Bad news, folks. Bad, bad news.
I decided, in the early stages of my adventure, to try my hand at my favorite type of loaf – 100 Percent White Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread. From the beginning, my toes tingled at the thought of baking my very own sliced bread in the kitchen, one that looks like the store-bought kind but renders infinitely more taste buds. I couldn’t wait to have my space smell like warm, whole grains fresh from the field (of course, mine weren’t that fresh, but if I could have a wheat field in my backyard, I’d consider it).
But then, just as I started dreaming of my kitchen as a giant wheat sandwich… I was crushed by the failure of this recipe by my hand. It failed. I failed. And so began my first experience in the difficulties of bread baking.
While prepping this handsome-looking bread, my suspicions were growing when the dough was awfully… slippery. It began with an overly-moist poolish, continued with an overly-moist dough, and when I plopped it on the counter to get ready to put it in the loaf tin, it melted like a Flubbery ooze all over the surface (much like my mood the minute I observed the demise of this dough).
Perhaps I used too much water.
I think I was trying to accomplish too much in one fell swoop. I had to convert measurements from grams to cups/teaspoons/tablespoons/etc., and that’s where things got dicey (why can’t we all just get along under the metric system?). It’s a shame, because this recipe seemed so simple and the results would have been fantastic. Bah humbug.
Debrief: I’m not giving up, but I think I’ll look for a recipe without needing to do conversions (if anyone knows how to correctly convert this, let me know!). I guess this is the downside of the art.
100 Percent White Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread courtesy of breadcetera.com (with my conversions below: original measurements on Bread cetera)
Poolish: 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour 1 1/3 cups water 1/16 tsp active dry yeast
Dough: 3 1/3 cups whole wheat flour 1 ¾ cup water 1/10 cup dry milk powder 1 ¾ tsp. active dry yeast 1/10 cup salt Little less than 1/3 cup honey Little over half cup of butter
From Bread cetera:
The evening prior to baking, the ingredients of the poolish are mixed and allowed to ferment overnight at 70°F until mature, about 12 hours.
The next morning, the flour, dried milk powder, instant yeast and salt are combined. To the bowl of a stand mixer is added the mature poolish, water, honey and 125 g (.9 cups) of the flour mixture. Using the whisk attachment, the combined mixture is then whisked on speed 3 until lightly aerated, about 1 to 2 minutes. The whisk attachment is then replaced with a spiral dough hook, the rest of the flour mixture is added and all the ingredients are mixed on the lowest speed (stir) until a homogeneous dough is formed, about 3 minutes. The mixer speed is then increased to speed 3 and the dough is mixed to medium gluten development, about 3 minutes. While the mixer is still running, the butter is then added piece by piece and mixing is continued until all the butter is incorporated and a smooth dough is obtained, about an additional 3 minutes.
The dough is then placed in a lightly oiled, covered container and is allowed to ferment at 72ºF for 1 hour. Halfway through this 1 hour fermentation, the dough is given a fold.
After the first fermentation, the dough is divided into two pieces and each piece is lightly rounded. After a rest of 15 minutes under a plastic sheet, the dough pieces are formed into (batard) loaves as shown here and placed into buttered loaf pans.
The loaves are then placed into a small homemade proof box and allowed to undergo their second fermentation at 78ºF for 1 hour. The loaves are then baked in a 350°F oven for 50 minutes, with steam being supplied during the first 10 minutes of baking.