Monday, September 24, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie: Whole wheat loaves


This week's TwD challenge from the Baking with Julia cookbook was to bake whole wheat bread.  Things I know about baking bread: (1) Simple ingredients, combined correctly, can be converted into amazingly succulent and beautiful loaves of bread; (2) With practice, the baker can sense when a dough is perfectly kneaded and risen and baked; (3) I need a lot more practice.

the dough

I've baked a few loaves of bread from scratch, and they always seem to turn out too dense or too brown or too dry. I have produced a killer challah bread, once, and I can make a mean bread-machine loaf, but generally I just don't have the touch that comes with experience.

risen dough

That said, the instructions in Baking with Julia for preparing whole wheat loaves were straightforward and easy to follow, and my loaves turned out pretty well (though too dense). Plus, despite a lengthy paragraph on how to shape the dough, I managed to completely misinterpret the instructions and make my first loaf lopsided with the seam on the side instead of the bottom. It's in the freezer so I can't comment much about the final product. I assume it's just as dense but also as yum as the one I did slice and serve.

the loaf i shaped correctly
yep, one's a bit lopsided, isn't it?

The recipe calls for one ingredient I've never used before, malt extract, which I bought from Amazon and now have a huge bag left over. I guess I'll either make a lot more wheat bread or start a beer-brewing side business. I think the malt extract plus the honey really added something special to the wheat bread; I'm looking forward to reading others' experiences with these ingredients.

The recipe for Whole Wheat Loaves can be found at the blogs of our gracious TwD hosts, Michele from Veggie Num Nums and Teresa of The Family That Bakes Together . Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm late posting. Shocking. I wrote the whole thing then forgot to auto-post when I headed to New England on Tuesday...

great for sandwiches or snacking 

just milk for me, thanks.

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