Sunday, March 4, 2012

Whole Wheat Artisan Loaf !

Baking a good whole wheat bread is much harder than baking regular white bread. Whole wheat flour is heavy and not easy for the yeast to break into. As a result, the bread doesn't rise as much and is denser.

I have been trying to perfect the whole wheat bread for a long time now. In my bread machine, the 100% whole wheat bread always comes out amazing. But that doesn't give me as much satisfaction. I want to do all steps by myself and bake an artisan loaf using only whole wheat flour.

Now, I cay proudly say that I can bake a 100% whole wheat artisan loaf, that looks good and tastes good. Of course, it's denser than white bread, but still has a very soft and airy crumb.

I used the same proportions mentioned in the recipe I have given before. I made one modification, based on idea given by Peter Reinhart.

I boiled the water needed in the recipe. To that, I added 1/3rd of the whole wheat flour required in the recipe. Then let this mixture sit overnight. The hot water kind of cooks and breaks down the tough flour and makes it easy for yeast to extract sugar.

Next day, I added rest of the dry ingredients - remaining flour, salt and yeast. And followed the rest of the steps as is. I am very used to handling wet doughs, so I can shape it well and score it. Scoring not only makes it look beautiful, but also helps it rise to a good shape when it's in the oven.

Now, I have to crack the sourdough. Next would be the whole wheat sourdough. Then I would achieve everything I wanted to achieve in bread baking !

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