Sunday, April 11, 2010

BBA:Whole Wheat Bread

It's interesting how a craving can totally derail your plans in the kitchen.

This BBA Challenge bread is one of those as well for me.

I decided to skip around because I decided I was really craving whole wheat bread, and I'm looking for something to replace buying sandwich bread.

I did a few things differently, but in hindsight, more realistically from the persepctive of someone that would make bread regularly on a small scale.

I made a batch of Greek Celebration bread to go with Easter brunch this year, and accordingly, I had a little bit of poolish leftover.  Having decided I'd find a use for it, I let it sit a day in the fridge until I found a recipe I wanted to try that used a poolish.  That's when I decided to go with the whole wheat loaves.  So I thought I'd try refreshing my poolish in much the same way as you would a barm: equal parts by weight flour and water, and in this case, I converted it to mostly whole wheat with the refresh.
Having let that ferment a little at room temperature, I fridged it and got my soaker together.  For that, I used 8-Grain cereal from the bulk bins at the store.  It amounts to coarse grain cereal that fits the bill perfectly.  What surprised me was that overnight, the liquid was entirely absorbed.  Having worked with the Anadama bread, my soaker for that was still rather mushy, so I was kinda surprised at first that I ended up with a big sticky lump.
The recipe for the bread doesn't really add any additional liquid to the dough (I did use the honey and egg), and that surprised me as well, but mixing it turned out perfectly.

I added about another 3/4 cup of flour through the kneading process to keep the dough from being too sticky.  When it was done, it was tacky feeling (just a little bit sticky), but passing the window pane test, so I was happy.

The initial rise went without hitch in the allotted 2 hours.  Shaping wasn't too bad, though as usual, I didn't quite get the cut even between the two loaves, so one was slightly larger than the other.

My only regret was that I didn't give them enough proofing time.  They rose, but I am willing to bet I could have gotten a little more out of them if I had had time.

Flavor is really good.  There is still something about homemade bread I haven't figured out.  There is a flavor component that I don't really appreciate, and I haven't really taken time to think about how it is and what it really tastes like, but I know that any time I've attempted homemade bread, I taste this flavor that I don't like.  Something to keep plugging away at.

But yeah.  Sliced and toasted this morning, it is very good, and when I get more supplies and time, I'm looking forward to trying the proof again.

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