Saturday, May 8, 2010

White Whole Wheat Batter Bread

I decided to make another version of batter bread, this time with white whole wheat flour.

You've probably read instructions that warn not to overbeat a cake batter.

You've probably headed that warning, but have you ever been curious about what happens and how long it takes before the batter is over-beaten?

Making this bread is an excellent opportunity to see what happens as the gluten develops, and in this case you want that gluten to be very well developed.

White Whole Wheat Batter Bread

1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups (8.5 oz.) white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter at room temperature
Cornmeal, baking spray, olive oil, and additional butter (as needed)

Mix the warm water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer, and let it sit for about 10 minutes to get foamy.

Add the buttermilk, white whole wheat flour, salt and butter, and beat at medium speed with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer. If you have a bowl scraper paddle, you can just let it run. Otherwise, stop the mixer once in a while to scrape the mixture down.

Keep beating until the dough is the consistency of bubblegum stuck to the bottom of your shoe on a hot day. This will take about 16 minutes of beating.

It will be sticky and loose and stretchy. Very stretchy.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover the bowl. and let the batter rest for an hour. Stir it down and cover it again. Let it rest for another half hour.

Meanwhile, spray an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan with baking spray and sprinkle it liberally with cornmeal..

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

After the second rest, scrape the dough into the prepared loaf pan. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top of the batter and with spread it over the top of the batter and at the same time, smooth out the top of the batter. The olive oil will help keep the plastic wrap from sticking to the top of the dough as it rises.

Cover the loaf pan with plastic and let the dough rise until it is about 1/2 inch from the top of the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes. If you like, brush the top of the bread with a bit of butter for the last 10 minutes of baking.

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

This was a decent sandwich loaf, and it was fine as my morning breakfast bread for several days. On the other hand, I think this method has great potential...for something. I just don't know what that "something" is yet.

But I'm working on it.