Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You Fail Some, You Win Some

I have made a batch of bread almost every other day since July of 2008. Notwithstanding that, I had never made a decent loaf of 100% whole wheat bread. I grind my own wheat before each batch- the flour starts losing vitamins about 18 hours after you grind it- you can keep it fresher in the freezer, but I think it's easier to grind a few cups when I need it. Also, if I understand correctly, what is sold as "whole wheat flour" at the store isn't actually whole at all- the oily parts of the wheat kernal are removed, so the flour won't go rancid on the store shelf. So if you want all the benefits of whole grains, mill your own!

I always grind 2 cups of wheat (about 4 or 5 cups of flour) and make up the rest of the batch with white flour (normally about 1 1/2 cups.) So it's PRETTY healthy...but it would be nice to be able to make a decent all-wheat loaf!

See this? This is what happens when I tried (yes, it's in my kitchen compost bin.) Loaves the size of bricks, too dense to cook properly, almost soggy in the middle, definite tang (not in a good way). The whole wheat flour was just too course- the jagged edges constantly cut the gluten strands before they could become nice and long. White flour has most everything taken out, so it doesn't have bran- makes a nice smooth dough.

But hey! On a whim I tried a new batch with all wheat and 2 Tablespoons of vital wheat gluten flour I had in the cupboard. I couldn't believe the difference it made! Perfectly-shaped loaves, nice and springy texture, beautiful dough... if you've ever wanted to make wheat bread, I definitely recommend adding some gluten flour!

(The jam is coming in another post- easiest jam ever!)

Posted by Picasa


LunaMoonbeam said...

Good job, babe. I've got a batch of bread started on the counter...yeast is proofing. I've got a grinder on my wish list, so maybe I can start making wheat bread this winter! LOL

Elizabeth said...

Share the bread recipe?

I learned a lot about wheat flour from this post...I made some bread today, too!

Hey, I came to visit to tell you to go click on this link
This wonderful blogger, who is from your neck of the woods, has a fun tutorial for pumpkin floral thingies..I just forgot . Good grief, my brain sometimes. It's a fun blog you might like to visit.

Have a great day and enjoy your bread!


I Wonder Wye said...

I love home made bread and this looks fantastic. Even the loaves you rejected -- give them to the wild life, they'd go crazy. The only bread I make are things like pumpkin or banana or cranberry nut breads---if I try it twice and it doesn't work I don't try it again. Besides there is a great store that makes home made bread that I can buy from......

Kali Leenstra said...

I just got a wheat grinder and I love baking more during the fall so I'm gonna have to try and make some more bread and I'll have to try the gluten flour.