Struggling with whole wheat bread in India!
I've been browsing the site for a while now, but after my n-th not very good whole wheat loaf, I'm writing to check if anyone can please give me some pointers on where I'm going wrong! Basically, my bread bakes up quite dense, and it nearly does not rise at all in the oven.
I have tried Peter Reinhart's 100% whole wheat recipe. Some changes I made were
- I use the regular atta that we use for chappatis at home. We get the wheat ground ourselves. But I do not know if the wheat is hard or soft.
- I seem to end up using a lot more flour (nearly 1/2 cup more in today's loaf) since the dough kept sticking to the work surface. I'd knead it and put it on the counter, and it would start sticking. I can keep wetting my hands and kneading it (like I do for chappati dough) but I'm afraid I might get too much liquid into the dough.
- I use buttermilk for the soaker, but its nearly 40 degrees C here (in Ahmedabad) and I can leave the soaker out only for about four hours before it begins to get sour.
- The risen dough always has tiny holes all over the surface. Am I letting it rise too long?
- I have a little oven (of about 34 L capacity) that we keep on the counter top.
If anyone can suggests anything that I doing obviosuly wrong, please do let me know. I'd like to know if I can get a better crumb without adding any other ingredient to the list.
Thanks a lot. Would appreciate any help!