September 18, 2012

Wonderful Wheat Bread



TWD - Whole Wheat Loaves

Wheat bread is one of my favorite breads along with rye bread, well, truthfully, I find it hard to turn down any kind of homemade bread.  Making homemade bread is an adventure full of twists, turns and surprises all the way from the smell of the yeast, the feel of flour, deciding on the correct texture of the dough, the wonder of the rise and the aroma of the baking all the way the to the first taste. If I kneaded my dough by hand I would add the effort of the knead as well.  As a child my parents experienced a year marked with hardship and my mom made homemade bread and I don't remember the hardships but I do remember the comfort and feeling safe and secure when I smelled bread baking and seeing the loaves lined up on the counter. 

The funny thing about wheat bread in my childhood family is that no one likes wheat bread.  My mother had an aversion to it as did my grandmother and my grandfather thought Wonderbread was the epitome of bread.  I can only think that wheat bread must have been a very dull and dry product back in those old days.  Today we are so spoiled with such a variety of flours and other ingredients that a delicious loaf is almost a guarantee.

Today's recipe was easy to follow with only the unusual ingredient of malt extract which I didn't have but after a quick search I found that I could substitute molasses for it.  I would like to try the malt extract as I read it has a distinct flavor and will look for it the next time I am at Whole Foods or Sprouts but will try it only if the price point is reasonable. One thing I learned today that when you make a loaf that you fold the rectangular dough from short end versus the long end which is what I have done previously with mixed results.
The recipe stated to flatten dough into a 9x12 inch rectangle and "with the short side facing you, fold the dough about two thirds of the way down the rectangle, then fold again so that the top edge meets the bottom edge; seal the seam by pinching it.  Turn roll so that the seam is in the center of the roll, facing up and turn the ends of the roll in just enough so that the roll fits in the loaf pan."

For the recipe from the fabulous cookbook Baking with Julia, you can find it on Michele's blog veggie num nums and  Teresa at The Family that Bakes Together.  Thank you ladies for a wonderful choice.  
I just love Teresa's blog concept  - 3 generations of her family bake these recipes together! How fun!





Teresa said...

Beautiful loaf! I grew up eating brown bread (as we call whole wheat bread in Canada), but most people I know grew up on white bread. We are lucky now that there are so many great flours available, along with good techniques.

Inge and Gillian said...

Perfect crumb. Nice post.

Cher Rockwell said...

Beautiful bread.
I don't think ever had whole wheat bread until I was into my adult years - I think it was a generational thing & liberation from the kitchen. Now, my parents eat it all the time.