January 11, 2018 at 6:35 pm #10694
Is your heart set on backing a loaf of bread in a bread pan? I can give you a very easy whole wheat bread recipe that I use for pizza and focaccio loaves. I bake it in a medium cast iron frying pan and it only gets a couple of inches high as a bread, and flatter as a pizza. But its tasty particularly sprinkled with rosemary and very forgiving of mistakes.January 11, 2018 at 10:18 pm #10700
BakerAunt, I don’t know how to post links but the one I baked the other day has sunflower seeds and walnuts in it. I also have tried two that show “ears.” One says to use orange juice, the other does not.January 11, 2018 at 10:22 pm #10701
Skeptic7, I would love to try your recipe. The rosemary sounds especially good. Mike I will also try a smaller pan. I had not thought that mine may be a little too big. Thank you.January 12, 2018 at 8:12 am #10702
Ah, so you tried this recipe this time:
My first thoughts, and others will doubtless chime in: there is a lot of yeast (a Tablespoon) and a lot of sugar (5 Tbs. honey, molasses, or maple syrup). I wish that Cass (Kid Pizza) were posting; I’m sure that he would have some thoughts about that.
I don’t know if you used the “Whole Grain Bread Improver.” I’ve never used it. However, in this week’s Baking Thread (Jan 7), S. Wirth provides a link to do-it-yourself whole grain bread improver, that is from Bookbag, a member of the original KAF Baking Circle. However, I’m thinking that an adjustment with the yeast and sugar might be the place to start.
Note: to post a link, when you are on the computer page for the KAF recipe, highlight the “address” in the top bar on your computer that shows the page. Press Control + C on your keyboard. That will copy the link. Then come to the Nebraska Kitchen page, go to where you will post, press Control + V on your keyboard, and it will paste the link into your post.
January 12, 2018 at 9:02 am #10704
- This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by BakerAunt.
In general, the dough should fill 2/3 to 3/4 of the pan before the final rise. I’ve always called the part that extended beyond the width of the pan ‘wings’, but ‘ears’ is a reasonable description, too. In extreme cases, you wind up with a loaf where a slice looks like a mushroom.
I’ll run that recipe through my analyzer later today, but it does look rather high in sugar, and I suspect the yeast was increased to compensate. An osmotolerant yeast like SAF Gold might help, it’s designed for use in sweeter doughs, although some people use it for all their baking.January 12, 2018 at 12:20 pm #10707
Although KAF has a very nice Whole Grain Baking book, I have always suspected that the recipe developers do not really like whole grains and/or expect that other people will not. They really want to cover up the flavor. I know that for some people whole wheat has a rather strong taste. I recall Wingboy from the KAF Baking Circle telling us that in taste tolerance he came in low on the bitterness scale, whether it was bread or beer, so some people are probably prone genetically to respond more negatively to whole wheat’s assertiveness. (Another example is cilantro, which to some people tastes like soap.) Orange juice is, of course, one way of helping to tame it, as is using white whole wheat flour.
Why do we always assume that whole grain has to mean just whole wheat flour? My husband and I like whole wheat, but lately I’ve been discovering for myself that adding other whole grain flours can give a nice complexity, as in my experimentation with Antilope’s basic recipe.
I have been using 1 tsp. of the Gold yeast with 1 1/4 tsp. of the regular yeast in that loaf. It started as a way of using the Gold yeast more, since I do not do that many sweet rolls or coffee cakes. However, I do get a somewhat higher rise with that combination.
January 12, 2018 at 12:57 pm #10709
- This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by BakerAunt.
I love rye breads, even throwing a 1/4 cup of rye flour in a white bread recipe adds a nice flavor to it. I used to get a very good coarse pumpernickel flour when I was on site at my company’s HQ in Tennessee, but now that I’m retired I probably won’t be making that trip. I probably should buy another bag of rye berries and grind it myself.
There’s a new professor at the department of Agronomy and Horticulture who is from Germany. He’s been disappointed with the bread he finds here, so my wife had me make some of my honey wheat bread and she took a loaf of it to him today. I hope he likes it.
If he asks for something more like a German black bread I’m hoping he has some recipes for it, because I haven’t been able to make anything like the black bread we had in Germany. As I understand it, it is baked in a brick oven for a long time, like 18 hours, which causes the flour to caramelize even on the inside and turns it dark, and that might be difficult to replicate. Adding caramel coloring, cocoa or coffee to turn it dark is a kludge.
Personally, I prefer breads that are not baked in a loaf pan, it gives more character and substance to the crust, and you can play with the shape a lot. (Shape has a surprisingly significant impact on the taste of bread, something many authors tend to ignore.)January 12, 2018 at 1:47 pm #10710
I bought the KAF Whole Grains book and was not terribly impressed by it. One of my favorite bread cookbooks was “In a Baker’s Kitchen” which introduced me to sponges. Have you tried making corn breads? I like the Southern spoonbreads but these are rich in eggs and cheese.January 12, 2018 at 2:13 pm #10711
Like any cookbook, there are good recipes and ones that aren’t so good in the KAF Whole Grains book.
I ran the KAF 100% whole wheat sandwich bread (with walnuts and sunflower seeds) through my recipe analyzer, it comes up as quite moist, around 73% hydration. I’d probably recommend adding up to a half-cup of flour to it. It’s also on the sweet side, which helps to explain the wide variance in rise times, especially if your kitchen is cool, so an osmotolerant yeast like SAF Gold might help.
In the absence of the KAF Whole Grain Bread Improver, I’d suggest adding 2 teaspoons of vital wheat gluten and replacing 2 tablespoons of the water with vinegar. If you have diastatic barley malt, I’d suggest adding a teaspoon of it as well.January 12, 2018 at 3:14 pm #10712
I’m still exploring the KAF Whole Grain Baking book. I have repeatedly baked their Soft Barley cookies and their Dark and Dangerous Cinnamon Rolls–which are all whole wheat–as well as their Lemon Barley Scones and their Vanilla Pound Cake. Many of their recipes will use some AP or bread flour, but that is ok with me, as I do not need to banish white wheat flour from my diet. I also liked the Hazelnut Waffles I made on Sunday–once I found out what the missing liquid ingredient and its amount should be. The Lemon-Oat Squares were also very good. There are other recipes that I have marked favorably as well. Of course the Peach and Ginger Turnovers I tried baking this summer reduced me to tears, and I have a note that suggests the Gingered Oatmeal Muffins (p. 40) did not come out correctly (I vaguely recall disappointment), but most cookbooks will have some recipes that do not come out well for whatever reason. There are also some recipes that I read and am not excited to try, so I pass them over. On my “To Bake” list right now is the Cinnamon Spiral Bread (pp.252-254) and the Golden Raisin Hearth Bread (233-234).
Now that I’m retired, I have more time to experiment with new recipes. When I was working, I often needed a recipe where I knew how it would turn out because I did not have time to bake something else in its place.January 12, 2018 at 3:18 pm #10713
Here are three of my favorite recipes from the Whole Grains book: Pretzels, Scottish Shortbread and Hot Cross Buns. (I tried a number of hot cross buns recipes, these are the best I found.)January 12, 2018 at 3:18 pm #10714
Thank you for processing the recipe Mike. I am not familiar with Whole Grain Bread Improver or diastatic barley malt but I have heard of vital wheat gluten and will try that, along with the vinegar. BakerAunt, thank you for the instructions on copying a link! And I will look for that bread improver recipe from S. Wirth. I hate to sound dumb but where do I find Baking Thread? And yes, that was the recipe I used this time.January 12, 2018 at 3:26 pm #10715
Mike–Have you looked at Stanley Ginsberg’s The Rye Baker? I bought it this fall but have not yet gotten around to baking from it, in part because most of the recipes require a rye starter, and my husband is not that fond of rye bread. Also, sometimes it calls for more specialized ingredients than I can find easily. I have marked the Salty Rye Rolls as the one that I will attempt first because it does not require a rye starter and I have all the ingredients.
Baking for someone, like the professor from Germany, who knows good bread, should be a pleasure. We are getting ready to go on vacation to Florida for two weeks, and because I have become such a bread snob, I’m wondering what I’m going to eat after I run out of the baked goods I’m taking with us. 😮 I’ve been told that Publix grocery stores have pretty good bread. My husband and I will also make a trip to the National Bakery in Tarpon Springs, since he is very fond of their Greek cookies. (Those of you who were on the old KAF Baking site may recall my attempt to replicate them. I think that the thread is posted here.) We will try their bread also.January 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm #10716
Blanche–It takes a while to learn to navigate this site, and even then, we sometimes have to dig for items. The discussion is one of the posted comments in the What are You Baking the Week of January 7, 2018 thread. If you click on it and read through, you will find S. Wirth’s comment.
Here is the link to one of the dough improvers:
And here is the second:
January 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm #10717
- This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by BakerAunt.
Also, I have seen recipes using oat flour. Can I make that by running rolled oats through the food processor until it is the consistency of flour? BakerAunt I am also trying to branch out to other whole grains. I have a few recipes that I make with spelt flour (cake and muffins) and will try a spelt bread recipe soon. I like the taste of whole wheat flour but also like variety.January 12, 2018 at 3:32 pm #10719
BakerAunt, thank you for the site information and the link.January 12, 2018 at 3:34 pm #10720
Blanche: For oat flour, measure out the same amount of rolled oats, then run them through the food processor. It will give you the same amount of oat flour. Thus 1 cup oat flour = 1 cup rolled oats. Make it as you need it, as oat flour can go bad more easily than rolled oats.January 12, 2018 at 4:09 pm #10721
That’s how I make oat flour from rolled oats, the longer you process it in the food processor the finer it is ground up.
There are a number of King Arthur Flour recipes that utilize products that they sell on their website, the Whole Grain Bread Improver is one of those products. Hopefully the Vital Wheat Gluten and a little vinegar will have a similar effect.
Diastatic Barley Malt is often added to wheat flour at the mill. (Look on the label, you may see ‘barley flour’ or DBM listed.) It contains enzymes that help break down the starch in the flour into simple sugars that yeast can digest. Yeast contains similar enzymes, but adding the DBM gives the yeast a bit of assistance.
You may also see sources for non-diastatic barley malt. In this case, the barley has been heated to disable those enzymes. NDBM is basically a flavoring ingredient, it adds a nutty taste and a bit of sweetness to the dough. Adding barley syrup accomplishes pretty much the same thing.
‘Malting’ refers to sprouting a seed before grinding it up. When a seed sprouts, it becomes a chemical factory, manufacturing a number of compounds, including several enzymes, that aren’t present in the seed if it is just ground up into flour. So you will sometimes see malted barley flour or malted wheat flour in the grocery store, there are a number of interesting recipes that call for malted wheat flour.January 12, 2018 at 4:18 pm #10722
BA, I know of Ginsberg’s book, but it is not one I currently have. I don’t currently maintain any starters because the sourness of most sourdough breads is something my wife can’t tolerate. Oddly enough, when we’re in San Francisco, where our younger son lives, she has no trouble with sourdough bread there.
One of these days I may try the Chad Robertson (Tartine Bakery) method for producing a less ‘mature’ sourdough starter, to see if my wife could handle it. But it’s kind of an intense process and there are a lot of steps where you have to throw away as much as 95% of your starter, and I hate throwing usable food away.January 12, 2018 at 8:23 pm #10724
I just added my Very Easy Whole Wheat Focaccio to the recipe list. This is a very forgiving bread, if the dough is wet it ends up with a coarse texture and lots of holes, if the dough is drier it has a tighter crumb.January 12, 2018 at 8:27 pm #10725
The Laurel Kitchen Breadbook has the opposite problem. They were saying that one problem with kneading the dough well is that it tended to mellow the whole wheat flavor, also the flavor could be lessened by adding an acid ingredient like buttermilk. I liked a more mellow flavor and made a concerted effort to be sure my dough was well kneaded.January 12, 2018 at 8:51 pm #10728
Skeptic7–Ah! I almost always add buttermilk to my breads, particularly those that are whole grain. I started using buttermilk a lot after S. Wirth told us that it helps the keeping qualities of baked goods. That’s interesting that it also mellows the flavor.January 13, 2018 at 6:33 am #10733
BakerAunt, do you use buttermilk when the recipe calls for heating the milk? Is there a discernable taste to using buttermilk? I’m wondering if I could use buttermilk when making dinner rolls.January 13, 2018 at 8:28 am #10734
Italiancook–I don’t heat the buttermilk (it separates if you do), and I have not had any problems. It will get warmed up enough from the mixer or the bread machine. I do use active yeast, so if a recipe calls for all milk, I use 1/4 of the liquid as water to proof the yeast and use buttermilk for the rest. (I use active dry yeast, and I’m always more comfortable seeing it foam.) I do not primarily taste the buttermilk.January 13, 2018 at 9:12 am #10736
I use buttermilk a lot on quick breads and a little bit on yeast breads. I don’t think buttermilk needs to be scalded, the culturing seems to take care of the enzymes that cause problems. I try to limit the buttermilk in yeast breads to 1/2 the liquid — advice from Laurel’s Kitchen Bread cookbook, said that using all buttermilk would make the bread too tender and soft to rise properly. However I didn’t confirm this with an actualy experiment.
I notice a change in taste from using buttermilk in yeast breads but I like it. Its just slightly sour. I don’t notice a change in quick breads.
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