Friday

Pure Bread


I have been working with whole wheat flour which is always more hearty than all purpose flour. I can never tell if the crumb of my breads is dense because of my choice of ingredients or if its my technique.

And so I looked for alternatives. One option was to try baking with bread flour. Surely the higher gluten content would help improve the crumb. I used this recipe from Multi-Grain Bread, originally featured in Bon App├ętit

Heres what I did:
1. Used a combination of wheat flakes and rolled oats for the unsweetened cereal.
2. Used half whole wheat bread flour (bought at Lori's) and half all purpose unbleached bread flour . 3. Used sunflower, flax, sesame and nigella seeds in the topping.

Technique notes:
1. The recipe instructions, especially proofing times work perfectly. Ambient temperature at 70-75 degrees F seems to guarantee the best rise.
2. Press the seeds into the load before baking if you're concerned that they will pop off as you slice the bread.
3. Don't forget to put the baking pan in the oven before you start pre-heating! There were small bubbles in the water by the time the bread entered the oven.

The verdict:
For the amount of effort that goes into it, this is my favorite bread recipe so far. Sure it uses a lot of yeast and also calls for bread flour. Both these ingredients go a long way in guaranteeing the success of the end-product. I was quite satisfied with the crumb, I'm sure I will keep trying different proportions of whole wheat to all purpose bread flour. I've used the bread for toast in the morning, for sandwiches or with soup at lunch or simply with some cheese. It also does well when toasted.

Update: Meet more bread-heads at the Sandwich Festival! Anupama, thank you for hosting!

19 comments:

Celine said...

so lovely!! yeah I have the same problem: it's hard to say if it's the flour or the technique that makes for a denser bread, at times.

zlamushka said...

your bread looks so great. i always find the most dificult part the baking. I never baked a bread that would come out perfect the first time. Usually it is super hard on the outside and raw in the inside...

ServesYouRight said...

Celine - Thank you! I LOVE your breads, though - so creative. Sigh :-)

zlamushka - I have to say this recipe rises the best of all. My other multi-grain combinations don't turn out so light.

Smita

evolvingtastes said...

OMG this looks fabulous!! Like it came out of one of the bakeries that really knows what it is doing.

David said...

Terrific photo, looks an absolutely professionally baked loaf.

Traveling Tummy said...

Oh my gosh this so fabulous! Looks super pro like from a french bakery. Great shots too, I can almost taste it! Have never tried baking bread... and now am intrigued!

Cakelaw said...

Hey there Smita, my BBM friend, your bread looks great! I really appreciate your bread making skills because I am sadly lacking in this department.

Asha said...

Waht a great looking bread! Great job Smita, looks mouthwatering. I prefer to bake a bread to cake any day!:))

TS said...

Gawd.....look at that. delightful!
my bread would not look like that.

Sangeetha said...

wow! your bread looks fantasatic! i am sure even bakery ones don't look that good!

Tracy said...

What a gorgeous bread!

Lori's is great, isn't it? I also like to go to Tadco, right near there.

ServesYouRight said...

Evolving tastes, Travelling Tummy, Cakelaw - So good to hear from you all - Thank you!

David - Thank you!

Smita

ServesYouRight said...

Trupti, Sangeetha - Thank you! This bread always makes me feel like a domestic goddess :-)

Tracy - thank you for the tip! Will check out Tadco!

Smita

Jude said...

I've been really getting into whole grains myself. Have you check out Reinhart's whole grains book? It's a collection of 100% recipes and I've been baking from it non stop.

ServesYouRight said...

Jude,

How funny you mention WGB - I waxed eloquent about the book here (http://smitaservesyouright.blogspot.com/2008/02/dont-be-poolish_16.html)!! I used WGB and The Bread Baker's Apprentice for the most part!

Smita

Lien said...

I love breads with seeds, this looks not only healthy but extremely tasty as well!!

zorra said...

Sounds and looks delicious and it's healty too. The perfect breakfast bread!

Aparna said...

Just came across your entry at BBD. Love the wholesomeness of your loaf.

zorra said...

Wonderful "healty" bread!