Thursday, January 13, 2011

Whole Wheat Bread....

This is the bread that I make for my husband, who likes a softer crust and whole wheat.  I like it too, but I favor my sourdough baguettes.  I have spent weeks tweeking this recipe and really like the flavor and texture of the Kaiser shaped rolls I made this time.  They were allowed to rise an extra 45 minutes while the loaf in my clay baker baked.  I'm getting better at braiding the buns without ruining the crumb inside.  The ultimate critic will be my husband though, so we shall see.  First here's my newest version of my recipe:

Whole Wheat Honey Potato Bread
14 oz (397 grams) whole wheat flour
14 oz (397 grams) water
3 pinches yeast

Mix till all is moistened, then cover and let sit for 8 to 24 hours, best if it is actively bubbling when you use it.  Can be refrigerated after about 6 hours for up to 3 days.  This brings out the flavor in the wheat, so that it will taste better.  It is not absolutely necessary for this recipe, but if you skip this step make sure that you add the flour and water to the dough below.

All the poolish
21 oz (596 grams) bread flour
4 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
1.5 oz (2 Tablespoons) Honey
.6 oz (18 grams) shortening
1 oz dry milk
.7 oz potato flakes
11 oz water


I set the ingredients out before starting, measuring them with my scale.  I used my kitchenaid to mix for about 2 minutes, then allowed the dough to rest for 30.  This allows the flour to absorb the water and makes it easier to knead.  I then kneaded the dough for about 6 minutes, shaped it into a ball, and put it into a bowl to rise for a couple hours.  It took closer to four hours from what I remember.  I pulled it from the bowl and shaped it, then allowed it to rest for 10 minutes.  This makes it easier to shape further, and not fight you so much.  I cut it into two pieces, and used 1 lb 12 oz in my clay baker and the rest were made into kaiser shaped rolls.  I have been trying to figure out how much dough to use in my clay baker, if 2 lb 4 oz was to much and 1 lb 12 oz was not enough, then maybe next time I should try 2 lbs of dough. I put the clay baker into the oven and turned it on to 425* baked for 30 minutes and then removed the cover and baked at 380* for another 15 minutes.  I think the crust color is just about right.
The loaf of bread was a little disappointing, when I pulled it from the oven.  Thought I had misread my poke the dough test, but while it might have been a little better with a slightly longer rise time I think the crumb is actually ok.  It is just a short loaf that took the shape of the pan, probably because I didn't have enough dough.  I will definitely put more dough in next time, and might try a little bit less water and a little more shortening, plus I might try 50% whole wheat and 50% bread flour.  I will do the changes slowly, over several loaves to determine how it changes the bread. 

Not real sure why I had cracks in the crust, another reason I thought this was going to be a brick, but I don't think it was bursting through from oven spring.  The flavor is outstanding in this bread, probably because I left the poolish in the fridge a couple extra days.

Happy this turned out so much better than I thought it had, now on to making my Greek Celebration bread from BBA.  This should be fun!

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