The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help narrowing down ingredients to add to recipe

texasbakerdad's picture

Help narrowing down ingredients to add to recipe

Hi all. I am working on a sandwich loaf recipe. The recipe is 100%WW flour. Things are going well, but I am at the point in my recipe creation process in which I want to start experimenting with different dough additions to improve flavor and texture.

I am really only interested in adding items to my recipe that I usually have on hand usually because those items have multiple uses (not just bread baking).

Thing is... I have compiled a list of things I could potentially add that are already in my pantry or I am willing to start stocking. And, the list is LONG! I need some help narrowing things down.

Does anyone have input they/advice would like to provide, links to good resources, etc.?

Here is the list I have so far:

  • Chia Seeds
  • Almond Meal
  • Ground Flax Seeds
  • Hemp Hearts
  • Rolled Oats
  • Qunioa
  • Rye Flour
  • Spelt Flour
  • Einkhorn Flour
  • Cracked Wheat
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Milk
  • Dehydraded Milk
  • Butter
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Flax Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Cacao Powder
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Coffee

And, in case it is helpful, here is my TFL blog which shows where I am at currently with the recipe.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

What do you want to improve by adding ingredients? Texture? Flavour? Modify fermentation? Sorry, your posts with the progress are clearly very detailed and useful, but very long :)

texasbakerdad's picture

"Texture? Flavour?"
Yes and yes

"Modify fermentation?"
I don't need to modify the fermentation, but if improving texture and flavour necessitates fermentation modifications, then I will have to weigh the pros and cons. In general, I want as short a fermentation as possible and would like to avoid lengthening the fermentation.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Ok, but what I meant was - what's the aim? Softer? Less acidic? Some crunch?.. Add sweetness?

texasbakerdad's picture

Totally misunderstood your original question. :-)

Not surprisingly, the current 100% WW recipe is:

  • Too wheaty
  • Too one dimensional
  • Boring texture... but not too boring.

I don't want to turn the bread into a semi-sweet bread by simply adding sugars, but, yes, a little more sweetness would probably be nice. I think certain flours impart a sweetness without having to add additional sugars. I am not opposed to adding more sugar or similar sweeteners, but I don't want to take it too far.

I just want the bread to be flavorful and pleasing to pallet WITHOUT the bread being the star player in a sandwich, it needs to be a supporting role type of slice of bread. That way the loaf can be as versatile as possible.

And lastly, I wish I could give more specific guidance, but I don't have much more than that, I am looking for ideas and inspiration at this point.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I'd try adding honey and extra virgin olive oil as the first thing.

For the texture, just add any seeds that you like. You might have to soak them first to maintain the hydration. Or put some on top of the dough before baking, sesame seeds are my favorite for that. Or if you are shaping the bread into a proper log first, even roll it in the seeds.

Dried fruit could be nice, I have a feeling dried cranberries would go particularly well with whole wheat.

phaz's picture

A coupe things (maybe more)

Basically, in the same way with my breads and anything I cook ie - everything works together to get flavor, nothing overpowers anything. Kinda like a full symphony orchestra, everything works together to enforce the theme.

If your looking for a mild, creamy type tang - the one that you notice coming in at the back of the palate after a few chews, you just have to avoid lots of acid (at the very least avoid the strongest acids you'd get from long fermentation times).

I do that with 2 things - a little yeast, and a lot of heat (well a lot of heat for me is like 80F). I though I saw something about reducing the process time and the heat and yeast will also do that.

Add a little yeast and keep the dough at @80F. Let it double, knead to degas, double again, degas, shape, double again, bake. About 5 hrs start to finish.

As this is most certainly a big changes from your normal process (a conclusion based on the fact that you're here in these forums and the method above isn't line you'd see here) you'll have to experiment a little but the above is the general idea. I couldn't give you numbers to start with as I don't weigh anything did I'll say cut back on starter amount and use a teaspoon of yeast, and bump up those temps.

I made this thread with a spreadsheet you could use to make changes and track results. Enter how much you want, percentages of everything else, and it dies the math for ya. There is also a "Recipe Testing Zone" I call it to record the numbers used in a test, and room to record observations - gotta know where you've been to get where you're going.


clazar123's picture

One thing I discovered about harder bits:

1. Cracked grain can be too hard-small tooth breakers. I would semi-cook them before adding.

2. Make the bits plentiful enough that you know they are meant to be there. When they are too sparse, it seems like a mistake and I want to spit them out.

I frequently use a few tablespoons of ground flax with no real change in the recipe. Same with any seed or nut-pumpkin, sunflower,pecans,alonds,walnuts,etc. Any nuts taste better if you toast them a bit.

Any of the flours will require a change in the recipe and affect the dough a bit differently. That is a whole different discussion.

Rolled grains (most grains are available rolled-a good source are things like Bob's Red Mill 11 grain hot cereal) will need extra liquid but don't generally need to be cooked before being added. Excellent way to get a multigrain loaf with a nice, soft texture.

Milk and butter, of course , will enrich. As does lard and oils. Lard adds a really soft,silky texture.

How about vegetables? Potatoes and potatoe water add a wonderful starchy softness to any loaf.  Squash,beets,sweet potatoes,ec.

Pureed fruit adds a great sweetness. I once made a white sandwich loaf where the only moisture was pureed bananas. It was a little tan colored with dark bits and, surprisingly,was sweet but did not taste very banana-y. Applesauce,pureed any fruit,etc,etc,etc. Citrus peel,....I keep coming up with other ideas

Beer-adds great flavor-esp with cocoa! And coffee with cocoa works really well,also. Cherry and cocoa,too.

Don't forget spices. Cardamom and coriander along with dried cranberries,golden raisins and toasted walnuts in a honey sweetened WW loaf is my favorite breakfast bread.

Don't forget aromatics. Every spring I make Chive Flower Bread when my garden chives are in full, beautiful, lavender bloom. I snip up the flowers and a bunch of chive leaves and knead them into my dough. Delicious! Garlic,tarragon,poultry spices,dill, turmeric for a screaming golden dough.

The hardest part may be deciding which way to go!

Have fun!

dbazuin's picture

In mine ww sandwich loaf a add 10 dark rey flour. That improves the flavor nicely. 
One ingredient I mis in your list but what gives bread a wonderful flavor is caraway seeds. 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I guess you mean rye flour, and indeed that should add some nice complexity to the flavour. Might speed up the fermentation though, although with an all whole wheat dough already, maybe not a big difference.

dbazuin's picture

Just 10% did not made much difference in the fermentation time in my experience. 

Benito's picture

For sweetness without adding sugar adding a steamed/baked/microwaved sweet potato of any colour is a lovely addition.  You get a subtle sweetness and potato flavor without adding sugar.  It also has a wonderful softening affect on the crumb without the need to add any additional fat.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

I wonder how many different breads can be made. I imagine an awful lot. Only question is to pick out combinations your like. Here's one I like...

  • Wheat flour 
  • Almond flour 
  • Honey 
  • Walnuts

My local bakery makes a Honey, Almond and Walnut sourdough. I've attempted to recreate it and while getting it 100% exact through taste and experiment only (with no recipe) is very difficult it always makes a lovely combo. 

So start off with strong bread flour being the bulk. You can add in 10-15% almond flour without compromising the strength too much but still get a nice flavour. Treat honey as a liquid and add in however much according to taste but it counts as the final hydration. Then add in as many walnut pieces as you see fit. 

And if course pre-ferment as much of the flour as you see fit taking into account how long you wish to spend on the final dough. 


texasbakerdad's picture

Wow, lots of great ideas so far! Thanks everyone!

So far, Potato/Sweet Potato are tickling my fancy. So is maybe 10% of another type of flour, like Rye. Also, we make a lot of homemade almond milk with out Vitamix and end up with a lot of waste pulp from the almonds, I feel as though I am required by God to try that pulp in the dough!

I have Einkhorn, Rye, and Spelt in my pantry. Do you all have any opinions on those. What should I expect from a flavor and ferment perspective if I 10% of my flour was one of those?

Also, I am interested in Qunioa, as it is naturally easy to soften and has a soft texture. Has anyone tried Qunioa in bread before?

Also, anyone have experience with Hemp Hearts?

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I think from just 10% you would only notice any difference from rye. I doubt einkorn or spelt would come through and change anything. However I've seen a few recipes combining spelt and rye, and it's said to be a very nice combination - I don't think I've tried it myself though.

You could just change all flour to spelt, by the way :) Must be more interesting taste than just wheat.

Benito's picture

I’ve baked spelt and rye loaves recently and in the past.  It is a very tasty combo.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Whole wheat, Spelt, and Rye, 80/10/10

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...



texasbakerdad's picture

Wow! That looks just like what the doctor ordered!  I was curious how much of each flour to add, I was going to start with just 10%, but was worried 10% here and 10% there would start to add up. But since the recipe you posted did that and produced such a lovely loaf, I now have the confidence I needed to make that jump.

Thanks for sharing!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Crunchy but not hard and fun to bite into.  Soft little crunchies.  Throw them in like nuts with no extra water needed try a handful first and later go more or less depebding on your preference.  Nutty in flavour but mild.  I like spelt and rye in equal amounts. So if you're into 10% rye,  that precription recipe with 10% spelt looks good.  I would go ahead and replace more ww with spelt as winter gets colder.  Spelt is a wheat but slightly sweeter than regular wheat. Rye and spelt in my opinion balance each other out in more ways than one.  Dont forget you can roll your finished shaped dough in any number of raw ingredients on your list from flour to bran to nuts or seeds.  It's also fun to notice the way the toppings spread when the dough rises. 

texasbakerdad's picture

Thanks for the info! I was able to make some last minute changes to my recipe this morning and added hemp hearts.