War of the whole grain breads

Life, in general, sorely tries my patience! My desire for instant gratification constantly butts heads with my destiny's penchant to unfold gradually. Underneath my practised veneer of patience, lies a fidgety creature! Nevertheless, I will set aside my innate impatience when it comes to baking bread. There is something (dare I say it) almost spiritual about coaxing flavor from wheat. Feeling like a mere bystander watching dough rise, while the pre-scripted chemistry of yeast and wheat and temperature and humidity and the universe take over.

Heres what I did:
1. Made the multigrain bread from Peter Reinhardt's "The Bread Bakers Apprentice" I read every sentence in the first chapter and then read the recipe about four times. Chock full of details.
2. Made the multi grain struan from Floyd's post at The Fresh Loaf

The Verdict
The struan used whole wheat flour and about 5 minutes of vigorous kneading, while the multigrain bread extraordinaire (MBE) called for bread flour and 12 minutes of kneading. Ouch. I confess that the MBE was harder to work with, but the resultant texture was incredible. Golden crust and hearty crumb. The struan had more interesting ingredients in it and was an easier dough to work with. I added quinoa, millet and brown rice. However, unlike Floyd's version, mine did not rise as much. I am sure I will have to give this a couple tries before I figure out exactly whats going on! Used the breads for toast as well as sandwiches. It works with honey, butter, hummus and mild cheese. All in all, I am very satisfied with both recipes and if I HAD to pick one, it would be the MBE. However, clearly, I need to practice :-) Wish my hapless victims luck!

PS. Top 2 pictures: MBE, Bottom 1: Struan. It has occurred to me that I could just clear the table and take pictures. For now, please forgive the background clutter. I was too fixated on the bread (read 'too lazy to clean up or even crop'!)

1 comment:

Jude said...

Very nice breads -- from my favorite bread book and favorite bread web site! My kind of post.