Two months back I purchased wholemeal bread flour, promising my husband, who is trying to cut down on extra calories and avoiding refined food, that he will soon be hit by the amazing waft of freshly baked whole wheat bread straight out of our kitchen. Poor guy kept waiting for that promise to be fulfilled. The various steps of kneading, proving, shaping the dough, waiting for it to rise, again knocking it back, shaping, proving...gosh the endless process freaked me out. But, the thought of a soft textured crumbed centre and a beautiful crusted outside was too tempting and I gave in to that thought eventually.
Despite my apprehensions, i was adventurous enough for wanting to bake bread the professional way; not the no knead types. I began reading books on baking bread, visiting websites, making mental notes, seeking inspiration, and gaining some confidence to start the process. And here I am, post two months, having conquered my fear for yeast...actually baking a bread would be more appropriate.
I wouldn't say that I am totally satisfied with the result of this loaf. Or perhaps, one can't expect and compare the textures of the loaf made with bread flour and that made from a coarse textured wholemeal. However, I loved the taste of this whole wheat bread. Since baking bread is all about making it often and making lots of it, I am definitely going to keep this recipe and improvise it and include some add-ons each time I bake it in future.
I have to admit that it definitely was fun baking with yeast. The processes and steps that were intimidating me before, well, I actually enjoyed them! It was absolutely joy to see the bread dough rising and then turning into a beautiful and healthy loaf.
You will need the following for this loaf,
(Note: everything in this recipe is measured in grams)
170 gm - Whole Meal Bread Flour
170 gm - All Purpose Flour
200-215 gm - Water
14 gm - Honey
20gm - Oil
7 gm - Yeast
5-7 gm - Salt
8.5' X 4.5' Pan
Mix together honey and oil. Keep aside.
Mix half the water (warm) with yeast. Keep it aside for 10 minutes approx.
Add the honey oil mix to the remaining water (warm). Mix well
In a mixing bowl, mix the flours and salt, add the honey water mix along with yeast.
Make a dough and knead for no more than 5 minutes.
Keep aside the dough for 5 minutes.
Fold the dough once every 5 minutes for the first 15 minutes. (three folds each time)
Grease a large bowl with oil and transfer the dough for fermentation for approximately an hour. Cover the bowl with a cling wrap.
Since the whole wheat flour ferments faster, the fermentation process may take lesser time. A lot will depend on climatic conditions.
Pre shape the dough and allow it to rest for 25 minutes.
Shape the dough as a sandwich loaf and place it in a greased tin (in which it will eventually bake).
You may want to cover it with a plastic wrap. Keep it aside and let it proof for one and a half hour to two hours.
Switch on your oven an hour or so before the bread is likely to go in. Pre-heat it at 190 C or 375 F.
The dough is likely to rise faster than the white loaf. So keep an eye on it. It should double or triple in size.
Once the dough has proofed, transfer the loaf pan in the oven. Quickly close the oven door to keep all the heat in.
Throw a handful of ice in the drip tray inside the oven. The ice produces steam which gives a nice crust to the bread.
Quickly close the oven door and do not be tempted to open the oven door for at least the first 20 minutes of baking.
When the bread is done, remove it from the pan and let it cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing it.
Yield- 1 loaf (12 slices)
Note: For a detailed tutorial on baking this bread visit here.