Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Whole Wheat Sesame Loaf

Poor whole wheat. It's so often misunderstood. Some people think of whole wheat and assume it's got to be dense and chewy.

It doesn't have to be that way.

When my buddies at 37 Cooks hooked up with Bob's Red mill, we got two types of flour to work with - organic all purpose white, and organic whole wheat.

Of course I had to make at least one loaf of bread. And I figured I might as well make a whole wheat loaf.

If you want a seriously soft and fluffy whole wheat bread, this is the one for you. It's soft, it's fluffy, it's light, it's squishy. And it's nice for sandwiches or toast.

The dough is very loose and sticky, so I suggest kneading with a stand mixer, if you have one. If you knead by hand, the stickiness of the dough is going to make you want to add flour to keep it from sticking to the work surface and to your hands.

It wouldn't be awful if you added a tad more flour, but try not to add too much.

If you like, this is the type of dough you can knead in bowl using a large dough scraper to move it around. It really is that loose and goopy.

Whole Wheat Sesame Loaf

1 cup lukewarm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup Bob's Red Mill organic whole wheat flour
1 large egg
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Toasted sesame seeds, as needed

Put the water, yeast, and whole wheat flour in the bowl of your stand mixer and let it sit at room temperature for an hour. Yes, I'm serious. Let it sit and bubble.

Add the egg, bread flour, salt, honey and butter.

Knead with the dough hook until the dough is elastic. It will be sticky and very soft. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for an hour. It should be doubled in size.

Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with baking spray. Use a dough scraper to transfer the dough to the loaf pan. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top (this will help keep the dough from sticking to your fingers) and use your fingers to press the dough into the pan so it fills it mostly evenly. It's fine if the dough doesn't fill completely into the corners.

Sprinkle more sesame seeds on top, if you like. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it reaches the top of the pan or slightly higher - about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

When the dough has risen, remove the plastic wrap and bake the loaf at 350 degrees until it's nicely browned and it reaches 200 degrees in the interior - about 40 minutes.

Remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.

I received flour from Bob's Red Mill through 37 Cooks.