Monday, January 7, 2013

Whole grain bread

If you liked the home made white bread, this is gonna be a success, too. In our case is actually on the first place because it has a richer taste. Besides, it's healthier, but that comes only as a bonus after the taste.
It is going to be a more flat bread, don't expect to rise as nicely high as the white one, because the whole wheat doesn't have as much gluten as the white flour, and it won't be able to "work", ferment, so nicely.

500 ml (3 cups) white bread flour
250 ml (1 cup) whole wheat flour
350 ml (1 1/2 cups) water (warm during winter)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry yeast 

If you made the white bread already this will be almost no difference to bake, except that you use whole wheat flour.
Mix the dry ingredients, add the water, and under a kitchen towel leave it overnight to rise, at least 12 hours, or more, depends on the temperature in the house. This particular one stayed I guess ~18 hours, as it is winter, even in SD..
If after adding the water the dough feels very wet, feel free to sprinkle a pinch or two of white flour, but overall, this dough is going to be more wet than the white bread dough, and do not add to much flour or the bread crumb will be very dry and heavy.
Dump the dough on floured table, fold it like an envelope couple of times until it gets a firm and nice round shape (no need to kneed, just softly fold).
Let it rise for another 2 hours. Meanwhile preheat the oven (and the pot) to 435 F (225 C).
Place the dough in the preheated pot, put the lid on, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, bake for additional 20 minutes.
Wrap the bread in two kitchen towels, let it stay for at least 1 hour to cool. If you cut it earlier, as we unfortunately often do, the crumb won't have time to nicely dry and cool, and it's going to stick to your knife, and the brad will flatten completely.. :(

!!!!  During summer is irrelevant what kind of water you use. However during winter is difficult to make the dough rise. I just made this trick last night and it worked perfectly: added warm water, more warm than I would add to a yeast, but not hot for my hands. After mixing the dry ingredients with the water I placed the bowl in the oven (NOT heated oven) and closed the door. The dough had more stable temperature and humidity then it does on the counter otherwise. The bread was better than ever in the past two cold months!

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