My Whole Wheat Bread
Edited today - 08-July-2021
This recipe was one of the first bread recipes on my blog. Over a period of time my method and technique has improved with practice and reading up on bread baking.
It had been on mind to update the recipe for the benefit of newcomers.
Two most important things in bread making are: Liquid should be at room temperature in summers and just warm, approx. 48 to 54 degrees Celsius in winters.
Second is kneading. You have to knead it for 10. -12 minutes for the gluten to develop, which helps the bread to rise.
I have used a combination of wholewheat and all purpose. You can use totally either of the two, but in that case the total amount of liquid used will vary slightly.
I have used autolyse method here, which not only helps in developing the gluten better but also reduces the kneading time.
I have used instant yeast, if you don't have instant yeast then you can use active dry yeast. Bloom it in 1 tbsp of luke warm water with a pinch of sugar.
Start with liquid little less than mentioned in the recipe, and then add as needed.
The key point is that the dough should be quite sticky. That is what gives a good crumb . Do not be tempted to add more flour while kneading, instead use oil. This way you can incorporate the oil mentioned in the recipe.
Ingredients : Whole wheat Flour. 2 1/2 cups
All Purpose Flour ( maida) 1 cup
Flaxseed meal. 1 tbsp
Milk 1 1/2 cup
Water 2-3 tbsp
Instant Yeast 1 1/2 tsp
Honey 1 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp.
Oil ( EVOO or any vegetable oil) 2 tbsp
Milk Powder 1/4 cup
Flax seeds. 1 tbsp
Extra oil and milk for brushing Method
Mix whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, milk powder and flaxseed meal in a large bowl.
Make a well. Pour in milk. Mix well.
Do not knead just mix properly so that no dry flour is left.
Cover and let it sit for 1-2 hours.
This is called Autolyse.
Now add yeast and honey to the dough and mix properly by pinching the dough.
Clean your workstation with vinegar or lemon juice.
Sprinkle salt over it.
Turn the contents over sprinkled salt and start kneading .
As you knead , after a couple of minutes you might find the dough to be slightly tough.
Add a tbsp of water at a time and continue kneading. I had to use 3 tbsp of water.
Knead using the heel of your palms.
Push the dough outward , then fold it back, rotate it a little and push again.
When you feel the dough is sticking to your hand, add a little oil. So this way slowly incorporate 2 tbsp of oil in the dough.
Knead for good 10-12 minutes. By now the dough will become soft and smooth.
Oil your fingers, take a small portion of the dough and gently stretch it. If you are able to stretch it into a this sheath without tearing it , it's ready for proofing, else knead for a couple of minutes more.
This is known as Window Pane Test.
Now grease a bowl or container.
I prefer a flat bottom straight sides pan or container.
Transfer the dough in the container, turn it over so that it's covered with oil.
Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap.
Mark the container with a marker.
This will help you know when the dough has doubled.
It will take anywhere between 1 1/2 to 2 hours double in size depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
Grease and flour 9 by 5 inch tin.
Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it again gently for 2-3 minutes to expel out all the air.
Roll the dough into a large rectangle, keeping one side slightly shorter than your pan size.
From the end farthest to you fold the dough by an inch and half and pinch it to seal it.
Repeat till you get a roll, pinch to seal.
Check the length of the roll against your pan and accordingly fold and seal the ends.
Now carefully lift the ready roll and place it in the prepared pan with the seam side down.
Spray water and sprinkle seeds if using.
Press them lightly.
Cover with a cling film and let it sit undisturbed in a warm place.
It is ready to be baked when the loaf rises till the lip of the pan. This will take anywhere 30 minutes to an hour depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
So accordingly start preheating your oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
Brush the loaf with oil.
Spray it again with water
Place it carefully in the oven.
On the bottom tray of the oven quickly throw a few ice cubes . I throw in a full ice tray.
The steam from the ice cubes will help in oven spring and also prevent from developing cracks on the surface of the loaf.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, till the top gets a nice brown colour.
The bread is ready when it sounds hollow when the bottom is tapped.
If you have bread thermometer, insert it into the bread ,it should read 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the bread is done turn it on a wire rack.
Brush the top with oil and cover with a moist cloth if you want a soft crust. Let it cool completely on wire rack before you slice it.
Left over bread slices can be frozen. Bread stays fresh that way, compared to when kept in the fridge.