Saturday, June 27, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread

Steve and I are always saying we ( ahem, I) should make homemade bread more often, so today I tried my hand at a whole wheat bread from our newest cook book, The Cook's Book. I really like this book because not only does it have great recipes it really takes the time to explain techniques and such. I've actually been reading it like a regular book :). I'm hoping to learn more about food, cooking, and techniques in general so that hopefully I'll be able to cook more creatively and come up with my own recipes.

Anyways back to the bread. This is just your basic whole wheat bread and I'm pretty happy with it. One thing that I think is holding this bread back is the yeast. The recipe calls for compressed fresh yeast, which I can't find so I have to use dry active yeast instead. However, I'm still happy with the way it turned out.

Whole Wheat Bread


  • 1 1/2 tsp (10g) compressed fresh yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups (350g) water at 72 degrees
  • 4 cups (500g) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp (10g) fine sea salt
  • olive or sunflower oil for kneading
Now, two things to note: 1) you see that it also has grams as a measurements, this is a more precise way to measure the ingredients and is recomended for baking in general.

2) if you have to use active dry yeast things are a little different... here is what i did:

Part 1
  • 5g active dry yeast
  • 58g water at 92 degrees
  • 7g flour
Part 2
  • 292g water at 72 degrees
  • 493g whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp (10g) fine sea salt
  • olive or sunflower oil for kneading
To make up for having the active yeast, put it in a bowl with your water and flour from part 1. Mix and let rest for 10 minutes. Then pour this into the other water and continue on with the recipe as follows.

In a seperate bowl mix the flour and salt with your hands. Add in the water and yeast and mix quickly with your hands making sure everything gets moist and mixed together.

Cover it with a dish towel and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Once the 10 mintues are up pour some olive oil onto your kneading station and set the bread there. Wash out your bowl and coat it in oil. Now you have to knead your dough.

Fold and knead the dough 10-12 times ( if you don't know how to knead I would recommend looking at a book that has pictures), then put back in the bowl and let rest for 10 minutes. Do this three times. After the third round of kneading let the dough sit for 30 minutes, knead one last time then place in your oiled/floured bread pan.

Cover with a towel and let rise for 90 minutes.

Once risen to double it's size, preheat the oven to 425. Cook at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 for 30 minutes. It will be done when you tap it on the bottom and it sounds hollow.