There seems to be no end of good recipes for 100% whole wheat bread. Here’s one from Judith and Evan Joneses “The Book of Bread,” from 1982. The book is full of good ideas and a homestyle ethos that seems to hark back to a simpler, probably better, time. Any book that opens with the first line of “Why another bread book?” has to be worth a look. Evan Jones is from Minnesota and they have a summer home in Vermont, or so it says on the liner notes. This seems right, because the book is full of uses for seeds and seed grinders and a general feel that these are people comfortable living close to the seasons and the earth and what comes out of it. They seem like people you’d like to know.
The ingredients are measured in cups and ounces, but that’s not a real problem, since I know that their cup of flour is about 5 ounces / 140 grams. (Okay, it’s whole wheat, which doesn’t compact, but it’s still 5 ounces.) I made the bread straight through because I was pressed for time — orders came down for “Sandwich bread, and whole wheat would be good.” Take a look at the rise and loft on the finished loaves. There are some who say that whole wheat doesn’t rise very much. This loaf and the Greek Whole Wheat bread (Khoriatiko Psomi) show that whole wheat can rise well if it’s made properly. So here it is. It comes out of the oven with a lovely aroma and with a slight bit of sweetness to it; perfect for toast in the morning and sandwiches at noon. There’s not much to the recipe, so it’s an easy bread to make. I think it would be even better if it were made with a preferment, which I’ll do next time. This is an example of a bread that isn’t exotic or new, but it just might make it onto your list of favorites. You can start it in the early morning and have warm bread for lunch. Not a bad idea.
|Yeast||1 Tbsp||15 ml|
|Warm water||21 oz||595 g|
|Molasses||2 Tbsp||30 ml|
|Honey||2 Tbsp||30 ml|
|Salt||2 tsp||10 ml|
|Melted butter||1/4 cup||60 ml|
|Whole Wheat flour||30 ounces||850 grams|
1. Mix all the ingredients together until they form a shaggy mass. Then let it rest, covered, for 20 minutes.
2. Knead 10 minutes by mixer or hand. The dough will be a bit tacky, but not sticky. It should make a nice, soft dough that should pass the windowpane test.
3. Set the dough in a large covered container to ferment for about 2 hours, or until it doubles.
4. Shape into two loaves, using the envelope folding technique.
5. Place the loaves in greased 4 1/2 X 8 1/2 inch / 11.5 X 21.5 cm (or something close) bread pans.
6. Cover and set to rise in a warm place. The dough should rise slightly above the top rim of the pan, but not flow over and out. This should take 45 minutes to an hour, depending on conditions in your kitchen.
7. Heat the oven to 350F / 175C.
8, Bake in a dry oven for a total of 45 minutes, but shift the loaves at 20 minutes and check at 35 minutes; it may brown a bit quickly due to the sugar and molasses in it. If it appears to be browning too quickly, just slip a sheet of aluminum foil over the loaf. This will slow the browning and still allow the loaf to cook. The loaves are done when the internal temperature is over 190F / 88C. You can let the bread sit for an extra 5 to 10 minutes in a cooling oven to crisp or thicken the crust.
9. Remove from the pans and let cool on a rack.