Thursday, April 26, 2012

Whole Wheat Bread (with a little beer!)

I decided to share one last bread from King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Baking. I wrote about this book for my column, Knead the Book, on Serious Eats, and I really liked all of the breads I baked. Sure, you can substitute whole grain flours for white flour, and it will usually work. But why not use recipes that are designed for whole grains?

That's what this book is all about. So far, I haven't found any recipes that I didn't like. And quite a few that I know I'll be making again and again.

This particular bread is a little bit sweet - in a good way - and is soft and fluffy.It's a good sandwich bread, and would be a great whole wheat bread for people who don't like typical whole grain breads.

The only dilemma when making this bread is what on earth you're going to do with that other half of the beer you open to make this. But I'm sure you'll think of something. When it comes to beer, I suggest using a light, mild-flavored beers. The heartier, more flavorful beers are great for drinking, but they can sometimes leave behind bitter flavors when you bake with them.

Micro-Brewery Honey-Wheat Bread
From Whole Grain Baking by King Arthur Flour

3/4 cup (6 ounces) amber ale or mild-flavored beer
1/4 cup (2 ounces) orange juice
3 tablespoons (2 1/4 ounces) honey
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 3/4 cups (7 ounces) traditional whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (1 3/4 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

Combine all the ingredients, and mix and knead them – by hand, mixer or bread machine – until you have a soft, smooth dough. Cover and allow the dough to rise until it’s puffy and nearly doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Lightly grease an 8 1/4 x 4 1/4-inch loaf pan. Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8-inch log. Place it in the prepared pan. Cover it gently with lightly greased plastic wrap or a proof cover, and allow it to rise till it’s crowned about 1 1/2 inches over the rim of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Near the end of the bread’s rising time, preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Uncover and bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, tenting it with foil after 15 minutes. The bread is done with it’s golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 190˚F.

Remove it from the oven, and after a minute or so turn it out onto a rack. Brush with melted butter if desired; this will keep the crust soft. Cool the bread for 30 minutes before slicing.

This has been submitted to YeastSpotting.