Wheat Bread Round 2

I’m still seeking that perfect loaf of whole wheat to make.  Why, because multi-grain whole wheat now costs $4.00 a loaf.  I remember my mother saying, “Someday bread will be $2.00 a loaf.”  Well mom, we’re way beyond that price!

I’ve learned a lot about making bread on this quest.  Last time I learned that the liquid sweetener one chooses makes a difference.  Molasses gives you a darker look with the flavor we like more.  Honey is definitely sweet giving the bread a lighter color.  Maple syrup is not as sweet as honey but you definitely have a hint of a maple taste.

This round I’m using a recipe from the king of flour, the King Arthur Flour company.  They offer you, on their website, the opportunity to have your recipe by voume (American) or weight (the rest of the world). 

This is the very first time I’ve used powdered milk.  I couldn’t find Carnation Instant Milk at Target so I settled with what Target had which was a huge round canister.  (I’ve been meaning to ask manufacturers to please offer a variety of their products in much smaller containers – add to the  todo list.)  

Powdered milk, according to the King Arthur bread makers, helps the bread to rise more and not be so dense.   Wheat flour is already heavy.   The flour is not fine.  There are flecks of wheat in the flour. 

What I liked about this recipe was the traditional activation of  the yeast first.  Downside of this recipe it only makes a one pound loaf. 

CLASSIC 100% WHEAT BREAD (King Arthur Flour Recipe)     

  • 1 to 1  1/4 cups lukewarm water (105° to 115° – they don’t tell you that so use a small digital thermometer)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey, molasses or maple syrup
  • 3 2/3 cups King Arthur 100% Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tablespoons of the water.  (2 didn’t dissolve it enough so I used 3)
  • 1/4 cup instant nonfat dried milk
  • 1  1/4 teaspoons of salt

With 3 tablespoons of the lukewarm water dissolve the yeast in a small bowl.   In your electric mixer combine the flour, instant milk and salt.  In a small liquid measure combine the oil and sweeter of choice.  Using the dough hook of your mixer, turn to speed 2 and add all the liquids (even the yeast mixture).  [According to Kitchenaide, Speed 2 is the highest you should ever go when mixing dough.]   Mix for 2 minutes or until dough clings to the hook and cleans the sides of the bowl. 

Kneed on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.  Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with a bread towel or plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise till puffy, not necesarily doubled in size  – 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. 

 Transfer the dough onto a lightly oiled work surface.   Using your rollling pin, roll the dough into an 8″ rectangle.  Roll the dough into a loaf with the seamed side down.  Place the dough into a lightly greased 1 pound pan (8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″) .  Cover with the bread cloth and let it raise till the center has crowned about 1″ above the rim of the pan.  Fifteen minutes before the bread is done raising, PREHEAT the oven to 350°. 

Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with alumnium foil after 20 minutes to prevent oven-browning.   

Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.  Optional, rub the crust with a stick of butter.  Cool completely before slicing.  Store in a plastic bag. 

What I do like about this bread is the hight and that it is NOT so dense.  Also, the ease to make this bread was exceptionally simple.  The waiting time was excruciating.   We had this as toast this morning and it was really good.   Improvements needed: still looking for a little airier and a little lighter in density.  The taste was good.

Bread Grading (1-5) WS Bread KA Bread
Time to make it 3 4
Raising time 3 1
Time to bake 3 3
Taste 3 3
Height 2 4
Density 1 3

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