Last week I noticed I still had a bag of whole wheat flour in the fridge that I have to use. As bread baking day was approaching I thought, “Why not adding some of the whole wheat flour to my regular recipe?” So I substituted one cup whole wheat for the 6-7 cups bread flour that was called for. I also increased the hydration a little. A little confession here. I don’t actually measure the amount of water I add to the recipe. I start with the recommended amount, then just add until it seems about the right hydration. i.e. the “feel of the dough is right. Usually this means it is soft, pliable and a little sticky.
I also thought it might be interesting to use some molasses instead of sugar. This would make the bread healthier (more fiber with whole wheat) and “sugar free” (sort of. Close enough for me.)
I made a standard 1 lb sandwich loaf plus a 2 lb boule with a variety of seeds on top. I had some issues with the seeds sticking to the loaf (actually, not sticking.) Next time, I will add the seeds to the dough prior to the second rise. This should help the adhesion.
- 5 to 6 cups bread flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 4 tablespoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 4 1/2 teaspoons fast acting yeast
- 2 ¼ cups very warm water (120° to 130°F)
- In large bowl, stir 3 1/2 cups of the bread flour, one cup whole wheat flour, the sugar, salt, shortening and yeast until well mixed. Add warm water. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 5 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. The whole wheat flour does not absorb the water as fast as the bread flour so the extra long mixing gives it a chance. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, to make dough easy to handle.
- Knead with the dough hook for 8 minutes as fast as your mixer will go. My KitchenAide will let me go to 5 (our of 7). Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead by hand until dough is smooth and springy. Grease large bowl with shortening. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 40 to 60 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
- Grease bottoms and sides of a 9×5-inch loaf pan with shortening or spray with cooking spray. Place dutch oven in the oven and start heating 30 minutes before the second rise is complete.
- Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Divide dough in one third and 2 thirds. This will be about 1 lb and 2 lb. Flatten the smaller portion with hands or rolling pin into 16×6-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface. Roll dough up tightly, beginning at 6-inch side. Press with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Pinch each end of roll to seal. Fold ends under loaf. Place seam side down in pan.
- Line a bowl of approximately the same dimensions as your dutch oven with parchment paper. Form the 2 lb portion of dough into a ball. I like to work it a bit on the counter, rolling back and forth between my hands to form a nice smooth ball. (Next time, I will add the seeds to the smooth side of this ball, then turn over into the lined bowl to rise the second time.) Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 35 to 50 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
- Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Place a small metal pan in the oven to create steam for the sandwich loaf. The dutch over shouldn’t need extra steam.
- When the boule has doubled carefully tip the dough from the bowl into the now very hot dutch oven. The seeds that were on the bottom of the bowl will now (hopefully) be well attached to the dough which will now be on the top.
- Heat oven to 425°F. Place both loaves into the over and pour a cup of water into the metal pan.
- Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until loaves are deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire rack to cool.