Saturday, November 28, 2009

Light wheat bread

I've been making black bread for the past four weeks. It's excellent, let me tell you, but it turns out that not everyone can fully appreciate its wonderful, strong flavor and dense texture. So this week, I sought a more widely accepted bread, and found it: light wheat bread. It is pretty close to the standard brown bread you'd find in a grocery store, except, you know, better.

the loaf viande fumée

The recipe I found comes from the Bread Baker's Apprentice. I made a few modifications, mostly stemming from my lack of bread flour and instant yeast. It turned out splendidly--the crust is dry and flaky, almost the texture of a baguette. The bread itself slices perfectly and makes an excellent base for a smoked meat sandwich (!).
Recipe: light wheat bread
1 package active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour (or bread flour if you have it)
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons powdered milk
1.5 tsp salt
2 tbsp (28g) butter at room temperature
1.5 tsp honey (or sugar)
1 cup water
  • As usual, mix the yeast, warm water and 1 tsp sugar in a bowl and let stand until light and frothy.
  • Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Add the butter, honey, yeast mixture and water, then mix everything together to form a cohesive mass. If flour remains at the bottom of the bowl, sprinkle additional water and mix until everything comes together. The dough should be reasonably soft and pliable, but not too sticky.
  • Knead the dough for about 10-20 minutes, then place in a greased bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and allow the dough to double in size (this should take about an hour).
  • Deflate the dough, form into a loaf, and then place in a greased loaf pan. Cover and allow the dough to rise a second time to twice its size.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and bake the loaf until its crust is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Remove loaf from pan and allow to cool for at least one hour.
Note: During the first 15 minutes of baking, I kept a shallow pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven and occasionally flicked water droplets onto the coils to create steam. This prevents the crust from forming too early, as it often does in my oven.


  1. smoked meat!!!!!
    it seems you have become a breadmaker extraordinaire in my absence!