Thursday, June 17, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread

Fresh out of the oven

I have always been told that pastry is very scientific, but recipe books never explain why things are done in the certain way.  This is why I really like this book. It goes into the chemistry behind baking a loaf of bread.  Everything from the molecular structure of the various types of gluten, the ionization of salt to analysis of different kneading and molding methods.    Instead of copying recipes, this book teaches me to make my own recipes.

Here is my favourite whole wheat bread recipe:

400g whole wheat flour
280g water
2g instant yeast
7g salt

1. Make the 'sponge' 12 to 15 hours before you plan on mixing the dough.  Use 50-55F water, warmer for cold houses and cooler for warm houses. Final temperature should be 65F
2. The sponge should be 187g flour, 140g water, and a pinch of yeast.  Mix, cover, and let it rise in room temperature.
3. Mix in the rest of the ingredients into the sponge.  Knead it for 20 minutes or until it is adequately kneaded.  Put it in a bowl and let me rise.  When it is fully risen (about an hour), punch it down, fold it, and let it rise again.
3. Once it is again fully risen, shape it into a boule. (i.e. flatten it with the flat of your hands, hold the corners in and flip it over to make a ball)
4. Place the loaf smooth side down in a floured bowl to rise for the third time.  Cover and proof until it is soft and full of pass, poking it leaves a dent.
5. Preheat the oven to 460F.
6. Flip the laof out of the bowl onto a baking sheet or other surface to score it.
7. Put the loaf into the oven on the baking sheet with a cup of water and make for 25-30 minutes. Or when the crust turns brown.
Cool on a rack so the air can circulate below the bread.

Done!


Bread Science: The Chemistry and Craft of Making Bread

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