Whole Wheat Imperfect Loaf and Recipe

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Epic Pitmaster
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Sep 7, 2013
Roseville, CA, a suburb of Sacramento
Soooo, I've been trying to perfect a whole wheat sandwich loaf that is slightly sweet, stays moist, and leaves you craving more. I believe I've got my recipe nailed. Now just need to work on my rolling and shaping technique.

Here's the finished product. Recipe below.


Ray's Whole Wheat Bread

Can be done, start to finish, in a morning or afternoon. Had problems with earlier recipes developing the gluten. Learned that was due to adding the butter too early. The fat prevents gluten development during the kneading process. I changed the process below.

Also, I learned that eggs count as part of the liquid calculations.

I use vital wheat gluten (VWG) in my breads to retain moisture. It can be eliminated and replaced with whole wheat or bread flour.

I use King Arthur flour for baking. I've tried different flours, but the weight, consistency, and performance of the KA flour has always pleased, and sometimes, amazed me.

Baker's Math in grams
720g KA Flour + 30g VWG = 100% 750g
Liquid 70% 525g (Honey/eggs/milk/water)
Yeast 1.4% 10.5 to 11g
Salt 2% 15g

Directions and Ingredients

Pre-bake prep.
-Set oven rack to medium level.
-Prep the outside bottom of the KitchenAid bowl with light oil so it won't stick to the machine when time to empty the bowl.
-Pull 2 eggs from fridge and set aside.
-Melt 3 Tbs butter and set aside.
‐Start a 2 liter Kettle of water toward a boil. If using an electric Kettle with a programmable temp, select 200°-205°F and keep warm setting.

Dry Ingredients: In KA mixing bowl with paddle attachment, add dry ingredients:
360g KA Whole Wheat flour
360g KA Bread flour
30g vital wheat gluten
15g salt

Combine dry ingredients on low setting with paddle attachment, not bread hook.

Wet Ingredients: Put a small bowl on a scale and zero the weight. Crack the two eggs into the bowl and note the weight of the eggs.

Zero the scale with another bowl. Add 50g of tap water, or close to 50g. Note the weight of water. Then add 11g Red Star Active Dry Yeast. Stir to kinda dissolve. Set aside. (Might be lumpy. Not a problem).

In a 2-cup measuring cup add 63g honey (3 Tbs). Add just enough milk so that total weight of liquids including the eggs, water for yeast, and honey is 525g. Warm milk and honey on high for 1 min in the microwave. Stir. Check temp is between 75°F to 115°F. Allow to cool if too hot or it will kill the yeast.

If using non-fat dry milk and water instead of fresh milk, only count the weight of the water, not the 23g (⅓ cup) of milk powder. I've done this and it worked great.

Change to dough hook. With mixer on low, slowly add milk/honey, dissolved yeast, and eggs (one at a time).

Knead on level 4 for 10 minutes. If mixer bogs down, lightly wet a surface for hand kneading. Place the dough on the surface, wet hands, and finish kneading to reach 10 minutes total. Stop. Wet hands if dough gets sticky while kneading.

Add the 3 melted Tbs of butter to coat the mixing bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and coat the dough. Cover with cling wrap and proof until doubled in size, about 90 to 120 minutes.

To set up a proofing oven, place a metal cake pan in the bottom of the oven and turn on the oven light. Add 4-6 cups boiling water to the cake pan. Close the oven door. This will raise the oven temp to 95°F (that will slowly drop to 80°F in an hour). Proofing temp should be 75°-95°F and humidity of 75%). Add more water to water kettle for second rise.

Once proofed, gently spread dough on a lightly wet work surface to degas with fingers and form into a large rectangle. Spread any butter left in the bowl evenly on the rectangle of dough. Fold and knead a few times to incorporate the butter into the dough.

Roll the dough into a rectangle a few times. Divide in half with a scraper. Weigh each half to get as even as possible.

Flatten each half into a rectangle, roll into a loaf, and pinch seams closed.

Place dough seam side down in two well-greased 9x5 bread pans. Spray oil works great.

Recharge water in proofing pan with more boiling water.

Place bread pans with dough in proofing oven, cover loosely with cling wrap, close oven door, let rise until doubled in size, about 90-120 minutes. The loaves will rise a little more in the bake.

Remove the bread from the oven and set aside. Leave cling wrap in place. Don't worry if the dough touches the cling wrap. It will easily release due to the butter.

Remove and dump the water pan.

Heat oven to 375°F. Adjust up or down based on the performance of your oven.

Bake for 25-30 mins, or until internal temp is 195°-200°F.

Remove from the oven and the bread pan. Cool completely on a rack before slicing. Bag bread.

Makes two 1.4 lb loaves.
That looks spectacular. I love bread, but definitely need to start cutting back from from my holiday binge period. When I move again we atreed a big kitchen has to be in the next home, hopefully I’ll be able to get into baking bread then, I can’t wait to try your recipes, the are definitely next level!
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One point, then moving on. Once completely cooled, and bagged, I put one loaf in the freezer and the other in the refrigerator. Both are unsliced. When ready for toast or to make a sandwich, I'll slice what I need, nuke it for 10 seconds, and prep as needed. The bread is moist and holds together beautifully.

The bread will only last about 5 days if kept on the countertop due to no preservatives. It will last at least 8-10 days in the fridge. It may last longer, but we finish it by then.

Often, bread that's been frozen, quickly loses its elasticity once thawed. This loaf tastes like a fresh loaf even after being frozen and thawed.
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