Saturday, November 28, 2009


Best Blog Tips

I haven't been making much bread lately (DH makes most of our bread, and it's delicious!), but I wanted to try out a recipe for a 100% WHITE Whole wheat Sandwich Bread recipe from the Breadcetera blog. So, I put on the poolish starter/pre-ferment Wednesday night and planned to make the bread on Thursday morning. It turned out beautifully, even with my changes (which I'll expand upon below), and with being distracted by a visitor while I was putting the dough together, so I wanted to tell you about it.

WHITE whole wheat flour is becoming popular because it has all of the nutrition and fiber of ordinary whole wheat flour, but with a sweeter taste and a light, beige color. It has the potential to persuade more of our white-bread-loving population to try whole grains, so it's worth experimenting with.

There are two types of white whole wheat flour-- soft white whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat pastry flour), which is made with SOFT white whole wheat, and hard white whole wheat flour (which can be used for bread), made with HARD white whole wheat. I grind my own flour in my WonderMill (here's a blog post about the mill, with a bread recipe you can also try with white whole wheat flour), and I've been using my home-milled white whole wheat pastry flour for quite a while. It makes exceptional muffins, quick breads and cakes. The soft white wheat has been easier to find than the hard white wheat, but the hard white wheat is getting easier to obtain lately. (Also check with your health food store or food co-op, or an online organic farm-gate store.)

In Canada (a leading producer of white wheat, BTW), check your health food store, or the internet for organic farm-gate vendors. In BC, you can get organic hard whole wheat flour (they call it "White Whole Wheat, Fresh Fine Grind") from Anita's Organic Mill in Chilliwack, BC. Anita's also sells soft white wheat kernels, to grind your own whole wheat pastry flour, and whole wheat pastry flour, but not the hard white wheat kernel. Here's their "where to buy" page. Their products are excellent!

Before I give you the recipe, I have to tell you what I changed in the original recipe. Steve used King Arthur flour and I used home-ground hard white wheat flour. I didn't have instant yeast, so I used slightly more dry active baking yeast. He used powdered milk and butter-- I used soy flour and vegan butter instead, but I cut the amount of butter in half. (UPDATE 2012: I now use my homemade palm-oil-free vegan "Buttah" instead Earth Balance.) That was just too much fat for me! It was fine with half the original amount. He called for honey-- I used maple syrup instead. (You could use agave nectar, if you prefer.)

I weighed all of the ingredients because he gives most of his measurements in grams, but then I measured the weighed-out ingredients in cups and spoons, for those of you (the majority of North American bakers, I suspect) who don't use a scale.

I changed some of the technique, too. A friend popped in when I was putting the dough together, so I was a bit distracted and I just dumped everything (including the poolish starter, or pre-ferment, that I had made the night before) into my Bosch mixer and let it go for 12 minutes on the first setting (the Bosch has a powerful motor, so I rarely put it on the higher settings). My house was warm, so I rose it 50 minutes in the pans instead of 60 (didn't want to risk the bread falling in the oven if I over-rose it). He called for 50 minutes baking at 350 degrees F, but my bread was ready after 30 minutes, so it probably depends on your ingredients and your oven.

It turned out very light in texture and color, almost white (and DH thought a bit too light in texture!), but very tasty and moist.

This picture shows the crumb. You can see that the crumb is a little looser at the top of the bread-- a slower rise would make a more even crumb. The poolish definitely contributes to the flavor of the bread, but I think I'll use a bit less yeast in both the poolish and the dough next time around (noted in the recipe), to slow the rising down a bit.

Anyway, enough said! Here's the recipe!

Printable Recipe

Servings: 26
Yield: 2/ 8x4" loaves

This recipe, an excellent light whole grain loaf, was adapted (veganized, made lower in fat, and simplified) from this recipe.

Poolish (starter or pre-ferment): (make the night before)
1 5/8 cups white whole wheat flour (185 g)
3/4 cup warm water (185 g)
1 1/4 teaspoon dry active baking yeast
(NOTE: I think I'll only use 1/2 teaspoon dry active baking yeast next time, or 3/8 teaspoon instant yeast.)

1 cup + 1 tablespoon warm water (260 g)
1 1/2 teaspoons dry active baking yeast (or 1 teaspoon instant yeast)
(NOTE: I think I'll only use 1 teaspoon dry active baking yeast next time, or 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast)
3 1/3 cups white wholewheat flour (460 g)
all of the Poolish (above) that you made the night before
2 tablespoons soy flour (15g)
2 1/4 teaspoons salt (15 g)
2 tablespoons maple syrup (40 g) (or agave nectar)
1/4 cup vegan butter (45 g) (such as my homemade palm-oil-free vegan "Buttah")
OPRTIONAL: raw shelled sesame seeds

The night before (I did this just before I went to bed), dissolve the yeast in the warm water for 5 minutes in a medium bowl or container, then stir in the 1 5/8 cup of flour well. (IF YOU USE INSTANT YEAST, just mix everything together—you don’t have to dissolve the yeast.) Cover and let sit in a warm place (about 70ºF) for about 12 hours.

In the morning, dissolve the yeast for the dough in the water for about 5 minutes. (IF YOU USE INSTANT YEAST, just mix it together with the flour in the next step—you don’t have to dissolve the yeast.)

Combine the 31/3 cups flour in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer with the soy flour and salt (and yeast, if you use instant yeast). Whisk the ingredients together well (using the whisk attachment if you are using a stand mixer). Pour the maple syrup into the water/yeast mixture (or just the water if you used instant yeast). Pour this into the flour mixture in the bowl and add the vegan butter, broken into pieces.

If you are using a stand mixer, switch to the kneading attachment, put on the cover and start kneading. I used the #1 setting on my Bosch mixer for the whole process for 12 minutes.

With a less powerful mixer, like the inexpensive Kitchen Aid model, start on Low speed for 4 minutes, increase to Medium for 4 minutes, then on High for 4 minutes.

If you are kneading by hand, mix with a wooden spoon until you can’t stir anymore, then knead in the rest of the flour mixiture and knead the dough for 10 minutes on a clean counter covered with baking parchment (to prevent sticking). Try not to add any extra flour to the dough. (Oil your hands lightly, if necessary.)

Place the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl or container, with room to double, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at about 70ºF for ½ an hour.

After ½ an hour, gently fold the dough over itself, cover and let rise for another ½ hour.

Fully risen dough.

Have ready two 8 x4” pans. (We use the Norpro “dimpled” 4.5"W x 3"D x 8"L loaf pans. They don’t need to be greased each time you use them, but grease your pans, if necessary). I like to sprinkle the bottoms of the pans with some raw sesame seeds, like DH does.

Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces (1 ¼ lb. each) and form them into neat loaves. Place them in the pans and press down with your hand to evenly distribute the dough and so that the dough isn’t “humped” in the middle.

Cover and let rise at about 70ºF for 50 minutes or so. Do not over-rise.

After they have risen for about 30 minutes, heat your oven to 350 ºF. Place a shallow baking pan with some hot water in the bottom of the oven while it heats up.

When the oven is hot and the bread has risen, you can make a slash in the top with a very sharp razor blade if you wish, like I did, but you don’t have to.

Spray the tops with water from a spray bottle. Place the pans, not touching, in the center of your oven.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan of water (carefully!) from the bottom of the oven. Bake for 20 more minutes. Mine were done perfectly after 30 minutes.

Remove from pans to racks to cool. Let cool before slicing.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving/slice
): 105.7 calories; 17% calories from fat; 2.1g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 182.3mg sodium; 66.2mg potassium; 19.0g carbohydrates; 1.4g fiber; 1.0g sugar; 17.5g net carbs; 2.9g protein; 2.0 points.



blessedmama said...

Yuummmm! I love homemade bread - the labor, the smells, the taste, the satisfaction of making it yourself. All good. Thanks for the detailed recipe.

Jean said...

Something went wrong while making them..perhaps I forgot to sprinkle water into the pan before baking?! I don't know.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Jean, I don't think that would have made that much difference-- did you make any changes? What actually happened to them?

Jean said...

They did not grow! Well, they do not look like any of those in the photo! Thanks for the reply!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Jean, did you for sure use a HARD white whole wheat flour? Just asking because there is a softer (lower gluten) variety as well and that would not rise properly.