unsoaked oats will absorb water, "stealing" it from the gluten development, which is not a good thing. We're soaking here though. So we're left with your question of "weighing" down. If anything, I don't think that is an issue of weight, but replacing some part of the gluten containing flour with oats, at least theoretically, reduces the opportunity for good gluten development.

The gluten development, however, is a function of several factors:

  • Quality of the flour. Not all flour contains the same amount of proteins necessary t produce gluten, and not all proteins are of equal quality in this perspective either.
  • Amount of protein in the flour. Gluten is formed from specific proteins and each kind of flour has different amounts, and different compositions.
  • Enzymes. Certain enzymes help with the gluten formation. Not all flours have equal amounts. Adding malt to a dough is really adding helpful enzymes, but is it is not always necessary, and you can add too much. 
  • Hydration. Gluten is formed by mixing the proteins with water, allowing "bonds" to form. The water provides the necessary mobility to the proteins.
  • Kneading. Kneading systematically breaks some of the bonds formed in the gluten network, allowing new, and hopefully stronger, bonds to be formed. 

Assuming you have "good" flour, and good "hydration" (in this recipe the dough should feel just a tad sticky), the variable left is the kneading. Make sure you do it long enough to get a full window pane (search this site for explanations if you don't know what this is).

Finally, "longer is better" for some people results in over proofing their dough. This is detrimental to the internal structure of the gluten and can cause dens(er) loaves as well.

As I have been able to make this bread and have it be tall and very fluffy the presence of oats alone can not explain your issue. I suspect the kneading.


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures
sybram's picture
sybram

Hi dolf,


Sems like you have some great scales.  I'm just now in the market for some.  Can you tell me about yours: brand, cost, capacity, and all it's capabilities?  Thanks.


Syb


 


Actually, on further exam, I see it's not your scale that printed out all that info.  It's your self made program.  Duh!!!!  Sorry, dolf.

WelO's picture
WelO

 Hello!

This  bread looks gorgeous! I found your recipe yesterday night and went straight to the grocery store to get the right flour. I couldn't find ascorbic acid powder so I got 2 lemons just in case. I'm trying to find any way to substitute lemon juice for ascorbic acid powder, do you have any ideas? It looks like you know what you are doing:)

Also, when do I add ascorb.acid powder to the dough? Does it go in soaker or biga? or in the final dough?

Thank you! 

WelO

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I put the powder in the final dough. If you are going to use lemon, you need to know how much ascorbic acid is in it. I found this reference on the web http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/pagerender.fcgi?artid=1253297&pageindex=3#page.

It suggests that juice of one lemon is around 35 ml and contains approximately 25 mg of ascorbic acid. So, based on the formula and Calvel's suggested amount, I would put in juice of 1 whole lemon. Since that also contributes almost 35 g of water, you'll need to subtract that somewhere. Since there is no water added in the final dough, you'll have to take it out of either the soaker or the biga.

--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

erina's picture
erina

Hi Dolf,

I have been making this bread several times since the first time I saw your recipe and gorgeous picture. My dough, after bulk fermentation, is as light as air, silky and smooth. But I have some troubles with my pans: the dough is not enough for two pans; I ended up making one 9X5 and then using the rest for 7X4 pan. If I insisted on halving the dough for two 9X5 pans, the result would be tender yummy loaves but without oven spring (overproofing?).

Has this ever happened to you?

What is the rule of multiplying the recipe by 1.5? Sorry, I am not an experience baker, so I do not know how to do this. 

Thanks! 

dolfs's picture
dolfs

When you say the dough is not enough for 2 pans, what size pans are you talking about? The recipe, as given, produces 3 lbs of dough, which is meant to produce the right amount for two loaves, each in an 8x4x2 1/2 pan.  Generally, I see three sizes of pans out there: 7x3,  8x4x2 1/2 (sometimes described as 8x3 1/2x2 1/2), 9x5x2 3/4, and sometimes even 10x5. These measurements are sometimes cited slightly different by 1/2 inch here or there. The middle size is the most commonly found loaf pan and needs (for this recipe) 1.5 lbs dough.

I am not sure how/why you are asking about multiplying by 1.5? Perhaps you misread my remark about "scaling 1.5lbs". Scaling here means weighing, not multiplying. I also described that I generally use 1.5lbs of dough for that pan, 1.3 times as much for each next size pan up:

  • 8x4x2 1/2 needs 1.5 lbs dough
  • 9x5x2 3/4 needs 1.3 x 1.5 = 1.95 lbs dough
  • 10x5 needs 1.3 x 1.95 = 2.54 lbs dough
I hope that this clears up confusion about the amount of dough for each pan.  You say you filled one 9x5 and one 7x4 pan. That seems correct because the 9x6 pan would needs 1.3 times half the recipe (1.5 lbs) and the 7x4 would need 1.3 times less than half the recipe. That evens out to 3 lbs dough total. If you had wanted to fill two 9x5 pans, you would have needed 2 times 1.95lbs of dough, or 3.9 lbs total. You would have to multiply all quantities (except %) in the recipe with 1.3. If you find that too daunting, my dough calculator spreadsheet (from which the recipe table comes) would do this for you very easily. Where it says Dough weight: 3.00 lbs right now, you would just type 3.9 and all amounts would update automatically.

Regarding oven spring: I don't get much with these loaves, nor do I expect much. The loaves proof in a metal pan so when it goes in the oven 5 of the 6 sides of the bread are shielded from the heat by the metal of the pan. The metal starts at room temperature and gets heated up first while the top starts to form a crust (in particular if you don't steam). By the team the dough starts to heat internally (which is where the oven spring comes from as it delivers a final burst of yeast activity), the top crust has formed and prevents significant further expansion.

Based on that, I proof my loaves until almost fully proofed. You can feel that by pressing into the dough with a wetted finger and watching the dough hardly spring back. That takes experience though. I my general experience you can also just watch until the proofing loaf has expanded to about 1 - 1.5 inches above the rim of the pan (assuming you had the right amount of dough in there).

Just yesterday I made two loaves with a slight variation. I used about half buttermilk instead of half of the milk (getting rid of left overs). I also used only about 60% of the yeast amount to get a longer rise. I found the bread equally fluffy, but a little more moist and soft. This, I attribute to the acidity in the buttermilk. I did not detect much additional flavor that I attribute to the slower rise. This seems logical because I already had most flour in a soaker or biga.  Go for it. I bet that if you get the dough amount right for your size pan(s) and you let it proof like I described, you will get the same splendid results as I do. Let me know how goes.




--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures
Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I have my ascorbic acid, 1000 mg capsules..I don't even have to grind a tablet up. You said originally you used 400 mg which was abit high, How much do you suggest? I'm mathematically challenged as you can tell! I've downloaded your spreadsheet calculator. I want to make 3.9 lb total weight. Your description sounds like it will auto populate the rest of the weights. I hope this doesn't sound too stupid, but the only thing I can figure out is that I have fill out the whole form all over again with 3.9 as the total weight,  right? Or is there a way to copy and paste the info into the spreadsheet and then change the total weight? Thanks!

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I have reproduced my current version of the formula below so you can copy and paste it into the calculator's "Recipe" worksheet. Once you do that, all you have to do is type in the desired dough weight. Example might be 1.5 for a standard loaf pan, or 3 for two loaves etc. The calculator will figure weights of individual ingredients. You may not get volume measurements for all ingredients, as I have updated the spreadsheet's database since I released it as well, and you won't have that. But, you're weighing everything anyway right?

 

The formula also shows the amount of a. acid I use these days. I think people have made too much out of this though, and I am sure you could make this loaf without it, but it does help the rise. 


Soaker1 
Bread Flour136.00%
White Whole Wheat Flour130.00%
Wheat Germ18.16%
Oats, Rolled134.00%
Salt12.00%
Milk1104.69%
   
Biga2 
Whole Wheat Flour227.50%
White Whole Wheat Flour250.00%
Bread Flour222.50%
Instant Dry Yeast20.45%
Water275.00%
   
Final Dough  
Soaker 760.00%
Biga 705.00%
Bread Flour 100.00%
Instant Dry Yeast 12.38%
Salt 8.79%
Honey 75.12%
Butter, Melted 24.75%
Ascorbic Acid, Powder 0.10%
--dolf


See myMy Bread Adventures in pictures
Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

for the current version. I was all set to plug everything in and found that because of our heightened security level on our computers "something about the macros" doesn't work. I'll have to have my husband adjust whatever so I can use your calculator. In the meantime, I decided to try one 9x5 loaf. I halved the weights and multiplied by 1.3. Soaker and biga are mixed..looking forward to the bake tomorrow.

erina's picture
erina

Ah, not only an excellent baker, you are really good in explaining things.

I get it now. With 1 quantity of dough, I was using a 9X5 pan then a European pan of 7X4. Next time I will increase the dough by 1.3 to get two loaves of 9X5. 

Last time I used yogurt (leftover) to make the bread. It was yummy with tighter moist crumb. 

I have been advertising your bread recipe to my friends who really like the bread when they taste mine. 

Thanks! 

 

 

marmus33's picture
marmus33

Dolf,

Just wanted to let you know that I tried your recipe - I even went out and got a scale! I have never tried the epoxy method before and was a little nervous, but it wasn't as complicated as I thought it'd be. I did everything as exact as I could and it turned out great!  I've been looking for a lighter, non-hockey puck wheat bread and really was having trouble.  I was about to go back to buying bread!  Thank you soooo much.  Really good flavor AND texture - that is rare.  Only thing I wondered about though was that one loaf rose slightly higher than the other.  I weighed them before they proofed and they were about the same #.  Do you think because one pan was lighter (colored) than the other? Doesn't matter - they both looked great and tasted great - thanks again!   

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I'm so glad that more and more of you are trying this one. It has become my family's "daily" bread, together with the Challah coming out of my kitchen weekly. I still make other bread's, but these two are the reliably and trusted producers.

I usually bake two loaves in identical pans and generally the dough weight in each pan is within 5g of each other. Yet, sometimes I have small differences too. It can be caused by one pan sitting a slightly warmer spot during proof, or because you shaped the dough in one a little tighter than the other.

Since you also had two different pans, there is a slightly larger possibility of uneven heat transferred to the dough, so that could have contributed even more. I wouldn't worry about it. 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

Jassie 2's picture
Jassie 2

Firstly, I must say I love the  look of this bread. Must really get down to breadmaking again.

Secondly, I managed to purchase the spoons you mentioned the ones with a pinch etc., on the Prepared Pantry website. Hope this helps.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

After all the conversions were done for the 9x5 pan, the loaf came out a looker.  I used a Vitamin C capsule, 1000 mg ascorbic acid that also had 65 mg Rose Hips (a natural source of Vit C), unscrewed it and tapped a smidgen out, recapped the capsule for another loaf.

I used my KA to knead and it took about 20 minutes to achieve windowpane. Most of the time was on speed 2, but I did rev it up to 4 for a bit. For sourdough, the time is about 8 minutes on speed 2, so that gives you an idea of the extra kneading time with whole wheat.

The only other thing I changed was that I used wheat bran, instead of wheat germ. I mistakenly thought I had wheat germ...wrong! Too lazy to run to the store.

Haven't sliced it yet..will let you know the final verdict from my PB &J  expert..

Thank you

dolfs's picture
dolfs

Post a picture when you add your taste comments!

I use an Electrolux DLX mixer, which mixes much nicer than my previous KA. I'll never go back. On the KA I often had to resort to speed 4 and I didn't like it (to rough). The DLX mixes beautifully and produces windowpane for this bread in about 6 minutes. Bran instead of germ may have lengthened this time a bit. 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Weekend BakeWeekend Bake 

Along with a couple Thom Leonard's French Country boules and Mike's Sourdough English muffin bread. I forgot to add Mike's Sourdough Wholewheat muffins with raspberries to the pic. I should have gotten a tighter shot..sorry. It's a great semi-wholewheat sandwich bread for those PB&J lovers that just have to have the softer crumb. I used Bob's Red Mill Whole wheat (because that's what I have) but I'm not crazy about the taste. It's OK.  I used KA White whole wheat and next time I'll try their whole wheat. Thanks Dolf for all your help..

Betty

dolfs's picture
dolfs

Congratulations. Looks like it worked out well. The Country French loaves look wonderful. I've made that several times and love it.

I hope that your comment about the taste relates to the WW flour, rather than the bread as a whole. I found the taste to be quite good (keep in mind that this is a non sourdough, fairly quickly made bread). Regarding the taste of the WW flour, make sure what you used wasn't on its way it (going rancid). I use KA whole wheat, or Giusto's whole wheat (available locally in the Bay area at Whole Foods).


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Sorry, I wasn't referring to the recipe's flavor, but the brand of flour. I store it in the freezer, so it shouldn't be rancid. I thought it had a slightly bitter aftertaste last night. This morning I had a slice toasted and I thought it tasted great. Maybe it was my palate after having a glass of wine. I just asked the PB &J expert and he proclaimed the bread as great! So, we have a winner. Thanks again.

cloudcover's picture
cloudcover

hello there -

well, this bread looks like it could be the answer to our family's wishes for a softer wheat bread that the kids will like.  i'm really hopeful and have my first batch completing its bulk ferment even as i write this.

but i have a question about how wet it should be, and you'll need to excuse my ignorance since i'm pretty new to baking.  using the exact measurements from the recipe, the dough seemed quite wet.  i added about 1-2 tbsp of bread flour in the final kneading, which helped a tad but it was still pretty wet. 

so i have a few questions:

1.  most generally, how wet should the dough be?

2.  i've seen a few recipes mention that the dough should be tacky but not sticky.  i'm not sure i quite get that, so any other ideas on the distinction or how to gauge this?

3.  most recipes suggest kneading by hand or using a stand mixer.  and in the context of the stand mixer, the recipes will sometimes say that it should be dry enough to "clear the bowl."  is that a good way to measure the correct wetness? 

4.  the king arthur folks seem to swear by a (zojirushi) bread machine for kneading instead of a stand mixer.  any thoughts on the relative merits of the two approaches?  and does the "clear the bowl" test still apply in the context of a bread machine?

5.  when's a good time to check for whether the dough is too wet or not?  in other words, after how much kneading (let's say in a stand mixer)?  and after that time if it seems too wet, how much longer after adding some more flour should i knead/mix before checking again to see if it's the right amount?  in other words, how long does it take for the flour to get fully absorbed or whatever.    

thanks! 

dolfs's picture
dolfs

First question is whether you used the weight measurements of the recipe, or the volume ones? I give the volume ones, but they use assumptions about how uch one cup of flour weighs. History has shown that between various individuals and between scoops even, there can be a 30% difference, which could easily make your dough too wet.

I always use weights, and I suggest everybody does, unless you know the formula really well and can work by feel. When I make this bread, the dough clears the bowl before the halfway point in the mixing process (see notes below). However, when done mixing it does feel just a tad sticky (a little more than tacky), and it feels quite soft (we want a soft bread no?).

So use a little flour on the bench or hands to deal with this. It is by no means hard to handle. If yours is, it got too wet. Besides volume vs. measurement this can also happen because different (brand) flours absorb water in different amounts. The flours I used were KA White Whole Wheat and KA Whole Wheat and Giusto's Ultimate Performer.

  1. The dough should be fairly wet, a little more sticky than tacky, and soft. The hydration in the formula is 75%, which is fairly high. If you want it a little less sticky, add some flour. I'm sure you can bring it back to 70% without too much problems.
  2. See above. In my opinion tacky means it feels sticky but nothing actually sticks. Sticky is more than that.
  3. In my mixer, this dough clears the bowl once I have good gluten development. It wants to form a ball. Having said that I use an Electrolux DLX mixer, which works quite different from the KA that many of you have (and better in my opinion), so your mileage may vary.
  4. This may have to do with the relatively poor performance of KA type mixers. See my comment above. I have made quite good breads though with my old KA. It does require more violent mixing, which generally is not a great thing, to get full gluten development.
  5. Definitely do not judge this too early. As time passes flour may still absorb more water. If you start compensating with "extra" flour too early you may end up having a problem the other way. I judge it about 2/3 into mixing. As long as you add just a little flour, it won't take long. If you need to add a lot, it takes longer. Just watch for a homogenous dough.

Hope this helps.


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures
dolfs's picture
dolfs

I'm on vacation in Montana and thus without my DLX mixer, but with plenty of (baking) time on my hands. I can report that I have now made this bread several times with hand-kneading only and it worked out just fine. Since I am at 6,700 ft altitude here, I did make the dough a tiny bit wetter (easier evaporation).

Also, I made a couple of variations. Once thing is that I do not have wheat germ here, so I left it out, but substituted some extra oats. Another is that I used Wheat Montana Prairie Gold for up to 70% of the flour. This flour is wonderful! Why can't I get it (easily/affordably in Northern California). A final variation added one to two handfuls of toasted sunflower seeds. While all variations worked, my family now has settled on liking the variation with 70% WMPG and sunflower seeds the most. 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

Aprea's picture
Aprea

I have finally found a yummy sandwich loaf - which I have been successful with.  This is such a  light and delicious bread.  I am just wondering if you have tried it with a little less instant yeast.  Maybe I am sensitive to the yeast presence because I bake so much with homemade starters.  


 


I baked this a few hours ago - just tried a PB&J sandwich - pretended I was 7 years old, and was in pure heaven.  My kids are going to be so happy.  Thank you for your wonderful recipe and photos.

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I had cleared out my thread subscriptions and did not see this until now. The answer is yes, I have done it with less yeast. The original amount was/is fairly high because the flavor development has already happened overnight so all I care about is getting the bread oven ready quickly.


Myself, I am not particularly sensitive to the yeast taste, but feel free to use less (but expect a slightly longer proof). You can partially offset this by putting a little more yeast in the biga (but not the same amount as you take away from the final step!).

busyathome's picture
busyathome

It almost killed me to let these loaves cool before slicing them, but I did it! This is a great recipe, exactly what I was looking for - something that my young kids and hubby will love.


I did have to make a few small changes. Firstly, I did not have any bread flour on hand, so I subbed unbleached white flour and added 1 Tbsp of vital gluten to each of the steps. Second, I did not have white whole wheat, so for the biga I used an extra three ounces each of unbleached white flour and whole wheat. Thirdly, I subbed in bran for the wheat germ. They turned out beautifully.


Thanks for posting this great recipe, and by the way, your pics make we want to bake all day long.