wholemeal bread with Atta flour which is tender and does not dry up quickly
Sorry I have been a bit slow on this blog for the past one to two months as I have been try to launch my latest book on stock markets. The preparation and the amount of time and work has just been phenomenal. In fat now I have a back log of article to publish here on this blog. I have been working on improving the “soon to be famous” chilli sauce … hopefully not for the wrong reasons. I have gone back to wholemeal bread using Atta flour. Atta flour is an Indian term for wholemeal flour and there are many grades of Atta flour just as with other flours. The better grades are high in fiber content. Traditionally, Atta flour is used to make Atta roti or chapati but I am using it here to make a loaf of bread.
The normal way of making wholemeal bread is to get the individual components and mix them together, the components being bread flour, wheat bran, wheat germ. Wholemeal flour or Atta flour is flour where the whole grain has been ground in to flour. Hence there is no need to re-constitute the wholemeal ingredients. When you use wholemeal flour to make bread you will find that the dough is heavy and difficult to rise. It is not difficult to make wholemeal bread with wholemeal flour.
Tender wholemeal bread or Atta loaf with yeast
I have been mixing techniques that I have been experimenting with, to soften the bread and keep it moist for longer periods of time. As you would have noticed, I have not been using any chemicals or bread improvers, bread softeners, bread enhancers,… contiditoners (sounds like shampoo?) or other stuff in most of my bread recipes. You can use oils and sugar to bring about these properties. Wholemeal bread made from wholemeal flour is a little more difficult to make than the traditional white bread. This article will cover some of the techniques that I used to overcome some of the difficulties. You will notice that I applied some of the techniques for making bread without yeast in this recipe for making wholemeal bread with Atta flour.
The wholemeal bread with yeast recipe
|Wholemeal Bread with Yeast, Atta Bread|
Photos of the wholemeal bread with yeast process
Weigh and add all the dry ingredients in a bowl and give it good mix. This will ensure that salt, sugar and other ingredients are uniformly distributed within the flour. Then add the butter and rub it into the flour. The butter will surround and insulate some of the flour particles from coming in contact with water and thereby block some gluten formation. I have used very little butter in this recipe as I did not want to block all the gluten formation.
After gently rubbing the butter into the flour it would look like the picture above.
Pour in all the water in one go then add the yeast. I have begun experimenting with adding the yeast last. This prevents the yeast granules from being enclosed in the butter or oils and preventing them from being activated. If they are sealed in a layer of oil they will not detect the presence of water and would not activate. I noticed this in one of my earliest experiments and only now have I tried to change the process to accommodate high oil and butter content even though there is very little butter in this recipe.
The dough is slightly damp. This time around I am using 70% water with respect to the weight of the flour which is slightly more then a traditional bread recipe. Traditional bread recipes call for about 50% to 65% water. They are drier so that it is easier to knead them. Please refer to my previous article on how to choose your flour. I added a bit more water so that the bread will have extra moisture content to allow it to feel moist 2 to 3 days after baking. I can afford to add a bit more water as I do not knead my breads. With a traditional bread recipe you will spend about 45 minutes kneading the dough. The most time I spend is about one minute. Then let it rest for 45 minutes before kneading for a minute.
Proofing. As I do not plan to knead the dough again I proof my dough in the baking tin and wait for it to rise. Let it proof for about 2 hours.
Oil the tin before you put the dough inside. I rolled the dough into a sausage shape after kneading it for a minute and placed it into the baking tin. This dough has risen quite a lot. Do be careful. The risen dough looks solid and strong but when I applied some egg wash to brown the top I could feel that the dough was really really soft and could collapse if poked. Actually, it did collapse when I knocked the tin against the oven door as I was putting it in the oven. But the was not a major issue as the bread rose back again in the hot oven.
The wholemeal bread did bake beautifully. The top of the wholemeal bread is a nice dark crusty brown because of the egg wash.
Beautiful wholemeal bread. It is not that difficult to make wholemeal bread if you are using Atta flour. I had baked the wholemeal bread for 35 minutes at 220C (428F). I could have baked the wholemeal bread for another 10 minutes but I stopped at 35 minutes to reduce the water loss during baking. This is to allow more moisture to be present in the wholemeal bread so that it does not dry up within one or two days.
This wholemeal bread does look nice to eat. One side is breaking off because my oven is not heating uniformly. Next time I will try to place the baking tin deeper into the oven.
What do you do with homemade wholemeal bread? Have the wholemeal bread with homemade pork cutlets and homemade chilli sauce. This wholemeal bread did last for 3 days without drying up. Technically, I am not sure if you can call it wholemeal bread as the wholemeal content should have been at least 67% and not 50%. Please check the following links on wholemeal bread, and definitions for wholemeal bread. I always wondered if the Chinese, Japanese & Korean civilizations ever made wholemeal bread so here are some clues.
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This article on how to make moist tender wholemeal bread with atta flour was researched and written by Peter Achutha