Saturday, March 3, 2012

Whole Wheat French Bread

As I type, my bread is baking. This is my second attempt at making french bread, and I think it's going to be far more successful than my last try--and because I'm feeling so confident, I've got this list of things I now want to make from scratch today.
There are a couple reasons why I think this recipe worked better than the last; first, because I broke down and bought some all purpose white flour (unbleached! Because, it makes me feel better that it's not whole wheat...) Also, I used yeast from a jar; I'm suspicious that the yeast I used out of a packet last time wasn't a fresh as the yeast I used today.
Anyway, my loaf is huge! And I love it. I hope it tastes as great as it looks. Here's the recipe. 

Adapted from Famous French Dessert's recipe.
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
3 cups All Purpose White Flour
1 Egg
1 tbsp. Sugar
2 tsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Dry Active Yeast

1. Sift the two flours together into a large bowl (I would mix 2 cups whole wheat flour and 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, adding the extra 1/2 as needed). Mix in salt and sugar. Move the ingredients to the sides of the bowl, creating a large "well" (an empty space) in the middle.
2. Pour the yeast into the "well" and pour 2 cups of lukewarm water over the yeast. Sprinkle about 1 tbsp. of flour over top. Wait (about 10 minutes) for bubbles to appear in the yeast.
3. Once the bubbles have appeared, you can start to mix together the ingredients (hands work best) to form the dough. The best way to do this, is to gradually incorporate the flour that is "waiting" on the sides of the bowl. Doing it all at once will be too difficult. So, go bit by bit, if it's too liquid, just add a bit more flour at the end. You should finish this "pre-kneading" stage with a round, firm ball of dough. Again, if it's too sticky, add a little more flour.
4. Kneading: remove the bread from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead it by pushing your palms into and then turning it one quarter. Keep kneading and doing quarter turns for about 5-10 minutes, or until the bread is supple and non-sticky.
5. Place the bread in a lightly floured bowl and cover with a damp dish cloth. Let it rise for about 2 hours (depends on the room temperature, you want it to be fairly warm). It should double in size.
6. Preheat oven to 400°F. Re-sprinkle a counter top (or other surface) with flour. Prepare a baking pan by lightly oiling and flouring it (or bake on top of parchment paper). With your hands, remove bread and place on floured surface. Knead and then flatten into a circle; fold over the edge, pressing the rim into the remaining dough; repeat, until you have a log and then pinch the flap with the bottom so that the dough is one piece. Roll back and forth the create a long loaf. Put the loaf on the pan. Cover with a dish towel and let rise for 30 more minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut diagonal lines across the top of the bread. Whisk the egg, and using a brush (or a teaspoon) coat the top of the bread. Put in oven and bake for 30 minutes (more or less, depending on how much you like it browned).

So, I tried a piece...yeah, I'm definitely going to have to toot my own horn on this one.
More on today's cooking adventures coming soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment


the scratch kitchen Copyright The Scratch Kitchen 2012