Friday, October 31, 2014

Foodie Fridays - Wholemeal Bread, improved version

I shared in July the wholemeal bread that DinoPapa baked, you can see the post here, last weekend I decided to make this bread again but fine tuning the recipe a little bit.  In that recipe I told DinoPapa to mix 1.5 cups of wholemeal flour with 2 cups of bread flour, the texture and taste was ok but I couldn't taste the wholemeal portion.  Thus after getting advice from my facebook friend Granny Smith, a lovely grandma living half the world across me, I decided to do the bold thing of replacing more than half of the bread flour with wholemeal flour.

Before that, I did a little online research to find out more about wholemeal flour.  Wholemeal flours contain 100% of the wheat grain, meaning it has the bran and germ which also means it retains all the natural nutrients plus they also contain significant amounts of fibre, iron and vitamin B.  When used in bread baking, it has a denser texture and will give it a nutty flavor.

Then I read about "stoneground flour" which leads me to go deeper into searching about it. As the name suggested it means the wheat is being grind in between 2 stones.  And the benefits of stone-grinding preserves these nutrients so that the flour is more healthy.  You can read more about it here.

Interesting right?  So I set out to hunt for stoneground wholemeal flour which was not successful as the neighbourhood supermarket only carries local brands and those in the more atas area like Orchard have organic wholemeal flour.  One day I happen to see Waitrose Organic stoneground wholemeal bread flour, imagine my happiness!  However, despite my happiness it took me about 15mins walking aimlessly around the supermarket, having an internal debate whether to purchase it because it cost a whopping SGD7.50 for a 1.5kg pack because since I do not use wholemeal flour as often I was afraid that it may turn bad before I have another chance to use it.  In the end, I bite the bullet and marched to the cashier with the packet in my hand, paid for it and the rest is history.

As with the previous loaf, I used the 40mins bread roll recipe but replaced the bread flour with wholemeal flour; I used 2 + approx 0.25 cup wholemeal flour and 1 + 0.25 cup of bread flour.  Ok, don't ask me why the 0.25 cup, while preparing the half cup of wholemeal fhour, I just have this strong urge to mix half of each flour.  You can of course ignore this and go for 2 ½ cup wholemeal flour and 1 cup bread flour.

With the "mysterious" crack on the previous loaf, Regina suggested that I try scoring the bread dough before putting it into the oven, I did and perhaps cut it a little too deep *opps*

When I took out the bread after 25mins, the loaf was brown to perfection and smells was heavenly~ until I stick the cake needle into the centre of the loaf, it came out wet.  I inserted the needle into a few different parts of the loaf and got the same result.  I tried to survey the dough and see how under baked it is by cutting it open with a knife and to my horror the centre of the loaf is still uncooked.  So in it went to the oven, I lowered the temperature to 200C and set timer for another 10mins.  This is how my loaf looks like 10mins later, beautiful isn't it?

Not wanting to be deceived by its look again, I probed it with the cake needle and it came out clean.  Of course there is a less "invasive" way to check if your bread is done by using the "thumping" method.  Remove the loaf from the pan and hit the bottom with your hand, if it sounds hollow your loaf is done.

I waited patiently for the loaf to cool down to slice it, I popped a small piece into my mouth and instantly fell in love with it.  The crust is crunchy, the bread is sweet and tasty even on its own plus it's more of a wholemeal bread than the last one.  I'm not sure whether the stoneground wholemeal flour caused any difference on the bread, I'd like to think that it did but I will let comment again when I have the chance to use the local brands to make this bread again.

Well, it's still not the perfect loaf as you can see from the photo there are some slightly under cooked part.  I will have to work on the baking time and temperature till I get a 100% perfect wholemeal bread loaf.  In the meantime, I'm just happy with my success and enjoying my wholemeal bread neat with a cup of coffee as my breakfast and tea time snacks.

Wholemeal Bread - Improved version

by DinoMama (Adapted from YourHomeBasedMom & Domestic Goddess Wannabe)
Prep Time: 40mins
Cook Time: 35mins

* 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (280ml) warm water
 cup (83ml) oil
* 2 tablespoons (about 16g) active dry yeast (or instant yeast)
* ¼ cups (56.25g) sugar
* 1 ½ (9g) teaspoons salt
* 1 egg
* 2 ½ cup wholemeal flour
* 1 cup bread flour (seems to work better but all purpose flour will also work)

1. Heat oven to 220C.
2. In your mixer bowl combine the water, oil, yeast and sugar and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Using your dough hook, mix in the salt, egg and flour.
3. Knead with hook until will incorporated and dough is soft and smooth. (Just a few minutes) The dough will be a little sticky. I oiled my hands, knead it one to two times, and it became really easy to shape.

a) If your dough is too wet, add a little more flour and knead a few times.
b) IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A MIXER, just hand knead the dough for about 5 minutes.

4. Roll the dough and place in a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan.
5. Cover the dough and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Glaze with egg wash if you want.
6. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until golden brown. Stick a cake tester into the middle of the bread to see if its cooked.

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