Monday, November 28, 2011

whole wheat bread

 I really like this bread.  I've been making several breads with a pre-ferment because I like the better flavor and longer shelf life that they seem to have.  I loved to make sourdough breads but after a while they made my stomach a bit acidy and wsk didn't seem to like them as well.  So sourdough doesn't seem to be something that I can keep up with- whereas preferments make it easier to get that great flavor & texture without the effort of sourdoughs.  I'm going to try to resurrect my starter but it might have been too long.  Luckily my mom got one recently so if it is dead, I can get another one when I visit for the holidays.  Again this recipe comes from Hamelman's book- which I'd recommend highly- if just for the section on breads made with preferments.  I'll be submitting this post to yeastspotting.

Another nice thing- I made this for the first time when I lost my dough hook.  It doesn't "knead" (ha!) to be kneaded in a machine (kitchenaid) at all.  Very nice dough- I tried it another time by hand to make sure. I make 4 loaves at a time so most people would want to cut this in half.

Pate fermentee
1 lb flour
10.4 oz water
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp yeast (or less)

Mix until just smooth and rest for 16 hours at least up to 20 hours seems to be fine (my house is on the cold side 63 degrees)

Remaining ingredients
2 lbs whole wheat (white wheat is nice too- just really pale- like this bread)
1 lb flour
2 lbs 1 oz water
4 tsp salt
2 oz honey

Mix the rest (without the preferment) then add the preferment in chunks.  Knead until supple and smooth- not sticky- a bit on the loose side.  Folding works really well for this dough.
Ferment an hour then fold.  Ferment another another hour.  (Usually I err on the side of too much time- so more like 90 min each ferment)
Divide into 1.5 lb pieces and shape.  Allow to ferment another 60-90 min.   Bake at 400-450 for 30-40 min (my oven sucks so I'm sorry that I can't give better instructions than that!!)  I often turn the oven off at the end leaving the door open and allow the bread to 'dry out' a bit as it cools.  It seems to make the bread hold up better in the freezer.

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