Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Transitional Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

 Okay so I've made this bread several times now.  I thought I would post pretty early so that I could share some of what I've learned. Sorry about the photo quality my digital camera has gone missing in action :(   Fortunately, it helped me to finally take the jump to a DSLR which is ordered and will be here in a few weeks. :) So until then all I have are cell phone pics. 
Here is my first soaker and biga.
 Mise en place,  soaker and biga all chopped up.

Oops! I forgot to turn down the temperature of my oven after I added the bread :( Tasted ok but the crust was a bit overdone and the crumb was dry.
So the second time was Memorial Day so with our added time my husband and I decided to try an experiment. A loaf each with
Biga, Instant Yeast & Scalded Milk
Biga, Instant Yeast & Unscalded Milk
Wild Yeast, Sourdough Starter & Scalded Milk
Wild Yeast, Sourdough Starter & Unscalded Milk

It got a little crazy with all the different types of dough so we wrote out an index card with each combination and moved it with the dough through each step.
You can see our index cards in this picture as well as the variation in rises.
1. Wild Yeast, Unscalded Milk
2. Wild Yeast, Scalded Milk
3. Biga, Scalded Milk
4. Biga Unscalded Milk

So we actually ended up with 4 distinctive end products. I personally preferred the taste of 4. I think that is because it was allowed to brown a bit more and thus had a nuttier flavor. It was hard to beat the rise of 1 and 2. Though before you run out and start your own starter I think the raise was more due to the moisture content of the dough than the starter. Our starter was a lot wetter than the Biga. This led to better kneading and softer dough so that more gluten developed and was allowed to create longer threads.

It was really awesome to see all these results right next to each other so that I could gain a better idea of how to control the process. I think I might keep making several loafs at a time for the sandwich breads at least. Since my family always is in need of sandwich bread anyways.

Oh and scalded vs. unscalded? minor differences not really worth the work in my opinion but that may be because we're using store bought pasteurized milk to begin with. (Edited to add a little caveat to be aware of, the hydration level of the scalded milk breads was lower and needed to be corrected. This was because we measured out even amounts of un-scalded milk for both versions which meant that the actual amount of liquid was a little low in the scalded version due to evaporation.)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Preheat Your Ovens!

I hope everyone is excited to start baking this week. I've created a google group here http://groups.google.com/group/wgb-challenge.

This week we're starting with the Transitional Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread.

Good Luck!

Monday, May 9, 2011

WGB Challange

Okay, I'm throwing down the Gauntlet for a new bread baking challenge. As may of you know I was part of a challenge offered by Pinch my Salt to bake my way through Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice book. Even though I fell behind with a move and a new baby I managed to mostly complete the challenge and it pretty much changed my life. I never buy bread from the grocery store! French bread, sandwich bread, rolls, hot dog buns... you name it I can make it and I can make it tasty. The only problem is I mostly use white flour and I would much prefer to have the added health benefits of whole grains in my growing family's diet. I must say the only 100% whole wheat breads I make are dry, dense, and disgusting! So I challange myself to bake my way through Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads book, New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor. I hope that I will exit this challenge equally changed, ready to bake delicious, healthy breads for my family.
Sound interesting to you? Please join me! It's so much easier and more fun with a group.

This leaves you plenty of time to grab a book and get ready to bake! Please leave a comment if you're going to join so that I know who my fellow bakers are.

Here's the schedule:
(We're not going straight through since I feel we should do all the transitional breads first then move into the 100% whole grain, baby steps right?)
5/29- 6/4      Transitional Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread p.99
6/5- 6/11      Transitional  Multigrain Sandwich Bread p.107
6/12- 6/18    Transitional Rye Sandwich Bread p.119
6/19- 6/25    Transitional Cinnamon Raisin Bread p.140
6/26- 7/2      Transitional Challah p.149
7/3- 7/9        Transitional Country Hearth Bread p.156
7/10- 7/16    Transitional Multigrain Hearth Bread p.161
7/17- 7/23    Transitional Rye Hearth Meteil p.178
7/24- 7/30    Transitional Rye Hearth Seigle p.181
7/31- 8/6      Transitional German-Style Many Seed Bread p.210
8/7- 8/13      Transitional Rustic Bread & Focaccia p.264
8/14- 8/20    100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread p.95
8/21- 8/27    Multigrain Struan p.103
8/28- 9/3      Oat Bran Broom Bread p.109
9/4- 9/10      Rye Sandwich Meteil p.112
9/11- 9/17    Rye Sandwich Seigle p.116
9/18- 9/24    Potato Onion Rye Meteil p.122
9/25- 10/1    Potato Rosemary Bread p.125
10/2- 10/8    Anadama Bread p.129
10/9- 10/15  Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread p.132
10/16-10/22 Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns p.136
10/23-10/29 Whole Wheat Challah p.144
10/30- 11/5   Whole Wheat Hearth Bread p.153
11/6- 11/12   Multigrain Hearth Bread p.158
11/13- 11/19 High- Extraction Flour Miche p.164
11/20-11/26  Three Rye Hearth Bread Variations (choose 1) p.169
11/27- 12/3   Power Bread p.185
12/4- 12/10   Whole Wheat Sprouted Grain Bread p.189
12/11-12/17  100% Sprouted Grain Bread p.192
12/18- 12/24 **Julekage, Panettone, and Stollen (choose 1) p.245
12/25- 12/31  Whole Wheat Mash Bread p.195
1/1- 1/7         Multigrain Mash Bread p.201
1/8- 1/14       Steamed Boston Brown Bread p.202
1/15- 1/21     Spent-Grain Bread p.205
1/22- 1/28     Whole Wheat Brioche p.215
1/29- 2/4       Volkronbrot p.219
2/5- 2/11       Bavarian Pumpernickel p.225
2/12- 2/18     Hutzelbrot with Dried Fruit p.229
2/19- 2/25     Swedish Limpa Rye Bread p.233
2/26- 3/3       Santa Lucia Buns p.236
3/4- 3/10       Hapanleipa and Vorterkaker p.241
3/11- 3/17     Whole Wheat, Multigrain, and Pumpernickel Bagels (choose 1) p.253
3/18- 3/24     Whole Wheat Focaccia p.260
3/25- 3/31     Whole Wheat and Multigrain Pizza Dough p.267
4/1- 4/7         Whole Wheat Pita Bread p.273
4/8- 4/14       Whole Wheat Naan p.278
4/15- 4/21     Chapatis, Parathas, and Roti p.281
4/22- 4/28     Injera p.283
4/29- 5/5       Whole Wheat Matzo p.285
5/6- 5/12       Lavash p.289
5/13- 5/19     Thin Wheat Crackers p.291
5/20- 5/26     Seeded Crackers p.293
5/27- 6/2       Graham Crackers p.296