Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Whole wheat bread (p. 599)

Bread! I was just going to type that I don't know what my problem has been with the bread chapter (I've made minimal progress) but that isn't true. It's hard for me to want to bake bread when I'm pretty sure it won't turn out.

Short story: I had a rib removed right before I moved from Iowa to Colorado--almost immediately before the move, in fact. I had the rib removed on Thursday, got out of the hospital on Friday, and moved 660 miles on Sunday (We had to do so, everything was set up. Moving the move or the surgery would have been nearly impossible). We had a ton of help. My father and uncle came to help with the move, Josh's mom came for a couple days, and my mom came for a week. Mom essentially unpacked all the common areas of the house and cooked enough to fill up the fridge and freezer. She also tried to make bread (I love mom's bread). It failed to an extent it's never failed before. This bothered mom so much she couldn't sleep and tried first thing again the next morning. It worked but wasn't as good as it always was at lower altitude. Thus started my fear of baking bread at high altitude.

My solution to this is to make the breads when I go home to Iowa but that's been a slow-going process. Regardless, I thought it would be the perfect time to make Whole wheat bread (p. 599).

**Note: this is one of the recipes that has an error in it if you have an early version of the 2006 edition of TJOC. It makes two loaves, not three**

I don't like whole grains. People often think they can trick me--I assume they think they will give me some whole wheat without telling me, I will love it, and they can puff out their chest and be impressed with themselves while I'm ashamed of my formerly all-purpose flour eating ways. So far that has not happened--instead, I think "why does this pasta taste so strange" or "Why does my bread look like it has mouse feces in it?" It's one of my idiosyncrasies. That being said, I wasn't hopeful about the recipe.

I combined yeast and warm water. It gave off that delicious yeasty smell that always makes me hungry.

I mixed an egg, melted butter, water, salt, and sugar (if I was just making it for myself, I would have used honey because my best experiences with whole wheat bread have been sweet):

I added my yeast to it (which, on re-read, it seems like I should have added the other ingredients to the yeast rather than the other way around, although it didn't seem to matter):

I added four cups of whole wheat flour and four cups of all-purpose flour and kneaded the dough, shaping it on the baking sheet:

After first rise:

As I made my bread, mom made her bread. My bread is on the left--I decided to braid one loaf and leave the other loaf unbraided:

Second rise:

The bread was cooked for about 45 minutes:

It was quite good! I realized two things--first, I can tolerate whole wheat easier if it's only half the flour used in the recipe. I also realized that I don't like whole grains--I need my grains ground up so there are no small chunks in my bread. The bread had a nice sweetness but was not overly sweet--although I imagine it would be more sweet if you used honey rather than sugar. The consistency of the bread was great--soft without seeming like WonderBread.

Am I alone in my dislike of whole grains? Do you guys love them?

Add to Technorati Favorites


  1. Whole grains are to some an acquired taste. I agree that I like a more finely ground whole wheat flour--in fact, it is easier for your body to absorb and digest it that way. One fact many people don't know is that you can buy "white" flour and it can still actually be whole wheat--it is just more finely ground.

    The difference is in how the wheat kernels are processed. Common "bleached, enriched" white flour is put through a process which strips certain parts of the grain--the bran and the germ. Most of the nutrients in wheat are found in exactly these parts that are normally stripped away in modern industrial food processes.

    You might like whole wheat bread more if you actually made more of it yourself from a different kind of wheat. Traditionally, the brownish-speckly whole wheat bread is made from red wheat, which has a slightly bitter taste--probably precisely what you don't like about it. Alternatively, making "white" wheat bread from white wheat will have a sweeter, milder flavor.

    Again, after eating whole grains (sometimes forcing yourself) over a period of time, your palate will adjust to it and even begin to enjoy the flavors. You just have to adjust your mental expectations of the food--such as "my spaghetti tastes different than what I was raised eating; therefore, I don't like it".

    Unprocessed whole grains are delicious and nourishing and an absolute staple of my diet, but they do take a little bit of getting used to :)

  2. Sadly, I'm totally unwilling to change my palate on this issue--I grew up with tons of pasta since I'm Italian-American and I'm unwilling to change now! I just don't enjoy them and I'm not going to force the issue.

  3. I found the pasta issue similar to the bread- if you go halfsies (one of them cooks faster, though, and I have to check every time), it is not as noticeable. I am used to whole wheat pasta now, so that is what we usually have. You know how I eat, so choosing the healthy (and hopefully more filling) might make a difference for me; I am not one to tell people what to like! Plus, there is a place for very fine pasta & the thin whole wheat stuff is weird and sticky. I also like butt tons of sauce, which is why the type of pasta is probably not much of an issue (though thinking back, it did take some adjusting). Most things I've read in magazines (and I think even in Joy) about converting recipes to whole grain or wheat recommend only 1/3 -1/2 the total starch by whole grain.

  4. It may just be me but I don't actually see the whole recipe just the steps that you did. Any chance you could send it to me? My JOB cook book grew legs when I moved to Oregon. :(


I love comments! Please let me know what you think!

I'm really sorry, I hate comment moderation, but I've been getting annoying Japanese spam messages lately so...comment moderation has started.