Baking (rec.food.baking) For bakers, would-be bakers, and fans and consumers of breads, pastries, cakes, pies, cookies, crackers, bagels, and other items commonly found in a bakery. Includes all methods of preparation, both conventional and not.

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Old 15-01-2004, 06:01 PM
Sue Evans
 
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Default Perfect whole wheat loaf

I have never baked a loaf of bread in my life, but I am contemplating it
because I can no longer buy my favourite whole wheat loaf. It has changed
from a dense, more uniform type of dryish loaf to a lighter stretchier type
loaf with a thick crust. I realize that the baking technique affects the
result of the loaf as much as the recipe, but I am hoping that one of you
experienced bakers can provide me with a recipe which gives me a fighting
chance of getting my loaf.
Hope you can help.
TIA,
Newbie



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Old 16-01-2004, 07:48 AM
Davida Chazan - The Chocolate Lady
 
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Default Perfect whole wheat loaf

(Please NOTE: My correct e-mail address is in my Signature) On Thu, 15
Jan 2004 13:01:58 -0500, during the rec.food.baking Community News
Flash "Sue Evans" reported:

I have never baked a loaf of bread in my life, but I am contemplating it
because I can no longer buy my favourite whole wheat loaf. It has changed
from a dense, more uniform type of dryish loaf to a lighter stretchier type
loaf with a thick crust. I realize that the baking technique affects the
result of the loaf as much as the recipe, but I am hoping that one of you
experienced bakers can provide me with a recipe which gives me a fighting
chance of getting my loaf.
Hope you can help.
TIA,
Newbie

You should also ask on alt.bread.recipes, so I'm cross posting this to
there as well.

I use this recipe from the Joy of Cooking (old edition from the 1970s)

2 cups milk - scald, then add...

3 tbsp margarine
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp honey - mix until all melted then place in a large bowl and let
cool till lukewarm

Separately - dissolve 25-28 grams yeast (1 oz) in 1/3 of a cup of warm
water, then add to above

1/2 cup of wheat germ - add to above (I might also add oat bran as
well) and mix well

Mix in whole wheat flour gradually until not too sticky, then turn out
and knead in more flour until the dough is smooth and elastic. Return
to bowl and cover and let rise for about one hour. Punch down and
then let rise again for 30 minutes. Turn out and knead again just
enough to shape into loaves. (This makes two standard loaves if put
in standard pans, but I like to shape them freely.) Let rise again
until double in bulk (about 45 minutes) then bake for about 45 minutes
at 190oC (sorry, I don't do F anymore).

Good luck!

(I also substitute water for the milk and then sometimes add one more
tablespoon of honey to make up for the lost sweetness from the milk.)

--
Davida Chazan (The Chocolate Lady)
davida at jdc dot org dot il
~*~*~*~*~*~
"What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of
chocolate."
--Katharine Hepburn (May 12, 1907 - June 29, 2003)
~*~*~*~*~*~
Links to my published poetry - http://davidachazan.homestead.com/
~*~*~*~*~*~
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Old 17-01-2004, 08:36 PM
jpatti
 
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Default Perfect whole wheat loaf

I bake my bread from home-ground wheat now.

I used to bake bread maybe once or twice a year and never varied from
one recipe as it was "too much work" to experiment with.

Then I got a bread machine and experimented like crazy making several
different types of loaves a week. I gave it away shortly before
seriously starting to bake here.

I started baking all our bread about a year and a half ago with a
white flour recipe, gradually moving to whole wheat, and eventually
taking the plunge and buying a grinder to grind my own hard wheat (I
also grind soft wheat for non-yeast recipes). I have also learned
that the "too much" work is less than baking a batch of cookies...
just have to be home voer a longer period of time. Lots of errors
along the way, and some "interesting" breads, but nothing completly
inedible occured during the whole process.

One of the "secrets" to my bread-baking was getting a really good
mill. My mill grinds so finely on one pass that I cannot sift any
bran out. I got the "Country Living Mill" and hubby attached a
bicycle to it for easier grinding.

The other secret is just the freshly ground wheat itself. I could
never get decent-tasting pancakes or biscuits out of whole wheat
flour, but once I started grinding my own, great food resulted. I
notice a huge difference if I grind flour right before baking versus
even the day before. Freshly-ground is *awesome*.

Finally, my last "secret" is making damp, sticky dough rather than
smooth dough like for white bread. It's more work to knead and you
have to go by the feel of the gluten rather than the look of the dough
ball.

My favorite current recipe is:

Dissolve 1 TB sugar in 1/2 cup warm water and sprinkle 2 1/2 tsp bulk
yeast on top in my largest bowl.

In 4 cup measure, melt 1/2 cup butter in microwave. Add 2 1/4 cups
warm water, 1/2 cup honey, 1 beaten egg, 1 1/2 tsp salt and a pinch of
baking soda. Mix together and pour into yeast mixture.

Mix in 3 cups rolled oats, then 5-6 cups freshly-ground hard wheat
flour, just enough until it forms a ball, but is still very sticky.
It is important not to try to get the same texture you do with white
flour or your bread will be hard.

Knead 10-15 minutes.Dump into buttered bowl, turn over, covered with
damp cloth and let rise.

Once doubled, punch down and shape into 2 large (meatloaf pan) or 3
small (regular bread pan) loaves , place in buttered pans, sprinkle a
TB of rolled oats over the top, and let rise again until dough peeks
over pan top.

Preheat oven to 450, place risen loaves in and turn heat down to 350
in ten minutes. Bake another 30-45 minutes until done.
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Old 18-01-2004, 01:42 PM
OhJeeez
 
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Default Perfect whole wheat loaf

just starting out. any tips on purchasing unground wheat? what about
critters? does pre-freezing hurt unground wheat? how cleanable is the country
living mill (found it with a google search) beyond their info page.

thanks
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Old 18-01-2004, 06:52 PM
Ray
 
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Default Perfect whole wheat loaf

Patti, what is your source for hard wheat?

I am thinking of following down your trail.

Thanks,

Ray


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Old 18-01-2004, 11:30 PM
jpatti
 
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Default Perfect whole wheat loaf

I'm *not* an expert by any means, I've only been baking seriously for
about 1 1/2 years. I'm still a bit "shy" about playing with additives
and such.

My hard wheat comes in "feed bags" which are some sort of plastic. My
soft wheat comes in paper of the sort paper bags are made from. I
store both in 5 gallon plastic buckets with a plastic top... it's
tight enough that it's rodent-proof. I picked some of these up at
Walmart.

People going for longer-term storage than I am do much more complex
stuff involving dried ice in gas-impermeable plastic bags to limit the
oxygen exposure, but unground wheat keeps for a long time, so I don't
see the point really. The fat in whole wheat flour goes rancid over
time if it's sitting around ground, but unground stuff lasts for
years.

Some people do freeze it and that apparently works fine. I think you
need to thaw it before grinding though.

I only clean the outside of the grain mill. I believe that the stones
and such inside are not supposed to get wet. I basically just discard
a bit of flour when I first start working it to "clean" the inside. I
also keep it covered except when in use so nothing drops into there
(also for rodent control as you never have all the grains out* of the
thing).

My emphasis on rodent-proof is because we live pretty rurally on a
small farm and in spite of 2 cats, I have some mice problems. Most of
you probably won't as I sure as heck didn't before I moved to the
country. My one cat caught 2-3 mice daily all summer long and doesn't
seem to have dented the local population any. Blech.

Anyways, the grinder is too much of a pain to get in and out every
time I use it as it's very, very heavy. So I picked up a single
kitchen cabinet countertop at an auction for a buck and my husband
bolted the grinder on it. If you look up reviews of grinders, this
one is one of the easiest to use... which is largely why I bought it.
Even so, once my husband attached a bicycle to it so I could grind by
foot instead of by hand, it was a great relief. It's more work than
you think grinding grain, especially if you're out-of-shape. The
whole thing, gridner on cabinet with bike attached to the grinder with
a belt, sits on my covered porch next to my freezer.

It takes about 15 minutes to grind enough wheat for the recipe I gave
above if you leave out the oats and use all wheat (around 8-10 cups).

They sell a motorization kit if you don't want to hand-grind. I'm
planning to live without electricty in a few years which is why we
just went with the homemade cabinet/bike contraption.

Buying wheat online costs too much as the shipping for 50 lbs of wheat
costs more than 50 lbs wheat itself does as wheat is incredibly cheap.
So you're best finding a local source.

If you have any Amish or Mennonites in your community, I hear they run
really cheap bulk groceries, but I haven't found any around here
though I'm in PA, guess I don't know the right people.

Also, there's no food co-ops in my area, which would be another good
source if you have one locally.

I'm currently buying hard wheat at a local mill. It is really cheap,
around $5 for 50 lb, which makes an insane amount of bread.

Hard wheat is what you want for yeast-based breads as soft wheat
doesn't have enough gluten. Hard wheat grinds into the equivalent of
whole wheat bread flour (I assume you guys know about the different
flours given that this is a bread newsgroup).

I also use hard wheat for noodles and pasta as I don't buy durum wheat
specifically and it works fine for that.

Soft wheat is for baking-powder type recipes: quick breads, pancakes,
biscuits, etc. It basically grinds into the equivalent of whole wheat
pastry flour.

I was cooking with whole wheat before we started grinding our own and
grinding made a *big* difference. Whole wheat panacakes were *always*
disgusting until I had fresh-ground wheat. I even do stuff like
cookies and cakes and such with whole wheat and it works fine.

And the bread made from freshly-ground wheat is just *awesome*.

On the other hand, I haven't yet gotten a good biscuit out of whole
wheat flour, whether fresh ground or not, but still have a bunch more
recipes to experiment with, so have not given up yet!

I completly ignore the distinctions beween red and white wheat and/or
spring versus winter wheat - I just pay attention to the hard vs. soft
bit cause I understand what gluten does. Because I buy in bulk, I
haven't bought often enough to have opinions on the other distinctions
yet.

No one around here had any clue about soft wheat (mills and other bulk
grain type places), so I asked a local health food store to order me
some in bulk. The health food store was a bit weirded out by me not
wanting *organic* wheat, but went ahead and ordered it for me anyways
(they drew the line at ordering bulk white sugar though!) It costs a
bit more than the hard wheat as it's not a local source really even
though it's a locally-run store (not a franchise).

I was very surprised to discover even though I bake all our bread,
turns out we use much more soft wheat than hard wheat.
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Old 19-01-2004, 05:13 AM
Dee Randall
 
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Default Perfect whole wheat loaf


"jpatti" wrote in message
om...

..snipPeople going for longer-term storage than I am do much more complex
stuff involving dried ice in gas-impermeable plastic bags to limit the
oxygen exposure, but unground wheat keeps for a long time, so I don't
see the point really. The fat in whole wheat flour goes rancid over
time if it's sitting around ground, but unground stuff lasts for
years. .snip

I can vouch for the fact that whole wheat doesn't go bad for "years." I
bought 50-100# of organic whole wheat sometime in 1994 from one of the
local Mormon's who took orders and had it shipped in from Utah -- so they
said. I have lbs. and lbs. of adzuki beans that are still good, plus some
other things. The only problem being that the lids are so darned tight and
the barrels are so cumbersome, I tend not to open them and use them. I move
them from floor to floor depending on the season to keep them cool. But the
last time I opened the ww, it smelled so darned sweet, I almost swooned.
Nothing like that in the grocery or health food stores, I can assure you.
If there is, I haven't found it.

I lost touch with the lady a year after I got my order, but it's a good
thing, because I would have a grainery here.

Dee

Dee




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Old 08-02-2004, 05:29 PM
Sewmaster
 
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Default Perfect whole wheat loaf


For anyone interested in buying whole wheat to grind,
do a search for "Bob's Red Mill."
It is a good source. I am not affiliated with them,
they just have very good grain for sale.

Sewmaster


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