Normally, I would shy away from baking a bread using exclusively whole wheat flour, because often they turn out dry, heavy, and not too flavorful. But those folks at King Arthur Flour know their bread extremely well, and recently highlighted in their blog their most popular recipe, a 100% Whole Wheat Bread. They promised that it would produce “a moist, close-grained, nutty, and rich bread, that slices as a dream.” They did not lie: this is a deliciously hearty loaf, not heavy at all, with a hint of sweetness from the honey, perfect to start your day on a very “good carb-note.”
CLASSIC 100% WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
(from King Arthur website)
8 to 10 ounces lukewarm water
1 + 3/4 ounces vegetable oil
3 ounces honey
14 ounces whole wheat flour
2 + 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 ounce dried milk
1 + 1/4 teaspoons salt
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it becomes smooth. Alternatively, knead it in a KitchenAid type machine (I did that for about 7 minutes at speed 2).
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or large measuring cup, cover it, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours (mine doubled in a little over 1 hour).
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface, and shape it into a loaf. Place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 to 2 hours, or till the center has crowned about 1″ above the rim of the pan (mine took only 1 hour to reach that point). Towards the end of rising time, heat your oven to 350F.
Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. The finished loaf will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.
Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan on a rack to cool. If desired, rub the crust with a stick of butter; this will yield a soft, flavorful crust (I omitted this step). Cool completely before slicing.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: The variable amount of water given in the recipe accommodates for differences in humidity and temperature in each kitchen. Start with 8 ounces and see how the dough behaves. It is very important not to add too much flour, or it will be too heavy.
Instead of using my regular oven, I baked this loaf on our Breville toaster/convection oven, and it performed very well. It is a fantastic appliance, one that will be used more and more in the near future.
I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting…
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