tuesdays with dorie / baking with julia: whole wheat loaves

Time again for Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia. I seem to only manage one recipe each month, but I do enjoy staying in the game. This week’s assignment was Whole Wheat Loaves. I always want to make more bread, and this was a good recipe to hone the skills.

These loaves were mostly simple to put together, though locating malt extract or an appropriate substitute produced a bit of angst. The guy at Whole Foods had no idea what I was asking for. I hadn’t checked out the P&Q post for the recipe first. Thank goodness for SmartPhones. A quick scan of the comments while standing in the grocery store aisle indicated that the barley malt syrup would do the trick.

For the whole wheat flour, I used white whole wheat flour. I know it’s a whole grain, but from what I read, it has less gluten and protein than regular whole wheat from red wheat. Higher gluten is supposed to be better for bread, but I used what I had on hand. In the end, my loaf rose as expected and tasted good, so it worked out.

The yeast proofs with a boost of honey (not my own yet for anyone whose wondering). Then, a blend of all-purpose and whole wheat flour is mixed in along with that pesky malt syrup, oil, and salt. I let my stand mixer do the work, until the engine seized, that is. I finished the kneading by hand for the last 5 minutes. It reminded me that manual kneading is so tactile, and satisfying. And now I have a new project to figure out how to repair the mixer…

I took advantage of the bread proofing setting on my oven (I do love high tech for some things). It keeps the temperature at an even 100 degrees. Because room temperature is never all that warm at my house, especially on a brisk fall day before I’ve turned the heat on, the cozy oven works well.

One of the things I enjoy about making homemade bread is how each step is typically simple with long stretches in between to get things done. While the dough did its first rise, I started day 1 of a “Couch to 5K in 9 weeks” program, going for a run. Once the dough doubled in size, I shaped it into flat loaf-shaped patties. While the loaves rose, I spackled nail holes on a window installed 3 years ago and never painted. Once the loaves rose above the rim of the loaf pan (I had my doubts, it starts out so flat), it was time to bake them while I took a shower. What a productive afternoon!

This bread is lovely toasted for breakfast with a bit of butter and marmalade. It seems sturdy enough for a sandwich, though I haven’t sampled that yet. The recipe makes two loaves, so I stashed one in the freezer for next week.

For the recipe, check out this week’s hosts: Teresa (a friend from FFwD) of The Family That Bakes Together and Michele of Veggie Num Nums. The recipe can also be found in Dorie Greenspan’s book, written with Julia Child, Baking with Julia.

And to see how the other bakers made out, you can follow their links here to read all about it.


Posted on 18 September 2012, in Baking, Tuesdays with Dorie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Somehow, bread rising in the other room is one of the best motivators for getting things done. I love how much you got accomplished while it was working away on its own.

  2. Good luck on your C25K. I went through the program this summer to get me back into the swing of things & it worked really well for me.
    Look forward to hearing about the days when that honey comes from “Pollack Pastures” :-)
    Lovely bread!

  3. Simple to make but extraordinary delicious!
    Your breads look great!

    This is my favourite recipe from the book so far. Such a versatile bread is a dream!
    We had it toasted and not-toasted with butter and honey or butter and jam,
    we use it for sandwiches or anytime we like to eat bread.

  4. I enjoyed this bread a lot; your buttered slice looks yummy! Nice job Betsy!

  5. Wow, baking bread sure energized you — fun post! Blessings, Catherine http://www.praycookblog.com

  6. Very nicely done! Nothing beats the taste of bread fresh from the oven!

  7. Betsy, love the pictures of your sliced bread with butter and marmelade – looks quite wonderful. Actually, I was wondering about your honey when I was making the bread and asking myself whether you were already able to use some of your own honey yet – actually I often think about you and your bees when I bake something with honey. It is really nice to read that this recipe was such a winner with everyone.

  8. A bread proofing function, eh? I think I need me one of those.

  9. You sound like us, multi-tasking all day long. :-) Love your bread, though. Beautiful job.

  10. Homemade whole wheat bread, I’ll bet your family is glad you’ve kept going with the TWD, even once a mont- it’s a joyous occasion of fresh baked goodness at your house;-)
    Great decision to take some time and decide what you want to do when you grow up, that’s a wonderful concept and I embrace it fully;-)

  11. I got all kinds of things done too. One of the things that’s nice about bread making is the somewhat flexible schedule.

  12. I so loved this bread…easy to put together…great texture and flavor! Yours looks perfect! Nice post!

  13. I just couldn’t get my act together in time to get this done, but looking at your gorgeous loaves makes me wish I had tried harder. There’s something incredibly satisfying about baking bread!

  14. I love all of the waiting time that bread baking entails, too. It seems to give a nice structure to the day.

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