Monday, May 12, 2014

Basic whole wheat bread - Soft and tender


Whole wheat bread has a wonderful flavor, texture and aroma

Whole wheat bread has a wonderful flavor, texture and aroma. Slices have a chewy texture with a deep nutty flavor of wheat. What makes this bread so amazing is that it stays soft and fresh for days after it has been baked!

Whole wheat bread has a wonderful flavor, texture and aroma

There are many health benefits associated with whole wheat products. Eating more wholegrain is being shown to protect against increased risk of insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. Consuming foods high in insoluble fiber, such as cereals and breads made from whole wheat, can help avoid gallstones and promotes gastrointestinal health. 

Whole wheat bread has a wonderful flavor, texture and aroma

Whole wheat flour contains very little gluten, so recipes with a lot of whole wheat tend be dense and crumbly. Using a portion of all-purpose flour in the recipe helps give loaves the structure they need. I prefer a 50:50 blend of the two flours. The result is a soft bread with a little crumb.

Yield: 1 loaf                                                      Time: 3-4 hours

Ingredients:
  • 250 g (2 cups) whole wheat flour
  • 250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 350 ml warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 fresh cake yeast (9 g) 
Directions:
  1. In a small bowl, add 60 ml ( 1/4 cup) of warm water (not hot), yeast and sugar and mix it until the yeast is dissolved. Set aside for 5 minutes or until it gets bubbly. 
  2. If you don't have a standing mixer, the next steps can be done by hand. In a medium bowl, add the water and the yeast mixture. 
  3. Gradually, add the flour with one hand, while mixing constantly with the other.  
  4. At this point, add the salt and the rest of the flour.  
  5. Start knitting the dough. Add the olive oil and continue knitting for about 15 minutes until the dough is smooth, compact and springs back when poked.
  6. Using the stand mixer: attach the dough hook, add the  flour, water and yeast mixture to the mixing bowl. Start mixing at a low speed.
  7. Once the flour and the water have been mixed in a more compact composition, add the olive oil and salt and increase the speed to medium. Let the mixer knit for about 10 minutes.
  8. Form the dough into a ball, film it with a little oil and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl.
  9. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 1-2 hours in a warm place.
  10. After 2 hours, the dough should double or triple in size.
  11. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F).
  12. Carefully remove the dough from the bowl. Lightly knead the dough. Form a log of the dough and seam the edges.  
  13. Place the log in a lightly greased loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place.
  14. Before baking, make slits on the bread and lightly brush it with egg-wash.
  15. Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning.
  16. Remove the loaves from the pans and let them cool completely before slicing. 
Enjoy the wonderful smell of freshly baked whole wheat bread!

Tips and Tricks:
  • Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature. 

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