Yeast leavened wholemeal bread 2 – The Accidental Recipe
Friday 28th February 2011 (Experiment 20110228)
The last yeast based wholemeal bread was slightly sweet but I did not reduce the sugar content. I reduced the bran content, accidentally. I guess, in my hurry, I was reading off the wrong row in my hand written recipe. The recipe shown here is the actual weight of ingredients used. This recipe is based upon the accidental recipe with minor adjustments. I was just trying to reproduce the accidental recipe to verify that that recipe was not a fluke.
|Instant Dry Yeast
|Cold Water (10’C)
|4 hours later
Mix the flour sugar, yeast by hand by stirring them a few times to ensure proper dispersion of the sugar and yeast in the flour. Then add all the cold water (10’C), in one go, and mix a few times. The mixture will form a hard lump. Make it into a round lump and leave it for 4 hours. If you leave it for more than 4 hours you may find the proofing stage a bit slow.
After 4 hours. You can see from the before and after pictures that the bread volume has increased by about 3 to 5 times. The dough has risen to occupy most of the bowl.
Make sure you do some kneading to bring out the gluten while you mix in the rest of the ingredients. If the volume of the ingredients is large mix them in a portion at a time. The kneading brings out the elasticity of the bread and gives it a chewy texture. If you knead the dough for too much or for too long the bread will become tough. Knead for about half an hour if you are doing it by hand. If you want to be technically correct knead the bread until the dough becomes smooth and is no more sticky.
Unfortunately, I could not take any photos of the kneading process as there was too much sticky dough on both my hands to hold my camera (a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T900 … a really small pocket camera) without getting the camera lens stuck with dough… as it is my finger keeps blocking the lens.
Once mixed and kneaded place the dough in greased baking trays and proof the dough for 15 minutes.
It will rise again. You will notice that unlike white bread, wholemeal bread is slightly slower to rise during the proofing stage. You can allow it to rise a little longer. I normally, wait for the bread to rise to fill up 80% of the baking tray before baking. That means there is another 20% height for the dough to rise when it is baking in the oven. If the dough does not rise within the first 5 to 10 minutes of baking there is probably something wrong with your recipe and bake temperature.
The dough rises within the first 5 to 10 minutes of baking due to firstly, the gases in the dough, generated by the yeast during proofing, get hot and expand. Secondly, the water content in the dough forms steam and pushes the dough up as it expands. If the bake temperature is too low, the water content will not convert to steam quickly enough. That is the dough cooks and set into bread before the steam can be generated. For this reason it is always advisable to bake at the highest temperature possible. But do note if your temperature is too high the outside of the dough will cook to bread and may even burn while the inside remains as uncooked dough.
Bake for 30 minutes at 210’C (410’F). I had split the dough to make bread and to make buns. The buns were baked for 15 minutes then taken out of the oven. You can test if the inside is fully cooked by sticky a sharp knife into the bread and withdrawing it out. If the knife comes out cleanly, then the bread is completely cooked. If there is some dough stuck to the knife the bake for another 5 to 10 minutes and test again. Repeat this process until completely cooked.
Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of the buns and forgot to take pictures of both the bread and the buns out of the baking trays.
You can leave out the seeds and / or leave out the bran and wheat germ. If you leave all of them out you will get white bread. Furthermore, you will notice that my bread recipes do not use milk or eggs as I am trying to keep it simple and at lower cost. Notice also, that I am not using any egg wash to brown the top of the bread during baking. I think it is the residual sugar in the bread, after the yeast has gobbled up what it could, that is caramelising to brown the top of the bread and buns. From my early experiments (last year) I did notice that wholemeal breads do brown much more easily than white breads even without the added sugar and I suspect that this may be due to the higher protein content. You can test this out by making two samples of almost identical breads, one based on a self-raising flour (a lower protein flour) and another sample with self-raising flour with extra gluten added in. The first sample will not brown at all.
Why am I explaining all this to you? Well, I think I have accidentally developed a ‘new’ method of making bread and I will share this much much easier method with you later.