The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge #41: Whole Wheat Bread
I thought no bread will ever replace 100% Sourdough Rye in its ranking at the bottom of my list as the worst bread in this challenge but Whole Wheat Bread came along and promptly took its place, actually they share the position. This bread in my experience and honest opinion is a total FAIL. And to add to the failure, I couldn't get some decent photos because it was snowing and the sky overcast and therefore no natural lighting resulting in out of focus photos with ugly unnaturally gray colored slices.
I used KAF hard red and a small amount of hard white whole wheat flour, coarse whole rye flour for the soaker, milk for the poolish, vegetable oil as suggested, and didn't change anything from the recipe. I don't know what went wrong because the procedure went smoothly, the dough grew during fermentation and in the oven but the bread was disappointing. It's too bitter, dry and crumbly, no hint of sweetness whatsoever, and all I can taste was bran, bran, bran, and more bran. I hated it. I love whole wheat breads specially those with added whole grains but I refuse to eat more than a few bites of this one. A small amount of bread flour might have improved the bread both in texture and flavor, but I'm no expert so I don't know.
visual appeal 1
ease of preparation 2.5
I got frustrated because I was looking forward to making whole wheat bread sandwiches. The next day I baked another batch using a very simple recipe without a poolish and soaker, the whole baking process took less than 4 hours from start to finish. The recipe from one of my cookbooks has 2¼ cups each of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, ¼ cup powdered milk, and has the same amount of honey but has 1 tablespoon more vegetable oil than Peter's. I increased the whole wheat flour, all hard white, to 3 cups and replaced the remaining flour with 1 cup bread flour and ½ cup very fine whole rye flour. The bread rose ever so tall, the slices are soft and not dry at all and most important the bread is very tasty with a smoky nutty flavor. There is hardly any bitterness and it's just sweet enough, it's almost unbelievable that it has a lot of whole wheat flour.
I am liking the hard white whole wheat flour for its light color and it produces whole wheat breads that are lighter in texture and milder flavor plus you get all the same healthy benefits that are in hard red whole wheat flour.
it looks almost like enriched white bread