100% Whole Wheat French bread -- is it worth the effort?
I tried baking my first French bread today. The recipe came from Laurel's Kitchen book, and it is a 100% WW bread, straight dough that ferments at cold temperatures. I am wondering if someone has made this bread before successfully, and whether or not you liked it. Also, if someone has another outstanding recipe, or a reference to a recipe, for such bread, I would appreciate it. I am also wondering if WW French bread is an abomination -- i.e. is it something that is never found in France that whole grain lovers just made up?
I have been various whole grain breads, some from the same book, for a while now, so I am pretty comfortable with them. Now, this bread did not turn out all that great. The dough was still sticky after bulk fermentation and first rising, and during the final proofing the loaves did not rise, rather, they spread out. I am guessing that made the dough too soft and did not add enough flour. The bread came out looking like ciabatta, alas, without the large holes. The flavor is great though. I am planning on making the bread again until I succeed, and then trying to convert to dough with preferment. I am going to read up on French breads as well. However, I would love to know of others' experience with this bread before I proceed.